Item Fifteen: They Do Not Believe in the Existence of God, and They Deny the Essence of Christ (Part One)

I. Antichrists Do Not Believe in the Existence of God

Today we will fellowship on item fifteen of the various manifestations of antichrists—they do not believe in the existence of God, and they deny the essence of Christ. This item exposes two manifestations of how antichrists treat God and Christ, which represent the essence of antichrists. Both of these manifestations pertain to God Himself, involving in one respect the Spirit of God and in another respect God’s incarnate flesh. Antichrists do not believe in the existence of God, nor do they acknowledge His incarnate flesh. These are the viewpoints that antichrists harbor toward God, and they are the primary manifestations of how antichrists treat God. For now, we won’t fellowship on the essence of these two primary manifestations, instead let’s first discuss how antichrists’ disbelief in God’s existence manifests, that is, what thoughts, viewpoints, attitudes, and specific behaviors, manifestations, and approaches antichrists have toward God that prove they do not believe in His existence. Are there concrete manifestations of this disbelief? Some may say, “Antichrists’ disbelief in God’s existence simply means them not acknowledging this fact and denying God’s existence. In their hearts, they believe there is no God, and that the Spirit of God, God Himself, and the Creator, are invisible and nonexistent. To them, the title ‘God’ is void and a figment of human imagination. Isn’t this a simple thing to explain and fellowship on? How does this relate to the essence of antichrists? How are there specific manifestations of this? Isn’t this making a mountain out of a molehill? Is it really that complex?” Is this line of thinking correct? If you were asked to fellowship on the subject of antichrists not believing in God’s existence, how would you fellowship on it and dissect it? For example, consider a particularly deceitful person. Can you talk about the specific manifestations of their deceitfulness? If you just say, “This person is very deceitful and always lies without uttering a single true word,” will you be done fellowshipping then? What are the specific states and manifestations of deceitfulness? How can you dissect that person’s deceitfulness? What approaches do they use to deal with people and handle matters in their day-to-day life? What methods do they use to deal with the world? What is their character like? What is their viewpoint on people, events, and things? How can it be proven that this person is very deceitful? Aren’t there specifics here? There absolutely are specifics. It’s not just about saying what deceitfulness is or what actions are deceitful, and it’s not just about explaining this term, instead you need to dissect their specific manifestations, behaviors, thoughts, viewpoints, their methods for handling matters, their character, and so on. The main characteristic of a deceitful person is that they never open their heart to fellowship with anyone, and they do not speak their heart even to their best friend. They are extraordinarily inscrutable. In fact, such a person may not necessarily be old, or have seen much of the world, and may even have little experience, yet they are extremely inscrutable. They are very cunning for their age. Is this not a deceitful person by nature? They hide themselves so deeply that no one can see through them. No matter how many words they speak, it is difficult to tell which are true and which are false, and no one knows when they are telling the truth or when they are lying. In addition, they are especially skilled at disguise and sophistry. They often hide the truth by giving people false impressions, so that all people see is their false appearance. They disguise themselves as a lofty, good, virtuous, and guileless person, as a person who is liked and approved of, and in the end, everyone worships them and looks up to them. No matter how long you spend with such a person, you never know what they are thinking. Their views and attitudes toward all manner of people, events, and things are hidden in their heart. They never tell these things to anyone. They never fellowship on these things even to their closest confidant. Even when they pray to God, they may not confide what is in their heart or the truth about them. Not only that, they try to disguise themselves as a person with good humanity, who is very spiritual and dedicated to pursuing the truth. No one can see what kind of disposition they have and what kind of person they are. These are the manifestations of deceitfulness. For instance, consider a lazy person. What are the specific manifestations of laziness? Some might say, “Laziness is not doing any work at all, just sitting around all day, not wanting to move or worry about anything, and not wanting to talk.” Are these the concrete, essential manifestations of laziness? (No, these are just some superficial phenomena.) What then are the essential manifestations of laziness? Primarily, there are two major manifestations: first, an unwillingness to endure any hardship, not bearing a burden or responsibility in whatever they do, complaining whenever their body suffers a little discomfort, or encounters any slight difficulty or a bit of tiredness; second, an aversion to doing any work, wanting a life of pleasure, preferring leisure and disliking labor, idling away their time, and drifting through their days, as well as whining endlessly and hiding themselves away where no one can find them whenever they have to work. These are the two main manifestations of laziness; we won’t discuss the specific manifestations here. Take, for example, a gluttonous person. What are the specific manifestations of gluttony? This is something within humanity that should be easy to dissect and discern, right? (Constantly pursuing physical pleasures, always wanting to eat tasty food, satisfying one’s cravings.) (Having an insatiable appetite when it comes to delicious food.) These are manifestations of gluttony. Aren’t there people who, after hearing that a place has delicious food, go to great lengths to find it? For instance, say that a new restaurant opens somewhere, and it offers a variety of delicious dishes, but it’s a bit expensive and far away, and it takes an hour’s drive to get there. Most people would think it’s not worth traveling that far just for a meal. But people who love to eat, upon hearing about this restaurant, would think, “An hour’s drive isn’t far. Isn’t life all about eating, drinking, and having fun? Let’s go eat!” However, if the same person were asked to drive an hour to attend to their proper work, they would start pondering, “Won’t I get tired going there? Will it be fruitful for me to spend so much time to go and work there? What if I encounter bad people? What if the car runs out of gas? What will I eat there? Will there be ready-made food? What if I can’t adapt to the local environment? What if I can’t sleep at night?” They complicate things when it comes to their proper work, seeing difficulties everywhere. But when it’s about eating something delicious, they are willing to overcome all obstacles; every obstacle becomes a non-issue, and they stop overthinking. These are specific manifestations of gluttony. I am just briefly mentioning this here; I won’t elaborate on it further.

Let’s go back to the subject of today’s fellowship. What are the manifestations of antichrists’ disbelief in the existence of God? What specific thoughts, viewpoints, and states do they reveal? When things befall them, what attitudes, viewpoints, and ideas do they possess that prove they truly do not believe in the existence of God? Isn’t this worth fellowshipping on? Antichrists do not believe in God’s existence; what are the details and specific manifestations of this disbelief? (No matter what happens, they don’t believe that it is orchestrated and arranged by God, and they cannot accept it from God.) (They do not believe that God rewards the good and punishes the evil, so they brazenly commit evil.) These are some specific manifestations. Antichrists do not believe in the existence of God. This disbelief in God’s existence is a denial. What do they deny that proves that they deny God’s existence? (They deny God’s identity as the Creator.) (They deny that God controls everything and holds sovereignty over all things.) (They deny that God’s words are the truth, and deny that God’s work of judgment and chastisement can cleanse people’s corruption and save them from Satan.) Which of these statements is representative and more essential? Denying God’s identity and His sovereignty over all things—are these not representative? Are they not essential issues? (They are.) Believing in God’s existence is, in one respect, acknowledging God’s identity and essence. Furthermore, it is accepting and acknowledging the fact that God holds sovereignty over all things, on top of that foundation of believing in God’s identity and essence. Isn’t this completely believing in God’s existence? Aren’t these two points crucial? (They are.) These two are the most essential issues. Therefore, to dissect antichrists’ disbelief in God’s existence, we first need to dissect two things: first, antichrists refusing to acknowledge God’s identity and essence; second, antichrists refusing to acknowledge God’s sovereignty over all things. Other aspects are contained within these two points. Previously, we fellowshipped about how antichrists do not acknowledge that God is the truth, that God’s words are the truth, or that God can save people. This is also a fact. Here, however, I am saying that antichrists fundamentally do not believe that there is a God, and fundamentally do not believe in God’s existence. Dissecting this from the perspective of antichrists not acknowledging God’s identity and essence, and refusing to acknowledge God’s sovereignty over all things, will be more powerful and representative.

A. Refusing to Acknowledge God’s Identity and Essence

Let’s begin by fellowshipping the first point: Antichrists refusing to acknowledge God’s identity and essence. What is God’s identity? To all created beings, God is the Creator, so what is His identity to all things? (The Sovereign of all things.) This title is also accurate, yet what is God’s true identity? When addressing God, can you directly refer to Him as “the Sovereign of all things”? It’s like how your mother’s identity to you is the person who gave birth to you and raised you, but can you call your mother “the one who gave birth to me and raised me”? (No.) What do you call her? (Mom.) That is your term for your mother. Therefore, the title of the Creator, the Sovereign of all things, is God, and only God Himself can be called God. To all created and non-created things, God is God; His identity is the Sovereign of all things, and His title is God. The One who holds this title is God Himself, He is God. Only He who is worthy of the title of God possesses God’s identity and essence. Let’s not speak about the word “essence” for now, and speak instead about identity. God Himself, who possesses the identity of God, does the things of God, expresses God’s disposition, and leads all mankind and holds sovereignty over all mankind and all things using God’s methods. For those who believe in God and acknowledge God’s identity, their perspective on all that God does is utterly different from that of antichrists. Those who can correctly understand everything that God does amid all things will see from this the methods of His actions, and further assure themselves of His existence among all things. By contrast, the viewpoint, manner, and angle from which antichrists view all these things are completely opposite to those who believe in God’s existence. It is because of this that antichrists would rather die than believe in God’s existence, or believe that the One who is capable of doing all these things is the One who possesses the identity of God, and that only He is worthy of being called God and worthy of being addressed by people as God.

For many matters that exist amid all things and all of mankind, whether they be visible to the naked eye or not, if people view and understand them through God’s words and the rationality of normal humanity, they will discover that God is leading mankind amid all things, and that He does indeed exist. The laws of all things and the development of all things are being orchestrated and arranged within an invisible, indescribable set of rules, so who is capable of orchestrating and arranging all this? Not any great person, nor any hero, and this certainly is not a natural formation. Rather, it is the One who is invisible and intangible, but can be perceived by man, who is sovereign over all this. Who is this? It is God. Isn’t believing in the existence of God the minimum rationality that people should possess? Isn’t this the most minimal, basic viewpoint and angle people should view things from? Antichrists, however, lack this rationality, and therefore do not view things from such a viewpoint and angle. So, with regard to the things orchestrated by God, which humanity can only perceive, and which God has not explicitly communicated to mankind in clear language, antichrists consider them to be coincidental, man-made, naturally formed, or even imagined and manipulated by people. No matter how you testify to God’s existence, no matter how many facts you use to prove that God is among all things, that God possesses the identity of God, and that only the One who possesses God’s identity can do these things, and arrange all things in an orderly manner, and that such a Sovereign is the One who possesses the identity of God, will antichrists see it this way? Would antichrists understand it this way? (No.) No matter how many facts you present to prove it, antichrists will neither believe it nor acknowledge it. Even if they don’t say anything on the surface, and even if they cannot present any evidence to refute it, deep down, they are disagreeing and refusing to acknowledge this a hundred times over, and putting a series of question marks behind it. They think that the people who believe in God’s identity are fools, and that they have been misled, and that this is something only those lacking in mature thought would do and think. In their view, man’s free will should be controlled by man himself and freely expressed. They think that people should form opinions about the events that occur amid all things in whatever way they choose, and that these events should be viewed through scientific methods and a scientific perspective, that people should not be so superstitious, or use God’s sovereignty to explain everything, or approach everything using God’s sovereignty. For instance, in the church, many brothers and sisters have experienced numerous signs and wonders performed by God since receiving His salvation. They testify about how God led them at that time, how God showed them that He does indeed exist through these events, and that they were truly carried out by Him, as well as the immense blessings and grace they received through these events. The evidence is there, both in testimonies and in physical proof. The faith of those who believe in God’s existence is strengthened by these testimonies and physical proof, but does the viewpoint of antichrists, who do not believe in God’s existence, change after hearing them? (No.) How can you tell? Because, no matter how truthfully you speak or how many people there are to personally verify your testimony, antichrists won’t believe it. They will say, “Unless I experience it myself, if I haven’t seen it, then it doesn’t exist. What you have encountered and experienced was just a coincidence, a happenstance. Doesn’t everyone experience dangerous or coincidental events in their life? Does the occurrence of these coincidences and happenstances prove that they’re God’s doing? Does it prove that the One doing these things is God? Maybe it’s just your imagination, maybe you were just fortunate that some benefactor was there to help you, or maybe it just wasn’t your time to die and you had a lucky escape.” See, do they acknowledge the things God has done on these people? (They do not.) They don’t acknowledge or believe in the things that God has done on the brothers and sisters, nor do they believe that God can perform such deeds, or that the things the brothers and sisters experienced really happened. They think, “How can such things exist in the world? If they do, they are just figments of human imagination. As the saying goes, ‘What you think about in the day, you will dream of it at night.’ These things are all just illusions.” When antichrists hear about how brothers and sisters experienced some signs and wonders, some of God’s special grace and blessings, and some things that are beyond the reach of ordinary people, they do not believe it. So, can antichrists believe in the enlightenment and guidance that brothers and sisters gain while experiencing God’s words? They do not believe in that either. They do not believe that God enlightens, illuminates, and guides people. They think this all comes from the human mind, from man’s knowledge-based analysis and understanding, and that this produces these experiential testimonies. They believe, “If people think hard and strive hard in this direction, won’t they gain some knowledge? If I also put in effort, and thought hard and contemplated hard in this regard, then, like writing an article, I could also come up with some experiential testimony.” Therefore, when it comes to the experiential testimonies of the brothers and sisters, where they testify to how God led them, how He enlightened and illuminated them, how He judged, chastised, pruned, and disciplined them, and how God orchestrated situations to try and refine them, as well as how they came to understand God’s intentions from this, and so on, antichrists do not acknowledge or believe in any of these deeds of God. They think that all these things are impossible. Antichrists do not acknowledge or believe in these events that occur among the brothers and sisters. Does this confirm the antichrists’ essence of completely refusing to acknowledge God’s identity? In fact, this is not the most powerful evidence to prove the antichrists’ essence of refusing to acknowledge God’s identity.

Let’s temporarily go beyond the scope of the church and the brothers and sisters, and examine the viewpoints of antichrists toward various matters among groups of people and in real life. What are these matters? (The birth, aging, illness, and death of people, as well as social changes, political shifts, and the occurrence of disasters. Antichrists fail to know the sovereignty of God within any of these things.) (Antichrists do not believe that people’s destinies are in God’s hands, instead, they want to create a beautiful homeland with their own two hands.) These are specific manifestations that touch on the essence of the issue. Can antichrists see that human destiny, life and death, and all the experiences that each person goes through in life are under God’s sovereignty? They cannot see this. For instance, there’s a popular saying in society: “Building bridges and repairing roads lead to blindness, while murderers and arsonists ensure that their offspring multiples.” Is this saying a substantive rule for something? Is it the truth? Is it a philosophical theory? (No.) Then, where does this saying come from? Certainly not from those who believe in God; it’s a superficial phenomenon in the living conditions of various people throughout human development. People believe the world lacks fairness, that the more good deeds a person performs, the more likely they are to become blind, and the more they face retribution, while the more evil a person does, the more they thrive and find success in the world. Do the developmental laws of various things among mankind align with this saying in any way? There’s also the saying, “The good die young while the evil live to a great old age.” What sort of people created this saying? These types of sayings are known by people as folk adages; what sort of people are capable of speaking these adages? Are they believers in God? Are they people who believe in the existence of God? (No.) There are certain kinds of cynics who are unsuccessful in society and among people, who face obstacles everywhere, with hard fates, and unfulfilled aspirations, and they do not thrive no matter where they go. They think that they are somewhat competent and capable, and yet they’ve been unable to make a name for themselves, flourish, surpass others, or honor their ancestors. Wherever they go, they are excluded, bullied, and oppressed, and they lack the ability to break free from all this. Eventually, they conclude: “There is no fairness in society or mankind, there is no such thing as rewarding the good and punishing the evil, or retribution. Bad people do bad things without being punished, while good people who have done a lot of good things, like giving donations and helping the poor, do not receive rewards in the end. So, don’t be good; it’s useless. Good people end up becoming blind—one must be an evil person instead.” Because they are unsuccessful in the world and among groups of people, they complain about the lack of fairness and justice in the world, and the absence of a savior in the world. They think that everyone has wronged them because no one sees their strengths or expertise, and no one puts them in important positions. So, they produce this kind of twisted theory to complain about mankind and the world. In reality, are there reasons behind the occurrence of these various things? Are there causal relationships? Absolutely! Antichrists share the same viewpoint as these people; they do not believe that God is sovereign over all things, nor do they believe that everything God—who has the identity of God—holds sovereignty over is righteous. Therefore, antichrists not only fail to acknowledge that all God does represents His identity, they also believe in the twisted theories and heresies that circulate in society. They believe that those twisted theories and heresies are true, and it is only those who are able to prosper in this world, who are worshipped and followed, that can be called the gods of their hearts, and the ones in their hearts who possess the identity of gods. For example, in Chinese legends, there are figures like the Queen Mother of the West, the Jade Emperor, the Eight Immortals, Guanyin, and the Buddha—these are who antichrists truly worship in their hearts. In these legends, the Jade Emperor is the greatest; he has the power to punish sinners in the heavenly realm by casting them down to the mortal realm. When antichrists hear this, they feel a great admiration for him, thinking, “The Jade Emperor is truly a god! He has the demeanor, bearing, and capabilities of a god!” These legends, along with the so-called immortals that the general public makes offerings to, have left a deep impression on people. They believe, “These so-called immortals have great skills and powers. They are deserving of the title of gods. They are able to provide a statement of resolution in the heavenly realm on all the unfair and unsatisfactory things that happen in the world, and if one seeks justice, they can find an answer from them. For example, historical figures like Bao Gong and Guan Gong uphold justice for mankind in the spiritual realm. When a person is wronged, and the courts are unjust, if they bring their case before Bao Gong or Guan Gong, they are guaranteed to get justice.” People believe that these characters from folk tales can administer justice for mankind, punish evil people, and rectify all the unfairness in the world, allowing those who suffer and struggle to stop shedding tears. They think that the poor people at the bottom of society, the incompetent and the bullied, need only to make offerings to, believe in, and follow these figures in order to escape all their suffering, and resolve all of the abuse and oppression they face. Similarly, in their hearts and minds, antichrists believe that gods should be like the so-called Bodhisattva and Buddha, solving all human suffering and rescuing people from the sea of misery. For instance, a man whose mother was terminally ill and beyond medical help was very filial and didn’t want his mother to die, so he burned three sticks of incense and offered delicious food and drinks to an idol of Guanyin Bodhisattva every day. Then he made a vow: If his mother’s illness could be cured and she could live for another 30 years, he would willingly give up 30 years of his own life in exchange, become a vegetarian for the rest of his days, and refrain from ever taking the life of a living creature again. After burning the incense, kowtowing and making this vow, and offering up his sincere heart, his mother’s illness was cured. Did this mean his vow was heard by the Bodhisattva? Did it mean that his mother would live an additional 30 years and he would live 30 years less? No. But because he believed, he was convinced that it was true. He then started to fulfill his vow by becoming a vegetarian. One day, he wondered: “My mother has been cured, and her longevity isn’t an issue anymore, so can I break my vow in the future? Can I eat a chicken leg? If I want to eat one, I can.” Right after eating the chicken leg, he felt good, and his heart felt at peace, but the next day, he suffered from vomiting and diarrhea, and was sick for several days without any improvement. On the fourth day, he wondered: “Is this punishment from the Bodhisattva? Is she not permitting me to eat meat? It looks like the words I spoke before really did count—I cannot eat meat!” When he thought of this, he quickly burned three more sticks of incense, offered up lots of delicious food, and acknowledged his sin. His sickness was cured the next day. When he saw that the Bodhisattva was so effective, he believed even more firmly that: “When people act, the Bodhisattva is watching. I must not try to trick her, I must keep to my vow, or face her punishment!” From then on, he felt even more so that the title “Bodhisattva” was sacred and inviolable. He burned three sticks of incense daily and made offerings during festivals and holidays. Over time, the belief that idols which people make offerings to like the Jade Emperor, Guanyin Bodhisattva, Guan Gong, and so on, are gods, was reinforced in such a person. Their status in their heart became even more unshakable, without any doubts or suspicions. Even if antichrists haven’t experienced these things or made offerings to these idols or clay figures at home, they still occasionally hear about or encounter such things in their social circles. For example, they hear about how the Buddha cured someone’s illness or dispensed justice by bringing retribution upon evil people, or how somebody became wealthy after a Feng Shui master rearranged some things in their house, or how someone consulting a Feng Shui master or a Yin Yang master regarding tombs and choice of graveyards led to their descendants becoming high officials or enjoying great success in their careers, and so on. These things leave an impression on the minds of antichrists that gods should possess capabilities and powers like these so-called buddhas and emperors which people encounter and see in their daily lives. They even think that gods should be like those idols people make offerings to, displaying some signs and wonders among people to invoke horror and astonishment. And if a god does not do this, then they think it should not be considered a god. With such views and understandings of gods, what does the concept of a god become for antichrists? In their minds, a being like the Jade Emperor, who could dispatch heavenly soldiers to cast those who violated heavenly laws into the mortal realm at any time and any place, is truly a god, and the one who possesses the identity of a god. Or, an idol which people make offerings to that can enable them to get rich and become high officials—to antichrists such beings are also deemed worthy of possessing the identity of gods. This is antichrists’ inner perception and understanding of the identity of gods. So, when God works in the land where the great red dragon lies, and some brothers and sisters are arrested, the church is damaged, and God’s work is obstructed and disturbed, what do antichrists think? “If this is God, why would such things happen to the church? When the brothers and sisters are being arrested, a god should display visions in the sky, and send out thunder and fury, causing the evil police who are arresting the brothers and sisters to flee in terror like frightened rats. Why have I never heard about such events occurring? Since these people follow God and are God’s chosen people, why doesn’t God rescue and protect them? The great red dragon persecutes those who follow God so madly and cruelly. Why doesn’t God come to earth to administer justice for mankind? Why doesn’t God obstruct the great red dragon? Why doesn’t He punish the great red dragon? Surely it can’t be that a God with God’s identity can only speak and supply the truth? Compared to the Jade Emperor, Guanyin Bodhisattva, and the Buddha, God doesn’t seem to have great capabilities and skills. They say God has power and authority, but where is this power and authority? Is one who can only supply the truth and who lacks the power and authority of a god truly a god? When the brothers and sisters are about to be arrested, a god should put up a wall in front of the evil police, or make them blind and lame, and drive them mad or cause them to become stupid. Before danger approaches, a god should let everyone clearly know about the impending risk, they should hear a voice, feel a strong sensation, and have a clear thought. Why doesn’t God do such things? Why doesn’t He give any hints when this kind of situation approaches? When people suffer arrest, torture, and persecution, why doesn’t God stop or punish these devils and evil police? When they handcuff the brothers and sisters, when their batons hit them, why does God do nothing? If it were the Jade Emperor or Guanyin Bodhisattva, they would never let their followers suffer like this. They would surely intervene and help, making the evil police blind, distorting their faces, driving them insane, making their hands and feet rot, giving them terminal diseases, and getting them to kill each other. Why doesn’t God do this? Where exactly is God? Does He even exist? When troubles come, God doesn’t rescue people even if they pray to Him, nor does He arrange circumstances for them to escape danger. When the evil police torture these defenseless people, common sense dictates that a god should intervene, help, and not just stand idly by, as gods don’t like to see injustices in the world, and gods are supposed to save people from misery and deliver all beings from suffering. Why does this God I believe in now not do such things at all? Does the God I believe in really exist?” After experiencing many things, antichrists are constantly confused and doubtful. They even go to fortune-tellers and Yin Yang masters during their belief in God for readings, to see what their future holds, to check whether they will be imprisoned, whether their work will go smoothly, whether a villain will try to take revenge on them, or whether there’s a way to avoid jail if it’s in their fate.

In the process of believing in and following God, notions always arise in antichrists about God’s identity and essence, and they always question why God only speaks and does not show any signs and wonders. Although antichrists also read God’s words, their intention is not to seek or accept the truth, instead they read them with a mindset of studying and deliberation. As a result, they not only fail to develop genuine faith but instead become more doubtful, and harbor more notions about God incarnate, the more they scrutinize. Their main notion is they believe that a christ should possess supernatural humanity. They think: “If a christ has normal humanity and performs no signs or wonders, how can it be proved that he’s a god?” In the hearts of antichrists, only the spirit of a god is a god, and only a flesh that can show signs and wonders is a god. If a flesh only possesses normal humanity and does not perform signs and wonders, then even if he can express the truth, he is not considered a god. Therefore, it’s not surprising that antichrists always doubt the essence of God incarnate. No matter how many things happen to them, the type of person who is an antichrist never tries to address them by seeking the truth in God’s words, much less tries to see things through God’s words—which is wholly because they do not believe that every line of God’s words is the truth. No matter how the house of God fellowships the truth, the antichrists remain unreceptive, and in consequence lack the correct attitude no matter what situation they are faced with; in particular, when it comes to how they approach God and the truth, the antichrists stubbornly refuse to put aside their notions. The god they believe in is a god that performs signs and wonders, a supernatural god. Any that can perform signs and wonders—be it Guanyin Bodhisattva, Buddha, or Mazu—they call gods. They believe that only those who can perform signs and wonders are gods that possess the identity of gods, and those who cannot, no matter how many truths they express, are not necessarily gods. They do not understand that expressing the truth is God’s great power and almightiness; instead, they think only performing signs and wonders is the great power and almightiness of gods. Therefore, regarding the practical work of God incarnate expressing the truth to conquer and save people, watering, shepherding, and leading God’s chosen people, enabling them to actually experience God’s judgment, chastisement, trials, and refinement, and come to understand the truth, cast off their corrupt dispositions, and become people who submit to and worship God, and so on—antichrists consider all this to be the work of man, and not of God. In the minds of antichrists, gods should hide behind an altar and get people to make offerings to them, eating the foods that people offer, inhaling the smoke of the incense that they burn, extending a helping hand when they are in trouble, showing themselves to be very powerful and providing immediate assistance to them within the bounds of what is understandable to them, and satisfying their needs, when people ask for help and are earnest in their entreaties. To the antichrists, only a god such as this is a true god. Everything that God does today, meanwhile, is met with the antichrists’ disdain. And why is that? Judging by the nature essence of the antichrists, what they require is not the work of watering, shepherding, and salvation that the Creator performs upon the created beings, but prosperity and the fulfillment of their aspirations in all things, to not be punished in this life, and to go to heaven in the next life. Their point of view and needs confirm their essence of hatred for the truth. Antichrists love wickedness, the supernatural, and miracles, and even worship the actions and devilish words of Satan and evil spirits—which are negative and wicked things—as divine and as the truth. They take these as the objects of their lifelong worship and pursuit, and as things that should be esteemed and propagated in the world. Consequently, their notions and views about God’s identity will never change while they are following God. If such people cannot accomplish their ambitions in God’s house, if they aren’t promoted or used and fail to achieve swift and great success, they will be ready to betray God at any time, moment, and place. Some of these people have believed for 10 years, some for 20, and you would think that they had a foundation, and wouldn’t leave God, but in reality, they are ready to betray God and return to the secular world at any time. Even if they don’t leave the church, their hearts have already strayed from and betrayed God. Whenever circumstances allow or opportunities arise, they will go and believe in false gods and evil spirits. If they have the chance to gain meteoric success, to become a high official, to become famous, and to enjoy glory and wealth, they will not hesitate to leave the church and follow the trends of the secular world. Some antichrists question, “If He is God, why does He suffer persecution and pursuit by the great red dragon? If He is God, why doesn’t He display signs and wonders to annihilate the great red dragon? So many of God’s chosen people have been captured and persecuted by the great red dragon. Why doesn’t God protect and rescue them from the persecution of Satan?” It’s just like how the Pharisees of Judaism thought, “If Jesus is God, why could He be crucified? Why couldn’t He save Himself?” Antichrists never understand this because they do not accept the truth, nor do they believe that God’s words will bring everything to pass. They only believe what they see, and they do not have faith in the value or significance demonstrated by all the work God has done. They do not believe that every word God expresses is the truth and that each of His words will be fulfilled and brought to pass; they do not believe that God’s wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s schemes, or that God uses the great red dragon to render service as a foil that reveals His almightiness and wisdom. They do not believe that God is sovereign over everything and that God’s words bring everything to pass, so are antichrists still believers in God? They are not. Antichrists are people who deny and resist God; they are pure disbelievers.

What primary reasons lie behind the refusal of antichrists to acknowledge God’s identity? One is that God does not rectify all the unfairness in the world, administer justice for mankind, or immediately punish those who do evil, as antichrists imagine that He should in their notions; many unfair events happen every day among all the things that God holds sovereignty over, and yet God seems indifferent to this, and does not speak a single word or do a single thing in response. In the eyes of antichrists, everything they see happening in the world within the scope of the things that they encounter does not fit with their notions, and should not occur. Why do they think these things shouldn’t occur? They think: “If God exists, why doesn’t He attend to these things? If God exists, why do so many evil people still live well? Why do the rich get richer and the poor poorer? Why do rich people eat lavish meals every day, and enjoy themselves so much, while so many still have to beg for food? Why are guileless people bullied, oppressed, and exploited? Why do some people labor and sweat, working over eight hours a day for such little pay, while others make more in an hour than one could earn in a lifetime? Why doesn’t God address these societal and worldly injustices? Why are some born with silver spoons in their mouths while others are born into poverty and exhaustion? Why are some people able to enjoy glory and wealth, and the doting love of their families for their whole lives, while others cannot, when they were born in the same social environment?” These are eternally unsolvable puzzles in the hearts of antichrists. They think that since they believe in God, they ought to hand over to God all the things they can’t see through to and don’t understand, and all these puzzles they can’t solve, and get Him to provide the solutions, and that they should find answers to them in God’s words. However, after believing in God for three to five years, they aren’t able to find these answers, and after believing for eight to 10 years, they still can’t find them. After they have believed for 20 years, they wonder, “Why have I still not gotten any answers? Why hasn’t God solved these issues? Why doesn’t God act like Guanyin Boddhisatva or the Jade Emperor? God has authority and power, and the identity of God, so He should be doing these things! Especially in the church, why do evil people often appear and cause disruptions and disturbances, with some even stealing offerings without suffering any consequences? Some people often lie, and some spread notions and rumors, without suffering God’s discipline or punishment; others stop believing in God abruptly and go to work in society, and after a few years, they become wealthy without ever falling on hard times. Some believers live worse lives than people who don’t believe in God. In fact, believers in God are suffering, and many of them are being persecuted, unable to return to their homes, and living in poverty and misery. Surely this isn’t the meaning of believing in God? Surely this isn’t the value of following God? Surely this isn’t the day-to-day life that God wants to give people? When people encounter things they cannot accomplish, why doesn’t God do something extraordinary to make them understand and get it immediately? There are many things which people don’t understand, and do not know why God acts the way He does. Why doesn’t God light a lamp to brighten people’s hearts? Why doesn’t He give people inspiration? When people commit evil, and cause disruptions and disturbances, God doesn’t stand up and curse those evil people directly, and make them face retribution. I haven’t seen many instances of God doing such things. Sometimes people need God’s enlightenment, illumination, and provision, so why can’t they feel or see God? Where is God?” All “whys” such as these remain unanswered in the hearts of antichrists. They do not understand why these things and phenomena never change, turn around, and much less improve. They think that believing in God should transform people entirely, and that their entire lives, mental outlooks, thoughts, and especially their quality of life, and their abilities and talents, should all develop in a positive direction. Why can’t they see these changes after 10 or 20 years of observation? The things people fantasize about or dream of in their notions are never resolved or realized after they come to believe in God. So, what is the meaning of believing in God? What is the value of believing in and following God? These questions remain unresolved and unanswered in the hearts of antichrists, and they are not realized or fulfilled as antichrists imagine they will be, so the god that antichrists have in mind never exists. And naturally, the One who possesses the identity of God is forever denied in the minds of antichrists.

There’s too much adulteration in antichrists’ belief in God. In reality, antichrists do not truly believe in God; it’s all a pretense. They believe in God just as nonbelievers worship devils and idols. They find everything God does difficult to accept, and they are always harboring doubts and questions. They hide these doubts and questions in their hearts and do not dare to voice them, and they are also adept at pretending, so no matter how many years they believe in God, they remain out-and-out disbelievers. They measure God and all of His actions with their fantasies, their various imaginings and notions about God, as well as some traditional human knowledge and notions of morality. They use these things to measure God’s identity and whether or not He exists. And what is the final result? They deny the existence of God, and do not acknowledge the identity and essence of God incarnate. Isn’t the standard by which antichrists measure whether God incarnate possesses the identity and essence of God wrong? Plainly speaking, antichrists revere knowledge and famous, great figures, so they never have objections or any aversion toward things that come from these famous, great figures. So, why do they despise Christ when they see He is a normal and regular person, and begin to feel aversion and hatred when they see Christ express so many truths? It’s because what they revere and adore is not at all positive, not a single bit of it is. What do antichrists like? They like bizarreness, wickedness, miracles, and supernatural things, while the normalness and practicality of God, God’s genuine love for man, God’s wisdom, faithfulness, holiness, and righteousness are all condemned in the eyes of antichrists. For example, in order for the brothers and sisters to develop discernment and practically learn a lesson, God orchestrated a situation. What situation was it? He arranged for someone who had been possessed by a demon to live among them. At the start, this person’s way of speaking and doing things was normal, as was his reason; he did not appear problematic at all. But after a period of contact, the brothers and sisters discovered that everything he said was nonsensical and lacking in proper structure and order. Later, certain supernatural things occurred: He would always tell the brothers and sisters he had seen this or that vision, and obtained such and such revelation. One day, for example, it was revealed to him that he must make steamed buns—he had to—and the day after that, as it happened, he needed to go out, so he took the buns with him. Later, it was revealed to him in a dream that he must head south; there was someone waiting for him six miles away. He went to look, and right there was a person who had gotten lost; he testified to this person about God’s work of the last days, and they accepted it. He was always gaining revelation, he was always hearing a voice, supernatural things were always happening to him. Each day, when it came to what to eat, where to go, what to do, who to interact with, he did not follow the laws of normal human life, nor did he seek the words of God as a basis or principle, or seek out people to fellowship with. He always relied on his feelings, and waited for a voice, or a revelation, or a dream. Was this person normal? (No.) There seemed to be regular patterns to the three meals he ate a day, and to his daily routine, yet he was always hearing voices. Some people discerned him and said that these were manifestations of the possession of an evil spirit. The brothers and sisters grew discerning of him, little by little, until one day, he suffered a flare-up of mental illness, began saying crazy things, and ran away naked and with his hair all disheveled, psychotic. With that, the matter finally came to a conclusion. Don’t the brothers and sisters now have insight into and discernment of the specific manifestations of an evil spirit at work and demonic possession? Of course, some of them had encountered such things before, and already possessed discernment of them, while others had not believed in God for a long time, and had not been through such things, and were therefore likely to be misled. But regardless of whether they were misled or had discernment, if God had not arranged this environment, could they have true discernment of the work or possession of an evil spirit? (No.) So just what was the purpose and significance of God arranging this environment and doing these things? It was to enable them to practically gain discernment and learn a lesson, and know how to discern those who have the work of evil spirits or who have been possessed by demons. If people were just told what the work of an evil spirit is—like when a teacher teaches from a book, and just speaks about textbook theories, without getting their students to do any actual exercises or training—people would only understand some doctrines and statements. You can only clearly explain just what the work of an evil spirit is, and what the specific manifestations of it are, when you have personally witnessed it, seen it with your own eyes, and heard it with your own ears. And then when you encounter such people again, you will be able to discern them and reject them; you will be able to properly address and handle such matters. So, isn’t what you gain in such an environment much more practical than what you gain from attending gatherings and listening to sermons all day? People who possess normal thinking and rationality, and pursue the truth will have a correct understanding of the ways that God does these things. They won’t complain, saying, “Why does God allow evil spirits to appear in the church? Why didn’t God warn me in advance? Why doesn’t He cleanse away the evil spirits?” They will not complain about these things, instead, they will be thankful, praising God for His excellent and wise work, and saying that God loves man so much! However, antichrists do not accept the truth, and at the same time, their hearts are filled with notions and imaginings about God, plus they really worship devils and idols in their hearts, and they compare and measure everything that the true God does against their idols. So, when encountering such situations, they first wonder, “Is this the work of God? How can you be so stupid? How could God allow evil spirits to appear in the church?” Isn’t this a mistaken understanding? First, they deny this is God’s work and also think, “A god definitely wouldn’t do this. Gods don’t want people to suffer. When Guanyin Boddhisatva sees people suffering, her statues shed tears; she wishes to deliver all beings from torment, bring every person under the name of the Buddha, and relieve them from all the suffering of the human world. Gods should be compassionate, caring for their chosen people, and not allow evil spirits to appear in the church. This certainly cannot be God’s doing.” Once such things happen, in the hearts of antichrists, they first doubt God’s identity even more, and are at the same time unwilling to accept God’s deeds a hundred, a thousand times over, and even judge and condemn them. They also mock the brothers and sisters who accept this matter from God, saying, “You fools still believe everything is God’s doing. A god would not act like this! A god should protect and care for his lambs, and shield them with his hands. Gods are refuges for people; people should not suffer all these hardships. All negative and bad things should not happen to people, that’s how gods work.” Antichrists’ hearts are filled with doubts, denials, notions, and condemnation of God. Consequently, whatever God does, in their eyes, is wrong and not what God should do, and it is evidence and leverage for them to condemn and deny God. In this, the antichrists’ nature essence of resisting God is completely revealed. For instance, when brothers and sisters endure the CCP’s torture and persecution, the police heat electric branding irons until they are red-hot and press them against their bodies, which causes so much pain that they faint, and makes the blood of everyone present run cold. What do antichrists think upon seeing this scene? “These Satans and devils are too cruel! They have no humanity, no pity or compassion. Their methods are too brutal, I can’t bear to watch! If I were there, I would cool the branding irons, turn them into cotton, and let them touch people’s bodies gently, warmly, and softly, like the hand of a god caressing his lambs, making people feel his compassionate heart, his love and warmth, and inspiring more faith and determination in them to follow him. But human beings are just human beings—we are powerless to do anything while watching our brothers and sisters and fellow human beings suffer so much. And where is God? Why doesn’t God stop the hands of these Satans and devils at this moment? Why doesn’t He cool the red-hot branding irons? When the branding irons touch the brothers and sisters, why doesn’t God make them feel no pain? If it were Guanyin Boddhisatva, she would definitely do this; she doesn’t want to see living beings abusing and killing each other, she doesn’t want to see any of them suffer even a bit of bullying or pain. She keeps all beings in mind, her heart is broader than the sky, and her love is boundless. That’s truly a god! Why doesn’t God act like this? I’m not a god, I don’t have this ability. If I were a god, I wouldn’t let my people suffer like this.” No matter what befalls them, antichrists have their own views, assertions, opinions, and even “brilliant ideas.” No matter what happens to them, they never link it to God’s words, they never seek the truth to understand God, to bear witness to God, to confirm God’s identity, to confirm where and how the essence of God who possesses the identity of God is expressed—antichrists do not practice in this way. Instead, at every turn they measure and compete with God using the perspectives of Satan, of various evil spirits, or of Guanyin Boddhisatva and Buddha. What’s the final result of this? Antichrists deny God at every turn, denying His actions and essence, the meaning and value of everything He does, and how it edifies people. They deny the effect that God intends to achieve on people by working in this way, and the existence of God’s intentions. By denying the significance and value of all God does, aren’t antichrists denying God’s identity? (They are.) These manifestations and essence of antichrists, the thoughts they reveal, and the anger, demands, dissatisfaction, and questions they have about God when things befall them, and so on, are all concrete manifestations of antichrists not acknowledging God’s identity. These are the facts.

What essence of antichrists did you observe through the fellowship and dissection we just did about the manifestations and sources of antichrists’ denial of God’s identity? Can you observe that antichrists are cynical about this world and love fairness and righteousness? Are antichrists people who possess kind humanity, compassion, mercy, great love, and a hatred of wickedness? (No.) Then what sort of people are antichrists? (They are evil people who hate and are averse to the truth, who antagonize God at every turn.) That’s one aspect. What else? Don’t antichrists quite approve of the societal saying, “Building bridges and repairing roads lead to blindness, while murderers and arsonists ensure that their offspring multiples”? Does this not mean that they are lamenting the state of the world and pitying mankind? What is the nature of them agreeing with this saying? Doesn’t this saying contain something of a complaint about the injustice of Heaven? Although they can’t do anything about it, antichrists harbor such resentment and emotions and complain that Heaven is unjust: “Isn’t it said that Heaven is fair and that Heaven has eyes? Then why do those who do good in this world not reap rewards, while evil people prosper? Where is the fairness in this world? How did the matters of unfairness in this world come about? It’s because Heaven is blind and unfair!” The implicit meaning in this is that there is no fairness with God, and that only Buddha and Guanyin are fair. Therefore, antichrists’ hearts are filled with resentment, complaint, denial, and condemnation about the things that the real God does. What causes all this? What is the reason for it? It is caused by the essence of antichrists. What essence is this? To put it in specific terms, antichrists’ hearts are full of notions and imaginings about the definition of a god; they do not know or understand how exactly the real God works and saves people. Their evaluation of everything God does is based on their own notions and imaginings. And what are these based on? They are entirely based on the various heresies and fallacies instilled in mankind by the devil king Satan. No matter how wicked or biased these heresies and fallacies are, they accord with people’s notions, psychological requirements, and emotional needs, and it’s precisely these things that become antichrists’ standards for comporting themselves and measuring all things, as well as their standard for measuring God; antichrists are wrong at their very root. Another more important reason is that antichrists like power and things of grandeur. For example, say that a person is born in a palace, and enjoys top-notch treatment every day, eating the best food and wearing the best clothes, not needing to do anything, and getting whatever they want. Do people who believe in God pursue this kind of life? A normal person will feel a tiny bit of envy or jealousy, but then they will think, “This is all ordained by God. Wherever God places us, that’s where we live. That kind of life won’t necessarily suit us. Can one believe in God in such an environment? Can one understand the truth and be saved? That would be difficult. What God gave us is enough; as long as we can believe in God and are in the right conditions to read God’s words, do our duty, and ultimately attain salvation, that’s the most joyous thing.” But would antichrists think like this? (No.) They would think, “Why wasn’t my father an emperor? If my father were a rich man or an emperor, my life would really be worth living. Why is his father an emperor? Why does he live a carefree life, not worrying about food or clothing, getting whatever he wants, with money and power always at his command? Heaven is unfair! He’s not that capable, and he doesn’t have any talent, education, or brains. On what basis did he get all these things? Why can’t I get them? If I can’t get those things, and others can, I’ll hate them! And if I can’t hate them, I’ll hate Heaven for being unfair and for arranging a bad fate for me, and I’ll hate my bad luck, hate the vile person blocking my way, and hate the bad feng shui of my house!” What is going through their minds? Once hatred arises in the hearts of antichrists, all sorts of fallacious arguments can come out of their mouths.

On the surface, antichrists seem so benevolent, but the fact is that none of the things they worship and pursue are positive. The proverbs and sayings they preach may sound like they’re lamenting the state of the world and pitying mankind, and like they harbor goodwill in their hearts, but in fact, they are out-and-out devils and Satans. If they gain power and rise up in this world, are they capable of doing evil? Are they capable of being good people? They are scoundrels full of heinous sins. Because they can’t gain power and aren’t prospering much in the world, they feel a bit wronged and then come to believe in and follow God. However, in essence, they don’t want to pursue the truth at all, and they especially don’t love positive things; instead, they are averse to positive things and love evil forces, power, luxurious living, and the evil trends of the world. Therefore, they disdain everything expressed and done by God who possesses God’s identity and essence, and they condemn, judge, and slander these things. No matter how valuable or meaningful God’s work is for people, they neither acknowledge nor accept it. Not only do they not accept God’s identity and essence, but they also want to impersonate a god, pretending to be a savior who can deliver all beings from suffering, who can ensure that those who build bridges and repair roads don’t go blind, that murderers and arsonists are punished and cannot have descendants who multiply, and that the people at the bottom rung of society and enduring suffering no longer suffer and have a place to redress their grievances. They want to eliminate all the pain in the world and rescue people from misery. Antichrists really do harbor “universal love” and an infinite “great love” in the depths of their hearts! After all is said and done, what exactly is the reason behind antichrists not acknowledging God’s identity and essence? They say: “No matter what God does, He’s not like a god. I’m the most like a god; I’m most qualified to be a god. This is because what God does doesn’t suit my tastes or accord with the tastes and needs of the masses; only I can understand the needs and minds of the masses, only I can deliver all beings from suffering, and only I can be the savior of mankind.” Their ambitions and essence have been exposed, haven’t they? What exactly is the true form of antichrists who possess such ambitions and essence? It’s the archangel, the devil Satan. They deny God’s identity and don’t believe in God’s existence because they want to be a god themselves. They believe that their thoughts are what a god should think, and that their manifestations, disposition, and essence of great love are what a god should possess. They think that only someone who possesses a mindset of lamenting the state of the world and pitying mankind upon seeing all the injustices in the world is a god. They think that the God they believe in doesn’t have these qualities, that only they are of such a mind and such a big heart, possessing this kind of virtue and great love. This is the essence of antichrists, the various manifestations and essence of their refusal to acknowledge God’s identity. Therefore, if you revere antichrists as gods and worship them, they won’t feel resentment toward you. If you follow them, saying that their identity and essence are those of gods, that they have the same mind and great love as Buddha, and that they are gods, they will be happy and completely satisfied with you. This is the essence of antichrists. Isn’t this essence that antichrists display wicked? No matter how you extol God’s name and His wonderful deeds, and testify for everything God has done and the prices He has paid for the salvation of man, they will be defiant at heart, saying, “I can’t compliment this. I don’t see it that way; that’s all human wishful thinking and imagination.” When you testify for God, His wisdom, His almightiness, His painstaking intention to save humanity, and the prices He has paid, and you testify for His essence, His identity, and everything that the Creator has done on mankind, only one kind of person feels uneasy, and that is antichrists. And what do they think? “Why do you always talk about God? I’ve also watered and supported you a lot. I’ve loved you, helped you, bought you medicine when you were sick, and supported you, fellowshipped with you, and accompanied you when others abandoned you. Why don’t you praise me?” As soon as someone testifies for or praises God, antichrists feel upset and hate them out of envy. What do normal believers in God feel when they hear God being praised by someone? First, they will say “Amen” to what that person said and to the experiential testimony they fellowshipped. In addition, they will listen carefully, thinking, “God acted in that way upon them—God is so great, He truly loves man! I will seek the truth too if I encounter similar situations in the future. They hurt God by acting in that way; I have also acted in that way in the past, I was just unaware of it. I am indebted to God! God acting in this way is beneficial to people, and I didn’t realize it. It seems my stature is smaller than this person’s, my understanding is not pure, and my caliber is poor. I pray for God to enlighten and guide me, the small-in-stature person that I am. How did they not become weak when facing trials? They had the guidance of God’s words. If I were facing such circumstances, I would become weak and might even stumble. God has shown me kindness by noticing my small stature and not making me face that kind of situation yet. Everything God does is good!” But antichrists are unhappy when they hear this: “What? Everything God does is good? Where is this goodness? If everything God does is so good, why are people negative and weak? If everything God does is good, why are some people expelled? If everything God does is good, why are there always disruptions and disturbances in the course of spreading the gospel and doing duties? I have done so many good deeds; I have exerted myself, made offerings, and gained people when preaching the gospel. Why doesn’t anyone praise me? Why hasn’t God given me something in return, some reward? If people feel embarrassed praising me to my face, it’s okay if they just do it behind my back. Why doesn’t anyone praise or commend me? Don’t I have any merits?” They become upset. If someone praises an ordinary person, antichrists will not feel much. But as soon as someone testifies for God’s great power, great love, and wisdom, or for God’s identity, antichrists feel hatred and jealousy. Whenever anyone is willing to submit to God, to be a proper created being and be a person who does not overstep their bounds and submits under the dominion of the Creator, antichrists don’t like this, saying, “Why do you so willingly and actively submit to God? Why is it so hard for you to listen to any phrase I say? What I say isn’t wrong!” They like people to be their followers, praising them at every turn, keeping their names on their lips, keeping them in their hearts, even dreaming about their goodness and strengths, and praising them to everyone they meet. If they fall ill and don’t show their faces, people will say, “What do we do without you? Without you, we are scattered; we can’t continue believing or go on living!” If antichrists heard this, they’d be overjoyed, and to hear it they’d be willing to endure any suffering or go days without eating or sleeping. But if no one praises them, takes them as a role model, worships them, or takes them seriously, they feel upset and harbor hatred in their hearts—this is a typical antichrist. In short, antichrists will never acknowledge God’s identity. They don’t accept God’s identity and essence, much less the work done on them by the One who possesses God’s identity and essence, nor do they acknowledge or accept all the work God has done among mankind.

B. Refusing to Acknowledge God’s Sovereignty Over All Things

Next, let us fellowship on the second manifestation of “They do not believe in the existence of God, and they deny the essence of Christ”: antichrists refusing to acknowledge God’s sovereignty over all things. To antichrists, the Creator who possesses the identity of God simply does not exist, He is just a myth. Can antichrists acknowledge the fact that the Creator holds sovereignty over all things then? It goes without saying that they do not acknowledge this fact. They do not acknowledge it, and this is also based on facts. Antichrists’ belief, knowledge, and comprehension of God are based on human notions and imaginings, on some human perceptions and understandings of idols, and also on the heresies and fallacies that those idols use to mislead people. Are the notions, imaginings, heresies, fallacies, and other things in antichrists’ hearts consistent with or contradictory to the fact that God is sovereign over all things? They are, of course, contradictory to this fact. The idols that people give offerings to mislead them by putting forward some heresies and fallacies that accord with human notions, imaginings, and tastes, in order to gain a firm foothold among mankind, such as “Buddha is merciful,” “Heaven cherishes living things,” “Saving one life beats building a seven-tier pagoda,” and “What is destined must happen, and what is not destined should not be forced.” What else? (There is a god three feet above you.) Where is three feet above you? That is in midair, where Satan lives. What is this “god”? (It is Satan.) And what is the saying that Buddhists often use? (Good is repaid with good, and evil with evil; these things will be repaid, the time has just not yet arrived.) People regard these relatively positive sayings and philosophical theories that are often said in the world as the truth, but in fact, are these words the truth? Is there any relationship between them and the truth? (No.) Like “Good is repaid with good, and evil with evil; these things will be repaid, the time has just not yet arrived”—what does “Good is repaid with good” mean? What does “good” refer to? Is it justice, the truth, or man’s little bit of goodwill? (It’s man’s goodwill.) Is man’s little bit of goodwill really repaid with good? Not necessarily. “Building bridges and repairing roads lead to blindness”—building bridges and repairing roads are acts of kindness, so why do they lead to blindness? Is there reward for these acts? (No.) “Evil with evil”—killing and arson are evil, so are they repaid with evil? (No.) Why not? “While murderers and arsonists ensure that their offspring multiples”—these words refute “evil with evil.” “These things will be repaid, the time has just not yet arrived”—what does “the time has just not yet arrived” mean? What does it mean for it to arrive? When people do not understand the truth, they regard these words and sayings as positive things and truths. People with empty hearts and no source of spiritual sustenance take these so-called correct words as their spiritual sustenance, as a kind of spiritual comfort, to console themselves, “It’s okay, there is hope in life, there is still fairness and righteousness in this world, and there is still someone who will uphold justice. It is still possible to get a fair outcome, and a statement of resolution will ultimately be passed on all of this.” Are those sayings true understandings of God’s sovereignty over all things? Are they true manifestations of people’s acknowledgment of the fact that God is sovereign over all things? (No.) Are the sayings or proverbs that people say related to the fact that God is sovereign over all things? (No.) Why not? (These words are not the truth.) Your answer proves this on a theoretical level, but what is the root cause? The root cause is far from being as simple as this doctrine, it is far from possible to explain it in just this one sentence. Since the matter of God being sovereign over all things is not so simple, how should it be understood? As we fellowshipped before, antichrists do not acknowledge that God is sovereign over all things. No matter what antichrists are looking at, they always scrutinize and analyze it from the perspective of an onlooker, and of a materialist who regards money and power as life. If a person looks at anything from such a perspective and standpoint, won’t the essence of the issue change? Won’t it be different? What will the ultimate result be if someone looks at the laws and rules of the development of all things from the perspective of a materialist? Won’t a materialist’s view of the world produce human philosophies, strategies, methods, and approaches for worldly dealings? Won’t it produce game rules? (Yes.) This is the result, and the essence of the issue is here.

How does a materialist view power? They believe that if a person wants to gain power, first, they need to have strategies, second, they need to be able to manipulate all kinds of people, third, they need to be cruel, and fourth, they must be changeable. Isn’t this a materialist’s point of view? Is there any hint of submission to God’s sovereignty in this? (No.) How did materialists come up with these views on power? Weren’t these views produced by the essence of antichrists? (Yes.) What essence of antichrists? Tell Me, if antichrists did not have a wicked essence, would they come up with the words “be able to manipulate people”? Would they think that they “need to have strategies”? Would they say that they “must be changeable”? If they did not have a vicious essence, would they say that they “need to be cruel”? (No.) This is determined by the essence of antichrists. Are the various thoughts produced by their essence just ideas that exist in their minds, or are their principles for worldly dealings and their comportment in everyday life the same? (Their principles for worldly dealings are the same.) They are constantly making summaries in their day-to-day lives and among groups, so their strategies keep becoming more and more mature and seasoned, and in the end become diabolical. What does diabolical mean? It means being cruel enough, ruthless enough, and sinister enough. Can their manifestations of cruelty, ruthlessness, and sinisterness make them submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements? Absolutely not. Therefore, no matter if they are young or old, antichrists do everything based on their own philosophies, laws, game rules, strategies, and experience. Is all this consistent with or contradictory to the fact that God is sovereign over all things? (Contradictory.) When antichrists implement all these laws that they have produced through their summaries, what is their principle and aim? What is their motivation? They say, “If you want to get what you want, you must learn to do whatever it takes, and go to any lengths, to be cruel enough, ruthless enough, and sinister enough, as the saying goes, ‘A small mind makes no gentleman; a real man must be ruthless.’” What does this mean? It means: “What sovereignty of God? What waiting for the arrangements of Heaven? There are no such things! Which official or monarch didn’t get to where they are by ferocious and brutal means? Are these positions not gained through fighting and killing?” Looking at this viewpoint of theirs, do antichrists acknowledge the fact that God is sovereign over all things? (No.) In the world of nonbelievers, antichrists have such a perspective on this law of survival. So, while they are in the church, will they use the same strategies when they act? Will they follow the same life rules? This will not change in the slightest. Even when antichrists come to the church, they never restrain themselves or reform themselves, they absolutely do not do this. They say, “If you want to excel above others, you must learn to possess strategies. When everyone is around, especially when people of standing are around, you must try your best to show off, and let those in charge, the leaders, and the Above see this. Then you’ll have the chance to be promoted and put in important positions, and have the opportunity to excel above others. In addition, you must learn to behave differently when you are around people compared to when you are not, you must learn to engage in deception. Do good things in front of people, and do terrible, bad, dark things, and things that people don’t like in secret. Never let anyone see through you. You must show people your best side, and you must disguise yourself well. No matter how bad you truly are, you must cover it up well. Don’t lose people’s support. Once you lose their support, it’s too late—then you’ll have no chance.” Antichrists also live by such strategies and laws of survival in the church.

How do antichrists view the testimonies of all the brothers and sisters who have experienced and come to know God’s sovereignty over all things? Antichrists say, “People possess brains, thoughts, and education, and through editing, and composing, they have produced these experiential testimonies. In fact, these experiential testimonies are all imagined by people, they are all fake, and they are all impossible. I could produce experiential testimony too, if I were to make it up. I could produce 10 or 20 articles of experiential testimony. I just can’t be bothered to do that. Do you think I can’t see through your little schemes? Aren’t you just doing this to show off? You call it by the pretty name of testifying to God, testifying to the name of God, and testifying to God’s sovereignty over all things, and say that you’re bearing witness for God, but in fact, you are doing it simply in order to bear witness for yourself and to excel above others.” They don’t acknowledge the veracity of all the testimonies about the work that God has done on people. When it comes to the various environments and situations in the outside world, and the conditions of each country, antichrists cannot see through to how God is working, and when it comes to God maintaining, changing, or arranging the environments of the outside world, they cannot see through to what the meaning of Him doing all this is. They believe that “‘God is sovereign over all things’ is just an empty, high-sounding statement. In reality, no matter which country you go to, you have to obey the government of that country, right? You are subject to the constraints of the government and laws of that country, aren’t you? Doesn’t this mean that the statement that God is sovereign over all things falls through? Regardless of how He exercises His sovereignty, can it surpass the government and laws of any country?” Therefore, as soon as the environment and situation in the outside world are unfavorable to the church and to the church’s work, antichrists secretly feel happy and laugh about it, revealing their demonic faces. When the church’s work is going smoothly, and God is blessing and leading it, and everything is on track, when there is no interference from the environment of the outside world, and the brothers’ and sisters’ states are getting better and better, antichrists’ hearts are restless and impatient, they feel extremely envious, and uncomfortable and hateful. Why do they feel hateful? They do not believe that God can be sovereign over all of this. The church is God’s house, it is the place where God does His management work, where God saves mankind, where God’s will goes unimpeded, and where God’s words can be realized and confirmed in people. When the church is doing well, it demonstrates the reality of God’s authority, as well as confirming that the fact of God’s sovereignty over all things exists and is true. Once this fact exists and is verified, it is a slap in the face for antichrists. After being slapped in the face, do antichrists feel joy, peace, and comfort in their hearts, or do they feel defiant and indignant? (They feel defiant and indignant.) What are they thinking about in their hearts? They hate God and deny God. If it appears on the surface that the situation of the church and the brothers and sisters is not very good, with these people being persecuted, oppressed, and excluded, and lacking any status in society, antichrists feel quite happy and pleased in their hearts, but when God’s work and the church life are all thriving and constantly developing, antichrists do not feel happy. Why do they not feel happy? Because this is too inconsistent with their notions, it is something they did not expect. God’s sovereignty and God’s words have been fulfilled and realized, subverting their views, and so they feel sad. Based on the thoughts and views that antichrists display, as well as their feelings of dissatisfaction, don’t they harbor the same perspective as the great red dragon? Isn’t their nature essence the same as that of the great red dragon? It’s completely the same.

Regarding the entire world, all things, and the laws and rules followed by all created beings, antichrists think: “Nature and seasons were formed long ago. If it’s cold for a long time, it will get hot; if it’s hot for a long time, it will get cold. When it’s time for leaves to fall, they will fall when the wind blows. Isn’t this all very normal? How is this God’s sovereignty? How is this a law set by God? What can God’s laws do? People have killed so many animals without much consequence; mankind still keeps living on as it did before, right? They say God is sovereign over all things, so how come I don’t see how God holds sovereignty over them? They say God is sovereign over all things, but why do evil people always thrive while the good never get the upper hand?” In the end, they conclude that: “There’s no savior in this world; it’s mankind that manipulates the world. It’s the great figures and leaders of the world’s countries who rule this world, and it is those people who change the landscape of this world. Without those great and capable people, the world would be doomed. As for God being sovereign over all things, I can’t see it. How is God sovereign over them? Why can’t I feel this? Why can’t I understand this? Why does God’s sovereignty over all things contain a lot of stuff that is contrary to human notions?” They can neither acknowledge nor accept it. When it comes to God’s sovereignty over all things, the way God is sovereign over all things, the disposition God reveals in His sovereignty over all things, God’s principles of action, God’s essence, and so on, people who pursue the truth can only grasp a fraction of this in their lifetimes. Yet this is enough to make them submit to the Creator’s sovereignty and arrangements, submit to all the words spoken by the Creator, and acknowledge the Creator as God. Even if some people can understand a fraction of this, it’s impossible for them to fully understand it, because many of God’s works are carried out from His status and identity, and there will always be a discrepancy between these works and the thought and cognition of created human beings. And the little that people can understand through the things they experience in their lifetimes can only be grasped by those who pursue the truth, those with insight and the ability to comprehend the truth. For those of poor caliber, who lack insight and do not love the truth at all, even this fraction of understanding is unattainable. It’s often said that God’s thoughts are higher than those of man. This means that humans always fall short of the thoughts of the Creator, and them gaining a fraction of understanding is God’s grace. For those who pursue the truth, this can only be achieved by those who accept the final stage of God’s work, after hearing many of God’s words, and understanding and experiencing many truths—it requires a lifetime of effort. For antichrists who fundamentally deny God’s identity, just in terms of their essence, they do not love the truth or positive things, and even less do they love anything related to God’s identity and essence, so they will never reach the point of acknowledging the fact of God’s sovereignty over all things. Acknowledging this fact is built upon a basis of understanding and pursuing the truth, but antichrists deny the truth, are averse to the truth, hate God, and even more so, hate God’s identity and essence. So, for them, the fact of God’s sovereignty over all things will always be nonexistent. What does “nonexistent” mean? It means that these blockheads will never see or understand the fact of God’s sovereignty over all things. Therefore, they cannot grasp it. Many things are contained within the fact of God’s sovereignty over all things, and it touches on many truths, as well as God’s wisdom and God’s identity and essence. How does God orchestrate all things amid everything that He is sovereign over? In terms of methods, timing, and God’s considerations for this matter, how does His mind plan and deploy it? Judging based on these aspects, God’s sovereignty over all things is not a simple matter; there are quite complex relationships involved. Blockheads like antichrists who simply do not have spiritual understanding and do not accept the truth, will never understand the way God holds sovereignty over all things. They will never understand it, so can they acknowledge it? (They can’t.) Some say, “They don’t acknowledge it because they can’t understand it. If they could understand it, wouldn’t they acknowledge it?” This is just an inference; inferences merely accord with logic, they are not necessarily in line with the facts. So, what is the truth of the facts? Antichrists will never acknowledge the fact of God’s sovereignty over all things. For now, let’s not speak about antichrists, and instead talk about the archangel, Satan, the devil, the great red dragon. It persecutes God’s chosen people, damages the church, and disturbs God’s work. When God brings disasters upon it, causing it to scramble around in a panic, become frantic, and be at its wits’ end, it is unable to cope, and it finally utters a plea for mercy, “I will never fight against Heaven again.” What information can be gleaned from this statement? The great red dragon acknowledges the existence of Heaven, and of God, but its nature doesn’t change; even though it acknowledges God’s existence, it still runs counter to and opposes God. When it can’t beat God, it begs for mercy, saying it will no longer fight with Heaven. But is it truly subdued and pleading for mercy? No, when it recovers, it will continue to fight; this is its nature, and its nature doesn’t change. Antichrists have this same nature.

How do antichrists view God’s sovereignty over the destiny of mankind within His sovereignty over all things? This involves a very microscopic matter. When it comes to God’s sovereignty over all things, the concept of “all things” is macroscopic and too vast; antichrists cannot accept it, they are blind to it, and cannot see through to it. So, do antichrists submit to how God holds sovereignty over their own destinies? Do they comprehend this? Do they understand it? Can they acknowledge it? Even less so. Antichrists believe that they secured all the good things in their real lives through their own efforts. For instance, if they get into a university, they credit this to them doing well in their studies, believing they were born to attend a prestigious university. If they are living a good life and have earned money, they consider themselves to be cut out for getting rich, as fortune-tellers have told them they would have a prosperous life, and be lucky enough to both become an official and do well financially. When things go wrong, or not as they hoped, and they suffer, they begin to complain, “Why do things go so badly for me? Why is my fate so bad? My luck is terrible!” They interpret and view these things from a human perspective. If everything goes smoothly, they become all high and mighty, showing off at every turn, striking a fierce and threatening pose, and acting brash and arrogant; but when things don’t go their way, they blame God and other people, and try to find a way to turn things around and escape the situation. They say that everything God ordains and does is good, but in private, they rack their brains, trying to use every means to turn things around, and escape or change the situation, saying, “I refuse to believe that my fate is so bad, that my luck is so terrible. I refuse to believe that the world is so unfair, that a capable person like me won’t eventually see the light of day, that my time to shine will never come. In fact, destiny is just an empty shell, it is just a saying; it all depends on one’s own efforts and struggles. As the saying goes, ‘You have to endure great suffering in order to come out on top.’ This is the highest creed; I should never forget this, I must use it to motivate myself.” They say again and again that everything God does is good, that God is sovereign over everything and that they submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, but in the end, they say, “You have to endure great suffering in order to come out on top.” On the surface, they speak spiritual words, but in secret, the principles they implement, practice, and follow are Satan’s philosophies for worldly dealings, logic, and thinking. Is there any submission in this? (No.) This is how antichrists view, understand, and approach the fact of God’s sovereignty over all things. Based on these manifestations and examples, do antichrists acknowledge and believe in the fact of God’s sovereignty over all things, or do they doubt and condemn it? (They doubt and condemn it.) Regardless of what they say, based on their actual manifestations, antichrists fundamentally disdain the fact of God’s sovereignty over all things and do not believe in it. Some antichrists even make absurd statements: “How can you not strive for anything, and just passively wait for God’s sovereignty? Don’t you have to cook your own meals? Can you just wait with your mouth open for pies to fall from the sky? No matter how God holds sovereignty, people still need to work hard and take action, right?” Antichrists not only refuse to acknowledge the fact of God’s sovereignty over all things, they also deny and misinterpret it. What is their purpose in misinterpreting it? They are looking for a basis and an excuse for them unscrupulously fighting for all the benefits they desire. Based on the various manifestations of antichrists, what is their true perspective on the fact of God’s sovereignty over all things? Disbelief, denial, and condemnation–this is their true perspective.

In the two points we fellowshipped on today, we primarily dissected the manifestation of antichrists not believing in the existence of God. After listening to this fellowship, have you gained any understanding? Which people have these issues? What kind of person possesses the disposition of antichrists but not the essence of antichrists, and can change? Which people have the same problems, but possess the essence of antichrists, cannot change, are forever enemies of God, and aren’t the objects of salvation but of destruction? Do you also exhibit these manifestations? Do you feel you can change? Can you accept the truth and use it to change and replace these thoughts? (Yes.) Which people cannot change? There is a kind of person who, upon seeing nonbelievers that live luxurious lives, that reside in large houses with interiors decorated like palaces, and have several luxury cars, becomes tempted and laments, “It’s great to be rich, to be an official, to be capable! Why is he so capable? Why is he so lucky? How did he earn his money?” Whenever they see that someone has social status, they particularly flatter, fawn on, and try to curry favor with them, willing to do anything for them, to become servile to any degree. They particularly love the evil trends in society and often wish to be part of them, feeling distressed when their faith in God prevents them from doing so. Even more so, they feel that they have been left behind by the world; they feel lonely, helpless, that there is nothing to sustain them, that they can find no comfort, and they often feel heartbroken. Another type of person feels great admiration when they see those with money and power enjoying success while handling their affairs in society and often acclaims this, saying, “They killed a person, but because they have money and connections, they just spent a token few days in jail and then got out. That’s real capability!” They highly respect and look up to such people in society. Yet another type of person pays special attention to and deeply cares about sensitive political topics in society, and even really wants to get involved in and throw themselves into some affairs that relate to politics. People of these sorts and other similar types, deep down, have the same attitude toward God as antichrists: They do not believe in God’s existence, they do not acknowledge God’s identity, or the fact that God has sovereignty over all things. These people belong to the same gang as antichrists. They do not belong to the church or God’s house and will eventually be cleansed away. They can’t get along with those who believe in God and the path they walk is at odds with God’s requirements. These people are all dangerous; even if they haven’t done any evil yet, and have not openly denied, judged, or condemned God yet, or openly misled people and vied for status in the church, they possess the essence of antichrists because they fundamentally do not acknowledge God’s identity, and even less do they acknowledge the fact that God has sovereignty over all things. They are part of the wicked forces and part of Satan’s gang. They revere wickedness, and any heresy or fallacy promoted by devils and Satan, as well as any evil trend that rises, is popular, or spreads in the world. They do not belong to God’s house or the church and are not the objects of God’s salvation. These people are true enemies of God, they are antichrists.

November 14, 2020

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

Next: Item Fifteen: They Do Not Believe in the Existence of God, and They Deny the Essence of Christ (Part Two)

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