Item Four: They Exalt and Testify About Themselves

Supplement: Hunting Rats

Recently, I heard about a new matter. Listen and think about how this relates to people’s behaviors and dispositions, what this story is about, and what kind of problem it illustrates. After some Chinese people came to America, aside from seeing that the social environment and atmosphere here was substantially different from China, there was also something else that they found very interesting. It was that in this country, not only were people free, but all sorts of living things and animals were also very free, and nobody was harming them. Human freedom is of course a product of social systems, so what brings freedom to all sorts of living things and animals? Is this related to social systems? (It is.) It is related to how social systems and government policies protect and manage the whole natural environment. Here, wild animals are everywhere and can be seen all over. For example, one can see wild geese eating grass in a meadow by the highway, and there are some parks, meadows, and forests where one can see some deer, bears, or wolves, as well as turkeys, pheasants, and all sorts of birds and other wild animals. What first impression do people have when they see a sight like this? (They feel that they have seen nature.) And what kind of feelings do they have when they see nature? Will they not say: “Look at this country of theirs. Not only are the people free, even the animals here are free. Being reincarnated as an animal in this place would be better than living as a person in China, because here even animals are free, and no one abuses them”? Do they not have such feelings? (They do.) For those who have stayed here for a long time, these things become commonplace, and not unusual at all; they think these things are very normal. But for some people, after they have grown familiar with this kind of environment, some active thoughts begin to emerge in them: “These animals are all so free, and nobody supervises or watches over them, so can I catch and eat them? It would be great if I could eat them, but I can’t do it indiscriminately just in case they are protected by law. I have to look into this.” After checking the information, they see that the law explicitly states that wild animals are uniformly protected by national law, and that people cannot hunt and kill them as they please. If people want to hunt animals, they must do so within a state-mandated hunting area; they also need a license, and may have to pay a fee for the animals they catch. In short, the law protects these wild animals and it has clear stipulations about them. Some people cannot understand the law of wild animal protection, and they ponder: “There are all these wild delicacies, and yet the government does not permit us to catch and eat them as we please. It’s such a pity! In China, nobody cares about this: ‘If no one reports it, the authorities won’t investigate it.’ As long as nobody knows about it, you can catch and eat an animal. But you can’t do this in a democratic country. Here there are legal regulations, and I can’t just do whatever I want on other people’s land. But these animals are all wild game; it’s such a pity that we can only look at them and not eat them! I need to think of a solution. How can I eat this game without anyone noticing and without breaking the law?” Some people think of a trick, and say: “If I make a cage and put some tasty food in it to attract animals, catch a few small ones like wild rabbits, and then find a secluded place to kill and eat them, I wouldn’t be breaking the law, would I? Those little animals aren’t protected by the state, and the law doesn’t have specific stipulations about them. If I do this, I can eat wild game and also ensure that I’m not breaking the law. It’s the best of both worlds.” After they have this idea, they put together a cage and start hunting. Before two days pass, a rat comes into the cage, and they hastily kill and eat it, feeling that this is true wild game! What conclusion do they come to after eating it? “Wild animals are pretty tasty. From now on I’ll think of more ways to eat other types of game. I’m not afraid to eat them as long as I’m not breaking the law.” The story ends here.

Some people ask, “Is this a true story or is it made up?” For now, do not worry about whether it is true or made up, and whether or not it really happened. Just think about what’s wrong with people who do things like this, based on this story. Is doing this kind of thing a grave mistake? Is it considered a violation of the law? Is it considered immoral? (It is.) Does it go against morality, or against humanity, or against something else? First, tell Me: Is this kind of behavior worthy of praise or of denunciation? Which side do you take? (Denunciation.) Regardless of whether it goes against morality, against the law, or against humanity, in any case, this kind of behavior is bad, and it is not the behavior of people who possess humanity. So what is it? Is this sort of disposition or behavior a serious problem? How would you judge this matter according to your own standards? In daily life and among all groups of people, is this sort of behavior common? (Yes.) It is not an immensely cunning or evil act, but it is unseemly, and it is not a manifestation that people with normal humanity ought to possess. What kind of manifestation is this, exactly? Go ahead and classify it. What sort of behavior is this? Should it be promoted? (No.) It is not worthy of promotion and it is not praised by people, so it should be denounced and despised. This sort of behavior is common, it often appears among all groups of people and in daily life, it is frequently observed, and there are people who frequently do this sort of thing. So, then, is it not worth singling out and discussing it, thereby enabling each person to have an accurate definition of this matter, and preferably to distance themselves from this sort of behavior? Wouldn’t that be good? (Yes.) Then let’s define it—what type of behavior is this? Is it arrogant? Is it intransigent? Is it deceitful? (No.) Is it wicked? (A little bit.) It is somewhat close to that. Among the words that you have learned and understand, are there any that can define this type of behavior? (Base.) Base, it does have a bit of this quality. This word contains this type of behavior and essence but does not summarize it wholly and completely. This behavior cannot be considered malicious, because if killing a rat was malicious then exterminating rats would be a negative thing. Rat extermination is a positive thing; rats harm people, so it is correct to exterminate them. But is there not a difference between exterminating them and eating them? (There is.) Then how can this behavior be summarized? Which words can you think of that are related to this kind of behavior? (Sordid.) (Lowly character.) Lowly character, base, and sordid. In daily life, what word is used to summarize lowly, inappropriate behavior? (Scummy.) The word “scummy” precisely and incisively summarizes this type of behavior. Why is it defined as “scummy”? If it is said to be base, selfish, or sordid, that’s just one kind of manifestation revealed by scummy people. “Scummy” contains many meanings—being base, depraved, sordid, selfish, immoral, not behaving oneself, not being open or aboveboard in one’s actions, and instead acting in a sneaky way, and only doing improper things. These are the various behaviors and manifestations of scummy people. For example, if a normal person wants to do something, as long as it is proper, they go about doing it in an open manner, and if it violates the law they will give up and not do it. Scummy people are not the same; they will achieve their goals by hook or by crook and have strategies to countermeasure the limitations of the law. They get around the law and seek ways to achieve their goals, regardless of whether doing so is in line with ethics, morality, or humanity, and regardless of what the consequences are. They do not care about any of these things, and only seek to achieve their goals by any means possible. This is being “scummy.” Do scummy people have any integrity or dignity? (No.) Are they noble or lowly people? (Lowly.) In what way are they lowly? (There is no moral baseline to their comportment.) That is right, this kind of person has no baseline or principles in their comportment; they do not consider consequences, and just do whatever they want. They do not care about the law, about morality, about whether their consciences can accept their actions, or whether anyone denounces, judges, or condemns them. They are indifferent to all of this, and do not mind as long as they are gaining benefits and enjoying themselves. Their way of doing things is depraved, their thinking is despicable, and both are shameful. This is what it means to be scummy. Can the word “scummy” be replaced by the manifestations of those several dispositions that we talked about before? That wouldn’t really work. The word “scummy” is quite special, so are scummy people a special sort of people? They are not. Do you have anything scummy in you? (Yes.) What are the specific manifestations of this? (Sometimes after people wash their faces, they leave water all over the counter and don’t wipe it up. And when people finish eating, they don’t clean up the grains of rice and vegetable soup from the table. When their clothes get dirty, they just toss them off to the side somewhere without folding them. I think that these are also manifestations of being scummy.) Actually, these things are all small details of day-to-day life, and being unhygienic is not truly being scummy, it has to do with one’s living out in humanity. If one does not do things that are beneficial to others when in a groups, and if one is not brought up properly or well-behaved, and gets on people’s bad side and makes others detest them, and does not know to abide by the rules or the systems of whatever place they go to, and lacks this awareness, then is their humanity not missing something? (It is.) What is it missing? It is missing reason. Aren’t people like this lacking in dignity? (Yes.) They have no dignity, no integrity, and were brought up poorly. This has to do with the baseline of human conduct, and with living out normal humanity. If one cannot even meet these standards, then how could they possibly practice the truth? How could they possibly glorify God? How could they possibly act according to the truth principles? They are so far off from doing any of these things. This kind of person does not have a conscience or reason—is it easy to manage them? Is it easy for them to change? It is absolutely not easy. Then how can they change? This will depend on everyone supervising, restraining, and prompting them. In serious cases, everyone must stand up to criticize them. What is the goal of this criticism? It is to assist them, to help them behave well, and to stop them from doing things that are disgraceful and in bad taste. So, what exactly does being scummy refer to? What are its primary symptoms and manifestations? See whether My summary is accurate or not. What are scummy people equivalent to? They are equivalent to untamed, poorly raised, wild animals, and the primary manifestations of this are arrogance, brutishness, a lack of restraint, acting recklessly, not accepting the truth in the slightest, as well as doing whatever one pleases, not listening to anyone, or allowing anyone to manage them, daring to go against anyone, and having no regard for anyone else. Tell Me, are the various manifestations of being scummy severe? (They are.) At the very least, this disposition of arrogance, of lacking reason, and of acting recklessly, is very severe. Even if a person like this appears to not do things that judge or resist God, because of their arrogant disposition, it is extremely likely that they will do evil and resist Him. All of their actions are revelations of their corrupt dispositions. When a person becomes scummy to a certain point, they become a bandit and a devil, and bandits and devils will never accept the truth—they can only be destroyed.

Is there value in talking about this story? (Yes.) Though this story does not touch on man’s nature essence or disposition it pertains to man’s behavior, which is not all that different from or unrelated to man’s essence. What should this story be called? Let’s give it a name with an allegorical quality to it, and not make it too straightforward. (Hunting Rats.) “Hunting Rats” is a pretty good one. Someone caught a rat in a “perfectly legitimate” way and said: “What can I do? It ran in here and I feel sorry for it. Plus, it’s hurt. If it runs back out, it will die, and then other animals will just eat it anyway, so why don’t I eat it? Wouldn’t that be perfectly legitimate?” In order to eat that rat, they fabricated all those excuses and made up all those reasons, and then ate it with a clear conscience. This is being scummy. It is not as if people in America cannot eat meat, so it isn’t worthwhile going through all that trouble and putting in all that effort to do such a thing. This is the kind of thing that scummy people do. Do normal people do this kind of thing? Do people with humanity and integrity do this kind of thing? (No.) Why don’t they do it? This is related to integrity. Those who are incorrigible thieves by nature are always stealing and pilfering, and doing shameful things. Are they lacking something at home? Not necessarily. Since they are scummy, they must steal, relying on theft to satisfy their own preferences and their insatiably greedy disposition. Doing these things brings comfort to their hearts. If they did not do this kind of thing, they would feel upset. This is being scummy. Now, I will wrap the story up and move on to the main topic.

Before I talk about the main topic, first let’s ponder on the content of our last fellowship. The duties that God’s chosen people perform can be divided into six main categories. We have finished discussing the first category, which is people who perform the duty of spreading the gospel. The second category is those who perform the duties of leaders and workers in the church at various levels. The members of this category can essentially be divided into two main types, and last time we talked about one of these types, namely antichrists. How antichrists work, which manifestations they have and which things they do that can define them as antichrists—we classified these manifestations and dispositions of antichrists. Which specific items were there? (Item one: They try to win people over; item two: They attack and exclude dissenters; item three: They exclude and attack those who pursue the truth; item four: They exalt and testify about themselves; item five: They mislead, draw in, threaten, and control people). Last time, five items were summarized, and you made note of all of them. Now make note of the next ones. Item six: They behave in devious ways, they are arbitrary and dictatorial, they never fellowship with others, and they force others to obey them; item seven: They are wicked, insidious, and deceitful; item eight: They would have others obey only them, not the truth or God; item nine: They do their duty only to distinguish themselves and feed their own interests and ambitions; they never consider the interests of God’s house, and even sell those interests out in exchange for personal glory; item ten: They despise the truth, publicly flout principles, and ignore the arrangements of God’s house; item eleven: They do not accept being pruned, nor do they have an attitude of repentance when they commit any wrong, but instead spread notions and publicly pass judgment on God; item twelve: They want to retreat when there is no status and no hope of gaining blessings; item thirteen: They control church finances as well as controlling people’s hearts; item fourteen: They treat the house of God like their own personal domain; item fifteen: They do not believe in the existence of God, and they deny the essence of Christ. There are 15 items in total, and they all dissect and expose the various manifestations of antichrists. These 15 items essentially summarize the different kinds of behaviors, manifestations, and dispositions that antichrists have. Some of them seem like behaviors on the surface, but behind these behaviors are the underlying dispositions and essence of antichrists. In terms of their literal meaning, are these 15 items not easy to understand? They are all phrased in plain language, and in one respect, they are easy to understand, while additionally, what each of them summarizes relates to man’s manifestations, revelations, and essence. Every item is a type of disposition; it is not just a passing behavior or thought. What is a disposition? How can one explain what a disposition is? A disposition is when, regardless of where a person goes, their thoughts, ideas, principles for doing things, methods of operation, and the goal they are pursuing do not change along with changes in time and geographical location. If a person’s way of doing things disappears as soon as their environment changes, this is not the revelation of a corrupt disposition, but rather a passing behavior. What does a real disposition refer to? (It can dominate a person at any time and in any place.) That is right, it can dominate a person’s words and actions regardless of the time and place, without conditional restraints or influences; that is an essence. An essence is the thing that someone relies on to survive; it will not change depending on changes in time, location, or other external factors. This is a person’s essence. Some people say: “I have more or less all of these 15 manifestations of antichrists that You have summarized, but I do not pursue status and I wasn’t born with any ambitions. Besides, I do not shoulder any responsibilities right now. I am not a leader or a worker, and I do not like being in the limelight, so isn’t the nature essence of antichrists irrelevant to me? If it is irrelevant, then isn’t it true that I don’t need to listen to these fellowships or hold myself up against them for comparison?” Is this the way that things are? (No.) Then how should one approach these manifestations of antichrists? How should one approach the truths that are fellowshipped about these manifestations? One must understand the truth and know themselves within these fellowships, then find the correct path, and come to possess principles in the performance of their duty and their service of God. Only in this way can they break away from the path of antichrists and embark on the path of being made perfect. If you can link these manifestations of antichrists to yourselves, then this will be a warning, a reminder, an exposure, and a judgment for you. If you cannot link them to yourselves, but you can sense that you also have similar states, then you should try to reflect on and know yourselves more, and seek the truth to resolve those states. This way, you can also gradually cast off your corrupt dispositions and avoid walking the path of antichrists.

A Dissection of How Antichrists Exalt and Testify About Themselves

Today’s fellowship is about the fourth item of the various manifestations of antichrists: exalting and testifying about themselves. Exalting and testifying about themselves, flaunting themselves, trying to make people think highly of them and worship them—corrupt mankind is capable of these things. This is how people instinctively react when they are governed by their satanic natures, and it is common to all of corrupt mankind. How do people usually exalt and testify about themselves? How do they achieve the aim of making people think highly of them and worship them? They testify to how much work they have done, how much they have suffered, how much they have expended themselves, and what price they have paid. They exalt themselves by talking about their capital, which gives them a higher, firmer, more secure place in people’s minds, so that more people appreciate, think highly of, admire, and even worship, look up to, and follow them. To achieve this aim, people do many things that testify to God on the surface, but essentially exalt and testify about themselves. Is acting that way reasonable? They are beyond the purview of rationality and have no shame, that is, they unabashedly testify to what they have done for God and how much they have suffered for Him. They even flaunt their gifts, talents, experience, special skills, their clever techniques for worldly dealings, the means they use to toy with people, and so on. Their method of exalting and testifying about themselves is to flaunt themselves and belittle others. They also camouflage and package themselves, hiding their weaknesses, shortcomings, and deficiencies from people so that they only ever see their brilliance. They do not even dare to tell other people when they feel negative; they lack the courage to open up and fellowship with them, and when they do something wrong, they do their utmost to conceal it and cover it up. Never do they mention the harm they have caused to the work of the church in the course of doing their duty. When they have made some minor contribution or achieved some small success, however, they are quick to show it off. They cannot wait to let the whole world know how capable they are, how high their caliber is, how exceptional they are, and how much better they are than normal people. Is this not a way of exalting and testifying about themselves? Is exalting and testifying about oneself something someone with conscience and reason does? It is not. So when people do this, what disposition is usually revealed? Arrogance. This is one of the chief dispositions revealed, followed by deceitfulness, which involves doing everything possible to make other people hold them in high esteem. Their words are completely watertight and clearly contain motivations and schemes, they are showing themselves off, yet they want to hide this fact. The outcome of what they say is that people are made to feel that they are better than others, that no one is their equal, that everyone else is inferior to them. And is this outcome not achieved via underhanded means? What disposition is behind such means? And are there any elements of wickedness? (There are.) This is a kind of wicked disposition. It can be seen that these means they employ are directed by a deceitful disposition—so why do I say it is wicked? What connection does this have to wickedness? What do you think: Can they be open about their aims in exalting and testifying about themselves? They can’t. But there is always a desire in the depths of their hearts, and what they say and do is in aid of that desire, and the aims and motivations of what they say and do are kept very secret. They will, for example, employ misdirection or some shady tactics to achieve these aims. Is such secretiveness not devious in nature? Can such deviousness not be called wicked? (Yes.) It can indeed be called wicked, and it runs deeper than deceitfulness. They use a certain way or method to achieve their goals. This disposition is deceitfulness. However, the ambition and desire deep in their hearts of always wanting to have people follow, look up to, and worship them frequently directs them to exalt and testify about themselves, and to unscrupulously and shamelessly do these things. What is this disposition? This rises to the level of wickedness. Wickedness is more than just ordinary narrow-mindedness or being deceitful and lying. If a person can rise from ordinary corruption to the level of wickedness, does this not mean that they are more deeply corrupted? (It does.) Then describe the level of wickedness—what is a suitable way to put it? Why does a person rise from ordinary corruption to wickedness? Can you see this matter clearly? What is the difference between deceitfulness and wickedness? In terms of how they manifest, wickedness and deceitfulness are closely related, but wickedness is more severe—it is deceitfulness taken to the extreme. If one is said to have a wicked disposition, then this person is not ordinarily deceitful, as ordinary deceitfulness could just mean that they are a habitual liar or are not very honest in their actions, whereas wickedness is more severe and lies on a deeper level than deceitfulness. The deceitfulness of someone with a wicked disposition is greater and more severe than that of the average person, and their means and methods of doing things, and the scheming behind their actions, are all more cunning and secretive, and most people cannot see through them. This is what wickedness is.

How is an antichrist exalting and testifying about themselves different than the average person doing the same? The average person often boasts and shows off to make people think highly of them, and will also have manifestations of these dispositions and states, so how is an antichrist exalting and testifying about themselves different than regular people doing the same? Where does the difference lie? You must be clear on this—do not lump all manifestations of occasionally exalting or boasting about oneself under the category of antichrists. Is this not a conceptual error? (It is.) Then how can this matter be clearly differentiated? Where does the difference lie? If you can state this clearly, you can thoroughly understand what the essence of an antichrist is. Take a crack at it. (An antichrist’s way of doing things is more surreptitious; they use some means that appear to be very proper to mislead people. They seem to be speaking about a proper matter, but before you know it, they begin to exalt and testify about themselves, without anyone realizing it. Their means are relatively surreptitious.) Relatively surreptitious means—this is differentiating them through their way of exalting and testifying about themselves. Is there anything else? Tell Me, what is the difference in nature between consciously exalting and testifying about oneself and doing so unconsciously? (The intentions are different.) Isn’t this where the difference lies? (Yes.) When an average person with corrupt dispositions exalts and flaunts themselves, it is just to show off. Once they have shown off, that is the end of the matter, and they do not care whether other people think highly or lowly of them. Their intent is not too clear-cut, it is just a disposition governing them, a revelation of a disposition. That is all it is. Is it easy to change this kind of disposition? If the person in question pursues the truth, they will be able to gradually change when they experience being pruned, judged and chastised. They will gradually gain more of a sense of shame and rationality, and they will display this sort of behavior less and less. They will condemn this type of behavior, and they will exercise restraint and rein themselves in. This is unconsciously exalting and testifying about oneself. Although the dispositions contained within consciously exalting and testifying about oneself and unconsciously doing so are the same, the nature of the two is different. How are they different in nature? Consciously exalting and testifying about oneself is done with intent. People who do this are not just speaking casually—each time they exalt and testify about themselves, they are harboring certain intentions and hidden aims, and they do this kind of thing with satanic ambitions and desires. On the surface, it seems like the same kind of manifestation. In both cases, people are exalting and testifying about themselves, but how does God define unconsciously exalting and testifying about oneself? As a revelation of a corrupt disposition. And how does God define exalting and testifying about oneself consciously? As someone wanting to mislead people, intent on getting people to think highly of them, worship them, look up to them, and then follow them. Their action is misleading by nature. So, as soon as they have the intent to mislead people, and to take possession of people so that they will follow and worship them, they will employ some means and methods when speaking and acting that can easily mislead and misguide those who do not understand the truth and lack a deep foundation. Such people not only lack discernment, on the contrary, they think that what this person says is correct, and they may look up to and think highly of them, and over time they will worship and even follow them. A most common phenomenon in daily life is that someone seems to understand a sermon quite well after hearing it, but later on when something befalls them, they do not know how to resolve it. They go before God to seek, but this does not bear fruit, and in the end, they must go to their leader to inquire about this matter and ask them to solve it. Every time something befalls them, they want to ask their leader to resolve it. It is like how smoking opium becomes an addiction and a pattern for some people, and in due course, they will not be able to go on without smoking it. So, antichrists exalting and testifying about themselves imperceptibly becomes a sort of drug for those who are small in stature, undiscerning, foolish and ignorant. Whenever anything befalls them, they will go to ask the antichrist about it, and if the antichrist does not issue an order, they do not dare to carry anything out, even if everyone has already finished talking it over and reached a consensus on the matter. They are afraid of going against the antichrist’s will and being suppressed, so with every matter, they only dare to take action after the antichrist has spoken. Even when they have clearly understood the truth principles, they dare not make a decision or handle the matter, instead they wait for the “master” that they look up to for the final verdict and decision. If their master does not say anything, whoever is handling the matter will feel unsure about what they ought to do. Have these people not been poisoned? (They have.) This is what it means to have been poisoned. For them to be poisoned so deeply, how much work does the antichrist have to do, and how much poison does the antichrist need to slip them? If the antichrist frequently dissected themselves and got to know themselves, and often put their weaknesses, mistakes, and transgressions out in the open for people to see, then would everyone still worship them like this? Absolutely not. It appears that the antichrist puts considerable effort into exalting and testifying about themselves, which is why they have achieved such “success.” This is the result that they want. Without them, no one would know how to do their duties appropriately, and everyone would be at a total loss. It is evident that, while controlling these people, the antichrist secretly slips them many poisons and puts in a great deal of effort! If they only said a few words, would these people still be constrained by them like this? Absolutely not. When the antichrist manages to achieve their goal of making people worship them, and look up to them and heed them in every matter, then have they not done many things and spoken many words that exalt and testify about themselves? What is the outcome that they achieve by doing this? It is that people would lack a path and not be able to go on living without them—it is as if the sky would fall and the earth would stop turning without them, and believing in God would have no value or meaning, and listening to sermons would be useless. It is also that people feel they have some hope in their lives when the antichrist is around, and would lose all hope if the antichrist were to die. Have these people not been taken captive by Satan? (They have.) And don’t people like this deserve that? (They do.) Why do we say they deserve it? God is the One you believe in, so why do you worship and follow antichrists, letting them constrain and control you at every turn? Besides, regardless of what duty one is doing, God’s house has provided people with clear principles and rules. If there is a difficulty that one cannot resolve on their own, they should seek from someone who understands the truth, and seek from the Above on more serious matters. But not only do you not seek the truth, on the contrary, you worship and look up to people, believing what these antichrists say. You have therefore become Satan’s lackeys, and don’t you only have yourself to blame? Don’t you deserve this? Exalting and testifying about oneself is a shared behavior and manifestation among antichrists, and it is one of the most common manifestations. What is the main characteristic of how antichrists exalt and testify about themselves? In what way is it different than how the average person exalts and testifies about themselves? It is that antichrists have their own intent behind this action, and are absolutely not doing it unconsciously. Rather, they are harboring intents, desires, and ambitions, and the consequences of them testifying about themselves in this way are too dreadful to contemplate—they can mislead and control people.

Let Me give an example. You can think about whether this sort of manifestation and disposition are related to exalting and testifying about oneself. Once, there was a leader who did the work of the church at a certain place for two or three years. He had walked among the churches, and then he finally put down roots there. What does it mean that he put down roots? It means that most people knew him and thought highly of him, and that he was relatively well-known in that place. As soon as people saw him, they would welcome him, offer him their seats, and give him something nice to eat. There were no dissenting voices, no people who opposed him; everyone was pretty familiar with this leader, and deep down they were all quite approving of how he did things and accepting of his leadership. It’s uncertain how much work the leader did there, how much he spoke, or what he spoke about; these details are unknown, but in short, most people quite approved of his leadership. After some time passed, the leader said: “The brothers and sisters here are all obedient and submissive, and things are going well in the church in all respects. Unfortunately, there is one thing that is not entirely satisfactory, which is that the environment here is terrible. If the environment were suitable, we would find a nice, sunny day to go to a big park for a large gathering with thousands of people, and we would release the truth using a microphone and a set of big speakers, and get more people to believe in God. Wouldn’t our work then bear fruit?” After hearing this, everyone said “Amen” and approved of it. Tell Me, is there a problem with the phrase “we would release the truth”? (Yes.) What is the problem? (The leader was treating himself as God.) You all recognized that there’s a problem with it, but the muddled people who were there did not. They even responded to this sentence with an “Amen”! Is the truth released by this leader? Who is he? He is an ordinary leader; he did a few years of work and then started to think that he was superior to everyone else and forgot who he was, and even wanted to express the truth—that would be a tall task for him. What does this prove? It proves that he did not know who he was, and did not know what duty he was doing. Since he has this kind of disposition, is any part of his usual work or speech in line with the truth? His usual work and speech are certainly filled with muddled words and devilish words, and absolutely cannot achieve the result of providing for and watering the church. He does not know what the truth is, much less what it means to express the truth. After working somewhere for just two or three years, he felt he had a bit of prestige and capital, and then he forgot who he was, felt pretty good about himself, and wanted to express the truth. Is having such a misconception not disgusting? Where does this misconception come from? Did he have a mental disorder, or was it a momentary impulse? He did a bit of work, no one in the local church opposed him, and everything seemed to be going smoothly to him, so he believed that everything was the result of the work that he did, and suddenly felt that he could take credit for it. He thought, “If I can do such significant work, am I not God? And if I am God, then I am being terribly stifled right now—if the external environment were better, I could express the truth!” This thought popped into his mind all of a sudden. Isn’t there something wrong with his head? (Yes.) There is something wrong with his head. Doesn’t he lack reason? Can the actions and words of Satan and antichrists possess the reason of normal humanity? They absolutely cannot. This leader did a bit of work and got some results, then suddenly forgot that he was human. Is him being able to blurt out such unreasonable words not related to his dispositions? (It is.) How is it related? Within his dispositions, is he willing to be a follower? Does he know that he’s only an ordinary follower of God? He absolutely does not. He believes that his status and identity are exceedingly respectable and superior to all others. Are you not familiar with this sort of behavior and its nature? Why was Satan cast down into midair? (It wanted to be on equal footing with God.) It is that it wanted to be on equal footing with God. Because Satan did not know its place in the universe, did not know who it was, and did not know its own measure, when God allowed Satan to walk in the same space as Him, Satan began to think that it was God. It wanted to do the things that God did, it wanted to represent Him, replace Him, and deny His existence, and as a result, it was cast down to midair. Antichrists do the same kind of thing, the nature of their actions is the same, and they are of one source with Satan. For an antichrist, such a manifestation is not an occasional revelation or the result of a whim—it is absolutely the domination of their satanic nature and a natural revelation of their satanic disposition. What is the nature of the manifestation of the leader that I just talked about? (It is that of an antichrist.) Why are we discussing this manifestation for the item of exalting and testifying about oneself? How is the nature of this manifestation related to exalting and testifying about oneself? What was the nature of the words “release the truth” that he spoke? Why do I say that these words are related to exalting and testifying about oneself? (The leader believed that he could provide the truth to people.) That’s what he meant. When he said such things, people who heard them thought, “You have such an impressive manner, and you can speak in such a tone—isn’t this the kind of tone that God should speak in? Isn’t this the kind of impressive manner and aspiration that God should have?” Hadn’t this leader achieved the aim of exalting and testifying about himself? He had made people unconsciously develop feelings of respect, worship, and admiration toward him. Was that not the case? (Yes.) This is the hideous appearance of an antichrist; this is an antichrist covertly exalting and testifying about themselves.

Are there any other manifestations of exalting and testifying about oneself? You should all reflect on yourselves with regard to this matter. Would you do such a thing as testifying about yourselves? Can you be restrained by your conscience and reason and prevent yourself from doing such a disgraceful thing? If you can restrain yourself, then this proves that you have rationality, that you are different from antichrists. If you do not possess this rationality, and you have these kinds of ambitions and desires, and are also capable of doing such a thing as testifying about yourself, then you are the same as an antichrist. So, what is the case for you? Do you act with restraint? If you have a God-fearing heart, a sense of shame, and rationality, then, though you wish to do these things, you will think that they’ll offend God and be loathed by Him, and you will then be able to restrain yourself and will not dare to testify about yourself. If you restrain yourself once and then twice, after a while these ideas, these intentions and thoughts, will slowly begin to diminish, little by little. You will have discernment of these ideas and feel that they are contemptible and disgusting, your impulses and desires to do such things will diminish, and you will gradually be able to rein yourself in and control yourself, to such an extent that these ideas will arise less and less frequently. If you are aware of them but unable to restrain yourself, and you harbor particularly strong intents, just wanting to make people worship you, and you feel dissatisfied if no one worships or follows you, and become filled with hatred, and want to do something, and are able to unscrupulously testify about yourself and show yourself off—then you are an antichrist. What is the case with you? (When I am aware of them, I am able to restrain myself.) What do you rely on to restrain yourself? (I rely on having some knowledge of God and on having a God-fearing heart.) If one has a God-fearing heart, they can exercise restraint. Restraint is not achieved by holding oneself back or obstructing oneself, but is rather a result achieved through understanding the truth and fearing God. One restrains themselves by way of rationality and cognition, and at the same time, one exercises restraint because one has a bit of a God-fearing heart and is frightened of offending Him. If your rationality cannot restrain you, and you also do not have a God-fearing heart, and if you do not feel shame when testifying about yourself and wish to persist in doing so, not giving up until you achieve your aim, then the nature of this is different—you are an antichrist.

The techniques and manifestations that antichrists possess for exalting and testifying about themselves are manifold. Some involve antichrists directly exalting and testifying about themselves, and talking about all of their merits, while others involve them finding ways to use indirect turns of phrase or methods to sneakily make people think highly of them and achieve their aim of getting people to look up to, worship, and follow them, and even to occupy a place in people’s hearts—this is the nature of such behavior. Antichrists’ disposition of exalting and testifying about themselves differs from that of ordinary people in terms of its nature, the outcomes it results in, as well as the ways it is manifested, and its underlying intentions and aims. Furthermore, do people who exalt and testify about themselves simply talk about all of their merits? Sometimes, they also talk about their bad sides, but are they truly dissecting and trying to know themselves when they do this? (No.) Then how does one discover that their self-knowledge isn’t real, and that it is instead adulterated and has intent behind it? How can one thoroughly understand this matter? The focal point here is that at the same time as they are trying to know themselves and expose their weaknesses, flaws, shortcomings, and corrupt dispositions, they are also looking for excuses and reasons to absolve themselves of guilt. They covertly tell people, “Everyone is capable of making mistakes, not just me. You are all capable of making mistakes too. The mistake I made is excusable; it is a small mistake. If you made this same mistake, it would be a much more severe case than mine, because you wouldn’t reflect on and dissect yourselves. Even though I make mistakes, I am better than you guys and have more rationality and integrity.” When everyone hears this, they think, “You’re exactly right. You understand the truth so much, and really possess stature. When you make mistakes, you are able to reflect on and dissect yourself; you are much better than we are. If we make mistakes, we don’t reflect on and try to know ourselves, and out of fear of embarrassment we do not dare to dissect ourselves. You have greater stature and courage than we do.” These people made mistakes yet they still won the esteem of others and sang their own praises—what disposition is this? Some antichrists are particularly adept at pretending, cheating people, and putting up a facade. When they encounter people who understand the truth, they start talking about their self-knowledge, and also say that they are a devil and Satan, that their humanity is bad, and that they deserve to be cursed. Suppose that you ask them, “Since you say that you are a devil and Satan, what evil deeds did you commit?” They will say: “I didn’t do anything, but I am a devil. And I’m not only a devil; I’m also Satan!” You then ask them, “Since you say that you are a devil and Satan, which evil acts of a devil and Satan did you commit, and how did you resist God? Can you tell the truth about the evil things that you did?” They will say: “I didn’t do anything evil!” You then press further and ask, “If you have not done anything evil, then why do you say that you are a devil and Satan? What are you trying to achieve by saying this?” When you get serious with them like this, they will have nothing to say. Actually, they have done many bad things, but they absolutely will not share the facts about this with you. They will just talk some big talk and spout some doctrines to speak of their self-knowledge in a hollow way. When it comes to how they specifically drew people in, cheated people, made use of people based on their feelings, failed to take the interests of God’s house seriously, went against the work arrangements, cheated the Above, concealed things from the brothers and sisters, and how much they damaged the interests of God’s house, they won’t say a single word about these facts. Is this true knowledge of oneself? (No.) In saying that they are a devil and Satan, are they not feigning self-knowledge in order to exalt and testify about themselves? Is this not a method they use? (It is.) The average person cannot see through this method. When some leaders are dismissed, they get re-elected soon after, and when you ask the reason for this, some people say: “That leader is of good caliber. They know that they are a devil and Satan. Who else has such a level of knowledge? Only people who really pursue the truth possess that knowledge. None of us are able to gain that knowledge about ourselves; the average person doesn’t have that stature. For this reason, everyone chose them again.” What is going on here? These people have been misled. This leader knew that they are a devil and Satan but they were still chosen by everyone, so what effect and consequence does them saying that they are a devil and Satan have on people? (It makes people think highly of them.) That’s right, it makes people think more highly of them. Unbelievers call this method “retreating to advance.” This means that in order to get people to think more highly of them, they first say bad things about themselves so that others believe they can open themselves up and know themselves, that they have depth and insight, and a profound understanding, and because of this everyone worships them more. And what is the result of everyone worshiping them more? When it is again time to choose leaders, they are still considered the perfect person for the role. Is this method not quite clever? If they did not talk about their self-knowledge like this and did not say that they are a devil and Satan, and were just negative instead, when others saw this, they would say, “As soon as you were dismissed and lost your status, you became negative. You used to teach us not to be negative, and now your negativity is even more severe than ours. We won’t choose you.” No one would think highly of this leader. Although everyone would still lack discernment of them, at least they would not choose them to be a leader again, and this person would not achieve their aim of getting others to think highly of them. But this leader takes the initiative, saying: “I am a devil and Satan; God may curse me and send me to the eighteenth level of hell and not permit me to be reincarnated for all eternity!” Some people feel sorry for them upon hearing this and say: “Our leader has suffered so much. Oh, how they have been wronged! If God does not allow them to be a leader, then we will elect them.” Everyone supports this leader to such an extent, so have they not been misled? The original intent of their words has been confirmed, proving that they are indeed misleading people in this way. Satan sometimes misleads people by exalting and testifying about itself, and sometimes it can admit to its mistakes in a roundabout way when it has no other choice, but it is all a facade, and its aim is to gain people’s sympathy and understanding. It will even say, “No one is perfect. Everyone has corrupt dispositions and everybody is capable of making mistakes. As long as one can correct their mistakes, they are a good person.” When people hear this, they feel that it is right, and continue to worship and follow Satan. Satan’s method is to proactively acknowledge its mistakes, and covertly exalt itself and raise its position in people’s hearts, so that people accept everything about it—even its errors—and then forgive these errors, gradually forget about them, and eventually accept Satan completely, becoming loyal to it unto death, never leaving or abandoning it, and following it until the end. Is this not Satan’s method of doing things? This is how Satan acts, and antichrists also use this kind of method when they act in order to fulfill their ambitions and aims of having people worship and follow them. The consequences that this leads to are the same, and not at all different to the consequences of Satan misleading and corrupting people.

When some people speak of their self-knowledge, they paint themselves as a total mess and a good-for-nothing, even saying that they are a devil and Satan, that they deserve to be cursed, and that they would not complain if God cast them out. However, these people do not have a true understanding of their nature essence or their corrupt dispositions, and they are unable to share anything about their true state of affairs. Instead they try to use a facade to mislead others, and use the method and technique of proactively acknowledging their mistakes and “retreating to advance” to blind and cheat people, and then get people to have a good opinion of them. This is the practice of antichrists. Next time you encounter someone like this, how should you treat them? (Pry into the details.) That’s right, you must learn to investigate the issue and pry into the details. And how deeply should you investigate? Do it until they beg for mercy and say, “I will never mislead you again. Even if you choose me to be your leader, I won’t take on that role.” Say to them, “Never again will we be misled by you or choose you to be our leader, so stop dreaming!” How does that sound? All those who speak in a very exaggerated way about their self-knowledge, and even curse themselves, with none of it sounding true at all, are falsely spiritual and hypocritical people, and all of their words are misleading. There is a characteristic and a few details to such people’s speech that you must be able to discern. For example, tell Me, if one is asked to write an oath for the safekeeping of offerings, what should the first sentence of the oath say? What would someone with rationality and humanity write? What tone and phrasing would they use to stand in their proper position and make their attitude known? When ordinary people speak, everybody can sense that they are speaking normally, but the ambitious ilk of evil people or antichrists have a particular tone when they speak that is different than that of the average person. For example, they say: “If I, So-and-so, embezzle a single cent of God’s offerings, let me die a miserable death—let me be run over by a car!” What kind of tone is this? They begin with the word “I,” adopting the highest-sounding tone—the motivation behind their tone and manner of speaking can be observed in the literal words that they use. The first word is “I”—they adopt the highest-sounding tone, and such a high pitch—is this not a high-sounding oath? What is this kind of oath called? It is called high-sounding and hypocritical. Writing an oath with such aggressiveness—what kind of disposition is this? This is an oath, so to whom are you taking this oath? You are taking this oath to God, so how should a normal person speak in this case? They should speak in a humble manner, stand in their proper position, pray to God, and speak from the heart. They should not use high-sounding words or be aggressive. Such people are so aggressive even when making an oath—their satanic disposition is so severe! It is hard to say whether their oath is true or false. What they mean is: “You don’t trust me? You’re afraid that I’m taking advantage of God’s house, that I’m stealing offerings? You use me but you do not trust me, and you ask me to take an oath—I will take an oath then, you just watch and see whether I dare to take this oath! I don’t believe I could do something like that.” What kind of attitude is this? This is aggressiveness and unscrupulousness. They even have the audacity to clamor against God, and use an oath to vindicate themselves and mislead people. Is this fearing God? There is no piety to this at all. This kind of person is Satan and an antichrist; this is how antichrists speak. Taking an oath with undertones of clamoring—what kind of disposition is this? Can this kind of person still be saved? Have you met this kind of person before? You don’t know how to discern these manifestations, revelations, or dispositions that they display, do you? Some people even believe that this kind of person is clear-headed, possessed of spiritual understanding, honest, and loyal to God. Is this not foolish? Is this not a lack of discernment? This terrible behavior and disposition can be seen in the literal words and the phrasing of their oath, but people still think this antichrist is quite good. Do these people understand the truth? It seems that all you understand are doctrines, that you can only talk about doctrines and speak empty words, and that you are undiscerning when it comes to specific matters and issues. In the future, if you encounter these sorts of matters, will you be discerning? (Yes, we will.) The people who write such oaths are all beasts and they all lack humanity. Have you seen this kind of oath before? Have you written an oath like this before? (Yes.) Did it have the same tone and the same opening as this one? (It was not as direct.) Then was its nature the same? (Yes.) Its nature was the same. Taking an oath is not like entering a battlefield, which requires a spirit of heroic self-sacrifice. It does not require that kind of spirit. When you take an oath to God, you must think about it thoroughly, and understand why you need to write this oath, and to whom you are taking this oath and making this pledge. What God wants is a person’s attitude, not a kind of spirit. That spirit of yours is aggressive and it is clamorous; it is a manifestation of Satan’s arrogant disposition. It is not piety and is not a manifestation that created beings ought to have, much less is it a position that created beings should assume. Haven’t people who display this manifestation been influenced by national heroism? Is it related to this? People have been poisoned too deeply—as soon as they write an oath or pledge, they think of all the famous figures through the ages who were loyal to their countries and people. Those famous figures were part of Satan’s gang, and they acted in an unscrupulous way in order to distinguish themselves and bear witness for themselves, and in order to occupy a place in people’s hearts and leave a good reputation for themselves so that they could go down in history and earn a good name that would last for eternity. Later generations appraised this as them having blind devotion to their countries; do you think they were truly blind? What actually is this blindness? It is the most treacherous, wicked practice, and there is personal intent within it. It is not blindness, and it is certainly not devotion—it is wickedness.

We have already carried out a great deal of fellowship on the topic of antichrists testifying about themselves. Are there any other issues relevant to this topic that you still do not thoroughly understand? Some people testify about themselves using language, and speak some words that show themselves off, while other people use behaviors. What are the manifestations of a person using behaviors to testify about themselves? On the surface, they engage in some behaviors that are rather in line with people’s notions, that attract people’s attention, and that are seen by people as quite noble and rather in conformity with moral standards. These behaviors make people think that they are honorable, that they have integrity, that they really love God, are very pious, and really possess a God-fearing heart, and that they are a person who pursues the truth. They often display some external good behaviors in order to mislead people—does this not also reek of exalting and testifying about oneself? Usually people exalt and testify about themselves by means of words, using clear speech to express how they are different from the masses and how they have wiser opinions than others, in order to make people think highly of them and look up to them. However, there are some methods that do not involve explicit speech, where people instead use external practices to testify that they are better than others. These sorts of practices are well thought-out, they carry with them a motive and a certain intent, and they are quite purposeful. They have been wrapped and processed so that what people see are some behaviors and practices that are in line with man’s notions, that are noble, pious, and conform to saintly decency, and that are even God-loving, God-fearing, and in line with the truth. This achieves the same goal of exalting and testifying about themselves and getting people to think highly of them and worship them. Have you ever encountered or seen such a thing? Do you possess these manifestations? Are these things and this topic which I am discussing separate from real life? Actually, they are not. I will give a very simple example. When some people do their duties, they seem extremely busy on the surface; they purposefully continue to work at times when others are eating or sleeping, and when others start doing their duties, they go eat or sleep. What is their aim in doing this? They want to attract attention and show everyone that they are so busy doing their duties that they have no time to eat or sleep. They think: “You really do not bear a burden. How are you so proactive about eating and sleeping? You good-for-nothings! Look at me, I’m working while all of you are eating, and I am still at work at night when you’re asleep. Would you be able to suffer like this? I can endure this suffering; I’m setting an example with my behavior.” What do you think of this sort of behavior and manifestation? Are these people not doing this deliberately? Some people do these things deliberately, and what kind of behavior is this? These people want to be nonconformists; they want to be different than the masses and show people that they are busily doing their duties all night, that they are especially able to endure suffering. This way everyone will feel particularly sorry for them and show particular sympathy for them, thinking that they have a heavy burden on their shoulders, to the extent that they are up to their necks in work and too preoccupied to eat or sleep. And if they cannot be saved, then everyone will implore God for them, plead to God on their behalf, and pray for them. In doing this, these people are using good behaviors and practices that are in line with man’s notions, such as enduring hardship and paying a price, to hoodwink other people and fraudulently obtain their sympathy and praise. And what is the ultimate result of this? Everyone who has come into contact with them and seen them paying a price will all say in one voice: “Our leader is the most competent, the most able to endure suffering and pay a price!” Have they not then achieved their aim of misleading people? Then one day, God’s house says, “Your leader does not do actual work. They busy themselves and work to no purpose; they act recklessly and they are arbitrary and dictatorial. They have made a mess of the church’s work, they have not done any of the work that they ought to, they have not performed the gospel work or the film production work, and the church life is also in disarray. The brothers and sisters do not understand the truth, they do not have life entry, and they cannot write testimony articles. The most pitiful thing is that they cannot even discern false leaders and antichrists. This kind of leader is too incompetent; they are a false leader who should be dismissed!” Under these circumstances, will it be easy to dismiss them? It might be tough. Since the brothers and sisters all approve of them and support them, if anyone tries to dismiss this leader, the brothers and sisters will lodge a protest and put forward a request to the Above to retain them. Why will there be such an outcome? Because this false leader and antichrist uses external good behaviors such as enduring hardship and paying the price, as well as nice-sounding words, to move, buy over, and mislead people. Once they have used these false appearances to mislead people, everyone will speak for them and be unable to leave them. They clearly know that this leader has not done much actual work, and that they have not guided God’s chosen ones to understand the truth and gain life entry, but these people still support them, approve of them, and follow them, not even caring if it means they won’t gain the truth and life. On top of that, due to being misled by this leader, these people all worship them, do not accept any leaders other than them, and do not even want God anymore. Are they not treating this leader as God? If God’s house says that this person does not do actual work and that they are a false leader and antichrist, the people in their church will protest and rise up in rebellion. Tell Me, to what extent has this antichrist misled those people? If it is the work of the Holy Spirit, then people’s conditions will only get better, and they will understand the truth more, become more submissive toward God, have more of a place for God in their hearts, and grow better at discerning false leaders and antichrists. From this point of view, the situation we have just discussed is absolutely not the work of the Holy Spirit—only antichrists and evil spirits can mislead people to such an extent after working for a period of time. Many people have been misled and controlled by these antichrists, and in their hearts, they only have a place for the antichrists and no place for God. This is the final result achieved by antichrists exalting and testifying about themselves through external good behaviors. They use the external good behaviors of enduring hardship and paying the price to exalt and testify about themselves, which is one of the means that antichrists use to mislead and control people. You see this matter clearly now, don’t you? Is an antichrist using the external good behaviors of enduring hardship and paying the price to mislead people not very sly and insidious? And don’t you do these things too sometimes? Some people drink coffee to boost their energy in the evening in preparation to stay up late doing their duties. The brothers and sisters worry about their health and cook chicken soup for them. When they finish the soup, these people say, “Thanks be to God! I have enjoyed the grace of God. I don’t deserve this. Now that I’ve finished this chicken soup, I have to be more efficient in doing my duties!” In reality, they continue to do their duties in the same way that they usually do, without raising their efficiency at all. Are they not pretending? They are pretending, and this type of behavior is also covertly exalting and testifying about themselves; the outcome it achieves is to make people approve of them, think highly of them, and become their diehard followers. If people have this sort of mentality, have they not forgotten God? They no longer have God in their hearts, so who is the one they think of day and night? It is their “good leader,” their “beloved one.” Some antichrists are very loving toward most people on the surface, and they employ techniques when they speak, so that people will see that they are loving, and be willing to get closer to them. They beam at anyone who gets close to them and engages with them, and they speak to such people with a very gentle tone. Even if they see that some brothers and sisters have been unprincipled in their actions, and thereby harmed the interests of the church, they do not prune them in the slightest, they merely exhort them and comfort them, and coax them as they do their duties—they coax and coax people until they have brought everyone before them. People are gradually moved by these antichrists; everyone very much approves of their loving hearts and calls them people who love God. Eventually, everyone worships them and seeks their fellowship on every matter, telling these antichrists all of their innermost thoughts and feelings, to the point that they don’t even pray to God or seek the truth in God’s words anymore. Have these people not been misled by these antichrists? This is another means that antichrists use to mislead people. When you engage in these behaviors and practices, or harbor these intentions, are you aware that there is a problem within this? And when you become aware of this, can you change the course of your actions? If you can reflect on yourself and feel true remorse when you become aware and examine that your behavior, practices, or intentions are problematic, this proves that you have reversed your course. If you are aware of your problems but just let them slide and act according to your own intents, falling deeper and deeper until you have reached a point where you are no longer able to extricate yourself, then you have not reversed your course and you are intentionally setting yourself against God, exalting and testifying about yourself, and straying from the true way. What disposition is this? It is an antichrist’s disposition. Is it serious? (Yes.) How serious is it? The outcome of a person adopting more insidious and deceitful means, using enduring hardship and paying the price to mislead people, trying to make them worship and follow them, is the same as a person openly exalting and testifying about themselves—it is of the same nature. Regardless of which means you use to exalt and testify about yourself, whether it is clear speech or some rather obvious good behaviors, it is all the same in nature. It has an antichrist quality of it, and a quality of fighting with God over His chosen ones. No matter which form your manifestations take or which means you use, as long as your intent does not change and the consequences are the same, then it is all the same in nature. It is thus clear that antichrists are very cunning and do not love or pursue the truth. They are, however, capable of using enduring hardship and paying the price as a means to mislead people—this is the wickedness of antichrists.

Some people talk about some absurd theories and abstract arguments to make people think that they are intellectual and knowledgeable, and that their actions are very profound, and thereby achieve their aim of getting people to worship them. That is, they always want to participate and offer their opinion in all matters, and even when everyone has already made a final decision, if they are not satisfied with it, they will spout some high-sounding ideas to show off. Is this not a means of exalting oneself and testifying about oneself? With some matters, everyone has actually already talked things over, conferred with each other, found the principles, and decided on a plan of action, but they do not accept the decision and obstruct things in an unreasonable manner, saying, “That won’t do. You have not considered this comprehensively. Aside from the few aspects we talked about, I have also thought of another one.” In fact, the aspect they thought of is just some absurd theory; they are just splitting hairs. They are fully aware that they are splitting hairs and making things difficult for other people, but they still do it. What is their aim in this? It is to show people that they are different, that they are smarter than others. What they mean is, “So this is the level you are all at? I must show you that I’m at a higher level.” They usually ignore whatever anyone else says, but as soon as something important comes up, they start to upset things. What is this sort of person called? Colloquially, they are called a nitpicker and a bad egg. What are the common approaches of a nitpicker? They enjoy spouting high-sounding ideas and engaging in some vile and crooked practices. If you ask them to present a correct plan of action, they won’t be able to produce one, and if you ask them to handle something serious, they won’t be able to. They only do vile things, and they always want to give people a “surprise” and show off their abilities. How does that phrase go again? “An old lady puts on lipstick—to give you something to look at.” This means that they always want to show off their abilities, and regardless of whether they can show them off well or not, they want to let people know, “I’m more outstanding than you guys. You’re all no good, you’re mere mortals, ordinary people. I’m extraordinary and transcendent. I’ll share my ideas to surprise you and then you can see whether I am superior or not.” Is this not upsetting things? They are upsetting things on purpose. What kind of behavior is this? They are causing disruptions and disturbances. What they mean is this: I haven’t shown how smart I am in this matter yet, so no matter whose interests are harmed and no matter whose efforts are wasted, I’m going to sabotage this until everyone believes that I am superior, capable, and able. Only then will I let this matter proceed unimpeded. Do bad people like this exist? Have you done these sorts of things before? (Yes. Sometimes others had finished discussing a matter and found a suitable plan, but since they did not inform me during the decision-making process, I intentionally found some faults with it.) When you did this, did you know in your heart whether it is right or wrong? Did you know that the nature of this problem is serious, that it is causing a disruption and disturbance? (I was not aware of this at the time, but through being pruned severely by my brothers and sisters, and by eating and drinking God’s words of judgment and chastisement, I saw that this problem is serious in nature, that it is disrupting and disturbing the work of the church, and is a kind of satanic behavior.) Since you recognized how serious this is, when similar things befell you after that, were you able to change a little and have some entry in terms of your approach? (Yes. When I revealed such thoughts and ideas, I was aware that it was a satanic disposition, that I could not do things that way, and I was able to consciously pray to God and rebel against those incorrect thoughts and ideas.) You were able to change somewhat. When you have such problems of corruption, you must seek the truth to resolve them, restrain yourself, and pray to God. When you think that others look upon you with disdain, that they don’t think highly of you or take you seriously, and consequently you wish to cause a disruption, when you have this thought, you must be aware that it does not come from normal humanity but rather from a satanic disposition, and that, if you go on like this, there will be trouble, and you will be likely to offend God’s disposition. You must first know to restrain yourself, and then come before God to pray to Him and reverse your course. When people live inside their own thoughts, inside their corrupt dispositions, nothing that they do is in line with the truth or able to satisfy God; everything they do is antagonistic toward Him. You can recognize this fact now, can’t you? Always wanting to fight for fame and gain, and not hesitating to disrupt and disturb the work of the church in order to gain reputation and status, are the most obvious manifestations of antichrists. Actually, all people possess these manifestations, but if you can recognize and acknowledge this, and then reverse your course, assuming an attitude of true repentance before God, and changing your approach, behaviors, and dispositions, then you are someone who is pursuing the truth. If you do not acknowledge these real problems, you certainly don’t have an attitude of repentance, and you’re not a person who pursues the truth. If you persist in walking the path of an antichrist, and follow this path to the very end, and you still think that this is not a problem and are unwilling to repent, persisting in acting this way and competing for fame and gain with the workers and leaders, insisting on standing out more than others, sticking out from the crowd, and being better than others no matter which group you are in, then you are in trouble! If you keep pursuing reputation and status and stubbornly refuse to repent, then you are an antichrist and doomed to be punished in the end. God’s words, the truth, and conscience and reason do not have an effect on you, and you are certain to meet the end of antichrists. You cannot be saved, and you are irredeemable! Whether or not people can attain salvation and embark on the path of fearing God and shunning evil depends on whether they display manifestations of true repentance after coming to know themselves, and the attitude with which they approach the truth, as well as the path that they choose. If you do not abandon the path of an antichrist, and instead choose to satisfy your own ambitions and desires, openly going against the truth, and setting yourself against God, then you are irredeemable. If someone does not know to be afraid regardless of the magnitude of their mistakes or how many evil deeds they do, and they do not feel guilty, and keep giving excuses for themselves, without feeling a shred of remorse, then they are a bona fide antichrist and a devil. If someone just possesses the various manifestations of antichrists, but they can admit their mistakes, turn back, and have a heart of remorse, then this is different in nature than antichrists and another matter entirely. So, the key in whether or not someone can attain salvation lies in whether they can reflect on themselves, whether they have a heart of repentance, and whether they can embark on the path of pursuing the truth.

Item four, exalting and testifying about oneself, is a consistent approach of antichrists. You are able to discern the obvious means, ways, and methods by which antichrists exalt and testify about themselves, but can you discern the more hidden behaviors and manifestations? When it comes to obvious things like using language to exalt and testify about oneself, you reveal these things, you have seen others revealing them too, and you can discern them. But if no language is used and there are only behavioral manifestations, will you still be able to discern them? It can be said that most people are not able to. So then, what are the characteristics of behaviors where antichrists exalt and testify about themselves? Their behavior is certainly in line with man’s notions, imaginings, morals, conscience, and feelings. What else? (It garners people’s approval and worship.) It garners approval and worship; this is the outcome it produces. If we look at it from the perspective of the outcome, this behavior really does have a misleading quality to it. From the perspective of the nature of this action, it is very purposeful. For example, when someone falls ill, if they want to mislead people and make them think highly of them, then will they take their medicine in front of people or when nobody is around? (In front of people.) Is there not an intent behind this? This means they are being very purposeful. What is their actual aim in taking medicine like this? They want to get credit for themselves by doing this, and tell you: “Look, I’m so tired from doing my duty that I’ve fallen ill, and yet I still haven’t complained or shed a single tear. I’m treating my illness, but I can still persist in doing my duty while I’m taking medicine.” In fact, they did not necessarily get this illness from tiring themselves out doing their duty or after they came to believe in God. They are just trying to use all sorts of behaviors to transmit a message to people, which is that they are enduring suffering and paying a price, that they have suffered so much in this environment but not complained once, and still do their duty so actively, and that they possess the will to bear suffering. What is this imperceptibly telling people? That their loyalty to God is undoubtable. What they want to express is that they are loyal and willing to pay a price. Is this not a form of covertly exalting oneself? If they had reason, they would not bring up this matter, they would pray to God when no one was around, expressing their resolve and trying to know themselves, or they would just take their medicine normally. In short, they would not use these external behaviors to tell people that they are suffering, that they are doing their duties loyally, and that they should be rewarded. They would not harbor these intentions. However, if they act in a way that’s particularly showy, wanting to make people think highly of them and praise them, then this is very purposeful. And what is their purpose? It is to achieve the result of exalting and testifying about themselves through the message that they transmit to people. If they’re loyal, God will know this, so why must they boast about this to other people and make everyone else know about it? What is their goal in getting everyone to know about it? It is to make people think highly of them. If they did not have this goal, then they would act without intentions, and others would not see them do these things. If they’re very purposeful, they will measure the scale of their actions, and make a fuss and put thought into the time and location, waiting until everyone is around to ask someone to bring them their medicine, disclosing it publicly and with great fanfare. There is a very clear purpose to this. If they did not have this aim, then they would wait until no one was around to take their medicine. Your willingness to endure suffering and pay a price pertains to your relationship with God; you do not need to make it clear and known to others. If you make it clear to others, what can they give you? Aside from gaining their sympathy and praise, is there anything else you can gain from them? No, there is nothing. When you endure some suffering and pay some prices in the performance of your duty, in one respect, these are things that you should do and that you are willing to do, and you are doing your own duty. In another respect, they are manifestations that you should show toward the Creator as a created being, so why should you publicize them? When you publicize them, they become disgusting; what does the nature of such behavior become? It turns into exalting and testifying about oneself and misleading others—the nature changes. For example, some people always scratch their scalps in front of others, and when someone asks them about it, they say: “I haven’t washed my hair in more than 10 days—I’ve been meeting with gospel recipients one after the other. The other day I tried to make some time to wash my hair, but then a gospel recipient came to investigate, and I could not leave.” In fact, they are intentionally not washing their hair in order to give people the impression that they are very busy doing their duties. This is called flaunting oneself. What is their aim in flaunting themselves? It is to make people think highly of them, and the nature of this behavior is exalting and testifying about oneself. Even with such a small matter like this, they do not let it pass, they still want to make a big issue of it, turning it into a sort of valuable resource that they can use to show off, satisfy their ambitions and desires, and achieve their aim of getting people to think highly of them and worship them. Is this not shameful? It is shameful and disgusting. Where do all these things come from? They come from Satan’s corrupt disposition, within which pretense, deceitfulness, wickedness, and ambitions lie. People like this are constantly thinking about their image, status, and reputation. They do not let anything go, they are always looking for ways to turn those things into capital, into resources that they can use to make people think highly of them and worship them. In the end, when they achieve their aim, they act like they don’t care about it. This is also a sort of false appearance, and on the inside, they are actually secretly celebrating and pleased with themselves. Is this not even more disgusting? It is clear that they already have very high status, that everyone esteems them, looks up to them, obeys them, and follows them, but on the surface, they still pretend that they do not like status. This is even more hypocritical. In the end, everyone is misled by them, and say that they were born without any ambitions, that they are people of action. Actually, a small test can reveal this: If they are stripped of their status, they will immediately stop doing their duties. It will be that fast; one little thing will reveal their ambitions. These are the behaviors and approaches that Satan’s corrupt disposition brings out in people, as well as people’s various ugly states. From these manifestations, it can be seen that people like status and want to occupy a place in the hearts of others. They want to possess others’ hearts, win others over, and get others to worship, look up to, and even follow them, thereby replacing God’s position in other people’s hearts. This is a desire that every person possesses from birth. And what does this prove? That, in people’s lives, the thing that controls them is Satan’s disposition. Among corrupt mankind, there is not a single person who does not like status—even fools want to become officials, and even the dull-witted want to manage others. Everyone likes status, and everyone does things for the sake of status, and competes with God for status. Everyone has these sorts of behaviors and approaches, as well as this sort of disposition. So, when we expose antichrists exalting and testifying about themselves, we are also exposing the corrupt dispositions of every person. What is the aim of exposing this? It is to make people understand that these behaviors and manifestations of exalting and testifying about oneself are not what normal humanity should possess, but are instead revelations of corrupt dispositions, and negative, detestable things. No matter how smart your methods of exalting and testifying about yourself are, and no matter how covert your actions are, none of these are things that normal humanity ought to possess, and they are all loathed, condemned, and cursed by God. So, people should all put aside these approaches. Exalting and testifying about oneself is not an instinct that God created for man—rather, it is one of the most typical revelations of Satan’s corrupt disposition, and even more so, it is one of the most typical and specific dispositions and approaches of Satan’s corrupt essence.

Is fellowshipping about some specific examples helpful for you in terms of understanding the various manifestations of exalting and testifying about oneself, whether they be obvious or more hidden ways of speaking and acting? (Yes, it is helpful.) What does it help with? It helps people to discern themselves and others. These states, manifestations, and revelations that I’m speaking about are all things that you frequently display, and you should hold your own states up against them for comparison, understand what exactly you are, what exactly the life that you depend and rely on to survive is, what exactly is contained within this life, what exactly these dispositions make people do, and what they make people live out. Through understanding these specific behaviors, manifestations, approaches, and dispositions, people can gradually dissect and get to know themselves, their own essence, and their nature which is antagonistic toward God, and thereby let go of these approaches, come before God and truly turn themselves around, and practice in accordance with the truth and live it out. Some people say: “Since exalting and testifying about oneself is an approach that’s not in line with the truth and that is of Satan and antichrists, if I do not say or do anything, then doesn’t that mean I’m not exalting or testifying about myself?” This is not correct. So, what way of acting is not exalting and testifying about oneself? If you show off and testify about yourself regarding a certain matter, you will achieve the result of making some people think highly of you and worship you. But if you lay yourself bare and share your self-knowledge regarding that same matter, the nature of this is different. Is this not true? Laying oneself bare to talk about one’s self-knowledge is something that ordinary humanity ought to possess. It is a positive thing. If you really know yourself and speak about your state accurately, genuinely, and precisely; if you speak about knowledge that is completely based on God’s words; if those who listen to you are edified and benefit from it; and if you testify to God’s work and glorify Him, that is testifying about God. If, through laying yourself bare, you talk a lot about your strengths, how you have suffered, and paid the price, and stood firm in your testimony, and as a result, people have a high opinion of you and worship you, then this is testifying about yourself. You need to be able to tell the difference between these two behaviors. For example, explaining how weak and negative you were when facing trials, and how, after praying and seeking the truth, you finally understood God’s intention, gained faith, and stood firm in your testimony, is to exalt and testify about God. It is absolutely not showing off and testifying about yourself. Therefore, whether you are showing off and testifying about yourself or not chiefly depends on whether you are talking about your real experiences, and whether you achieve the effect of testifying about God; it is also necessary to look at what your intentions and aims are when you speak of your experiential testimony. Doing so will make it easy to discern what sort of behavior you are engaging in. If you have the right intention when you testify, then even if people have a high opinion of you and worship you, that is not really a problem. If you have the wrong intention, then even if no one has a high opinion of you or worships you, it is still a problem—and if people do have a high opinion of you and worship you, then that is even more of a problem. Therefore, you cannot look solely at results to determine whether a person is exalting and testifying about themselves. You must look primarily at their intention; the right way to distinguish between these two behaviors is based on intentions. If you just try to discern this based on results, you will be liable to falsely accuse good people. Some people share particularly genuine testimony, and some others consequently have a high opinion of them and worship them—can you say that those people are testifying about themselves? No, you cannot. There’s no problem with those people, the testimony they share and the duty they do are of benefit to others, and only foolish and ignorant people who have a distorted comprehension worship other people. The key to discerning whether people are exalting and testifying about themselves or not is to look at the intention of the speaker. If your intention is to show everyone how your corruption was revealed, and how you have changed, and to enable others to benefit from this, then your words are earnest and true, and in line with the facts. Such intentions are correct, and you are not showing off or testifying about yourself. If your intention is to show everyone that you have real experiences, and that you have changed and possess the truth reality, so that they think highly of you and worship you, then these intentions are incorrect. That is showing off and testifying about yourself. If the experiential testimony you speak of is false, adulterated, and intended to hoodwink people, to stop them from seeing your true state, and to prevent your intentions, corruption, weakness, or negativity from being revealed to others, then such words are deceiving and misleading. This is false testimony, this is tricking God and bringing shame upon God, and it is what God hates most of all. There are clear differences between these states, and they can all be discerned based on intention. If you can discern others, you will be able to see through to their states, and then you will also be able to discern yourself, and see through to your own states.

After listening to all these sermons, some people still continue to exalt and testify about themselves as they did before. How should you approach such people? Be discerning toward them, expose them, and keep your distance from them. If their words have value as a point of reference, then you can take on those words, but if they have no referential value whatsoever, you should forsake them and not be influenced by them. If the people in question are leaders, then expose them, report them, forsake them, and do not accept their leadership. Say this: “You always testify about and exalt yourself, you always make us numb and control us, and you mislead us. We have all grown further from God, and we don’t even have God in our hearts—there is only you. Now we are going to stand up and forsake you.” You must act in this way, you must monitor one another, monitoring both yourself and others. Have you not frequently scratched your scalp in front of others, or told people that you have skipped several meals when you were really eating plenty of snacks behind their backs? When, at times, the environment does not allow it, it is normal for people to not shower for a month, or to skip a shower or to skip washing their hair because they are too busy with work. These are all common occurrences, and they are the prices that people should pay. They’re not a big deal—don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. If someone really makes such matters out to be something bigger than they really are, deliberately scratching their scalps in front of others and saying that they have not washed their hair for several days, deliberately taking medicine in front of others, or pretending that they are exhausted and in very poor physical condition, then everyone should stand up to expose them and express displeasure toward them. This way, this shameless person can be restricted. They are being hypocritical, they are flaunting themselves for other people to see, and yet they are trying to get people to express approval for their behavior, to gaze at them with envy, admiration, and appreciation. Are they not tricking people? These approaches are the same as when the Pharisees held Scriptures and prayed to God at street corners. They are no different than this. As soon as someone mentions the Pharisees holding Scriptures and standing at street corners reading scriptures or praying, these people think, “That is too disgraceful. I wouldn’t do something like that.” Yet they intentionally take medicine or scratch their scalps in front of others, unaware that what they are doing is of the same nature. They cannot see through to this. Later on, when you encounter such matters, you must learn to discern and expose people like this, exposing all their hypocrisy—then they will not dare to act in such a way. You must put a little pressure on them, and make them think that such approaches, behaviors, and dispositions are shameful and very much detested by all. If people detest them so much, does God detest them? He detests them even more. Inherently, you are nothing. You are already pitiful enough, even if you do not exalt and testify about yourself, so if you are so pitiful and still exalt and testify about yourself, will this not disgust people? You have never done your duty loyally, you have never acted with principles, and you have not met God’s demands in any respect. You are already in trouble, so if you also exalt and testify about yourself, then won’t things be even rougher for you? You will be even further from God’s demands, and an even greater distance from reaching the standard for attaining salvation.

Tell Me, what is the nature of the problem of exalting and testifying about oneself? Satan has corrupted people to such an extent; isn’t their humanity and reason no longer normal? Have you shown manifestations of exalting and testifying about yourselves in the performance of your duties? Who can speak on this? (I have shown such a manifestation. When I am performing my duty until late at night, I will send a message to the gathering group so that others know I have still not slept at this hour, and so that they will think I can endure suffering and pay the price. I have done this myself and have also frequently seen others do it too.) It seems that there are plenty of such people and they are not in the minority. Is doing such a thing not uncalled-for? How asinine it is! Who else wants to say something? (I have shown such a manifestation. When I see that some problems exist in the church’s work, I will set about resolving them, falsely giving people the impression that I am very enthusiastic, but most of the time I do not actually do anything after speaking up. My actions do not progress and are inefficient, and in the end the problem is unresolved, and the matter is left unsettled. I use my superficial enthusiasm to hoodwink people and cover up the fact that I don’t practice the truth.) You are speaking empty words, talking big, and not taking any real action. You let people see your vigor, as if you are practicing the truth, but when the time comes to do something, you do not earnestly set about doing it and only shout slogans. Ultimately, you start off with a bang and finish with a whimper, leaving the matter incomplete. Such a manifestation is also misleading. And in the future, when something similar befalls you, will you be discerning in this matter? (Now I can discern it somewhat.) Then do you have a sense of direction? If such a thing befalls you again, you can follow two different steps: The first step is judging whether or not you can actually take care of this matter. If you can, then you should go about it seriously and practically. The second step is praying before God and asking Him to guide you in this matter, and when you take action, you also need to accept everyone’s supervision while at the same time being resolved to cooperate and working together with everyone to complete this task. If you learn to do things step-by-step and work in a down-to-earth manner, then you will resolve this problem. If you always speak empty words, talk big, shoot your mouth off, only superficially go through the motions when you do something, and are not down-to-earth at all, then you are roguish. Given that you are able to see that there is a problem in the church’s work and are able to suggest how the problem should be solved, this proves that you may possess potential and may have the working abilities to settle this matter. The only thing is that there is a problem with your disposition—you act impetuously, are unwilling to pay the price, and only focus on shouting empty slogans. Once you discover a problem, first look at whether or not you can resolve it, and if you can, then take on this task and follow through to the end, resolving the problem, carrying out and fulfilling your responsibility, and giving an account of it to God. This is what it means to perform your duties and to act and conduct yourself in a down-to-earth manner. If you cannot resolve this problem, then report it to your leader and see who is best suited to handle this matter. First, you must fulfill your responsibility; this way, you will have held on to your duty and stood in the right position. After you discover the problem, if you cannot resolve it but are able to report it, then you have fulfilled your first responsibility. If you feel that this is a duty that you should perform and that you are up to the task, then you should seek the help of your brothers and sisters, first fellowshipping about the principles and setting a plan, and then working together harmoniously to complete this matter. This is your second responsibility. If you can take on both of these responsibilities, then you will have performed your duties well, and you will be a qualified created being. People’s duties are made up of nothing more than these two aspects. If you can take on the things that you see and are able to do, performing your duties well, then you are in line with God’s will.

Are there any other manifestations of exalting and testifying about oneself? (I recently had such a manifestation. When I was performing my duties, I busied myself with things all day, and there were some problems in the church that I did not practically resolve and instead only handled perfunctorily. However, some people saw that I was busy performing my duty every day, so they thought highly of me and admired me. Does this behavior not also contain elements of exalting and testifying about myself? I cannot see this matter clearly and always feel a bit constrained.) Is this testifying about yourself? If you are busy with performing your duties, are able to endure suffering and do not complain, and God’s chosen ones think highly of you and admire you, this is normal and is not caused by testifying about yourself. You are just busy with performing your duties and are not flaunting yourself or showing off, and you do not keep going on about your experiences of suffering, so this is unrelated to testifying about yourself. However, many people appear to be busy on the surface when performing their duties when, in actuality, their work has not yielded any results and they have not resolved any problems. Does God approve of people who are busy in that way? If you are busy all day with simple problems that people who understand the truth and grasp the principles might resolve in two hours, and you feel quite fatigued and that you have suffered a lot, then are you not just busying yourself with nothing, just running around without purpose? Can you gain God’s approval from performing your duties in this way? (No.) You are working too inefficiently! With this matter, you must seek the truth principles. Sometimes people have a lot on their plate and are truly busy, which is normal, but sometimes they don’t have much to do and yet are still busy. What causes this? One reason is that your work has not been planned and arranged reasonably. You must grasp the key work duties, plan and arrange them reasonably, and perform your duties with greater efficiency. Running about without purpose and busying yourself in vain will not be approved of by God. Another situation is when your intention is to make people think you are busy, and you use this means and false appearance to hoodwink others. Whenever they gather, some leaders and workers do not resolve actual problems and instead make pointless remarks, going off-topic nonstop and speaking on and on without getting to the key point. This way of being busy—not striving for efficiency or progress—is called busying oneself with nothing. And what sort of attitude is this? It is going through the motions in one’s work, being perfunctory, killing time, and in the end still thinking, “No matter what other people think or what God thinks, as long as my conscience is clear I’ll be fine. At least I’m not idling away, at least I’m not getting a free lunch.” On the surface, it may seem that you are not idling away, that you aren’t getting a free lunch, that every day you are either attending gatherings or performing your duty, and that everything you are doing is related to the church’s work, but in actuality, deep down, you know that the things you are doing are not useful or of value at all, and that you are going through the motions. This is problematic. So, how well are you performing your duty? You know very well that you have a problem, but you do not seek the truth to resolve it—this is being perfunctory, numb, and intransigent. What is the consequence of being perfunctory and procrastinating when performing your duties? You will certainly not gain God’s approval, because you do not act with principles or efficiency, and performing your duty like this is purely rendering service. If you are pruned and helped but still do not repent, and you even make complaints and are negative and slack off while working, then you can only be cast out. So, if you do not pursue the truth to resolve the problem of being perfunctory, no matter how long you perform your duties it will be of no use, and you will fall short of the standards for performing your duties with loyalty. It is worth reflecting on this problem. God demands that people act with principles, that they practice the truth, and that they be honest. If one can enter these truths, then they will achieve results in the performance of their duties, and at minimum they will be able to act with principles. The foundation and the key to raising one’s efficiency lies here. If one does not have the truth principles, then no matter how busily they perform their duties and no matter how long they work each day, they will not see true results. When judging whether people perform their duties with loyalty, God does not look at how long they perform their duties, but rather at their practical results and their work efficiency, and at whether they are acting with principles and in accordance with the truth. To put it simply, He looks at whether people have true experiential testimony and life entry in the performance of their duties. If people do not have any truth reality, then they are just service-doers, but if they can practice the truth and act with principles, then that is a sign that they are performing their duties as God’s people. Through this comparison, it can be understood that only those who meet the standards for performing their duties can be considered God’s people. Those who do not meet the standards, who are always perfunctory, are service-doers. If one can come to understand the truth and act with principles, then performing any duty will not be a problem for them, and as long as they grope about for a while, they will eventually meet the standards for performing their duties. As for those who are too low in caliber or who are always perfunctory, it will be difficult for them to meet the demands, and their performance of their duties is nothing more than rendering service. As for muddle-headed people, blockheads, and people with poor humanity who don’t do proper work, do not accept the truth no matter how it is fellowshipped, and continue to act recklessly, they can only be cast out and left to believe in God however they want. So, if one does not perform their duty with principles and is running around with no purpose and busying themselves with nothing every day, then they must quickly seek the truth to resolve this and act with principles. They should be able to perform their duty normally every day and not just be content when they have worked for a long time, placing importance on efficiency and creating a finished product—only such people are people who are approved of by God and who loyally perform their duties.

Nowadays, there are many people who follow God and are performing their own duties, but a portion of them have never pursued the truth, and when performing their duties, they always act recklessly and according to their own wishes, doing whatever they want. They do not make big mistakes, but they make small ones all the time, particularly appearing to look busy every day when in reality, they have not handled any proper matters and are idling away their time. One could also say that they only do their work to get by. Are such people not in danger? If one is always approaching their duties and approaching God’s commission with such an irreverent attitude, what kind of consequences will there be? Working ineffectively and being dismissed with one’s duties is a light consequence—if one does various sorts of evil deeds then they should be cleared out, and God will hand such a person over to Satan. What does it mean to be handed over to Satan? It means that God will no longer look after them, that God will not save them, and that they will begin to take the wrong path and will then be punished. You understand this, don’t you? Now is the time when God reveals people, and if you are temporarily not following the correct path, then God will make use of the practical environment to give you an opportunity to recognize your problems. However, once you know that God has given you some time to reflect, that God is giving you a final opportunity, if you still do not turn back and stubbornly continue to perform your duty perfunctorily, then God will act. When God destroyed the city of Nineveh, did He do so right away? He did not. What was God’s first step when He acted? He first informed Jonah, and explicitly told him how the entire process would go and what His intentions were. After this, Jonah went to Nineveh and walked all around the city, announcing: “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown” (Jonah 3:4). This message reached everyone’s ears; the men and women, the young and old, and people from all walks of life heard about it—it was known to every household, and even their king heard the news. Why did God act in such a way? By looking at this matter, one can see that whether He is saving people, revealing people, or punishing them, the ways in which He treats people all have procedures and principles. He is not acting on a sudden whim, immediately destroying someone when He doesn’t like the look of them. Instead, He lets some time pass. What is His purpose in allowing this passage of time? (To let people repent.) It is to let the people of Nineveh know what He is going to do, to allow them to reflect and little by little come to understand His intentions and gradually begin to turn back. There is a process to people recognizing this, and these 40 days are the time that God has given people to turn back. If they still have not turned back after 40 days and have not confessed their sins to Him, then God will accomplish this matter according to what He said He would do. This is because God is as good as His word, and His word will be accomplished—there is no falseness to these words. So, what was the reaction of the people of Nineveh when they received this news? Did they instantly cover themselves in sackcloth and ashes? No, there was a process. At the beginning, people might have been in doubt: “God is going to destroy us; did He really say that? What did we do?” After this, all the households informed each other about this matter and discussed it together. They felt that a crisis had arrived and that they were at the crossroads of life and death. So, what should they do? Should they confess and repent, or be skeptical and resist? If they truly chose to be skeptical and resist, the consequence would be that they were destroyed after 40 days, but if they confessed their sins and turned back, they would still have a lifeline. After discussing this matter at all levels for many days, an extreme minority of citizens were able to adopt an attitude of confessing their sins and turning back. They were able to bow down in worship, to offer sacrifices, or show some good behaviors and manifestations. But there was one most crucial figure who saved this city—who was this? It was the king of Nineveh. He ordered the whole country, from the king down to the lowliest commoner, to cover themselves in sackcloth and ashes, to confess their sins and repent to Jehovah God. After issuing such an order, could anyone in the city dare not to do it? A king has this kind of power. If he had used the power that he held to do some bad things, then the country’s people would have suffered a great disaster, but instead he wielded this power to do good things, things of worshiping God and turning back to Him, and the city was preserved, the people of the whole country were saved, and they had hope of being absolved. Was this not decided by a single thought of this king? If he had said, “Regardless of whether you’re willing to repent, I’m not going to do it; you’re on your own. I don’t believe in such things, and I have not done any evil. What’s more, I have status, so what can God do to me? Can He ban me from the throne? If the city is destroyed, so be it. Without these commoners I will still be king, just as I was before!” What if he had had such an idea, such a line of thinking? Then much fewer common people would have been saved, and God ultimately may have selectively brought out the people who were willing to repent. After He brought them out, those who would rather die than repent would have been destroyed along with the city, and of course the king would have been among them. And as for those who were willing to repent, they would be able to go on living after God brought them out of the city. But, the best thing about this was that the king of Nineveh was able to take the lead in covering himself in sackcloth and ashes, and also tell the common people of the city, whether they were women or men, young or old—no matter who they were, no matter how high-ranking an official or how low-class a peasant—from aristocrats to ordinary civilians, that they all must cover themselves in sackcloth and ashes and kneel down before Jehovah God in worship, prostrate themselves and confess their sins, express their attitude of turning back, turn away from their evil way and forsake the evil in their hands, repent to God, and pray that He not destroy them. The king of Nineveh took the lead by repenting and confessing his sins to God, and in doing so saved the city’s entire populace, with many people benefiting along with him. By taking the lead in doing this, his power became valuable. This king leading his people to turn back before God is something that God commemorates.

Does fellowshipping about the content of antichrists exalting and testifying about themselves in such detail have any benefits for you? Fellowshipping over and over again like this, giving examples, telling stories, using different means and terms to describe and define it—if people still do not understand, then they truly lack spiritual understanding, and people like this are irredeemable. What is the aim of fellowshipping in such detail? It is to ensure that after people hear these words, what they understand and accept is not doctrines, not literal meaning, and not a certain expression, but rather a truth about the way things are and some truths and principles related to people’s essence, their existence, and their lives. If you can hold these sayings or these examples I have talked about up to your own actual state or to the things you reveal in your own life for comparison, then you can understand the truth and are a person with spiritual understanding. If you can make the connection and find the relationship between each example and matter that is discussed and the aspect of the truth that is being fellowshipped about, as well as their relationship to your own state and your own revelations—if you know how to link these together and put this knowledge to use, then you have spiritual understanding, you have hope of entering the truth reality, and you can understand the truth. If you do not understand no matter what is said, if you cannot relate these matters to yourself, if you feel that no matter what you hear it has nothing to do with what you reveal and with your own nature essence, and if you cannot find the correlation, then you are completely ignorant and can’t get anything into your head; you lack spiritual understanding. Such people who lack spiritual understanding are only good for rendering service and cannot enter the truth reality. People who want to attain salvation must enter the truth reality, and to enter the truth reality one must understand these words and understand these stories and circumstances I have talked about, as well as what each matter, each type of revelation, and the essence of each type of person and their manifestations and states are, and become able to hold all of these up to themselves. Only this way can they understand the truth; if they do not reach this point, then they cannot understand it. It is similar to when people raise chickens—if one raises a chicken for half a year, and it has still not laid an egg, can it be said that this chicken does not lay eggs? (No.) If the owner has had this chicken for three years and has fed it grains and greens, but no matter what it eats it still does not lay an egg, then can it be said that this chicken does not lay eggs? (Yes.) So, when it comes to people, some of them do not understand no matter what sermons they listen to and no matter how you fellowship about the truth to them. This is a person without spiritual understanding. There is another type of person, the kind who can understand what they have heard but does not put it into practice, does not turn back. This type of person is done for and is the same as the people from the city of Sodom—doomed to be an object of destruction. Antichrists belong to this category of people; they will not turn back no matter how you fellowship about the truth. Is this merely an intransigent disposition? (No.) They have a nature essence that antagonizes God and is hostile to the truth, and for such a person it is out of the question for them to understand the truth. They make an enemy of the truth, antagonize the truth and God, and are hostile to positive things, so when you fellowship about the truth, they do not treat it as the truth, but rather as a sort of theory, scholarship, or doctrine. After they listen to the fellowship, they equip their hearts with it so that after this they can show off and earn their own interests, status, fame, and gain. This is their aim. No matter how you fellowship about the truth and no matter which examples you discuss, you cannot reform them, and you cannot reverse their intentions or change the way they do things. They are someone who does not pursue the truth. People who do not accept and practice the truth after hearing it cannot be changed by the truth, and God will not save such people. Those of this sort can essentially be defined as people who are hostile to the truth, and to be more specific, they are antichrists. This is the difference between antichrists and ordinary people.

Some people have the disposition of an antichrist, and often reveal certain corrupt dispositions, but at the same time as having such revelations, they also reflect upon and know themselves, and are able to accept and practice the truth, and after a time, change can be seen in them. They are possible objects of salvation. There are those who, on the outside, seem capable of forsaking things, expending themselves, suffering hardship and paying a price, but in their nature essence, they are averse to the truth and hate it. When you fellowship on the truth with them, they are averse to it and antagonistic. They doze off and fall asleep during gatherings and sermons. They find them boring, and even if they do understand what they’re hearing, they don’t put it into practice. There are others who appear to listen in earnest to sermons, but their hearts do not thirst for the truth and their attitude toward God’s words is that they evaluate them as a kind of spiritual knowledge or theory. And so no matter how many years they have been a believer, or how many of God’s words they have read, or how many sermons they have heard, there is no change in their view toward pursuing status and esteeming power, or in their attitude of being averse to the truth, hating the truth, and resisting God. They are archetypal antichrists. If you expose them by saying, “What you’re doing is trying to win people over, and when you exalt and testify about yourself, you are misleading people and vying for status with God. These are the actions of Satan and antichrists,” are they capable of accepting such condemnation? Definitely not. What do they think? “I am right to act this way, so this is how I act. No matter how you condemn me, no matter what you say, and no matter how right it may seem, I am not going to give up this way of doing things, this desire, this pursuit.” It’s determined, then: These are antichrists. Nothing you say can alter their views, intent, agenda, ambitions, or desires. This is the archetypal nature essence of antichrists; no one can change them. No matter how people fellowship on the truth with them, or what language or wording they use, no matter the time, space, or context, nothing can change them. No matter how their environment changes, no matter how the people, events, and things around them change, and no matter how the times change, or how great the signs and wonders God shows, how much grace God bestows on them, or even how God punishes them, the way they see things and their agenda will never change, and their ambition and desire to wrest power will never change. Their way of comporting themselves and interacting with others will never change, nor will their attitude of hating the truth and God. When others point out that what they are doing is exalting and testifying about themselves and trying to mislead people, they change their manner of speaking to one with which others can find no fault or discern. They use even more crafty means to carry on their management and achieve their aim of ruling and controlling God’s chosen people. This is what is manifested in an antichrist, and it is engendered by the essence of an antichrist. Even if God told them they would be punished, that their end had come, that they were accursed, could this change their essence? Could it change their attitude toward the truth? Could it change their love of status, fame, and gain? It could not. Turning people who have been corrupted by Satan into people with normal humanity who worship God is the work of God; it can be achieved. But is it possible to turn demons, people who are dressed in human skin but whose essence is satanic, and who are hostile to God, into normal people? That would be impossible. God does not do this kind of work; these people are not included among those God saves. How, then, does God define such people? They belong to Satan. They are not objects of God’s selection or salvation; God does not want such people. No matter how long they have believed in God, how much they have suffered or what they have accomplished, their agenda will not change. They will not give up their ambitions or desires, much less will they relinquish their motivation and craving to vie for status and for people with God. Such people are genuine antichrists.

Some people say, “Isn’t that antichrists can do evil and resist God just them being momentarily muddleheaded? If God were to show some signs and wonders or punish them a little, so that they could see God, wouldn’t they then be able to acknowledge and submit to God? Wouldn’t they then be able to accept and acknowledge that God is truth and not vie for status with God anymore? Isn’t it the case that they have no faith because they haven’t witnessed God showing any signs and wonders or seen God’s spiritual body, and so they’re very weak and then they get hoodwinked by Satan?” No, that is not the case. Antichrists’ ambitions, desires, and essence are absolutely distinct and different from someone being temporarily hoodwinked and foolish and not understanding the truth. Antichrists inherently possess a satanic nature and they are averse to the truth and hate the truth from birth. They are Satans who are irreconcilable with God, who resist God and vie with God till the end, and they are living Satans who wear human skin. Such people are defined as antichrists according to their nature essence, and so what role can they play and what things can they do in God’s house? They disrupt, disturb, demolish, and destroy God’s work. These people cannot help but do these things in God’s house. This is the kind of thing they are, they have a satanic nature, and it’s just like wolves getting in amongst the flock, intent on devouring the sheep—this is their one and only purpose. Speaking from another perspective, why does God allow these people to appear in His house? It is so that God’s chosen people can grow in discernment. No one has seen what the devil Satan looks like, what the essence of its actions is, what its specific revelations are, or how it misleads people and opposes God in the world. When the devil Satan is mentioned, they feel it to be abstract and empty, that it is not concrete enough. “Where is Satan?” they ask. “In the air,” comes the reply. “So, how big is Satan then? What miracles does it perform specifically? How specifically does it oppose God? What is its nature essence?” They feel it’s all very abstract, vague, and empty. However, through the manifestations and revelations of antichrists, they can match up these things to what Satan does and its nature essence, and then it all becomes concrete and is no longer abstract or empty. Once it all becomes concrete, people can then hear it speak, see its behavior, and attentively discern its nature essence. In this way, do they not then feel that the devil Satan’s essence of which God speaks becomes more concrete and real, and they can make a practical comparison? Some people are of immature stature and don’t understand the truth, and through some momentary foolishness they get hoodwinked by antichrists and misled, and so they leave for a year or so. When they return to God’s house, they realize that it doesn’t feel good to follow Satan. When these people first begin to follow antichrists, they feel they have sufficient reason and great confidence, saying, “The Above doesn’t want us to follow antichrists, but we’ll follow them all the same, and one day we’ll be proven right!” The result of this is that, after some time, they feel they’ve lost the work of the Holy Spirit, they’re unable to feel any confirmation in their hearts. To them, it feels as though God is no longer with them, that their faith has lost its meaning and direction, and gradually they come to have more and more discernment of antichrists. They previously thought that antichrists really understood the truth, and by following them they couldn’t go wrong in their faith, but now they see that antichrists have serious problems, that antichrists speak as though they understand the truth, yet they never practice the truth—this is a fact. They see they have followed antichrists for such a long time and have gained no truth, and that it really is so dangerous to continue following antichrists, and so they feel regret, they reject the antichrists, and they become willing to return to God’s house. Once God’s house has taken such people back, those people are asked to recount their experience, and they say, “That antichrist was so good at misleading people. Back then, they seemed right no matter how I thought of them, but the result was that I gained nothing, understood no truth, and came to possess not even a hint of truth reality after following them for over a year. I wasted precious time. I’ve really suffered so great a loss!” This experience of failure becomes their most profound memory. After they return to God’s house, the more they listen to sermons, the more they come to understand the truth and the brighter their hearts become. When they think back on the time they spent following that antichrist and see how they’ve suffered loss, they come to feel that antichrists really are Satan and are fundamentally without truth, that only God is truth, and they don’t dare to follow another human being again. When it comes time to select a leader again, they cast their vote very carefully, thinking, “If I cast my vote for a certain person, then most likely an antichrist will be selected. If I don’t cast my vote for a certain person, then perhaps an antichrist won’t be selected. I must be careful and evaluate people according to principles.” Aren’t their actions now based on principles and standards? (Yes, they are.) This is a good thing. Some people are misled by antichrists and say, “Why has this happened to us? Have we been laid aside by God? Does He not care about us anymore?” In such a situation as that, would you consent if God told you not to follow antichrists? No, you wouldn’t. You would still insist on following them, and all God could do would be to allow you to do it and then teach you a lesson using facts. After following antichrists for some time, you suddenly come to your senses and see that you have suffered loss in your life, and only then do you feel remorse and become willing to reject antichrists and return before God once again. Fortunately for you, God is tolerant and merciful, and He still wants you. If He didn’t, then you’d be totally finished, you’d have no more chances to attain salvation—there is no good end to following antichrists.

You must see antichrists clearly and recognize them correctly. You must know how to discern the various manifestations of antichrists and, at the same time, you should clearly know that there are many things which your own nature essence has in common with antichrists. This is because you all belong to mankind which has been corrupted by Satan, and the only difference is that antichrists are completely under Satan’s control, and they have become Satan’s accomplices and speak on its behalf. You also belong to corrupt mankind, but you are able to accept the truth and have hope of attaining salvation. However, there are many things in terms of essence that you have in common with antichrists, and your methods and agendas are the same. It is only that, once you have heard the truth and listened to sermons, you are able to change course, and being able to change course determines that you have hope of attaining salvation—this is the difference between you and antichrists. Therefore, when I’m exposing antichrists, you should also make a comparison and recognize what things you and antichrists have in common, and which manifestations, dispositions, and aspects of essence you share with them. By doing this, won’t you then be able to better know yourself? If you always feel antagonistic, believing that you are not an antichrist, feeling intense hatred for antichrists, and are unwilling to make this comparison or reflect on yourself and understand what path you’re following, then what will the consequence be? With a satanic disposition, you are very likely to become an antichrist. This is because no antichrist purposefully seeks to become an antichrist and then becomes one; it’s because they don’t pursue the truth, and as a matter of course they end up following the path of an antichrist. Aren’t all those in the religious world who don’t love the truth antichrists? Every single person who doesn’t reflect on and understand their own nature essence, and who believes in God according to their notions and imaginings, is an antichrist. Once you have embarked upon the path of an antichrist, once you gain status, and combined with the fact that you have some gifts and learning, and everyone admires you, then as the time you spend working lengthens, you come to hold a place in people’s hearts. As the work you’re responsible for grows in scope, you come to lead more and more people, you gain more and more capital, and then you become a bona fide Paul. Is all this up to you? You had no plan to follow this path, but how come you unknowingly embarked upon the path of an antichrist? One important reason for this is that if you don’t pursue the truth, you will most certainly pursue status and prestige, you will engage in your own business, until finally, without being aware of it, you will be following the path of an antichrist. If people who are following the path of an antichrist don’t change course in time, then when they gain status they will quite possibly become antichrists—this result is inevitable. If they can’t see this matter clearly, then they are in danger, because everyone possesses corrupt dispositions and everyone loves reputation and status; if they don’t love the truth, then they are very prone to falling due to reputation and status. Without the judgment and chastisement of God, everyone would follow the path of an antichrist and fall due to reputation and status, and this is something no one can deny. You say, “I only have these revelations every now and then, they’re just temporary manifestations. Even though I have the same essence as that of antichrists, I’m still distinct from antichrists because I don’t have such great ambitions as they do. Also, while I’m doing my duty, I’m constantly reflecting on myself, feeling remorse, and seeking the truth, and I act in accordance with truth principles. Judging by my behavior, I’m not an antichrist and I don’t wish to be one, therefore I can’t possibly become an antichrist.” You may not be an antichrist right now, but can you ensure that you won’t follow the path of an antichrist and become an antichrist? Can you make such a guarantee? No, you can’t. So, how can you make such a guarantee? The one and only way to do this is to pursue the truth. How then should you pursue the truth? Do you have a way to do this? First, you must acknowledge the fact that you share the same disposition and essence as antichrists. Although you aren’t an antichrist right now, for you, what is the most deadly and dangerous thing? It is that you possess the same nature essence as antichrists. Is this a good thing for you? (No.) It certainly isn’t. This is deadly for you. Therefore, while you’re listening to these sermons exposing antichrists’ various manifestations, don’t think that these things have nothing to do with you; this is the wrong attitude to have. So then, what kind of attitude should you have to accept these facts and manifestations? Compare yourself to them, acknowledge that you have an antichrist’s nature essence, and then examine yourself to find out which of your manifestations and revelations are identical to those of antichrists. First, acknowledge this fact—don’t try to disguise yourself or wrap yourself up. The path you walk is the path of an antichrist, so it is in accordance with the facts to say you are an antichrist; it’s just that God’s house hasn’t yet defined you as such and is giving you a chance to repent, that’s all. Do you understand? First, accept and acknowledge this fact, and then what you have to do is come before God and ask Him to discipline you and hold you in check. Don’t depart from the light of God’s presence or leave His protection, and in this way you will be held in check by your conscience and reason when you do things, and you will also have God’s words to illuminate you, lead you, and keep you in check. Moreover, you will have the work of the Holy Spirit to guide you, to arrange the people, events, and things around you to serve as warnings for you and to discipline you. How does God warn you? God acts in many ways. Sometimes, God will cause you to have an obvious feeling in your heart, allowing you to clearly realize that you need to be held in check, that you cannot act willfully, that if you act wrongly then you will bring shame upon God and make a fool of yourself, and so you restrain yourself. Isn’t this God protecting you? This is one way. Sometimes, God will reproach you inside yourself and present clear words to you to tell you that acting in that way is shameful, that He detests it, that it is accursed, that is, He uses clear words to reproach you so that you make a comparison with yourself. What is God’s aim in reproaching you in this way? He does it to make your conscience feel something, and when you feel something, you will consider the impact, consequences, and your own sense of shame, and you will exercise some restraint in your actions and practices. Once you have had many such experiences, you will find that although these corrupt dispositions are rooted inside people, when people become able to accept the truth and clearly see the truth of their own corrupt dispositions, they can purposefully rebel against their flesh; when people become able to put the truth into practice, their satanic disposition is cleansed and changed. Man’s satanic disposition is not indestructible or immutable—when you become able to accept the truth and put the truth into practice, your satanic disposition will naturally be broken down and replaced. Once you taste how sweet it is to put the truth into practice, you will think, “I was so shameless before. No matter how barefaced my words or how I exalted myself to make others worship me, I felt no shame and had no awareness afterward. Now I feel that acting in that way was wrong and I lost face, and I feel as though many eyes are upon me.” This is God’s doing. He gives you a feeling, and you would feel as though you are reproaching yourself, and then you won’t commit evil or stick to your own path. Unknowingly, your ways of exalting and testifying about yourself grow fewer and fewer, you increasingly exercise self-restraint, and you feel more and more that by acting in this way your heart is at ease and your conscience is at peace—this is living in the light, and there is no longer any need to be on tenterhooks or to use lies or pleasant words to camouflage yourself. In the past, you lied and kept the lies going every day to protect your reputation. Every time you told a lie, you had to then keep that lie going, so afraid that you might give the game away. The result of this was that you told more and more lies, and later had to put in great effort and rack your brains to keep your lies going; you were living a life that resembled neither that of humans nor that of demons, and so exhausting! Now, you are seeking to be an honest person, and you can open your heart and speak things that are real. There is no need for you to tell lies and keep your lies going every day, you’re not constrained by lies anymore, you suffer much less, you live a life that is increasingly relaxed, free, and liberated, in your innermost heart you enjoy feelings of peace and joy—you are tasting the sweetness of this life. And while you are tasting the sweetness of this life, your inner world is no longer deceitful, wicked, or false. Instead, you are now willing to come before God, you pray to God and seek the truth when you have an issue, you are able to discuss it with others when you have an issue, and you no longer act unilaterally or arbitrarily. You feel more and more that the way you used to do things was contemptible and you don’t want to do things like that anymore. Instead, you act in whichever way accords with the truth, with reason, and with God’s will; the way you act has changed. When you are able to achieve these things, doesn’t that mean that you have departed from the path of an antichrist? And when you have departed from the path of an antichrist, doesn’t that mean that you have embarked upon the path to attaining salvation? When you have embarked upon the path to attaining salvation and often come before God, your attitude, intent, perspective, your life goals and direction in life are no longer in opposition to God, you begin to love positive things, and you begin to love fairness, righteousness, and truth. When this happens, your innermost heart and thoughts have begun to transform. When you have embarked upon the path to attaining salvation, can you still become an antichrist? Can you still intentionally resist God? No, you can’t, and you are out of danger now. Only by entering this state will people be on the right track of faith in God, and only by seeking and accepting the truth in this way can they cast off the troubles, the control, and the disturbance caused by their satanic nature and antichrist nature. Have you now embarked upon the right path in life of pursuing the truth? If not, hurry and strive hard to get on it. If you can’t get onto the path in pursuit of the truth, you’ll still be living in danger—all those who walk the path of antichrists are in danger of being cast out at any time.

Most people, while they’re doing their duty, are battling against their own antichrist disposition, exhausted from fighting for reputation, status, money and interests, weary in mind and body. So, when can this problem be resolved? Only by pursuing the truth and being able to accept the truth can you gradually cast off the constraints and bonds of your antichrist nature essence and cause your satanic disposition to gradually weaken and vanish, and in so doing you will have hope of freeing yourself from the power of Satan. Have you wept in private because of these things, feeling that you can never change, never love the truth, and never handle things according to truth principles, and hating yourself so much that you slap your own face and weep bitter tears? Have you done this many times? If someone hasn’t done this a lot, doesn’t that make them numb? Such a person can never perceive that they’re corrupt, and still they believe they work well, that they have caliber and talent, that they understand many truths, and that they can handle many things according to principles, feeling very assured—such a person is numb, they think they’re great, and this is very dangerous for them! Can you now really perceive that your stature is too small, that you are far from casting off your corrupt dispositions, and that you’re still in the danger zone? People who don’t pursue the truth don’t have this perception, neither do people who are without the work of the Holy Spirit. Most people are in a daze and muddled, thinking that as long as they do their duty in an orderly way and don’t do evil, then they are not following the path of antichrists, and that as long as they don’t do all kinds of evil then they are not antichrists. Because of this, most of the time they are in a state of numbness, often feeling pleased with themselves, thinking they’re great and that they’ll soon attain salvation, and that the path of antichrists has nothing to do with them. Your daily prayers can be used to measure whether you are in this state or not. What do you pray when you come before God every day? If every day you say, “Oh God, I love You! Oh God, I’m willing to submit to You! Oh God, I’m willing to fulfill the commission You’ve given me! I can do my duty loyally, and I am resolved to satisfy You and be perfected by You. No matter what antichrist manifestations I possess or how little I know myself, You still love me and wish to save me,” then what manifestation is this? This is numbness, you express only determination, and you have no understanding of your own nature essence whatsoever. You are in the enthusiastic phase, and you are very far from being in possession of the truth reality. How much time goes by before you can say one real prayer, to speak what’s in your heart to God, to tell Him your actual situation, to feel peace and joy in your heart, and to feel that you are truly living before God? Tell Me, how much time goes by before you can do this one time? One month, two months, six months, or a year? If you’ve never said one real prayer and you still pray as people do in the religious world, always saying that you love God, always expressing your determination, always saying the same set phrases, then you are too lacking and you have no truth reality whatsoever. Ordinarily, people who have believed in God for three or five years don’t say such childish and ignorant things when they come before God, because they’re certain that they will follow God, and they also have faith, and they already clearly understand the truths of visions about God’s work, God’s will, God’s management plan, and the purpose of God’s work. What do they mostly pray for when they come before God? One thing is to know themselves, and one is to speak some true words: Oh God, I have some difficulty today, I’ve done something that has indebted me to You, I am deficient in some matter, and I ask You to protect me, and to lead, enlighten, and illuminate me. This person begins to say some quite true things that are related to the truth reality, and they no longer say those expressions of determination and slogans which those enthusiastic people who have just begun to believe say. Why don’t they say these things? They feel like there’s no point in saying such things, that such things cannot meet their inner need for the truth or their need for life entry. Regardless of how many years you have believed for, regardless of whether you go through the motions or you sincerely come before God when praying to Him, how many days out of ten do you say those empty words and catchphrases? Someone may say one day, so what do they pray on the other nine days? If their prayers relate to their duty and life entry, then that’s fine, and this shows that they’re shouldering some burden toward the truth, toward God’s words, and toward their own duty, and that they’re no longer so numb. What do I mean by “they’re no longer so numb”? I mean that when matters related to people’s corrupt dispositions and various states are mentioned, they feel something and have awareness, and they can understand, too. They are able to achieve understanding and comprehension, and they understand these matters no matter how they are explained and are almost in step with them—this shows that they have gained some stature. What manifestations do numb people display? Every day they live like that, not striving and not making progress, and that’s why they always say the same old things when they pray to God. They don’t understand life entry at all, they have no spiritual understanding, they feel nothing, they give no reaction no matter how many sermons they listen to, and no matter how one fellowships on the truth with them, they feel like it’s all monotonous and it all means the same. So, do they have anything to say to God? What people will pray and say when they come before God depends on the words in their hearts they want to say to God, and they feel they absolutely have to say these things to God. In your heart, you must at least have your understanding of God’s requirements, the difficulties you face, and how you ought to meet God’s requirements. If there is nothing in your heart, and all you can do is say some pleasant-sounding words and some slogans and doctrines, and just go through the motions, then that is not prayer. If you’ve pledged your allegiance all those years but have done nothing practical at all, and in the end you are still liable to betray God, deny God, and drop out at any time, then this shows that you are without stature. If, when you come before God to pray now, you can mostly keep your relationship with God relevant to God’s requirements and your own dispositional change, then your relationship with God will have been established, you will not follow the path of an antichrist, and this means that you will have embarked upon the right track of faith in God.

Are you now clear on the various manifestations of antichrists exalting and testifying about themselves, as well as on the definitions of the nature of such behavior? Is there any difference between the manifestations of antichrists and the manifestations of ordinary people’s corrupt dispositions? Can you make a comparison when truly encountering an issue? Can you regard antichrists’ manifestations as the manifestations of ordinary corrupt people, and vice versa? How should you distinguish between these two things? Judging a person’s disposition through their consistent manifestations and revelations and judging their essence from their disposition is an accurate way to make a definition about them. Antichrists don’t accept the truth or exalt God; they just exalt and testify about themselves. This manifestation is exceedingly obvious and prominent, and it is entirely dominated by their satanic nature. Even though ordinary people also exalt and testify about themselves, when you fellowship on the truth with them, they are able to accept it and acknowledge that God is truth, and they can accept the truth, only change does not happen very quickly or easily for them—this is the difference between antichrists and ordinary people. Now having said this, does it then become easy to discern between them? Antichrists have a characteristic: When they don’t love the truth or deny the truth, do they deny it directly? (No.) What method do they employ to deny the truth so that you see they don’t acknowledge the truth? They will engage in sophistry to refute you, saying that what you’re fellowshipping on is not the truth, and that only what they fellowship on is the truth. For example, they testify about themselves and someone exposes them, and afterward, which manifestations do they display that allow others to affirm that they don’t love or accept the truth? Engaging in sophistry and trying to vindicate themselves is one, and there is also concealing the factual truth, and it is that truth that is their agenda. Their agenda is to testify about themselves so that others hold them in high esteem. They won’t let you know their agenda; they’ll just say false and pleasing things, engage in sophistry, hoodwink you, confuse you, so that in the end you say they’re not testifying about themselves, and then they will have achieved their aim. They speak false and pleasing things, engage in sophistry, hoodwink people, they don’t acknowledge that they’re testifying about themselves, they don’t accept you exposing them, they don’t accept your reproaches, much less do they accept being defined in this fact. They don’t accept this at all, and even come up with excuses, saying, “That isn’t me testifying about myself. There is a reason and a context to me saying that. Saying a few inappropriate things in that situation is entirely normal and is not a problem. Can it be considered as testifying about myself? What’s more, I’ve done all this work and even though I’ve earned no merit, I’ve still suffered to do it. It’s not a big deal if some people hold me in high esteem and worship me.” They don’t think such disgraceful behavior, such a disgusting act, is a big deal—is this an attitude of accepting the truth? They feel no shame due to these evil deeds, and even think themselves great—this is the essence of evil people. Antichrists believe that exalting and testifying about themselves is entirely appropriate and is what they’re supposed to do. They think, “I do it because I have this capability—are other people worthy of doing it? I’ve earned everyone’s support, I’ve expended so much effort doing church work, I’ve made such great contributions to God’s house and borne so much risk! Is it fair if you give me no reward and no benefit? Isn’t God righteous? Doesn’t He repay each person according to their actions? So then, don’t I deserve everyone’s support due to making all these contributions and bearing all this risk?” They think that they must get something in return for doing their duty, and that the minimum reward should be everyone’s support and being able to enjoy the allegiance, honor, and benefits they deserve. Is this an attitude of accepting the truth? (No.) So, what is the truth here? For instance, you say to them, “No matter how much they suffer, people are created beings, and they should suffer because they have corrupt dispositions. Suffering while doing one’s duty is just one way in which people suffer. No matter how capable we are or what gifts we possess, we shouldn’t expect any reward or try to make deals with God.” Is this not the truth? This is the most fundamental truth created beings should understand. However, can this truth be found in their philosophies for worldly dealings, and in their thoughts and views? (No.) Do they accept this truth when they hear it? No, they don’t. What is their attitude? They believe that being in God’s house is like being in the world, that they must be rewarded according to their labor, that they must get something for performing their duty, and that if they bear some risk, then they should receive the benefits and grace they deserve. Performing one’s duty is the responsibility and obligation of every single person, and remuneration doesn’t come into it. Do antichrists accept this truth? What is their attitude? They are scornful and antagonistic, saying, “You idiots, you even accept this! Is that the truth? That’s not the truth, that’s just duping people. Fairness and equality among people—that’s the truth!” What kind of thing is this to say? This is the logic and the heresy and fallacy of Satan. And can they mislead those who don’t understand the truth? They can mislead them so easily! Some people are weak, they don’t understand the truths related to performing one’s duty, plus they are lacking in caliber and comprehension ability, and they don’t have much faith, and when they hear such things, they feel they make perfect sense, and they think, “Yes indeed. How could I have been so stupid? I’ve finally encountered someone who understands today. What they say is right!” These people only listen to and accept things that sound reasonable and in line with their notions; they don’t approach God’s words according to the principle that God’s words are the truth. Whether God’s words accord with people’s feelings, with people’s thinking and logic, with people’s customs and habits or traditional culture, God’s words are final, and every single word of them, from start to finish, is truth. God’s words don’t need anyone to question or analyze them, and regardless of whether all of mankind believes them to be right or wrong, or whether anyone can accept them, God’s words are forever truth. God’s words don’t need to stand the test of time, nor do they need mankind to verify them through experience—God’s words are truth. Is this what antichrists think? They think, “God has to be reasonable, too! What does God’s righteousness mean? Isn’t it that those who suffer a lot and are highly capable receive great rewards, and that those who suffer little, who aren’t very capable, and who make no contribution receive little reward?” Does God say this? (No.) God doesn’t say this. What does God say? God says that performing one’s duty is the vocation of every single person, that performing one’s duty comes with its own principles, that everyone should perform their duty in accordance with the truth principles, and that this is what created beings are supposed to do. Is there any mention of remuneration here? Any mention of reward? (No.) There is no mention of remuneration or reward—it is an obligation. What does “obligation” mean? An obligation is something people are supposed to do, something for which being rewarded according to one’s labor doesn’t apply. God never stipulated that someone who performs their duty a lot should receive a great reward, and that someone who performs their duty little or performs it in a way that’s no good should receive little reward—God never said such a thing. So, what do God’s words say? God says that performing one’s duty is the vocation of every single person and that it is something created beings are supposed to do—this is the truth. Is this how antichrists understand it? How do they treat these words of God? They will treat them in a different way. From the perspective of their own interests, they’ll have a distorted understanding of God’s words. To be precise, what they do is tamper with God’s words, using their own means and understanding to transform God’s words and truth into another interpretation. And what is the nature of such an interpretation? It is of benefit to them, it can mislead people, and it can provoke and entice people. They turn God’s words into their manner of speaking, as though they are truths they’re expressing, and after God has said something, they have to change the way God says it and the principles of God’s words into their own way. Is it still the truth after they’ve changed it into their own way? No, it isn’t—it is a fallacy and heresy. Are you able to discern this matter? (Yes, to some extent.) After listening to so many sermons, some people have gained some discernment. And what is the essence of the antichrists’ opposition to and denial of the truth? (It is tampering with and having a distorted understanding of God’s words.) And what is their intent in tampering with and having a distorted understanding of God’s words? It is so that people don’t accept the truth and instead accept their fallacies and heresies. They misrepresent the truth according to their thinking and logic, their interests and views, and their notions. This is then beneficial to them, and they can also provoke and mislead some people who are foolish and ignorant, and who don’t understand the truth. Their words may seem right to you when you first hear them, but if you analyze them carefully, you’ll find the ambitions and schemes of Satan lurking within them. What is the purpose of their ambitions and schemes? Their purpose is to benefit themselves, to make their own ways of doing things and behavior tenable, to get people to make a good assessment of them, to change their bad and evil behavior to proper behavior and ways of doing things which accord with the truth. In this way, they believe that people won’t reject them, and God won’t condemn them. They may perhaps be able to mislead others so that people don’t reject them, but can they get God to not condemn them? Can man change the essence of God? (No.) This is where antichrists are most stupid. They want to use their silver tongues and their “smart brains” to think of sort of fallacy and heresy to tamper with the truth so that their statement can become tenable, and thereby repudiate God’s utterances and deny the existence of truth—isn’t this them thinking wrongly? Can they achieve their aim? (No.) Some people ask what can be done when an antichrist misleads some people. If such people really have been misled and are unable to change course, then this means they are exposed and cast out, and deservedly so. This is them being doomed and unable to escape; they are doomed to die, and God never planned to save people like them. They get into the church under false pretenses and render some service and enjoy some grace, and when God doesn’t want them anymore, He gives them to Satan. It just so happens that they hear a heresy and fallacy, and upon hearing it they clap their hands and give it their approval, and then they go off following Satan. What is this? This is using Satan to render service. There is a verse in the Book of Revelation that says, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still” (Revelation 22:11). This means people being separated according to their own kind. When it comes to those people who follow antichrists, is this just momentary carelessness on their part? Was it because God wasn’t keeping watch? This is them being doomed to die! After associating with such people for a time, you’ll see that they don’t deserve to be saved—they’re too wretched! Judging by their character and their pursuit of the truth, their nature is wicked and averse to the truth, and they don’t deserve to be saved, they don’t deserve to inherit such tremendous grace from God. If God doesn’t give them this grace, then they just won’t receive it, and so the most accurate way to summarize them in three words is “doomed to die.”

Exalting and testifying about themselves is the primary manifestation of antichrists, and defining their essence according to this manifestation is very appropriate and concrete—it is not an empty definition. By looking at their agendas, ambitions, the revelations of their essence, and the consistent aims of their actions, one can see that exalting and testifying about themselves is a characteristic manifestation of antichrists. Are there any antichrists who never exalt and testify about themselves? (No.) Why not? Because their ambitions and desires are so immense, and they cannot control them. No matter what group of people they live among, if no one exalts and worships them, they feel like life has no value or meaning, which is why they are so eager to exalt and testify about themselves to achieve their aims. They live to excel over others, and need people to worship and follow them, and even if those people are like annoying, disgusting flies or gangs of beggars, they don’t mind. As long as there are people who worship and follow them, then they feel at ease. If they could receive manic applause from fans as famous singers do, then they would be on cloud nine, they love enjoying that—this is the nature of antichrists. No matter what kinds of people follow or worship them, antichrists like them all. Even if the people following them are the most wretched and disgusting, even if they are beasts, as long as they exalt them and satisfy their ambitions and desires for status, then antichrists don’t mind. So, can antichrists stop themselves from exalting and testifying about themselves, and showing off everywhere they go? (No.) This is their essence. Tell Me, what kind of people are those who truly follow God? Among mankind, there is a type of person whom God wants to select and save, and these people have a bare minimum of conscience, reason, and shame. Those who are a little better than this are capable of loving the truth, loving positive things, and loving God’s fairness and righteousness; they are capable of hating wickedness, they feel indignant when they see unjust or wicked things, and even if they aren’t able to do anything about these things, they still hate them—these people are the ones God wants, at a minimum. As for those who don’t possess this humanity and essence, God doesn’t want them, no matter how much they talk about God’s goodness or how great God is. For example, the Pharisees in religion exalt God and bear witness to God with the same old empty theories and superficial words, and they aren’t sick of saying them even after two thousand years. Now God is expressing so many truths but they cannot see them, they ignore them, and some even condemn and blaspheme against them. This completely reveals them, and God has long since defined them as hypocritical Pharisees, all of whom are part of Satan’s gang; God has designated them as demons and Satan, swine and dogs. When antichrists arrive in such a group of people and see that very few of them can understand the truth, that none of them have any discernment or talent, they hurry to take advantage of this opportunity to show off. Some boast that they were once admitted into two world-class universities at the same time, and didn’t go in the end because they came to believe in God and accepted His commission. After hearing them say this, some people begin to hold them in very high esteem. If you don’t understand the truth, and if the things you love and your worldview are the same as those of worldly people, you will worship people like this, and that’s why when antichrists say such things, you will be misled and fooled by them. Antichrists covertly exalt themselves in this way, and those foolish people with no discernment are misled by them. Antichrists end up feeling very happy, thinking that nobody who’s under them is ordinary, when in fact those people are all just a bunch of muddled people and good-for-nothings. Those who have no ability to comprehend the truth can all be misled by Satan and antichrists. When they hear Satan and antichrists speak, they feel that it really matches their own thoughts and tastes, so they enjoy listening to it. They’re not capable of using normal thinking to make a judgment about what they’re listening to, nor will they find someone who understands the truth to help them discern such things; so long as they feel that what they’re listening to sounds reasonable, they’ll be willing to accept it, and so they are misled without even being aware of it. If those who have the ability to comprehend the truth and have discernment hear antichrists speak, they will know that those people are trying to mislead others and they will reject them. Those muddled people who lack discernment will believe antichrists to have learning, to be of good caliber, and to have prospects. They will see things in this way, and be misled by some superficial phenomenon; they won’t know what the truth principles are, and they’ll go off following Satan. Don’t such people cause their own destruction due to their foolishness and ignorance? This is how it is. If you have discernment of the various manifestations of antichrists frequently exalting and testifying about themselves, or their different ways of doing so, and you are able to judge the purpose and agenda behind their words, then it will be easy for you to see through to the essence of antichrists, and you will then be able to reject and curse them right away, and never see them again. Why will you do this? Because when you see antichrists speaking and acting, you will detest and hate them, you will feel disgusted as if you’re looking at flies and will need to drive them away as soon as possible. Therefore, once you have discernment of antichrists’ actions and behavior, you should expose them right away so that others can discern them, and then expel them from the church in accordance with the principles. Do you dare to do this? If God’s chosen people can do this, it shows that they have grown in stature, and that they can show consideration for God’s will and safeguard the work of God’s house. When God’s chosen people understand the truth and have discernment, antichrists will no longer have a foothold in the church or in God’s house.

No matter what the occasion, so long as antichrists have the opportunity, they will show off and testify about themselves, and so long as there are people who worship them and look upon them with admiring, envious, and revering eyes, they’ll be happy—they don’t care who those people are. Do they have standards they require from those who follow, worship, and look up to them? (No.) Regardless of whether those people are idiots, mentally incompetent ones, evil people, or nonbelievers, regardless of what kinds of people they are, even including people who should be cleared out and cast out, as long as those people can follow, worship and exalt them, then antichrists accept them, they like them a lot, and win those people over to their side and protect them. Antichrists regard those people as their sheep, as their personal property, and they do not permit anyone else to transfer them, expose them, or handle them. No matter how those people fawn on and ingratiate themselves with antichrists, no matter what nauseating and sickening things they say, antichrists will enjoy it all; it’s all fine to antichrists as long as those people flatter them. Everything antichrists say and do is so that other people hold them in high esteem, like them, and follow them, and no matter how many bad things the people who follow them do, antichrists won’t investigate them, and they won’t mind it no matter how insidious and malicious their humanity is. As long as those people follow and worship them, antichrists will like them, and as long as those people can maintain antichrists’ power and status, and not go against them or oppose them, then antichrists will feel exceedingly satisfied—that is how antichrists are. Conversely, how do antichrists treat those people who always expose them and who hinder them from exalting and testifying about themselves, and who hold them in contempt for doing so, as well as those who fellowship on the truth with them, who can see through to the essence of their problems, and who have genuine discernment of them? They instantly get angry from shame, and they guard against, exclude, and attack those people, finally thinking of ways to isolate those who can discern and oppose them. What is the reason behind them doing this? It’s because when they’re exalting and testifying about themselves, they always think that those people are eyesores and thorns in their side, and that those people will discern and reject them, expose them, and ruin the good thing they’ve got going. The moment they lay eyes on those people, antichrists will feel uneasy in their hearts and always want to handle those people, thinking that as long as they can handle those people, then when they exalt and testify about themselves again, there won’t be anyone to expose or hinder them, and they’ll be able to rampantly commit evil. This is the principle by which antichrists act. No matter what kinds of people flatter, praise, or exalt them, regardless of whether what those people say accords with the facts, even if they’re telling lies, antichrists will be willing to accept them, they will enjoy listening to them, and they will like those people from the bottom of their hearts. They don’t care what problems those people have, and even if they discover issues with those people, they will conceal them, cover them up, and not breathe a word about them. As long as antichrists have those people beside them, following and flattering them, they’ll enjoy it. This is how antichrists do things. Are you capable of doing these things that antichrists do? For example, say that you are leaders and workers in the church, people with status and standing among God’s chosen people. If brothers and sisters were to hold you in high esteem, flatter you, fawn on you, and frequently praise you, saying that you give good sermons, that you’re good-looking, and that to them you’re the best leader, how would you feel? Would you be able to discern the intent behind their words? Would you be able to reject and shun such people? If not, then you’re in danger. You clearly know that you’re not that good-looking, that you’re not able to fellowship on the truth reality, and yet you still feel happy when you hear people flatter you in this way, and always want to get close to and promote such people, doesn’t that mean you’re in trouble? This means that you’re in danger.

When leaders and workers are working, they are sometimes enlightened and illuminated by the Holy Spirit, they can speak of some true experiences, and naturally they will have people holding them in high esteem and worshiping them, naturally they will have people following them, as inseparable from them as their own shadow—at times like these, how should they approach these things? Everyone has their own predilections, everyone is vain; if people hear someone speaking approvingly and flatteringly about them, they will enjoy it greatly. This is a normal thing to feel and is not a big deal. However, if they promote someone who can lavish praise on them, and flatter them, and they put someone like this to some important use, then that is dangerous. This is because people who love to flatter and lavish praise on others are all exceedingly sly and deceitful, and they are not honest or truthful. As soon as such people gain status, they are of no benefit to the life entry of God’s chosen people or to church work. These people are cunning, and they are most capable of messing things up. Those people who are comparatively upright never lavish praise on others. Even if they approve of you in their hearts, they won’t say it out loud, and if they discover that you have flaws or that you’ve done something wrong, then they’ll point it out to you. Some people, however, don’t like straightforward people, and when someone points out their flaws or reproaches them, they will oppress and exclude that person, and will even seize upon that person’s flaws and shortcomings to constantly judge and condemn them. By doing this, aren’t they oppressing and harming good people? Doing things like this and persecuting such good people are things God most detests. Persecuting good people is a villainous thing to do! And if someone persecutes a great many good people, then they are a devil. Leaders and workers should treat everyone fairly and lovingly, and they should handle matters according to principle. Especially when you have people flattering and fawning on you, revolving around you, you must treat them correctly, lovingly help them, and get them to perform their proper tasks and not flatter people like the unbelievers do; state your position and perspective clearly, make them feel humiliated and ashamed so that they never do it again. If you can adhere to principles and treat people fairly, then would these contemptible clowns and satanic types not feel ashamed? This would make Satan feel ashamed, and it would satisfy God. Those who love to flatter others believe that leaders and workers all love people who flatter them, and whenever anyone says anything flattering or fawning to them, their vanity and desire for status are satiated. People who love the truth don’t like all this, and they very much detest it all and are disgusted by it all. Only false leaders enjoy being flattered. God’s house may not applaud or praise them, but if God’s chosen people applaud and praise them, they feel so pleased and they enjoy it greatly, and eventually they derive some comfort from it. Antichrists enjoy being flattered even more, and the thing they enjoy the most is when people like this get close to them and revolve around them. Isn’t this troublesome? This is what antichrists are like; they like having people praising and applauding them, worshiping and following them, whereas those who pursue the truth and who are relatively upright don’t like any of this. You must get close to people who can speak truthfully to you; having people like this beside you is greatly to your advantage. In particular, having such good people around you as those who, when they discover a problem with you, have the courage to reproach you and expose you, can prevent you from going astray. They don’t care what your status is, and the moment they discover that you have done something against the truth principles, then they will reproach and expose you if necessary. Only such people are upright people, people with a sense of justice, and no matter how they expose and reproach you, it is all of help to you, and it is all about supervising you and pushing you forward. You must draw close to such people; having such people beside you, helping you, you become relatively much safer—this is what it is to have God’s protection. Having people who understand the truth and uphold principles by your side every day supervising you is so beneficial to you doing your duty and work well. You must absolutely not have those sly, deceitful people who toady up to you and flatter you as your assistants; having people like this stuck to you is like having stinking flies on you, you’ll be exposed to so many bacteria and viruses! Such people are liable to disturb you and affect your work, they can cause you to fall into temptation and go astray, and they can bring disaster and calamity to you. You must keep away from them, the farther the better, and if you can discern that they have the essence of nonbelievers and get them cleared out of the church, then even better. Once an upright person who pursues the truth sees that you have a problem, they will tell you the truth regardless of your status, regardless of how you will treat them, and even if you will dismiss them. They’ll never try to cover it up or prevaricate. It is so beneficial to have more people like this around you! When you do something that goes against principles, they will expose you, give opinions on your issues, and point out your problems and faults frankly and honestly; they will not try to help you save face, and they will not even give you a chance to avoid embarrassment in front of lots of people. How should you treat such people? Should you punish them or get close to them? (Get close to them.) That’s right. You should open your heart and fellowship with them, saying, “That issue I have that you pointed out to me was right. At the time, I was filled with vanity and thoughts of status. I felt that I had been a leader for so many years, yet not only did you not try to help me save face, but you also pointed out my problems in front of so many people, and so I couldn’t accept it. Now, however, I see that what I did really was at odds with principles and the truth, and that I shouldn’t have done that. What does having the position of leader count for? Isn’t this simply my duty? We’re all doing our duty and we’re all equal in status. The only difference is that I shoulder a little more responsibility, that’s all. If you discover any problem in the future, then say what you ought to say, and there shall be no personal grudges between us. If we differ in our understanding of the truth, then we can fellowship together. In God’s house and before God and the truth, we shall be united, not estranged.” This is an attitude of practicing and loving the truth. What should you do if you wish to give the path of an antichrist a wide berth? You should take the initiative to draw close to people who love the truth, people who are upright, get close to people who can point out your issues, who can speak truthfully and reproach you when they discover your problems, and especially people who can prune you when they discover your problems—these are the people who are most beneficial to you, and you should cherish them. If you exclude and get rid of such good people, then you will lose God’s protection, and disaster will gradually come to you. By getting close to good people and people who understand the truth, you will have peace and joy, and you will be able to keep disaster at bay; by getting close to vile people, shameless people, and people who flatter you, you will be in danger. Not only will you be easily duped and tricked, but disaster may come upon you at any time. You must know what kind of person can benefit you the most—it is those who can warn you when you do something wrong, or when you exalt and testify about yourself and mislead others, that can benefit you the most. Getting close to such people is the correct path to take. Are you capable of this? If someone says something that damages your reputation and you spend the rest of your life resenting them, saying, “Why did you expose me? I’ve never mistreated you. Why do you always have to make things difficult for me?” and you bear a grudge in your heart, a rift opens up, and you always think, “I’m a leader, I have this identity and status, and I won’t allow you to speak that way,” then what kind of manifestation is this? It is not accepting the truth and setting yourself in opposition to others; it is being somewhat deaf to reason. Isn’t this your thought of status stirring up trouble? This shows that your corrupt dispositions are too severe. Those who always harbor thoughts of status are people with a severe antichrist disposition. If they also commit evil, then they will very quickly be revealed and cast out. It is so dangerous for people to reject and not accept the truth! Always having the desire to vie for status and wanting to covet the benefits of status are signs of danger. When one’s heart is always constrained by status, can one still practice the truth and handle things according to principle? If one is unable to put the truth into practice and always acts for the sake of fame, gain, and status, and always uses their power to do things, then aren’t they an obvious antichrist showing their true colors?

Such manifestations as exalting and testifying about themselves are antichrists’ most common manifestations. Whether it be in everyday life or in the way they conduct themselves in relation to others, or whether it be in church life, these manifestations can always be seen, because these manifestations are the revelations of corrupt dispositions. For instance, the truths related to how one approaches one’s duty, how one treats others, and how one discerns others are truths we have covered in fellowship. Is it that you know the concrete manifestations of these things in your ordinary lives, but you can’t perceive them to be problems? Or is it that you haven’t set about entering based on these specific problems? If you don’t begin with dispositions, or you sometimes display these manifestations yet don’t know whether they are a dispositional problem, and so you ignore them, then you are nowhere near achieving dispositional change. If you fail to realize that these manifestations are you exalting and testifying about yourself, if you don’t know that these manifestations are being governed by your corrupt disposition, and you take them as a kind of personality trait or an innate way of doing things or cognition, and downplay them, and you don’t take them as the revelations of your corrupt disposition and corrupt essence, then you will find it hard to change the relevant corrupt disposition. That which people can realize that is related to dispositions, whether it be a way of doing things or a state they are in, whether it be external behavior or their speech and statements, whether it be their thoughts and views or their understanding of a certain matter, as long as it is related to dispositions and essence, then they should always regard it as an embodiment or revelations of man’s nature essence, and in this way, won’t their understanding be broadened? They should not just understand the big things, such as that one resists God, doesn’t love the truth, is greedy for status, or that one misleads people with the things one says, but rather should understand everything from the small things, such as specific ideas and intents, to the big things such as an argument or statement. I just mentioned six things altogether, among which were thoughts and views, as well as one’s understanding of a certain matter. Thoughts and views are things which exist within one’s consciousness and thought; understanding is something that has already been recognized and about which one can form concrete words and statements; then there are behavior and language. Altogether these are four things. There are also statements and arguments. What are statements and arguments the opposite of? (Intents and ideas.) Ideas are rather vague things which unconsciously arise in the mind. They are not yet defined as being right or wrong, you just think them, and they have not yet taken form within you, whereas spoken arguments are formed. Altogether there are three groups and six things. Take these six things as a path to dissecting the essence of your corrupt dispositions and achieving dispositional change, from now on set about knowing your own corrupt dispositions and corrupt essence from these six things, and in this way you will truly come to know yourselves.

Do you need some time after listening to today’s fellowship to digest what you’ve heard? When you gather together, can you fellowship some light or make a comparison with yourselves on this foundation? This is key, and it is most beneficial to you. When you gather together, you need to fellowship, exchange ideas, and discuss your experiences and realizations—this is most effective. We always used the word “ponder” before; in colloquial terms, we say, “chew the cud.” This means to read more, to pray-read more, to think more, and to seek more, to take what you understood at the time, as well as what you didn’t understand and regarded as doctrine, important points, points which everyone had misunderstood, and points which you hadn’t comprehended, and focus on them all in fellowship—this is what “chewing the cud” means. In this way, your understanding of the details of these truths, the various differences between the truths, and the definitions of each truth will become increasingly clear and accurate. Do you think the various truths you’ve understood and put into practice in recent years have become more ambiguous or clearer compared to before? (Clearer.) And over these years, has there been any great change in your path of faith in God, the direction in which you comport yourselves, and the intent, motivation, and original impetus behind doing your duty? (After undergoing some chastening and disciplining by God, and eating and drinking God’s words, I feel like there has been some change.) That there has been change is right, and it is what is supposed to happen. Some people have been indifferent all the way along and haven’t changed in the slightest after listening to so many sermons. They aren’t moved in their innermost hearts, that is, no gathering or fellowship can change the direction in which they’re going—they’re so numb and dull-witted! The path to attaining salvation should now be getting clearer and clearer, and those with experience see clearly and lucidly the ways in which God saves man and His purpose in doing so. If, after believing in God all these years, you still don’t know how God saves people and how He cleanses them of corruption, then that shows you have no understanding of the truth whatsoever and no comprehension of God’s work in the slightest. Aren’t such people all muddled up in their faith?

March 20, 2019

Previous: Item Three: They Exclude and Attack Those Who Pursue the Truth

Next: Item Five: They Mislead, Draw In, Threaten, and Control People

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