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

I. Antichrists Control People’s Hearts

Today let us fellowship on the thirteenth item of the various manifestations of antichrists—they control church finances as well as controlling people’s hearts. Judging from the many different manifestations of antichrists, every single one of these items touches on their disposition and essence, which is averse to the truth, vicious, and wicked. Item thirteen is no exception to this. “They control church finances as well as controlling people’s hearts”—based on this manifestation, you can see that antichrists are not only ambitious but also greedy; they harbor a lot of needs within their hearts. Are these needs legitimate? (No, they are not.) Is controlling people’s hearts something positive? Obviously, one can see from the word “control” that it is not something positive. In what regard is it not positive? Why is it wrong to wield control? Do you wish to control people’s hearts? (No.) Even though you do not wish to do so, there will be times when you can’t help but act in that way. This is called a “disposition”; this is called an “essence.” Antichrists controlling people’s hearts is not a legitimate need, nor is it fair and reasonable; it is something negative. What does it mean to “control people’s hearts”? Controlling people’s hearts is not abstract; rather, it is something quite concrete and specific, with specific methods, conduct and language, as well as specific thoughts, perspectives, intentions, and motives. This being so, what are the concrete manifestations of antichrists controlling people’s hearts, and how is this control specifically defined? (Using displays such as external suffering and price-paying in order to win the approbation and esteem of others, and to achieve the goal of misleading others.) Antichrists use specific kinds of conduct and manifestations to win people’s favor, thereby gaining a place in people’s hearts, and getting people to esteem them. When antichrists win the esteem of others, this outcome is, by nature, one of misleading people. But in their hearts, it is not truly the antichrists’ subjective wish to use these means to mislead others; what they want is to be esteemed—that is their aim. Is there anything else? (Antichrists use small favors to mislead people and rope them in, and they show off their own capabilities and gifts in order to get others to esteem and admire them and obey their orders, and arrive at their goal of winning people over and gaining control over them.) This is one aspect. (Antichrists put up a pretense of being spiritual. When they are pruned, they fail to understand it, yet they pretend to have understood and to be able to obey it, so that others will feel that they are avidly pursuing the truth and have quite a lot of spiritual understanding. They disguise themselves as people who pursue and understand the truth, in order to achieve the outcome of making other people esteem and look up to them.) This is another aspect. Antichrists always want to make others see how spiritual they are, and that they’re able to pursue and submit to the truth. Actually, they do not possess the faintest understanding, but they still put up the facade of a spiritual person, in order to make others esteem and look up to them. They use such means to control people’s hearts. Is there more? (Antichrists speak about words and doctrines to show off and establish themselves, so that others think they understand the truth and possess stature, and esteem them, worship them, and listen to them. By these means they come to control people.) This is a concrete manifestation, but to say that “they speak about words and doctrines” is not entirely apt. Antichrists are unaware that they’re speaking about words and doctrines; they believe the things they talk about to be the reality, to be lofty theories and sermons, and they use these things to mislead people. If antichrists knew that they were words and doctrines, they would stop speaking about them. Is there anything else? (Antichrists openly go against the principles, use the power they have at their disposal and specious spiritual theories to fraudulently obtain everyone’s trust, and thereby arrive at their goal of gaining control over people.) (Antichrists cut off the connection of God’s chosen people with the Above. They do not carry out work arrangements, they hold absolute power within their jurisdiction, and they try to establish their own kingdoms and control people.) This too is a concrete manifestation. To put it more aptly, they deceive the Above, hide things from those below them, and try to win people’s favor, they do not let others see the true situation, and fraudulently obtain their trust, in order to arrive at their goal of controlling people’s hearts. Their aim in deceiving the Above and hiding things from those below them is to prevent the Above and the brothers and sisters from seeing the truth about them, so that the Above and the brothers and sisters will put their trust in them, and in the end the brothers and sisters will come to worship them alone—then they will have arrived at their goal of controlling people’s hearts. Is there more? (Antichrists draw up a bunch of seemingly right regulations for people to observe, and use these to replace the truth, so that people come to believe that observing these regulations is the same as putting the truth into practice. By these means antichrists gain control over people’s hearts and lead people before them.) This should be described as antichrists drawing up a bunch of rules and regulations to take the place of the truth principles, passing themselves off as spiritual, as understanding the truth, so that people will listen to them, and in this way, they arrive at their goal of controlling people’s hearts. If the rules they draw up were beneficial to the church life and to people doing their duties, and if they did not run counter to the truth principles and brought no harm to the interests of the house of God, then there would be nothing wrong with this. In dealing with the various kinds of people in the church, it is necessary, apart from fellowshipping on the truth, to set up some administrative rules to keep people in line. If these administrative rules do not run counter to the truth principles, but rather benefit people, then they are positive things, and this is not controlling people’s hearts. If these rules are being passed off as the truth principles, then there is a problem. Well then, are antichrists able to formulate rules that benefit people and conform to the truth principles? (No, they are not.) Have a go at summarizing how this should be put. (Antichrists formulate some rules that are not in line with the truth principles and feign spirituality and understanding of the truth to make people obey them, and attain their goal of controlling people’s hearts.) That is comparatively apt. Is there more? (Antichrists love to spout high-sounding ideas to show their cleverness and insight, and make people esteem them. For instance, after everyone has already discussed a matter and decided what to do about it, antichrists will speak out a set of theories to refute everybody else’s suggestions, and make everyone listen to them, when in fact their view is scarcely any cleverer. Then, as time goes on, no matter what the matter is, nobody will dare to fellowship the truth or seek the truth principles, and will feel they have to let the antichrists pass the final verdict, and ultimately the antichrists will arrive at their goal of controlling people.) Antichrists spout high-sounding ideas at every turn, refuting the suggestions of others, showing themselves off, and making others believe they’re very clever, and thereby arrive at their goal of misleading and taking control of other people. We have fellowshipped a lot about the manifestations of antichrists controlling and misleading people in the past. When antichrists do this, a great variety of tactics, manifestations, and methods are involved. Sometimes they use actions, sometimes they use speech, and at other times they use a certain kind of perspective to mislead people. In sum, there are goals underlying all these things that antichrists do; none of these actions are pure and open, and none of them conform to the truth. Everything they do is for the sake of misleading people and getting people to esteem and worship them. Whatever antichrists say and do outwardly are just facades—they’re all good conduct and things that people regard as good—but in fact, if one were to investigate the essence of these things, the motives and aims underlying the approaches of antichrists are without exception unspeakable, contrary to the truth, and abhorred by God.

Judging from their approach of controlling people’s hearts, the humanity of antichrists is despicable and selfish, and their disposition is averse to the truth, wicked, and vicious. Antichrists use all manner of despicable and underhanded tricks to achieve their aims, without any sense of shame—this is a characteristic of their wicked nature. Additionally, without paying any regard to whether people are willing or not, without informing them or acquiring their consent, they always want to control people, manipulate them and dominate them. They want everything that people think about and wish for in their hearts to be subject to their manipulations, they want people to hold a place for them in their hearts, worship them, and look up to them in all things. They want to circumscribe and influence people with their words and viewpoints, and manipulate and control them based on their own wishes. What kind of disposition is this? Is it not viciousness? It’s just like a tiger trapping your neck in its jaws—try as you might to gasp for breath and struggle to move, you cannot do as you wish, instead you are under the firm, deathly grip of its ferocious mouth. Try as you might to struggle free, you cannot, and though you plead with the tiger to loosen its jaw, that’s impossible, there is no room for discussion. Antichrists have just such a disposition. Suppose that you engage them in discussion, saying, “Can’t you please stop trying to work out ways to control people? Can’t you behave yourself and be a follower? Can’t you behave yourself and fulfill your duties and keep to your position?” Would they be able to agree to this? Would you, using good conduct or what you understand of the truth, be able to dissuade them from continuing on their course? Is there anyone who could change their point of view? Judging from the vicious disposition of antichrists, no one would be able to change their thoughts and perspectives, nor would anyone be able to change their desire to control people’s hearts. No one can change them, and there is no negotiating with them—this is called “viciousness.” Antichrists’ ambition and desire to control people is a manifestation of their essence. If you used good conduct to reform them, would that work? If you used your practical experience of accepting being pruned, judged, and chastised to help and support them—could they transform? Would they stop what they’re doing? (No, they would not.) Have you met this kind of person before? (Yes. With this kind of person, regardless of where they do their duties, and though they may fail and stumble a few times, or even undergo the discipline of illness, their desire to pursue status cannot be changed. Wherever they go, they wish to gain status and power.) If a change of place or group would not transform them, how about waiting until they are older—would they change a little then? Would they relinquish a little of their pursuit of power and authority, would it grow a little weaker? (No. This has nothing to do with age; this disposition of theirs cannot be altered.) A vicious disposition governs and controls antichrists, so they cannot change. It seems that the vicious disposition of antichrists is something that a number of people have had a taste of and seen for themselves. Antichrists controlling people’s hearts is a reality and it is backed by factual evidence—it is quite a serious matter. People like this are incapable of forgetting or setting aside the matter of controlling people’s hearts. Such is the nature essence of antichrists. From a subjective perspective, they are unable to set it aside; from an objective perspective, no one is able to transform them—they are antichrists, through and through. Tell Me, are there any antichrists who, after they have been expelled and are no longer in the company of the brothers and sisters, lose the desire to control the hearts of others? Would antichrists change on the basis of changes in their environment or geographical position? (No, they would not.) They would not change along with changes of time and place—this is determined by their nature essence. In controlling people’s hearts, antichrists are actually trying to wield power among people—the power to call the shots, to make decisions, and to control people and manipulate people’s hearts—this power is what they wish to gain. To control people’s hearts, antichrists will use all manner of ways and means to get people to esteem them, to trick and mislead people, to present people with false appearances, and even use certain ways and means to cover up their corrupt dispositions and character, and stop people from discerning or seeing through to their essence that is averse to the truth and of antichrists. Externally, they pass themselves off as people who are spiritual and perfect, who are without flaws or defects, or any trace of a corrupt disposition, and in this way, they arrive at their goals of getting others to esteem, look up to, admire, worship, and even rely on them. Arriving at these goals is, in essence, a consequence of them controlling people’s hearts. Within our fellowship about all of antichrists’ dispositions and manifestations, antichrists controlling people’s hearts and scrambling for power and profit has taken up the absolute majority of the discussion. Since we have already fellowshipped a great deal on this subject, let us leave it at that for today.

II. Antichrists Control Church Finances

The main point which we will be fellowshipping about today is that, apart from trying to control people’s hearts, and their ambition and desire for power, antichrists have another deadly manifestation. That is, they also display a great desire for the church’s finances, a desire that can also be called greed. In addition to their love for status, antichrists also have a special love for finances. The interest and pleasure they take in finances are ample and unmitigated; we define this as antichrists controlling the finances of the church. Antichrists trying to control church finances and trying to control people’s hearts are the same—both are equally illegitimate and unreasonable endeavors. Clearly this is something dishonorable. To have the ambition and desire to control people’s hearts is already revolting enough, it is already terribly dishonorable, yet antichrists want to control church finances as well—that is an even more despicable thing that happens with them. Well then, when antichrists seek to control the finances of the church, what are the concrete manifestations of this? Would this be more readily discernible than when they seek to control people’s hearts? When antichrists are seeking to control people’s hearts, some of the approaches and dispositions they bring into play can be discerned by people. But if they are very secretive and devious, and there are some statements, tactics, or satanic tricks behind them, which antichrists do not reveal on the surface, but only think in their private thoughts, then these things will not be readily discernible. However, trying to control church finances should have some concrete manifestations and approaches. Do you find these approaches easy to discern? When you have seen these things with your own eyes and heard about them with your own ears, can you discern that these are the actions of antichrists? (If they’re obvious behaviors, then yes. For example, antichrists will make inquiries about who is in charge of safekeeping offerings and the like.) This would be readily discernible because finances are a sensitive matter, and most people would not inquire into them, unless they were covetous people with designs on the finances, in which case they would take an interest in and make inquiries about this kind of information. So let us fellowship about what concrete manifestations there are of antichrists trying to control church finances.

When it comes to the subject of antichrists controlling the finances of the church, most people will associate this in their minds with examples they have seen in the past of fraud or misuse of the church’s property, won’t they? Or perhaps there are some people who, being young or having only believed in God for a short time, are not too concerned about these things and do not think about them at all. So let us fellowship in detail about this, so that you can come to understand some of the issues, rules, as well as taboos relating to the finances of the church. There are some who say, “I have never taken an interest in or inquired into matters about the church’s finances. I don’t harbor that kind of greed. This has nothing to do with me, and it is a rather sensitive topic in the church, so I’m fine with knowing or not knowing about it.” Is this point of view correct? (No, it is not.) How so? Regardless of what you may think, the topic we are fellowshipping on today touches on the disposition of antichrists, and from the standpoint of analyzing and dissecting the disposition of antichrists, it will be worthwhile for each and every one of you to understand this all and understand it clearly. We will use this matter to dissect the disposition of antichrists, so let us first fellowship on how antichrists treat the property of the church, what exactly church property means and who it belongs to in their minds, as well as how antichrists regard this property and allocate it in their private thoughts. First of all, how do antichrists define the money and various goods offered up by the church’s brothers and sisters? Judging from their character, antichrists are greedy, and their greed is immense, so they won’t be indifferent to this property. Rather, they will be very interested in it, paying careful attention to examining and figuring out how much church property there is, who is in charge of its safekeeping, where it is being kept, and how many people know about it. When it comes to fundamental information about church finances, antichrists will first show the utmost interest in this, giving it their special attention, making inquiries, and asking around, trying to the best of their ability to get hold of this information. If they had no greed and if they harbored no designs, would they be interested in these things? (Definitely not.) Antichrists are different from people with normal humanity, in that there is an ulterior motive to their concern. Their concern isn’t about safekeeping this property, instead they want to gain possession of it, or to be able to use it as they wish. Therefore, the first manifestation of antichrists controlling church finances is prioritizing their possession and use of church property.

A. Prioritizing Their Possession and Use of Church Property

Once antichrists gain status, a mistaken and shameless idea arises deep within them: Becoming a leader should win them not only the right to knowledge about church finances but also absolute power to control them. What is their aim in having control over church finances? To have the power to prioritize their possession and use of church property. What does prioritizing their possession and use of church property mean? It means that, so long as they are in charge of a church, the money and items offered up by the brothers and sisters under their supervision all come under their management, use, and ownership. Is this idea correct or incorrect? Obviously, it is incorrect, but that is how antichrists think. The first thing they do after becoming a leader is to make efforts and hatch plans regarding finances. First, they find out who is managing the finances, how many people are managing the finances, how much money is on the books, and whether the ones managing these finances are their able right hands or trusted agents. If not, they make haste to dismiss them on some pretext or other and then replace them with their own agents. Do they stop at switching out the people in charge of managing finances? No, it’s not as simple as that. Their ambitions extend far beyond this; they absolutely have to get a clear understanding of the figures regarding the church’s property. In addition to calling on people to make offerings, how do antichrists handle this property? They take money from the church when they need to buy something to wear, and again when they’re going to the doctor, and if they lack clothing, they pick out a few of the better items from those donated by the brothers and sisters. And they’re still not done after making their selection; they have to try out every single piece of clothing, keeping the best ones for themselves, and leaving only the most inferior ones that they don’t want for the church. In short, they will use the church’s money to cover their own meals and expenses, even down to 0.2 RMB travel expenses, and some of them will even go so far as to use the church’s money to buy luxury items, health supplements, cosmetics, and all manner of items for their personal use. As soon as antichrists get into positions of leadership, and before they do a lick of work, they are very proactive when it comes to enjoying the property of the church, and they make this a priority. After antichrists enjoy this property, their whole spiritual outlook and quality of life undergo a wholesale transformation and become completely different from before. At any opportunity, they will get their hair styled, and their bodies massaged, they will pamper themselves, do things to take care of their health, and make themselves tonic soup—even the various electrical appliances they use will get an upgrade. As soon as they become leaders, antichrists make a note of the rich people in the church and those who are capable of making offerings. These wealthy people are then going to hemorrhage money, and those who make frequent offerings become treasured members of the church, and petted favorites in the eyes of the antichrists. When antichrists enter the church, it is the same as when a fox gets into a vineyard—the vineyard is in for disaster. Not only will the fox eat up the good grapes, it will also trash the whole place.

In the minds of antichrists, the money and goods offered up by the brothers and sisters, which are collectively known as “offerings,” are all the “public” property of the church. This does not mean that this public property is for communal use; rather it refers to the fact that it is a communal offering that comes from everyone but whose usage rights have, for all practical purposes, accrued to the leaders. From the point of view of antichrists, they are duty-bound to prioritize their possession and use of the church’s property, because they are leaders, they stand at the head, and everything in the church, especially good stuff, has to belong to them, and come under their authority. Antichrists believe: “To say that the money and items that the brothers and sisters offer are being given to God is just a superficial expression. How many of these things can God use? Can God come down from heaven to share these offerings with people? And so, shouldn’t it be up to people to decide how these offerings are to be expended, allocated, and put to use?” Such is the shameless idea that antichrists harbor regarding church property. What’s even more shameless? They say: “God in heaven is unable to enjoy the money and items that people have offered on earth, so how are these things to be allocated and used? Shouldn’t the church’s leaders help with consuming, using, and enjoying them? That would be equivalent to God in heaven using them.” And so, antichrists, as a matter of course, make the offerings of the brothers and sisters their own personal property. They are perfectly clear on who offers what and when—these things must be reported to them and known by them. They are not bothered about other matters. There is one thing of utmost importance to them besides keeping a firm grip on their own power—and that is controlling the finances of the church. This is what makes being a leader worth their while. In the way that antichrists view and deal with church property, is there a single aspect that is in keeping with the truth or with God’s demands? (No, there is not.) From the very beginning until the present day, has God ever said which person should possess or use the offerings given to Him by brothers and sisters? Has God ever stated that church leaders and workers, apostles, and prophets should have the authority to prioritize their possession and use of church property? Has God said that the use and ownership of the church’s property falls to whomever becomes a leader? (No, He has not.) Then why do antichrists have this kind of misconception? Since God’s words contain no express stipulations to this effect about the church’s property, why do antichrists harbor this view toward it? (They lack God-fearing hearts.) Is it as simple as that? To say in this context that they lack God-fearing hearts is but empty words. These words fail to touch on the disposition of antichrists. Do antichrists covet the church’s property when they are not in positions of leadership? (They do.) Then could you say that they lose their God-fearing hearts after they become leaders? Surely it isn’t that they have God-fearing hearts before they become leaders? Could one say this? (No.) Therefore, this explanation does not hold. Antichrists covet the property of the church: Why is this? (They have a wicked disposition.) (They are greedy by nature.) (They seek profit above all else by nature.) Is the disposition essence of antichrists that they seek profit above all else? (No.) This is just a manifestation of their character. So, let’s dissect what the inner disposition of antichrists is. (It is wicked and vicious.) It is, first and foremost, vicious, and then it is wicked. What is meant by vicious? It means that they are going to seize by force things that aren’t supposed to be theirs or to belong to them, regardless of whether other people agree to this or what they think: This is a vicious disposition. The inborn nature essence of antichrists, these devils and Satans, is to vie with God for all things. Within the church, apart from fighting with God over His chosen people, antichrists also try to wrest away the offerings that people have made to Him. On the surface, it would appear that antichrists are being covetous, but in reality, it is because they have the disposition and essence of antichrists. That they should wish to seize hold of and devour the money and items that people offer to God—this, in its essence, is viciousness. It is the same as if, for instance, you buy a new padded jacket, that is stylish and of good quality, and then someone sees it and says, “This padded jacket of yours is better than mine. The ratty one I’m wearing has holes in it, and it’s out of style. How come yours is so nice?” and when he’s done speaking, he forcibly pulls your padded jacket right off you, and then gives his damaged one to you. You can’t refuse to trade with him—he would make you suffer, give you a hard time, beat you up, and he might even kill you. Would you dare to resist him? You wouldn’t dare to resist him, and he would take your stuff against your wishes. So, what is this person’s disposition? It is a vicious disposition. Is there any difference between this and the disposition of antichrists in taking possession of and using church property? (No, there is not.) According to the antichrists’ perspective on property, as soon as they become leaders and “officials,” and have the property of the church in their grasp, the church’s property belongs to them. Regardless of who made the offering, or what they gave as an offering, antichrists will seize hold of it for themselves. What does it mean to seize hold of something? It means that after the property of the church—which should be properly used and allocated in accordance with church regulations—comes under the control of antichrists, they alone have the exclusive power to use it. Even when this property is needed for the work of the church or by workers in the church, antichrists do not permit it to be used. They alone are allowed to use it. As for how the church’s property is used and allocated, the antichrists have the final say; if they wish to let you use it, you may use it, and if not, then you may not. If the church offering funds are not plentiful and get completely used up for the antichrists’ personal expenses after they take possession of them, they don’t care that there’s no money left for the church work. They don’t take either the church’s work or the normal expenditures of the church into consideration. All they want is to take these funds and spend them themselves, treating them like their own earnings. Isn’t this way of doing things shameful? (Yes, it is.) In some churches located in relatively affluent areas, antichrists think: “This place is quite nice. When it comes to expenditures, I can splurge and do as I please, and there’s no need to stick to the church regulations and principles. I can spend money however I want. Ever since I became a leader, I’ve finally been able to enjoy a life of spending money without needing to run the numbers. All I have to do is say the word if I want to spend money on something, I don’t need to worry about it, and I certainly don’t have to talk it over with anyone.” When it comes to spending the church’s wealth, antichrists wield all the power themselves, they act recklessly, and they spend money like water. In addition to not doing any work in accordance with the church’s principles or the work arrangements, antichrists treat church property the same way, without any principles. Could it be that they do not understand the principles? No, they know full well the principles governing the allocation and expenditure of church property, but they cannot keep their own greed and desires under control. When they are ordinary people without any status, they’re humble and live simple day-to-day lives, but as soon as they become leaders, they think themselves to be a big deal. They become particular about how they dress and eat—they no longer eat ordinary meals, and they learn how to look for quality and famous brands while dressing themselves. Everything has to be high-end; only then do they feel it’s compatible with their identity and status. As soon as antichrists become leaders, it is as if the brothers and sisters all owe them a debt, and must offer up gifts to them. If anything good comes along, they must be given priority, and the brothers and sisters are expected to spend their money on them. Antichrists believe that becoming a leader means they should have the power to prioritize their possession and use of the property of the church. Not only do they think in this way, they also behave in this way. What’s more, they take it very far, to the disgust of other people. Viewed from this perspective, what is the character of antichrists like? After becoming leaders, and without doing a lick of work, they want to take possession of offerings and prioritize their use of them. What kind of person is capable of doing such things? Only a brigand, a tyrant, or a local bully would do these things.

There is a leader who committed the following act. Try to discern this thing that he did, and dissect it. One day, I received a packet of Chinese herbal dietary supplements. I thought to Myself, “I didn’t ask anyone to buy this for Me, so where was it sent from? Who bought it? How is it that I have no idea?” Later on, after asking around, I learned that it was a leader who, without asking the Above, had taken it upon himself to buy it. He’d said that this item was needed by the Above. Upon hearing this, the brothers and sisters below said, “Since the Above wants it to be bought, that’s simple, we can just use the church’s money to buy it. Whatever the Above wants to buy is fine, especially since it’s for God—we don’t have any objections.” As for the money that was spent—whose was it? (God’s offerings.) How come he was so open-handed when it came to spending God’s offerings? Was this purchase authorized by the Above? Without seeking My agreement, he secretly decided on his own to go ahead and buy the medicine. And when he was making the purchase, he didn’t stop to think, “Will this be of use to the Above? Is what I’m buying suitable? How much should I buy? Will the Above allow me to spend this money?” Did he ask these things? (No.) Without so much as asking, he directly bought this item. Where was this liberality coming from? What kind of personal loyalty is this? He used God’s money to buy something for God, taking this as his bounden duty, doing whatever it took and overcoming all difficulties to buy that thing and satisfy God. What does satisfying God mean here? It means: “I can pleasantly surprise You without going through You. See, I have this ability! Did You know that I was able to do this? What do You think? Isn’t this a nice surprise? Aren’t You happy? Do You feel comforted?” Whose money was it that you spent? Was it yours? If what you spent was God’s money, did you get God’s agreement? You spent money that you stole from God, and then you said that you wished to give God a nice surprise: What kind of logic is this? And whose money were you being so liberal with? (That which belongs to the house of God.) To be liberal with money that belongs to the house of God is to be liberal with God’s offerings. Isn’t this disgusting? (It is.) You may feel disgust upon hearing this, but the person involved, far from being disgusted, felt quite pleased with himself. After the item had been delivered, he pondered to himself: “How come there’s no reply? I’ve done this wonderful deed for You, so why haven’t You thanked me? How are You finding the item? Are You satisfied with it? Would You like me to buy You some more of it in the future? What kind of assessment are You giving me? From now on, are You going to put me in an important position? Are You satisfied with what I have done? I used Your money to do something for You—what do You think of my kindness? Are You happy? Oh, please say something. Why is there no reply?” Should I have given him a reply? (No.) Why not? This incident happened quite a while back, but in all this time I haven’t ceased to be disgusted by it—I feel disgust every time I look at that thing he bought. You tell Me, is it reasonable to be disgusted? Would it be worthwhile to dissect this incident? (Yes, it would.) What kind of conduct is this? Is it an expression of loyalty? Of kindness? Or of a God-fearing heart? (It’s none of these.) This is called currying favor and toying with someone, and it means: “I spend Your money to buy something to cater to You and leave a good impression on You, in order to make You see me in a more favorable light.” This leader wished to cater to My pleasure, to flatter Me and butter Me up, but he failed in the end, and he was seen through. What mistakes did he make? First of all, this was not something that I had commissioned him to do for Me; I had sent no word telling him to do this. Secondly, if he had wanted to do this out of the kindness of his heart, he should have asked first and gotten consent before proceeding. And, as he was carrying this out, shouldn’t he have inquired into related matters that he needed to know about? For instance, what quantity to buy, how much money’s worth to buy, what grade of goods to buy, how the money was to be spent—shouldn’t he have inquired about these things? To inquire about these things would have been to act in accordance with the truth principles. So, what is the nature of his failure to make these inquiries? On a smaller level, he was thinking himself to be very clever, on a greater level, this is called acting willfully, having no regard for God, and acting recklessly! I never asked him to buy that item, so what was he making this show of good intentions for? Wasn’t he asking for trouble? Furthermore, his biggest problem was the way that antichrists regard property, which is what we are fellowshipping about and dissecting today. He believed that, as the leader of that church, he was qualified to enjoy the offerings made to God by God’s chosen people in the church, and that he had the power to use and possess these offerings to God, and that he had the final say in regard to them. In that church he held the power of a king and became a local tyrant. He thought: “I don’t need to inform or ask You about the things I buy, I’ll just handle it for You. Whether or not You agree, as long as I feel that it would be good to do it in this way, and want to do it in this way, then that’s how I’ll do it.” What kind of thing is he? Isn’t he an antichrist? Antichrists are just as shameless as that. When this person was given status and became a leader, he wanted to become a king, to seize the property of the church. He thought that he alone called the shots about the church’s property, and had the power to take possession of it and make use of it. He even thought that he had the final say about buying things for Me and what things to buy. But do I need you to buy things for Me? Whatever I use, and however I use it, do I need you to get involved? Isn’t this a lack of reason? Isn’t this being shameless? Have you forgotten who you are? Isn’t this just like the archangel who, after being given status, wanted to be on equal footing with God? How many mistakes did the person who did this make? The first was that he allocated the church’s property as if it were his own personal property; the second was that he took it upon himself to make decisions about buying things for Me; the third was that, having made this decision by himself, he did not inform the Above about it, neither seeking from them nor reporting it to them. Each one of these was quite serious in itself. This antichrist seemed to be running a pretty smooth operation there. As soon as he gave the word, his lackeys would carry out his orders in a well-behaved fashion. They didn’t even stop to ask: “We’re spending so much money to buy this item—did God order this? Can the money be used in this way? Would it be appropriate? Who actually ordered this?” Those lackeys didn’t even ask these things. Did they take any responsibility? Did they have any loyalty? No, they had no loyalty, and they should be cast out. This is a past example of someone using offerings according to their own wishes and without any principles. To spend the offerings of God to buy things for God, without getting My approval: to do this is to commit a grave error.

Here’s another example, I’d like you to listen to what these people did and see whether you find it exasperating. During church gatherings, the chair I was sitting in was too soft, and when I sat in it, I sank quite low. The table was also so high that I had to keep My back straight, and sitting like this for a long time fatigued Me. So, I asked them to buy a chair that was a little higher and that had a seat that was a little less soft. Isn’t this something that should be easy to do? (Yes, it is.) This is actually a really simple matter. First, they needed to measure the height of the chair that I was sitting on at the time, and then look for one that was higher by two inches or perhaps a bit more, and after that they needed to check how soft the seat was, and look for one that was a bit firmer. First off, they could take a look around the shops, and if they didn’t see something suitable, they could make a further search online. Isn’t this something that can easily be taken care of? Does it present any difficulties? Spending money to buy something can’t be called a challenge, and furthermore, if several people pool their ideas together, it should be an easy task to manage. So, after a while, I went to another gathering at that church, and asked them if they’d gone and bought a new chair. They said, “We looked, but we didn’t see anything really suitable, and we didn’t know what kind of chair You wanted.” Hearing this gave Me a jolt. I thought, “The way I understand it, there’s a huge variety of shops that sell all kinds of things here, in all types of quality, so it shouldn’t be all that difficult to buy a chair. I’m not expecting too much, either.” But the person in charge of the purchase said, “It isn’t easy to buy; there isn’t a single one for sale with the specifications You wanted. Perhaps You can just make do with the one that’s already here.” I thought to Myself, “Well, if you didn’t buy one, then that’s fine, it’ll save some money, so I’ll just make do with this one for now.” After some time had passed, I went to another place, where there were several rather nice chairs that were comfortable to sit in, and you could tell at a glance that they were an old-fashioned kind and of good quality. So, I took a photo and asked them to use this as a guide to shop for the chair, setting no preferences as to its color, and I told them that if there weren’t any in the stores, they should take a look online. I even specified that they should go looking in places that sold office supplies. Afterward they made the following reply: “We went online to search, but there weren’t any. The manufacturers all said that this is an outdated model, and these days no one makes chairs in that style anymore, so we weren’t able to buy one.” Hearing this gave Me another jolt, and I thought, “These people are really terrible at handling things, and they really can’t be depended on. They were only entrusted with this little task, and twice they’ve said they were unable to buy what I wanted, and refused Me.” I asked them to keep looking, and to see if any were available on other websites. In the meantime, while waiting, I came upon a chair in one of the church’s storerooms. The chair, which was equipped with a foam cushion covered with a pattern of pink flowers, wasn’t completely finished. It had a perfectly straight back, perfectly straight armrests, perfectly straight legs, and a seat that was perfectly straight. Every part of the chair was straight; it had all right angles and square corners. I said, “Did someone make this chair themselves?” One person, hurrying forward, replied, “Weren’t You in need of a chair? We made this one for You, and we were just getting ready to tell You about it and ask You to try it out.” They were being so awfully kind, so I thought: “Sure, I’ll try it out.” I placed Myself solidly down onto the chair, and felt an intense discomfort, like I was sitting down on a stone, because the foam in the cushion was extremely hard. “It’s okay,” said the person standing next to Me, “It can be made a bit softer. It isn’t finished yet. We’ll make it better, and then You can test it again.” Test it again My foot! Sitting on a little wooden stool would have been an improvement over that chair; at least it wouldn’t feel like I was sitting on a stone. I said, “No, this won’t do. Keep looking if you can. If you can’t find anything, then just forget about it.” So, I had them keep looking. The people who made the chair perhaps didn’t understand. They may have thought, “We’ve shown you so much kindness, choosing the material, the style, and the size, and custom-making a chair for You. Why don’t You appreciate this act of kindness? And on top of this, You say that it feels like You’re sitting on a stone, that it’s hard. How come You’re so finicky? Whatever we make for You, You should just use it, end of story. But here You are, still wanting to buy a chair instead. We told You, several times, that the kind of style You want is nowhere to be found, but You keep insisting that we buy one of those. Wouldn’t that cost money? How about saving a bit of money? Making a chair is so much more economical; the materials don’t cost much. Whatever we can make ourselves, we should make instead of buying. How come You don’t know what it means to economize?” You tell Me, would it be better for Me to use that chair or not? (It would be better for You not to.) Once they saw I would not use the chair they had made, they tossed it to one side, and none of them used it either. Tell Me, if I didn’t use it, would I be hurting people’s feelings? (No, You would not.) In all My years I have never sat in a cushioned chair that was so hard—it was quite an experience. Such is the great “kindness” that these people showed Me. Some time later, by who knows what unexpected combination of circumstances, a chair was actually bought for Me, so the people did show Me some “kindness” after all. That was the first time I asked them to buy something for Me, and they heard it directly from Me, and the way they handled the task was so disgusting. My purchase of a single chair was so very difficult and arduous, everything had to go through them and be discussed with them, and in addition I had to be aware of their mood. If they were in a good mood, they might buy it for Me, and if not, they might not, and then I wouldn’t get to use one. “You want to use a comfortable chair, but we have yet to do so, so dream on. Just use this one that the carpenter made. When we’ve got comfortable chairs to use, You can use one too.” Aren’t these people precisely this kind of thing? What kind of people are they? Aren’t they people of lowly character? I was just asking them to spend some offerings to buy something, all they needed to do was move their hands and eyes a little, but it was this difficult, this troublesome, to get them to handle that task. What if they were asked to spend their own money? In the beginning, I didn’t say whose money was going to be spent—did they think I meant for them to spend their own money, and consequently got such a fright that they refused to make the purchase? Could that have been a reason? When asking you to buy something, how could I make you spend your own money? If the church has the funds, then go and make the purchase, and if it doesn’t, don’t. There is no way that I would make you spend your own money. Well then, how come it took so much effort to get them to carry out this little task? These people have no humanity! When they’re not trying to get something done, and I’m not interacting with them, it appears like they’re kind and reasonable, but after they start carrying out a task, this kindness and reason is absent. These people are muddled! How can I get along with them?

Here is another example that involves the subject of offerings. There is a place with a small kitchen, where the cooking utensils and tableware are all for common use, and sometimes, in winter, people there cannot avoid catching the flu. I told them to buy a sterilizing cabinet or an ozone disinfector to sterilize the cooking utensils and all the communal tableware. This would be safe and hygienic. Was this a big demand? (No, it was not.) I entrusted this task to someone and, within a short time, I heard that an ozone disinfector had been bought. My worries were laid to rest, and afterward I looked no further into this matter. But it turned out that something went wrong. The machine this person had bought turned out to not be an ozone disinfector after all, but an air-drying machine. It was a deceptive purchase, and moreover of exceptionally poor quality, it had no sterilizing effect at all. Did the person who handled this task know this? (He should have.) But this scoundrel probably didn’t know. Why is this? The person I had entrusted with this task had not gone to carry it out himself, but had found a middleman to do it for him, and so he never knew exactly what item was bought back, or whether it was of good or bad quality. What do you think about the way this matter was taken care of? Was it done conscientiously or not? Did this person have any credibility? Did he merit being depended on? (No, he did not.) What kind of person was this? Was it someone with integrity or humanity? (No.) This was a muddled person, an out-and-out scoundrel. And this was not the end of the story. Soon after this, the person in charge of this task began pondering: “It’s great using an ozone disinfector to sterilize things. Since there are a lot of people using our dining halls, maybe we should buy ozone disinfectors for there too. You bought one, so we’ll buy some too. You got a small one for Your small kitchen, so we’ll get big ones for our big dining halls.” Once he hatched this idea, he discussed it together with several other scoundrels, and then it was decided. And it turned out that after those ozone disinfectors had been bought, the brothers and sisters said that since everyone used their own tableware and did not share any utensils, there was no need to sterilize them, and that sterilization would be superfluous. In the end, the machines were left lying idle, and even now there are a few sitting in storage with the packaging still intact. What do you think about the way this matter was taken care of? Was it done in a rational manner? Wasn’t this a case of someone, with too much time and nothing to do, finding random ways to spend money? Some people, thinking the order for making these purchases had come from the Above, even said, “No grumbling! We must accept this from God. God loves people so much that He even buys us things for which we have no use. He’s willing to spend huge sums on us. God is too good to us!” But now they know that these purchases were the outcome of the secret operations of a bunch of scoundrels. They squandered the offerings like this, with no one taking responsibility, no one checking things, and no one checking whether these purchases were appropriate, or reporting the purchases after they had been made. On what premise did this person buy these things? It was that I had asked him to buy a sterilizing cabinet for the little kitchen. Did I ask him to buy them for all the dining halls? I never commissioned him with such a task. Well then, what was his motive in buying them for all the dining halls? Wasn’t this him regarding the offerings as his personal property, and allocating them however he wished them to be allocated? Did he have the authority to allocate them? (No.) Before buying these machines, he never asked Me: “Since we bought one for the little kitchen, should we also buy some for the big dining halls?” And he did not, after making the purchase, report how many ozone disinfectors he’d bought, and how much they cost all in all, nor did he report the fact that the brothers and sisters had found no use for them. This is the repulsive way in which this matter was handled. And a muddled thing like this was still defiant when he was pruned. How should one treat this kind of person? (Expel him from the church.) In light of the nature of this incident, it would not be excessive to expel him from the church, because this is a matter that touches on offerings, and in touching on offerings it violated the administrative decrees. This was acting recklessly! Did he think the money was his? Did he have the authority to use and to squander it? With the purchase I entrusted people to make for Me, they created all manner of difficulties, and it was an enormous struggle for them to get the task done, and on top of this I had to discuss everything with them. As for what I had not entrusted people to do and buy, they bought those things without so much as batting an eyelid, never making a plan or consulting the majority as to whether they would be useful items—they just squandered money as they pleased. A while ago, there were some special circumstances in which some people were asked to buy six months to a year’s worth of food for fear that there wouldn’t be enough to eat. The matter was explained to them in this brief and simple way, and within a week, they reported back saying that they had finished their purchases in three days, having bought both organic products and those on their way to being certified as organic. How had they done? Didn’t they do an excellent job? There was no need for Me to say anything else, the matter had been handled. They handled this task for themselves with cheerful readiness, and came off as particularly skilled, quick, smart, and thoughtful. They had not only bought the food they needed, but also daily necessities. Those daily necessities included everything they needed, they were able to purchase everything that you could imagine, even things like candies, melon seeds, and other snacks. I thought to myself that these people really knew how to live; they knew how to spend money, and they also dared to spend money. They were capable, with very strong survival skills, stronger than those of wild animals, and they moved very quickly, quicker than I had expected. In order to survive, they were able to move mountains and seas—there was nothing they couldn’t do. From this incident I saw that these people weren’t totally brainless or completely unable to complete tasks, but that it mainly depended on who they were handling the tasks for. If they were handling tasks for themselves, they seemed particularly active, clever, swift in their actions, and efficient—they didn’t need to be urged on, and I didn’t need to worry about them. But when they were doing a duty in God’s house, they found it difficult to handle any task, they could never find the principles, and always messed up. It turns out there was a reason for this, and there was a huge difference between them doing things for themselves and doing things for the house of God. For now, let’s not talk about what kind of disposition or essence these people possessed. The two completely different attitudes these people harbored toward handling things revealed that they had truly low character. Just how low was their character? Let Me define this for you, these people were not humans, they were simply a group of beasts! Does this definition fit them? (Yes, it does.) These words may be hard to stomach, and it may be upsetting to hear them, but this is precisely the way in which these people handled tasks, and this is the kind of thing they are. What I say is founded on the facts and it is not baseless slander. When the house of God is using some people, in view of the fact that they are young, somewhat poor in caliber, and lacking in foundation and stature, it will continually help them, and fellowship on the truth and the principles with them. But, in the end, poor character is just poor character, a beast is just a beast, and these people are never going to change. Not only will they not put the truth into practice, they will go from bad to worse, taking a foot when given an inch, and not possessing even one tiny jot of the sense of shame that is a part of normal humanity. When they buy something or carry out a task for the house of God, they never ask for advice about how to buy these things cheaply and save money while also getting something practical. They never do this. They just spend money blindly, buy things carelessly, and just purchase some useless products. But when the time comes to complete a task or buy something for Me personally, they begin to take it seriously and think about cutting down on costs, and how to spend less while getting more done. They think that doing things in this way is holding to the principles and practicing the truth. Do these people have an ounce of reason? Whose money this is, and on whom it should be spent—these things are even unclear to them. Isn’t this handling things like a scoundrel? Are there people like this around you? All those who do not engage in discussion with the finance department or the brothers and sisters they’re partnered with when purchasing valuable or expensive things for the church, who just go ahead and squander the offerings at will, who know that they must save money and budget their expenditures when they’re spending their own money, but squander money arbitrarily when they’re spending God’s offerings—people like this are simply too detestable! They are too disgusting! Right? (Yes.) Such things disgust Me whenever I think about them. Those beasts are even lower than guard dogs. Do they deserve to live in the house of God?

There was once a leader who would take all the items that brothers and sisters in different places offered up to God into his “safekeeping,” including precious objects, ordinary clothing, edible health care products, and so on. Brand name bags went on his back, leather shoes on his feet, rings on his fingers, necklaces around his neck, and so on—anything he could use, he would take into his possession and use, without getting anyone’s agreement. One day, the brother Above asked him why all the items offered up to God by brothers and sisters in different places had not been handed over. He replied: “The brothers and sisters said these things were being given to the church, they did not say that they were being offered up to God.” He even laid special emphasis on the point that they’d been given to the church, with his unspoken implication being that, as he himself was the plenipotentiary representative of the church, God may as well stop holding out hope of getting His hands on these things, that they’re not for God but for the church to use. Putting this in more concrete terms, he meant: “These things are for me to use, they have not been offered up for God to use. What are you asking for? Are you qualified to ask this?” Does hearing this make you angry? (It does.) Hearing this would make anyone angry. Tell Me, is there anyone who believes that the things brothers and sisters give to the church are being offered to the church’s leaders? Is there anyone who says that, in offering things to the church, they’re offering them to such and such a church leader? Does anyone have this intention? (No.) Unless, when they make the offering, they write, “Please forward this to So-and-so”—only then does this object enter into the private possession of this leader. Otherwise, all the things that are offered, whether they be money or items, are being given by the brothers and sisters to God. Things offered to God are collectively called offerings. Once they are designated as offerings, they are for God to use. When they are for God’s use, how does God use them? How does God allocate these things? (He gives them to the church to use in its work.) That’s right. There are principles and specific details for their use in the church’s work, including living expenses for those who perform their duties full time in the church, and the various expenses of the church’s work. During the period of God’s incarnation, this usage includes these two items: Christ’s daily expenses, and all the costs of the church’s work. Now, within these two items, is there one that says offerings can be converted into personal salaries, rewards, expenses, and remuneration? (No, there is not.) Offerings do not belong to any one person. The usage and allocation of offerings must be arranged by the house of God, and they are used primarily in church work: It is not included here that whoever is a church leader shall have the authority to take possession or make use of offerings. Well then, exactly how are they to be used? These offerings must be allocated according to the principles governing the use of church property. Seen from this perspective, isn’t it shameful that antichrists always wish to prioritize their possession and use of offerings? Antichrists always think that the money and the items offered by the brothers and sisters belong to whoever is in the position of leadership. Isn’t this a shameless way of thinking? (Yes, it is.) It is extremely shameless! Not only are antichrists wicked and vicious in their disposition, but their character is also base and lowly, with no sense of shame.

By fellowshipping about these subjects and talking about these matters, the truths that people should understand and put into practice will be made clear. However, if we do not fellowship on these things, people’s understanding of some truths will invariably be halted at a literal and doctrinal level, and will remain relatively hollow. If we integrate some real matters into our fellowship on the truth, it will be much easier for people to see through to things, and their understanding of the truth will be more concrete and practical. Therefore, fellowshipping on these things is by no means intended to vilify anybody or to make things difficult for them. These are things that have indeed taken place, and moreover they are linked to the subject we are fellowshipping on. So, certain people have become living teaching materials, and the figures and characters in the typical examples that we are fellowshipping on and dissecting. This is very normal. The truth is, by definition, connected to the words, thoughts, views, actions, and dispositions that are revealed within the course of human life. If we were only to fellowship on and expound the literal meaning of the truth, detaching it from real life, then when would people ever be able to gain a genuine understanding of the truth? Doing things in that way would make it much more difficult for people to understand the truth, and people would have a hard time entering into the truth reality. Bringing out a few typical examples to fellowship on and dissect will be more conducive to people understanding the truth, the principles they should put into practice, God’s intentions, and the way they should follow. For this reason, no matter what, this method is both appropriate and beneficial to people. If these matters did not touch on the truth, or on the disposition of antichrists that we are dissecting, I would be unwilling to talk about them. But the dispositions and the essences of the people who did these things do touch upon the subject that we are fellowshipping on, so we must fellowship on them when it is necessary. The aim of fellowshipping on this is not to suppress people or to give them a hard time, nor is it to subject them to public humiliation; rather, it is to dissect the disposition and essence of human beings, and even more importantly, to dissect the disposition of antichrists within human beings. If, whenever our fellowship touches on these subjects, all that comes to your mind is that such and such a person did such and such a thing, and you fail to think about how this relates to the truth and people’s corrupt dispositions, does this prove that you have understood the truth? (No.) If you only remember one matter, or one particular person, and biases, opinions, and prejudices arise in you toward that person, can you be said to have arrived at an understanding of the truth? This is not understanding the truth. Well then, under what conditions can you be considered to have arrived at an understanding of the truth? Almost every time we fellowship on and dissect the various manifestations of the essence of antichrists, I bring up a number of stories to serve as typical examples, and I fellowship with you about where the errors in these stories are and the way that people should follow. If you still don’t understand after this kind of fellowship, then this means there’s a problem with your comprehension, that your caliber is too poor and you lack spiritual understanding. Well then, under what conditions can you be considered to have comprehension ability, to possess spiritual understanding, and to have understood the truth within the examples that we have fellowshipped on? First of all, you must be able to compare yourself to the examples we are fellowshipping on and come to know yourself, to look to see whether you also have this kind of disposition, and whether you might be capable of doing such things if you had status and authority, and whether you also possess such thoughts and opinions or reveal this kind of disposition. This is one aspect. Additionally, among the examples we are fellowshipping on, you must seek the truth principles that you ought to understand and abide by in a positive way. This means finding the path you should put into practice, and knowing, in these circumstances, what position you should take and how to practice in a way that’s correct and conforms with God’s intentions. Furthermore, through dissection, you must be able to recognize that your disposition is the same as that of antichrists, making that connection, and knowing how to resolve it. This way, you will have arrived at an understanding of the truth, you will be a person who possesses spiritual understanding, and who has the ability to comprehend the truth. If after you finish listening to a story, you remember all the ins and outs, all the causes and effects, and are able to expound on them, but you don’t understand the truth principles that people should practice and enter into, and when faced with a situation, you don’t know how to apply these truths so that you may see through to people and things, and know yourself, then this means you lack comprehension ability. And a person who lacks comprehension ability is a person who lacks spiritual understanding.

I’ll give you another example. There was this man who had just been elected as a leader. Before he had truly understood and grasped the actual situation of the different aspects of the work, that is to say, before he had properly thrown himself into each of the different aspects of the work, he started to make private inquiries: “Which people are in charge of safekeeping the offerings to God in our church? Report to me with a list of their names. Also, give me all the account numbers and passwords. I want to get a grasp of how much money there is.” He took no interest in any of the work. The one thing that he was most interested in, and felt the most strongly about, were the names of the people who were safekeeping the offerings, as well as the account numbers and passwords. Wasn’t something about to go wrong? He wanted to get his hands on the offerings, didn’t he? When you encounter a situation like this, what should you do? Since he has become a leader, does it then follow that the property of the church should be handed over to him, and that he should have the right to know about it and the power to control it? (No, he should not be given this information.) Why not? Wouldn’t you be guilty of insubordination if you didn’t give it to him? (The fact that he displayed these manifestations is proof that there’s something wrong with him, and so, to protect the offerings to God, we cannot give him this information.) That’s right: Since there’s something wrong with him, you cannot give it to him. Your reply proves that My previous fellowship has not been in vain and that you have understood it. Why can you not give this information to him? A leader’s responsibilities and duty do not consist of fixing their attention on the offerings, or trying to get hold of any information related to the offerings. These are not the duty or responsibilities of a leader. Churches everywhere have people who have been designated to manage and safekeep the offerings. Moreover, the church has strict rules and principles to govern the use of offerings. No one has the power to prioritize their use of offerings, much less the power to prioritize their possession of offerings. This applies to everyone without exception. Isn’t this a fact? Isn’t this correct? (Yes, it is.) When antichrists wish to prioritize their possession and use of offerings, this is in itself wrong. They think that, as leaders, they ought to be able to freely enjoy the use of offerings: Is this the truth? This money belongs to God—why do they misuse it? Why do they enjoy its use however they please? Are they qualified to do this? Does God agree to them using offerings in this way? Would God’s chosen people approve of it? That antichrists seize offerings and squander them: this is determined by their vicious disposition, it is a way of looking at things that arises from their greed, and is not something that has been prescribed by God’s word. This antichrist always wanted to gain control of all the offerings, as well as all the information about the people in charge of their safekeeping, and all the account numbers and passwords. This is a serious problem, is it not? Did he wish to know the underlying facts about God’s offerings, and safekeep them well, and then allocate them in a way that is reasonable and keeps them intact, without permitting anyone to freely and recklessly spend them? Did he have a mind to do this? Can one observe, from his actions, any sign of good intentions? (No.) So, if a person truly does not covet the offerings, what will they do if chosen as a leader? (They will first find out about the effectiveness of the various aspects of the work in the church, as well as how the offerings are safekept and whether the place they are being kept is safe. However, they will not inquire about the account numbers, passwords, or the amounts held.) Right, but there’s one other thing. After a person who truly does not covet the offerings is chosen as leader, they will check whether the place where the offerings are being kept is safe, as well as whether the people put in charge of their safekeeping are suitable and reliable, whether they would misappropriate the offerings, and whether they are safekeeping the offerings in accordance with the principles. They will first consider these things. As for sensitive information such as the quantity of the offerings and passwords, people without greed—decent and honorable people—would keep clear of this. But a person who is greedy wouldn’t avoid it, they will employ the guise of: “I am the leader. Shouldn’t I take over every aspect of the work? Everything else has been handed over to me, why haven’t the offerings?” Using the power they have, they will want to assume control of the church’s finances under this pretext. That’s a problem. They won’t be doing their work or fulfilling their responsibilities properly, nor will they be managing the church’s finances in accordance with normal procedures and principles. Instead, they will have plans of their own for them. Anyone capable of thinking like a normal human being can see this. As soon as this leader started doing this, someone reported it and he was stopped. Afterward, that person made a report to Me, asking if it was right to do this, and I said that it was. This is called protecting the interests of the house of God; that information cannot be given to such a man. Wishing to control the money of God’s house first without having done a lick of work—isn’t this a bit like the great red dragon? When the great red dragon arrests the brothers and sisters, the first thing it does is not to beat them, for fear that they won’t be able to speak clearly after being beaten senseless—it first asks where the church’s money is being kept, who is safekeeping it, and how much there is. Only then will it ask who the church’s leaders are. Its aim is simply to grab money. What this leader did and what the great red dragon does are the same in nature. He didn’t inquire into any of the work, or take on a burden for a single thing, and he only paid attention to the finances—isn’t this being vile? The actions of this vile person were so obvious! Before his status was even secure, he wanted to grab the money. Wasn’t he in too much of a rush? Little did he know that others had come to discern him, and he was soon dismissed. When it comes to this kind of person, who behaves in such an obvious manner, you must remember this: Make haste to dismiss them. There’s no need to discern anything else about this kind of person, such as their dispositions, humanity, education, family background, the length of time they have believed in God, whether or not they have a foundation, what their life experiences are like—you don’t need to discern any of these things, this one thing alone is enough to determine that such a person is an antichrist. You should all join together to dismiss and remove this person. You don’t need them as a leader. Why? If you allow them to lead you, they will squander however much money the church has, and misappropriate it all, and then the church’s work will grind to a halt and be impossible to carry out. If you encounter this kind of person, who is fixated on grabbing money, whose attention is always unshakably fixed on wealth, and who is covetous, and if the signs of their true nature have yet to emerge, and everyone has elected them in a muddleheaded way, thinking that they have some gifts, that they’re competent in their work, that they’re capable of leading everyone to enter into the truth reality, not expecting that as soon as they become a leader, they’ll start stuffing the money into their own pockets, then you should hurry up and knock them down from their position. This is absolutely the right thing to do. Afterward you can elect someone else. The church is not going to fall apart if it’s without a leader for one day. God’s chosen people believe in God, not in any particular leader. Tell Me, are there times when the brothers and sisters have a lapse in judgment? Before this person became a leader, there was no way to tell that he was greedy. In his interactions with others, he didn’t try to take advantage, he spent his own money when buying things, and he even gave alms. Yet, the first thing he did upon becoming a leader was to exact information about church finances. Most people cannot suppress this kind of wicked urge—it’s quite unbelievable! How could he have changed overnight? It isn’t that he changed overnight, but that he simply was that kind of creature to begin with, the only difference being that, previously, he was not in circumstances that would reveal him, and now he has been revealed by this situation. Since this person has been revealed, why would you still be merciful to him? Just give him a good kick to propel him out of here, the farther away the better! Do you dare do this? (Yes.) When it comes to any person who keeps hatching plans regarding the church property, do not elect them when you have not understood them through and through. If, in a moment of ignorance, you do elect them without having understood them thoroughly, and then discover that they are an avaricious creature and a Judas, you should hurry up to kick them out and clear them out. Don’t be merciful, and don’t hesitate. There are those who say: “Even though that person is greedy, they’re fine in all other respects. They can guide people toward an understanding of God’s word, and they can get people to do their duties normally.” But they’re only like this for a moment. As time goes on, they won’t be like this anymore. It’ll be no more than a few days before the demonic face of theirs becomes apparent. All the manifestations and dispositions of antichrists that we have fellowshipped on in the past will, little by little, be revealed in them. By that time won’t it be too late to dismiss them? The work of the church will already have suffered. If you don’t believe what I have said, and you hesitate, don’t start sniveling when you have regrets. First look at how a person treats offerings: This is the simplest strategy, as well as the most direct and straightforward one to see through to whether a person has the essence of antichrists. With the subjects we fellowshipped on in the past, we had to identify the dispositions of antichrists through some manifestations, revelations, perspectives, words, and actions, and see whether they had the essence of antichrists based on their dispositions. On this one issue alone, there is no need to do these things: It is direct and straightforward, simple, and requires less effort and time. So long as a person displays this manifestation—constantly wishing to prioritize their possession of offerings or forcibly seizing offerings—then you can be certain that they are, one hundred percent, an antichrist. They can be classified as an antichrist, and they cannot serve as a leader, but must be dismissed and rejected by the brothers and sisters.

We have just fellowshipped on the manifestations of antichrists prioritizing their possession and use of offerings, and used this to expound and dissect the dispositions and essence expressed by antichrists in their attempt to control the finances of the church. This is the first item. Possession and use—these are the most preliminary and basic approaches of antichrists when it comes to the church’s property. In this item, we did not fellowship in a concrete manner on how antichrists possess and use the church’s property. We will go into more concrete detail in the next item, which is antichrists squandering, embezzling, lending, fraudulently using, and stealing offerings.

B. Squandering, Embezzling, Lending, Fraudulently Using, and Stealing Offerings

1. Squandering Offerings

Antichrists think that having status and authority gives them the power to prioritize their possession and use of offerings. Well then, once they have that power, how do they allocate and use the offerings? Do they do this according to the church’s rules or the principles governing the needs of the church’s work? Can they do this? (No, they cannot.) The fact that they cannot touches on many things. Once antichrists have gained status, they cannot avoid doing some things that involve the work of the church, and a part of this work involves outlays and allocations of church property. In that case, what are the principles by which they approach the allocation of church property? Is it to be frugal? Is it to be meticulous in planning expenditures, to economize wherever possible? Is it to consider God’s house in all things? No. If they can get to a place by bicycle, they still spend money on a bus. And when they find it inconvenient and uncomfortable to always be going by bus or rental car, they begin to consider using the money of God’s house to buy a car. While shopping for a car, they turn their nose up at low price and average performance models, and specifically pick a high-performance car, a name-brand model imported directly from overseas, that costs over a million RMB. They think, “This is no big deal, and in any case it’s God’s house that’s paying, and the money of God’s house is everyone’s money. There’s nothing difficult about everyone buying a car together. God’s house is so big, the entire universe world belongs to God, so is it such a big deal if God’s house buys a car? In Satan’s world, the cars people drive all cost several million RMB, so our church buying a car for just one million RMB is pretty frugal. Besides, the car isn’t for me to use alone, the whole church is going to share it.” The second antichrists open their mouths, out goes more than a million RMB, without so much as the batting of an eye or the flutter of a heartbeat, and without the faintest twinge of guilt. Having bought the car, they start enjoying it. They no longer go to places they should walk to on foot, they no longer ride their bikes to places they should bike to, and they no longer rent cars for places they can get to by rental car; instead, they insist on using their own car. They really put on airs, as if they’re capable of doing great work. Antichrists spend money very wastefully, everything they buy has to be the good stuff, high-end, and state of the art. For instance, the difference in price between basic and high-end models of certain kinds of machinery and equipment can vary by several tens of thousands of RMB. In these situations, antichrists will want to buy the high-end model, and as long as they’re not spending their own money, doing this won’t bother them at all. If they were to pay out of their own pocket, they wouldn’t be able to afford even a basic or low-end one, but when you say that God’s house is going to pay for it, then they’ll want the high-end one. Aren’t these beasts? Aren’t they unreasonable? Isn’t this squandering offerings? (Yes, it is.) People who squander offerings have poor humanity, they are selfish and despicable! Once antichrists have attained the power to use offerings, they wish to seize the offerings for themselves, using them in total disregard of the principles, and insisting on getting high-end items for every purchase. When they shop for a pair of glasses, they want the high-end ones, the kind that block blue light and ultraviolet rays, with the clearest lenses, and when they shop for a computer they want the high-end one, the latest model. Regardless of whether or not they would have a use for various tools and equipment in their duties, as soon as the subject of buying such things comes up, they want to go high-end. Isn’t this squandering offerings? They know to be thrifty when it comes to their own money, any item will do as long as it’s practical, but when it comes to buying something for God’s house, then matters of practicality and saving money cease to be a consideration. All they think about is that it must be a famous brand, it’s got to show their standing, and they buy whichever one is the most expensive. Isn’t this seeking their own destruction? To spend offerings like water—isn’t this what antichrists do? (Yes.)

There was a guy who went out shopping for toothbrushes together with the brother Above. He bought a toothbrush costing a little over one dollar for the brother, but he got an imported one that cost more than 15 dollars for himself. Now, between the brother Above and this ordinary brother, wouldn’t you say there was some difference, some disparity in terms of their status? (Yes.) In terms of logic—let’s not mention things such as status, standing, or the way in which God makes allocations, and just discuss the fact that the brother Above has been working hard all these years—shouldn’t he be using something of superior quality? But he wasn’t particular about this. What are the principles he was following? To be thrifty wherever possible: This type of item isn’t anything sophisticated, so it’s not worth using such an expensive one, and there’s no need to spend that much money on it, one that’s usable will do. Now, when it comes to the identity, standing, and status of these two people, there’s a disparity between them, and an item of the most average quality had been bought for the one who should have been using the good kind, and an item of the best quality had been bought for the one who should have been using the average kind. What was the problem here? Which of these two people had the problem? The one using the good item was the one with the problem. He had no idea who he was and he had no sense of shame, and would buy the best and most expensive item as long as God’s house was paying. Did this person have an ounce of reason? If he did this when shopping together with the brother Above—making these choices in front of him—what would he have done if he’d been shopping alone? How much would he have splurged? He would have gone much further, and it would not be a difference of ten-odd dollars; he’d be bold enough to buy items of any price, to spend any amount of money on them. He spent offerings and the money of God’s house in this way; wasn’t he seeking his own destruction? There are those who think, “I’ve done such great work for the house of God, taking on so many risks, enduring so many hardships, and I have been thrown in prison several times. I should by rights enjoy special treatment.” This “by rights” of yours, is it the truth? In which one of God’s words did He make the provision that whoever has been imprisoned, or endured hardships, or traveled around for Him for many years, should by rights enjoy special treatment, and should by rights enjoy first priority in using and seizing offerings, and squandering them at will, and that this is an administrative decree? Has God ever uttered a single word to this effect? (No, He has not.) Well then, what did God say about how this kind of person, along with leaders, workers, and all the people who do their duties in the house of God, are expected to use offerings? They are to use them for normal outlays and normal expenses; no one has any special authority to make use or take possession of offerings. God will not make His offerings the private property of any one individual. At the same time, God did not stipulate that people should squander money on the use and allocation of offerings. What kind of person squanders money? What kind of disposition does a person who squanders money have? This is something that beasts, tyrants, ruffians, gangsters, and despicable villains with no sense of shame do, it’s something that’s done by antichrists. Anyone who has a little humanity and knows some shame would not stoop to this. There are some people who, having become a church leader, believe that this gives them the authority to use offerings and the property of the church. They want to and dare to buy anything and everything, and they want to solicit anything and everything. They feel that anything they buy, anything they enjoy, is well deserved by them; what’s more, they never bother to inquire into the price. And if someone buys them an item that’s cheap and ordinary, they will even get angry and hold a grudge against them. These are antichrists.

2. Embezzling Offerings

Another manifestation of antichrists attempting to control the church’s finances is embezzlement. The term “embezzlement” should be easy to understand. Does embezzlement mean to take the property of the church and give it to the brothers and sisters or to allocate it to the work of the church so that it may be put to proper use? (No, it does not.) Then what does “embezzlement” mean? (It means not spending it in an appropriate manner, but using it at will or in a stealthy way.) Although it is correct to say “using it in a stealthy way,” it is not particularly specific. If a person uses the church’s property in a stealthy way for the living expenses of those who are doing their duties full time, then there’s nothing wrong in this, and it is not embezzlement. Embezzlement is condemned, and it is not in accordance with the principles. For instance, some church leaders take control of the church’s money, and when their children lack the funds to go off to college, and they just don’t have that much money at home, they come before God to pray, saying, “Oh God, let me first admit fault and beg Your forgiveness. If You must exact punishment, then please punish me and not my child. I know that this isn’t right, but right now I’m in a difficult spot, and so I’ve got to do this. Your grace is ever bountiful, so I just hope You will let me off the hook this time and give me Your blessing. I’m short by some twenty or thirty thousand RMB for my child’s college tuition, and even after scraping money together and borrowing left and right, I still don’t have enough. May I use Your money to pay my child’s tuition fees?” Then, after they have finished praying, they feel quite at peace and, thinking that God has agreed to this, they take the money for their private use. This is embezzlement, is it not? Not using the money for what it ought to be used for, but using it elsewhere, violating the principles governing the use of the offerings in God’s house: this is called “embezzlement.” When a family member falls ill and needs money, or they run short of funds in a business transaction, they start to hatch plans about the offerings, and in their hearts they pray, saying: “Oh God, please forgive me, I didn’t mean to do it, my family is really experiencing some difficulties. Your love is as vast as the ocean and as boundless as the sky and You do not remember people’s transgressions. After I have used this cash up, I will pay You back double when the family business makes some money, so please let me use it.” This is how they use the offerings to God. No matter if it is a relative or a friend that needs money, as long as these leaders have the money in their hands, they will give it to them, neither acting in accordance with the principles nor obtaining the agreement of others, much less giving a moment’s thought to the fact that these are offerings to God. Instead, they’ll take it upon themselves to make the decision, move the money out of the church and use it for other purposes. Is this not embezzlement? (It is.) This is “embezzlement.” Now, some people return the money in full after stealthily embezzling the offerings; does this mean that they are no longer guilty of the sin of embezzling offerings? Does it mean they might be let off the hook? Or, if at the time of the embezzlement, they had their reasons, a certain context, or hardships, and they had no alternative but to embezzle the money, can this embezzling be pardoned and not be condemned? (No, it cannot.) In that case, the sin of embezzling offerings is a serious one! Is it any different from what Judas did? Aren’t people who embezzle offerings of the same kind as Judas? (Yes, they are.) When their children are going to university, when someone in their family is doing business, or an elderly person needs medical treatment, or they don’t have fertilizer to farm with, in all of these situations, they want to spend the church’s money. Some even destroy the receipts for offerings made by the brothers and sisters, then stuff the money into their own pockets to spend as they please, without so much as a blush of embarrassment or a flutter of their heartbeat. Some even take in offerings of money from brothers and sisters at gatherings, and then, as soon as the gathering is over, they go and buy things with it. And then there are some brothers and sisters who, having seen with their own eyes these people embezzling the offerings, still let them keep the money, with no one taking responsibility, and no one coming forward to put a stop to it. They are all afraid of offending these leaders, so they just watch on while they spend. Well then, did you offer this money to God, or not? If you are giving charity to other people, you should make it clear that you are not offering this money to God, and then God will not remember it. Then, as for who this money belongs to, who spends it, and how it is spent, these things will have nothing to do with the house of God. On the other hand, if this money of yours has indeed been offered to God, yet before the church has had a chance to use it, a person spends it like that, squanders it like that, and you aren’t in the least concerned, neither putting a stop to it nor reporting it; then, in that case, there’s a problem with you, you are implicated in their sin, and when they are condemned, you won’t be able to get away either.

3. Lending Offerings

Everything that involves the arbitrary use of offerings, the improper consumption and expenditure of offerings, invariably concerns administrative decrees, and has the quality of violating them. There are some who, in managing church property, may say, “The property of the church is just sitting there. Nowadays, banks have all kinds of investment programs, such as bonds and funds, all giving good interest rates. If we take the money from the church and invest it, and earn a bit of interest, wouldn’t this bring benefit to God’s house?” Then, without discussing it, without getting the agreement of anyone at the church, they take it upon themselves to lend out the money. What is the purpose of doing that? To put it nicely, this is earning some interest for God’s house, taking thought for God’s house; but in actual fact, these people are harboring a selfish motive. They want to lend the money without anyone knowing and then, in the end, return the principal amount to God’s house while keeping the interest for themselves. Wouldn’t this be a case of harboring a disloyal intention? This is called lending offerings. Can lending offerings be considered the proper use thereof? (No, it cannot.) There are others who say, “God loves mankind, God’s house is warm. Sometimes, when our brothers and sisters are short of money, can’t we lend God’s offerings to them?” Some people then take it upon themselves to make a decision, and some antichrists even appeal to and incite the brothers and sisters, saying, “God loves mankind, God gives life, gives everything to man, so it wouldn’t be a big deal to lend some money, would it? Lending money to our brothers and sisters to tide them over in times of urgent need, to help them through the difficulties in their lives, isn’t that God’s intention? If God loves mankind, how can people not love each other? Go on, lend them some money!” The great majority of ignorant people, hearing this, say, “Sure, if you say so. In any case, this money belongs to everyone, so let’s just regard this as us all helping someone.” And so, with one person spouting high-sounding ideas and a bunch of bootlickers sucking up to them, in the end, out the money goes. So, does you saying that “this money has been offered up to God” count? If it does count, then the money already belongs to God and has now been sanctified, and so it would only be proper to use it according to the principles that God has put in place. If it doesn’t count, if the money that you offer doesn’t count, then what kind of action is your making of this offering? Is it just a game? Are you playing a joke on God and deceiving Him? Having put the things that you want to offer upon the altar, you start to begrudge them, as those things have been placed there, yet God isn’t using them, and it looks like He doesn’t have a use for them after all. So, when you need to use them, you take them and use them for yourself. Or maybe you offered up too much and, regretting it afterward, you took some of it back. Or maybe you weren’t thinking clearly when you made the offering, and now that you’ve discovered a use for it, you are taking it back. What is the nature of this behavior? This money and these things: once a person has offered them up to God, it is the same as presenting them on the altar, and what are things that have been presented on the altar? They are offerings. Even if it is no more than a stone, or a grain of sand, a steamed bun, or a cup of water, as long as you have placed it on the altar, this object belongs to God, not to man, and no human is to touch it anymore. Whether or not you covet it for yourself or think you have a legitimate use for it, no human has a right to it anymore. There are some who say, “Doesn’t God love mankind? What of it if He lets mankind have a share? Right now, You’re not thirsty and You don’t need water, but I’m thirsty, so why can’t I have a drink?” But then you’ve got to see whether or not God is in agreement. If God agrees, this proves that He has given you the right and that you have the right to make use of it; but if God doesn’t agree, then you have no right to use it. In a situation where you do not have the right, where God has not given you the right, using something that belongs to God would be violating a major taboo, which is what God abominates most of all. People are always saying that God doesn’t tolerate offenses from man, but they have never understood what God’s disposition is really like, or which of the things they do is most likely to offend His disposition. In the matter of God’s offerings, many people constantly have them in mind, wanting to use or allocate them as they please, to use them, possess them, or even squander them according to their own will; but I tell you, you’re finished, you deserve death! Such is the disposition of God. God does not allow anyone to touch His belongings; such is His dignity. There is only one situation in which people are given the right by God to use them, and that is their proper use according to church regulations and the principles governing their usage. Staying within these limits is acceptable to God, but straying outside these limits would be an offense against God’s disposition, and a violation against the administrative decrees. It is as strict as that, leaving no room for negotiation, and there is no alternative way. Therefore, those who do such things as squandering, embezzling, or lending offerings are regarded as antichrists in the eyes of God. Why are they treated with such severity as to be deemed antichrists? If one who believes in God can go so far as to dare to touch, or use, or squander at will objects that belong to God and that have been sanctified, then what kind of person are they? Such a person is God’s enemy. Only God’s enemies would hold such an attitude toward His belongings; no ordinary corrupt person would do this, not even an animal would do this, only God’s enemies, Satan, and the great red dragon would do such a thing. Is this putting it too strongly? No, this is a fact and completely accurate. How can Satan’s kind touch things that belong to God? Such is the dignity of God!

4. Fraudulently Using Offerings

There are some other people who, under all sorts of pretexts, ask God’s family for money and goods, saying, “Our church is short of a chair, so buy one for us. Some of the brothers and sisters in our church don’t have a computer to use for doing their duties, so buy a Mac for us. We frequently contact people in the course of our work, and it won’t do for us not to have a phone, so buy us an iPhone. But it’s no good to have just one, that would be too inconvenient, because sometimes we have to get in touch with different people. And a single line is too prone to being monitored, so it’ll only work if we get several lines.” And so, some of these people have four or five cell phones on them and carry around two or three laptops at a time; they have a very impressive appearance, but their work performance is poor. How did they come by all this stuff? They got it all fraudulently. In the past, we’ve talked about an idiotic woman, who was a typical antichrist. When the family of God was renovating a church building, she joined forces with a guy to fraudulently use the church’s money, causing considerable losses to God’s house. When this guy carried out the renovations, he took a bite out of the middle in the same way a contractor from outside the church might do, going high-end in everything he bought and spending a lot of additional money. When some people noticed there was a problem, this idiotic woman helped him conceal and hide this, and together they defrauded God’s house of its money. In the end, they got caught, and the two of them were both expelled. In this, they courted their own destruction, and ruined their lives. Did sniveling do them any good? Since things turned out like this in the end, why did they act like that to begin with? How come that idiotic woman didn’t think things through when she was fraudulently using the offerings? Was it excessive for God’s house to expel her and make her return the money? (No, it was not.) It served her right! This kind of person doesn’t deserve pity. There’s no being merciful with them. And then there’s the female leader we talked about before. She secretly took a good bit of the church’s money, and lent it to an unbeliever. Later on, she was also handled. There may be some who think to themselves, “Didn’t she just lend a bit of money? Let her pay it back and be done with it. Why clear her out? That means a fairly good person becomes an unbeliever in the blink of an eye, and has to go out to work for a living. She’s so pitiful!” Is this person pitiful? Why don’t you say that she’s detestable instead? Why don’t you take a look at the things she’s done? What she’s done is enough to disgust you for the rest of your life, and here you are taking pity on her! The ones who take pity on her—what kind of people are they? They are all dimwits and people who show indiscriminate kindness to everyone.

5. Stealing Offerings

There is one final manifestation of antichrists controlling church finances, and that is stealing offerings. Some ignorant people, when making offerings, hold to the principle of “not letting the left hand know what the right hand is doing,” and then they put the funds they are offering into the hands of a person who they are not even sure can be trusted. They say, “The offering I’m making this time is a fairly large sum, so don’t let anyone else know about it, and don’t put it down in the account book. I’m doing this before God and not before other people. As long as God knows about it, that’s fine. If we let the brothers and sisters know, they would probably worship me. So, in order to avoid them esteeming me, I’m doing this in secret.” Having done this, they feel quite good about themselves, thinking, “I made my offering in a principled, low-key, and cool-headed manner, keeping it off the record, and doing it without the knowledge of any of the brothers and sisters.” But this ignorant way of doing things has created an opening for greedy people to exploit. As soon as the offering has been made, the antichrist they gave it to goes and deposits it in the bank, taking it as their own. And they’ll even tell the person making the offering, “The next time you make an offering, you must do it in the same way. Doing it this way is correct and accords with the principles; one must keep a low profile while making offerings. The house of God has said not to call on people to make offerings. This means that it’s asking people to keep a low profile, to not speak of their offerings even after making them, nor to divulge the amount that was given, and less still to say to whom they were given.” Can the person who made this offering see through people? Why would they make such a foolish move? With no idea just how wicked and sinister the human heart can be, they put all that faith in this person, and in the end, their money gets stolen. This is a case of somebody giving an opening to an antichrist, allowing them to steal the money. But is there a case of an antichrist still being able to steal money without being given an opening? Are there cases where somebody, while keeping accounts, deliberately records the wrong sum or records a lower sum, and stealthily extracts the money, a little at a time, when people aren’t paying attention? There are quite a few people of this kind. Such people are greedy for wealth, they are of low and malicious character, and capable of doing anything as long as they have the opportunity. There is a saying, “Opportunities are for the prepared.” People without greed do not take note of these things, but greedy people always do. Their minds are constantly thinking about hatching plans and looking for openings to exploit when it comes to money, working out how they can take advantage and sneakily spend the money.

There was this fool of a woman. One time when I was talking to her, I brought up the subject of the church wanting to get some books printed, and asked if she knew anything about printing. She responded with a whole cartload of theories and then immediately followed up by saying, “Typically, printers give a commission when they print books. If we get an unbeliever to do the job, there’s sure to be a fair amount of shady dealing going on, and they’ll definitely make a good bit of profit for themselves under the table.” As she talked, she began to beam with joy. Her eyes brightened, her brows arched high on her forehead, and her cheeks grew flushed, and she got happy and excited. I thought to Myself, “If you can handle this printing job, then take it on, and however much you know about it, just tell Me that much. What are you getting so excited about?” But once I began to turn this over in My mind, I figured it out: There was profit to be had here. She wasn’t at all concerned about how the printing was to be done, which books were to be printed, what the quality was going to be like, or how to search for a manufacturer—all she cared about was taking a cut. Nothing had even been done yet, and already she was talking about taking a percentage. I thought, “Poverty must have driven you out of your mind. How could you hope to get a percentage on printing books for God’s house? When distributing books, God’s house does not make a single penny, everything is given out for free, and you want to get a cut?” Was this woman not courting death? Before God’s house even agreed to let her take on this job, when I was merely making an inquiry, she was already talking about taking a cut. If the job were indeed put in her hands, she wasn’t going to stop at getting a percentage, and she could very well have made off with all the money—however much you give her, that’s how much she would defraud you of, that’s how much she would steal. Am I overstating this? This foolish woman was a real piece of work, wasn’t she? If you ask Me, she was a bandit and a gangster who would dare to gain any money that she could. Let’s put aside asking whether God agrees to this for the moment, and just ask the brothers and sisters whether she handles this conscientiously, whether they can accept the way she handles it, and whether God’s chosen people can forgive her.

Then there are some people who are repulsive even to mention. When they take on a job for God’s house, they band together with unbelievers to jack up the price, making God’s house pay an exorbitant amount and suffer a loss. If you say you’re not buying it or that you won’t agree to their proposal, they’ll get all het up, and try this, that, and the other to persuade you or dissuade you, and obtain the money from the church. When the money’s been paid to the unbelievers, and they’ve benefited, and their reputation has also gotten a boost, they’re as happy as if they’ve just won the lottery. This is biting the hand that feeds them, squandering offerings, and never striving to obtain the least bit of benefit for God’s house. Why were those stupid women who took charge of printing books dismissed? Because they made God’s house suffer a loss, and acted recklessly. When they negotiated with unbelievers, they kept pushing the price down as hard as they could, to the point that it was even lower than the cost of production, to the point where it was repulsive and the unbelievers no longer wanted to do business with them. In the end, the unbelievers reluctantly agreed, but the quality was greatly compromised. Tell Me, is there a single person who would willingly do business at a loss? People in this world have to survive, and in doing business they have to earn enough money to cover their living expenses and labor costs in addition to the cost of production. These women didn’t let these unbelievers make any money, negotiating the price in an unreasonable way and pushing it down as hard as they could, all the while thinking they were saving money for God’s house, and how did it end? The other side wound up cutting corners on the quality of the work and the binding. If they didn’t make up for the deficit here, wouldn’t they be suffering a loss? If they had to suffer a loss, would they have done the job? Could they afford to let those women get the better end of the bargain? No, that would be impossible. If they were to allow those women to get the better end of the bargain, then they wouldn’t be doing business, they would be doing charity. Those stupid women couldn’t see through to this, they handled the task for God’s house in this way, and made a total mess of things. In the end, they were still full of excuses, saying: “I was thinking about God’s house. I was saving money for God’s house. A penny saved is a penny saved, and two pennies saved means a penny earned!” They were spewing nonsense! Did they know what is meant by industry regulations? Did they know what is meant by established practices and being reasonable? And so, what was the final result? Some of the books were of very poor quality, the pages started coming loose after being turned a few times, and the whole book would fall apart, making it impossible to read, so there was no choice but to reprint everything. Did this save money, or cost more? (It cost more money.) This was the fiasco that those stupid women brought about.

The fact that the way in which antichrists approach offerings is completely lacking in principle and humanity, and is proof positive of their wicked and vicious disposition. Judging from the way they approach offerings and all that belongs to God, the disposition of an antichrist truly goes against God. They regard the offerings that belong to God with the utmost contempt, toying with and treating them however they want, showing not a shred of respect, and lacking in any boundaries. If they are like this in their treatment of things belonging to God, how do they treat God Himself? Or the words spoken by Him? The answer is self-evident. This is an antichrist’s nature essence, an antichrist’s essence that is dominated by wickedness and viciousness; this is a veritable antichrist. Commit this to memory: When it comes to someone who is capable of squandering, embezzling, lending, fraudulently using, or stealing offerings, there is no need to observe other manifestations. As long as one of these categories is present, it would be sufficient for this person to be deemed an antichrist. You need not inquire into or investigate, much less examine them, to see if they are this kind of a person, and if in the future they may be capable of doing these kinds of things. As long as they fit even one of these categories, this dooms them to be an antichrist, to be an enemy of God. Take a look, all of you: Whether it be a leader you have already elected, or a leader that you have decided to elect, or one among the people you hold to be quite good, whosoever exhibits this kind of conduct, or this kind of tendency, cannot escape being an antichrist.

Have you learned some sort of lesson from the things that I have fellowshipped about today? Have you gained an understanding of a truth? You cannot speak clearly about this, so I’ll tell you what kind of lesson you should learn. You must not hatch any plans about the things that people offer to God. Whatever these things may be, whether or not they are valuable, whether you have a use for them or not, whether they are precious or not—you must not hatch any plans about them. Go out and earn money if you’ve got the ability—earn as much as you like, no one will interfere with this, but you absolutely must not hatch any plans about God’s offerings. This vigilance is something you should have; this rationality is something you should have. The above is one lesson. Another lesson is that whoever engages in squandering, embezzling, lending, fraudulently using, and stealing offerings must be regarded as the ilk of Judas. People who have carried out these sorts of acts and practices have already offended God’s disposition, and God will not save them. You must not entertain any wishful thinking on this matter. I have put it like this and God will bring these things to pass. This has been determined, and there is no room for negotiation. Some people will say: “There was a context to my embezzling: I was young and ignorant when I carelessly spent that money, but I didn’t cheat God’s house out of too much money, I just stole 20 to 30, or 30 or 50 RMB.” But it’s not about the amount; the problem is that when you do this, the object of your actions is God. You have touched God’s things, and doing that is unacceptable. God’s things are not common property, they do not belong to everyone, they do not belong to the church, they do not belong to God’s house: They belong to God, and you must not get these concepts mixed up. God doesn’t think that, nor has He told you that, “My things and offerings belong to the church, and they are to be allocated by the church,” let alone, “All the offerings to Me belong to the church, to the house of God, and are in the charge of the brothers and sisters, and whoever wants to use them just needs to report it.” God did not say such a thing, He never said this. So, what did God say? Something that’s offered to God belongs to God, and once this thing has been presented on the altar, it belongs to God once and for all, and no human has the right or the power to make unauthorized use of it. Hatching plans about the offerings, and undertaking to embezzle, fraudulently use, steal, lend, and squander them—all these actions are condemned as offenses against God’s disposition, as the actions of antichrists, and are tantamount to the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, for which God will never forgive you. Such is the dignity of God, and people must not underestimate it. When you rob or steal from other people, you may get sentenced to one to two years, or three to five years by the law, and once you have been imprisoned for three to five years, you will no longer be guilty of any crime. But when you take and use God’s things, God’s offerings, this is a sin that in God’s eyes is permanent, a sin that cannot be forgiven. I have spoken these words to you, and whoever goes against them will have to bear the consequences. When the time comes, you’d better not complain that I didn’t tell you. I have made My words clear to you here today, hammering them into place like nails into a board, and this is what will come to pass. It’s up to you whether you believe this or not. There are those who say they are not afraid. Well, if you’re not afraid, wait and see how things turn out. Don’t wait until you are punished, as by that point it will be too late to cry, gnash your teeth, and beat your chest.

October 24, 2020

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

Next: Item Fourteen: They Treat the House of God Like Their Own Personal Domain

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