Item Five: They Mislead, Draw In, Threaten, and Control People
Supplement: The Story of Dabao and Xiaobao
Before we formally begin our fellowship today, let Me start with a story. Do all of you enjoy listening to stories? (Yes.) Now, is there a principle in listening to stories? In the stories that are being told, you should be able to comprehend an aspect of the truth, understand an aspect of God’s intentions, recognize an aspect of human nature essence, or discover within the story the truth reality that people should practice and enter into. This is the meaning of telling stories; it’s not idle chatter, and it’s certainly not gossip. Some people, when they listen to stories, only grasp the events—what kind of people are they? (People with poor caliber.) Poor caliber means they are thoughtless; mainly, they lack spiritual understanding. Regardless of what story they listen to, they can only remember the events or pick up on a few regulations from the story. But when it comes to the various truths that people should understand from within the story, they don’t grasp, understand, or comprehend them. Is this behavior not indicative of the least spiritual understanding? (Yes.) Among you, has anyone shown this kind of behavior after listening to a story? After hearing it, they didn’t understand much, felt the story was meaningless, and it didn’t matter whether it was told or not. Do such people have the comprehension ability? When you listen to a story, can you gain some benefit from the events within it? Regardless of whether you can understand the truth from it, you should understand the principle I just mentioned regarding listening to stories. Now, let’s begin with the story.
There was a little boy named Xiaobao. Recently, a certain man came to his house, and this man frequently went out to spread the gospel with Xiaobao’s parents. One day, Xiaobao’s parents went out to handle some errands, leaving only the man and Xiaobao at home. What happened next is an interesting story. Since Xiaobao wasn’t very familiar with the man, that man decided to walk over and get friendly with Xiaobao while he was playing. He told Xiaobao that he knew him and even knew his name. Xiaobao felt happy and thought that the man couldn’t be a bad person. Then, the man asked Xiaobao, “Xiaobao, have your parents ever mentioned me while they were talking?” Xiaobao thought for a moment and said, “I don’t know.” The man said, “You’re an honest child. Good children say what they know.” He asked Xiaobao again, “Did your parents ever mention me?” Xiaobao still said he didn’t know. The man continued, “Xiaobao, be good, if you tell me the truth, I’ll give you some candy.” Xiaobao thought for a moment but still said he didn’t know. The man contemplated, “How can I make him tell me the truth?” He thought for a moment, then said to Xiaobao, “Xiaobao, your parents believe in God, and I do too. I am your parents’ best friend. All three of us believe in God, and you believe in God too. Do you know what kind of children God likes?” Xiaobao thought about it and said, “I don’t know.” The man said, “God likes honest children, those who don’t tell lies. When they know something, they say they know, and when they don’t know, they say they don’t know. That’s what you might call an honest child, and God likes children like this.” Xiaobao thought about this and said, “Okay.” Then, he stopped saying that he didn’t know. The man continued, “If you tell me the truth, then you will be an honest child, a child who God loves.” Xiaobao thought about this and said, “Okay then.” The man asked, “What does ‘okay then’ mean?” Xiaobao said, “It means that my parents have said something about you before.” Then, the man kept asking what was said and repeatedly told Xiaobao to be an honest child and not to tell lies. Xiaobao said, “My mom and dad said that you are not a good person. They said you’re not very open, and they should be careful when speaking with you.” The man asked again, “What else did your mom and dad say?” Xiaobao replied, “I can’t remember.” “Be a good boy!” the man said. Then Xiaobao replied, “My mom and dad said they shouldn’t tell you everything.” Then, the man continued to question him, and Xiaobao told him a lot. The man felt more and more uneasy and said to Xiaobao, “Xiaobao, you’re such a good child, a child who God loves because you’re an honest person and you tell me anything you know.” By this time, Xiaobao was no longer as guarded as he was initially with this man, and he no longer responded with “I don’t know” to everything he asked him. He wanted to tell the man everything, to tell him whatever the man didn’t know—he had only to ask Xiaobao. The man also revealed to Xiaobao, “My nickname is Dabao, so you see, you’re called Xiaobao and I’m called Dabao. Shouldn’t we become the best of friends?” Xiaobao answered, “Yes.” As they continued back and forth, they spoke about many things, and the more they talked the happier they felt. Xiaobao also got some candy to eat and stopped being on his guard against the man. Then, the man made this requirement of Xiaobao: “In the future, if your mom and dad say something about me again, can you tell me?” Xiaobao said, “Of course, because we’re good friends.” Xiaobao was no longer on his guard against this man, and this man got the information he wanted from him. From that day on, they became very good friends. Whenever Xiaobao’s mom and dad said something about the man, Xiaobao would quickly tell it to him. The man also promised Xiaobao, “I absolutely won’t tell your mom and dad about the matter between us both—it’s our secret. In the future, if you ever need something delicious to eat or fun to play with, I’ll definitely buy it for you. And if there’s something you don’t want your mom and dad to know, I’ll keep it a secret for you.” So, Xiaobao felt even more at ease and trusted the man wholeheartedly. He kept sincere contact with him, and they became “truly good friends.”
That is the whole story. It doesn’t involve many characters; the main characters are Dabao and Xiaobao. The specific subject matter revolves around how the man Dabao tries to mislead, coax, and draw in the child Xiaobao, getting him to tell the man certain information he wants to know. That’s what kind of story and dialogue this is. What can we see from this simple plot and dialogue? Whose characteristics are mainly discussed here? Is it the child or the adult? (The adult.) So, what is being illustrated here? What is the primary subject matter of the story? The primary subject matter involves how this adult uses various means to achieve his goal. Did you understand what means he used? (Drawing in and misleading.) He used incentives to draw the child in and the right words to mislead him, and he even enticed him. What did he use to entice him? Benefits—he enticed the child using benefits. Drawing in, enticing, and misleading—this constitutes both enticement and misleading, using the right words to entice, and also carrying a slightly threatening nature. The words may sound right, but what did he use these words for? (To achieve his own agenda.) He used them to achieve his own ulterior purposes. The means he used are basically clear. Is this the behavior that normal humanity possesses? (No.) Then what aspect of Satan’s corrupt disposition does this behavior belong to? (Wickedness.) Why do we say wickedness instead of deceitfulness? Wickedness goes to a deeper level than deceitfulness; it’s more insidious, more secretive, more misleading, and harder to fathom, and wickedness carries within it enticing, coaxing, drawing in, winning over, bribing, and tempting. These actions and behaviors go far beyond deceitfulness; they are wicked, without a doubt. The man didn’t say, “If you don’t tell me, I’ll hit you, kick you, or slaughter you!” He didn’t adopt such methods, and outwardly, he didn’t appear malicious. However, this is even more formidable than malice—this is wickedness. Why do I say it’s wickedness? Deceitfulness can usually be detected by most people, but his method is more devious. On the surface, it uses polite language and conforms to human affection; but in reality, deep down, there are things that are more hidden. His actions and methods are more concealed, more insidious than the deceitfulness commonly encountered by people. His tactics are more sophisticated, more duplicitous, and more misleading. This is wickedness.
In daily life, can you distinguish and discern the revelation of other people’s wicked disposition and their wicked behavior? While deceitful individuals may be fairly tactful, after interacting with them for some time, most people can still see through them. However, those who have a wicked disposition are not so easy to see through. If you can’t see the essence or consequences, you have no way to see through them. Wicked individuals are even more insidious than deceitful ones. You have no way of seeing through them from just a sentence or two. When it comes to people with a wicked disposition, during some time or a short period you might not see through or penetrate why they are doing that certain thing, why they are speaking or acting in such a manner. One day, when they have been utterly revealed and entirely laid bare, then everybody will finally discover that this is more than just deceitfulness—it is wickedness. Therefore, discerning a wicked disposition requires a period of time, and sometimes the consequences must first come into view before one is able to discern it—this isn’t something that can be discerned quickly. For instance, the great red dragon has misled people for decades, and only now have a small number of people had some discernment. The great red dragon often says things that sound the best and align most with human notions, raising the banner of serving the people to mislead people and the banner of justice to drive out dissidents, slaughtering countless good people. But few can discern this because what it says and does appears right to people. People all think that everything it does is just and fitting, legal and reasonable, and in line with humanism. As a result, it has misled people for decades. When it is finally exposed and collapses, people will see its true face was that of the devil, and its nature essence was wicked. The great red dragon has misled people for so many years, and the poison of the great red dragon is within everyone—they have become its descendants. Are any of you capable of doing the types of things the great red dragon has done? Some people speak like the great red dragon, using very pleasing words but doing no real work. All their words are pleasant, but they do no real work. Also, they are particularly insidious and wicked. When it comes to such people, if anyone offends them, they won’t let it go. Sooner or later, they will find the appropriate opportunity to achieve their purpose of revenge but not give them any leverage. They may even handle the matter without coming forward and showing their face. Isn’t this wicked? Wicked people operate with principles, methods, intentions, motives, and purposes that are particularly secretive and hidden. Wicked individuals employ schemes to harm others, sometimes using others to kill on their behalf, sometimes tormenting others by luring them to commit sins, and sometimes using laws or resorting to all sorts of despicable means to torment others. These are all manifestations of wickedness, and none of them are just or honest methods. Do any of you exhibit these behaviors or revelations? Can you discern them? Are you aware that they constitute a wicked disposition? Deceitfulness can usually be seen on the outside: Someone beats around the bush or uses flowery language, and no one can read what they are thinking. That is deceitfulness. What is the primary characteristic of wickedness? It’s that their words sound especially pleasing, and everything seems right on the surface. There doesn’t appear to be any problem, and things look pretty good from every angle. When they do something, you don’t see them using any particular means, and outwardly, there is no sign of weak points or flaws, yet they achieve their goal. They do things in an extremely secretive manner. This is how antichrists mislead people. People and matters like these are the most difficult to discern. Some people often say the right things, use good-sounding excuses, and employ certain doctrines, sayings, or actions that conform to human affection to pull the wool over people’s eyes. They feign one thing while doing another in order to achieve their ulterior purpose. This is wickedness, but most people consider these behaviors to be deceitful. People have a relatively limited understanding and dissection of wickedness. Actually, wickedness is more difficult to discern than deceitfulness because it is more secretive, and its methods and actions are more sophisticated. If someone has a deceitful disposition within them, usually, others can detect their deceitfulness within two or three days of interacting with them, or they can perceive their deceitful disposition in the person’s actions and words. However, supposing that person is wicked: This isn’t something that can be discerned within a few days, because without any significant events or special circumstances taking place in a short period of time, it isn’t easy to discern anything from just listening to them talk. They always say and do the right things, and present one right doctrine after another. After a few days of interacting with them, you might think this person is pretty good, is able to forsake things, expend themselves, have spiritual understanding, have a God-loving heart, and have both conscience and reason in the way they act. But after they handle a few matters, you see that their speech and actions are mixed up with too many things, too many devilish intentions. You realize that this person isn’t honest but deceitful—a wicked thing. They frequently use the right words and pleasing phrases that align with the truth and possess human affection to interact with people. In one respect, they establish themselves, and in another, they mislead others, achieving prestige and status among people. Such individuals are incredibly misleading, and once they attain power and status, they can mislead and harm many people. People with wicked dispositions are highly dangerous. Are there any such people around you? Are you yourselves like this? (Yes.) Then how serious is it? Speaking and acting without any truth principles, wholly relying on your wicked nature to act, always wishing to mislead others and live behind a mask, so that others cannot see through or recognize you, and will regard your humanity and status with esteem and admiration—this is wickedness. Do you exhibit these wicked behaviors only on occasion, or are you like this most of the time? Is this just who you are, and is it challenging for you to break free? If it’s only on occasion that you employ such methods, this can still be changed. However, if this is just who you are, consistently acting tactfully and with deceitfulness, and constantly relying on schemes, then you are the craftiest of devils. I’ll tell you the truth: People like this will never change.
In the story, Dabao uses these methods to mislead Xiaobao and make the boy tell him the truth. Tell Me, who taught him to act like this? No one taught him. So, where did these tricks come from? (From his nature.) They came from his nature, from his corrupt essence. He’s just that kind of person. He doesn’t spare even a child—how despicable! If he wants to know the truth, he can directly ask the child’s parents, or he can actively get to know himself and lay his heart bare to them; then they might tell him the truth. There’s no need to use such methods to do these shameful and clumsy things behind others’ backs. This is what people with wicked dispositions do. Tell Me, isn’t it disgusting? (It is disgusting.) He doesn’t even spare a child; he sees the child as easy to bully, fool, and cheat, so he plots against him. Now, if he sees an adult who is honest and kind, how will he treat them? Can he let them be? Absolutely not. If he sees someone similar to himself, someone who loves to employ strategies in their words and actions, what will he do? (He knows that the person is just as wicked as he is and might be on guard against them, not revealing anything easily.) Besides being on guard, what else might he do? (He will compete.) He will compete openly and in secret—that’s it. This is the behavior of people with wicked dispositions. People like this love to compete with others openly and in secret, and they seize every opportunity. They have a famous maxim, and if you encounter people like this and hear them say it, you can be sure they have a wicked disposition. What do they say? For example, when you suggest they cooperate with another person to do their duty, they say, “Oh, I can’t compete with them!” Their first thought is always about “competition.” Their first idea isn’t about how to cooperate with others to do the job well, but about competing with them. This is their famous maxim. Regardless of the social group they are in, whether they’re among unbelievers, brothers and sisters, or family members, what is their one rule? It’s competition, and if they cannot outperform others in the open then they’ll do it in secret. This kind of disposition is wicked. Some people may appear on the surface to be chatting casually with others, but in their hearts, they’re competing in secret, employing various means and techniques to attack and belittle the other person indirectly. People who cannot discern this won’t see through their tactics, and by the time they do, their competition has already come to a result. This is wickedness. When wicked people interact with others, it’s all about competing openly and in secret, adopting various schemes, plots, or certain methods to defeat others, make them surrender, and ultimately make everyone yield to them. Since the existence of humanity until now, the entire history of humanity has been filled with “competition.” Whether on a grand scale between nations, on a smaller scale between families, or on an individual level between people, there is no group that isn’t full of conflict; if it isn’t open competition then it is in secret, if it isn’t verbal confrontation then it is physical. The period of most frequent wars among various ethnic groups in Chinese history was the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period. Most of the famous books on military strategy were produced during those two periods, like the tactics contained within The Art of War by Sun Tzu—these were all produced during that time. There’s also the book The Thirty-Six Stratagems, which documents various tactics for use in warfare. Some of these military strategies and tactics are still in use today. Tell Me, what are a few of its strategies? (The “Bait and Switch” Strategy.) (The “Diversionary” Strategy.) (The “Double Agent” Strategy, “Empty City” Strategy, and “Honey Trap” Strategy.) All of these famous strategies, whether they begin with “Honey Trap,” “Empty City,” or “Diversionary,” end with “Strategy.” What does “strategy” mean? (“Tactic” or “scheme.”) It implies certain insidious, treacherous, hidden, or secret tactics. These “tactics” have nothing to do with planning—they’re about scheming. What do we see behind these tactics? Are their actions, their behavior, and these tactics and practices employed by them in warfare in line with humanity and the truth? (No.) Does God work this way? (No.) Absolutely not. So, whom do these practices represent? They represent Satan and this wicked humanity. Where do these strategies of wicked humanity come from? (Satan.) They are received from Satan. Some might have trouble understanding this, so I should say that they are received from the devil kings—then people will understand. Who are the devil kings? They are the demons and Satan who are reincarnated into the world to sow discord and wreak havoc among humanity—they formed these strategies. In the records of God’s work, have you ever seen Him use an Empty City Strategy or a Diversionary Strategy? Does God’s management plan include these strategies? God has never used such strategies to manage His work. These strategies are used by the entirety of wicked humanity. From a nation or a dynasty on a larger scale, to a tribe or a family on a smaller scale, and even down to the relationships between individuals, anywhere you find corrupt humanity, you find conflict. What are they fighting over? What are they competing for? What’s their goal? It’s all for power, status, and profit—to gain these things. Nation fights against nation for control over more people. Tribes fight each other for territory, people, and sovereignty. Individuals fight for superiority and profit. Everywhere there is humanity, there is conflict, because everywhere there is humanity, there is the corruption of Satan. Humanity as a whole has been corrupted by Satan, so the world is filled with conflict and bloodshed. In whatever it does, corrupt humanity cannot escape the bonds of Satan’s disposition. Therefore, the entire history of humanity, whether in the West or the East, every part of its history is a deplorable account of the wicked struggle of humanity. Humanity even regards these things as glorious. Some people are still studying China’s Thirty-Six Stratagems today. Are you studying them? (No.) If you deliberately study these things, absorbing the experiences, lessons, means, methods, and techniques contained within them into your brain, and make them a part of your skills for survival, that is definitely wrong. You will inevitably get closer to Satan, becoming more and more wicked, more and more evil. However, if you can change your perspective and dissect, discern, and expose them according to God’s words, what kind of result will you achieve? You will hate Satan even more, and understand and hate yourself even more. What’s an even better outcome? It is to reject Satan and be dead set on following God. Satan uses these so-called traditional cultures and all kinds of knowledge and theories that humanity has accumulated over thousands of years to instruct and instill them into people, aiming to corrupt and control them at a deeper level. If you master these things and know how to use them, then you’ll become a living Satan, and you’ll be thoroughly cast out by God.
When fellowshiping on understanding oneself during past gatherings, most people would often bring up the issue of an arrogant disposition, which is the most common corrupt disposition, and its existence is widespread. What other corrupt dispositions are relatively common? (Deceitfulness and intransigence.) Deceitfulness, intransigence, sickness of the truth, and viciousness—these are things that people frequently encounter. Wickedness is less often seen, and there is not as much recognition of it. It can be said that a wicked disposition is the most difficult to recognize, and it is a deeply hidden and relatively secretive kind of corrupt disposition, isn’t it? For example, suppose two people live together, and neither of them loves the truth or pursues it, nor are they loyal in doing their duties. On the outside, the two of them may appear to live together in harmony with no issues at all. However, deep down, neither of them pursues the truth, and various corrupt dispositions still exist, though you can’t see them. Why can’t you see them? It’s because both of these individuals are particularly deceitful and sly. Since you do not understand the truth and lack any discernment whatsoever, you can’t see through the essence of their problems. The truths you understand are few, your stature is too small, so there are many complex issues you have no way to comprehend, and you’re powerless to help these people resolve their issues. As leaders, what should you do when you encounter people like this? If you expose and discern them, are they readily accepting of that? No, they’re not. So, how should you deal with such people? Is there a way to do it? What is the principle in dealing with such people? If they possess some technical or professional skills to do service in God’s house, you should treat them as brothers and sisters and make demands of them as such. However, seeing as such people don’t pursue the truth, can they be loyal in doing their duties? (No.) What behavior indicates that they lack loyalty? Don’t people like this excel in doing things for show? When nobody is around, they play around and take their time. As soon as they see someone coming, they pick up the pace. They may even bring up a bunch of questions, asking whether this or that is acceptable. Once that person leaves, they stop working, do nothing, have no issue to raise at all, and even say in their hearts, “I was just playing around with you; I’m not that foolish!” People like this do everything for show; they are especially skilled in presenting a facade and excel at pretense, giving people a false impression. Many people who have interacted with them for years still can’t see through their sly and deceitful essence. When others inquire about them, they even say, “This person is quite good, treats everyone nicely, never harms anyone, just a people-pleaser. Even when someone does wrong, they don’t deal with them or prune them; they continuously exhort and comfort others.” What means and methods do these people employ in their interactions with others? They play a role to suit the occasion, are smooth and slick, and most everybody says they’re a good person. Are there people like this around you? (Yes.) Everyone tends to reveal their own corrupt dispositions, but these individuals wrap themselves up tightly, making it impossible for anyone to detect their issues. Isn’t this a problem? In history, some emperors committed numerous misdeeds, yet later generations still call them wise rulers. Why do people hold such views about them? Did they not work diligently to preserve their own reputation? On one hand, they did some good things for the sake of their own political achievements, while on the other, they distorted history and killed those who wrote the truth and facts about them to conceal their wrongdoings. However, no matter how they tried to cover them up, there are, without a doubt, records of their deeds. They couldn’t eliminate everyone who knew the truth. Eventually, those matters were exposed little by little by later generations. When people found out, they felt cheated. By exposing these historical facts, people should have a new understanding of the truth about all of humanity. What kind of understanding? From monarchs to the common people, all of humanity lies in the hands of the wicked, corrupted by Satan so that each person is more wicked than the next. There is no one who is not evil, no one who is not bad. They have all committed many wrongdoings; they are all quite wicked, there is no one among them who is good. Some say, “In every dynasty, there are a few upright officials. Do these upright officials count as wicked?” If you believe in God under the authority of these upright officials, see whether they’ll arrest you or not. If you testify about God to them, observe their attitude. You will immediately know whether they are wicked or not. God’s appearance and work, as well as the truth He expresses, reveal people for who they are more than anything else. Some rulers and officials may have achieved certain political accomplishments and done some good deeds, but what is the nature of these good deeds? Who benefits from them? They are good deeds demanded by the ruling class. Are the good deeds they do in line with the good deeds approved by God? Are these “political accomplishments” practicing the truth and submitting to God? Absolutely not. Their political achievements and good deeds have absolutely no relationship with the truth or with submitting to God. What good deeds and political accomplishments they do have are all driven by their intentions and motives; it’s all done in order to immortalize themselves and be praised by others. Therefore, no matter how many good deeds they perform or how many political achievements they accumulate, it cannot prove that they are good people with kind hearts, let alone that they have never committed evil or do not possess a wicked nature. Are you clear about what kind of person these people are in the eyes of God? Can you use these matters to understand yourselves? Do you engage in such practices, where you want to show off as soon as you do something good, making sure everyone knows, then outwardly saying that one shouldn’t be boastful or arrogant, that one should comport themselves with humility? For instance, you go to a new church to work, and people don’t know that you’re in a leadership position, so you have to try every means to make people know that you’re a leader, and you rack your brains all night, finally coming up with a good solution. What’s the solution? You gather everyone for a meeting and say, “During today’s gathering, let’s fellowship about whether I, as a leader, am qualified or not. If I’m not qualified, you can expose and remove me. If I am, then I’ll continue in this role.” When everyone hears this, they immediately know you’re a leader. Haven’t you achieved your goal with this? Where did this goal come from? It stems from your wicked nature. Having ambitions is a common human trait, but even with these ambitions, some people use various different languages, methods, and strategies at different times and in different places to achieve their desired goals. This is wickedness.
Regarding this topic of wicked nature, we will continue to discuss it frequently. This way, you will gain a more thorough understanding of this aspect of the truth and corrupt dispositions. In one respect, you’ll be able to understand yourselves, and in another, you’ll be able to discern different kinds of people. You will also have a deeper entry into the truth. If I only fellowship on a general concept or on one aspect of the definition, your understanding will be fairly shallow. However, by using certain facts and providing examples for our fellowship, your understanding can then grow deeper. For example, suppose two kids are talking together. One of them asks, “Did you do your homework today?” The other responds, “No, I didn’t.” Then the first one says, “I didn’t either.” Are they both telling the truth? (Yes.) You’re mistaken; one of them is lying. What is he thinking in his heart? “Fool, do you think that I really haven’t done it? I’m not that stupid! If I don’t do my homework, I’ll get punished. How can I not have done it? I deliberately made you think I didn’t do it so that you wouldn’t do it either. In the end, you’ll get punished, and I can enjoy a good laugh.” Is this child bad? (He’s bad.) Have any of you done something like this? Here’s another example: In class on Monday, one student says she went shopping on Sunday, while another claims she visited friends. In reality, both of them were at home studying. Especially in a highly competitive environment like China, these things are said to make your competitor lower their guard so you can surpass them. This is what’s called a strategy. Such things are commonplace in daily life. Sometimes parents and children engage in similar dialogues and reveal similar dispositions, which friends may also reveal among themselves. The revelations of this disposition are observable everywhere, depending on whether you can keep a watchful eye out for them. Why keep watch? It isn’t for gathering material, idly chatting, gossiping, or creating stories. Instead, it’s to improve your discernment, allowing you to compare yourself with what others do and what they reveal and exhibit, so you can see if you exhibit similar behaviors. When you see someone exhibiting this kind of behavior, you’ll understand that they have this disposition. However, when you also exhibit such behaviors, will you be able to recognize that you have this disposition too? If you can’t recognize it, then your understanding of their disposition is false: You haven’t truly understood it, or in other words, you do not have spiritual understanding, and you have not understood it accurately. These topics cannot be fully covered in a few days. Discussing a bit of it will help you gain a little, and your understanding of the truth will deepen somewhat. If you genuinely love the truth, you’ll have a deeper level of entry. The depth of your experience and entry is inseparable from your understanding. The deeper you are able to experience and enter in, the deeper your understanding will definitely be. Similarly, the depth of your understanding can also demonstrate how deep you have experienced and entered in. These two are interconnected. This is the path to enter into the truth, and only by entering into the truth can you possess reality. We’ll conclude this topic here and move on to the main subject of today’s fellowship.
A Dissection of How Antichrists Mislead, Draw In, Threaten, and Control People
I. A Dissection of How Antichrists Mislead People
At the last gathering, we completed our fellowship on the fourth item of the various manifestations of antichrists. Today, we will begin fellowshiping on item five: how antichrists mislead, draw in, threaten, and control people. There are four verbs involved in this aspect of the manifestations of antichrists, and from these four verbs and the behavior of antichrists, we can see their dispositions. The first verb is “mislead.” What kind of disposition is contained within this? It’s wickedness. Now, what about “draw in”? Does drawing in usually employ pleasant or unpleasant words? (Pleasant words.) So, what kind of disposition governs this behavior? Wickedness. What about “threaten” and “control”—what disposition governs these? (Viciousness.) That’s right, viciousness. From item five, we can see the dispositions of antichrists. What are the primary manifestations of antichrists in this item? (Wickedness and viciousness.) These two dispositions of wickedness and viciousness are both very prominent and evident. Let’s discuss these behaviors one by one, starting with “mislead.” What does the term “mislead” generally mean? Does it involve any manifestations of honesty? Are there any honest words in it? (No.) There are no honest words in it—it’s all false, it’s using false impressions, false statements, and deceptive words to make others believe that what one says is correct, thereby making others acknowledge and trust them. This is what is meant by “mislead.” Do those who are misled gain the truth or embark on the right path? They accomplish neither of these things. The behavior and practice of misleading people is definitely negative rather than positive. Those who are misled have essentially been duped; they don’t understand the actual facts, the real situation, or the true context, and then they choose the wrong path and direction, and the wrong person to follow. This is the effect that misleading has on those who fall for it. It’s like the advertisements in a shopping mall: They are very well-written, and when people see them, they take them at face value, but after making their purchases, they find the products to be useless. That is being duped. So, what is the purpose behind antichrists behaving in a way that misleads people? What methods do they use, what words do they say, and what things do they do to mislead people? Let’s first talk about their purpose. If they had no purpose at all, would they need to put in effort or say pleasant things to draw in and mislead people? There is a saying among unbelievers, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” If you can’t see through this, then you’ll get duped. The world is just this wicked, people scheme against each other and abuse one another. This is the life of corrupt humanity. Why do antichrists put effort into speaking in a roundabout way to mislead people? They speak and act with a clear purpose, which is to vie for power and control over people—this is without a doubt. Their objectives are no different from those of politicians. So, what strategies do antichrists use to mislead people? How do they do it? First, they make you like them. Once you have a favorable impression of them, you won’t guard against them anymore: You’ll trust them, and then you’ll accept their leadership and willingly submit to them. You will be willing to listen to whatever they say and whatever they ask you to do. What does this willingness to listen mean? It means not practicing discernment, and obeying and submitting without principles. Can antichrists achieve the effect of misleading people by using words or methods of condemnation? Absolutely not. So, what methods do they usually employ in order to achieve this effect? Most of the time, they use words that align with human notions as well as doctrines of human sentiment. Sometimes they also speak some words and doctrines that align with the truth. This makes it easy for them to achieve their goal of misleading people, and people are also likely to accept them. For example, when brothers and sisters do something wrong, causing losses to the church’s work, and they feel negative and weak, antichrists don’t fellowship the truth to support and help them. Instead, they say, “It’s a common occurrence for people to be weak—it’s normal. I am often weak too. God doesn’t remember these things.” In reality, do they know if God remembers these things or not? No, they don’t. They say, “It doesn’t matter that this matter wasn’t handled properly. Just correct it next time. God’s house doesn’t know, and no one is making inquiries into it. As long as I don’t report it higher up, the upper leadership won’t know about it, and the Above certainly won’t know, and then God won’t know either—therefore, God won’t pay attention to this matter. We are all corrupt people; you have corruption, and so do I. As a leader, I’m like a parent: Whatever mistakes you make are my responsibility. It’s my fault for having small stature and not being able to support and help you, which led to you doing things wrong. If I had greater stature, I could have helped you, and you wouldn’t have made a mistake. The responsibility for this matter lies with me. While this may have caused some losses to the church’s work, we can process this ourselves, and that will be the end of the matter. No one should make inquiries into this matter, and no one should report it higher up; let’s just keep it between you and me. If I don’t mention it to the other brothers and sisters, no one will report this to the higher-ups, and the matter will be dropped. We just need to pray and swear an oath before God that we will never do something like this or make a mistake like this again. As a leader, I have a responsibility to protect you. God is so lofty—is it realistic for us to ask for His protection? Besides, God doesn’t bother with these trivial matters in people’s lives, so the responsibility of protecting you falls implicitly on my shoulders as a leader. You have small stature, so I’ll take the blame if you make a mistake. Don’t worry, if the time comes that something really goes wrong, and the Above finds out or learns of it, I’ll stand up for you.” When people hear this, they think, “This is great! I was so worried about taking responsibility—this leader is so wonderful!” Haven’t they been misled? Is there anything in what the antichrists said that is in line with the truth? Is there anything that is beneficial or edifying to people? Is there anything that handles matters based on principles? (No.) So, what kind of words are these? They are words that use human sentiments, empathy, and forgiveness to build connections, placing an emphasis on feelings and friendship, to take the relationship to a certain level, making people feel that the antichrists are particularly understanding, particularly forgiving and tolerant of people. But there are no principles or truths in this. What is this surface-level understanding? It’s just glossing things over, it’s like coaxing a child. What strategies are being used here? Coaxing, tricking, building connections, glossing things over, and pretending to be a good person, all at the expense of the interests of the brothers and sisters, and selling out the interests of God’s house, to achieve their goal of fooling and misleading people. What is the ultimate consequence of this? It makes people distance themselves from God, be on guard against God, and grow closer to the antichrists. Even after being misled, these people say, “After I made that mistake, I was so worried. I prayed to God many times, but He didn’t comfort me. I felt unsteady and uneasy in my heart, and I couldn’t find a resolution from God. But now it’s okay; as long as I go to the leader, all my problems get solved. I’m really quite lucky to have such a leader. Our leader is better than anyone else!” At this point, their hearts and viewpoints have already shifted toward the antichrists, and they have been controlled by them. How can they be controlled by antichrists? Because they find a sense of security in these antichrists. They receive empathy, and deep in their hearts they receive satisfaction and comfort. This shows that they have been misled.
In the past, the Above discovered that there was someone with bad humanity in a certain church, who was constantly doing disturbing and disruptive things without any sign of repentance, so they told the local church leader to cleanse this person away. When the local church leader heard this, he thought, “Cleanse him away? I need to think about it. He’s one of mine—you can’t cleanse him away just like that. I have to stand up for him. The Above doesn’t understand the true state of affairs. Trying to cleanse him away just like that is really going too far. He would be so heartbroken!” He verbally agreed to cleanse the person away, but in his heart, he had no intention of doing so. Can you guess how he handled this? He pondered on it, “How do I answer to this situation in a way that the people below are satisfied with me as their leader and the Above doesn’t detest me?” After thinking it over, he came up with a plan. He called everyone together for a gathering and said, “Today, we have a special matter to deal with. What is it? There’s someone whom the Above isn’t very satisfied with, and they want to cleanse him away. So, what should we do about it? Let’s all decide whether to cleanse him away or not by voting.” The voting results were tallied, and about 80-90% of the people had agreed to cleanse the person away, but there were a few dissenting votes. We won’t speak about whether these dissenters were diehard followers of the evil person or whether they did it for other reasons, in any case, some people disagreed, and the opinion was not unanimous. Then the leader said, “Through the vote, I’ve noticed that there are differing voices. This is a significant matter, and we must respect these voices. We need to practice democracy. Look how great the Western democratic system is: We must also practice like that in the church, we must strive to the best of our abilities to achieve democracy and human rights. Now, since there are a few opposing votes, we can’t cleanse this person away. We must respect the opinions of our brothers and sisters. Who are the brothers and sisters? They are God’s chosen people! We can’t ignore their opinions. Even if just one of God’s chosen people disagrees, we cannot proceed with the cleansing.” In reality, what he said had no basis, God has never said such things. He was just speaking nonsense. Later, when the Above discovered that the evil person still hadn’t been cleansed away, they asked the local leader to hurry along with it. He promised, saying, “Alright, it’ll be done soon.” What did his promise mean? It meant he would stall. He thought, “You’re asking me to cleanse him away, but I can’t do it right away. Who knows, if enough time passes, maybe you’ll forget about it, and I won’t have to cleanse him away.” Later, he called everyone together for another gathering and another vote. Through fellowship and discernment, it became clear to everyone that the person indeed needed to be cleansed away. The opposing votes diminished, but there was still one vote against cleansing him away. Again the leader did not cleanse him away, saying, “As long as there’s one vote against it, we can’t cleanse him away.” Most people thought, “If the Above ordered the cleansing, then remove him. Surely the Above can see through this matter? Surely they haven’t made a mistake?” Is submitting to the Above’s arrangements a principle? Is it the truth? (Yes.) This leader didn’t know that this was the truth. What did he do? He said, “There’s still one vote against it, so we can’t cleanse him away. We must absolutely respect the opinions of our brothers and sisters. This is what’s called the highest human right.” Later, when the Above inquired about the matter again, the leader continued to deal with them in a perfunctory way and kept stalling. Eventually, when the Above saw that he wasn’t cleansing the evil person away, they dismissed and cleansed him away too. The Above made him a leader, and he didn’t listen to them; the Above has the authority to use him and to dismiss him—this is an administrative decree. Following this, his allies were cleansed away as well. Do the arrangements of the Above need to be voted through by everyone? (No.) Why not? You can’t explain why; it seems you’re quite similar to that muddled leader, isn’t that the case? Tell Me, are these words I’m fellowshiping to you doctrines or realities? (Realities.) If people practice and implement them, will it be accurate? (Yes.) If it’s accurate, is it necessary for everyone to cast a ballot and vote on it? (No.) Could the Above wrong someone by ordering that they be cleansed away? Absolutely not. So, when the Above ordered the cleansing of this evil person, and this leader refused to carry it out, what was the problem here? (Open defiance.) It’s more than just open defiance, it’s creating an independent kingdom. When the Above ordered the cleansing of the evil person, this false leader stalled and didn’t carry it out, and he even held a vote and surveyed public opinion. What public opinion was he surveying? What is public opinion? What are the majority? Do the majority of people understand or possess the truth? (No.) If the majority of people don’t even possess discernment, can they be people who understand the truth? This leader even surveyed public opinion—can that really solve any problem? Is it necessary? The majority of people lack discernment, and the Above personally oversaw and ordered the cleansing of the evil person, but this antichrist stalled and did not cleanse him away, sheltering and shielding an evil person, allowing him to stay in the church and cause disturbances. Wherever evil people exist, there is chaos and a lack of order. God’s chosen people can’t do their duties normally, and the church’s work can’t progress normally. Only promptly cleansing evil people away can ensure that the church’s work proceeds normally. However, in places where antichrists hold power, those who harm the interests of God’s house, cause disturbances, act in an unreasonable manner, and do their duties without the least bit of sincerity, cannot be cleansed away. Antichrists run amok doing evil in the church, sheltering and shielding those evil people and nonbelievers. Under what pretext do they do this? Under the pretext that they are officials, so they must be the masters of other people. They fashion themselves as officials in God’s house, and they want to be the masters of other people. Tell Me, who is the master of man? (God.) God and the truth are the Master of man. Those antichrists are nothing! They want to be the masters of these people, but they don’t even know who their master is! Aren’t they scoundrels? Antichrists use this method to tell people: “I can be your master. If you have any grievances, any discontent, or if you’ve suffered any injustice or hardship, I, as your leader, can straighten it out for you.” Those who don’t understand the truth or the actual facts are then misled by those antichrists. They treat them as bosses and God to follow and worship. How do those who understand the truth feel when they encounter such antichrists? They feel disgusted and detest them, saying, “So you want to be our master and control us? Not on your life! We chose you as our leader so that you would lead us before God, not before yourself.” This means they have seen through the antichrists’ schemes. Antichrists mislead people under the pretext of being their masters, making them think that this is in line with their needs, whether they be emotional, psychological, spiritual, or other needs. Those who don’t understand the truth or the actual facts frequently fall victim to the misleading of antichrists, to the extent that after being misled, they may not only be unable to turn back and reflect, but might even speak up for those antichrists and defend them. The fact that they can speak up for and defend antichrists sufficiently demonstrates that they’ve truly been misled—is this not the case? (It is.) Why do people believe in God? Isn’t it to attain salvation? If you follow antichrists, aren’t you resisting God and betraying Him? Aren’t you standing on the side of forces that are hostile toward God? In that case, will God still want you? If you nominally follow God, yet you follow a person, how will God view you and approach you? If you reject God, will He not spurn you? If people don’t even understand this little bit of doctrine, can they understand the truth? Are these people not muddle-headed?
It isn’t an occasional manifestation for antichrists to mislead people; they do this often, it is their consistent acting principle, or one might say it’s their basis, method, and way of doing things—it’s the consistent style of their actions. Otherwise, who would look up to them? First off, they don’t understand the truth. Secondly, they have bad humanity. Thirdly, they also lack a God-fearing heart. So how are they able to make people concede to them fully, look up to them, and admire them? They rely on various means and methods to show off, making people look up to and worship them. They use these methods to mislead people, giving them certain false impressions, making them see that they are spiritual, they love God, they pay the price, they often say the right words and present the right theories, and they safeguard the interests of brothers and sisters. Then, they use these false impressions to generate a sense of respect and admiration in people, achieving their goal of being able to mislead people and make them follow. When they mislead people like this, are the things they do in line with the truth? Although they say everything right, it definitely does not align with the truth. Those without discernment can’t see the problem. Regarding the essence of misleading people, their actions make it difficult for people to see that they are not in line with the truth. If this could be seen, wouldn’t people spot their fraud? In reality, what they do and what they reveal is a false spirituality. So, what is the manifestation of false spirituality? Many of the behaviors, actions, and sayings belonging to false spirituality seem right, but they’re actually just outward actions, and have nothing to do with practicing the truth. Just like the Pharisees who resisted the Lord Jesus: They held the Scriptures in their hands and prayed loudly at street corners, saying “Oh my Lord…,” showing people their piety. As a result, nowadays “Pharisee” has become an alternative term for people who are hypocritical. Which adjective goes before Pharisee? Hypocritical. In fact, without saying “hypocritical,” nowadays you only need to say the word “Pharisee” to make it clear that it is not a positive term—it’s the same as “scoundrel” or “devil” and carries the same meaning. Speaking of false spirituality, nowadays, not many people talk about spirituality, and whenever someone mentions spirituality, what do they add before it? (False.) Right, false. The manifestation of antichrists misleading people many times is actually a manifestation of false spirituality. The words, actions, and behaviors associated with false spirituality often seem quite good, quite devout, and in line with the truth. When they see someone is weak, they forget their meal and rush to support them. When they see that someone has a situation at home, they neglect their own affairs and hurry to help them. However, their help consists of saying certain right words or pleasant-sounding and sympathetic words, but after so much talking, the other person’s practical issues are anything but resolved. What is the purpose of their acting like this then? People are especially moved by their behavior, and they feel that having a leader like this to rely on in times of need is wonderful—they are truly happy. Therefore, it can be said that antichrists not only use words to mislead people, but at the same time they also employ various behaviors to mislead them, in order to make people believe that they are highly spiritual, remarkable, and worthy of their trust and reliance. Some might even think, “Believing in God feels a bit too abstract, but believing in our leader is practical. It’s so real and true: You can touch them and see them, and when you’re dealing with things you can ask them and talk to them directly. How wonderful is that!” In achieving such results, the antichrists have reached their objectives, but those whom they misled end up miserable. After being misled by antichrists for a period of time, when these people come before God again, they no longer know how to pray or open their hearts to Him. Moreover, when these people get together, they flatter each other, pretend to be spiritual, and mislead and trick one another. In the end, the antichrists even claim, “Every single brother and sister in our church loves God. When faced with issues, every one of them rises to the occasion—even if they were arrested by the great red dragon, they could all stand firm in their witness. There wouldn’t be a single Judas among us—I guarantee it!” As it turned out, when they got arrested, most of them turned into Judas. Aren’t they a bunch of scoundrels? The antichrists use these empty words and slogans to fool, mislead, and cheat the brothers and sisters. Most people are foolish and ignorant, lacking discernment, and allow the antichrists to behave wantonly. The work arrangements from the Above have long emphasized how to handle circumstances when they arise and what work to do, with the goal of ensuring that all God’s chosen people can do their duties in a secure environment. In the event of arrests and persecution, the losses should be minimized as much as possible. If all God’s chosen people are arrested and go to jail, losing their church life entirely, does this not lead to a deficit in their life entry? Without being able to eat and drink God’s words in prison, can one’s life mature? They can only remember a few words of hymns, and every day their life depends on those few words. When they pray at night, they can only do it silently in their hearts, and they dare not move their lips. The only thing left in their hearts is thoughts like, “Don’t sell out, don’t be a Judas, stand firm in testimony to God and glorify Him, don’t disgrace Him,” there is nothing else—people only have that little bit of stature. The antichrists do not consider these things. Why are they called antichrists? They abuse others and harm the brothers and sisters without blinking an eye! The work arrangements from the Above require people to do their duties within a secure context and avoid accidents as much as possible, but antichrists don’t follow these work arrangements when they do their jobs. They shout and act blindly according to their own wills, disregarding safety. Some foolish individuals lack discernment and think, “Why does the Above always bring up safety? Why are they so afraid of accidents? What is there to fear? Everything is in God’s hands!” Isn’t it foolish to say such things? Your stature may be small, you may lack understanding, and you may not be able to see through matters, but you can’t act foolishly! The Above has arranged how people should gather under certain circumstances, and what principles they should follow—what are all these detailed arrangements for? They are precisely to protect God’s chosen people, so that they can gather and do their duties in a normal and safe manner. Safety allows you to continue believing in God, to live your church life and eat and drink God’s words normally. If even your safety is lost, if you are arrested by the great red dragon, and in prison you can’t hear or read God’s words, you can’t sing hymns, and you have no gatherings—how can you still believe in God? You might just become a believer in name only. Antichrists don’t care about these matters; they don’t care about people’s life and death. For the sake of satisfying their own ambitions and desires, they encourage everyone to rise up and shout blindly, “We do not fear the circumstances—we have God!” Those who are foolish don’t understand anything and are misled by these words. Everybody has vague and hollow thoughts, thinking, “We believe in God, and God protects us; if something happens to us, it is with God’s permission.” Are these not empty words? This is how antichrists and those who don’t understand the truth act. While brothers and sisters may not understand, as leaders who often fellowship the work arrangements, you shouldn’t be ignorant of these matters. You must carry out the work according to the work arrangements and not always want to talk so much in order to satisfy your ambitions and desires, even thinking that the more people there are listening to you, the better, and the more there are the more enthusiastic your speech becomes. In order to win over those beneath them and make them listen to their direction, antichrists gather these people together in their free time, without any consideration for the safety of the environment, ultimately leading these people to their downfall.
Antichrists are skilled at saying grand things and using certain empty, falsely spiritual, and theoretical bases to mislead people. Many who lack discernment just listen to them, and they obey the antichrists however they manipulate them, resulting in trouble and arrest. How can these troubles arise? Some might say it’s because God didn’t protect them. But isn’t that complaining about God? The blame for this matter can’t be placed on God. God allows people to experience His work in various circumstances. If you carry out your practice according to the principles based on the work arrangements, and when the environment permits, no matter how many people gather together, you can eat and drink God’s words normally, experience God’s work, and do the duties you should, then God will lead you and carry out His work in you. If you go against the requirements from the Above and act blindly according to your own will, and something happens, that is just foolishness and ignorance. God doesn’t intend to put everyone in prison to refine them. His will is for each person to properly eat and drink His words and experience His work. However, antichrists don’t understand this. They believe in their own logic, thinking that with God’s protection, there’s nothing to fear. They have no understanding of the principles of God’s protection and blindly follow the regulations, always defining God. Many people are misled by them and act blindly along with them, ignoring the arrangements from the Above, and as a result, something happens and they get arrested and endure torture in prison. What kind of stature do these people have when trouble arises? They just have a bit of enthusiasm, they understand a bit of doctrine, and can shout a few slogans, but they have no knowledge of God at all, they have no genuine understanding, knowledge, or experience of the truth, and no understanding of how God works to save people. They simply rely on enthusiasm to follow God and have a bit of determination. Can people with this kind of stature give a testimony when they’re arrested and put in jail? Absolutely not. As soon as they sell out, what are the consequences? They start thinking, “Isn’t God almighty? Everything is in His hands, so why doesn’t He save me? Why does He allow me to suffer like this? Is there even a God? Is it possible we were wrong to have so much enthusiasm? If our leaders have led us astray, then why doesn’t God discipline them? Why did God bring us here? Why did He allow us to face such a circumstance?” Blame starts to surface, followed closely by a denial of God: “God’s actions do not align with the will of man. His actions may not always be right, and He may not necessarily be the truth.” In the end, having suffered much and endured it for a period of time, even the little doctrine they knew and the tiny zeal they had disappear. They deny God and lose their faith, even becoming a Judas. After being released from prison, they even think, “Now I don’t ever need to worry about circumstances again. Look at how good those who don’t believe in God have it: They have so much freedom there on the outside. What are we doing believing in secret? If the country forbids belief, just stop believing.” Can such people still believe in God later? (No, they can’t.) Why can’t they? God doesn’t want them anymore. God chooses you only once, and you’ve already lost your chance, so God won’t want you a second time. What’s the hope for such people to attain salvation? It’s zero, there’s no hope left. This is the consequence that antichrists ultimately bring about by behaving wantonly and using certain falsely spiritual theories to mislead people, causing them to pursue outward spirituality and zeal. What is the consequence? (They are ruined.) Whether God saves them or not is God’s business, but at least for now, it seems that when people’s path of faith in God reaches this point, their prospects and destination are basically ruined. When it all comes down to it, who caused this? It’s the antichrists who caused it. If they didn’t act so blindly but acted in accordance with the work arrangements, leading the brothers and sisters according to the requirements from the Above, and bringing everyone before God, these things wouldn’t have happened. Would there still have been hope for these people to be saved? (Yes.) These people would still have the hope of salvation. Because the ambitions and desires of antichrists are severely enlarged, if no one is there to safeguard them and listen to them, they feel that life is boring and dull. They treat those muddlers who follow them as cannon fodder and toys to manipulate, making them all follow their lead. They feel that they are capable and possess pleasures, and this life is worth living. In order to satisfy their ambitions and desires, they use these so-called spiritual and pleasant-sounding words to mislead those who follow them, and after they have been misled, making them deviate from the true way and from God’s words, distance themselves from God to follow them, and take the path of the antichrists. What is the ultimate result? The prospects and destination of these people are ruined, and they lose their chance of salvation. What are the consequences when people don’t believe in God properly but follow other people? Do you still envy anyone who seems spiritual? (No, we don’t.) What about the term “spiritual”? It’s hollow. People belong to the flesh—they are created beings. If you were truly spiritual, then your flesh would no longer exist, and how spiritual would you be then? Isn’t that just empty talk? So, you see, the term “spiritual” itself doesn’t stand up; it’s just empty talk. In the future, if you hear someone saying they’re pursuing spirituality, tell them, “You should pursue being an honest person and living before God—that’s more realistic. If you pursue spirituality, that’s a dead end! Don’t ever pursue spirituality; it’s not something people pursue—it simply doesn’t stand up.” Tell Me, after believing in God for many years, who has become a spiritual person? Those famous figures and Bible expositors of religion, are they spiritual? They are all hypocrites, not one of them is spiritual. The people who invented the term “spiritual” are using this empty word to mislead others. They are scoundrels and devils. What kind of person can say such empty things? Do they have spiritual understanding? (No, they do not.) If you can’t even understand what people should pursue when they believe in God or what they should belong to, can you understand the truth? You are inherently a created being, a member of the humanity that has been corrupted by Satan. If you want to talk about belonging to something, then you belong to the flesh—that is the attribute of humans. Of course, if you seek to be of flesh, you belong to Satan: That is walking the path of the world. People who believe in God should pursue the truth—that is correct. If people seek to be spiritual or of God, is this something they can measure up to? No matter how they pursue it, it’s useless. This is not the right path for believing in God. Therefore, seeking to be spiritual or of God is just a slogan, a falsely spiritual theory, unrelated to the truth. If you believe in God and follow God, you should properly fulfill your duty as a created being, and be able to submit to God and satisfy Him. This is the truth reality.
No matter how many sermons antichrists listen to, they cannot understand the truth. What they understand and can articulate is all doctrine. They take those words they can comprehend and remember and process them in their thoughts to turn them into spiritual doctrines in line with human notions and imaginings, and then propagate them wantonly, explaining them to others. When those who lack spiritual understanding and do not understand the truth hear these, they feel that they make perfect sense and are willing to accept them. As a result, they become misled and start to worship the antichrists. That’s when trouble comes along. In reality, antichrists do not understand the truth at all. If you carefully listen and discern their so-called right words, you’ll find that they are hollow theories in line with human notions and imaginings. Of course, those who do not understand the truth think that these words are correct and easily fall for them. Have you experienced such situations? Can you provide examples? If you can provide examples and clearly see how those skilled at speaking words and doctrines mislead others, this proves that you understand and can apply them. If you can’t provide examples, it indicates that you haven’t understood them yet and can’t apply them. When you meet with those skilled at speaking words and doctrines, you definitely won’t be able to discern them. (I’ve been in such a state. When brothers and sisters face pruning and dealing with or chastening and discipline, and they don’t understand God’s will, they come to seek with me. Actually, I don’t understand God’s will or the essence of these issues either. But I tell them some hollow words, for example, “Pruning, dealing with, chastening, and discipline are all God’s love and God’s salvation. These are how God acts on our corrupt dispositions.” Even while saying this, I can sense that I haven’t fully explained the essence of their problem to them, such as why they are facing this circumstance, what type of corrupt disposition their actions and revelations belong to or what the nature of them may be, and what God’s will is—these things and more I haven’t been able to fellowship to them. I’ve only spoken a few correct doctrines and nice-sounding slogans, which indeed don’t help anyone.) This is because you yourself don’t have a clear understanding of the truth, so you can’t resolve the practical problems of your brothers and sisters. So, is there a difference between antichrists misleading people and this? Antichrists don’t help people out of good will; their motive and purpose are to mislead and control them. When antichrists do things like this, and when they’re shouting slogans, look at their behavior and what kind of disposition they reveal—this is the key to discerning antichrists. Some people have a small stature, and they lack a clear understanding of the truth. The intensity of their work may not achieve the necessary results, but they do not have the motive or purpose to mislead or control people. They also want to lead people before God—it’s just that their ability falls short of their desire. Although they haven’t achieved clear results, people can see that they have the right intentions, that they want to lead people before God. However, what is the objective of antichrists? (To gain people’s approval, and have people listen to them and follow them.) So, what is the difference between what they say and the person whose ability falls short of their desire? The person with insufficient ability speaks from their heart, but they cannot see through to the essence and root of the problem; they cannot fellowship it clearly, and ultimately, they cannot resolve the issue or provide for others. Now, what are the words of an antichrist? Do they come from their heart? (No, they do not.) Clearly they do not: What they say is all lies. Why do they have to speak lies? They want to cheat and mislead you. Their meaning is, “I’ve already done the work I should do as a leader, I’ve fellowshiped what I ought to, and everything I’ve said is correct. If you don’t accept them and the problem remains unresolved, it’s your fault—don’t blame me.” They don’t genuinely want to resolve your problems, but are going through the motions, having no choice but to say these things in order to maintain their status. They say these things against their will, and even if they say them, they aren’t doing it of their own accord—it isn’t what they’re truly thinking in their heart. Therefore, certain antichrists can usually learn to say a few correct words, helping others overcome their negativity, but when they themselves face pruning and dealing with or are replaced, they become extremely negative, they are unable to know themselves throughout, and they have to rely on the brothers and sisters to help them. Has this happened? (Yes.) This kind of thing happens too often. The words and doctrines that an antichrist constantly preaches to others cannot even help themselves. So, do these words come from deep within them? Are they the result of their actual experiences? (No.) Then what they say is mere words and doctrines, not a reflection of their true stature. The work they do to help others consists purely of using false impressions, actions, and good behavior to go through the motions, to make people acknowledge, accept, and approve of them as a leader. Once people acknowledge them as their leader, don’t they concede to them? If they concede to them, doesn’t the antichrist obtain a status? Isn’t their status then secure? This is precisely their objective. Some leaders and workers lack an understanding of the truth, and their abilities fall short of their desire while handling their work. This is at most a sign of their small stature and that they are not a qualified leader. But when an antichrist works, they don’t consider whether or not they can help or support the brothers and sisters. They only think about their own status and interests. This is the distinction between the two: Their dispositions are different. Therefore, even if the antichrist speaks many pleasant-sounding words, they don’t reflect their reality. They say them against their will; they’re just using certain externally correct doctrines and slogans, or words that conform to human sentiment, to advise people and go through the motions. Why do they have to go through the motions? It’s because if they see someone who is negative or weak and neglect to help them, others will say they aren’t doing practical work and aren’t fulfilling their responsibilities as a leader. Afraid of such accusations, they have no choice but to act. Therefore, their objective isn’t purely to do their duties; they’re afraid that if they don’t appear immediately when the brothers and sisters face hardship and help and provide for them, fulfilling their responsibilities, then they won’t support them anymore. In the next election, they might not choose them, and they won’t be a genuine leader, but will merely have an empty title. Is merely having an empty title what they desire in their heart? (No.) So, what do they want? They want real power and status, they want the brothers and sisters to worship, support, and follow them. Therefore, they strive to be elected as leader in every election—that is their objective.
Some so-called leaders and workers grow particularly enthusiastic as the elections approach, putting themselves on display everywhere and behaving abnormally. People like this may be of the ilk of antichrists. If they really can act like this, that’s despicable! Someone who truly possesses conscience and reason will naturally feel guilty in their heart when acting with motives and purposes. Constrained by their conscience and reason, they’ll realize that they weren’t that enthusiastic before, and people will clearly notice their sudden enthusiasm. Even they feel disgusted at themselves, and they would rather not run for election than act like that. Because they’ve believed in God for so many years and developed a bit of stature and some sense of shame, in the end, they are able to restrain themselves. But antichrists don’t restrain themselves; they do as they please and act how they wish. They have ambitions and various motives, purposes, and schemes. They know it all in their hearts, but they still insist on doing things this way, always thinking of their own reputation and status. They feel that doing things for the church and for their brothers and sisters is too much of a loss and not worthwhile. Therefore, they put themselves first in everything they do, and always look out for number one. When the elections come around, they do their best to lobby everywhere, misleading and drawing people in to choose them, and even secretly add a couple of votes for themselves during the voting. Isn’t it disgusting for antichrists to act this way? If they didn’t have ambitions, why would they go to such lengths? Isn’t this clearly ambition at work? As soon as someone mentions that someone is ambitious, it isn’t anything positive; everything such people do is undoubtedly disgusting and unspeakable. Everything antichrists do is false and deceptive; they always use false appearances to mislead people. Those who don’t know the truth of the matter see this and think, “The leader’s put in so much effort over these few days, sacrificing sleep and food, working day and night, taking the lead in everything. They’ve suffered quite a bit, and have been so exhausted that they’ve lost a lot of weight—they even have more gray hair.” Some brothers and sisters see this and feel sorry for the antichrist, and finally, during the election, they vote for them. Hasn’t the antichrist achieved their goal? (Yes.) This is what it means to scheme and use tactics, this is what it means to be wicked. Therefore, antichrists mislead people not only with words but also many times with actions and behaviors that silently tell people how enthusiastic, how submissive, and how considerate of the brothers and sisters they are. They use these seemingly good and right expressions and outwardly false appearances to repeatedly tell people, repeatedly emphasize, and let people know that they are qualified leaders, good leaders that people ought to accept. This is just like elections in democratic countries, where candidates go around giving speeches, lobbying, and campaigning everywhere. They even cheat during the voting process. But these people don’t feel ashamed; they follow the belief that “A real man is not without venom.” They use any means necessary to win the election—this is the thought and viewpoint of unbelievers. Do these antichrists do this also? Absolutely! For the sake of power and status, these individuals operate ardently and fervently in everything, and rack their brains to get them done. They are absolutely not content with their lot. So, if those who have a high degree of enthusiasm for power and status, that is, who are unable to control their ambitions, eventually get elected as leaders, they are not just following the path of antichrists; they might even become antichrists themselves. Do you have ambitions? Can you control your ambitions within the bounds of humanity and reason? If you can control them, then you can avoid the danger of following the path of antichrists, and you won’t become an antichrist and be cast out. If you feel that your ambitions are too great, that you frequently resort to any means for the sake of status, and even forgo eating and drinking, that you are willing to endure any suffering, and are even ready to employ any despicable methods, if you’ve already reached a point where you are shameless and your ambitions are difficult to keep in check, then there’s trouble—you are without a doubt an antichrist. If you only exhibit the manifestations of an antichrist, there’s still hope for salvation. But are you out of danger? Not yet. If you display these manifestations of an antichrist, it means you are still opposed to God, ready to resist and reject Him at any time. Or perhaps, because something God has done doesn’t align with your notions, you might study God, misunderstand Him, pass judgment on Him, and even spread notions about Him. Then you reject God and go your own way, and are ultimately cast out by God. The things that you reveal at any time and in any place can represent your disposition. Therefore, things that you reveal at all times and in every place are the revelation of your disposition. Why are we always discussing changes in disposition? Because a person whose disposition does not change is an enemy of God. Antichrists are all fiercely unrepentant, pledging their lives to oppose God and stand against Him to the end. Even if they inwardly acknowledge the existence of God, that God created humanity, and that God can save humanity, because of their nature, they cannot change the path they walk, nor can they change the essence of resisting God and being hostile to Him.
The essence of the behavior of antichrists is to constantly use various means and methods to satisfy their ambitions and desires, to mislead and ensnare people, and to gain high status so that people will follow and worship them. It is possible that in the depths of their hearts they are not deliberately vying over humanity with God, but one thing is certain: Even when they do not vie with God for humans, they still wish to have status and power among them. Even if the day comes when they realize that they are vying with God for status, and they rein themselves in a bit, they still employ different methods to pursue status and reputation; it is clear to them in their hearts that they will secure legitimate status, by winning the approval and admiration of some people. In short, though everything antichrists do appears to comprise a performance of their duties, its consequence is to mislead people, to make them worship and follow them—in which case, performing their duty in this way is exalting and testifying to themselves. Their ambition to control people and to gain status and power in the church will never change. They are out-and-out antichrists. No matter what God says or does, and no matter what He asks of people, antichrists do not do what they should do or perform their duties in a way that befits His words and requirements, nor do they give up their pursuit of power and status as a result of understanding any of the truth. At all times, their ambitions and desires still remain, they still occupy their hearts and control their whole being, directing their behavior and thoughts, and determining the path they walk. They are bona fide antichrists. What is seen most of all in antichrists? Some people say, “Antichrists vie with God to gain people, they do not acknowledge God.” It is not that they do not acknowledge God; in their hearts they do genuinely acknowledge and believe in His existence. They are willing to follow Him and want to pursue the truth, but they can’t help themselves, and so they can do evil. Though they may say many things that sound good, one thing will never change: Their ambition and desire for power and status will never change, nor will they give up their pursuit of power and status because of failure or setback, or because God has set them aside or abandoned them. Such is the nature of antichrists. So what do you say, has there ever been an antichrist who changed their ways and began to pursue the truth because they suffered hardship, or came to understand a little of the truth, and acquired a little knowledge of God—do such people exist? We’ve never seen that. The antichrists’ ambition for and pursuit of status and power will never change, and once they seize power, they will never let it go; this determines precisely their nature essence. There is not the slightest inaccuracy in God’s defining such people as antichrists; it has been determined by their very nature essence. Some people, perhaps, believe that antichrists try to vie over humanity with God. However, sometimes antichrists do not necessarily have to vie with Him; their knowledge, understanding, and need for status and power are unlike those of normal people. Normal people can be vainglorious; they can try to win credit with others, try to make a good impression on them, and try to vie for a good ranking. This is the ambition of normal people. If they are replaced as leaders, losing their status, it will be hard for them, but with a change in their environment, some growth in their stature, some attainment of entry into the truth, or the gaining of a deeper understanding of the truth, their ambition gradually cools. A change occurs in the path they take and the direction they proceed along, and their pursuit of status and power fades. Their desires, too, gradually lessen. Antichrists, however, are different: They could never give up their pursuit of status and power. At any given time, in any environment, and no matter what people they have around them and however old they might be, their ambition and desire will never change. What indicates that their ambition will never change? Say, for example, that they are a church leader. In their hearts, they’re always thinking about how they can control everyone in the church. If they are transferred to another church where they are not the leader, will they gladly be a normal follower? Absolutely not. They will still be thinking about how to gain status, and how to control everyone. No matter where they go, they wish to rule like a king. Even if they were put in a place with no people, in a flock of sheep, they would still want to lead the flock. If they were put with cats and dogs, they would want to be king of the cats and dogs, and rule over the animals. They are consumed with ambition, are they not? Are such people’s dispositions not demonic? Are these not the dispositions of Satan? Satan is just such a thing. In heaven, Satan wanted to stand equal to God, and after being cast to earth, it always tried to control man, to make man worship it and treat it as God. Antichrists always want to control people because they have a satanic nature; they live according to their satanic disposition, which has already gone beyond the bounds of normal people’s reason. Isn’t this a little abnormal? What does this abnormality refer to? It means that their behavior should not be found in normal humanity. So, what is this behavior? What governs it? It is governed by their nature. They have the essence of an evil spirit, and are unlike normal corrupt mankind. This is the difference. That antichrists will stop at nothing in their pursuit of power and status not only exposes their nature essence, but also shows people that their hideous countenance is exactly the face of Satan and demons. Not only do they vie with people for status, they also dare to vie with God for status and take God’s chosen ones for themselves. They will only be satisfied when His chosen ones are completely under their control. No matter which church or group of people antichrists are in, they want to gain status, hold power, and make people listen to them. Regardless of whether people are willing or whether they agree, antichrists want to have the final say and have people obey and accept them. Is this not the nature of an antichrist? Are people willing to listen to them? Do they elect them and recommend them? No. But antichrists still want to have the final say. No matter whether people agree or not, antichrists want to speak and act on their behalf, they want to be noticed. They even try to force their ideas on other people, and if people don’t accept it, antichrists will rack their brains trying to make them accept it. What problem is this? This is shamelessness and brazenness. People such as this are bona fide antichrists, and regardless of whether they are leaders or not, they are antichrists all the same. They have the nature essence of an antichrist.
Some people always attach great importance to finding out who the leaders of the church are, who is involved in spreading the gospel, where they all live, who they have close relationships with, and so on. Like Satan’s scouts, they are always prying and finding out these things. Why are they always concerned about these matters? Many people cannot comprehend their motives; they just feel that these individuals are a bit unusual. Most people are not interested in these things; they are busy enough with their own duties and have no time to meddle. They concentrate on doing their own duties and focus on practicing the truth, and without realizing it, their dispositions change—this is God’s grace. However, there is a type of person who is particularly enthusiastic about prying and finding out all kinds of matters regarding the church. When they come across a leader, they ask, “How did you handle that evil person So-and-so in the church?” The leader responds, “Is it any of your business how we handled it? What are you doing prying into this? Do you know that person?” The person says, “I just care, you know? This is a matter of God’s house. As members of God’s house, we should be zealous and pay close attention to the matters of His house. How can we be indifferent about them?” The leader tells them, “You shouldn’t pry into this matter. Focus on listening to sermons and attending gatherings. Eating and drinking God’s words is your proper business. It is enough for you to properly believe in God.” The person insists, “That’s no good, I have to be concerned.” Since no one tells them, they think of where to go and pry. When upper leaders host a co-worker meeting at their house, they feel that entering and joining would look a bit unjustified, so they pretend to bring in water, and inquire about whether that evil person was expelled or allowed to stay. When no one tells them, they go outside and crack the door open a bit, standing there eavesdropping. Isn’t this person mentally ill? Yes, they are mentally ill; in colloquial terms, we call it being a “busybody.” Such a person definitely has ambitions. They want to become a leader, but they can’t, so they meddle in others’ affairs to console themselves, and at the same time, make sure that people see that they know a lot and have extraordinary insight. This way, they might be chosen as leader in the future. To become a leader, they want to participate in everything, inquire about everything, and know everything. They believe that by being involved in these matters day after day, even if they don’t become a leader, they’ll still be in charge of things, and they can make it so people look up to them. They have not the least interest in the truth; they only care about meddling in others’ affairs—they specialize in prying into things they want to know. Wherever there’s an issue, they’ll be there, hovering like an annoying fly. Aren’t people like this disgusting? They are muddled to this degree, yet they are quite full of life—they just don’t think about doing any proper work. They do the duty of hosting people at their home, yet they’re unwilling to mop the kitchen floor even though it’s dirty. They believe themselves to be handling important matters, and mopping the floor is something ordinary folks do. They can’t do such menial tasks with their kind of caliber. They don’t do any practical work at all, can’t handle the work that is a part of their own duty, can’t perform any duty well, and don’t do things sincerely or in a grounded manner; instead, they’re eager to pry into the church’s work, as well as significant matters involving the church’s leaders, workers, and brothers and sisters. They want to offer their two cents on everything, and if people aren’t willing to listen to them, they say, “If you don’t heed my words, it’s your loss!” Isn’t this unreasonable? (It is.) Therefore, some antichrists are hidden; they don’t necessarily have to have status. Even without it, they’re still bouncing off the walls. If they were to obtain status, how much worse would it get? How much higher would they leap? Even if they fell to their deaths they wouldn’t mind. Tell Me, if such people were chosen as leaders, could God’s chosen people have a happy life? Some antichrists are hidden—what does this mean? It means antichrists don’t become antichrists when they gain status; they were antichrists from the beginning. It’s just that because people’s statures were small and they couldn’t discern them, or perhaps some churches couldn’t find those pursuing the truth, they chose these enthusiastic people who could plan things and run errands as their leaders. For now, let’s not discuss whether choosing them as leaders was right or wrong; let’s focus on what should be done once they are discovered to be antichrists. They should be exposed and rejected. If someone has been identified as an antichrist and removed from their position, should such people be selected as leaders again in the future? (No, they shouldn’t.) Why? (Their nature won’t change.) Anyone identified as an antichrist should not be chosen as a leader again because their nature essence cannot change. Antichrists only work for Satan; they are merely the slaves of Satan. They will never do anything or say anything for the sake of the truth. The essence of an antichrist is to be hostile toward God, to be sick of the truth, and to reject it and treat it with contempt. Their nature will not change. If people like this haven’t been leaders before, they should not be chosen, and if they were leaders previously but were removed, will they change if they become leaders again in the future? (No, they won’t.) They are still antichrists. Their nature essence determines this.
II. A Dissection of How Antichrists Draw People In
We just discussed the manifestations of antichrists misleading people. Misleading and drawing in mean roughly the same thing, but they differ in both nature and method. Misleading is using false appearances to misguide people, making them believe that they are true. Drawing in is consciously using some methods to make people listen to a particular person and follow their path—their intention is quite clear. Misleading and drawing in involve using seemingly right words to mislead people, saying things that align with human notions and are readily accepted by people in order to mislead them. People unwittingly start believing in and following them, standing alongside them and joining their gang. In this way, antichrists draw people away from a correct group of people and into their own camp. In short, if people accept such actions on the part of antichrists, then they might believe and worship them, and then accept and submit to everything the antichrists say, unconsciously beginning to follow them. Haven’t they been fooled and taken in? Some antichrists often use certain tactics to achieve their goal of misleading and drawing in people while interacting with them, which as a result leads to divisions, factions, and cliques within the church. For example, if an antichrist is from the South and encounters another southerner, the antichrist might say, “We’re both southerners: We grew up drinking water from the same river, and we speak the same language. Northerners don’t speak our language—it’s impossible to get close to them! Although we all believe in the same God, their life habits as northerners are different from ours, and our personalities are incompatible. There’s nothing for us to talk about. So, you and I are like family and we need to stick together.” This may sound reasonable, like they’re just expressing a certain viewpoint, but they say it with a motive and purpose, and people should be discerning. In reality, what the antichrist says isn’t what’s in their heart; they’re a chameleon, adjusting their words depending on the person they’re talking to. When the antichrist encounters northerners, they might say, “The North is great; the air is fresh there. Although I was born in the South, I grew up drinking northern water. That makes us close if nothing else!” When northerners hear this, they might feel the antichrist is a pretty good person and start associating with them. The antichrist is incredibly adept at misleading people and drawing them in, using various tactics to split the church, causing southerners and northerners to form distinct groups, all for the antichrist’s own gain, to achieve their goal of ganging up and forming a factional force of their own. Especially during church elections, if the antichrist sees that a northern brother or sister might get elected, they engage in covert operations, secretly substituting the votes, and ultimately, all the elected church leaders and deacons end up being from the South. Antichrists stop at nothing to mislead people and draw them in, causing divisions and factions and using these methods to split and control the church. What is their purpose in doing so? (To establish their own independent kingdom.) What is the nature of establishing an independent kingdom? It means being irreconcilable to Christ, claiming God’s chosen people for themselves, and standing against God as His equal. Isn’t this like staging a rival show against God? (Yes.) That’s exactly what it is. So, what are the consequences of antichrists acting like this? Their actions seriously disrupt and disturb the work of the church, and they are something that directly offends God’s disposition. God will respond to them in wrath, and all such antichrists must surely face punishment and destruction—this is without doubt. In the Age of Law, the 250 leaders who judged Moses received direct punishment. In the Age of Grace, those who crucified the Lord Jesus also faced direct punishment; they were cursed and came to a bad end. This is the outcome of antichrists opposing God and the necessary end for those who resist God.
How do antichrists use different methods to draw people in to divide the church? First, an antichrist will draw in people who have gifts and can speak eloquently, giving these people a good impression of them first, expanding the scope of their own force by making friends. They won’t pay attention to or may even exclude poor people or those with a lower caliber or who are relatively guileless. Whoever has status and wealth in society, they will think of a way to win these people over, while the brothers and sisters who sincerely expend themselves but have little money, or those who have a low social status, have no force to speak of, and are easily bullied by others, will be designated second-class citizens in the church. This way, a church with a few dozen members imperceptibly becomes divided into two classes of people. Who is responsible for this? (Antichrists.) Antichrists will do such things. If a good leader who truly understands the truth discovers a situation like this appearing within the church, they will use the truth to resolve it. They won’t allow people in the church to be separated by rank or classified based on their social status, nor will they split the church. They will ensure that all brothers and sisters, regardless of where they come from or whether they have any social status, are united in God’s words and before God. Antichrists, on the other hand, not only don’t resolve such problems but instead uses people’s corrupt dispositions to achieve their goals. They look for those with social status and wealth and draw them in. How do they draw them in? They might say, “Your social status is a blessing from God that was ordained by God. You should use your circumstance to fulfill your duty in God’s house. I’m a leader now, and quite well-known in the area for my belief. My family persecutes me quite a lot, and there are some risks associated with my leadership role. I need people like you to help keep me safe. If you can do that for me, you’ll receive great blessings in the future, and you will make rapid progress in life!” This is how antichrists draw in and entice people to follow them. If an antichrist takes a liking to someone or sees them as useful, they arrange for them to have easy duties or duties where they can be in the spotlight, doing their utmost to promote them. They don’t care whether or not they meet the principles for using people in God’s house. As long as this person has social status and can be useful to them, they draw them in. In order to achieve their goals, antichrists get close to, flatter, and draw in those who have wealth and status in society, while siphoning off benefits for themselves. They also have a second method for drawing in people with money, power, and status, that is, indulging them. People like that often engage in wrongdoing within the church, dampening the enthusiasm of the brothers and sisters and disturbing church life. Antichrists look on happily and allow them to commit whatever offense they like. What is the purpose of an antichrist’s indulgence? It is still to draw them in and make a profit off them once they have. Antichrists even pretend to tell them, “Although you’ve chosen me as a leader, and I have the responsibility to lead you, this church doesn’t belong to me alone. I can’t make decisions on my own within the church. You also need to help out; if anything comes up you can also have a say—this is what it means to cooperate.” They say this to those who are wealthy, influential, and advantageous to them, doing their best to draw in these individuals, until they reach a point where they can control them. However, for those who genuinely believe in God but lack money, social status, or any apparent usefulness, they go to great lengths to exclude, attack, or simply ignore them. What is meant by their disregard? “If the few of us stick together and become a bastion of iron, I estimate that you common folks can’t make any significant impact. If you behave guilelessly and listen to my words, I’ll allow you to go on believing. But if you keep on nitpicking, voicing your opinions about me, or reporting me to the higher-ups, then I’ll punish you and expel you!” This is their plan. Some people lack discernment and become afraid, saying, “We mustn’t offend them. They’ve formed their own faction, and we can’t afford to. Our words carry little weight, and if we accidentally say something to upset them, and the leader actually expels us, we’ll lose our opportunity to believe in God.” These people are scared out of their wits. As antichrists draw people in, within this behavior there lies a wicked, vicious, and malicious disposition. What’s their purpose in drawing people in? It’s also to consolidate their position. What’s their purpose of forming cliques or gangs? It’s to expand the scope of their force, to have people support them, securing their power and status even more. Have any of you encountered such matters? When an antichrist controls a church, anyone who has money, status, or is domineering rallies around them, and they take control together, becoming a faction, a gang of four, five, or six people. No one is permitted to expose their issues. The antichrist draws these people in because it is challenging for them to control them. They must draw them in close, making them their assistants, thereby securing their position. Furthermore, these people have a value that the antichrist can take advantage of. Their method of drawing them in is, in a sense, a way to lock them down and keep them from posing a threat to their position.
Concerning this aspect of antichrists drawing people in, we just discussed two manifestations. Do such things happen in your church? Tell Me, does this kind of thing exist? (Yes.) It definitely does. So, among everything related to drawing people in, what are some other manifestations that possess the nature of antichrists drawing people in? What are the consequences of drawing them in? Why do the antichrists want to draw people in? If they don’t draw people in, can they achieve their goal of controlling people? (They cannot.) They must bring before them people who listen to them and align with their will, so that they may occupy a position and have objects to exercise authority over. If nobody listens to them, won’t they be unable to satisfy their ambition for status and power? Therefore, only when they draw in every kind of person who can be drawn in, do they win position and power. How do they deal with those who cannot be drawn in? (They exclude and attack them.) They start to attack and exclude them. Haven’t there been antichrists who turned those in the church who couldn’t be drawn in into so-called “auditors”? The sermons, hymns, and books of God’s words issued by the church are simply not given to these people, or they aren’t informed of gatherings for an extended period of time. Such things certainly do exist, and they are all things that antichrists do. Those who are attacked and excluded by antichrists haven’t had their names stricken off by the church, they haven’t left of their own volition, and they haven’t voluntarily stopped attending gatherings. They are all sincere believers in God, but because they have some discernment regarding antichrists, they are often excluded and cannot promptly access books of God’s words or sermons, hymns, and the various work arrangements issued by the church, nor can they eat and drink God’s words. On the other hand, those who are beneath the antichrists, that is, those who are able to listen to them, who have been drawn in by them and submitted to them, get priority access to various books and videos distributed by God’s house, enjoying this favorable treatment. The church is thus thrown into chaos and divided due to the behavior and actions of antichrists, and people’s hearts are in turmoil.
Are there any conditions antichrists look for to draw people in? Do they draw in those who love the truth and genuinely submit to God? (No.) Those who love the truth and submit to God possess some discernment, they can’t be drawn in, and they won’t follow antichrists. So, who do antichrists draw in? In their hearts, antichrists favor most those who are good at flattering people with status, who are good at ingratiating themselves and smooth-talking people, and some who have done bad things and fear being expelled and thus do their best to please the antichrists. Antichrists use the condition of protecting them to draw in people and win their hearts, letting them come close. Most of the people antichrists draw in, other than those who are first-time believers and don’t understand the truth, are people who don’t love the truth. Do all those who don’t love the truth possess conscience and reason? None of them are good, and God doesn’t choose such people. Antichrists draw these people in and lead them like a clown. They even think that they have attained an official position and have status, and are especially satisfied in their hearts. Isn’t this shameless? What other types of people do antichrists draw in? (People with a relatively evil humanity.) Exactly, evil people. How do antichrists treat evil people? They protect them. For example, suppose there is an evil person in the church, and the brothers and sisters all report that this person is particularly bad, causing unrest in the church whenever they are around, disturbing everyone from doing their duty, and disturbing the church’s work. As long as they are brought in to do a duty, then the church’s work will suffer loss. But antichrists see such evil people as useful and draw them to their side to work for their own benefit. Antichrists don’t expel evil people; instead, they protect them. Unless certain evil people don’t support an antichrist or can discern them—then they will deal with them. As long as they flatter the antichrist, support them, and don’t oppose them, they draw them in and win them over to strengthen their own force. Now, how do antichrists get along with these people who don’t pursue the truth? Their way of interacting is essentially mutual flattery and smooth talk. Wherever antichrists go, these evil people swarm together with them like flies. They certainly don’t get together to fellowship about the truth, because they are all sick of it, and none of them seek to resolve issues through fellowshiping about the truth. All they say is things unbelievers say, mostly stirring up trouble, belittling others and elevating themselves, and consulting over ways to punish people. Furthermore, they study how to guard against God’s house, discuss how to confront the Above, how to know in advance if someone wants to report their issues and how to respond once they know. These are the matters this gang of evil people discusses. When they are together, they never fellowship about things like doing their duties, and never fellowship about the truth to resolve issues. For example, they never discuss legitimate matters like supporting and helping the brothers and sisters who have become negative and weak and haven’t got the energy to do their duties, or finding solutions and paths to improve the effectiveness of certain aspects of church work. They talk about how to trick the Above and how to trick God’s house, ensuring that God’s house doesn’t know the facts about them. Once it is discovered that someone is in contact with the Above or has reported about their situation, they consider it a threat to their position and ruinous to their affairs. They relentlessly investigate who is responsible, searching for suspects, and once they find them, they isolate that person, transfer them elsewhere, and then issue orders prohibiting anyone from reporting their situation to the Above. This ensures that no one dares to report on them. Antichrists gain complete control of the church in this way. The Above has no way of knowing what evil act they commit behind the scenes, until the Above learns of the situation and spots their weak point, then orders an investigation of them and ultimately replaces or expels them. This group of antichrists and evil people can make a mess of the church’s work in only a few months, and can cause the brothers and sisters to suspect each other, undermine each other, expose each other, and attack one another, dividing the church. This is the consequence of antichrists misleading people and taking control of the church. In this way antichrists mislead all those who don’t pursue the truth and even draw in some useful evil people to control the church, solidifying their own position and authority. If evil people listen to them, they protect them. If not, they deal with the evil people first. If evil people follow them and can be enlisted and drawn in, they let them become their henchmen, their arms and eyes for doing bad things, infiltrating the brothers and sisters, finding out who has objections against them, who discerns their actions, which of their bad deeds have been found out, and who always wants to contact the Above to report their issues. Antichrists and evil people specifically investigate these matters, about which they are most concerned. They often discuss countermeasures together, treating those who can discern them or suspect them as enemies. They find excuses to punish one person today and tomorrow they get leverage to punish another; they even use various reasons and excuses to incite God’s chosen people to clear out and expel these individuals. Once antichrists become leaders or workers, they engage in these actions. In just a few months, they can throw the church into chaos, even extinguishing the ardent fervor of a church of new believers like water on a fire. Therefore, antichrists truly are God’s enemies and the enemies of God’s chosen people. This is not an exaggeration at all—it’s incredibly accurate! Where antichrists or evil people hold power, the church takes on a foul atmosphere. There is no church life at all, no normal eating and drinking of God’s word, and no atmosphere of fellowshiping the truth. Instead, it’s filled with intrigue and unbridled misconduct. This is what it means for the devil to have control. Can there be any good result when the devil has control? This can only bring disaster to God’s chosen people—that is certain without a doubt.
Some antichrists, when they come to a church to take on a leadership role, first investigate who in the church has previously reported issues to the Above. They want to keep such people away from them, and don’t go and stay at their house even if they can host them. If someone is good at toadying up to people, constantly orbits around the leader, and ingratiates themselves, that person’s house is where they plan to stay. Someone says, “They’re hosting two sisters.” The antichrist replies, “That’s no good, have them move somewhere else.” That person says, “You can’t just move people around as you please; those two sisters are rather suited for that place—moving them might affect the performance of their duties.” They respond, “As leader, what I say goes, and you must obey me!” They then force the two sisters to move. Why do they insist on staying at this house? It’s because this family is guileless and weak, posing no threat to the antichrist. No matter what misdeeds they commit or how unchecked their behavior becomes behind people’s backs, the family won’t report them. So, they look for this kind of place to stay. After some time, they bring their evil fellows along, and they do their bad deeds there, discussing countermeasures and plotting how to punish this and that person. When an antichrist or evil person appears in the church, they first look for people they like and can take advantage of, expanding and securing their force first of all. They leave those who understand the truth alone for now, so as not to jeopardize their own position. They don’t disrupt the current order just yet. After consolidating their position and finding suitable accomplices, they start discussing countermeasures to punish and deal with those brothers and sisters who pursue the truth. How do they punish and deal with them? First, they draw in those who approve of them, who have no discernment of them, and who they can make use of. If there are people whom they can’t draw in or who discern them, they find an excuse or reason to isolate or clear them out. What kind of disposition is revealed by these antichrists’ behavior? (Viciousness.) Wherever they adopt leadership roles, that place takes on a foul atmosphere. The order of church life is disrupted. If you don’t listen to them, you get suppressed, restricted, or even cleared out or expelled. Some antichrists act like thugs, ruffians, or shrews. Even after believing in God, they still want to gain a position, act high-handedly in God’s house, and control God’s chosen people. In this way, they make a mess of the church. If people lack discernment, they will be misled and controlled by them, ultimately leading to their own demise.
We’ve more or less finished our discussion about how antichrists draw people in. As you’ve been listening to these matters I’ve discussed, do you feel that they are something of a rarity? Are you astonished, thinking, “Could this really happen? That’s impossible, isn’t it? How can people like this exist among believers?” Let Me tell you, it can get even worse than this. Everyone puts on a facade of human likeness when they’re in front of others, but it’s what they’re like behind the scenes that reveals their true face. Their words and actions while in front of others are just a disguise, a false impression. It’s what they say and do behind the scenes that reflects their true self. If someone appears one way in front of people and another way behind the scenes, you should be able to discern which is genuine and which is fake, right? An antichrist may appear very polite in front of people, but if they knew what the antichrist did behind the scenes, they’d find it disgusting. They’d feel that dealing with the antichrist was a disgrace, that they are not a man of integrity, but mean and petty. In that case, can the antichrist get along with normal people? No, they can’t. This isn’t just a matter of a normal person having a few bad habits, but a matter of their disposition. As soon as you see their disposition, you realize they aren’t human, but a beast, a devil. Tell Me, what does it feel like when humans interact with animals? It’s like bringing a pig into the house, cleaning it up, putting little clothes on it, and treating it as a pet. The next day, you find that the house has become a pigsty. It eats, drinks, and relieves itself in the house without any regard for cleanliness. That’s when you realize you can’t keep pigs this way—they’re animals! People like antichrists may look on the outside like they have some caliber and upbringing, or they might have once been a prestigious figure in society, earning them some respect. But most of them are just like animals, lacking even conscience and reason. Do they possess normal humanity? (No.) Without normal humanity, can they still be considered human? Can you accept their leadership? What will happen if brothers and sisters fall into the hands of such people? They will be misled and drawn in, and they will definitely suffer. Antichrists are devils, and they have no conscience or reason. On the surface, they appear very loving, understanding, and sympathetic to some people’s difficulties, weaknesses, and emotional needs. In reality, these are people whom they favor and who flatter them. But if these people threaten their status or reputation, even they won’t be treated with politeness, but will be unscrupulously dealt with using even more malicious methods, without a single trace of sympathy or tolerance. The love and tolerance of antichrists is all a facade, and their goal is absolutely not to bring people before God, but to make them worship and follow them. Their purpose of ensnaring people in this way is to secure their own position and gain people’s worship and following. No matter what methods antichrists use to mislead and draw people in, one thing is certain: They will rack their brains and employ any means necessary for the sake of their own power and status. Another certainty is that no matter what they do, they are not doing it to perform their duties, and they certainly aren’t doing it to fulfill their duties well; rather, they do it to achieve their goal of holding power within the church. Furthermore, no matter what they do, they never consider the interests of God’s house, and they certainly don’t consider the interests of God’s chosen people. In the dictionary of antichrists, these two considerations are non-existent; they are inherently devoid of them. Regardless of their level of leadership, they show not the least concern for the interests of God’s house or God’s chosen people. In their thoughts and viewpoints, the work of the church and the interests of God’s house are irrelevant and beneath them. They only think about their own position and their own interests. From this, it can be seen that the nature essence of antichrists, besides being wicked, is particularly selfish and despicable. They only act for the sake of their own fame, gain, and status, without paying the slightest attention to the life and death of others. Anyone who poses a threat to their position is subjected to unscrupulous suppression and exclusion, and punished to the fullest extent. At times, when antichrists are reported for committing too much evil and the Above finds out about them, and they feel like they are about to lose their position, they begin to weep bitter tears. Outwardly, they seem repentant and appear to be turning back to God, but what is the true reason behind their tears? What do they truly regret? They grieve and suffer because they have lost people’s hearts, their own position, and their reputation. This is what is contained within their tears. At the same time, they are already plotting their next steps to consolidate their position, learn from their failures, and make their comeback. Observing this behavior of antichrists, they never feel remorse or suffer on account of their transgressions and the corrupt dispositions they’ve revealed, and they certainly won’t truly know themselves or repent. They might kneel before God, weeping bitter tears, reflecting on and cursing themselves, but this is a facade meant to mislead people, and some people may even believe it to be genuine. It’s possible that, in that moment, their feelings are genuine. However, it’s necessary to remember that antichrists will never experience genuine remorse. Even if they are one day revealed and cast out, they will not genuinely feel remorse. They will only acknowledge their own failure, that they botched their performance and exposed all their evil deeds. Why do I say this? It is based on the nature of antichrists to hate the truth and God. They will never accept the truth. Therefore, the self-knowledge of antichrists is perpetually false. They will only admit that they lost people’s hearts because they failed to grasp opportunities to seize power and consolidate position. Their remorse and suffering are for these reasons. When antichrists are in anguish, they may also shed tears, but why do they weep? What is behind their tears? They weep because their multitude of evil deeds has been exposed and they have lost their position. If they could truly be remorseful and weep because of doing wrong and feeling indebted to God, they would not commit such manifold evil. They lack a guilty conscience and do not admit to their evil deeds—how then can genuine remorse arise? After doing evil, they do not feel remorse; they are full of indifference, only feeling that they have lost face and made a spectacle of themselves. Their mood may dip slightly. Despite outwardly appearing as if nothing were amiss, in reality, deep down they are like a mute person tasting bitter herbs—suffering in silence. They experience a whirlwind of emotions in their hearts and shed bitter tears, yet there is no genuine remorse. This is the true state of affairs. At times, antichrists may say some pleasant-sounding words, like, “It’s because my caliber was poor that I didn’t do the job properly and I committed some acts of disturbance and disruption; I failed to take the lead and am not worthy of leadership. May God discipline and curse me. If you decide not to choose me for leadership in the future, I won’t complain.” Right after this, they burst into tears. Some people, lacking discernment, feel compassion for them and say, “Don’t cry, we’ll choose you again in the future.” Upon hearing this, they immediately stop crying. Now do you see their true colors? When they speak a few fine words, it is to win over people’s hearts, mislead them, and trick them, and some even fall for it. Whenever antichrists shed tears, there is undoubtedly an agenda behind it. When those who worship them begin to question them and their status becomes shaky, they cry. They feel so distraught that they cannot eat or sleep, repeatedly telling their family, “How can I go on if I’m not in a leadership role?” Their family responds, “Didn’t you live just fine before with no status? Why can’t you go on living?” They reply, “Without a position, can I still receive these benefits? Could we still be so well off? Why are you so foolish?” At home, some openly say, “What’s the point of living without status? What’s the meaning of life? There’re only a few people in our family, and at home I can only be in charge of these few. I’m just a head of the household, and my status isn’t elevated. I should hold office in the church; otherwise, my life is wasted. Besides, without this position in the church, could our family have such a good life?” Behind closed doors they speak honestly, and their ambitions are laid bare. Isn’t this a shameless individual? The misleading of antichrists is not an occasional transgression—it isn’t unintentional. If these were occasional and unintentional bad actions, they would not be considered antichrists. Antichrists mislead people intentionally; they are governed by Satan’s nature. This is why they consistently mislead people, purposefully using this method to control them and ultimately gain power. In fact, the purpose of an antichrist in misleading and controlling people is to make them listen to them, follow their lead, and distance themselves from God. The antichrist’s intentions are very clear; they aim to compete with God for people. Their actions are not momentary revelations of corruption, nor are they done impulsively, in spite of themselves, and certainly not obligated by special circumstances. It is entirely due to their wicked nature, their bloated ambitions and desires, their insidious disposition, and their multitude of schemes. Their ability to do these things now is determined by their nature essence: After believing in God, they harbored these intentions and schemes, just waiting to become a leader to start realizing these dreams and achieve their goals. This is the true state of an antichrist’s heart, and it doesn’t deviate in the slightest.
From the content discussed above, you should understand the truth you need to enter. In one respect, you should discern antichrists and evil people who display such behaviors and nature essence. In another, you should also compare yourselves to see if you exhibit these behaviors. Now, if you can find a match between what you say and the speech of antichrists, or if you both exhibit the same behaviors in similar situations, then can you discern the similarities in your revealed disposition or in practice between you and antichrists? Can you grasp the truth fellowshiped about here through some examples I discuss or the details, words, and actions described in those examples, or can you understand people’s corrupt dispositions that are exposed here? Can you listen like this? What perspective are you listening from? If you are completely discerning these dispositions and essences of antichrists and viewing these behaviors and practices from the perspective of an onlooker, can you gain the truth? (No.) Then from what perspective should you listen? (Self-comparison.) Compare yourselves—this is the most basic thing. What else? (Equip oneself with the truth.) Correct, it means understanding the truth you need to understand within every example I discuss. Those who don’t have spiritual understanding can only comprehend the facts, while those who have spiritual understanding and possess good caliber, can understand and gain the truth from them. Can you summarize the truths involved in the stories and examples that have been discussed? Fellowshiping about certain stories or examples is meant to help people connect them to reality, to better understand various issues reflected in reality, and to deepen their impression of various manifestations and essences related to this aspect of the truth. In other words, when it comes to this aspect of the truth or nature essence, you will think of a specific example or scenario. That way, when you understand yourself or discern others, you will have a visualized understanding that is easier to comprehend, more practical, and more concrete than just reading theory or text. If it’s just text and you have no experience with it, your understanding of the text might be limited to the words themselves, always constrained by your own limited experiences, and only staying within that range. However, if I add certain examples, put together a few stories, a few tableaus, specific words and actions, and behaviors in My fellowship, it will have an auxiliary effect on your understanding of the truth in this aspect. If this effect is achieved, it means you have understood this aspect of the truth. What degree of understanding must you reach for it to count as understanding? It doesn’t have to be 100%, but your comprehension, definition, concept, and knowledge of this aspect of the truth should at least have been solidified. What does this solidification mean? It means it becomes relatively pure, basically without any human knowledge, notions, imaginings, or speculation mixed in, or fewer of these things mixed in. These are the effects that such examples have. You might know the people or events I mention in some of these examples, or have even been in close contact and are quite familiar with such people, or you might have come into contact with such events and even witnessed the whole process of these people doing such things. But what are its benefits toward your understanding and recognition of the truth? It’s possible that you may have lived together with such people, you’ve seen stories like this unfold, and experienced for yourself everything that happened in these stories, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you understand this aspect of the truth. What do I mean by this? Don’t assume that because you know or are acquainted with the person or event I’m talking about, you don’t need to listen to the details or the truth and specific content fellowshiped here. That would be a big mistake. Even if that person is someone you are intimately familiar with, it doesn’t mean you have already understood and grasped the truth here. Why am I reminding you of this? It’s to prevent you from getting hung up on the details. Whenever you see someone do something like this and God raises them as an example, you make fun of them and scorn such people. Is this the right attitude to have toward the truth? (No.) What attitude is this? Isn’t this getting off track? This is a biased comprehension. It is because of these vivid examples, stories, and specific people and events that everyone can truly appreciate what the revelation of people’s corrupt disposition is like, to truly witness what the revelation of people’s corrupt disposition and nature essence is like, what people’s nature essence is, what a corrupt disposition is, what kind of path people with a certain type of corrupt disposition and nature essence take, what they love, what the span of their emotions is like, how they behave and deal with the world and what their outlook on life is, what their principles for dealing with the world are, and what their attitude toward God and the truth may be. It is precisely because of these examples, these specific individuals and concrete events, that people can better combine the truth reality with God’s revelation of human essence, achieving a somewhat clearer and more accurate view of things. So, what is My meaning behind these words? It’s that you shouldn’t underestimate these stories. No matter what kind of story I tell, whose story it is, or what type of person’s story it is, there’s only one goal, and that is to help you understand the truth. If you gain the truth from it, then the desired effect has been achieved. Therefore, these stories might only allow you to understand some superficial truths the first time you hear them, to grasp the surface meaning or literal interpretation. However, as your stature continues to grow, as you age, as you grow in life through various circumstances, your life also gradually matures, and you will have different understandings of the events in these stories and the nature essence, behavior, and manifestation of various individuals reflected here. How do these understandings come about? They come from the truths involved in these stories, not from the stories themselves. If it’s just telling a story, like the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” then after you listen to it, that’s it; it has nothing to do with the truth. It just instructs people in how to act: It’s very straightforward and superficial. But when it comes to the truth, the depth of such a story goes beyond the surface meanings that a person can readily understand. It touches upon the corrupt disposition and nature essence of people, involving how to discern people, how to choose one’s path, how to approach the truth, and what people’s attitudes should be in response to God’s requirements. It involves what people should reject and what they should embrace. If you are able to listen in this way, every time you hear sermons you will obtain something, gaining more light on various aspects of the truth, understanding more principles, and experiencing some life entry. As people age, as time passes, as social circumstances change, as trends shift, the truth continues to work within people’s hearts, and they will know how to practice the truth, and how to view people and things based on the truth. This is what it means to gain life—the truth can become a person’s life. Therefore, no matter when a story is being told, don’t just listen once and consider it done. Keep listening, and if you don’t understand, you can fellowship about it. If you find it hard to grasp at your current stage, it might be due to your stature being insufficient. In that case, listen to what you can comprehend and select what suits your current stature. If a story seems clear when you hear it but later appears deep, if it’s beyond your comprehension, or doesn’t line up with your experiences and life circumstances at this stage, then keep it in your heart and let it impress upon you. When you encounter similar situations later on, what you’ve kept in your heart may come to be reflected on the surface. It’s just like the vocabulary and terms you’ve studied or the information your brain has assimilated. Do you think about them every day? Probably not. You don’t typically dwell on them, but when you find yourself in an environment where these terms, vocabulary, or information are relevant, some of them come to mind. People have memories, and they naturally store some things in their minds. These things are sufficient for you to use in daily life and can be somewhat beneficial, but if you deliberately try to use them and rigidly apply regulations, you’re more likely to make mistakes. You should selectively listen based on your own stature and the circumstances you’ve experienced. This way, your progress will be faster. Those who know how to listen will gain more, while those who do not will gain less, or perhaps nothing at all. They might even feel that none of these stories are worth listening to, none of them involve the truth, and wonder why I don’t talk about the truth instead of engaging in idle chit-chat and gossiping all the time. What kind of people exhibit this behavior? (Those who don’t have spiritual understanding.) People who don’t have spiritual understanding might think this way. They might think that when I give sermons, I only talk about these everyday matters; well, so can they, so when they have nothing else to do they engage in idle chit-chat with others. You may know more gossip than the stories I tell, but do your discussions involve the truth? (No, they don’t.) If they don’t involve the truth, be careful not to talk indiscriminately, or you might end up discussing things unrelated to the truth. I tell stories to help people understand the truth. You shouldn’t blindly imitate Me. You should only focus on seeking the truth, understanding the truth, and striving to handle matters according to principles. Whether in your speech or your actions, prioritize aligning with the truth principles. This way, you’ll gradually enter the truth reality.
III. A Dissection of How Antichrists Threaten People
We’ve finished fellowshiping about the two manifestations of antichrists misleading people and drawing them in; now, let’s fellowship about how they threaten people. These methods of antichrists are each more severe than the last. When compared to misleading and drawing in, is this method of threatening more sophisticated or less so? (Less so.) If misleading and drawing in don’t work, they resort to threats. How does an antichrist threaten people? Why do they resort to such a method? (Because their objectives weren’t met.) Their objectives weren’t met. There is another meaning contained in threatening—what word can be used to express it? (Revealing their true colors.) That’s not quite accurate; try another word. (Becoming angry from embarrassment.) You’re getting closer. Is there a more suitable word? (Feeling exasperated and furious.) Exactly, feeling exasperated and furious. It’s like the local saying “flying into a passion”; the meaning is, “I’ve tried both kind and harsh words. For the most part I never treated you unfairly. Why won’t you listen to me? Since you won’t listen, then you’ll get yours: I’ll use this tactic on you—threats!” They change their tactic. Satan has various tactics, all of them despicable. Threats are usually combined with enticement. If they only use threats, some people aren’t afraid and don’t listen to them. Then they have no other option and may resort to enticement. If this doesn’t work then they try doing that—they use both soft and hard tactics. So, why do antichrists threaten people? Under what circumstances do they resort to threats? If two people coexist peacefully, each walking their own path, with no conflicts of interest between them, will they resort to threats? (No, they won’t.) Then under what circumstances will this behavior and practice of making threats begin to arise? Of course, it’s when their interests or reputation become involved, when their objectives aren’t being met. They bring out the big guns, thinking, “So you won’t listen to me? Then I’ll show you the consequences!” What are these consequences? Whatever you’re afraid of. Can you recall any examples of threats you’ve witnessed? (Some antichrists, when they see brothers and sisters not submitting to them, start judging and condemning them, saying, “Failure to submit to leaders is failure to submit to God,” and they use this to threaten people.) (I can think of another example where if someone doesn’t listen to leadership, the leader uses their authority to replace them.) Regardless, they want people to understand that not listening to them will bring about consequences. So, what is their basis for making people listen to them? They often say, “Submission to leadership is submission to God, because leadership is ordained by God. You must submit. If you don’t submit or listen to the leaders, that is arrogance, self-righteousness, and resistance to God. The consequence of resisting God is being cast out. In mild cases, you could be isolated for self-reflection; in severe ones, you could even be expelled from the church!” They use these plausible fallacies to coerce people into submitting to them. Apart from this, how do certain other antichrists threaten people? They incite others to rally against and reject those who do not submit to them. Additionally, they replace those who do not obey them or reassign them to a different duty. Some individuals indeed fear that they won’t have a duty to do. They believe that by doing their duties, they may have a chance at salvation, and failure to do a duty could take that away. Antichrists think in their hearts, “I know your weak point. If you don’t listen to me, I’ll strip you of the right to do your duty. I won’t let you do your duty!” Do they not let people do their duty because these people are not qualified to do their duty or because it harms the interests of God’s house? (No.) Then why do they do it? It’s to exclude dissenters and use this method to threaten people and make them listen up. When it comes to threats, antichrists definitely do not follow the truth principles in dealing with people or handling matters. Instead, they employ intimidation, force, and coercion to make people obediently submit and listen to them and not give them any trouble or spoil their affairs.
An antichrist’s use of threats isn’t solely because people don’t obey them or don’t take them seriously and disregard them—that’s only one aspect of it. There’s another reason, that is, when others discover the antichrist’s problems and want to expose them or report them to the Above, they fear that the Above may find out or more people may know about it, so they do everything in their power to cover these things up and suppress them, never allowing them to be exposed. What would happen if more people found out? They would reject and curse the antichrist, no one would worship them any longer, and they would lose their position and authority. Therefore, the antichrist’s purpose in using this method of threatening people is also to safeguard their own position and authority. They believe that if they don’t do this, the brothers and sisters will begin to discern them, and they won’t be chosen in the next election, reducing them to an ordinary believer. What does it mean for them to be an ordinary believer? It means they have no authority, no one to follow them or become their adherents, and their position and authority have been stripped away, leaving their ambitions and desires unsatisfied. They don’t want to be an ordinary believer or follower, so they use this method of threatening people to intimidate and coerce people into listening to them and submitting to them, allowing them to continue holding on to their authority and position, to continue controlling people and receiving certain people’s support. Everything the antichrist does revolves around their position. Whenever anything involves their position, they will use certain means or methods to vigorously safeguard and protect it; even when the Above asks some people about certain matters, they are able to brazenly lie to their face. For example, when questioned by the Above about how many people the church gained by spreading the gospel this month, even if the antichrist knows that it gained no one, they might lie and say five people were gained. When brothers and sisters who know the truth confront the antichrist, saying, “Those five people were just investigating. Why did you say we gained five people? You should tell the truth to the Above,” what does the antichrist say? “Why can’t we have gained five? I said five people, so it’s five. Your opinion doesn’t count. If we say we didn’t gain a single person, how would I explain that to the Above? If you want to report it, go ahead, but if you tell the truth, the Above might deal with you. They might dismiss all of you who are involved in spreading the gospel, or even disband the gospel team. Then you won’t be able to do your duties, and I won’t be to blame for it.” When this person hears this, they become dumbfounded and dare not report it. Is this not a threat? (Yes.) It’s a blatant threat, thus openly delivered. When some people hear this, they think, “Being an honest person has consequences. If I’m honest, I won’t be able to do my duty, so I won’t report it. We must report five people.” Some people become uneasy in their hearts, saying, “If we didn’t gain anyone then that’s just how it is. We should submit to however the Above chooses to handle it.” What is the antichrist’s viewpoint upon hearing this? “Submission? It depends on the situation. Does the Above know about the difficulties we face in spreading the gospel now? Do they care about this?” When the Above inquired into the situation of gospel spreading, it wasn’t because they were unaware of the challenges involved. They knew how many people can be gained at the very least each month, and they never said that if the gospel team doesn’t gain anyone in a month, they will be disbanded. So where did the antichrist come up with this statement? (They made it up.) They fabricated it themselves to cover their lies, to control these people, to prevent the Above or the brothers and sisters from seeing through their lies, and to secure their position so they wouldn’t be replaced—for this they dared to invent such devilish words. Discerning individuals can expose them, but those lacking discernment are misled, thinking, “Indeed, this duty doesn’t come easily. We can’t be honest with the Above. If you say there were five people, then there were five. Although we didn’t gain any this month, we’ll aim to get them next month. After all, if we gain them next month, then it won’t be a lie.” The antichrist engages in trickery, and those following them engage in it too; they are a group of tricksters. What is the goal for an antichrist to threaten people? It is to make them submit and listen to them. They lie and commit evil, control the church, mislead people, conduct work without adhering to principles or the work arrangements, and no matter how recklessly they behave, they don’t allow the brothers and sisters to expose or report them to the Above. Once they discover someone planning to report them to the Above, that’s when they resort to threats. How do they threaten that person? They say, “We’re working down below, and the work is difficult. We even face the risk of being arrested by the great red dragon. The Above always demands that our practice adhere to the work arrangements. We endure so much suffering and take on so much risk in spreading the gospel. When the results are poor and you still wish to report them to the Above, after you make your report they will deal with you. After they deal with you, I’m not afraid of being replaced as a leader, but I’m afraid you won’t have a duty to do anymore. If you don’t have a duty to do any longer, don’t blame me!” It sounds so reasonable! They also say, “Who actually wants to report it? If you want to report it, I won’t stop you; everyone knows about these things anyway. If you don’t report it to the Above, then they won’t blame us. If you do report it, then we will be dealt with. You can choose for yourselves; if you want to report it to the Above, then go ahead. Now, whoever wants to report it, raise your hand.” When everyone hears this tone of theirs, they start contemplating, “Am I actually allowed to report this or not?” After contemplating, some people raise their hands. The antichrist sees this and thinks, “You still want to report it? Aren’t you asking for trouble? Fine, I won’t forget you.” Afterward, they start contemplating opportunities to punish this person. They find an excuse, saying, “You haven’t produced any results while doing your duties recently. Anyone who hasn’t produced results while doing their duties for three months will have their right to do duties revoked. If their performance doesn’t improve, they’ll be isolated. If they still don’t repent, then they’ll be cleared out or expelled!” Does that fool, that coward still dare report it? Upon hearing this, they think, “My reporting won’t benefit me. What’s the point of my reporting? If I report it and then I’m subdued and suffer retaliation from the leader, and if my brothers and sisters reject me, I’ll be isolated within the church. It’s more important for me to listen to the leader; I don’t even know where God is, can He care about my life and death?” So, they don’t report it anymore. Haven’t they been frightened by the antichrist? (Yes.) The person believes, “Sinning against God is no big deal. God is loving, merciful, tolerant, and patient; He doesn’t easily get angry or curse and punish people. But if I offend the leader, then I’ll have to suffer. Reporting problems won’t do me any good; I’ll be rejected by everyone. I can’t do such a foolish thing.” Isn’t this being spineless? (Yes.) How should such a spineless person be dealt with? Are they worth feeling sorry for? Such a spineless person should be handed over to Satan, to the antichrist, to let the antichrist punish them—they deserve it. They lack the faith, determination, and strength to practice the truth and submit to God, but when it comes to submitting to the antichrist, they gain particular strength, are willing to do whatever is asked of them and full of enthusiasm. When the antichrist threatens and scares them, they dare not report problems anymore. Isn’t this a coward? What’s the colloquial term for it? Being a pushover and caving in when faced with the antichrist. There are quite a few people in the church who have become pushovers due to the threats of antichrists! These individuals don’t know how to handle the phrase “God is sovereign over all.” When the antichrist threatens, rejects, or isolates them, they feel like they have no support, they don’t believe in God’s sovereignty over everything or in God’s righteousness, and they don’t believe that people’s lives are in God’s hands. A couple of intimidating or threatening words from the antichrist, and they’re scared off, they cave in, and dare not report it anymore.
When an antichrist reports their work to the Above, they brazenly lie and trick them. Some who know the truth can’t stand it and want to report the situation to the Above. The antichrist keeps tight control over people and watches them closely. They can instantly spot anyone who might be inclined to report an issue to the Above. When they have nothing else to do, they focus on observing people, their words and facial expressions, looking for those who have opinions about them, those who are disloyal, those who don’t obey them, those who pose a threat to their position, those who are indifferent to them, who don’t treat them seriously, who don’t give them the seat of honor, and who don’t let them eat first during meals. This spells trouble for these people. What does the antichrist do to such individuals? Some antichrists who are insidious don’t reveal their true colors immediately. They wait for an opportunity to deal with you. If that doesn’t work, they resort to harsh threats to make you feel that your life is clenched in their hands. Whether as a believer you can be saved, whether you can reach the end, whether you can stay in the church—all of it is in their grasp and takes only a word from them. They have the final say. If you don’t listen, don’t obey their control, don’t take them seriously, and keep trying to report their issues, then you’re going to suffer. They start planning how to punish you. How does the antichrist view the behavior of brothers and sisters reporting their issues to the Above? (As tattling.) Exactly, they don’t see it as reporting a situation; they see it as tattling. What does tattling mean? It means reporting all the various things they do that go against the truth and all their evil deeds to the Above, or giving an account of things about them that are unknown to others to the Above. They consider this tattling. Once they discover someone tattling, that person must be punished. Some muddle-headed and spineless people are frightened by the antichrist’s threats, by their domineering and nefarious ways. When the antichrist asks who has contact with the Above, even before they get to them, they quickly make it clear, “It’s not me.” The antichrist asks, “Then how does the Above know about that matter?” They think about this and say, “I don’t know either.” They’re living in constant fear of the antichrist punishing them, always on edge, afraid that the antichrist might expel them from the church. They are anxious and fearful to the point that it’s hard for them to even get through the day. Would they be this afraid if the antichrist hadn’t threatened them like this? No, they wouldn’t. Furthermore, do they have genuine belief in God? No, they don’t. They are spineless and muddlers. When they encounter the antichrist, they cower. They don’t have genuine belief in God, but they willingly submit to the antichrist, ready to do their bidding. They are, by nature, minions of Satan.
What are some other practices antichrists use to threaten people? Some antichrists are skilled at speaking certain correct and appealing doctrines to restrict and constrain you. They say, “Don’t you love the truth? If you love the truth, you must listen to me because I am the leader. Everything I say aligns with the truth. You must submit to whatever I say; when I say go east, you mustn’t go west. When I say something, you mustn’t have second thoughts; you mustn’t have any opinions or meddle blindly. What I say is the truth.” If you don’t listen to them, they might hate or condemn you. What kind of condemnation? They’ll say, “You’re not really someone who loves the truth; if you actually loved the truth, then as the leader, my words are correct—why wouldn’t you listen to them?” The antichrists use these seemingly right theories and doctrines to control and restrict you. Furthermore, some antichrists make people take care of their personal matters, saying, “I’m a leader now, and I don’t have time for certain personal matters. Besides, I am a leader, and my matters are the matters of God’s house. The matters of God’s house are also my matters. We can’t distinguish them so clearly anymore. Therefore, you need to share some of the burden in my matters at home, such as things like taking care of children, farming, selling vegetables, or building a house, and things like there not being enough money at home. These things used to be my duty, but now that I’m a leader, they have become your duty—you have to share the burden. Otherwise, I’ll constantly worry about my home affairs, get distracted by these matters, then can I still be an effective leader?” The more they say the more shameless they become. Some people hear this and think, “We didn’t know to be considerate of your heart—we truly were heartless! You don’t need to say anything; from now on, we’ll take care of all your household chores.” What kind of pleasant-sounding name do these antichrists give their own affairs at home and the affairs of their daily life? They call them “people’s duty,” that is, the antichrists take people working for their family, serving the young and old in their household, and handling their personal life matters, and turn these into matters of God’s house. Since they are now matters of God’s house, every person ought to put in their fair share, and if the leader wants you to do something then it becomes your duty. Doesn’t this sound correct? People without discernment might think it’s correct. They believe that since the leader is too busy to handle their own affairs at home, and they have a low caliber themselves and can’t perform any duty, they can only help the leader take on a few household chores. So, whenever they’re not busy they work at the leader’s house, assisting with various tasks. Can this be considered performing their duty? This can only be seen as enthusiastically assisting people. For people who genuinely expend themselves for God, who do God’s will, when their families face difficulties, the church arranges for people to help and take care of their domestic affairs. In such cases, this can be considered to some extent as a performance of duty. Does it make sense now? The antichrist, busy with misleading and controlling people in the church, arranges their household chores for the brothers and sisters, claiming that this is also performing their duty. Some brothers and sisters, due to a lack of understanding of the truth, are misled and willingly take on these tasks, feeling happy to do so. Eventually, they even feel that they owe a debt to the leader, thinking, “The leader has broken their heart and split their lips for us. We are so unworthy. We’ve done so much work, yet how is it that we still don’t understand the truth?” If you are occupied with working for the leader all day long and neglect attending gatherings or listening to sermons, can you grasp the truth? Absolutely impossible. This is ingratiating yourself to the point of death! This is running after the antichrist and straying onto a crooked path. The antichrist often employs seemingly correct statements, packaging and processing them into correct speech, causing people to mistakenly believe that these words are indeed the truth, something they should follow and practice, and that they should accept these words. That way, people don’t need to discern whether what the leader is doing is right or wrong, or whether what they are following is right or wrong. Is this not the case? This is called misleading, and it’s also threatening people. The antichrist uses these seemingly correct theories and statements to control these people. To what extent do they control them? These people willingly exert themselves for them, work themselves to the bone for them, and manage all their personal affairs. They would rather skip gatherings and neglect their own duties, leaving their own tasks behind. They sacrifice their own time spent on spiritual devotion, gathering, and eating and drinking God’s words to do service wholeheartedly and work themselves to the bone for the antichrist. Why are they able to work themselves to the bone like this? There’s a reason for this. What reason? It’s because the antichrist purposefully tells them, “If you can’t even handle these matters properly, what duty can you do? If you can’t do your duty, are you still a member of God’s house? Alright then, I won’t lead you. If I don’t lead you, you won’t count in the number of God’s house. Since I’ve been chosen as the leader, I am the gateway to this church. Anyone who wishes to enter the church must have my approval. Without my consent, no one can enter. Even if the church is clearing someone out, it must have my approval before they can leave. Therefore, the work I assign you and the tasks I hand over to you constitute your duty. If you fail to perform this duty, God’s word says that those who don’t perform their duty have no chance of salvation. They won’t count in the number of God’s house!” Is this not a threat? (Yes, it is.) What method is used to threaten people? (Seemingly correct words.) It’s threatening people using correct words that seemingly align with the truth—this is mixing apples and oranges. The antichrist uses performing duties as a pretext to achieve their personal goals. But is doing things for them really performing a duty? They twist it to make it seem like it’s a duty people should perform, and then use the principle and standards of performing duty to demand that brothers and sisters work themselves to the bone for them. They even threaten that if they don’t work themselves to the bone for them, they will have no chance for salvation and will be cleared out of the church and cut off from God’s house. When these foolish, undiscerning individuals hear the severity of the consequences, they quickly take on all the chores of the leader’s household and their daily affairs, feeling relieved once they’re done. They even think, pleased with themselves, “Now, I’ve fulfilled my duty properly. I haven’t been lazy at all, and I’ve been considerate of the leader’s will. I’ve done everything the leader instructed me to do, and I’ve taken care of all the leader’s household chores. This is what it means to be considerate of God! The leader is satisfied, and so is God. Now I have hope for salvation!” Is this called hope? Haven’t they become slaves to the antichrist? Haven’t they been led astray by the antichrist? What role is the antichrist playing here? Aren’t they acting like an abductor? They have a wicked disposition, and wickedness is of course much more serious than deceitfulness. Thus they absolutely know what to say and what theories to use to restrict people, to achieve their hidden agenda, to win over people’s hearts, and to control their behavior and thoughts. They are well aware of all this. Therefore, the goals an antichrist wishes to achieve through everything they say and do are carefully thought out and long premeditated. This definitely isn’t a matter of saying or doing something unawares and then achieving an unexpected result—it absolutely isn’t like this. So, those who willingly do service and work themselves to the bone for an antichrist, apart from being misled by their words, are also threatened and compelled by a kind of rhetoric from the antichrist. Perhaps they do those things for the antichrist willingly, but isn’t there an issue with this “willingness”? Shouldn’t it be put in quotation marks? (Yes.) This is absolutely not a genuine performance of duty but rather a consequence brought about by being misled by a certain theory, a certain correct and pleasant-sounding argument or rhetoric that misleads people. Because they’re worried they won’t be able to perform their duty, that they’ll be expelled, and they won’t be saved, they willingly accept the tasks designated to them by the antichrist, even thinking they are performing their duty for God. How muddled they have become!
The threats of antichrists allow people to see their true faces clearly. Do you engage in such threats? Is there a difference between threats and warnings or advice? (Yes.) Can you discern this or not? Where is the distinction? Find this distinction, and you will understand and be able to discern. (The intentions are different.) The intentions and motives certainly differ. So, where exactly is the difference? What is a threat? A threat involves words that may sound good and correct, and people don’t feel overly upset when they hear them, but their purpose is personal gain. On the other hand, what is the purpose of advice and warnings? It is to help people, to prevent them from making mistakes, straying from the path or taking a detour, getting misled, and to help them reduce or prevent losses. The aim is not personal benefit but purely to assist others. Isn’t that the distinction? (Yes.) In this regard, you need to learn to discern. Just because the manifestation of antichrists threatening people has been fellowshiped about, that doesn’t mean you don’t dare to offer warnings when necessary while talking to others. When a warning is needed, you should issue it. Warnings and advice are not the same as threats. Warnings are genuinely aimed at helping people so they can do their duties properly, ensuring that the work of God’s house isn’t compromised. Their goal is legitimate. Threatening, on the other hand, has an illegitimate and hidden agenda—it involves personal ambition and selfish desire. For example, when the antichrist makes others do their household chores, what is their selfish desire? They simply want to enjoy the benefits of status, making others do the dirty and exhausting work while they do nothing. Then, someone even has to serve them three meals a day. They believe that now that they hold a position, their enjoyment can begin. However, it’s unjustified to directly tell people to do work for them, so the antichrist creates a set of excuses, saying, “Now that I’m a leader, I’m very busy with my duties. If you have a burden and humanity, then you should learn to cooperate. What can you do? All you can do is exert yourselves, isn’t it? There’s no one to do the work in my vegetable garden at home, and you’re not helping! If you help, it proves that you have a kind heart, and you’re actually doing your duty by helping me with the work. I am your leader—aren’t my affairs yours as well? Aren’t your affairs things you ought to be doing, and what you ought to be doing is your duty, isn’t it?” When they place such a big responsibility on your shoulders, and you contemplate that what the leader says makes sense, you go and do the work for them. Isn’t this falling for a scam? An antichrist has their own goals, and before they can achieve those goals, they need to find appropriate excuses and theories to establish a pretext. Then, those who accept these theories go to work for them, they achieve their purpose, and then they can enjoy the benefits of status. Isn’t this someone who makes a living off the church? (Yes.) That is indeed what it is. They are lazy and unwilling to work, wishing to enjoy physical comfort and the benefits of status. They play politics, and when they can’t find suitable words, they extract reasonable and more easily accepted phrases from God’s words and the doctrine they understand. They use these words to mislead and restrict those who do not grasp the truth and are foolish. In doing so, they accomplish their hidden objectives, making people willingly accept their manipulation. Some people even think that if they don’t heed the leader’s words or fail to perform the tasks assigned by their leader well, then they haven’t done their duty properly. They feel like they owe God and even shed tears. Isn’t this a profound level of muddle-headedness? They’re so muddle-headed that it’s revolting.
Antichrists often speak using threats to achieve their goals, but their threats sometimes come in the form of correct words and in a gentle manner, like a snake slowly wrapping itself around you—once you’re wrapped up, they’re ready to ask for your life. Other times, their threats aren’t gentle, but harsh and vicious, like a wolf seeing a sheep and revealing its vicious face. Their intention is to tell people: “If you don’t listen to me, you’ll get what’s coming to you, and if consequences arise you will bear the responsibility yourself!” What are the typical bargaining chips that antichrists use in their threats? They target people’s destination, their duty, and even their position and going or staying within the church. Antichrists use these tactics, and of course others, to threaten individuals. However, their strategies generally fall into these two categories: Sometimes, they’ll coax you with pleasant words, and other times, they’ll come at you forcibly and viciously. What’s the purpose of antichrists’ threats? First and foremost, they want people to listen to them. They aim to reap personal benefits, enjoy the benefits of status, and indulge in the various perks and pleasures that come with it. Secondly, they don’t want anyone to reveal the true state of affairs or to challenge their position. They won’t tolerate people doing anything that threatens their position. For example, if certain people want to report their situation or if some people discern them and want to unite the brothers and sisters to reject and remove them from office, antichrists will resort to threatening tactics. One aspect of the goal of making threats is in order to enjoy the many benefits that come with their position, and the other is to secure their position. These are precisely the two objectives antichrists have in threatening people—they both revolve around position. Where do all these various benefits come from? They also come from their position. Some antichrists say, “If you don’t comply in this matter, you’ll bear the consequences!” If someone discerns them and won’t listen to them, do they think of a way to handle it? They won’t simply resign themselves to what may come. As long as there’s an ounce of hope for them to preserve their position, they’ll fight tooth and nail for it. Their eagerness for position surpasses that of most people. It’s like a wolf seeing a sheep—its mouth starts salivating even before it starts to eat. Its eyes take on a fierce gleam and it contemplates eating it; this is the kind of craving it has. Isn’t this its nature? (Yes.) Antichrists’ craving for position is akin to a wolf’s craving for a sheep, a need within their malicious nature. Therefore, their threats toward others are indispensable.
IV. A Dissection of How Antichrists Control People
Controlling people is one of the tactics employed by antichrists. How do they control people? Antichrists have more than one set of methods for controlling people; they have several. Have you ever experienced this? Some individuals may have never served as leaders, but they harbor a desire to control others—this is the makings of an antichrist. Regardless of their age, location, or circumstances, they want to exert control over people. Even in matters of eating, working, or in various areas of expertise or professional matters, they want people to listen to them, and they won’t tolerate anyone who doesn’t. They can’t even control their desire to hold power within the church. They see this as fulfilling their responsibility and obligation, thinking that they’re just pulling their own weight, without realizing that this is their ambition and desire, that it’s their corrupt disposition. So, how does an antichrist control people? For example, when they are elected as leader, on the very first day, they start thinking, “These people have irregular eating habits and daily routines; there’s a lot of work to be done. Being a leader carries significant responsibilities—it’s a heavy burden!” The antichrist spends the whole day locked in their room, writing two or three pages of material. What is in this material? Firstly, it has to do with eating. Meals must be taken at specific times, at specific locations, with specific quantities of food. Breakfast at 6:30 a.m., lunch at 12:30 p.m., and dinner at 6:30 p.m.—meals will be taken at these three times, not a minute earlier or later. No matter the circumstances you must be punctual, even if it rains or starts to storm, and if you violate these rules, you won’t get a meal. Then there’s the matter of daily routines, which is very important. You must get out of bed at 6:00 a.m. every morning, no matter how late you went to sleep the previous night. You should take a rest after lunch at 1:00 p.m., and go to sleep promptly at 10:00 p.m. each night. When they finish making rules for eating and daily routines, there are still many other specific regulations. For instance, you must eat in designated places and not make any noise while eating. Each person is required to wear specific clothing, and so on. These rules are incredibly detailed, even more so than the administrative decrees in God’s house. These daily minutiae have nothing to do with the truth. As long as one’s daily life and eating habits are structured and suitable, doing no harm to one’s health, following this principle should suffice. There’s no need for such detailed regulations. So why does the antichrist create such detailed rules? They say, “It’s no good for people to be left unmanaged. These matters are never mentioned in God’s words, and without these specific details, our lives will be undisciplined, lacking structure, and without any human likeness. Now that I’m the leader, you can all be remedied. You are no longer wandering sheep; there is someone to take care of you.” Both the significant and insignificant matters of daily life, such as clothing, food, shelter, and transportation, have all been meticulously regulated. Then they share a “secret” with you, saying, “God’s words never mentioned these specific details of daily life. Just because God didn’t speak on it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t know it. We humans have to take on the work of all these detailed matters God never talked about.” They create a set of rules and regulations outside of God’s words, seemingly detailed and clearly defined with explicit terms, to replace the truth and lead others. Once these specific and clearly defined regulations are issued, people are expected to abide by their so-called rules. If anyone fails to comply, disobeys, ignores, or violates these rules, the antichrist deals with them. After dealing with them, they make sure that person receives these rules and accepts them from God. If they use these things to replace the truth and lead people, what kind of path will those people take? They will only observe regulations and rituals, merely following the form. Under such leadership, people may mistakenly believe through their own notions, “If I can maintain external regulations and formalities, if I can stick to the schedule for waking up, sleeping, and eating, doesn’t that mean I am practicing the truth? Won’t I then be saved?” Is salvation really that simple? Is the truth so easily obtained? Does the truth only pertain to human behavior? No, it doesn’t. How does the antichrist treat changes in people’s disposition, their understanding of the truth, and practice of the truth? They treat these as if they were equivalent to following public order or adhering to the laws of the country. They even make people mistakenly believe that these rules and regulations are higher and more concrete and practical than God’s words. In reality, they use these things to mislead and control people, tightly controlling their behavior. They don’t resolve problems with the truth, nor do they encourage people to live, act, and do their duties according to the truth principles. Instead, they artificially formulate a set of rules, regulations, and systems for people to follow. What’s their purpose? They want people to accede to them, to think they’re clever, and to obey their leadership by practicing and following these rules and regulations. In this way, they achieve their goals. They aim to achieve their goal of controlling everything about everyone by restraining and standardizing people’s behavior. And perhaps, with regard to their motives for acting, they might not have an obvious desire for status, but the ultimate consequence is that they control people, and people live and act wholly in accordance with the rules and regulations they have set. In such a situation, does the truth still hold a place in people’s hearts? It does not. Antichrists do not have spiritual understanding, and they don’t understand the truth. If you live your church life together with them, they’ll tell you to do this today and that tomorrow, fundamentally unable to fellowship about the truth principles. Instead, they’ll just give you a bunch of regulations to follow. You may be all worn out from following them, but refusing to follow them is not an option. They won’t let you act freely. This is one way antichrists control people.
What does an antichrist primarily control in people? (Their thoughts.) That’s correct; they mainly control people’s thoughts. It’s not just about controlling what people say and do. Under the pretext of fellowshiping about the truth, they use empty theories and clever sophistry to mislead you, with the aim of controlling your thoughts, making you obey them and follow their lead. This is what it means to mislead and control people. If you don’t follow their instructions, you might feel as though you’re going against the truth, and you may even feel indebted to them or like you cannot face them. This is a sign that you’re already under their control. However, if you don’t practice the truth or submit to God, do you feel indebted to God in your heart? If you don’t, then you lack a conscience and humanity. If you can obey the antichrist instead of practicing the truth, without any sense of unease in your heart or a guilty conscience, this means you’re under their control. The most common phenomenon of the antichrist’s control is that within their sphere of authority, they alone have the final say. If they are not present, nobody dares to make decisions or settle a matter. Without them, others become like lost children, ignorant how to pray, seek, or confer with each other, behaving like puppets or dead people. Concerning what antichrists often say to mislead and control people, we won’t go into detail here. Surely there are many statements and tactics they employ, and the resulting consequences can be seen played out on those who are misled. Let Me provide an example. There are a few individuals with average caliber, not too bad, who perform their duty loyally and are rarely negative. However, after working with an antichrist to perform their duty for a period of time, they become dependent on the antichrist. They prefer to follow the antichrist’s lead in everything, and the antichrist becomes their main support. As soon as they are separated from this antichrist, they become ineffective in everything they do. Without the antichrist present, they stop making progress in the performance of their duty, and even when faced with a problem, they are unable to fellowship in order to obtain results. They can only wait on the antichrist to return and resolve it for them. In reality, these individuals originally had the ability to handle such things due to their caliber, intellect, experience, and background before the antichrist’s control, but after being controlled by them, nobody now dares to make decisions or offer clear solutions to handle matters without the antichrist there. Their thoughts seem to have been imprisoned, resembling the characteristics of people in a semi-vegetative state. What things has the antichrist who controls these people done to make them exhibit such behaviors? Surely, there must have been some explicit sayings or statements to make them submit in heart and mind. There must also have been certain statements, viewpoints, or actions that these people agreed with. However, antichrists absolutely lack the truth reality. Their statements and viewpoints, even if correct, are meant to mislead people and do not represent any truth reality in them. Some people admire antichrists because they indeed possess gifts and talents. However, these qualities do not signify they possess the truth reality. Those who worship antichrists do so because they lack the truth and cannot discern people, which is why they can worship antichrists and even some famous and great spiritual figures. Some people may be misled by the antichrists, but this is only temporary, and once they realize that the antichrists can only talk about spiritual theories and not practice the truth, that they haven’t done anything to safeguard the church’s work and are truly hypocritical Pharisees, they will reject and hate them. There are so many instances of antichrists using their gifts and eloquence to mislead those who don’t understand the truth. For example, if you propose a reasonable suggestion, everyone should surround this correct proposal and keep on fellowshiping about it, and this is the right path and demonstrates loyalty and responsibility to their duty, but in their heart an antichrist thinks, “How come I didn’t think of that proposal first?” They admit deep down that the proposal is right, but can they accept it? Due to their nature, they absolutely will not accept your correct suggestion. They will do everything possible to reject your proposal, then come up with an alternative plan to make you feel that your proposal is utterly unworkable, and their plan is better. They want you to feel that you can’t do without them and that only with them working can everyone be effective. Without them, no work can be done right, and everyone becomes worthless and can’t get anything done. The antichrist’s strategy is to always appear novel and unique and make grandiose claims. No matter how correct someone else’s statements are, they will reject them. Even though other people’s suggestions are consistent with their own ideas, if they weren’t proposed by them first, they will never acknowledge or adopt them. Instead, they will do everything they can to belittle them, then negate and condemn them, persistently criticizing them until the person offering the suggestions feels that their ideas were wrong and admits their own mistake. Only then will the antichrist finally let it go. Antichrists enjoy establishing themselves while belittling others, aiming to make others worship them and put them at the center. They allow only themselves to shine, while others can only stand in the background. Whatever they say or do is right, and whatever others say or do is wrong. They often put forward novel viewpoints to negate others’ viewpoints and actions, finding fault with others’ suggestions and disrupting and rejecting others’ proposals. This way, other people must listen to them and act according to their plans. They use these methods and strategies to persistently deny you, attack you, and make you feel like you’re incompetent, thereby making you increasingly more submissive to them, admiring them more and holding them in higher esteem. That way, you become thoroughly controlled by them. This is the process through which antichrists subdue and control people.
An antichrist employs various methods to mislead and control people; it’s not a wink or a few words that make people follow them—it’s not that simple at all. Whether it’s about controlling people or controlling one aspect of authority, such as personnel decisions, financial matters, or influence over discourse, they will use different tactics, and they absolutely won’t only do them on occasion, but will make a continuous effort to show themselves off and bear witness to themselves until people admire and elect them, and then the authority is theirs. It took them a period of time to achieve this goal. Another method an antichrist uses to mislead and control people is to constantly show themselves off and let everyone know more about them and about their contributions to God’s house. For example, they might say, “I previously came up with some methods for spreading the gospel, and it has improved the effectiveness of spreading the gospel. Nowadays, some other churches are also adopting these methods.” In reality, various churches have accumulated quite a bit of experience spreading the gospel, but the antichrist continuously brags about their right decisions and accomplishments, informing people about them, emphasizing them, and repeating them wherever they go until everybody knows. What’s their goal? To build up their own image and prestige, to garner more praise, support, and admiration from people, and to make people turn to them for everything. Does this not achieve the antichrist’s goal of misleading and controlling people? Most antichrists act in this way, taking on the roles of misleading, ensnaring, and controlling people. Regardless of the church, social group, or work setting, whenever an antichrist appears, most people unconsciously begin to worship and look up to them. Whenever they encounter difficulties where they feel confused and need someone to provide guidance, especially in critical situations when a decision has to be made, they will think of the gifted antichrist. They believe in their hearts, “If only they were here, it would be okay. Only they can provide the advice and suggestions to help us surmount this difficulty; they have the most ideas and solutions, their experiences are the richest, and their mind is the most agile.” Isn’t the fact that these people can worship the antichrist to such a degree directly related to their usual way of showing off, performing, and parading themselves around? If they manifested soundness in their words and actions, if they were someone who put their head down and worked hard, if they spoke sparingly and worked diligently, never publicizing or showing off, much less boasting, then they wouldn’t be able to mislead people and make them value and admire them. So why do certain people who are relatively honest and can practice the truth and work diligently rarely get elected as leaders and workers? It’s because most people lack truth reality and are not skilled at discernment. People tend to favor those who possess gifts, eloquence, and a penchant for showing off. They are particularly envious and approving of such people, and they love interacting with them. Consequently, antichrists naturally become objects of worship and admiration for most people. Regardless, antichrists have a set of methods for controlling people, and they don’t hesitate to invest time and energy into managing their status and their image in people’s hearts, all with the ultimate goal of gaining control over them. What does an antichrist do before achieving this goal? What is their attitude toward status? It’s not just a casual fondness or envy; it’s a long-term plan, a deliberate intent to obtain it. They attach particular importance to power and status and see status as a prerequisite for achieving the goal of misleading and controlling people. Once they attain status, enjoying all of its benefits is a matter of course. Therefore, an antichrist’s ability to mislead and control people is a result of diligent management. It’s absolutely not that they take the path by chance; everything they do is purposeful, premeditated, and carefully calculated. For antichrists, obtaining power and achieving their goal of controlling people is the prize—it is the outcome they most desire. Their pursuit of power and status is motivated, purposeful, intentional, and laboriously managed; that is, when they speak or act, they have a strong sense of purpose and intention, and their goal is especially defined. For example, they boast about having been a certain level of leader or worker, gained a certain number of people through spreading the gospel, or developed various classic methods for spreading the gospel; they show off their experiences and qualifications. What are their thoughts while they boast? What is their underlying motive? Don’t they deliberate about what words they should use and how they should mix truth with falsehood? Their words are not haphazard; everything they say has a purpose, and it absolutely isn’t merely a matter of self-praise. Their words might come across as particularly measured and targeted, demonstrating a keen sense of propriety. For instance, if they encounter individuals who understand the truth, their hearts are on the alert, they won’t casually say or do things in their presence, fearing that they will be discerned. They’ll be more disciplined. However, if they are dealing with new believers or ordinary believers, they’ll carefully consider what to say to these individuals. If they are dealing with leaders and workers, they’ll contemplate what to say to this group. If they are dealing with those who understand professional knowledge, they’ll consider what to say to these people. They are particularly astute in external matters, knowing whom to address with what words and how to convey their message effectively—they are especially clear about all this. In other words, antichrists always carry certain intentions when they act. Their words, actions, and conduct, even the specific wording they choose while speaking, are intentional; they are not merely acting out of momentary revelation of corruption, small stature, foolishness or ignorance, spouting nonsense wherever they go—this is not the way it is at all. By examining their methods, their way of doing things, and their choice of words, antichrists appear quite enigmatic and wicked. For the sake of their own status and to achieve their goal of controlling people, they seize every opportunity to show off, to make use of every little bit, and they won’t miss a single chance. Tell Me, would such people reveal these traits in front of Me? (Yes.) Why do you say they would? (Because their nature essence is to show off.) Is showing off the end goal for an antichrist? What is their goal in showing off? They want to win status, and this is what they mean: “Don’t You know who I am? Look at the things I’ve done, it was me who did these good things; I made quite a few contributions to God’s house. Now that You know, shouldn’t You give me more significant work? Shouldn’t You hold me in high regard? Shouldn’t You rely on me in everything You do?” Is this not deliberate? Antichrists want to control anyone, regardless of who they are. What’s another term for control? Manipulate, toy with—they just want to govern you. For example, when brothers and sisters praise something as well done, an antichrist immediately says that they did it, making it so that everyone thanks them. Would a truly reasonable person act like this? Absolutely not. When antichrists do a little good they want everybody to know about it, to hold them in high esteem and praise them—this satisfies them. No matter what they do, they wish to obtain people’s compliments and worship, and they are willing to endure anything to get it. For the sake of status and power, antichrists won’t let any opportunity to show off pass them by, even if their showing off seems foolish, or their methods are crude and earn others’ contempt—they still won’t pass on such chances. Similarly, they employ any means necessary to achieve their goal of controlling people, and spare no effort to accomplish this. They make a painstaking effort and rack their brains to formulate their schemes. When they do something good, they continuously flaunt and showcase it everywhere. If someone else has done something good, they envy it and try everything they can to attribute it to themselves or say they had a part in it to claim credit for themselves. In short, antichrists have tactics for controlling people. It’s not just a momentary deceitfulness, nor is it a couple of occasional actions. Instead, they do and say many things. Their words are misleading, their actions are misleading, and their ultimate goal in doing and saying these things is to control people.
What is an antichrist’s purpose in controlling people? It’s to gain status and authority in people’s hearts. Once they have authority and status, they can enjoy the benefits of status and the various interests that it brings. For instance, in times of hot weather, while others stay in non-air-conditioned rooms, they get to stay in an air-conditioned one. At mealtime, while others have a single helping of veggies and rice, they get to add a little meat and soup. When entering a room with no available seating, others have to sit on the floor, leaving only one chair which is reserved for them. This special treatment is the result of their status, and they enjoy indulging in the benefits that come with it. Of course, these interests and enjoyments are far from enough to satisfy their ambitions. They not only need these material benefits their status affords them, but also the vanity, satisfaction, and sense of security it brings to their inner world. What are the behaviors of those who have been misled, drawn in, and controlled by antichrists? They compare each other’s status, power, gifts, and abilities, as well as family and class backgrounds, and they compete over who comes up with more wicked ideas and whose mind is more agile. Antichrists of religion also compete over who prays the longest. If one person prays for ten minutes, another will pray for twenty, and during a gathering they may not do anything else but pray incessantly, resembling people who recite scriptures in a Buddhist temple, murmuring nonstop. Does God listen to such prayer? Judging by how they pray, the Holy Spirit will not work on them. They see who can pray the longest, who can pray in the loudest voice that can overpower the others. Is this not utter madness? Their actions are unbelievable and unreasonable. These are the manifestations primarily seen in those who have been misled and controlled by antichrists; when antichrists lead people, this is the result it yields. Therefore, if you are misled and controlled by an antichrist, you will look up to them, follow them, and obey them in everything. You won’t listen to anyone else, even if it is God who is speaking. These will be the behaviors you exhibit. When antichrists control people, it’s as if Satan is ruling over them. If you’re under the control of Satan, and if there’s a place in your heart for man and a place for Satan, then the Holy Spirit won’t work on you—He will forsake you. Don’t you like to follow antichrists? Don’t you like to look up to them? Don’t you like accepting their control and manipulation? Then you will be handed over to them. If you believe that whatever antichrists say is the truth, then you can listen to them and follow them, and you’ll be handed over to them. However, you must hold yourself accountable for the consequences. If one day you don’t attain salvation, don’t hold God responsible or complain about Him; this has nothing to do with God. It’s your own choice, and you must pay the price for your choice.
We’ve more or less completed our fellowship on the manifestations of antichrists controlling people. People must understand what it means to be controlled. On the outside, it may appear that some people are following God, listening to His sermons, eating and drinking His words, living the church life, and doing their duties, and that they have not left God’s house. So why are they controlled by antichrists? It’s primarily because they lack the truth. First, these people were misled by antichrists, and then came to particularly admire them, which led to being controlled by them. What does it mean to be controlled? It means being swayed and bound by them. Even though you’re doing your duties, while seeking the truth principles in the performance of duty you are misled by antichrists. The more their statements and viewpoints align with your own notions and imaginings, the more you consider them correct and in line with the truth, and you stop seeking the truth principles, are no longer willing to think independently, and no longer base your practice on God’s words. You believe that antichrists’ viewpoints aren’t mistaken at all, and you wholeheartedly confirm them. Once this is the case, if you truly practice in accordance with God’s words, you feel uneasy and unsettled. You feel that you have let down the antichrists and that you absolutely cannot act this way. Are you not being completely bound by the antichrists’ statements and viewpoints? When you do things, you do not know how to judge, seek, or abide based on God’s words. You do not know how to do so, nor do you dare to do it. Why don’t you know how and why don’t you dare? The antichrists haven’t spoken up yet; they haven’t given you a decision or reached a conclusion, and they haven’t told you the outcome or pointed you in any direction. That’s why you do not dare to act according to your comprehension, and you’re afraid of going the wrong way, of doing something wrong. Are you not being controlled? Why are you always so fearful? Were God’s words really not clear? Did God’s words fail to tell you the principles or tell you what to do? Why do you ignore God’s words and insist on listening to antichrists? You are being misled and controlled by antichrists. For example, I told someone to build a wall, specifying its height, length, and location. Then, an antichrist came and said: “This wall’s height is okay, but there’s a problem here. If you build it like this, will it collapse when the wind blows?” Upon hearing this, the person said, “That’s a good point, could it collapse? God didn’t say, so I won’t build it yet.” When I checked on them later, I asked: “Why haven’t you built the wall? Several days have passed, yet it still hasn’t been built—are you not delaying matters?” They replied that someone had raised concerns about the wall getting blown over by the wind. I told them to use a pillar for support if they were concerned about the wind, and they committed this to memory. However, the antichrist returned to disturb them, saying, “Is one pillar enough? Shouldn’t you use two?” The person contemplated this, thinking that God had only said to use one pillar rather than two, and again they did not know what to do. After being so misled and disturbed by the antichrist, all the words I previously spoke were in vain, and they were unable to carry on with this task. Doesn’t this equate to being controlled by the antichrist? Who should they listen to in this matter? (To God.) Then why didn’t they listen to God’s words? Did they not want to listen? They wanted to, but they were misled by one of the antichrist’s heresies and fallacies. Once they were misled, they obeyed the antichrist, which is equivalent to being hijacked by them. If their behavior and thoughts are bound and shackled by the antichrist, they are under the antichrist’s control. Ultimately, this person didn’t fulfill their duty, and they didn’t submit to God or listen to His words. Who brought about this outcome? It was brought about by their ignorance and is inseparable from the misleading, disturbance, and control of the antichrist. So, what does it mean that the antichrist intervened like this? They wanted to demonstrate their brilliance, and what they were really saying was, “Why did you blindly listen to God when He told you to build this wall here? Why is your thought process so simple? If you build the wall here, won’t it collapse as soon as the wind starts blowing? Listening to God is not as accurate as listening to me; you have to listen to me. If you listen to me, I’ll be pleased, but if you listen to God, that won’t sit well with me and I won’t be pleased. It won’t do for you to listen to God—where would that leave me?” They didn’t say this directly; they intervened and deliberately stirred things up. After their meddling, the task could not be completed, and they appeared wise, which made them happy. When God instructs someone to build a wall, the person should promptly build it, but now the result is that the wall wasn’t built. Who caused this result? It was caused by the antichrist—this person was misled, disturbed, and controlled by the antichrist. This is similar to how the serpent lured Adam and Eve. God told Adam and Eve, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.” Are these words of God the truth? They are the truth, and you don’t need to understand their significance; you just need to listen and submit. Regardless of the situation, God’s word cannot change, and if God wants you to do something, then do it. Don’t analyze it. Even if you don’t understand it, you must know that God’s word is right; you must understand this definition in your heart. In other words, you must know this truth first and foremost. Whether God’s words align with your own notions or not, whether you understand them or not, and no matter how muddle-headed you may get, you must hold onto His words. This is your responsibility and duty. Once you’ve set your mind to this, what should you do when Satan comes again to seduce you? You should hold fast to God’s words and follow His way—this is the foremost principle, no matter what Satan says. What was the final result of Adam and Eve listening to the serpent’s words? They were misled and controlled by Satan. With just one phrase of specious, vague, and devilish words, Satan managed to sway and control the behavior of Adam and Eve. This was a result that God did not want to see. What was the serpent’s purpose in saying those words? Through these words, it wanted to jumble up people’s thoughts, sway their behavior, and make them stop listening to and forsake God’s words. Once this active thought was planted in people’s heads, they followed the indicated path. What was Satan’s purpose? It was to say, “Don’t listen to what God says. You have to listen to me; you have to eat this fruit.” God told them not to eat it, while Satan told them to eat it. In the end, did Adam and Eve eat the fruit? (They did.) This is how Satan began controlling people. When you listen to an antichrist’s devilish words, you can become disoriented and lose your bearings, and you are liable to not heed God’s words. Doesn’t this mean that your behavior and thoughts are swayed and controlled by this antichrist? This is the meaning of control. Have you ever encountered such situations? Some ill-intentioned people see that you are completing a task without a hitch and about to achieve results, about to make yourself seen, and they realize that they won’t have much involvement in this matter. If you are seen, they won’t be, so they put forward seemingly plausible viewpoints or questions to mislead, disturb, and control you. As a result, you become muddle-headed, thinking their words also make sense. You don’t know what to do anymore and cannot proceed with your duty, so you halt it. Isn’t this foolish? Initially, when you had not yet been misled, you were quite clear-headed and knew what to do, but as soon as the antichrist disturbed you, you got mixed up and did not know how to handle things appropriately. What’s the issue here? (Being misled.) People who are easily misled and controlled by antichrists or Satan are ignorant and muddled individuals. Regarding the manifestations of how antichrists mislead and control people, has our fellowship been specific enough? You should be able to understand, and when things befall you, you should compare them against various truths in order to reflect on your words, your actions, and your essence. Simultaneously, you should try to understand and discern the people, events, and things around you to gain a clearer understanding of the truth and a more accurate understanding of the nature essences of different people.
Nowadays, many of you have just come into contact with the specific states and manifestations of various truths. Why do I say that you’ve just come into contact with them? It is because you’ve just come to understand some details, but there’s still a distance to go before true entry. Understanding doesn’t equate to entry. When you understand, it only means that in your mind, your understanding of the concepts and definitions of these matters is relatively accurate and more consistent with the truth, but you are still far from personal entry. Understanding, recognition, and being able to link these matters to your state and to the people, events, and things around you don’t mean that you have entry. These are two separate things. For a person to be saved and achieve dispositional change, it begins with understanding all the various truths, and entering into the truth reality begins with practicing these truths. If you had a certain foundation in your understanding and entry into the various truths, then when I asked you for examples, you could immediately think of your own manifestations or some things you’d seen and experienced. This would make My fellowship much easier, and I wouldn’t have to speak in such detail because you would already have had experiences and could reach that level. However, when I ask you now, you have to think on the spot, and you also need to rifle through and search your memory. When I see that you don’t know these things and have not experienced them for yourselves, I have to explain them in detail, clarify the central and core aspects and essential issues of these matters, and give you a basic understanding of the details of the various truths so that you will not confuse conceptual aspects or definitional ones when you practice, and so that you won’t mix apples and oranges or think that these things are too complex—you will be able to clearly differentiate between different aspects. This way, the next time I fellowship about these things, it will be easy. At present, you are still falling short, so I always have to explain them in detail. How much of the content of the fellowships at our gatherings can you ponder and digest? If it’s only ten percent, then you barely have any stature to speak of, and if it’s thirty percent, then you’ve only understood some. If you reach fifty percent, you have a certain stature and entry, but if you can’t reach that, you don’t have any entry. You understand, don’t you? If you still can’t understand when I fellowship like this, it means your caliber is too low and you have no way of understanding the truth. Alright, that concludes our fellowship for today. See you next time!
April 17, 2019