Item Two: They Attack and Exclude Dissenters
We have finished fellowshiping about winning people over, the first manifestation of how antichrists control people, and now we will fellowship about the second manifestation. The second means that antichrists use to control people is attacking and excluding dissenters. The first means involves misleading people and winning them over; someone like this will, on the surface, seem to speak very gently and in line with human notions, and not cause any harm to others; they will be relatively tactful and obscure; others cannot see their evil intentions and malicious, bloody, and combative manifestations; and they use nothing but sly methods. The second means, attacking and excluding dissenters, is more obvious. From the meaning of the words “attack and exclude,” one can tell that they are not positive but derogatory. This means of attacking and excluding is something that is clearly public and can be seen by all. It is just like shrews scolding on the street, exposing each other’s shortcomings, their words frank and explicit, understood by all who hear them. The words possess a certain aggressiveness, not showing forbearance but rather taking the initiative to attack. Antichrists’ public suppression of people, exclusion of people, attacks against people, and exposure of people’s problems are all targeted. Without a doubt, they use means such as these to target those who pursue the truth and can discern them. By defeating these people, they achieve the goal of strengthening their own position. Attacking and excluding people like this is malicious in nature. There is aggression in their language and manner of speech: exposure, condemnation, slander, and evil calumny. They even twist facts, speaking of positive things as though they were negative and negative as though they were positive. Reversing black and white and mixing up right and wrong like this accomplishes antichrists’ goal of defeating people and ruining their name. What mindset is giving rise to this attack and exclusion of dissenters? Most of the time, it comes from a jealous mindset. In a vicious disposition, jealousy carries strong hatred with it; and as a result of their jealousy, antichrists attack and exclude people. In a situation such as this, if antichrists are exposed, reported, lose their status, and suffer an attack in their mind, they will not submit nor be happy about it, and it will be even easier for them to create a strong mindset of revenge. Revenge is a type of mindset, and it is also a type of corrupt disposition. When antichrists see that what someone did was damaging to them, that others are more capable than them, or that someone’s statements and suggestions are better or wiser than theirs, and everyone agrees with that person’s statements and suggestions, the antichrists feel their position is threatened, jealousy and hatred arise in their hearts, and they attack and take revenge. When taking revenge, antichrists generally deliver a preemptive blow to their target. They are proactive in attacking and breaking people down, until the other party submits. Only then do they feel they have let off steam. What other manifestations are there of attacking and excluding people? (Belittling others.) Belittling others is one of the ways it is manifested; no matter how good a job you do, antichrists will still belittle you or condemn you, until you are negative and weak and cannot stand. Then they will be happy, and they will have accomplished their goal. Is condemnation a part of what it means to belittle others? (Yes.) How do antichrists condemn people? They make mountains out of molehills. For example, you did something that was not a problem, but they want to make a big fuss about it in order to attack you, so they think of all kinds of ways to get dirt on you and condemn you by making a mountain out of a molehill, such that others who listen think that what the antichrists say makes sense and that you did something wrong. With this, the antichrists have accomplished their goal. This is condemning, attacking, and excluding dissenters. What does it mean to exclude? It means that in their hearts, they know that what you did was right, but they envy and hate you, intentionally try to attack you, so they say that what you did was wrong. Then they will use their own views and fallacies to out-debate you, speaking in a compelling way so that everyone listening feels what they say is right and well said; then, all those people will approve of them, and will stand on their side in opposition to you. Antichrists use this to attack you, to make you negative and weak. With this, they have achieved their goal of attacking and excluding dissenters. Excluding dissenters can sometimes happen in the form of face-to-face debate, or sometimes in passing judgment on someone, stirring the pot, slandering them, and making things up about them behind their back. For example, when an antichrist wants to exclude a dissenter, they first figure out who the dissenter is on good terms with. Then, they go to that person and say: “You know, so-and-so said that you lack caliber, have poor comprehension ability and don’t have spiritual understanding, and do your duties without principles. I debated with them because I think you’re actually a pretty good person.” After sowing discord like this, the relationship between these two people takes a turn for the worse. The antichrist stays on the sidelines, continuously fanning the flames of discord until the relationship completely breaks down. This way, the antichrist sows discord between people and the dissenter, making people keep their distance from the dissenter to achieve the goal of isolating them. They keep looking for chances to gain leverage against the dissenter, until they are defeated and their name is ruined. An antichrist sees this as toppling an opponent so that this person will not constitute a threat to their status. The antichrist believes that it is best to subdue a dissenter, but if they cannot be subdued then the antichrist does everything possible to isolate and then exclude them. If they cannot be excluded, the antichrist continues to isolate them, eventually bringing them to heel and making them beg for mercy. The antichrist draws in and utilizes some forces to attack people who pursue the truth or whose opinions are not in line with their own. They tear down the church and break it into factions, and in the end the church is divided into two or three cliques—one that listens to them, one that does not, and one that is neutral. Under their “brilliant” guidance, more and more people listen to them, and fewer and fewer do not. More people capitulate to them, and those with different opinions than the antichrist become isolated and do not dare speak up. Fewer and fewer people can discern or oppose them, and this way, the antichrist gradually gains control of the majority of people in the church, assuming a position of authority. This is the goal that the antichrist aims for. When dealing with people who have different opinions than them, the antichrist shows zero tolerance. They think: “Even if you have a different opinion, you must submit to my leadership, because I now have the final say. You are beneath me. If you are a dragon, you must coil yourself up; a tiger, you must lie prone; no matter what abilities you have, as long as I am here, you can forget about gaining an advantage or stirring up trouble!” This is the goal that the antichrist aims for—unilaterally controlling the church and controlling God’s chosen people.
What is the main objective of an antichrist when they attack and exclude a dissenter? They seek to create a situation in the church where there are no voices contrary to their own, in which their power, their leadership status, and their words are all absolute. Everyone must heed them, and even if they have a difference of opinion, they must not express it, but let it fester in their heart. Anyone who dares to openly disagree with them becomes the antichrist’s enemy, and they will think of any way they can to make things hard for them, and can’t wait to make them disappear. This is one of the ways that antichrists attack and exclude a dissenter in order to shore up their status and protect their power. They think, “It’s fine for you to have different opinions, but you can’t go around talking about them as you please, much less compromise my power and status. If you have something to say, you can say it to me in private. If you say it in front of everyone and cause me to lose face, you are asking for trouble, and I’ll have to take care of you!” What kind of disposition is this? Antichrists do not permit others to speak freely. If they have an opinion—whether about the antichrist or anything else—they cannot just bring it up at random; they must consider the antichrist’s face. If not, the antichrist will brand them an enemy, and attack and exclude them. What kind of nature is this? It is the nature of an antichrist. And why do they do this? They do not allow the church to have any alternative voices, they do not permit any dissenters in the church, they do not allow God’s chosen ones to openly fellowship the truth and discern people. What they fear most is being exposed and discerned by people; they are constantly trying to consolidate their power and the status they have in people’s hearts, which they feel must never be shaken. They could never tolerate anything that threatens or affects their pride, reputation, or status and value as a leader. Is this not a manifestation of the malicious nature of antichrists? Not content with the power they already possess, they consolidate and secure it and seek eternal domination. Not only do they want to control others’ behavior, but also their hearts. These methods that antichrists use are wholly in order to protect their power and status, and are entirely the result of their desire to hold on to power. If antichrists acted open and aboveboard and in line with the truth, then why would they be afraid of others speaking up, making different suggestions, and exposing them? It is because they have sinister motives and a guilt-ridden conscience. Antichrists know that they have committed many evil deeds, and once they are exposed, it would not only be difficult to preserve their status, but there would also be a danger of being cleared out or expelled. Therefore, they spare no efforts in constraining and limiting others, preventing them from fellowshiping about the truth and exercising discernment. In particular, those with a strong sense of justice or who dare to expose evil people are a thorn in the antichrist’s side, a constant irritation for them. Antichrists think that if those with a sense of justice are beaten into submission and discredited, nobody will dare to expose them anymore and there will be no more dissenting voices, which gives the antichrist a sense of security. This is a consistent tactic of the antichrist. They will absolutely not loosen their grip on power and never relax their efforts to consolidate it—every sentence they speak and everything they do is aimed at protecting their power and status. This is especially true when a dissenter is present, and the antichrist hears that the dissenter has said something about them or criticized them behind their back. In this case, they will resolve the matter in short order, even if it means missing a night’s sleep and a day’s food. How is it that they can exert such effort? It is because they feel that their status is in peril, that it has been challenged. They feel that if they do not take such action, their power and status will be in danger—that once their evil deeds and scandalous conduct are exposed, they will not only be unable to hold onto their status and power, but will also be cleared out or expelled from the church. That is why they are desperately impatient in thinking of ways to suppress the matter and dispel all hidden perils to them. This is the only way they can hold on to their status. Status is the breath of life, as far as antichrists are concerned. As soon as they hear that someone is going to expose or report them, they are terrified to distraction, fearful that come tomorrow, they will lose their status and never again enjoy the feeling of privilege that status has brought them, nor the benefits of status. They fear that no one will defer to them or follow them anymore, that no one will curry their favor or do their bidding anymore. But what is most intolerable to them is not just that they will lose their status and power, but that they may even be cleared out or expelled. If that were to happen, all the advantages and feelings of privilege that status and power have given them, as well as the hope for all the blessings and rewards gained by believing in God would be lost in an instant. This prospect is what is hardest for them to bear. Once they lose the advantages and sense of privilege their power and status afforded them, their good days will be over. Also, due to having committed many evil deeds, they will find themselves in disaster, waiting for God’s punishment.
What is a dissenter? Who are the people an antichrist views as dissenters? At a minimum, they are those who do not take the antichrist seriously as a leader, meaning that they do not look up to them or worship them but treat them as an ordinary person. That is one sort. Then there are those who love the truth, pursue the truth, pursue a change in their disposition, and pursue the love for God; they take a different road from that of an antichrist, and they are dissenters in the antichrist’s eyes. Are there any others? (Those who always make suggestions to antichrists, and who dare to expose them.) Any who dare offer an antichrist their suggestions and expose them, or whose views are different from theirs, are seen by them as dissenters. And there is another sort: those who equal the antichrist in caliber and ability, whose capacity for speech and action is similar to theirs, or whom they see as above them and able to discern them. To an antichrist, this is beyond the pale, a threat to their status. Such people are the antichrist’s greatest dissenters. The antichrist does not dare neglect such people or slacken in the least. They consider them as thorns in their side, a constant irritation, are vigilant and guarded against them at all times, and avoid them in everything they do. Especially when the antichrist sees that a dissenter is going to discern and expose them, a special panic grips them; they are desperate to exclude and attack such a dissenter, such that they will not be satisfied until they have cleared that dissenter out of the church. With such a mindset and a heart filled with these things, what sort of things are they capable of? Would they treat these brothers and sisters as enemies, and think of ways to bring them down and get rid of them? They certainly would. They would rack their brains thinking of ways to bring dissenters to heel and go to any lengths to defeat them, wouldn’t they? Bringing dissenters to heel means that the antichrist makes everyone listen to them, making it so no one will dare to say anything else or hold different opinions, let alone expose them. Defeating a dissenter means that the antichrist frames and condemns them, creating some false impressions so that the dissenter is made a fool of and gets dealt with, causing their reputation to hit rock bottom. Is doing something like this not the greatest form of evil deed? Does it not offend God’s disposition? An antichrist has many means and methods for attacking and excluding dissenters. Aside from public confrontation and repudiation, their most impressive means involves drawing in and recruiting dissenters, making them all listen to them. If dissenters do not listen, the antichrist will suppress them, repress them, and discredit them, in the same way that unbelievers deal with political opponents. This is how wicked and cruel antichrists are. But sometimes, antichrists will use a soft approach to draw people in. For example, if there is a dissenter whose opinion is not aligned with theirs, they will look at what that person likes and where their weak spots are, using all kinds of contemptible means to bring them to heel. Or they will feign submissiveness and admit their mistakes in front of the dissenter, or go to any lengths to bring the dissenter benefits and satisfy them, or perhaps make their close friends persuade the dissenter; and then, they pretend that they are fellowshiping about the truth with that dissenter, saying: “Our pairing up for church work is just perfect; we can share this church fifty-fifty in the future. Even though I’m the leader, I’ll listen to whatever suggestions you have. In fact, it’s me who will be cooperating with you.” If the dissenter is a person who does not understand the truth, then it will be easy for the antichrist to recruit them. Those who understand the truth will see right through this and say, “This one’s a schemer, alright; they’re not openly attacking, but using a trick—instead of hard tactics, they’re coming in softly.” For an antichrist, the dissenter is a threat to their status and power. Whoever threatens their status and power, no matter who it may be, antichrists will go to any lengths to “take care” of them. If these people truly cannot be brought to heel or recruited, then the antichrists will bring them down or clear them out. In the end, the antichrists will achieve their goal of having absolute power, and being a law unto themselves. This is one of the techniques that antichrists habitually use to maintain their status and power—they attack and exclude dissenters.
What are the origins of the methods, manifestations, motives for action, and sources of action in attacking and excluding dissenters of the antichrists? (Satan.) To be specific, they come from man’s ambitions and desires, and from Satan’s nature. Then what is the antichrist’s goal? Their goal is to seize power, control people’s hearts, and enjoy the benefits of their status. This is what makes a real antichrist. From the perspective of the two items of winning people over and attacking and excluding dissenters, how does an antichrist interpret the meaning of the word “leader” and the role a leader plays? They believe that a leader is someone who possesses power and status, that they have the power to order, draw in, mislead, threaten and control the people that they lead. This is how they comprehend the word “leader.” So, when they are in a leadership role, they implement these tactics in their work, and this is how they do their duties. Then what are they actually doing when they do their duties? It can be confidently stated that they are committing evil deeds, and to be precise, they are establishing their own independent kingdom, vying with God over the chosen people, the people’s hearts, and status. They want to replace God’s position in people’s hearts, to make people worship them. Do you not often harbor such intentions and motivations and show such behaviors and practices? Do you not often reveal these satanic dispositions? (We do.) How serious can the revealing of these satanic dispositions get? Has it reached the point where you cannot control yourselves? When this happens, are you able to have some awareness, restraint and discipline? (Yes.) Tell Me, is there anyone who does not desire power at all? Is there anyone who does not like power? Is there anyone who does not crave the benefits of status? No, there is not. What is the reason for this? It is because people have all been corrupted by Satan; they all have a satanic nature. One thing that all people have in common is that they like power, status, and enjoying the benefits that it brings them. This is a trait that all people share. So then why are some people regarded as antichrists, while others merely reveal an antichrist’s disposition or walk the path of an antichrist? What are the differences between these two groups? First, I will speak about the difference in their humanity. Do antichrists have humanity? What are the differences between the humanity of people who walk the path of antichrists and antichrists themselves? (Antichrists do not have conscience and reason, they do not have humanity, whereas people who walk the path of antichrists still have a little bit of conscience and reason. They can still accept the truth and accept God’s judgment and chastisement, and also show true repentance.) Showing repentance is a point of difference. Do antichrists know to repent? (No, they do not.) Antichrists do not accept the truth in the slightest; even if they run up against a wall, they won’t repent. They will never know themselves. When it comes to humanity, there is another way that people who walk the path of antichrists are different from antichrists, which is the difference between an average good person and an evil person. Good people say and do things with conscience and reason, while evil people do not have conscience and reason. When evil people do something bad and get exposed, they are not compliant: “Hmph, even if everyone knows, is there anything they can do about it? I’ll do whatever I want! I don’t care who exposes or criticizes me. What can anyone really do to me?” No matter how many bad things an evil person does, they do not feel shame. When an ordinary person does something bad, they want to disguise it and cover it up. If someone ends up exposing them, they are too ashamed to face anyone and even do not want to go on living: “Ah, how could I do something like this? I’m truly shameless!” They are extremely remorseful and even curse themselves, swearing that they will never do something like this again. This type of behavior is proof that they have a sense of shame, that they still have some humanity. Someone who is shameless does not have a conscience and reason, and all evil people are shameless. No matter what kind of bad deed an evil person commits, it will not redden their face or quicken their heartbeat, and they will still unscrupulously defend their actions, twisting negative aspects into positive ones, and speaking of bad deeds as though they were good. Does this kind of person have a sense of shame? (No.) If they have this kind of attitude, then will they truly repent in the future? No, they will only keep acting as they have been. This means they are shameless, and shamelessness means having no conscience and reason. People with conscience and reason are too ashamed to face anyone after they are exposed for doing something bad, and they never do this thing again. Why is this? It is because they feel that this was a shameful thing to do and are too full of shame to face anyone; there is a sense of shame in their humanity. Is this not the minimum standard for normal humanity? (It is.) Can someone who does not even feel shame still be called a human? They cannot. Does someone who does not feel shame have a normal mind? (They do not.) They do not have a normal mind, let alone a love of positive things. For them, having a conscience and reason is too high of a standard, one which they fall short of. Now, what is the most basic difference between antichrists and those who walk the path of antichrists? When a person who possesses the essence of an antichrist is exposed by someone else for contending with God for status, they will not think that they have done wrong. Later, not only will they not learn their lessons and turn to God, but instead, as soon as they have the chance to be elected as a leader or worker, they will continue to contend with God for status, carrying on just as before, sooner dying than repenting. Do these people possess any rationality? (They do not.) And do people who have no rationality feel any shame? (They don’t.) Such people have no rationality and no sense of shame. When people who possess normal humanity, conscience and reason hear others say that they are contending with God for status, they will think, “Oh no, this is a serious matter! I’m a follower of God! How could I be contending for status with Him? How shameful to be vying with God for status! How benumbed, how stupid, how unreasonable I have become to do this! How could I have done such a thing?” They will feel embarrassed and ashamed for what they did, and when encountering similar situations, their sense of shame will restrain their behavior. The nature essence of all people is the nature essence of Satan, but those who possess the reason of normal humanity will have a sense of shame, and their behaviors will be restrained. As a person’s comprehension of the truth gradually deepens, and as their knowledge and understanding of God and submission to the truth gain depth, this sense of shame will no longer be the minimum threshold. They will be increasingly restrained by the truth, and by their God-fearing heart. They will continue to improve themselves, and act more and more in line with the truth. However, will antichrists pursue the truth? They absolutely will not. They do not possess normal human reason, do not know what it means to pursue the truth, and are sick of the truth and do not have a shred of love for it, so how could they pursue the truth? Pursuing the truth is a normal human need; only those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will love the truth and pursue it. Those who do not possess normal humanity will never pursue the truth.
People who walk the path of an antichrist are different from real antichrists. Some people see that they are full of the dispositions of an antichrist, and they pursue and deeply treasure fame, gain, and status, and are never able to let go. They firmly believe that they have the nature of an antichrist and cannot be saved. If you do not truly know yourself and do not know whether you are an antichrist or an evil person, then you should reflect on whether or not you have any sense or feeling of shame. If you do not, then you are in danger, and it can be said that you possess the nature essence of an evil person or antichrist. Even if you are not an antichrist now, you may become one in the future. The thing that those who do not pursue the truth are the least willing to do is reflect on and know themselves. They say: “I don’t care who says I am an antichrist. Who doesn’t like fame, gain, and status? Anyone who says they don’t like fame, gain, and status is lying. Who could have status and not enjoy its benefits? Only a fool could be like that. Being able to enjoy the benefits of status, that’s called capability!” What kind of person says things like this? Is it not someone who is sick of the truth? This kind of person is intractably stubborn—can they be saved? They absolutely cannot be saved, because God does not save evil people; people like this are of Satan’s ilk, they are beasts. Some people do not know whether they can be the object of God’s salvation. In this case, when God’s words expose your nature essence and your corrupt disposition, observe whether or not you can sense this and feel ashamed inside, and whether you think that what God exposes is your true self, which would then cause you to feel shame and feel as though you have nowhere to hide yourself. If you have this feeling of shame, if you have this awareness, this is a good thing. There are even some people who say: “God’s words have thoroughly exposed me. I’m too ashamed to face anyone and there is nowhere for me to hide. I think that I should be sent to hell, I don’t deserve God’s salvation. My negativity is such that I don’t even think I deserve to live. I should just die and be done with it.” Is feeling this way a good or bad thing? It is a good thing. Some people do not understand, and say: “How could this be a good thing?” (It shows that this person has a sense of shame.) It is not determined by shame. First of all, having this kind of feeling means that you at least understand God’s words. Second, what is the foundation for your self-knowledge? (Accepting G0d’s words.) That’s right. You admit that God’s words are the truth, which means you are using God’s words as the standard to evaluate whether you can be saved and what type of person you are —you have already made His words the standard for self-evaluation. This proves that you have true faith in them. Only when you have true faith in God can you regard His words as the truth, as the standard for self-evaluation. One who does this has a chance to be saved—it is not as simple as whether or not one has a sense of shame.
As for this manifestation—antichrists attacking and excluding dissenters—we have already discussed the definition of the word “dissenter.” So which people fall under the scope of this term? It is mainly those who have different views on things than antichrists and who walk different paths than them. In the eyes of antichrists, these people all become dissenters, and they are the targets of the antichrists’ attacks. Antichrists believe that attacking and excluding dissenters is perfectly justifiable, that it is protecting the work of God’s house and protecting church life, when in reality it is a means and method of protecting their own status and power. It does not at all serve to protect the work of God’s house, much less does it maintain the normal order of church life for God’s chosen ones. Some of the dissenters mentioned here are people who pursue the truth. We can be certain of this because antichrists are against people pursuing the truth, and only those who pursue the truth can discern antichrists.
January 22, 2019