Item Three: They Exclude and Attack Those Who Pursue the Truth
The third technique antichrists use to control people: They exclude and attack those who pursue the truth. Some people love positive things, justice and light, and fellowshiping about the truth. They often seek out brothers and sisters who pursue and seek the truth to fellowship with. An antichrist’s temper flares to see this. To them, everyone who pursues the truth is a needle in their eye, a thorn in their side; they’d have all who pursue the truth on the receiving end of their attacks, exclusion, and assaults. Of course, an antichrist won’t only attack these people with brutal, savage tactics that are obvious enough for people to see through. They’ll adopt the manner of fellowshiping the truth, and with a few words and doctrines, they’ll pass judgment on people and strike at them. This makes people think that what they’re doing is proper and reasonable, that they’re being helpful—that there’s nothing wrong with what they’re doing. What are these “proper and reasonable” methods of theirs? (They quote God’s words to pass judgment on people and strike at them.) Correct—they quote God’s words to expose people and pass judgment on them. That’s their most common method. On the surface, this way of speaking seems fair, reasonable, and quite proper, but inside, their intent isn’t to help others to their benefit, but to expose them, pass judgment on them, condemn them, and degrade them. That is absolutely what they’re out to accomplish. So, the problem’s in where they start out from. Keen-eyed people can see that they do this because those people pursue and love the truth, and they constitute a threat to the antichrist. And what threat is that? In what way does their love of the truth hinder the antichrist? (They can see through and discern them.) That’s right. The biggest threat that these lovers of the truth pose to an antichrist is that they can discern any bad thing the antichrist does, whatever it may be; they can see through to their essence and are liable anywhere, at any time, to expose them, to report them, and to bring them to light, and then to condemn and reject them, and clean them out of the church. If that happened, they would lose their status and power forever, and their prospect of being blessed would be ruined utterly. That’s why to an antichrist, these people who pursue the truth are the greatest threat apart from the dissenters.
In addition to such outwardly proper-seeming methods as using fellowship on God’s words to strike at people who pursue the truth and to pass judgment on them, antichrists will even take drastic measures against them. What drastic measures are those? As an example, they’ll seize on a momentary transgression of a leader or worker; regardless of its context, of whether that person gained knowledge from it and could repent, and of whether they’re someone who pursues the truth, they’ll magnify its significance to pass judgment on that person and condemn them, and to clear them out. Antichrists figure that to get rid of grass, you have to purge the root, and so they clear such people out of the church, so that they won’t pose a threat to the antichrists’ status. All evil people and antichrists are good at seizing on things that could be used against leaders and workers, and once they have, they condemn them as false leaders and antichrists. No minor charge! Leaders and workers are selected by God’s chosen people; why would you always be seizing hold of things to use against them? What’s your goal in gaining that leverage? Is it that you want to replace them as leader? Once an evil person has charged a leader or worker with the offense of being a false leader and antichrist, if they can then list living examples and make God’s chosen people think it fits the facts, that spells trouble. That leader or worker could quite easily be cleared out of the church. Being a false leader or antichrist is so great an offense that once the offense has been proved, the accused is condemned, and their career as a believer in God is over. That will simply ruin them, won’t it? How evil that is! What’s more, if the antichrist then takes the opportunity to get themselves selected as leader and takes control of the church, will God’s chosen people not then be under the antichrist’s control? Will that church not then become the antichrist’s kingdom? (It will.) This is a grave danger! Do evil people and antichrists have any other techniques for attacking and excluding those who pursue the truth? Don’t some send brothers and sisters who pursue the truth off to work in the most dangerous places, in order to grab power and consolidate their own status? They say, “There’s a newly established church with a lot of brothers and sisters who are new to the faith. They have no foundation and they’re short on wisdom. They need someone who understands the truth to water them and provide for them. You understand the truth of visions; those newcomers need someone like you to go water them. No one else is up to it.” And with that, the antichrist sends away a serious hidden threat. Are they in fact truly doing this to have the person lead that church and provide for it? (No.) No; they’re doing it because that place is a hostile, dangerous environment. They put that person somewhere dangerous to do church work, in eager anticipation that they’ll be snatched away by the great red dragon. If that person gets caught, there’ll be no one left to threaten the antichrist’s status, and they can take control of the church. Isn’t this a tactic of theirs? They send that person away on the pretext that they’re well suited to watering newcomers, and thus, no one can see their own nefarious intentions. Isn’t that clever of them? And the brothers and sisters think that the antichrist is smart and wise for making such arrangements, that they’re a person after God’s will, but it turns out that the antichrist was deceiving and blinkering them. This technique of the antichrist seems quite aboveboard; no one can clearly see what’s really going on, and everyone winds up bewildered. Those bewildered people think that what the antichrist is doing is fair and reasonable, that they’re doing it out of concern for the work—but no one can see through to their intent. Antichrists are wicked, aren’t they? Wherever there’s danger, that’s where they make you go, saying to themselves, “Don’t you pursue the truth? And don’t you go up against me? Aren’t you always discerning me and grabbing onto things to use against me? Fine, then: I’ll use this opportunity to whisk you right out of here. It’d be for the best if you got caught—you’ll never get back on your feet again!” It’s certain that most of the people whom antichrists entrap and persecute in the church are those with more of a pursuit. How do antichrists regard these people as they’re being persecuted and excluded? They say to themselves, “These people are always listening to sermons; they understand some truths. I can’t just not let them listen: Sermons go out for everyone to hear, so there’s no way to justify not letting them listen. But say that I do allow them to listen, since a lot of what’s said in those sermons exposes false leaders and antichrists, will it work out well for me if they hear enough, and gain understanding and discernment? I’d end up having to step down from my position as leader sooner or later, wouldn’t I? That won’t do. I’ve got to make the first move.” Once an antichrist has such an intent, they get down to action. Not a handful of people would be able to identify an antichrist if they didn’t understand the truth. Why is it that antichrists can get away with it, while people who pursue the truth are made victims? There’s one reason that’s certainly present: Those people may have some love for the truth and for positive things at heart, and they may have some aspiration to pursue the truth, but they’re just too cowardly. They don’t understand the truth, lack discernment, and are so foolish; they can’t see through to an antichrist’s essence, and they can never bring themselves to expose the antichrist, which lets the antichrist make the first move and do them harm with it. If that’s the result they get or that’s what they come to, how will that have happened? Won’t they have been savaged by the antichrist? (They will.) What lesson should people who pursue the truth take from this? What is the attitude that people should have in terms of how to treat a leader or worker? If what a leader or worker does is right and in line with the truth, then you can obey them; if what they do is wrong and not in line with the truth, then you should not obey them and you can expose them, oppose them and raise a different opinion. If they are unable to do practical work or do evil deeds that cause a disturbance to church work, and are revealed to be a false leader, a false worker, or an antichrist, then you can discern, expose and report them. However, some of God’s chosen people do not understand the truth and are particularly cowardly; they fear being suppressed and tormented by false leaders and antichrists, so they don’t dare uphold principles. They say, “If the leader kicks me out, I’m finished; if he has everyone expose or forsake me, then I will no longer be able to believe in God. If I’m expelled from the church, then God will not want me and will not save me. And won’t my faith have been for nothing?” Is such thinking not ridiculous? Do such people have true faith in God? Would a false leader or antichrist be representing God when they expel you? When a false leader or antichrist torments and expels you, this is the work of Satan, and has nothing to do with God; when people are cleared out or expelled from the church, this is only in line with God’s will when there is a joint decision between the church and all of God’s chosen people, and when the clearing out or expulsion is wholly in line with the work arrangements of God’s house and the truth principles of God’s words. How could being expelled by a false leader or antichrist mean you cannot be saved? This is the persecution of Satan and the antichrist, and does not mean that you will not be saved by God. Whether or not you can be saved depends on God. No human being is qualified to decide whether you can be saved by God. You must be clear about this. And to treat your expulsion by a false leader or antichrist as being expelled by God—is this not misinterpreting God? It is. And this is not only misinterpreting God, but also disobeying God. It is also kind of blasphemous against God. And is misinterpreting God in this way not ignorant and foolish? When a false leader or antichrist expels you, why do you not seek the truth? Why don’t you seek out somebody who understands the truth in order to gain some discernment? And why do you not report this to the higher-ups? This proves that you do not believe that the truth reigns supreme in the house of God, it shows that you do not have true faith in God, that you are not someone who truly believes in God. If you trust in the almightiness of God, why do you fear the retaliation of a false leader or antichrist? Can they determine your fate? If you are capable of discernment, and detect that their actions are at odds with the truth, why not fellowship with God’s chosen people who understand the truth? You have a mouth, so why do you dare not speak up? Why are you so afraid of a false leader or antichrist? This proves that you are a coward, a good-for-nothing, a lackey of Satan. If, when threatened by a false leader or antichrist, you dare not report them to the higher-ups, this shows that you have already been bound by Satan and that you are of one heart with them; is this not following Satan? How could someone like this be one of God’s chosen people? They are scum, pure and simple. All who are of one heart with false leaders and antichrists could never be anything good; they are evildoers. Such people are born to be the devil’s minions—they’re Satan’s lackeys, and they’re beyond redemption. All who dare not expose antichrists when they see them committing evil, who are afraid of offending the antichrists, who even shield and obey them—are they not foolish, ignorant people? If you are fully aware of the truth principles and yet still violate them, and even form alliances and cliques with evil people and antichrists, are you not acting as an accomplice and minion of Satan? So do you not deserve it when you are ultimately handled as an evil person and an accomplice of antichrists? If you believe in God, but instead of following God, you follow the antichrists, acting as one of their minions or accomplices, then are you not digging your own grave, signing your own death warrant? If you believe in God, but instead of obeying God, you submit to and take shelter in God’s enemies—the antichrists—and the result is that you are manipulated and abused by these antichrists, then you have brought this upon yourself. Do you not deserve it? If you treat the antichrist as your master, as your leader, as a shoulder to lean on, then you are taking refuge in Satan, you are following Satan, which means you have gone astray, and taken the wrong path, and set foot upon the road of no return. What attitude should you have toward antichrists? You should expose them, and do battle with them. If there’s only one or two of you and you’re too weak to face the antichrists alone, you should join forces with several people who understand the truth to report and expose these antichrists, and should keep going until they are cleared out. I have heard that in the past two years, God’s chosen people in some pastoral areas in mainland China united to remove false leaders and antichrists from office; some false leaders and antichrists were even the head of decision-making groups, and yet they were removed by God’s chosen people just the same. God’s chosen people didn’t have to wait for approval from the Above; based on the truth principles, they were able to identify these false leaders and antichrists—who did not do real work, and were always tormenting the brothers and sisters, who were acting wildly and disturbing the work of God’s house—and promptly dealt with them. Some were pushed out of decision-making groups, some were cleared out of the church—which is great! This shows that God’s chosen people have already set foot on the right track of belief in God. Some of God’s chosen people have already understood the truth and are now possessed of a little stature, they are no longer controlled and fooled by Satan, they dare to stand up and do battle with the evil forces of Satan. This also shows that the forces of false leaders and antichrists in the church no longer have the upper hand, and so no longer dare to be so flagrant in their words and actions. As soon as they give their game away, someone will be there to oversee them, discern them, and reject them. That is to say that in the hearts of those who genuinely understand the truth, man’s status, reputation, and power don’t have dominant status. Such people don’t put stock in those things. When someone can proactively seek the truth and fellowship on it, and when they begin to reassess and reflect on the path people who believe in God should walk and how they should treat leaders and workers, and they begin to ponder who it is that people should follow, which behaviors are those of following man and which are those of following God, and then, having groped around for these truths and experienced them over several years, when they have come, without knowing it, to understand some truths and to be discerning—they will then have gained a bit of stature. To be able to seek the truth in all things is to have entered the correct track of belief in God.
It’s a good thing, a good occurrence, for God’s chosen people to be able to discern and reject false leaders and antichrists. Some leaders can’t do practical work; all they do is cause disruption and disturbances, such that there’s no tranquility to the life of the church. All the brothers and sisters find them disagreeable, and in the end, they reject them. Is this right of them to do? (It is.) There are others who are chosen as leaders, and at first, the brothers and sisters say, “That’s who we chose, so we need to cooperate with them in their work.” After a while, they turn out to have been the wrong choice: They’re enthusiastic in their belief in God, but they don’t have spiritual understanding. They’re prone to distortions, and are arrogant and self-righteous; they don’t discuss matters with others, and they do nothing according to the principles, but just act recklessly. This leads to security breaches; the church’s brothers and sisters are constantly getting arrested, and the work of the church suffers heavy losses. Not only does the leader not reflect on themselves, but justify themselves, argue in their defense, and deflect responsibility. In the end, the group recalls them from their post. Do you think they handled that situation in the right way? (Yes.) Yes, indeed! And immediately after taking care of that person, they elect someone else, and it’s evident to everyone after a while that this person is much better than that false leader, proving that the group has discernment and has grown. This is the process by which God’s chosen people grow in life. It’s quite normal. Did you think that when people listen to so many years of sermons, they all grow discerning, and make the right choice for every leader and worker—that whomever they choose, that’s who will hold the post? Is that how it goes? (No.) When people don’t understand the truth principles, their focus in choosing a leader is always on picking someone with a nimble mind, someone who’s a good talker, someone gifted. It’s not until that person is shown to be a false leader or antichrist after a time in their post that people begin to develop discernment; after that, they won’t choose such a person again. Who exactly is to be chosen, then, when choosing leaders and workers? There are no set rules. It depends most on whether someone’s a right person and whether they pursue the truth. That said, if someone’s an evil person or antichrist, you must not choose them, whatever sort of person they are. If you do, you’ll be digging a pit for yourself. Isn’t that so? (It is.)
Getting back to the topic we were just on, that of antichrists’ attacking and excluding those who pursue the truth: We’ve basically said what there is to say on that, haven’t we? How do antichrists exclude and attack those who pursue the truth? They often use methods that others see as reasonable and proper, even using debates about the truth to gain leverage, in order to attack, condemn, and deceive other people. For example, an antichrist thinks that if their partners are people who pursue the truth, they can threaten their status, and thus the antichrist will talk about lofty doctrines and spiritual theories to deceive people and make people think highly of them. That way they can belittle and suppress their partners and co-workers, and make people feel that although the partners of their leader are people who pursue the truth, they are not their leader’s equal in terms of caliber and ability. Some people even say, “Our leader’s sermons are lofty, and no one can compare.” For an antichrist, hearing that kind of comment is extremely satisfying. They think to themselves, “You’re my partner, don’t you have some truth realities? Why can’t you speak with the eloquence and elevation that I do? You are thoroughly humiliated now. You lack the ability, yet you dare contend with me!” That is what the antichrist is thinking. What is the antichrist’s goal? They’re trying every means possible to suppress, belittle, and put themselves above other people. This is how an antichrist treats everyone who pursues the truth or works with them. Whatever an antichrist does, it’s centered on their own power and status, and meant to win them the esteem and adoration of others. They don’t let anyone surpass them; anyone better than them is bound for their belittlement, exclusion, and suppression. Antichrists have motives and goals behind all of the means they use against those who pursue the truth. Rather than seeking to safeguard the work of God’s house, their purpose is to safeguard their own power and status, as well as their position and image in the hearts of God’s chosen people. Their methods and behaviors are disruptions and disturbances to the work of God’s house, and they also have a destructive effect on church life. Is this not the most common manifestation of an antichrist’s evil deeds? In addition to these evil deeds, antichrists do something even more despicable, which is that they always try to figure out how to gain leverage over those who pursue the truth. For example, if some people have fornicated or committed some other transgression, antichrists seize on these as leverage to attack them, look for opportunities to insult, expose, and slander them, label them to discourage their enthusiasm for performing their duties so that they feel negative. Antichrists also cause God’s chosen people to discriminate against them, shun them, and reject them, so that those who pursue the truth are isolated. In the end, when all those who pursue the truth feel negative and weak, no longer actively perform their duties, and are unwilling to attend gatherings, the goal of antichrists is achieved. Since those who pursue the truth no longer pose a threat to their status and power, and no one dares to report or expose them anymore, antichrists can feel at ease. Those whom an antichrist hates most in the church are people who pursue the truth, especially those with a sense of justice who would dare expose and report a false leader and antichrist. An antichrist views such people as needles in their eyes, as thorns in their side. If they happen to see someone who pursues the truth and willingly performs their duty, spitefulness and enmity arise in their heart, without the least measure of love. An antichrist won’t just not help or support people who pursue the truth, regardless of their difficulties or of how weak and negative they may be—they won’t just brush it aside. Instead, they’ll secretly be happy about it. And if someone had made accusations against them or exposed them, they’ll take the opportunity to kick them when they’re down, charging them with all manner of offenses to teach them a lesson, to condemn them, to leave them with no way forward, and ultimately, to make them so negative that they can’t perform their duty. The antichrist gets proud of themselves then and begins to exult in that person’s misfortune. This sort of thing is what antichrists are best at; excluding, attacking, and condemning those who pursue the truth is their greatest expertise. What do antichrists think that makes them capable of such evil? “If those who pursue the truth often listen to sermons, they may see through my actions one day, and then they will definitely expose me and replace me. While they perform their duties, my status, prestige, and reputation are under threat. It’s better to strike first, find opportunities to seize on leverage to disturb and condemn them, and make them negative, so that they lose any desire to perform their duties. I will also provoke conflicts between the leaders and workers and those who pursue the truth, so that the leaders and workers hate them, distance themselves from them, and no longer value or promote them. That way, they will no longer have any desire to pursue the truth or perform their duties. It’s best if those who pursue the truth remain negative.” This is the goal that antichrists wish to achieve. When an antichrist or evil person entraps you, condemns you, and humiliates you with their trickery, can you discern what’s happening? Can you see through Satan’s tricks? You must learn to be discerning: “What they said sounded quite right, but why did I come away from it feeling negative? Why don’t I want to perform my duty anymore? Why do I have misgivings about God? Was there a problem with what they said? Why did it have a negative effect? Why did I come away from it with misunderstandings and notions about God, and not wishing to submit anymore? Why don’t I have my prior enthusiasm and resolution to expend myself for God anymore? And I have some misgivings about God’s work, all of a sudden—I feel like my visions aren’t clear. I don’t know what performing my duty like this is for, and I feel like I have nothing to show for the several years I’ve believed in God and the hardships I’ve been through. There’s some darkness in my heart now.” That’s a bit abnormal. Why should hearing words that seem right on the surface lead to such consequences? Don’t you feel there’s something wrong with the words? What sort of words are they, then, that cause such reactions in you when you hear them? What sort of words leave you distrustful of God when you hear them? First of all, one thing’s for sure: All the words of antichrists are beguiling; like the serpent, they all seduce people to sin, and to distance themselves from God and reject Him. Not one word of theirs provides for people or helps them. Where do their words come from? From Satan the devil. Are you discerning when it comes to the words antichrists use to attack and condemn those who pursue the truth? The only thing antichrists fear is people pursuing the truth. They’re fearful of people submitting to God, of people rising up to follow God and to take up the duty of created beings; they’re afraid of people coming before God and seeking the truth. This is what they fear the most. This is because once God’s chosen people set foot on the path of pursuing the truth, their growth in life quickens, and as it does, they grow greater and greater in stature—and when the truth reigns in people’s hearts and becomes their life, that will be the antichrists’ last day: They’ll be faced then with the condemnation, the revelation and casting out, and the utter abandonment. That’s why what antichrists hate most is those who pursue the truth. In the eyes of an antichrist, those who pursue the truth are hated enemies, targets for their attacks and coercion, as well as for their hatred and abandonment, for their harm and abuse, and even more for their beguilement. Antichrists have no way to beguile, control, or ensnare the hearts of those who pursue the truth, and they can’t openly exclude and attack them at random, so all that’s left to them is to say correct and pleasing things, using soft tactics to drag people down to their level. And if those people don’t accompany them and can’t be of use to them, they’ll use all sorts of vile tactics to exclude them, to make them negative and weak, and even to make them no longer willing to perform their duty—and in the end, to leave God. This is one of the primary evil deeds of antichrists, and it’s another distinguishing feature of their nature essence. What feature of their nature is that? Their insidiousness, their cunning, their maliciousness. In order to attain their ambition and goal of reigning in the church, antichrists constantly resort to beguiling, excluding, and attacking those who pursue the truth. They do this to attain their unspeakable goal, leaving everyone who pursues the truth negative and weak, tepid in their faith, with misunderstandings of God aroused in them. For once misunderstandings of God and resentment of Him arise in these people, they won’t pursue the truth anymore, nor will they willingly perform their duty—and so, they’ll distance themselves from God. And what does that mean for an antichrist? First off, it means that no one will threaten their position; second, once these positive figures are passive and weak and distance themselves from God, the antichrist can let loose in the church with their beguilement and constraint of people, and control God’s chosen people, to the point that they follow them, support them, and bow in subservience to them. Thus, the antichrist’s goal is achieved. In doing this, are antichrists performing their duty? (No.) What, then, is the character of everything they do? (They’re doing evil.) “Doing evil” is a somewhat broad way of putting it; specifically, they’re disturbing and hindering people, keeping them from walking the path of pursuing the truth and being saved by God. When an antichrist sees someone pursuing the truth, they see red; they hate them. How far does that hatred go? When they see someone pursuing the truth and following Christ, not following or worshiping them and not on the same path as them, they’ll attack, exclude, and suppress that person, with an itch to make that person disappear. That’s how far their hatred goes. In summary, based on these manifestations of antichrists, we may determine that they are not performing the duty of leadership, because they are not leading people in eating and drinking God’s words or fellowshiping about the truth, and they are not watering or sustaining people, allowing them to obtain the truth. Instead, they disrupt and disturb church life, dismantle and destroy the work of the church, and impede people on the path of pursuing the truth and obtaining salvation. They want to lead God’s chosen people astray and cause them to lose the chance to be granted salvation. This is the ultimate goal that antichrists want to achieve by disrupting and disturbing the work of the church.
How should God’s chosen people treat antichrists? They must discern them, expose them, report them, and spurn them. Only then can following God to the very end and entering onto the right track of faith in God be assured. Antichrists are not your leaders, no matter how they beguiled their way into leadership. Don’t acknowledge them, and don’t accept their leadership—you must discern them and spurn them, because they can’t help you understand the truth, nor can they support you or provide for you. These are the facts. If they cannot lead you into the truth reality, they are not fit to be leaders or workers. If they cannot lead you to understanding the truth and experiencing the work of God, they are those who oppose God, and you should discern them, expose them, and spurn them. Everything they do is in order to dupe you into following them, and to make you join their group to undermine and disturb the work of the church, to rope you into taking the path of antichrists, as they do. They want to drag you to hell! If you cannot tell them for what they are, and believe that since they are your leaders, you should submit to them, and make concessions to them, then you are someone who betrays both the truth and God—and such people cannot be saved. If you wish to be saved, not only must you surpass the hurdle of the great red dragon, and not only must you be able to discern the great red dragon, to see through to its hideous countenance and forsake it utterly—there is also the hurdle of the antichrists for you to surpass. In the church, an antichrist is not only the enemy of God, but also the enemy of God’s chosen people. If you cannot discern an antichrist, you are liable to be deceived and won over, walk the antichrist’s path, and be cursed and punished by God. If that happens, your faith in God has completely failed. What must people possess to be granted salvation? First, they must understand many truths, and be able to discern the essence, disposition, and path of an antichrist. This is the only way to ensure not worshiping or following people while believing in God, and the only way to follow God to the very end. Only people who are able to discern an antichrist can truly believe in, follow, and bear witness for God. Some will then say, “What do I do if I don’t currently have the truth for that?” You must equip yourself with the truth with all haste; you must learn to see into people and things. Discerning an antichrist is no simple matter, and requires the ability to clearly see their essence, and see through the plots, tricks, intentions and goals behind everything they do. That way you will not be deceived or controlled by them, and you can stand firm, safely and securely pursue the truth, and be steadfast on the path of pursuing the truth and attaining salvation. If you cannot surpass the hurdle of the antichrists, then it can be said that you are in great danger, and you are liable to be deceived and captured by an antichrist and come to live under Satan’s influence. It is possible that there are some among you who hinder and trip people who pursue the truth, and they are those people’s enemies. Do you accept this? There are some who do not dare to face this fact, nor do they dare to accept it as fact. But the deception of antichrists really does happen in the churches, and happens often; it is just that people cannot discern it. If you cannot pass this test—the test of antichrists, then you are either deceived and controlled by antichrists or made to suffer, tortured, pushed out, suppressed, and abused by them. Ultimately, your measly little life will not withstand for long, and will wither; you will no longer have faith in God, and you will say, “God isn’t even righteous! Where is God? There is no righteousness or light in this world, and there’s no such thing as God’s salvation of humanity. We might as well pass our days going to work and making money!” You deny God, you stray from God, and no longer believe that He exists; any hope that you will obtain salvation is entirely gone. So, if you want to get to where you can be granted salvation, the first test you must pass is one of being able to perceive and see through Satan, and you must also have the courage to stand up and expose and forsake Satan. Where, then, is Satan? Satan is at your side and all around you; it might even be living inside your heart. If you are living within Satan’s disposition, it can be said that you belong to Satan. You cannot see or touch the Satan and evil spirits of the spiritual world, but the Satan and living devils that exist in real life are everywhere. Any person who is sick of the truth is evil, and any leader or worker who does not accept the truth is an antichrist or false leader. Are such people not Satans and living devils? These people might be the very ones you worship and look up to; they could be the people who lead you or the people you have long admired, trusted, relied upon, and hoped for in your heart. In fact, however, they are roadblocks standing in your way and hindering you from pursuing the truth and obtaining salvation; they are false leaders and antichrists. They can take control of your life and the path you walk, and they can ruin your chance to be granted salvation. If you fail to discern them and see through them, then at any moment, you could be deceived and captured. Thus, you are in great danger. If you cannot extricate yourself from this danger, you are Satan’s sacrificial victim. Anyway, people who are deceived and controlled, and become the followers of an antichrist can never, ever attain salvation. Because they do not love or pursue the truth, it is an inevitable result that they are deceived and follow an antichrist.
Some people think they are someone who pursues the truth and say they are able to discern antichrists. They are overestimating themselves, are they not? If you encounter an obvious antichrist, one that bears their fangs, has poor humanity and has committed some evil deeds, you are naturally able to recognize them. But if you encounter an antichrist who seems pious, who is very soft-spoken, and seems like a nice person—an antichrist that conforms to people’s notions—are you still bold enough to claim that you can tell them for what they really are? Do you dare to label them as an antichrist? If you are incapable of discerning them, you are bound to admire them and to be well-disposed toward them, in which case their behavior, their opinions and views, their actions—even their understanding of the truth—will be sure to influence you. To what extent will these things influence you? You will envy the antichrist, imitate them, emulate them, follow them, which will affect your life entry; it will affect your pursuit of the truth and entry into reality, it will affect your attitude toward God, and it will affect whether or not you truly obey God and follow God to the very end. Ultimately the antichrist will become your idol, they will have a place in your heart, and you won’t be able to escape them. When you have been duped to this extent, you have only a very slender hope of being saved, because your relationship with God has been shattered, you have lost the normal relationship with God, and are on the verge of danger. And is this a disaster or a blessing for you? Of course it is a disaster; it is absolutely not a blessing. Although, in small matters, some antichrists are able to help you, and to be of benefit to you, or else are able to preach words and doctrines to enlighten you, once you have been duped by them, worship them, and follow them, you’re in trouble. You’ll have brought ruin on yourself, and lost your chance at salvation. Some people say, “They are not Satan or an evil person, they seem like someone spiritual, someone who pursues the truth.” Do these words hold true? (No.) Why not? With anyone who genuinely pursues the truth, the guidance, help, and provision they give you, or their influence on you or benefit to you, brings you before God so that you may seek His words and the truth, and you come before God and learn to rely on Him and seek Him, and your relationship with Him grows closer and closer. Conversely, what will come of it if your relationship with an antichrist grows closer and closer, until you’re at their beck and call? You’ll stray off onto the wrong path and bring ruin on yourself. When you have a close relationship with an antichrist, your relationship with God becomes distant. And what is the consequence of this? They will lead you before them, and you will distance yourself from God. If you have an idol in your heart, once you start having notions about the words and work of God, or when God’s words expose your idol, you will immediately rebel against God, and might even oppose and betray God; you will stand on the side of your idol and oppose God. This often happens. When some false leaders and antichrists are replaced or expelled, their accomplices and minions start sticking up for them and complaining; some even become negative and stop believing in God. This is common, is it not? And why is it that they stop believing? They say, “Our leader has been replaced and expelled, so what hope do I, an ordinary believer, have?” Isn’t this nonsense? Their words indicate that they follow the antichrist, that they have been completely duped by the antichrist. And what is the consequence of them being duped? The antichrist has become the idol that they worship; the antichrist has become like their ancestor: How could they not leave, as their ancestor was expelled? They only listen to the antichrist, and they are under the complete control of the antichrist. They think that everything the antichrist says and does is correct, and should be accepted and obeyed as truth, and so they do not tolerate anyone in the house of God exposing and condemning the antichrist. Once the antichrist is expelled by the house of God, those who follow the antichrist take it upon themselves to leave the church; “The tree falls and the monkeys scatter,” as it were. Such things demonstrate that antichrists and their followers are the servants of Satan, who have come to disrupt and disturb God’s work. Once they are uncovered, exposed, and spurned by God’s chosen people, their faith in God comes to an end. Followers of antichrists all have one clearly discernible feature: No one’s words get through to them; they heed only antichrists. And once they are duped by antichrists, they stop listening to the words of God, and they only recognize the antichrist as their lord. In this, have they not been duped, are they not being controlled? Only the followers of antichrists would try to stick up for the antichrists. When the antichrists are exposed and laid bare, the people who follow them grow anxious for them, they shed tears for them, they complain on their behalf and try to defend them. At such times they have forgotten God, and no longer pray to God or seek the truth; all they do is defend the antichrists and rack their brains for them; they don’t even recognize God anymore. Do they truly believe in God? Who do they actually believe in? This is already patently clear. No matter what they say or do, antichrists only have one aim: It is to lead people, to be their lord, and they want everyone to slavishly follow and obey them, and to ultimately treat them like God. How is this any different from the path walked by Paul? When the work of Paul reached its finality, he spoke the words in his heart; Paul said that to him to live was Christ, and his aim in saying this was to make all who believed in the Lord emulate him, follow him, and treat him like God. This was Paul’s aim in saying these words, was it not? And if the work of the antichrists really reaches the point where people worship and obey them, God will no longer have a place in these people’s hearts; their hearts will already have been taken over by the antichrists. This is the consequence. You say you are not worried about being duped by an antichrist, that you have no fear of following an antichrist, but there is no use in claiming this. This is a muddled remark. This is because if you do not pursue the truth and always worship and follow people, then without realizing it, you will take the path of antichrists. Believing in God for several years but being devoid of experiential testimony, and not only not having gained the truth and life, but having become someone who opposes God: this is the ultimate consequence of following antichrists, and it is one you cannot rid yourself of, it is an unalterable fact. It’s just as when someone touches an electric current: They’re sure to get shocked. Some may say, “I don’t believe that; I’m not afraid”—but is it a matter of whether you believe it or whether you’re afraid? Touch a current, and zap! You’ll get shocked. It won’t help not to believe it. Not to believe it is ignorance; it’s an irresponsible thing to say. Therefore, whether you’re willing to follow an antichrist or not, if you don’t pursue the truth, and your exertions are always aimed at reputation and status, you’ve already set off on the antichrists’ path. This consequence will show itself bit by bit, like flotsam rising to the surface. This is inevitable. What the antichrists do is to lead people before them, they make them accept their control and manipulation, rather than accept the orchestrations and arrangements of God, or submit to the sovereignty of God. Antichrists want to win people over, they want to gain them, their aim is to control all of God’s chosen people, to control God’s chosen people in their hands; they are traffickers. And what do antichrists use to achieve their aim of controlling people? They use the spiritual doctrine that people worship, they use specious theories, they take advantage of people’s corrupt mentality of worshiping theory to blather and embellish, to dupe people. In short, everything they say is but words and doctrines, empty theory, things that are specious and in contravention of the truth. If people do not understand the truth, they are taken in; at the very least, they are duped for a time before coming to their senses. When they do come to their senses is when the antichrists are unmasked, at which time they feel the utmost regret. People who follow antichrists have long since lost the work of the Holy Spirit; this is because they worship idols in their hearts, follow people, and they are spurned by God, and He has put them to one side to reveal them. So, it is extremely dangerous to follow antichrists; like antichrists, people who follow antichrists are most despised by God. And what is God’s aim in putting these people to one side? It is to wait for God’s chosen people to come to their senses, to be able to discern and expose the antichrists, and to thoroughly reject these antichrists, at which time the antichrists’ final days will have arrived. Is everything the antichrists do not harmful to people? They do not pursue the truth and try to dupe and control God’s chosen people, they do not let people pursue the truth, they do not obey the work of God, and try to dupe God’s chosen people into following them—all of which shows that the antichrists do not have a heart that fears and obeys God whatsoever nor any love of the truth. Instead, they think of any way they can to wangle status and power for themselves to oppose God and vie with God for His chosen people, ultimately creating their own kingdom in opposition to God—which all shows that antichrists are the mortal enemies of God become flesh, and the very objects of God’s destruction. Nothing is more dangerous in people’s faith in God than when they are duped and controlled by antichrists. If people have already begun to follow antichrists, if they are already wholly on the side of the antichrists, then they are people who have betrayed God and are in opposition to God, in which case their end goes without saying.
That is more or less what there is to fellowship about how antichrists exclude and attack people who pursue the truth. Their purpose and intent in excluding and attacking people who pursue the truth, and the attitude, methods, and techniques with which they treat people who pursue the truth, as well as the courses of action toward antichrists that people who pursue the truth should have—we have fellowshiped a bit on each of these, though not yet exhaustively. Future fellowship may yet touch on the truth in these areas as befits specific circumstances and specific cases. When fellowshiping such specific subject matter, what attitude must hearers of the sermon possess? They must focus, quiet themselves before God, and not become distracted, because every aspect of the truth has specific statements and definitions, and each has specific content and principles of practice. What’s more, we’ll speak from various angles and in various ways on conceptual things that involve the truth within each content area, as well as the truths people should understand and the path they should practice on. All of this needs to be fellowshiped about and mulled over to the point of clarity before it will yield results. We’ll see, through our present detailed fellowship, that the truth principles involved in performing one’s duty aren’t as simple as people think. Understanding the truth presents real difficulty to those without the comprehension ability. Understanding the truth, like attending university, entails some degree of difficulty, but one won’t feel it’s difficult if they have the comprehension ability. So long as one can understand the truth after hearing it, they’ll naturally have a path to practice it on, and the more they train at practicing the truth, the wider their path will be in practicing it, and they’ll have a more precise grasp of the principles. On the other hand, if you do not listen to such detailed fellowship and only understand generalized and conceptual things, you will have your hands tied when it comes to practice. When you seek the truth principles, it will seem every way you turn is wrong, and you will feel unable to grasp them accurately, no matter what you do. But now, with such concrete definitions and specifications, when the scope has been narrowed and the truth made particular, you will be much freer when you begin again to practice the truth, because it is detailed. For instance, say I asked you to buy a notebook. If I only gave you such basic requirements as its size, thickness, and price, it might require some effort for you to grasp these principles and put them into practice. But if I told you things like the notebook’s specific color, size, number of pages, specific formatting, and the paper quality—then, having been told such details, would the principles you grasp not be more concrete? And if I were more specific still, giving you a sheet of paper and asking you to purchase a notebook whose paper is of identical quality, thickness, color, and grid size and quantity, or if I gave specifications on the tolerances for each feature, when you go to purchase it, would the range of choices not shrink? (It would.) Would the relevant principles not become more concrete and grow simpler for you when you practice? Would this help or hinder you when it comes to your practice? (It should be helpful.) It should, in fact, be helpful, because various aspects of the truth have been said more concretely and in greater detail, down to the specifics of how to treat particular matters, specific manifestations, and the specifics of how to practice—all of these have been told comprehensively to you. If you still cannot put it into practice, then you have no ability whatsoever to comprehend the truth.
Whether you now have the ability to comprehend the truth is pivotal to whether you’re able to gain the truth and be made perfect. Now, I have come so far as to divide the truths related to the adequate performance of duty into six types, according to the personnel who perform each duty; each of those types is further divided into specific categories, and within each category are subsections of detailed fellowship. In your instance, does this sort of preaching and the fellowship of such truths lead you to a better understanding of the truth and give you more principles by which to practice, or does it make it harder to find the principles? (We have more principles because of it.) It should lead you to a greater understanding, and that being so, My detailed sermon should be helpful to you. It should give you greater clarity, not greater confusion. It comes down to whether someone is possessed of the ability to comprehend the truth. If someone is truly a person of good caliber who understands spiritual matters, they’ll feel increasingly lucid; if someone’s of poor caliber and lacks spiritual understanding, they’ll be less able to understand it, and they’ll just get more and more confused. Some may say, “I used to feel that I understood a bit, but now, the more I hear, the more confused I get, as if there were nothing inside me anymore. What’s happening with that?” If talk about life entry goes into too much detail, it’s hard for people to understand it if they lack experience and are of poor caliber. The more detailed the talk, the more liable people of poor caliber are to get bogged down. Why are they liable to get bogged down? There are several conditions in this. One is that such people lack spiritual understanding. They don’t understand the truth—that is, they don’t understand what the truth or what a particular state is. They don’t understand these things. This condition is that of lacking the ability to comprehend the truth. With such people, there’s only one, final measure to be taken: telling them specifically what they should do when things befall them, just like programming a robot to execute orders as required. It’s enough just to have them uphold the rules. This method can produce results in such people; there’s no other way with them. I’m using this final measure now, speaking in the greatest detail, down to the most concrete things—working down to the most concrete things. Some people say they still don’t understand, so I’ll go ahead and tell them specifically how to treat and handle whatever comes their way. I’m having them uphold rules; this is all I can do, because they don’t have the ability to comprehend the truth. Not everyone’s state is exactly the same, but the differences are slight. If you’d have Me speak specifically and clearly with you about each of them, one by one, I’d be hard-pressed to get to them all, as there are too many of you whose caliber is poor. We’ll need those of you with spiritual understanding and who are able to comprehend the truth to do that part of the work. My work is already quite taken care of. That’s all that can be mustered; I’ve done all I can. All the work done and all the words spoken by God in the flesh are understandable and accessible to an ordinary person. That’s the extent of what can be done with people who have the thinking and reactions of normal humanity. Some ask, “Won’t God perform miracles?” God doesn’t perform miracles; all these things need to be done in a real, practical way. It’s just as with God’s work in three stages: beginning with His promulgation of the laws to mankind to lead them in their lives, then to the crucifixion and doing the work of redemption, and from there to the last days, in which God’s incarnation expresses all the truths that save mankind—each stage is done in a real, practical way, speaking and working, face to face with man. There are no miracles in it. The greatest miracle is that God Himself speaks and works personally, and that whatever methods He employs, He will ultimately make one group of people complete and gain them. This will assuredly be accomplished; it’s just a matter of time. This is the greatest of signs and wonders, and God will make use of no other supernatural method to work the truth into man’s heart. Now that these truths have been fellowshiped in such detail, if you have the comprehension ability and really are someone who pursues the truth, then, if you truly pay heed and put in a bit of effort, it will be impossible for you not to understand the truth or the principles of practice. There are some who say they love the truth, but after hearing sermons for so many years, why do they still not understand it? There are two possibilities. One is that they lack any spiritual understanding at all, and are incapable of comprehending the truth; the other is that they don’t actually love the truth, and have never made an effort in pursuing it. These are two possible reasons. Some other people say they don’t understand the truth because they haven’t believed in God for long, and haven’t heard many sermons, and don’t have much experience. This is yet another reason. However, if you are a person who really loves the truth, then, as the years of your belief in God accrue, the greater your understanding of the truth will grow, and the more you will grow in spiritual stature.
In fellowshiping any aspect of the truth, it takes more than just a few words to lay it out fully, in a way that can resolve problems. To the people of today, generalities are just doctrine, just theory. So, how can I make people understand and make them able, once they have accepted something, to turn it into principles of their practice? I must speak more specifically and in greater detail. No matter if I am telling a story or fellowshiping the truth, or speaking of practice, they must, on the whole, be more detailed and specific. Specific speech is of benefit to you. So, I must always rack My brain to come up with stories and examples for you, so that you will understand a bit more. I reify all these truths in incident after incident, and I combine the truths I fellowship with every incident I relate, so that you have an image in your mind against which to compare yourself to see whether you have ever acted in such a way, or will act like such a person, or have ever thought in such a way, or have ever been trapped in such a state. As you listen to these truths, I make it so that you continuously have an imagistic sense of them, as if you were immersed in them. This is the reason I tell stories and give examples. There are some who grow impatient as soon as they hear a story begin. “Another story? What am I, a three-year-old?” You may not be few in years, but on the path of believing in God and pursuing the truth, you may even be younger than three—that is the fact of the matter. So, to treat you as not-three-year-old children is not an insult to you, and it is not excessive at all; as I see it, it is overestimating you. Once a three-year-old hears an adult say that scissors are sharp and are not to be touched, they will remember this as a principle. They will not touch them and will not even touch tools or blades that resemble them. They know that all of them are sharp; they know they have to master this principle. Can people, then, find principles in something they have successively experienced several times in their practice? That is, can you understand the will behind God’s acts, His requirements of you, and what His required standards are in a matter? Going by a normal person’s intelligence, you should be able to understand these things. Then what are the circumstances in which people do not understand them, no matter what I say? The main reason this happens is, firstly, related to the clamorous environment in which people live, with so many trivial and burdensome things to handle that people are not inclined to carefully pray-read God’s word; they do not direct any effort toward the truth. This is one aspect of the reason; the other side is that people’s thirst for and love of the truth is so slight that, if ten were a perfect score, the present extent of your love of the truth would rate at a three or a five, at most. So, the greater part of the reason that people do not understand the truth and have not gained it in the end is that they have not applied themselves, and also that they do not put their hearts into it, and in their hearts, they do not love the truth that much at all. People’s love of the truth is insufficient in its degree. It’s merely a bit of interest; it doesn’t rise to love. It’s only because people have suffered so many setbacks and afflictions in the world that they couldn’t go on living, and because they have seen God at work saving people and fellowshiping the truth each day, and the abundance of everything He furnishes man with, that they feel it’s God who is good, and become willing to read His words and strive toward the truth. That’s the bit of interest they have. What do people’s hearts spend more of their time on? They’re all entangled in many trifling matters, occupied by all sorts of issues of emotional relations, interpersonal relations, status and vanity, and the trends of society. There are even some people who apply more of their time and energy to their food, clothing, costume, and fleshly enjoyments. They waste the truly precious days on these things, and they glorify it: “I’m expending for God!” Ultimately, at the end, they look back and see that God has said so many words and worked for so long, yet they haven’t gained the truth. This isn’t because God didn’t bestow it on them, but because they didn’t accept the truth with their hearts, or apply themselves to the truth, though they saw God expressing so much of it. That’s what caused them to not gain the truth and life in their many years of belief in God, and to be cast out in the end.
January 22, 2019