Item Seven: They Are Wicked, Insidious, and Deceitful (Part Three)
Before I come to the main topic of this fellowship, let Me tell a story. What kind of story should I tell? If it has no impact on people, or if it does not edify or benefit those who believe in God in terms of life entry and knowing God, then there is no point in telling it. If I’m going to tell a story, that story must in itself be somewhat edifying—it needs to have value and meaning. So have a listen to this story today and see whether it can be edifying and helpful to you. Some stories are true, while others are fabrications borrowing from real events; they are not true, but they are often seen in life, so they are not disconnected from reality. Whether they are fabricated, or they really happened, they are all closely related to people’s lives. So why tell you such stories? (So that we may understand the truth.) That is right: So that you may understand the truth from them—some truths that people have difficulty knowing in real life. Let us use storytelling to bring people’s knowledge of the truth and of God closer to reality and make it easier for them to understand the truth and God.
When I have a lot of contact with people over a long period of time, strange and amusing incidents become inevitable. This one took place in the spring of this year. As winter had faded and spring was approaching, the weather was growing milder and milder, and all kinds of plants had begun to sprout, growing day by day in the sunlight and rain. Some of those plants were wild, and some of them were cultivated; there were those for animal consumption, those for human consumption, and those for both animal and human consumption. It was a springtime scene: a green and vibrant landscape. And this is where the story begins. One day, I was surprised to receive a special gift. What sort of gift? A bag of wild greens. The person who gave it to Me said, “This is shepherd’s purse—it’s edible and good for Your health. You can scramble it with eggs.” Fair enough. I then compared it with the shepherd’s purse I had bought earlier, and no sooner had I done so than there was a problem. Can you guess what it was? I had come across a “mystery.” What mystery? Shepherd’s purse abroad looks different than shepherd’s purse back in China. Is there something wrong here? (Yes, there is.) If it had been the same thing, then it should have looked the same, so what would be the first thing that comes to mind, on discovering it looks different? Is this shepherd’s purse, or isn’t it? I couldn’t be sure. Would I not need to ask that person what was going on? So later, I went and asked him, “Are you sure this is shepherd’s purse?” He pondered this and replied, “Oh, I’m not sure whether it’s shepherd’s purse or not.” If he was not sure, how could he have presented it to Me? Why would he have dared give it to Me? Luckily, I did not just eat it. Two days later, I had become certain it really was not shepherd’s purse. What did that person say? He said, “How did You figure out that it wasn’t shepherd’s purse? I’m not sure, but forget about it: Don’t eat it.” Can such a thing still be eaten? (It cannot.) It cannot be eaten. If I say, “You’re not sure, but I’ll take a chance and eat it, since you’re so kind,” does that work? (It does not.) What is the nature of acting like that? Would it be foolish? (It would.) Yes, this is foolishness. Fortunately, I did not eat it, nor did I look into things any further, so the matter was dropped.
After a time, wild plants of all varieties started growing in the fields: tall and short ones, flowering and non-flowering ones, and plants of every hue and description. They increased in number, growing ever denser and more and more shapely. One day I received another gift bag, but this one was not a bag of shepherd’s purse. Instead, it contained Chinese mugwort, from the same man. He had been kind enough to send another bag, and with it, the instructions, “Try this. It’s Chinese mugwort: It drives away the cold, and You can also eat it with scrambled eggs.” I looked at it: Wasn’t this annual mugwort? Chinese mugwort is found in many parts of China, and its leaves have a special fragrance, but that was not what the man had sent—how could that pass for Chinese mugwort? The leaves are a bit similar, but was it, or wasn’t it? I asked the man who gave it to Me, but he said he didn’t know—he had no idea and passed the buck completely. He even asked, “Why haven’t You eaten any of it yet? Although I’m not sure what it is, You have to eat some. I’ve eaten some, and it’s really tasty.” He was unsure, yet he was urging Me to eat it. What do you all think I should have done? Should I have forced Myself to eat it? (No.) It certainly should not have been eaten, because the person who sent it did not even know what it was. If I had taken a gamble and eaten it to try something new, nothing might have happened, because the person who had eaten it had said it would be fine. But what about a course of action such as thinking it is fine and eating it ignorantly? Is that not to go about things blindly? What kind of person does such things blindly? Only someone who is rough and reckless would do this—someone who thinks, “It doesn’t matter either way; more or less is good enough.” Do you think I should do this? (No.) Why not? There are so many things to eat; why risk eating an unknown plant? In times of famine, when there really is no food left, you can dig up various wild greens to try to eat, and you can take some risks. In situations like these, you could eat an unknown plant. But is this now one of those situations? (It is not.) There are so many things you can eat, so why go digging for wild greens? Is it necessary to take a risk just for some small benefit that is invisible, intangible, and imaginary? (It is not.) So, I decided not to eat it. I did not eat it, fortunately; nor did I look into things any further, and that matter was dropped, as well.
Some time later, the man gave Me yet another gift; this was the third time. The gift this time was quite special: It had not grown from the soil, nor had it fruited on a tree. What was it? Two bird eggs, neatly wrapped up in a paper bag upon which the words “Bird Eggs for God” were written. Funny, right? When I opened the paper bag, I saw that the shells of the two eggs were beautifully colored. I had never seen the likes of them before, so I could not tell what kind of bird had laid them; I thought to look up the information on the internet, but I could not find any leads, because there were many eggs of the same pattern and color, so there was no way to identify them based on size and color. Do any of you think there would have been any use in Me asking that man what kind of bird eggs they were? (No.) Why not? (He would not know, either.) You guessed it; he would not know either. So I did not ask him. If I had, I would have hurt his feelings, and he would have thought, “I’m so well-intentioned and caring, but still You doubt me. Why do You have to look them up on the internet? Since I’m giving them to You to eat, just eat them!” Do you think I should have eaten the eggs, or not? (You shouldn’t.) If he had given them to you, would you have eaten them? (No.) Neither would I. These eggs are for the hatching and reproduction of birds. Would it not be cruel to eat them? (It would.) I could not do that, so the matter of the bird eggs was dropped, but such things continued to happen.
One day, I came across some annual mugwort—which looked like Chinese mugwort—drying on a railing somewhere, so I asked a sister what it was for. “Isn’t this the same kind of Chinese mugwort that that man gave You last time?” she replied. “Chinese mugwort can get rid of dampness and drive away the cold. Aren’t You sensitive to the cold? The man said that, once it was dry, he would save it for You to use in a hot-water foot soak, to expel the cold.” What do you all think My reaction was, upon hearing that? One word. (Speechless.) That is right, I was speechless. In circumstances such as these, should I not have reflected on how caring this person was, and how he had really gone out of his way? How could I have been speechless? It was just that this person had been unperceptive a few times before on these matters and had then changed approach, as if to say, “I gave You greens and eggs to eat, but You didn’t eat them, so I dried out some Chinese mugwort for You for a hot foot soak, so that my efforts wouldn’t be in vain.” Given this spectacle, I really was speechless. Later on, I was telling someone else that many drugstores now stock Chinese mugwort. You can buy as much as you want: It comes in a variety of packaging, is produced by various countries, and is processed hygienically. It is much better than what the man had sent Me, so is it not a wasted effort to pick it at the side of the road and then put it on railings to dry in the sun? If he dries it out and gives it to Me, do you think I want it? (You do not.) I don’t want it. Over time, there was no longer any mugwort on the railings, because what I had said had gotten back to him, and he stopped sending it. Later, when there were more wild greens in the field, they must not have been considered rare anymore, so nobody sent Me wild greens anymore. And I guess the bird eggs probably hatched out in the meantime and could no longer be collected, so right up until now, I have not received any more bird eggs or wild greens. And that was My story.
In total, there were four incidents in the story, all of which were about things being sent to Me: Two were about sending unknown wild greens, one was about sending unknown bird eggs, and another one was about the sun-dried “traditional Chinese medicine.” It may sound a bit ridiculous to talk about these things, but in terms of the incidents themselves, what impressions, if any, do you get, having heard them? Is there anything that you should understand in or take from them, any lessons you should learn? What were you all thinking of when you were listening? Were the things I related directed at any particular person? Certainly not. But then, if they were not directed at any particular person, why am I talking about them? Is it meaningful? Or is it just idle talk? (It is not.) Since you do not consider it idle talk, do you know why I am talking about it? Why did this man do such things? What was the nature of his behavior? What was his motive? What are the problems here? Do they need to be put into context? You will be able to understand the truth if you see through people and the nature of the incidents themselves in context. Do you think the man who did these things had good intentions or bad intentions? (Good intentions.) First of all, one thing is certain: He was well-intentioned. What was wrong with his good intentions? Does doing things with good intentions mean that you are caring? (Not necessarily.) If good intentions are someone’s motive for doing something, then is the impurity of a corrupt disposition necessarily absent? It is not. Then I ask you all, if you are respectful and obedient toward your parents, why would you not send them these things to eat? Or if you like and care about your bosses and leaders, why would you not give them things like these to eat? Why would you not dare to do so? It is because you are afraid that something will go wrong. You are afraid of harming your parents, your leaders, and your bosses, so are you not afraid of harming God? What are your intentions? What does your kindness entail? Are you trying to deceive God? Are you trying to play with Him? Would you dare do such things with God as a spiritual being? Would you have a God-fearing heart if you saw that God’s flesh was that of normal humanity, and instead of dreading Him, you dared do such things? If you did not have a God-fearing heart, then would it truly be caring of you to do such things? That is not caring: It is deceiving and playing with God, and it is extremely daring of you! If you really are a responsible individual, why not eat and taste something yourself first, to make sure nothing is wrong before bringing it to God? If you bring it directly to God without eating and tasting it yourself, is this not to play with God? Do you not feel that you are offending God’s disposition by doing this? Is this something God can forget? Even if you forget it, God will not. When doing something like this, what is going through your mind? You did not taste it, and you have no scientific evidence, yet you dare to give it to God. Is this responsible behavior? If you were to harm God, what responsibility would you bear? Even if the law would not deal with you, God would punish you for eternity. You would not even think this junk good enough to give to the unbelieving leaders and officials, and you would consider it undignified, so what kind of intentions would you have in giving it to God? Is My worth so little? If you were to give your boss a bag of wild greens, what would he think? “Is that all I’m worth? People give me money and brand-name things, and you give me a handful of weeds?” Would you be capable of going through with it? Certainly not. But if you did go through with it, what would you worry about? The first thing you have to think about is, “What does the boss like? Does he need this thing? If he doesn’t need it, and I still give it to him, will he give me a hard time? Will he bully and torment me at work? If things get serious, will he dismiss me by looking for a pretext and catching me out?” Do you think about any of this? (I do.) If you want to please your boss, what is the first thing you should give him? (Something he likes.) Just giving him something he likes is not enough. If he right now needs a cup, for example, can you spend 10 or 20 RMB to buy one to give him? (No.) You have to give him something gold, something silver, something presentable. Why give him something you would be reluctant to buy for yourself? (To please him.) What is the purpose of pleasing him? First of all, as a minimum, he can take you under his wing, and with the power he wields, he can defend you and make your job and salary stable and secure. At the very least, he will not give you a hard time. So, you will never present him with a bunch of unknown wild greens. Is that not so? (It is.) You cannot even do that to your boss, so why would the man who gave Me the weeds do that to Me? Did he think of the consequences? He certainly did not. And why not? Some would say, “Because You are not going to torment us.” Is it that simple? Because I am not going to give him a hard time, is that it? How is it that he dared give things like this? (He thought his intentions were good.) That is correct—he covered up all his ugliness and wickedness under good intentions, meaning, “I have good intentions toward You, but others don’t! Look at all these wild greens. Who dug them up for You? Wasn’t it me?” What kind of attitude is this? What kind of mentality is this? Are these good intentions in line with humanity? If they are not even in line with humanity, can they be in line with the truth? (They cannot.) They could not be further from the truth! What are these good intentions? Are they truly good intentions? (They are not.) Then what sort of attitude do they involve? What sort of impurities and essences do they contain? Even you young people who have seen little of the world understand that you cannot just give gifts to your boss any which way; you have to think about the consequences. So if a particularly seasoned man in his forties or fifties gives Me such things, in your view, what is the nature of this? Is it worth us discussing here? (It is.) So when all is said and done, what is the nature of this? The man carelessly gave Me some wild greens, asking Me to eat them without himself even knowing what they were. When I said they did not look like that kind of wild greens, he wasted no time in telling Me not to eat them—and that is not all. He sent Me wild greens of another kind to eat. I didn’t eat them, and he said, “Have some, they’re delicious. I’ve tried it.” What kind of attitude is that? (It is disrespectful and irresponsible.) That is right. Do you all feel this attitude? (We do.) Is it well-intentioned? There is nothing well-intentioned, here! He got something at random without it even costing anything, and then he put it in a plastic bag and gave it to Me, asking Me to eat it. Even if you were to pick some wild greens to feed the sheep and rabbits, you would still have to ponder, “Can the animals get poisoned if they eat this?” Is that not something you should consider? If you would not be willing to take the risk when feeding the livestock, then how can you just grab any old bunch of wild greens and give them to Me to eat? What kind of disposition is that? What is the nature of the problem? Do you understand? If such a person treats Me like this, how do you think he would treat his subordinates or someone he regards as the average person in the street? It is just causally playing around. What disposition is that? It is wicked and vicious. Can he be considered a good person? (No, he cannot.) He is not considered a good person. To not take people’s bodies and lives seriously, to gamble with them and feel nothing afterward, and to actually have absolutely no pangs of conscience, but be able to do the same thing again and again: this is strange indeed.
At the beginning of the story, I said a few words you may not have paid much attention to. I said that some of those wild greens were for human consumption, some were for animal consumption, and some were for both human and animal consumption. This is a “well-known saying,” and there is a source for it. Do you know where it comes from? It is an allusion to a story. It comes from the man who gave these few gifts in that story. This man was in charge of planting, and he had three types of corn planted. What three types? The type that people eat, the type that animals eat, and the type that both people and animals eat: those three. These three types of corn are quite interesting. Have you heard of them before? You have not, and it was the first time I had heard of them too—as they are a rarity. In the end, because the people who planted them were so irresponsible, the three types of corn got mixed up: The ones for animal consumption were fed to people, while the ones for human consumption were fed to animals. After eating them, everyone complained that the corn was unpalatable, that it did not taste like grain, and that it had a little grassy flavor. What is it that the people who planted the corn did? Because of their irresponsibility in doing their duty, they mixed up what was for human consumption and what was for animal consumption, until no one could tell the two apart, and they had to purchase more seeds and plant them all over again. How do you all think this work was carried out? Do these sorts of people have no principles in their actions? (They do not.) In their actions, do they seek the truth? (They do not.) With this kind of attitude in how they act, being so disrespectful and irresponsible toward everyone, what do people such as these think about believing in God? What is their approach to the truth? In their hearts, how much weight does the truth hold? How significant is God’s identity? Do they know? (They do not.) Should they not know about such major matters? Then why do they not? It has to do with their disposition. What disposition is that? (It is wickedness.) It is wickedness, and it is being sick of the truth. They are not conscious of the nature of what they do, and they never try to ponder or seek, nor do they examine themselves after doing things. Instead, they do whatever they want, thinking that, as long as they have good and correct intentions, they do not need anyone to supervise or criticize them; they think their responsibilities and obligations have been fulfilled. Is that so? Some people say, “We understand the story You’ve told us, but we still don’t understand the bit we’re most concerned about, and that is: What is Your attitude toward this kind of thing happening? What is Your attitude toward the person who does such things? Is it anger, spurning, and aversion? Or do You like this kind of person?” (It is detestation.) Should this kind of thing not be detested? (It should.) What would you think if this sort of thing happened to you? Suppose a kind person gives you some unknown items over and over again, taking great pains to persuade you, “Eat them, they’re good for your health; eat them, they’ll keep you well-preserved; eat them, they’ll improve your looks and vitality. You could do worse than to listen to me!” What would you think if, upon verification, it turned out that those items were of no value? (If it were me, I would probably not want to bother with this type of person anymore; I would be annoyed with him and speechless—feelings of that sort.) One should detest and be revolted by such people. What else? Should one feel angry, sad, or pained? (There is no point.) There is no point, is there? Are there not people who say, “This person probably did this because he doesn’t understand the truth”? Most people do not understand the truth, yet how many of them are capable of doing such things? Do people not differ from person to person? (They do.) People differ. It is just like when people have dealings with one another: When there is an exchange of material goods, some people seek fairness and reasonableness. Even if these people let the other party take advantage of them a little, it does not matter to them—in this way, their relationship endures; they possess humanity and feel that it is no great hardship to be at a minor disadvantage. Other people lack humanity and always like to be taking advantage of others: Their dealings with others are purely to take advantage and profit at the expense of others. If they can extract some benefits from you, they will please you and maintain a relationship with you, but if they cannot, then they will kick you away. They show no sincerity toward you; such people have no humanity.
What do you think of the type of people who give gifts like in the story told today? Why do people such as these make gifts of things? Is it a coincidence? If it happened once over the course of many years, it might be a coincidence, but can it still be considered a coincidence if the same thing happens four times within a season? (It cannot.) This behavior of his was not accidental, nor can a disposition of that sort be called a momentary revelation and expression of corruption. Then what was the nature of his behavior? As we said earlier, his behavior was disrespectful, irresponsible, reckless, rash and impulsive, and of an uncivilized disposition. So why did he do it? Why did he give those things to no one else, but only to Me? My different identity and status qualified Me to receive these gifts. Does that make the intention of the man who gave the gifts and the nature of what he did apparent? What was his objective? (To ingratiate himself.) That is right. What is the most accurate word to describe this ingratiation of his? It is a cheap trick: ingratiation and opportunism. It is a clever way of ingratiating himself with you, luring you into the hole he has dug without you realizing it, and giving you a good feeling about him, when in fact he is not genuine in the least—he wants to achieve his own objectives without paying any price. He did this without any detailed consideration of the consequences and just gave you something that he picked up for free, making you feel he is caring, and lulling you into a state of happiness. What does this really mean? It means that, without even spending a penny, he has made you feel like you have greatly benefited at his expense, which is obviously taking you for a fool. Is that not what it means? He is thinking to himself, “I’m not spending a penny, and I’m not going out of my way; I have no sincerity for You. I’ll just give You something to remember me by, so that You’ll think me kind, caring, and loyal, and that I have love for You in my heart.” Getting you to mistakenly believe that this is what he is like is a cheap trick, and it is also opportunism. Using the cheapest so-called kindness for the greatest benefit and greatest advantage without paying any price or having any sincerity is a cheap trick. Would any of you do this? Everyone does—it is just that you have not done the same thing that he did, but you would do it if you had the opportunity. That is the first thing I have concluded when dealing with these types of people, namely that they are very good at cheap tricks. It is not God they believe in; what they follow is someone who they think will benefit them, bless them, and who is worth following. This one incident completely exposed this type of person’s faith and the truth of what they are really like. Such people’s understanding of love, loyalty, and submission to God is too simplistic, and they want to use the method of a cheap trick to gain God’s approval and receive blessings. Are they sincere toward God? Are they God-fearing in any way? (They are not.) Then other things are even more out of the question. That is the first thing I have concluded. In your view, am I right? (You are.) Am I unfairly labeling him? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? Absolutely not. Going by his essence, it is much more serious than that. At the very least, he is deceiving and playing with God.
The second thing I have concluded is what can be seen from such people. The human heart is dreadful! Tell Me, what is this horror? Why do I say that the human heart is dreadful? (This person ingratiates himself with God in order to satisfy his intention and desire to gain blessings, and then he is irresponsible and does not consider what will happen to God’s body after He eats these things or what the consequences will be. He will always consider the consequences of whatever he gives his own family to eat, but when he gives something to God, he does not consider the consequences at all. He does so entirely to achieve his own ends by ingratiating himself with God by fair means or foul; one can see that he is particularly selfish and despicable, that he does not have any place for God in his heart, and that he does not treat God as God.) By implication, does that not mean not treating Me like a human being? Can it be put that way? (It can.) What dreadful intentions! (Yes, he would not deceive God, even if he were to treat God as his own relative.) That really is dreadful. If someone was your friend, would they treat you like that? They would not. They would tell you what is good to eat, and if there were side effects to eating something, they would strenuously discourage you from eating it; that is something even friends can do. But can this person do that? No. Since he did such a thing to Me, he would certainly do it to you. What other horrors are there about him? (He is deeply calculating. He covers it up with a surface warmheartedness, but on the inside, he is plotting away, trying to extract the greatest benefit from the cheapest thing he can, and it feels dreadful.) It is good to see it that way. What you referred to earlier is his selfish side, while this refers to his scheming. Just going by what you all have said, where do these things come from that are deep within a person, these things that are revealed from their humanity, the things that they are able or unable to touch, and that others may be able to see or unable to see or interpret? Are they taught by one’s parents? Are they taught at school? Or are they nurtured by society? How do they come about? One thing is certain: They are something innate. Why do I say that? What are innate things related to? They are related to one’s nature essence. So, for him to think this way, was it a lengthy premeditation, or a sudden whim? Was he inspired by something he saw someone else do, or did he need to do it under certain circumstances? Or did I have any suggestion of him? None of these. Although these small things may outwardly appear to be ordinary, the nature underlying each of these things is extraordinary. Was the person who did these things able to realize the consequences of doing them? He was not. Why not? Suppose you buy a cheap item at a street stall to give to your boss. Before giving it, do you not have to evaluate matters and ask yourself, “Can the boss find this item at the street stall? Can he go online and find out how much it cost? Can anyone reveal to him how much it cost? What will he think of me once he’s seen it?” Are these not things that you would have to evaluate? You would evaluate it first and buy it afterward. If, after evaluating it, you felt that making a gift of this item would have unfavorable consequences, would you still give it away? You certainly would not. If you thought that it would be inexpensive to give this item to your boss, and it would make your boss happy, then you would certainly give it away. But this man in the story did not evaluate any of these things, so what was he thinking? All he was thinking was that this was the only way to achieve his intentions. Now by analyzing it, the nature of this matter emerges. What can be seen through the nature of this matter? The second result seen in people through contact with them is that their hearts are dreadful. Can a conclusion be drawn about the corrupt disposition that such people reveal, whether it is intentional or involuntary? What causes the human heart to be so dreadful? Is it that it is too insensitive? An insensitive person is one who lacks perception. Would it be accurate to describe them as insensitive? (It would not.) So, is it because of ignorance? (It is not.) Then what should the cause ultimately be attributed to? It should be attributed to people’s wicked dispositions. I have to tell you wherein lies the horror of people: It is in the fact that demons dwell in their hearts. How do you all feel about that? Why do I say that demons dwell in the hearts of people? What is your understanding? Do you not think this is a dreadful statement? Are you not frightened when you hear it? You did not think that demons dwelled in your hearts before; you just thought you had a corrupt disposition but did not know that demons dwelled in you. Now you know. Is this not a serious problem? Do you think I have got it right? (You do.) Does this not get to the root of the problem? (It does.) Ponder over why I said that demons dwell in the hearts of people. Think about it: Would a person of conscience and reason deceive God in this way? Is this submission to God? This is to resist God with eyes wide open and not treat Him like God at all. Now that God has come to earth to save mankind, what is the relationship between man and God? Is it one of superior and subordinate? Friendship? Kin? What kind of relationship really is it? How do you handle and approach this relationship? What kind of mindset should you possess when engaging with and getting along with God? What should you keep in your heart to get along with God? (Fear.) Fear seems to be unrealistic for everyone. (Dread.) Dread cannot be achieved. If you treat Me as an ordinary person—just as an acquaintance, not understanding each other too well and not enough to be friends yet—then how can the relationship between us be harmonious and friendly? A person of conscience should know how to do such things appropriately. (There needs to be respect.) This is the bare minimum you should have. Suppose two people meet: They are not yet familiar with each other and do not know each other’s names. If one of them sees that the other one is guileless and wants to play around with him, is this not playing the bully? If there is not even a minimum of respect, is there any humanity left? For people to get along with each other, no matter what disputes or conflicts may arise, they must at least respect one another. Respect is the elementary common sense of what it means to be human, and there is a minimum of respect between all human beings. So, is there such thing as a person getting along with God? If you cannot even get to this point, then in your mind, what really is the relationship between God and you? There is no relationship at all, then—not even that of an outsider. Therefore, the person who gave the gifts was able to treat God in this way: Not only did he not respect God, but he also wanted to deceive Him. In his heart, he did not feel that God should be respected, or that careful and meticulous consideration should be given to His health and to the consequences of His eating the gifts—these were not within the scope of his considerations. It was good enough for him merely to employ tricks to dupe God into favoring him; the best thing for him was to be able to deceive God. That was his heart. Is it not terrible for man to have such a heart? It is dreadful!
Some people believe in God, and outwardly, they seem to follow Him. But deep down in their hearts, have they ever reflected on the path they have taken and the price they have paid? Have they examined and sought to see whether they have fulfilled the duties entrusted to them by God? What exactly is people’s attitude in their treatment of God? Judging from the various things people exhibit and reveal and even their innermost scheming, not to mention all the dispositions revealed in these things they do in treating God, what have people done for God? Apart from paying a price for and thoroughly considering things beneficial to themselves, what are people’s attitudes toward God, and what do they offer Him? Nothing but scheming, calculating, guarding, and a disdainful attitude. Disdain is an attitude, and what is the behavior that arises from this attitude, if expressed as a verb? “To ridicule.” Have you ever heard of this word? (We have.) “Ridicule” is a somewhat formal term. What do we say in colloquial speech? We say “to tease,” “to play tricks on someone,” “to kid around with someone.” You look unassuming to them, you seem guileless; in their eyes you are nothing and they dare to openly ridicule you—what kind of disposition is this? For someone with a disposition such as this, is it an angel that dwells in their heart, or a demon? (A demon.) It is a demon. If they can treat God like this, then what are they really? Can they practice God’s words? Can they submit to God’s words? Someone such as the man who sent Me gifts, for instance—he does not seek the truth, nor does he understand God’s will. He has not the slightest idea of what God requires of man, what God wants to see, or what God wants to gain from man. He’s just like someone interacting with his boss, focusing on how to fawn on and deceive them, treating them however allows him to achieve his goals—what does such a person really live by? He lives by bootlicking, eking out a contemptible life by fawning on his leaders. Why did he offer Me such “caring” and “kindness”? He couldn’t help himself, could he? Could he have predicted how I would have felt about this? (No.) That is right; he did not understand. He entirely lacks a normal human mind. He neither knew nor cared how I might perceive, define, or evaluate his behavior and disposition. What does he care about? He cares about how to fawn on Me to achieve his goals and then leave Me with a good impression of him. That is his intention when going about things. What kind of humanity is this? Is this what a person of true conscience and reason would do? You have lived for so many years, so you ought to understand: First, I do not need your fawning. Second, I do not need you to present Me with anything. Third, and most importantly, you should understand that no matter what you do, no matter what your intentions and goals are, and what the nature of what you do is, I define and reach a conclusion on all of these. It’s not simply a matter of you doing something and then it’s over; on the contrary, I have to see clearly what your intentions and motives are. I only look at your disposition. Some will probably say, “You are so harsh on people!” Am I? I do not think so at all. It is because I am not at all harsh that some people try to exploit the situation. Is that not how it is? As soon as some people come into contact with Me, they ponder, “I see You as just a regular person. There’s no need to take much notice of You. You’re pretty much just like me: You also eat three meals a day, and I don’t see that You have any authority or power. You’ll have nothing to say no matter how I treat You. What can You do to me?” What manner of thinking is this? Where does it come from? It comes from one’s disposition. Why do people have such a disposition? It is because there are demons dwelling in their hearts. With demons dwelling in their hearts, no matter how great they think God is, no matter how noble they think God’s status is, no matter how they believe it is that God expresses the truth to save people, no matter how much they verbally express their gratitude, and no matter how they indicate their willingness to suffer and pay the price, when the time comes to do their duty, the demons will be in charge in their hearts, and it is the demons that get to work. What kind of person, in your view, dares to deceive and ridicule even God? (A demon.) It is a demon; this much is for certain.
In our fellowship earlier, from which dialogue between Satan and God can we see Satan’s disposition? God said, “Satan, from where come you?” What did Satan reply? (“From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it” (Job 1:7).) What kind of talk is that? (Demonic talk.) It’s demonic talk! If Satan treated God as God, it would say, “God has asked me, so I will say where I’ve come from in a well-behaved manner.” Is that not speaking sensibly? (It is.) It is a sentence in line with normal human thinking: a complete sentence, grammatical and immediately understandable. Is that what Satan said? (No.) What did it say? “From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” Do you understand this sentence? (No.) Even until now, no one understands what it means. So where was Satan coming from? Where was it going to and fro? Where was it coming from, and which way was it going? Are there any conclusive answers to these questions? To this day, those who interpret the Bible have not been able to work out where Satan was really coming from, or how long it had taken for it to arrive before God and speak to Him; none of these things are known. Then how could Satan answer God’s questioning of it with such a tone and in such language? Did God put the question to it with earnestness? (He did.) Then did it answer in a similar fashion? (It did not.) What attitude did it take in answering God? One of ridicule. It is just like when you ask someone, “Where are you from?” and he replies, “Guess.” “I can’t guess.” He knows you cannot guess it, but he makes you guess, anyway. He is just kidding around with you. It is this attitude that is referred to as playing with someone or ridiculing them. He is not sincere, and he does not want you to know; he just wants to play tricks on you and kid around with you. Satan is of precisely such a disposition. I said that some people have demons dwelling in their hearts; isn’t this how they treat God? Going by their outward appearance of running about, doing things, and occasionally enduring some hardship and paying a little price, they would not appear to be such people; they appear to have God in their hearts. But from their attitudes in the way they treat God and the truth, you see that what dwells in their hearts is a demon, and that is all there is to it. They cannot even answer God’s questions directly—they are the kind of people who go round and round in circles like snakes, until you cannot find the answer and cannot make heads or tails of what they’re saying. Just what sort of people are these? Can they be sincere in their treatment of God? With the attitude of contempt and disdain with which they treat God, can such people practice God’s words as the truth? (No.) Why not? Because demons dwell in their hearts. Is that not so? (Yes; they do not treat God as God at all.) That is the wickedness of these people. Their wickedness lies in thinking that God’s integrity, humility, normality, and practicality that they see are not what makes God lovely—but then what are they? They think that these are God’s shortcomings; that they are areas that make people prone to engendering notions; that they are the greatest imperfections in the God they believe in; that they are deficiencies, problems, and faults. How should people like these be regarded? This is the way and the attitude with which they treat God; it is disgraceful to God, but what about to themselves? Do they derive any benefit from it? It is an insult to themselves, as well. Why do I say that? As an ordinary person, if someone casually gave you something to eat, and you took it and ate it like a fool, without a care for the facts of the matter and without even asking what it was all about, wouldn’t that suggest something was missing from your humanity? Is a person who has something missing from their humanity a normal person? No. If the incarnate Christ did not even possess normal humanity of this sort, would He still be worthy of anyone’s belief? He would not. What are the signs of God incarnate’s humanity? His rationality, thinking, and conscience are the most normal. Does He possess the ability to judge? (Yes.) If I didn’t have that, if I were just a scatterbrain with neither common sense nor insight, incapable of thought when events befall Me, could I still be considered a normal human being? That would be defective humanity, not normal humanity. Could such a person be called Christ? When God was incarnated, would He choose such a flesh? (No.) Certainly not. If I heedlessly did that, would such a God, the One known as God incarnate, be worth following? No, and you would be on the wrong path. This is one aspect, from My perspective. On the other hand, from your perspective, if you regard Him as God, as the object of your following, and as His follower you treat Him in this way—then where are you placing yourself? Is that not disgraceful to you? (It is.) If the God you believe in is so unworthy of your respect in your eyes, yet you still believe in Him, then what does that make you? Are you muddle-headed? Are you a confused follower? Would you not be disgracing yourself? (We would.) But if you think He possesses all these aspects of normal humanity, that He is God incarnate, and you do that all the same, are you not disgracing God? Both perspectives are valid. You can see the problem whether you look at it from God’s perspective or from man’s—and the problem here is a serious one! Is that not so? (It is.) From a human perspective, if you consider Him God and then treat Him like this, then you are openly disgracing God. If you think He is not God but a human being, but you still follow Him, then would that not be a contradiction? Would you not be disgracing yourself? Ponder these two aspects; am I right? Is it not so? Why can’t people think of these things? Why do they still act this way? Is it merely because they do not understand the truth? Let us not go into it too deeply; just looking at it from the perspective of caliber, they are mindless cretins. Why do I say they are mindless? What mind am I referring to? It is about thinking. To do something without thinking, without knowing to weigh the pros and cons, without knowing to consider the nature of what you are doing or whether you should do it or not, is to be mindless. What kind of thing has no mind? Animals and beasts have no minds, but humans would consider these things. People might do stupid things in a moment of impulse, but if they do the same stupid things over and over, then they may be characterized as mindless. A mindless person is someone with impaired reason or, colloquially, someone who has a screw loose. But their selfishness is pronounced, and their cunning tricks are not lacking at all, which is why I say that demons dwell in the hearts of people.
Do you all think it is making a mountain out of a molehill to raise the issue of giving gifts to fellowship on? If I had not fellowshiped on it and had just mentioned it casually, would it have had this effect on you, having listened to it? (It would not.) At most, having listened, you would have pondered, “How could this man have done such a thing? I don’t do things like that; there really are all sorts of people out there!” At most, that is what you would have thought. You might have talked about it a bit, and that is all—but would you have such a deep understanding of it? (No.) You would not have such a deep understanding of it. So, what benefits do My words bring you? What truth have you gained? First of all, I have to remind you: Between man and God, what is the best kind of relationship to establish? When someone approaches God, how should they get along with God when they are in close contact with Him? Isn’t it necessary to seek principles for this? (Yes.) Furthermore, having believed in God for so many years, what incidents have occurred in people’s daily lives that are of the same nature as what the man in the story did? Are these questions not worth contemplating? Could someone learn a lesson and say, “God does not tolerate even slight mistakes, so this is desperately serious. We better not approach Him, have close contact with Him, or deal with Him—He is not to be trifled with! If you mess up, He’ll blow the issue out of proportion and you’ll land yourself in serious trouble. I’m certainly not going to give Him anything!”? Is it acceptable to think like this? (No.) Actually, you do not need to worry: We do not get many opportunities for close contact, and we get even fewer moments in which to interact with each other, so this is not a matter you need to worry about. If I do interact with you some day, do not worry; I will tell you a secret. Whether you get along with Me or pray and seek in private, what is the number one secret? Whatever you do, do not match wits with Me; if you have a combative streak, keep your distance from Me. There are some people who speak with great cunning, concocting several schemes in the blink of an eye, and every sentence they utter is laced with impurity; if they speak more, you will not know which words are true and which are false. Such people must never come near Me. When you come into contact with God and interact with Him, what is the number one key thing you should do and the number one key principle you should abide by? Have an honest heart in your treatment of God. Also, learn deference. Deference is not politeness; it is not fawning or currying favor, nor is it ingratiation or bootlicking. So what exactly is it? (It is treating God as God.) Treating God as God is a major principle. What about the particulars? (Learn to listen to God.) That is one aspect of practice. Some people come into contact with Me, and they start talking over Me, so I let them finish before I continue. And how do they treat Me when I am speaking? They listen with their eyes closed. What does this imply? It’s like saying, “What You’re saying is nonsense. What do You know?” That’s their attitude. I may not know everything, but I have principles, and I tell you what I have learned, seen, and can understand, as well as the principles I know, and you can gain quite a lot from it. But if you are always glancing at Me, thinking that I do not know anything, and you do not listen to Me carefully, then you will not gain anything—you will just have to find things out for yourself. Is that not how it is? So, you have to learn to listen to God’s words. When you listen, do I limit you in expressing your views? I do not. Once I have finished speaking, I ask you all if you have any questions, and if anyone does, then I answer it immediately and tell you the principles involved in those questions. Sometimes I do not just tell you the principles, but I tell you directly what you should do, detailing each aspect. Although there are some fields I do not understand, I have My own principles, and I have My own views on and ways of handling such matters, so I am teaching you based on what I think are sound views and principles. Why is it that I am able to teach you? It is because you do not even understand these things. Once these questions have been answered, I will ask again if there are any more questions; if there are, then I will once again answer them without delay. I do not just want you to listen to Me; I give you the opportunity to talk, but what you say has to be reasonable—no nonsense, and no time-wasting. Sometimes, I interrupt some people out of impatience. Under what circumstances? It is when they are long-winded, using ten sentences for what can be said in five. In fact, I understand as soon as I hear them; I know what is coming next, so they do not have to say anything more. Be concise and to the point; don’t waste others’ time. Once you’re finished speaking, I will give you an answer, and tell you what to do and the principles according to which to do it. That should be the end of the matter, should it not? But some people can’t pick up on this, and say, “No, You have to respect me; our respect goes both ways. You’ve finished speaking, but I haven’t finished expressing my point of view. My point of view is this—I have to start from the beginning again.” They always want to express their views in the belief that I am not aware of them, when in fact, as soon as they start talking, I know what their views are—so is there any need for them to continue? There is no need. Some people have such a low IQ that it takes them ten sentences for a matter that only requires two, and unless I cut them off, they will keep on talking. Everyone else has understood; do I still not understand? But still, they want to express themselves, so it is not just that their IQs are low—their reason is weak too! Have you ever encountered such people? (Yes.) They think they are smart even though they have poor reason and a low IQ. Is that not sickening? It is nauseating and sickening. When people come into contact with God, the first thing is to treat Him with an honest heart; the second is that people must learn deference; and the third and most important thing is to learn to seek the truth. Is that not what is most important? (It is.) What is the point of believing in God if you do not seek the truth? What is the value of believing in Him? Where is the sense in it? This point is something that most people may fall short of, so why bring it up? It’s a preparation for the future; you need to learn to practice in this way when these sorts of things happen to you in future.
At church, I came into contact with many people, some of whom I charged with a few things to do. A few days later, they gave Me feedback, showing Me that they noted down everything I assigned, and that they were now in the process of implementing each and every one. When they met Me, they reported to Me about the progress of implementation, what issues required seeking, and which ones were still awaiting results, giving Me a complete update. They explained the details very clearly, and although at times they were a bit trivial, their attitudes showed that they were serious and responsible in their treatment of God’s words, and that they knew what their responsibilities, duties, and obligations were. Some people were different: I charged them with two tasks, and they wrote them down in their notebooks, but a week later, when they still hadn’t implemented anything, they only remembered once I questioned them about it—and then they wrote it all down in their notebooks again. After another week, when I asked them why the matter still had not been wrapped up, they made excuses, citing this difficulty and that difficulty, before diligently committing everything to their notebooks yet again. Where did they commit everything? (To their notebooks.) But they did not commit anything to their minds. Is this not entrusting something to the wrong person? These people are not human. Anything I entrusted them with went in one ear and out the other—they did not take it seriously at all. All the tasks pertaining to a certain profession or to general affairs—along with some matters relating to church work—that I assign people are within the scope of what they can achieve; none are intended to make things difficult for them. However, often when I entrusted leaders and workers to do things, most of them did not report to Me after undertaking the commission; I didn’t hear anything back about the status of the work, whether it was arranged, how it was done, what errors occurred, or the current results. They never reported back or engaged in seeking—they just set their commissions aside, and I didn’t even get to hear about any of the outcomes. Some people had an even more serious problem, in that, on top of failing to implement what I assigned to them, they also came to fawn on and deceive Me, telling Me where they went and what they did yesterday, what they did the day before that, and what they were doing now. Look at how good they were at pretending and sophistry—they did none of the things I specifically assigned to them, instead busying themselves with useless tasks while critical work was in complete disarray. What kind of behavior was this? They completely neglected their proper tasks, and they were full of lies and deception!
There was a man in charge of planting. I asked him, “There are some greens that look good this year. Did you save any seeds?” “I did,” he replied. I said, “I heard that they harvested all the greens some time ago and didn’t save any seeds.” He said, “They haven’t finished the harvest. There are still some left over!” I then asked, “Where are the leftover greens? Let Me take a look.” He said, “Oh? Well … let me go and check first.” Did he actually save any seeds, or not? He didn’t. Of these few words he spoke, was his first statement of “I did” a lie? (Yes.) And his second statement, “They haven’t finished the harvest. There are still some left over!” was that not a lie? He did not know whether they had saved any seeds, and said, “Let me go and check first.” So the third statement was yet another lie. The lies got more serious from statement to statement; he was layering lie upon lie, progressively getting deeper and deeper—a mouth full of lies! Would you all be willing to interact with someone whose mouth is full of lies? (No.) How do you feel when talking to and working with people who are full of lies? Do you get angry? He had the gall to deceive anyone; he was wrong if he thought I didn’t know! Can the matter be worth the deceit? What did he stand to gain by being so deceitful? How did I feel when I saw this attitude in how he acted and treated Me? If basically 99 percent of what a person says is a lie, no matter whether they are gossiping or talking about work or serious matters, or fellowshiping on the truth, then this person is beyond hope. He can deceive anyone; what does that make him? How long has he believed in God? Some unbelievers are always saying, “As far as I know,” or, “Speaking from the heart,” and with that premise, they are saying something truthful. That man believed in God for so many years, and he listened to so many sermons, but he could not even speak a word of truth; everything he said was a lie. What kind of creature is he, then? Is it not sickening and abhorrent? Are there many people like this? Are you like this? When you interact with Me, under what circumstances would you lie to Me? If you have caused some disaster, and you know that the consequences are serious and that you can be expelled, then as soon as others mention it, you lie to cover it up. Anyone can lie about that sort of thing. What else can people lie about? Lying to boost their image and be held in high regard by others. Then there are those who know that they are incompetent at their work, but they do not tell the Above explicitly, for fear that they will be dismissed if they do. When reporting their work to the Above, they pretend to seek ways to fix the problem, giving others a false impression. Everything they say is a lie, and they are fundamentally incapable of doing work. If they do not ask some questions, they fear that the Above will spot the discrepancies and replace them, so they hastily put on a pretense. This is what the mentality of false leaders and antichrists is like.
Contemplate the three principles of interacting with God that I have just fellowshiped on. Which one can you not do, and which one is easy for you to achieve? In fact, it is not easy to truly implement any of them, because demons dwell in the hearts of people. You will not be able to achieve them before you have cast the demon out of your heart. You have to battle the demon in your heart, and if you can overcome it every time, then you can achieve them. If every time you fail and are captured by it, then you won’t be able to accomplish them; you won’t be able to implement any of the principles. If you can accomplish all three, not only when getting along or interacting with Me, but also in your regular interactions with the brothers and sisters, following these principles, won’t everyone benefit from this? (Yes.) Now that the story is over, let’s move on to the main topic.
A Dissection of How Antichrists Are Wicked, Insidious, and Deceitful
Last time we fellowshiped about the seventh manifestation of antichrists—they are wicked, insidious, and deceitful. This item has been fellowshiped about twice. The first discussion was on the wicked nature of antichrists—what was the emphasis of that discussion? (Being hostile toward and detesting the truth.) Antichrists are hostile toward and detest the truth, hating all positive things that are aligned with the truth and with God, which is the first and primary manifestation of antichrists’ wickedness. The first discussion was about what antichrists detest. Ordinary people detest negative things and wicked forces; they detest things that are filthy, dark, and wicked. However, contrary to this, the strongest evidence of the first manifestation of an antichrist’s wicked nature, is that they do not detest negative things but detest all positive things related to the truth and to God, which is the first strong piece of evidence concerning their wickedness. Our second discussion was on the second strong piece of evidence concerning the manifestations of an antichrist’s wickedness. If they detest positive things, what do they love? (Negative things.) What do people with normal humanity love? They love justice, kindness, and beauty, along with love, patience, and tolerance related to humanity, as well as common sense and knowledge that is positive and beneficial to people, and all positive things from God, including the laws and rules established by God for all things, God’s laws and administrative decrees, and all the truths and ways of life expressed by God, as well as other things related to God. The wicked nature of an antichrist runs contrary to this; they do not like these things—what do they like? (Lies and trickery.) Right, they like lies and trickery, along with conspiracies, and schemes, various means for worldly dealings, flattering people, boot-licking, as well as strife, status, and authority. They love all of these negative things that go against the truth and positive things, which precisely demonstrates the wicked nature of antichrists. Aren’t these pieces of evidence compelling? (Yes.) Although these pieces of evidence are all compelling, there are only two parts which cannot yet be considered complete. Today we will continue to discuss the third part of how antichrists are wicked, insidious, and deceitful. This third part is certainly different from the first and second parts, but it is related to them. How is it related? All three parts discuss this essence—the antichrist’s wicked nature. How is it different? In this part, what their wicked nature loves and needs, as well as what things they hate, are different from what the previous two parts discussed—the content is different. This difference is not to say that an antichrist also likes certain positive things or that they also hate some negative things; rather it consists of another part, which is not just about what they love or need, but is elevated to what this wicked force of antichrists esteems—to put it another way, what they worship or admire. Some people may say, “Terms like ‘esteem,’ ‘worship,’ and ‘admire’ should be used for interpretations of positive things, so how can they be applied to antichrists? Are these terms appropriate?” These terms are neither commendatory nor derogatory—they are neutral. Therefore, using them here does not violate any principles and is permissible.
III. A Dissection of the Things Antichrists Worship and Admire
What do antichrists worship and admire? First of all, it is certain that they do not worship the truth, God, or anything beautiful or good related to God. So, what exactly do they worship? Can you think of anything? Let Me give you a hint. Those people in religion who believe in the Lord, how did they sink into Christianity? Why are they now characterized as a religion, as a sect, and not as the church of God, the house of God, or the object of God’s work? They have religious teachings; they compile the work that God once did and the words that God once spoke into a book, into teaching materials, and then they open schools, and recruit and train various theologians. What do these theologians study? Is it the truth? (No.) What then do they study? (Theological knowledge.) They study theological knowledge and theories, which have nothing to do with the work of God or the truth spoken by God. They replace the words of God and the work of the Holy Spirit with theological knowledge, and that’s how they sink into Christianity or Catholicism. What is esteemed in religion? If you go to a church, and someone asks how long you have believed in God, and you say you just started believing, they won’t pay any attention to you. But if you go in with a Bible and say, “I just graduated from such-and-such theological seminary,” they will invite you to take a seat of honor. If you are a lay believer, unless you have a prominent social status, they won’t bother with you. This is Christianity, and that’s how the religious world is. Those in churches who preach and have status, position, and prestige are a group of people trained in theological seminaries to possess theological knowledge and theories, and they are essentially the main body holding up Christianity. Christianity trains such people to get on stage and preach, to spread the gospel and do work everywhere. They believe that with talents such as these theology students, preaching pastors, and theologians, the existence of Christianity is ensured to this day, and these people become the value and capital of Christianity’s existence. If a church’s pastor is a graduate of a theological seminary, discusses the Bible well, has read some spiritual books, and has some knowledge and eloquence, then that church’s attendance will flourish and it will become much more famous than other churches. What do these people in Christianity esteem? Knowledge, theological knowledge. Where does this knowledge come from? Isn’t it passed down from ancient times? There have been scriptures since ancient times, passed down from generation to generation, and that’s how everyone reads and learns them to this day. People divide the Bible into various sections, compile different versions, and encourage study and learning, but their study of the Bible is not to understand the truth in order to know God, nor is it to understand God’s will in order to fear God and shun evil; rather it is to study the knowledge and mysteries of the Bible, to figure out which events at what times have fulfilled which prophecy of Revelation, and when the great disasters and the millennium will come—they study these. Does their study relate to the truth? (No, it doesn’t.) Why do they study things that have nothing to do with the truth? It is because the more they study, the more they feel they understand, and the more words and doctrines they are equipped with, the higher their qualifications become. The higher their qualifications, the greater they feel their abilities are, and the more they believe that they will finally be blessed in their faith, that they will go to heaven after death, or that the living will be caught up in the air to meet the Lord. These are their religious notions, which are not at all in line with God’s words.
The pastors and elders of the religious world are all people who study biblical knowledge and theology; they are hypocritical Pharisees resisting God. So how are they different from antichrists hidden in the church? Next, let’s talk about the connection between the two. Are those in Christianity and Catholicism who study the Bible, theology, and even the history of God’s work truly believers? Are they different from the believers and followers of God about whom He speaks? In God’s eyes, are they believers? No, they study theology, they study God, but they do not follow God or bear witness to Him. Their study of God is the same as those who study history, philosophy, law, biology, or astronomy. It’s just that they don’t like science or other subjects—they specifically like to study theology. What is the outcome of their seeking out bits and pieces of God’s work to study God? Can they discover God’s existence? No, never. Can they understand God’s will? (No.) Why? Because they live in words, in knowledge, in philosophy, in the human mind and in human thoughts; they will never see God or be enlightened by the Holy Spirit. How does God classify them? As nonbelievers, as unbelievers. These unbelievers and nonbelievers mingle within the so-called Christian community, acting as believers in God, as Christians, but in reality do they have true worship for God? Do they have true submission? (No.) Why is that? One thing is certain: A considerable number of them do not believe in God’s existence in their hearts; they do not believe that God created the world and is sovereign over all things, and they believe even less that God can become flesh. What does this unbelief mean? It means to doubt and deny. They even adopt an attitude of not hoping that the prophecies spoken by God, especially those concerning disasters, will be fulfilled or come to pass. This is their attitude toward belief in God, and it is the essence and true face of their so-called faith. These people study God because they are particularly interested in the subject and knowledge of theology, and in the historical facts of God’s work; they are purely a group of intellectuals studying theology. These intellectuals do not believe in the existence of God, so how do they react when God comes to work, when God’s words are fulfilled? What is their first reaction when they hear that God has become flesh and started a new work? “Impossible!” Whoever preaches God’s new name and God’s new work, they condemn that person, and they even want to kill or eliminate him. What kind of manifestation is this? Is this not the manifestation of a typical antichrist? What difference is there between them and the Pharisees, chief priests, and scribes of old? They are hostile toward God’s work, toward God’s judgment in the last days, toward God becoming flesh, and even more so, they are hostile to the fulfillment of God’s prophecies. They believe, “If You do not become flesh, if You are in the form of a spiritual body, then You are God; if You are incarnated and become a person, then You are not God, and we do not acknowledge You.” What does this imply? It means that as long as they are here, they will not allow God to become flesh. Isn’t this a typical antichrist? This is a genuine antichrist. Does the religious world engage in this kind of argument? The voice of this argument is loud and very strong, saying, “God becoming flesh is wrong and impossible! If He is incarnate, then He must be false!” There are also people who say, “They clearly believe in a human being; they are just misled!” If they can say this, then if they were present during the time when the Lord Jesus appeared and worked two thousand years ago, they would not believe in the Lord Jesus. Now they believe in the Lord Jesus, but in fact, they only believe in the name of the Lord Jesus, in the two words “Lord Jesus,” and they believe in a vague God in heaven. Therefore, they are not believers in God, they are nonbelievers. They do not believe in the existence of God, in the incarnation of God, in the creation work of God, and even less in the work of God’s redemption for all humanity through being crucified to the cross. The theology they study is a kind of religious theory or thesis, nothing more than seemingly plausible fallacies that mislead people. What inevitable connection do these so-called theological intellectuals in Christianity have with the antichrists in our church? What is the connection between their various behaviors and the nature essence of the antichrists we discuss? Why talk about them? Let’s hold off talking about the people in Christianity for now; instead, let’s look at how those classified as antichrists treat the truth, and from their attitude toward the truth, let’s see what they actually esteem. First of all, after they grasp some truths, how do they understand these truths? How do they treat these truths? What is their attitude toward accepting these truths? Do they accept these words as their path of practice, or do they equip them as a kind of theory, and then go and preach them to others? (They treat them as a kind of theory to preach.) They treat them as a kind of theory to learn, analyze, and study, and after studying, they learn them in their mind and in their thoughts; they remember them, can discuss them, and speak them fluently, and then they parade them everywhere. No matter how long they keep talking, there is one thing you cannot see, that no matter how much doctrine they talk about, no matter how well they can speak, no matter how many people they speak to, how fluently, how much content, or whether it is in accordance with the truth, you cannot see any results from them—you cannot see their practice. What does this indicate? They do not accept the truth. What have they turned the truth into? A tool to flaunt themselves. For example, God tells people to be honest and explains what manifestations an honest person has, how an honest person should speak, act, and do their duty. After listening to this, what is their reaction? What impact do these words have on them? First, they never accept these words. What is their attitude? “I get it: Honest people do not lie, honest people tell the truth to others and can open their hearts, honest people do their duties loyally, not perfunctorily.” They keep these words as a theory in their hearts. Can this kind of theory, once it takes root in their hearts, change them? (No.) Then why do they still remember it? They like the correctness of these words, and they use these correct theories to package themselves, achieving a higher regard from others. What is it that people are regarding highly? It is their ability to speak the right words fluently and at length—that’s what these people want. After hearing these words, have they taken them seriously? (No, they haven’t.) Why not? How can you tell? (They don’t practice them.) Why don’t they practice them? In their hearts, they think, “So these are God’s words? Simple, I remember them after hearing them once. I can recite how an honest person should act after hearing it once; you all still need to take notes and ponder over it, but I don’t!” They consider God’s words a kind of theory or knowledge; they don’t ponder how to be an honest person in their hearts, they don’t compare themselves with this, they don’t examine their actions to see how they fall short of being an honest person or what actions they take that go against the principles of being an honest person, and they never think, “These are God’s words, so they are the truth: people should be honest, so how should one act in order to be an honest person? How can I act in a way that pleases God? What have I done that is dishonest? Which behaviors are not those of an honest person?” Do they think like this? (No, they don’t.) What do they think then? They think, “So this is an honest person? This is the truth? Isn’t this just a theory, a slogan? Just adopt a high moral tone, there’s no need to put it into practice.” Why don’t they put it into practice? They feel, “If I tell others whatever is in my heart, wouldn’t I be exposing myself? If I expose myself and others see through me, will they still think highly of me? If I speak, will others still listen? The meaning of God’s words is that an honest person cannot lie; without lying, wouldn’t there be no privacy left in people’s hearts? Wouldn’t that let others see right through them? Wouldn’t living like that be foolish?” This is their viewpoint. It means that when they accept a theory they consider to be right, they get ideas in their hearts. What are these ideas? Why do I say they are wicked? They first analyze the effects these words can have on them, the advantages and disadvantages they present to them. Once they analyze the words and find that they are not to their advantage, they think, “I can’t practice like this, I won’t do this, I’m not that foolish, I won’t be as foolish and simple as you! No matter when, I must always stick to my own ideas and maintain my own views. You may have a hundred good ideas, but it’s my way or the highway; I can’t expose the scheme in my heart—being an honest person is for fools!” In one respect, they deny that God’s words are the truth; in another, they remember some relatively essential phrases to package themselves, making people view them more like a genuine believer in God, more like a spiritual person. This is what they calculate in their hearts.
From the reaction that antichrists have to the truth after hearing it, it is evident that they are not interested in the truth and do not love it. What do they love? They love correct, fresh, and somewhat more refined theoretical knowledge that can package them more perfectly, more honorably, with more dignity, and make people worship them more. Isn’t this wicked? (Yes.) What about it is wicked? No matter which aspect of the truth an antichrist fellowships about, they can always conjure up a set of seemingly plausible theories or correct words to mislead people and make them follow them, which is just as wicked as Satan. An antichrist’s wickedness is manifested in their wicked schemes, premeditations, and a complete set of plans, wanting to wave the banner of reading God’s words to find a theoretical basis for carrying out their wickedness; this is the antichrist’s wickedness. They quote God’s words out of context solely to mislead people and show themselves off. When they listen to fellowships and sermons and hear a fresh word that they can make use of, they immediately note it down. Foolish people see such behavior and think, “How they hunger and thirst for righteousness, taking notes whenever they hear a sermon, and how much spiritual understanding they must have, noting down every crucial point!” Is their way of taking notes the same as other people? No, it isn’t. Some people take notes because they think, “This is a good statement. I don’t understand it, so I need to note it down and apply it later in practice, so that I have a path and principles in my practice.” Does the antichrist think this way? What is their standpoint? They think, “I noted down an item of truth today that none of you heard, and I won’t tell anyone or fellowship about it with others—I got it, and one day I’ll speak to you all about it and show off my talents to let you know that I really understand the truth, and everyone will show their approval.” You might think that antichrists love and thirst for the truth because they take notes like this and their notes are quite accurate, but what happens after they finish taking notes? They close their notebook, and that’s it. When they become a preacher one day and they don’t know what to preach about, they quickly flip through their notebook, organize the content of their sermon, read it, memorize it, and write it from memory until they have it all clear in their mind. Only then do they feel “sure of themselves,” thinking that they finally have “the truth” and can blow hot air anywhere they go. One characteristic of what these people talk about is that it’s all hollow doctrines, arguments, and regulations. When you have specific difficulties or discover issues and seek solutions from them, they still just give you a bunch of doctrines, speaking clearly and logically. If you ask them how to put it into practice, they are at a loss for words. If they cannot articulate it, then there is a serious problem, and it proves that they do not understand the truth. People who do not understand the truth and who do not love the truth often treat it as just a kind of saying or theory. And what happens in the end? After many years of believing in God, when something befalls them, they cannot see through it, they cannot submit, and they do not know how to seek the truth. When someone fellowships with them, they have a “famous saying” with which they respond: “Don’t tell me anything, I understand everything. Back when I was preaching, you hadn’t even learned to walk yet!” This is their “famous saying.” They claim to understand everything, so why do they get stuck whenever issues arise? As someone who understands, why can’t you take any action? Why does this matter hinder and confuse you? Do you understand the truth or not? If you understand it, why can’t you accept it? If you understand it, why can’t you submit? What is the first thing that people should do once they understand the truth? They should submit; there is nothing else. Some people say, “I understand everything—don’t fellowship with me, I don’t need help from others.” It’s fine if they don’t need people to help them, but what’s a pity is that when they are weak, those doctrines they understand are of no use at all. They don’t even want to do their duties, and an evil desire to abandon their belief also emerges in them. After so many years of preaching theological theories, just like that they stop believing, and just like that they walk away—do they have any stature? (No, they don’t.) Without stature, there is no life. If you have life, why can’t you overcome such a small matter? You’re quite eloquent, aren’t you? Then persuade yourself. If you can’t even convince yourself, then what exactly is it that you understand? Is it the truth? The truth can resolve practical difficulties for people, and it can also resolve people’s corrupt dispositions. Why can’t those “truths” that you understand resolve even your own difficulties? What exactly is it that you understand? It’s just doctrines.
Regarding the seventh manifestation of antichrists—that they are wicked, insidious, and deceitful—I just spoke about the third part of this manifestation: They esteem knowledge and scholarship. Antichrists esteem knowledge and scholarship—what about this can illustrate their wicked disposition? Why is it said that esteeming knowledge and scholarship means that they have a wicked essence? We must certainly talk about the facts here, as if we discussed only empty words or theories, people might adopt a one-sided and less thorough understanding of this. First, let’s start with something further back in history. While I speak, hold up My words to the actions and behaviors of antichrists, and hold them up to antichrists’ manifestations and essence. Let’s first talk about the Pharisees from two thousand years ago. At that time, the Pharisees were hypocritical people. When the incarnate God revealed Himself and worked for the first time, not only did the Pharisees not accept a single shred of the truth, they even fervently condemned and resisted the Lord Jesus, and thus were cursed by God. This can confirm that the Pharisees are a classic representative of antichrists. “Antichrists” has become another name for the Pharisees, and in essence, the Pharisees are the same type of people as antichrists. Therefore, starting with the Pharisees to dissect the wicked nature of antichrists is a shortcut. So, what did the Pharisees do that showed people that they possessed an antichrist’s wicked nature? Just now I mentioned that antichrists esteem knowledge and scholarship; to which people are knowledge and scholarship closely related? Who are the personifications of these? Do they refer to master’s and doctoral students? No, that would be straying too far—they refer to the Pharisees. The reason why the Pharisees are hypocritical, the reason they are wicked, is that they are sick of the truth but love knowledge, so they only study the Scripture and pursue scriptural knowledge yet never accept the truth or God’s words. They do not pray to God when reading His words, nor do they seek or fellowship on the truth. Instead, they study God’s words, studying what God has said and done, thereby turning God’s words into a theory, a subject to teach to others, which is called scholarly study. Why do they engage in scholarly study? What are they studying? In their eyes, this is not God’s words or God’s expression, and even less so the truth. Rather, it is a type of scholarship, or one could even say it is theological knowledge. In their view, to propagate this knowledge, this scholarship, is to spread God’s way, to spread the gospel—this is what they call preaching, but all they preach is theological knowledge.
How are the wicked parts of the Pharisees manifested? First, let’s start our discussion with how the Pharisees treated God incarnate, and then you might understand a bit more. Speaking of God incarnate, we must first talk about what kind of family and background God incarnate was born into two thousand years ago. First of all, the Lord Jesus was not born into a wealthy family at all—His lineage was not so distinguished. His foster father, Joseph, was a carpenter, and His mother, Mary, was an ordinary believer. The identity and social status of His parents represent the family background into which the Lord Jesus was born, and it is clear that He was born into a common family. What does “common” mean? It refers to the ordinary masses, to an average household at the bottom rung of society, having nothing to do with noble families, not linked to a prominent status in the least, and certainly not aristocratic. Born into an ordinary family, with ordinary parents, lacking any illustrious social status or distinguished family background, it is clear that the background and family of the Lord Jesus’ birth were as ordinary as they come. Does the Bible record that the Lord Jesus received any special education? Did He receive education from a seminary? Was He trained by a high priest? Did He read many books like Paul did? Did He have close contact or dealings with the social elite or the high priests of Judaism? No, He didn’t. Looking at the social status of the Lord Jesus’ birth family, it is clear that He would not have come into contact with the upper echelon of Jewish scribes and Pharisees; He was basically limited to living among ordinary Jews. Occasionally, He would go to the synagogue, and the people He encountered were all common folk. What does this show? As the Lord Jesus was growing up, before He formally took up His work, the background in which He was brought up remained unchanged. After the age of twelve, His household did not begin to prosper and He did not become wealthy, let alone have the chance to interact with people in the upper classes of social or religious circles, and He also did not get the opportunity to receive higher education during His upbringing. What message does this give to later generations? This ordinary and normal person, who was God incarnate, had neither the opportunity nor the conditions to receive higher education. He was the same as ordinary people, He lived in a common social environment, in an ordinary family, and nothing was special about Him. Precisely because of this, after hearing about the sermons and actions of the Lord Jesus, those scribes and Pharisees dared to stand up and openly judge, blaspheme, and condemn Him. What basis did they have for their condemnation? Undoubtedly, it was based on the laws and regulations of the Old Testament. First, the Lord Jesus led His disciples not to observe the Sabbath—He still worked on the Sabbath. In addition, He did not observe the laws and regulations and did not go to the temple, and when He encountered sinners, some people asked Him how to deal with them, but He did not handle them according to the law, instead showing them mercy. None of these aspects of the Lord Jesus’ actions conformed to the religious notions of the Pharisees. Because they did not love the truth and thus hated the Lord Jesus, they seized the pretext of the Lord Jesus violating the law to fervently condemn Him, and determined that He was to be put to death. If the Lord Jesus had been born into a prominent and distinguished family, if He had been highly educated, and if He had been on close terms with these scribes and Pharisees, then things at that time would not have gone for Him as they did later on—they might have changed. It was precisely because of His ordinariness, His normality, and the background of His birth that He was condemned by the Pharisees. What was their basis for condemning the Lord Jesus? It was those regulations and laws that they held on to, which they believed would never change for all of eternity. Pharisees held the theological theories that they grasped as knowledge and a tool with which to appraise and condemn people, even using it on the Lord Jesus. This is how the Lord Jesus was condemned. The way they appraised or treated a person never depended on the person’s essence, nor on whether what the person preached was the truth, and less still on the source of the words the person said—the way Pharisees appraised or condemned a person depended only on the regulations, words, and doctrine they grasped in the Old Testament of the Bible. Although the Pharisees knew in their hearts that what the Lord Jesus said and did was not a sin or a violation of the law, they still condemned Him, because the truths He expressed and the signs and wonders He performed made many people follow and praise Him. The Pharisees were increasingly hateful toward Him, and even wanted to remove Him from the picture. They did not recognize that the Lord Jesus was the Messiah who was to come, nor did they recognize that His words had the truth, less still that His work adhered to the truth. They judged the Lord Jesus to be speaking presumptuous words and driving out demons by Beelzebub, the prince of demons. That they could pin these sins on the Lord Jesus shows how much hatred they had for Him. Therefore, they worked fervently to deny that the Lord Jesus was sent by God, and that He was the Son of God, and that He was the Messiah. What they meant was, “Would God do things in this way? If God were incarnate, He would have been born into a family of formidable status. And He would have to accept tutelage from scribes and from the Pharisees. He would have to study the Scripture systematically, have a grasp of scriptural knowledge, and be equipped with all of the knowledge in the Scripture before being able to bear the name of ‘God incarnate.’” But the Lord Jesus was not equipped with this knowledge, so they condemned Him, saying, “Firstly, You are not thus qualified, so You cannot be God; secondly, without this scriptural knowledge You cannot do the work of God, much less can You be God; thirdly, You must not work outside the temple—You are not working in the temple now, but are always among the sinners, so the work You do is beyond the scope of the Scripture, which makes it even less possible that You are God.” Where did the basis of their condemnation come from? From the Scripture, from the mind of man, and from the theological education they had received. Because the Pharisees were swollen with notions, imaginings, and knowledge, they believed this knowledge to be right, to be the truth, to be a valid basis, and at no time could God contravene these things. Did they seek the truth? They did not. What did they seek? A supernatural God that appeared in the form of a spiritual body. Therefore, they determined the parameters for God’s work, denied His work, and judged whether God was right or wrong according to the notions, imaginings, and knowledge of man. And what was the end result of this? Not only did they condemn God’s work, they nailed God incarnate to the cross. This is what came of their using their notions, imaginings, and knowledge to assess God, and this is what is wicked about them.
Judging from the Pharisees’ esteem of knowledge and scholarship, where does their wickedness lie? How is it manifested? How can we dig into and dissect the wicked nature of such people? The Pharisees’ reverence of knowledge and scholarship is known, and there’s no need to go into it in detail. So, what exactly is the wicked nature revealed here? How can we dissect and see through the wicked nature of such people? Someone speak up. (They use theoretical knowledge to oppose the essence of God; this is one of their manifestations of wickedness.) Opposition is an action, so why did they oppose? Opposition carries a bit of a vicious disposition, but we haven’t yet spoken of wickedness. Why did they oppose? Was it a matter of them liking or disliking Him? They disliked this kind of God, believing, “God should be in heaven, the third heaven at that, admired by all, unreachable by humans, inscrutable to them, the One that all of humanity, all creatures, and even all living things in the universe should look up to—that is God! Now God has come, but You were born in a carpenter’s home, Your parents are just ordinary people, and You were even born in a manger. The background of Your birth is not just ordinary, it’s a step below ordinary and below common—how could people accept this? If God really were to come, He couldn’t come like this!” Isn’t this how people set rules? Everyone sets rules this way. Actually, deep down they also vaguely felt that the Lord Jesus was not an ordinary person, that what the Lord Jesus said was right, and that the several sins that people accused Him of did not actually match the facts. The Lord Jesus could heal the sick and cast out demons, and they could neither find any fault nor seize upon anything in the words and sermons that He spoke and delivered, but they still couldn’t accept it, and they still doubted in their hearts: “Is this really what God is like? God is so great in heaven, so if He becomes flesh and comes to earth, He should be even greater, admired by all people, passing among noble families, speaking eloquently, and never revealing so much as a single human flaw or weakness. Besides, He should first use His knowledge, His scholarship, and His skills to subdue the religious officials in the temple. He should win these people over first; that would be God’s will.” Regarding what the Lord Jesus did, they didn’t buy it, nor did they want to accept or acknowledge this fact. Not wanting to acknowledge this fact isn’t a big issue; deep inside them, they possessed something even more deadly: If such a person was God, then all of the religious officials could be God, all of them were more like God than God Himself, and all were more qualified to be Christ than the Lord Jesus was. Isn’t this troublesome? (Yes.) While they were condemning the Lord Jesus, they were also opposing and scorning every aspect of the background related to where God incarnate chose to be incarnated this time. We haven’t yet discussed where the wickedness of the Pharisees lies—let’s continue our fellowship.
God becomes flesh as an ordinary person, which means God humbles Himself from a lofty image, identity, and position above all things to become a completely ordinary person. When He becomes an ordinary person, He does not choose to be born into a distinguished, wealthy family; the background of His birth is very common, even shabby. If we look at this matter from the perspective of an ordinary person, someone with conscience, rationality, and humanity, all that God does is worthy of people’s veneration and love. How should people treat it? (With veneration.) An ordinary and normal person who follows God should praise God’s loveliness for the fact that God humbles Himself from a lofty status into an extraordinarily ordinary person—God’s humility and hiddenness is too lovely! This is something that neither any corrupt person nor devils and Satan can achieve. Is this a positive or negative thing? (A positive thing.) What does this positive thing, this phenomenon, and this fact precisely illustrate? God’s humility and hiddenness, God’s loveliness and dearness. Another fact is that God loves people; God’s love is genuine, it isn’t false. God’s love is not empty speech, not just a slogan, nor an illusion, but it is real and factual. God Himself becomes flesh and endures humanity’s misunderstandings, as well as their ridicule, slander, and blasphemy. He humbles Himself and becomes an ordinary person, not lofty in appearance, with no special talents and certainly no profound knowledge or scholarship—for what purpose? It is to approach the people He has chosen and intends to save with this identity and a human appearance that will be most easily accessible to them. Doesn’t all this that God does constitute the price that He paid? (Yes.) Can anyone else do this? No one can. For example, some women who particularly love beauty always wear makeup and do not go out without it. If you asked such a woman to go out plain-faced or to appear on stage without makeup, could she do it? She couldn’t. She hasn’t even been humiliated in this case; just going out without makeup is impossible for her, she can’t let go of even that bit of vanity, that bit of fleshly profit. Then what about God? When God humbles Himself to be born among the lowest of society as a most ordinary person, what does He give up? He gives up His dignity. Why is God able to give up His dignity? (In order to love and save people.) It is in order to love people and to save them, which reveals God’s disposition. So, how does this involve the loss of dignity? How should this matter be viewed? Some people say, “What dignity does God lose? Don’t You still have the identity of God even after becoming flesh? Don’t You still have people who follow and listen to Your preaching? Aren’t You still doing God’s own work—what dignity do You lose?” This “loss of dignity” includes several aspects. In one respect, God’s motivation for doing all this is for the sake of people, but can people understand it? Even the people who follow Him cannot understand it. What is there contained in this lack of understanding? There is misunderstanding, misinterpreting, and strange looks or looks of contempt from certain people. God is in the spiritual world, in the midst of all things, and all humanity lies beneath the feet of God, but now that God has become flesh, it is equivalent to Him living in the same environment with people as equals. He has to face humanity’s ridicule, slander, misunderstanding, and sarcasm, as well as their notions, enmity, and judgment—these are what He has to face. While He is facing these things, do you think He has any dignity? According to God’s identity, He shouldn’t suffer these things, people shouldn’t treat God like this, and He shouldn’t put up with these things; these aren’t things God should put up with, but when God becomes flesh He has to accept them, He has to put up with all of this, and nothing is left out. Corrupt humanity can say many pleasant-sounding things to God in heaven, but they have no regard for God incarnate. They think, “God becoming flesh? You are so ordinary and normal, without anything exceptional; it seems You can’t do anything to me!” They dare to say anything! When it comes to their own profit or their reputation, they dare to utter any judgment or condemnation. Therefore, when God becomes flesh, although He interacts with humans and lives together with corrupt humanity, He has this status and enjoys this identity, in fact, at the same time He has to endure every kind of humiliation brought on Him by His identity. He loses all His dignity—this is the first thing God has to endure, facing all the confusion, misunderstanding, doubt, temptation, rebellion, judgment, duplicity, etc., that corrupt humanity acts out toward Him. He has to endure all this—that is His loss of dignity. What else? There is essentially no difference between the incarnation and the Spirit—is this correct? (Yes.) There is essentially no difference, but there is one aspect: The flesh can never replace the Spirit. That is, the physical body is limited by many functions. For example, the Spirit can travel through space, is not affected by time, climate, or various environments, and is omnipresent, while the physical body is subject to these limitations. What loss has been made to God’s dignity? What’s the difficulty in this matter? God Himself has this ability, but because He is limited by the flesh, during the period of His work, He has to hold to the work of the flesh conscientiously, quietly, and obediently until the work is completed. During the work of the flesh, the God that people see and can understand in their notions is the flesh that their eyes can see. In their imaginings and notions, is there a certain limit to God’s greatness, God’s almightiness, God’s wisdom, and even God’s authority? (Yes, there is.) To a large extent, they are subject to a certain limitation. What causes this limitation? (Incarnation.) It is caused by incarnation. It can be said that it is a kind of trouble effected by the flesh on God Himself. Of course, the word “trouble” is a bit imprecise to use here, but it is appropriate to say it this way—it can only be said this way. Does this trouble have a certain impact on people’s understanding of God and on people’s true association and interaction with God in order to love and submit to God? (Yes.) It does have a certain effect. As long as a person has seen God’s flesh, as long as they have had dealings with God’s flesh, as long as they have heard God’s flesh speak, it is possible that in their lifetime, God’s image, God’s wisdom, God’s essence and God’s disposition will forever remain in what they recognize, see, and understand in this flesh. This is unfair to God. Isn’t this the case? (Yes, it is.) It’s unfair to God. So why does God still do this? Because only by means of God becoming flesh can the best results of God’s purifying and saving people be achieved—God chooses this path. God becomes flesh and lives face-to-face among people, allowing people to hear His words, see His every move, and see His disposition, even His character, and His joys and sorrows. Even though this disposition and these joys and sorrows can develop notions when people witness them, affecting people’s comprehension of God’s essence, and limiting people’s comprehension, God would rather be misunderstood by people and still choose this method by which to achieve the best results of saving people. Therefore, from the point of view of people’s understanding of God’s original face, and God’s true identity, status, and essence, He has sacrificed His dignity. Couldn’t this be said? That is from this point of view. Ponder it carefully: In the various aspects of what God has paid and done, according to people’s understanding, is there anything equivalent to those theories and slogans of the Pharisees and antichrists? There are none. For example, when the Pharisees said, “God is honorable,” how did they understand this honorableness? How should God’s honorableness be realized in their eyes? It’s just that He is lofty. Isn’t it a doctrine that “God is honorable, God is so honorable”? (Yes.) What do they believe is the honorableness of God? It is that if God came to the world, He would have a prominent position, top-notch knowledge and talent, top-notch ability, first-rate eloquence, and a first-rate and choice appearance. What is that honorableness they believed in? It is what people can see. Isn’t this kind of honorableness something Satan does? (Yes.) God doesn’t do that! Look at what kind of people God selected for these chosen people of God, and look at what kind of people are the outstanding elites of Satan’s world. By contrasting them in this way, you’ll know what kind of person God saves and what kind of person cannot be saved. Those who are particularly arrogant, self-righteous, gifted, and talented are the least likely to accept the truth. Their speech is full of knowledge, extremely eloquent, and makes people worship and admire them, but their weak point is not accepting the truth, and they are sick of the truth and hate it, which determines that they will take the path of destruction. Then again, none of God’s chosen people have any special gifts or talents, but they can accept the truth, submit to God, give up their fame, gain, and status to follow God, and are willing to do their duty. These are the kinds of people who are saved by God. Who do the unbelievers worship? They all worship high-level intellectuals and people with prominent family status. Regarding gifts, specialties, and family status, we do not have any of these—we are the same. What do you think of this? God doesn’t do such things—is it that simple? Why didn’t God arrange it this way? God’s will is in this. It is all too easy for God to arrange in what family a person is born, and what knowledge they can learn. Can God act in this way? (Yes.) He can indeed! Then why didn’t God arrange for us to be born into wealthy, prominent families? This is the loveliness of God, this is the revelation of the essence of God, and only those who understand the truth can see through this matter. After God becomes flesh, no matter how great people’s notions may be, how great the difficulties God encounters in His work, how great the obstacles He faces, how great the ridicule and slander He receives, and no matter how much of His dignity is lost after He becomes flesh in this way, does He care? He doesn’t care. So, what does He care about? If you can understand this point, then you really know that God is lovely. What does God care about? What is God’s painstaking intention in paying this price and putting forth such a great effort? What exactly did He do it for? (For this group whom God chose to be able to understand God better, to have better contact with God through His incarnate flesh, and then to have a true understanding of God.) Have an understanding of God—so is this still pretty beneficial to God? Did God pay so much for this one goal? Yes or no? Did God painstakingly work for 6,000 years just to make people understand God? Tell Me, after God created people, after humanity distanced themselves from God and followed Satan, and every human being started spending their lives like a living demon—who is the happiest? (Satan.) Who is the victim? (People.) Then who is the saddest? (God.) Are you the saddest? (No.) In reality, no one can see through these things. Nobody knows these things themselves: They accept whatever they live to become. When you ask them to practice the truth, they don’t think this can do any good. They persistently live by their notions and imaginings, and have always rebelled against God. The saddest and most heartbroken one is actually God. God created humanity; do you think that God cares about the immediate state of human existence, or whether their life is good or not? (He cares.) God is the most concerned, and maybe the people involved don’t feel it, and don’t actually understand it themselves. Living in this world, humanity was like this a hundred years ago, and now it is still like this, multiplying generation after generation, and living like this generation after generation, some people doing well, some poor—life is full of ups and downs. Generation after generation people arrive, wear different clothes, eat the same food, but the social structure and systems change little by little; people unwittingly arrive at the present—are they aware? They are not aware. So, who is the most aware? (God.) It is God who cares most about this matter. One of the things God doesn’t forget is how the people whom He has created live, what the current state of people’s lives is, whether they are living well, what people eat and wear, what their future will be like, and what people think about every day in their hearts. If all people think about every day is evil, all about how to change and go against the laws of nature, how to fight against Heaven, how to follow the wicked trend of the world, does God look at this and feel good about it? (No, He doesn’t.) So, God doesn’t feel good and that’s it? Doesn’t He have to do something about it? (Yes, He does.) He has to find a way to make these people live well, to let them understand the principles of conducting oneself, let them know to worship God, to submit to all the laws of nature, to God’s orchestration and arrangement, so that people can live with human likeness, and God will be relieved. Even if God leaves these people, they can still live in such an environment normally, without suffering anything from Satan—this is God’s will. When Satan sees that people can submit to God and live out human likeness, it is completely disgraced and fails, so it completely abandons these people and never pays attention to them again. So, who does Satan care about? It only cares about those who believe in God but do not pursue the truth, those who do not read God’s words and do not pray to God, those who do their duty half-heartedly, and those who always want to find someone to get married and start a family and career with. It wants to seduce these people, to mislead them into distancing themselves from God, not doing their duty, and betraying God, till they are cast out by Him—then it is thoroughly happy. The more you don’t pursue the truth, the happier it becomes, the more you pursue fame, gain, and status, and the more you are perfunctory in doing your duty, the happier it becomes. If you distance yourself and betray God, it becomes even happier—isn’t this the mentality of Satan? Isn’t the mentality of antichrists like this? Those of Satan’s ilk all have this mentality. They want to seduce anyone who they see doesn’t earnestly believe in God, anyone who pays attention to learning knowledge and pursuing fame, gain, and status, and anyone who doesn’t attend to their proper task in doing their duty. When they meet people like this, they share a common language with them, they have a lot to say when they’re together, and they speak their minds freely, without scruples. How does God feel when He sees these people not pursuing the truth? He feels anxious! Therefore, what is the cause of all this price God has paid? It is because of His concern, care and worry for humanity. God carries these concerns, cares, and worries about people in His heart, and because God possesses such an attitude toward people, His work is then produced step by step. No matter whether in people’s eyes God is humble and hidden, He truly loves people, He is trustworthy, or He is great, God believes that all these costs are worth it and can be rewarded. What does this reward mean? It means that the things He worries about in His heart will not happen again, and the people He is concerned about in His heart can live according to His will, to the way and the direction He has taught and guided them along, and these people will no longer be corrupted by Satan—they will no longer live in suffering, and God’s worries will disappear and God will be relieved. So, regarding all of what God has done—no matter what His primary motivation is, no matter how big or small His plan is—aren’t these all something positive? (Yes, they are.) These are all positive things. Regardless of whether the way God works is inconspicuous to people, whether it is worth mentioning or not, regardless of how people pass judgment on the way God works to judge and save people, judging from all the things God has done and all the price He can pay, is God not worthy of praise? (Yes, He is.) So, is God great or small? (He is great.) So great! No one among mankind can pay such a price. Some people say that “Maternal love is the greatest among mankind.” Is maternal love as great as this? Generally, after children have lived their own lives independently, their mothers just don’t fuss over them as long as they can get by. In fact, they can’t fuss over their children even if they want to. So how does God treat this humanity? For how many thousands of years has He endured it? God has endured it for six thousand years and has not given up even now. Just for that little bit of worry and concern, God paid such a great price. What does such a huge price look like in the eyes of the Pharisees and those antichrists? It is condemned by them, judged by them, even blasphemed by them. From this point of view, aren’t those antichrists wicked in nature? (Yes, they are.) God has done such praiseworthy things, and God’s essence and what He has and is are so worthy of people’s praise. Not only do they not praise Him, but they even use various excuses and theories to condemn and judge Him, and even refuse to acknowledge that He is Christ. Aren’t these people hateful? (Yes, they are.) Aren’t they wicked? Judging from their wicked behavior, don’t they worship knowledge and learning? Don’t they worship power and status? (Yes, they do.) The more positive things there are, the more worthy of people’s praise, remembrance, and dissemination, the more they will be condemned by antichrists. This is one revelation of the wicked nature of antichrists. It must be said that the degree of antichrists’ wickedness is beyond most people with corrupt dispositions.
Let’s continue with a discussion about Paul. What kind of family was Paul born into? He was born into an intellectual family, a learned family. He was born into such a family, and the background of his birth was considered good. He was highly educated. According to current standards, he might have been the kind to study theology or go to university. Then was his knowledge and learning higher than that of most people? (Yes.) Judging from Paul’s knowledge and learning, would it have been easy for him to recognize that the Lord Jesus was Christ? (Yes, it would.) Very easy. But why did he not recognize the Lord Jesus as Christ? (He worshiped knowledge and felt that the Lord Jesus was not as knowledgeable as he was, so he did not recognize Him.) It is too simple to put it this way. If the Lord Jesus was not as knowledgeable as him, he would not be able to recognize Him. If He really had knowledge, he might be able to recognize Him. This is a bit of a semi-deduction. Now, we only say that antichrists worship knowledge; that is, when they listen to people and deal with people and matters, they have a viewpoint that allows others to see that they worship knowledge and learning. For example, if your words are very logical, high-level, clever, unfathomable, and abstract, this is exactly what he likes. Abstract and in line with logic, philosophy, and even with a certain learning—this is exactly what he wants. The Lord Jesus is the incarnation of God, and all of what He speaks is God’s words and truths. So, when people with knowledge and learning look at these words and truths, how do they evaluate them? “The words You speak are too vulgar and superficial. They are all trivial things about believing in God. They are neither profound nor unfathomable. There are no mysteries. Yet You say they are the truth. What is so high about the truth? I can also say these things!” Don’t antichrists believe this? (Yes.) They weigh it out like this, thinking, “Let me see if the things You are talking about are higher or lower than my knowledge after all.” As soon as they hear them, they challenge them, saying, “You sound like a primary school student. I’m a college student, so You’re not as good as me!” Then they find some fault with God’s words, saying, “It seems You don’t understand grammar, and sometimes the words You use while speaking are not proper. You don’t seem like God.” They look at His appearance to see whether or not He is God; they do not listen to the content of His words, they do not listen to whether what is expressed is the truth, or whether the words come from God. Is this not lacking spiritual understanding? (Yes, it is.) Therefore, antichrists also have another characteristic: They lack spiritual understanding. Because they value knowledge and learning, they don’t understand the truth. They will never be able to understand the truth. These people are destined to be the types who lack spiritual understanding. They use their knowledge to weigh every sentence God speaks. Can they understand the truth? Can they know that this is the truth? Can they finally set a definition and say that all these words spoken by God are the truth? Can they hear them? They can’t hear them. So, in their eyes how do they view the incarnate God? They think, “No matter how I look at it, He is a human being. No matter how I look at it, I can’t see the quality of God. No matter how I listen, I can’t tell which of His words are in line with the truth and which of them are the truth.” Therefore, deep down in their hearts, they think: “If You have something new and fresh, and I can gain some theory and drum up some capital off of You, then I will follow You for now and see what the result is.” But can they accept the Lord Jesus from deep in their hearts? (No, they can’t.) They will absolutely not accept Him. Why don’t they accept Him? What is the cause of this? It’s that they like knowledge too much. Their liking and the knowledge with which they are equipped and have learned blind their eyes and their mind, preventing them from seeing all that God has done. Even if what God says is obviously the truth, even if the work done by God clearly expresses God’s identity and essence, they cannot see it. Why can’t they see it? Because their knowledge and learning make them full of notions, imaginings, and verdicts about God. In the end, no matter how they listen to sermons or come into contact with God, they cannot understand what God says, let alone accept that what this person has said can change people or that it is the truth, the way, and the life. This is something they can never accept. They can never accept it, which destines them not to be saved, just like Paul. Did Paul confess that the Lord Jesus was Christ? He didn’t admit it even in the end. Some people say: “Didn’t he call out to the Lord when he was struck down on the road to Damascus? He should have confessed. How can it be said that he did not confess?” One fact proves that Paul never acknowledged the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior. That is, even after he was struck down, he still pursued trying to be Christ. Is Christ someone whom people can casually become? Christ is God incarnated into a human. He is God and no one can become Him just because they want to. Who doesn’t want to be Christ, but is that something that humans can do? This is not a matter of people wanting to do it. Paul even wanted to be Christ. Judging from Paul’s pursuit, could he recognize that the Lord Jesus is Christ and the Lord? (No, he couldn’t.) Then where did he position the identity and status of the Lord Jesus? As the Son of God. What is the Son of God? It is, “You are not God, You are the Son of God, You are smaller than God, You are the same as us; we are the sons of God, and You are also the Son of God, but God has given You a different commission and You have done different work. Were God to give me this job, I could do it and bear it up as well.” Doesn’t this mean that Paul did not acknowledge the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is God? (Yes, it does.) He believed that the God of his faith was in heaven, that this Christ was not God, and that God’s identity and status had nothing to do with this Christ. How did his comprehension and attitude toward the Lord Jesus develop? They were inferred from his knowledge and imaginings. How did he infer them? In which sentence did he see them? The Lord Jesus said, “My Father is like this or that,” and “I do this or that by My Father in Heaven,” and he heard this and thought, “You also refer to God as God? You also refer to God in heaven as Father? In that case, You are the Son of God?” Isn’t this an imagining of the human brain? This is a conclusion drawn by knowledgeable people: “If You call the God in heaven Father, and we also call Him Father, then we are brothers. You are the eldest Son, we are the second sons, and the God in heaven is our common God. So, You are not God, and we are all on equal footing. Therefore, it is not the Lord Jesus Christ who ultimately decides who gets rewarded, who is punished, and what their outcome is—it’s not the Lord Jesus Christ, but God in heaven.” These conclusions and absurd viewpoints of Paul were all obtained by using his mind to judge and analyze after studying theology and knowledge. This was the result.
Paul regarded knowledge as a life-saving straw, as his capital, and more so as the goal of his pursuit. If Paul had not worshiped knowledge, but could let go of the knowledge he had learned before, regard the Lord Jesus as the Lord, as the One that can be followed, the One that can express the truth, and regard the words of the Lord Jesus as the truth to obey and practice—the result would have been different. That Peter could deny the Lord three times was in one respect because he was afraid, and in another, he saw that the Lord Jesus was an ordinary man who was arrested and was suffering. He had weakness in his heart—that was not the fatal flaw. Neither was it a fatal flaw that he could deny Him for a moment. This is not the evidence that can ultimately determine a person’s outcome. What is it that ultimately determines their outcome? It is whether you treat God’s words as God’s words, whether you can accept, obey, and practice God’s words as the truth. Paul and Peter are two completely different examples. Peter was once weak, he once denied the Lord, and once doubted the Lord, but the final result was that Peter was perfected. Paul worked for the Lord and suffered for many years. It stands to reason that he should have been able to receive a crown, but why did he end up getting punished by God? Why were his and Peter’s outcomes different? This depends on a person’s nature essence and the path they pursue. What was the nature essence of Paul? At the very least there is an item of wickedness. He frantically pursued knowledge and status, he pursued rewards and crowns, and he ran around, worked, and paid the price for that crown, without pursuing the truth at all. Moreover, over the course of his work, he never bore witness to the words of the Lord Jesus, nor did he bear witness that the Lord Jesus is Christ, is God, or is God incarnate, that the Lord Jesus represents God, and all the words He speaks are the words spoken by God. Paul couldn’t comprehend these things. So, what was the path Paul took? He stubbornly pursued knowledge and theology, defied the truth, refused to accept the truth, and used his gifts and knowledge to do work to manage, maintain, and stabilize his status. What was his final outcome? Maybe you can’t see from the outside what punishment he received before his death, or whether he had an abnormal manifestation, but his final outcome was different from Peter’s. What did this “difference” depend on? One thing is a person’s nature essence, and the other is the path that they take. Regarding Paul’s attitude and viewpoint toward the Lord Jesus, how was his resistance different from that of normal people? Also, what is the difference between Paul denying and rejecting the Lord, and Peter denying God’s name three times and failing to acknowledge the Lord out of weakness and fear? Paul used knowledge, learning, and his gifts to do his work. He did not practice the truth at all, nor did he follow God’s way. Therefore, while he was running around and working, could you see his weakness in his letters? You didn’t, did you? Over and over he taught people what to do and encouraged people to pursue getting rewards, crowns, and a good destination. He had no experience, comprehension, or appreciation for practicing the truth. However, Peter was very low-key in his actions. He did not have those profound theories or letters that were too famous. He possessed some real comprehension and practice of the truth. Although he experienced weakness and corruption in his life, after many trials, the relationship he established with God was the relationship between man and God, which was completely different from Paul. Although Paul worked, nothing he did had anything to do with God. He did not bear testimony about God’s words, His work, His love, or His salvation of mankind, and even less about God’s will toward people or His demands. He even often told people that the Lord Jesus was the Son of God, which ultimately led to people viewing God as a Trinity. The term “Trinity” originated from Paul. If there is no such thing as “Father and Son,” can there be a “Trinity”? There cannot. Human imaginings are just too “rich.” If you can’t understand God’s incarnation, don’t pass verdicts blindly or make blind judgments. Just listen to the words of the Lord Jesus and treat Him as God, as God appearing in the flesh and becoming a human being. It’s more objective to treat it this way.
When testimony was first borne to this stage of God’s incarnation as female, many people couldn’t accept it and got stuck at this. They felt that “The words that are being spoken are all truths, the work that is being done is that of judging by words—these things seem like God’s work, and I can admit that this person is God incarnate—it’s just that this gender is not easy to accept.” But because these words are all the truth, they still reluctantly accept Him, and they think in their hearts, “I’ll follow along first and see if He really is God”—many people followed in this way. God’s creation of humanity is in the two genders of male and female, and the incarnation of God is no exception, either it’s male or it’s female. Suddenly one day someone asked Me, “How may it be understood that this time the incarnation is female?” I answered, “Well, how do you view it? God does not act in alignment with people’s notions: If you are sure that this is done by God, then people shouldn’t investigate what God does, and if you don’t understand it, then you should wait. If you seek and still don’t get results, then just see whether you can submit. If you can submit, then you are rational, but if you get stuck because of this and deny all of what God has done, then you are not rational, you are not a true believer in God. God does ten things that you view as right and in alignment with your notions, but if one thing does not align with your notions, you overturn all ten things—what kind of wretch is this? Isn’t this a devil?” When I fellowshiped like this, they said, “Yes, then I should accept it now.” After I concluded My fellowship, they immediately comprehended and accepted it—isn’t their caliber pretty good? Let’s say it is. They went on to say, “God created man and woman, and the first time God became flesh He was a man, the Son of God. This time He became flesh as a woman—wouldn’t that be the Daughter of God? Let me know if my way of understanding it is correct. When people have children they wish to have both a son and a daughter—does God also want to have both?” How should I have answered them and explained this matter? Shouldn’t this matter be taken seriously? Doesn’t it need to be corrected? Is there a problem with what they were saying? There is a problem. They said, “God has a Son, the Lord Jesus, and this time the incarnation is female, so in that case it is His Daughter. So, God has a Son and a Daughter, He has both, so there is no need for the Holy Spirit. There is the Holy Father, the Holy Son, and the Holy Daughter, this Trinity—how suitable and dignified it is! Without a Daughter, it wouldn’t be complete.” How do you feel after listening to that? You don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. Tell Me, is this not a joke? (Yes, it is.) Is there any difference between their understanding of the incarnation and Paul’s? (No.) There is no difference. If people always rely on their cleverness, imaginings, and notions to make inferences and deductions about matters of understanding God, especially approaching matters of God’s identity and essence, and they apply them with certain viewpoints, this will be troublesome, and they will make mistakes and encounter issues. So, what is the most appropriate way to deal with this matter? Some matters are more profound and abstract, they are not easy for people to understand, and it is not easy to see through to the essence and root cause of this problem; if these things do not involve the truth, or do not affect your pursuit of the truth, then what should you do? Let go of it first. What’s the use of investigating them? This matter is not yours to investigate. All you have to do is focus on life entry and be able to do your duty well. One day you will naturally understand this matter. Some people say they can’t let it go and want to investigate it, which is troublesome. You must not investigate it. People must not approach matters involving God’s identity, God’s essence, and God’s status with an attitude of investigation. If you continue to investigate, it will cause serious consequences. In serious cases, you will blaspheme God. How should people deal with matters involving God’s identity and essence? Be simple, and even if you are not quite clear about this matter, one thing is certain: He can represent God, He is the appearance of God, what He expresses is the truth, what people should accept is the truth, and it is enough to obtain the truth.
Looking at antichrists’ nature essence, what is it they worship the most? Lofty, empty, abstract so-called theological theories. To them, these theories are extremely valuable. They value and love these things so much, and they think of all sorts of ways to acquire these things, in order to stand out from the crowd. They take note of these things in their hearts and view them as capital, as stepping stones by which to realize their own life goals, not knowing that these things are fundamentally not the truth. But they like to equip themselves with these theological theories, which then become entrenched, and they take them to be the truth. They use this theological knowledge to study God’s words and the truths God expresses. When they see that God’s words and the truths God expresses are not consistent with the theological theories they advocate, they can’t stop themselves from judging and condemning God’s words. They feel no fear in their hearts, believing that they have a biblical basis for doing so. Some of them even condemn God’s words, saying, “God’s words are too tedious. Some of them aren’t logical, some aren’t grammatical, and even some of the vocabulary He uses doesn’t quite work.” They just live inside their heads and thoughts, using the knowledge and scholarship they possess to analyze and study God’s words. Many of them even use their imaginings and judgment to find, in God’s words, how God defines certain people or what destinations He decides for certain people, and then analyze and condemn those things according to what the Bible says, thus beginning to deny God’s words. As they analyze and condemn God’s words, something terrible occurs. Do you know what that is? When people analyze and study God, and when a mindset of condemnation arises in people, the Holy Spirit spurns these people and does not work in them. Is this not a terrible thing? And you know what it portends when the Holy Spirit does not work. When the Holy Spirit does not work, He steers clear of these people, which equates to their being abandoned. In other words, God will not save them. We can analyze the reason. Where do these theological theories they’ve fortified themselves with for half their lives come from? Whom do they represent? They are not clear on this at heart. In actuality, these things are not from God at all, nor are they pure human understanding. They are people’s fallacious interpretations, and as such, one can say they are from Satan and completely represent Satan. What else does this theological knowledge include? Apart from fallacious interpretations of the Bible, it includes people’s logic and reasoning, people’s notions and imaginings, as well as people’s experiences, ethics, morals, and philosophical ideas. When they use these things to assess what God says and assess His work, they are obviously standing on Satan’s side in their treatment of God. Therefore, God hides His face from them, and the Holy Spirit abandons them. Have you ever experienced this? In the past, some people discussed their experiences in this regard, saying, “When I first started believing in God, I was keen to study God; I studied what He says, His word usage, how He treats people, who He is good to, and what kind of person He likes or hates. As a result of all this studying, my heart became dark, I couldn’t feel God in my prayers, the condition of freedom and release in my heart was gone, and I no longer felt peace or joy. It was like there was a stone pressing down on my heart.” Have you ever had such an experience? (Yes.) Those who constantly study God gain no enlightenment or illumination from the Holy Spirit. Even reading God’s words does not bring any light. Antichrists are adept at studying God, but they don’t accept the truth at all. In the church, they don’t have any normal interpersonal relationships, always positioning themselves above others to lecture them. They often boast about their knowledge and look down on ordinary brothers and sisters. If an antichrist interacts with you and finds out that you are not well-educated, they won’t bother with you. Even if you meet the criteria to be a church leader or team leader, they won’t use you. What kind of people do they use? They look for people with social status, power, knowledge, and gifts who can speak eloquently—they fix their eyes on such people, and set out to use them. If it’s up to them to choose people and use people, they only select individuals who are articulate, highly educated, knowledgeable, and have status in society. Even if such people do not pursue the truth or cannot do any work, they still like them. What does this indicate? They belong to the same category as each other. After all, birds of a feather flock together. Some antichrists understand certain words and doctrines and then think of every which way they can to practice preaching sermons. To what extent do they practice? To the extent that they can speak articulately and extensively, taking the stage without using notes and speaking for hours at a time. They think this is doing work, this is their most glorious moment, the time when they can best put themselves on display. They seize on such opportunities and never let them go. However, regarding topics that God often fellowships about, things related to normal humanity, to people’s conscience and reason, and to the things most closely related to humanity in the real lives of normal people—though these may seem like small and insignificant details to people, in reality, they are closely related to entering the truth reality. How do antichrists regard these things? They despise them from the heart, they don’t take these words seriously, and condemn these matters in their hearts, feeling that they are meaningless. No matter how you fellowship about the truth reality, such as being an honest person, a loyal person, or a down-to-earth and dutiful person, no matter how you fellowship about these, their viewpoint remains unchanged. They want to be someone who can speak eloquently, who appears to be overflowing with talent and has special abilities, or even to be someone with supernatural abilities, such as speaking in tongues, being able to read with extraordinary quickness, having a photographic memory, and so on. If they also possessed these abilities, then their hearts would be filled with joy. In the depths of their hearts, they pursue and esteem these things. For instance, I just finish saying something, and after a moment, I forget it. When I ask everyone, no one else remembers either. You see, our memories are all quite similar, aren’t they? (Yes.) But when antichrists see this, they say, “Your memory isn’t good either! Look at that spiritual person so-and-so; they can speed-read and they have a photographic memory. You’re Christ—how many lines can You read at a glance?” I say, “I don’t have that supernatural ability. Sometimes I don’t remember a sentence after reading it, and I have to read it again.” They say, “Isn’t God supposed to be almighty?” This is how they start forming notions. Deep in their hearts, how do they view the incarnate God? “The incarnate God is just a thoroughly ordinary and completely normal person. His memory isn’t good, His constitution isn’t that great; He doesn’t seem like God in any respect.” Therefore, when they hear someone preach about loving God, they think, “If that spiritual person so-and-so or that famous person so-and-so were God, then I could accept and love him. But if this current Christ is God, I can’t love Him because He doesn’t seem like God at all.” In their hearts, to be God, one has to seem like God; He must speak, act, and look like God, so that when people see Him, they don’t have any notions at all—this is what they think. Why? They think, “First off, You don’t possess supernatural abilities. Second, You don’t have special talents. Third, You don’t have the gifts of those people in the world who accomplish great things. You are not exceptional in any way, so why should I listen to what You say? Why should I respect You? Why should I submit to You? I can’t do it.” What problem is this? What kind of disposition is this? Even if they don’t understand the truth, they should still have the conscience and reason of a normal person. People have notions, and God doesn’t condemn them for that, but when people harbor notions and then willfully resist and condemn God, that easily offends God’s disposition. That antichrists can freely condemn and resist God is caused by their wicked nature. After acquiring knowledge, they have richer, more extensive, and more comprehensive imaginings about God and His loftiness, essence, authority, and almightiness. Then, they try to match these imaginings up with the God they can see and interact with. Can they match them up? They can never match them up. The more they study God, the more they deny God in their hearts. They can condemn and resist God; this is inevitable.
From what you’ve seen in the Bible and all of God’s current utterances, does God advocate for gifts, learning, and knowledge? (No.) On the contrary, God dissects human knowledge and learning. How does God define gifts? How does He define supernatural abilities and special talents? You should understand that gifts, supernatural abilities, and special talents do not represent life at all. What does it mean that they do not represent life? It means that these things are not a result of people’s acquisition of the truth. Where do these things actually come from? Do they come from God? No, God does not impart knowledge or learning to people, and He certainly does not give more gifts to people so that they may pursue the truth. God does not act in this way. You understand it now that I’ve put it like this, don’t you? So, where does the wickedness of antichrists manifest? How do they view gifts, learning, and knowledge? They esteem, follow, and even desire these things, especially gifts and supernatural abilities. If you tell an antichrist, “If you have supernatural abilities, you’ll attract evil spirits,” they’ll say, “I’m not afraid!” You’ll respond, “Then there will be no hope of salvation for you in the future, you’ll be cast down to the eighteenth level of hell, in the lake of fire and brimstone,” and they’ll still say, “I’m not afraid!” If you could have them speak in ten different tongues and show off for others to look up to them, they would agree and be willing. God speaks so ordinarily and works so practically within normal humanity, and they don’t accept the method, form, and content of this work—they disdain it. How should people discern these matters? For example, some people can speak in various tongues. Can you accept this fact? Do you think it’s normal or strange? (Strange.) Therefore, within the rational range of normal humanity, this is unacceptable. Someone who remembers everything, such as colors, shapes, faces, and names, and can recall hundreds of pages of a book after reading it, recounting it from beginning to end—after interacting with such a person, wouldn’t you feel like you encountered something aberrational? (Yes.) But antichrists like these things. Tell Me, when you come into contact with those in the religious community, the so-called evangelists, preachers, and pastors, collectively known as the Pharisees, do you feel that these people are what your heart needs, or is the practical God what your heart needs? (Contact with God is what our hearts need.) The normal and practical God is closer to your inner needs, isn’t He? So, talk about how you feel when you interact with Pharisees, the pros and cons, and whether it brings any benefits. (If I interact with Pharisees, it feels fake and distant. The things they talk about are too hollow and false; listening to it too much becomes nauseating, and I don’t want to interact with them anymore.) Are the viewpoints expressed by Pharisees correct or absurd? (Absurd.) The nature of their viewpoints is absurd. Also, are the things they say mostly practical or hollow? (Hollow.) Do most people detest or enjoy hearing the absurd and hollow things, as well as the imaginative and notional things, that they say? (Most people detest hearing these things.) Most people dislike them and are unwilling to listen. After hearing their viewpoints and words, and observing their disposition and their false and hypocritical behavior, what do you feel in your heart? Are you willing to hear more? Are you willing to get closer to them, have in-depth interactions with them, and understand more about them? (No.) You’re unwilling to interact with them. The key issue is that their words are too hollow, full of theories and slogans; after listening for ages you still feel clueless about what they’re saying. Besides, their disposition is false and pretentious; they pretend to be humble, patient, and loving, to have the demeanor of a seasoned believer, one who is especially “devout.” When you eventually see their true face, you feel disgusted. You haven’t had much deep interaction with Me; how do you find the sermons I’ve given? Is there a difference between them and what the Pharisees talk about? (Yes.) What’s the difference? (God’s sermons are practical.) That is the basic point. Furthermore, what I talk about relates to your practice, experiences, and various aspects of matters encountered in the process of doing your duties and in real life. It’s not impractical and vague. Also, is each truth I discuss or viewpoint I take on matters practical or hollow? (Practical.) Why do you say it’s practical? Because it doesn’t stray from real life, it’s not about spouting hollow theories above real life. It’s all related to people’s discernment, understanding, and practice in real life, and the states that arise in them when encountering various issues while doing their duties. In short, it involves topics related to how people practice their faith in God, their lives of believing in God, and their various states while doing their duties. We don’t just take out the Bible to expound hollowly on Genesis or Isaiah, nor do we speak emptily about Revelation. I dislike reading Revelation the most and don’t want to speak about it. What’s the use of speaking about it? If I told you which plague came to pass, what would that have to do with you? That is God’s affair. Even if God’s work is fulfilled, how would that affect you? Won’t you still be yourself? If I told you which plague came to pass, would you then be able to cast off your corrupt disposition? Would it be that miraculous? No. Therefore, when people follow to the end, they each will be separated according to their kind. Those who can accept the truth, enjoy reading God’s words, and can practice the truth will stand firm. Those who are unwilling to read God’s words or listen to sermons, who persistently refuse to accept the truth and are unwilling to do their duties, will eventually be revealed and cast out. Although they attend gatherings and listen to sermons, they never practice the truth, they remain unchanged, and are sick of listening to sermons—they are unwilling to listen to them. Thus, even when they do their duties, it’s in a perfunctory manner, never changing. These people are simply nonbelievers. If people who sincerely believe in God often associate and live together with nonbelievers, how would they feel? Not only would they not benefit or be edified, but they would also increasingly feel repulsed from their hearts toward them. If you come into contact with Pharisees and hear them speak, you’ll find that they speak clearly and logically, and they explain all the various rules and regulations in an understandable manner. Their words may seem to contain profound theories, but upon careful analysis, none of it is the truth reality; it all amounts to hollow theory. For instance, they discuss the theory of the Trinity, theology, theories about God, what God is like in heaven with the angels, the situation with the incarnation of God and the Lord Jesus—how do you feel after hearing all of this? The result is akin to listening to mythological stories. Why then do antichrists enjoy listening to and discussing these matters, and why are they willing to engage with such individuals? Isn’t this their wickedness? (Yes.) What can be observed from their wickedness? Deep down, they have a certain need, which leads them to worship this knowledge and learning, and worship these things that the Pharisees have. So, what is their need? (To be highly regarded by others.) They not only need others to hold them in high regard, but in the depths of their hearts, they always want to be superhumans, to be superior individuals or knowledgeable celebrities—they simply don’t want to be ordinary people. What does their desire to be superhumans imply? In colloquial terms, it means they are out of touch with reality. For example, most people might, at most, wish, “If only I could fly high in the sky on an airplane.” They might have such a wish, right? But what is the antichrists’ wish? “One day, I want to sprout wings and soar to a distant place!” They have such aspirations—do you? (No.) Why don’t you? Because it’s not realistic. Even if you were fitted with two large wings, could you fly? You’re not that kind of creature, right? (Right.) People like antichrists always rely on their imaginings, constantly pursuing their desires. Can they be saved? (No.) These are not the type of people God saves. God saves those who love the truth, focus on reality, and pursue the truth in a grounded manner. Those who constantly desire to be superhumans or superior individuals are sick in the head, they are not normal people, and God will not save them.
When antichrists come into contact with the incarnate God, they tend to ask peculiar questions. That they can pose such questions represents their deep-seated needs and what they worship in their hearts. Initially, upon testifying to God incarnate, some people always inquired, “Does God read the Bible at home? It’s not that I’m asking for myself, actually I’m not curious about this matter; I’m just asking on behalf of the brothers and sisters. Many of them also have this thought. They are contemplating in their hearts that if God does indeed read the Bible frequently, then being able to speak about the Bible and express the truth is quite normal. However, if God doesn’t read the Bible and can still explain it, that would be a miracle, truly a thing of God!” Of course, they didn’t phrase it exactly like this; they directly asked, “Does God read the Bible at home?” What do you think? Should I read it or not? Do you read it? If you have never believed in Jesus, it would be quite normal not to read it. Do people who have believed read it? (Yes, they do.) Those who have believed surely do. I started with faith in Jesus, so how could I not read the Bible? What if I didn’t read it? (That’s normal too.) Reading the Bible is normal, not reading it is of course also normal. What does reading it or not reading it determine? If I weren’t in this position, would anyone care whether I’ve read the Bible or not? (No.) No one would inquire about what I’ve read. Being in this special position, some people study this matter. They’re always prying into it, asking, “Did He read the Bible when He was young?” What do they want to know exactly? There are two possible explanations, depending on whether I have read it or not. If I have read it, they feel that being able to explain the Bible is no big deal. However, if I haven’t read the Bible and can still explain it, that’s somewhat godlike. This is the result they desire. They want to get to the bottom of this; they think, “If You haven’t read the Bible and can still discuss it at such a young age, then that’s worth investigating. This is God!” That’s their viewpoint, and they study God in this manner. Now, consider those Pharisees who were well-versed in Scripture. Did they truly comprehend the words of Scripture? Did they discover the truth from Scripture? (No.) Now, did anyone who asked Me whether I’ve read the Bible think about this? If they had considered it, they wouldn’t be constantly looking into this matter, they wouldn’t do something so foolish. People who don’t grasp the truth or have spiritual understanding, and cannot fathom God’s essence and identity resort to such a method to resolve it in the end. Can this method resolve the issue? No, it can’t. It can only resolve an issue of small curiosity. Actually, I also read the Bible. Who among believers doesn’t read the Bible? I do a basic reading of it. At the very least, I read the Four Gospels of the New Testament, flip through Revelation and Genesis, and take a look at Isaiah. What do you think is My favorite to read? (The Book of Job.) Exactly. The story in Job is complete and specific, the words are easy to understand, and, besides, this story is valuable and can be helpful and edifying for people today. The facts have now shown that the story of Job indeed has had a huge impact on later generations. They have grasped many truths through Job—from his attitude toward God, as well as God’s attitude and definition of him, they have grasped God’s will and what kind of path they should walk after believing in God. I use the Book of Job as context to fellowship about certain ways in which people fear God and shun evil, as well as certain ways of obeying God—this story is truly valuable. It’s something that one should read in their free time. Some people, when they see God become flesh and witness the practicality and normality of God, may not fully be able to figure out whether He is truly God or what will happen in the future. However, after understanding some truths, they let go of these questions. They stop investigating or caring about these matters and focus on doing their duties well, properly walking the path that they should, and doing the work they ought to do well. But for some people, they will never let go of this; they insist on studying it. What do you think, should I take care of this matter? Should I pay it any mind? There is no need to pay attention to it. Those who accept the truth naturally stop researching it, while those who don’t accept the truth keep on doing it. What does this research indicate? Research is a form of resistance. In God’s words, there is a saying. What is the result of resistance? (Death.) Resistance leads to death.
Some antichrists, although they have accepted this stage of work, are often concerned about whether the words spoken and the work done by the incarnate God have any transcendent element, whether there are elements beyond the normal range of humanity, and whether there are elements that can be taken out to prove His identity as God. They often investigate these matters, tirelessly studying how I speak, My manner and look as I speak, as well as the principles of My actions. What do they use for this research? They measure and study it against the image or standard of eminent and great people that they have grasped. Some even ask, “Since You are the incarnate God, Your identity and essence must certainly be different from ordinary people. So, what are You good at? What special qualities do You have sufficient to make us follow and obey You, and to make us accept You as our God?” This question really stumped Me. Honestly, I’m not good at anything. I don’t have eyes that can see in all directions or ears that can hear from all sides. When it comes to reading texts, I can’t scan ten lines at a glance, and after reading for a while, I forget what I’ve read. I know a bit about music, but I can’t read sheet music. If someone else sings a song a couple of times, I can sing along, but does that count as being good at it? Do I have any special talents, like being fluent in English or speaking a certain tongue? I can’t do any of these things. What am I good at, then? I know a bit about music, fine arts, dance, literature, film, and design. I have a superficial understanding of these areas. When discussing theories with experts, it’s all jargon to Me, but I can understand it when I see it. For example, in architectural design, if it involves professional and technical data, I don’t understand it. However, if it’s about color tones and the harmony of styles, I know a bit and have some insights. But whether I can study to become an expert or a talent in this field, that’s hard to say because I haven’t studied it. Considering what people can currently access, music, literature, dance, and film, things within the scope of our church’s projects, learning a bit can provide a basic understanding. Some may say, “Now I know Your background; You only have a basic understanding.” I don’t speak falsely; indeed, I only have a basic understanding. However, there’s one thing you may not grasp, and that might be My expertise. What expertise is that? I understand how the projects related to these areas operate, how a certain art is expressed, and what the scope and principles involved in it are. After mastering these, I know how to apply these useful things to the work of the church, making them serve the gospel work and achieve effectiveness in spreading God’s gospel of the last days. Is this an expertise? (Yes.) With respect to what humanity lacks the most nowadays, if one can use the right methods and then convey the relevant truth, allowing people to see and accept it, this is the most effective. If you adopt a method that people can accept and can present the truth and clearly explain God’s work, all in a way that normal human thinking can accept and be capable of—this is tremendously beneficial for people. If we use the surface knowledge we possess and apply all these useful things, then it is enough to possess this kind of expertise. I excel in one thing, have you figured it out? (God excels in fellowshiping the truth.) Does fellowshiping the truth count as a skill? Isn’t that an expertise? So, what am I good at? I excel in discovering the corrupt essence within all of you. If I weren’t good at this, tell Me, how could I work whenever problems arise with you and I didn’t know what corrupt disposition or nature essence they reveal? It would be impossible. Is it safe to say that discovering your corrupt essence is what I am best at? (Yes.) It ought to be what I am best at. I am best at identifying the corrupt disposition of individuals and their nature essence. I excel at discerning the path someone walks and their attitude toward God based on their nature essence. Then through their manifestations, behaviors, and essence I fellowship the truth to them, addressing specific issues and helping them resolve their problems and emerge from them. In reality, this isn’t a skill; it’s My ministry, it’s work that falls within the scope of My responsibility. Are you skilled in this? (No, we’re not.) So, what are you skilled at? (Exhibiting corruption.) It’s not accurate that you are skilled at exhibiting corruption. You are skilled at casually dismissing the truth after you hear it, treating it lightly, and adept at acting in a perfunctory manner while doing your duty without taking it seriously. Isn’t that so? (Yes.) I tell you these things openly; can Pharisees and antichrists speak to you in such a way? (No, they can’t.) They absolutely don’t speak like this. Why not? They consider it shameful, a deficiency in humanity, a matter of privacy and one’s background. They say, “How could I let others know about my background? If that happened, wouldn’t I lose all face, dignity, and status? How could I conduct myself then?” According to them, they might as well stop living! So, after sharing My situation so openly with you, does it affect your faith in God? (No, it doesn’t.) Even if you have some ideas about it, I’m not afraid. Why am I not afraid? Having some ideas is normal; it’s temporary. People might experience visual and auditory illusions from time to time. There’s always the possibility of a temporary, distorted understanding or a momentary misunderstanding. Does that mean people will pack their bags because of this or grow negative and weak? But if you are genuinely someone pursuing the truth, can you deny God or leave God because of momentary notions? No, you can’t leave. People who genuinely pursue the truth can approach and grasp these matters correctly, they can unconsciously accept these facts normally, and gradually turn them into a true knowledge of God, an objective and accurate knowledge—this is a genuine understanding of the truth. One day, someone might say, “The incarnate God is so pitiful; He can’t do anything except speak the truth.” What kind of tone is this? This is the tone of an antichrist. Do you agree with them? (I don’t agree.) Why don’t you agree? (What they say isn’t factual.) What they say is factual. The incarnate God, apart from being able to express the truth in His speech, doesn’t know how to do anything else; He doesn’t have one particular skill. Is this pitiful? Do you think so? (No.) Then what do you think? Some people say, “It’s precisely because God is ordinary and normal, doing practical work, that we as corrupt humanity have the opportunity to attain salvation. Otherwise, we would all end up in hell. We’re getting a big advantage now, so let’s enjoy it secretly!” Do you have this feeling? (Yes.) But some people are different. They feel that “God’s just talking; there’s nothing extraordinary about Him. What am I gaining? I have my own notions and ideas about God, and I judge God behind His back, but God hasn’t disciplined me. I haven’t suffered or been punished.” Steadily, their audacity grows, and they dare to say anything. Some people say, “This is how you ought to know the incarnate God: When He speaks, works, and expresses the truth, it’s the Spirit of God working within, and the flesh is just a shell, a tool. The true essence is the Spirit of God; it is the Spirit of God speaking. If it weren’t for the Spirit of God, could the flesh speak those words?” These words seem correct when you listen to them, but what meaning do they carry? (Blasphemy.) Correct, they are blasphemy—what a vicious disposition! What are they trying to say? “You are such an unremarkable person. You don’t have a noble appearance, You’re not that impressive-looking. Your speech is not eloquent or theoretically sophisticated—You have to think about it before saying anything. How could You be the incarnate God? Why are You so blessed and fortunate? Why aren’t I?” In the end, they say, “It’s all the Spirit of God working and speaking; the flesh is just the outlet of the Spirit, it is a tool.” Saying this makes them feel even. It is jealousy, which leads to hatred. The implication is, “How come You are the incarnate God? Why are You so fortunate? How did You obtain this advantage? Why didn’t I get it? I don’t think You are any better than me. You are not eloquent enough, Your education not very high, You are not as good-looking as I am, and You are not as tall as me. How are You any better than me? How did You become the incarnate God? Why not me? If You are Him, then lots of people are too. I have to fight this, too. Everyone says You are God, but I can’t help it—I’ll judge You in this manner, speaking like this relieves my hatred!” Isn’t this vicious? (Yes.) They dare to say anything in order to vie for position—isn’t this seeking death? If you don’t want to accept that He is God, who is forcing you? Did I force you? I didn’t force you, did I? Firstly, I didn’t plead with you to accept. Secondly, I didn’t use extreme means to force you to accept. Thirdly, the Spirit of God hasn’t intervened, telling you that you must accept, or else you’ll be punished. Has God done this? No. You have the right to freely choose; you can choose not to accept. So, why, if you don’t want to accept, do you end up accepting anyway? Aren’t you just seeking blessings? They desire blessings but can’t accept or obey, or they still feel discontented, so what do they do? They say such malicious words. Have you heard these kinds of words before? I’d heard them more than just once or twice among some people. Some people think, “We put our faith in God together with You. At that time, You were young, often writing down God’s words. Later, You started preaching. You are just an ordinary person; we know about Your background.” What kind of background do I have? I’m just an ordinary person; that’s the truth about Me. Just because I’m ordinary and normal, and can have so many people following Me today, isn’t that why you are discontent? If you’re discontent, then don’t believe. This is God’s work; I can’t shirk My responsibility, I have no excuse, and I haven’t done anything hurtful or harmful. So, why do you approach Me with this viewpoint? If you’re discontent, then don’t believe. Believe whoever you are content with believing; don’t follow Me. I haven’t forced you. Why are you following Me? Some even came to My home to investigate, what were they investigating? They asked Me, “Do You go back home? How is Your economic situation at home right now? What do Your family members do? Where are they? How are their lives?” Some people even scrutinized an extra quilt or blanket in My house. These people aren’t content at all with believing in God! Why aren’t they content? Because they think, “God shouldn’t be like this. God shouldn’t be so small, so normal and practical, and so common and ordinary. He’s too common, common to the point that we don’t recognize Him as God.” Can your eyes that lack spiritual understanding recognize God? Even if God came down from heaven to tell you this, you still wouldn’t recognize Him. Are you worthy of seeing the real person of God? Even if God clearly tells you that He is God, you wouldn’t accept it. Could you recognize Him? What kind of people are these? What is their nature? (Wickedness.) These people really “broaden My horizons.”
Since taking on the work of God, as I carry out My work with this identity and position, I’ve come into contact with certain individuals. Faced with this diverse array of “talents,” I’ve observed that two words are inseparable from the corrupt disposition of humans: “evil” and “wicked”—both of these encompass it. Why do they study Me every day? Why are they unwilling to acknowledge My identity? Isn’t it because I am a very ordinary and normal person? If I were in the form of a spiritual body, would they dare? They wouldn’t dare to study Me in this way. If I had a certain social status, coupled with special abilities, the image and appearance of a great man, and a somewhat evil, domineering, and ruthless disposition, would these people dare to come to My home to investigate and study Me? They absolutely wouldn’t dare; they would avoid Me, they would hide when they saw Me coming, and they definitely wouldn’t dare to study Me, would they? Then why are they able to study Me in this way? They see Me as an easy target. What does being an easy target entail? It means I am too ordinary. What does “ordinary” imply? “You are just a person; how could You be God? You entirely lack the knowledge, learning, gifts, talents, and abilities that God should have. How are You like God? You’re not like Him! Therefore, it’s difficult for me to accept that You are God, to follow after You, to listen to Your words, and to submit to You. I need to make a thorough investigation: I need to watch You, to keep an eye on You, and not let You do anything improper.” What are they trying to do? If I had social standing and a certain level of fame, for example, if I were a first-class singer, and one day bore testimony to say that I am God, Christ, wouldn’t at least some people be convinced? The number of people studying Me would be relatively fewer. It’s just the fact that I am ordinary, normal, practical, and too common, that reveals many people. What does it reveal in them? It reveals their wickedness. How far does this wickedness go? It goes to the point that when I walk past them, they will study Me for a long time, looking for the likeness of God in My silhouette, checking if any miracles accompany My speech. They often speculate in their hearts, “Where do these words come from? Were they learned? It doesn’t seem likely: He doesn’t seem to have the time to study. He has changed so much in recent years; it doesn’t seem like something learned. So, where do these words come from? It’s hard to fathom; I need to be cautious,” and they keep studying. Those who constantly study don’t engage, interact, or converse with Me face to face; they are always contemplating behind My back, always wanting to find mistakes in My words, and get hold of some leverage. They can study a sentence that doesn’t align with their notions for days, and a slightly stern remark can develop a notion in them. Where do these things come from? They come from the minds and knowledge of people. What kind of people are those who can study God, who can constantly use their thoughts to speculate about God? Can they be categorized as people with a wicked disposition? Absolutely! Seeing as you have the time and the energy, it would be great if you could ponder the truth! Which truth wouldn’t take you some time to fellowship about and ponder? There are so many truths that you might not be able to ponder them all in this lifetime. There are too many truths that a person needs to understand. They do not feel any burden about this matter, yet they never forget those external and superficial matters and are always studying them. As soon as I speak, they blink their eyes, staring at My look, scrutinizing My actions and expressions, and speculating in their hearts, “Does He resemble God in this point? His speech doesn’t resemble Him, His look doesn’t quite match. How can I fathom Him? How can I see what He thinks about me in the depths of His heart? What does He think about this matter and that matter? How does He define me?” They always harbor these thoughts. Isn’t this wicked? (Yes.) This is beyond saving—it’s too wicked!
A genuine human being loves and pursues things that align with humanity, conscience, normal human thinking, and real life, that are normal and practical, absent of distortion or oddity, not abstract, not hollow, and not transcendent. With regard to these things, a normal person will be able to cherish, correctly handle, and accept these things customarily, treating them as positive things. On the contrary, some individuals, when confronted with these truths closely related to various aspects of real life, such as eating, dressing, shelter, transportation, behavior, and personal conduct, belittle, ignore, and disregard them. What’s the issue here? It is a problem with their preferences and nature essence. The more positive something is, the more it is something God loves, something He wants, and something He does, and the more it corresponds to what in God’s will He hopes that people achieve and accept, the more these people question, study, oppose, and condemn it—isn’t this wicked? It’s exceedingly wicked! Antichrists are quite popular among unbelievers. If I was among unbelievers, between antichrists and God incarnate, which would be more readily accepted by unbelievers? (Antichrists.) Why? Do unbelievers prefer upright people or wicked people? (Wicked people.) Do they prefer those who flatter and fawn, or those who are honest? (Those who flatter and fawn.) Exactly, they favor such individuals. If you don’t know how to use tactics to manage various interpersonal relationships in a group, and you don’t know how to manipulate or control various people through strategies, can that group accommodate you? If you are too upright, always speak the truth, can see through the essence of many issues, and then speak about the truths you’ve seen through and understood, can anyone accept it? No, no one in this world can accept it. In this world, don’t expect to speak the truth—doing so will bring trouble or lead to disaster. Don’t expect to be an honest person; there’s no future in being one. What about antichrists? They excel at telling lies, adeptly disguise and package themselves, packaging themselves as grand, dignified, and virtuous, making people worship them. They excel at these things, and what they enjoy is similar—they enjoy discussing empty knowledge and learning, as well as comparing gifts and strategies. For instance, in a company or a group of people, having the highest knowledge and learning isn’t the primary thing, nor is it the main factor in determining a person’s position in that company. What is the main factor? (Strategies and talent.) Exactly, it’s strategies and talent. Without these, possessing extensive learning is of no use. For example, suppose you’ve returned from overseas, and are completely ignorant of the game rules within this group of people back home. If you apply the rules, regulations, and principles for self-comportment of overseas companies, you’ll hit a wall. Isn’t that how it is? (Yes.) That’s how it is. You have to have strategies, and you have to be evil and wicked to rise to a higher position. It’s just like certain women: Even though they have a husband to provide for them, they are not content. In order to stand out and obtain fame, gain, and status, they resort to any means necessary. They even engage in flattery and, when necessary, provide escort services, all without a trace of embarrassment afterward or feeling guilt or indebtedness to their husbands or families. Could you do that? It sounds disgusting to you, and you can’t do it. So, how can you rise to a higher position among them? There’s no way. All of that is achieved through selling one’s soul and using various wicked methods. Do you like that way of doing things? (No.) You say you don’t like it now, but when you are pushed to a certain limit one day, you will come to like it. If people bully and torment you all day long, make things difficult for you, find fault with you, and want to kick you out, you might have to sell your body in order to keep your job. You will have to learn whatever wicked tricks they use, and in the end, you will become just like them. Right now, you sternly declare, “I don’t like that set of tactics. I don’t want to be that kind of person. I am not that wicked. I don’t want to sell my body. I don’t like money; having enough to eat and wear is sufficient.” What kind of person are you? You are nothing. You are what Satan has corrupted you to be. Do you think you can be master of yourself? People change with the environment, they have a corrupt disposition, and you simply cannot overcome fame, gain, status, money, and all kinds of temptation. If you were in that environment, you would be just as unable to control yourself. The stage for unbelievers now is like a meat grinder. Once a person is ground in, there is no way to survive. Now, by doing your duty in the house of God, with God’s protection, and without anyone bullying you, you can live peacefully in the presence of God. You are greatly blessed, so enjoy it quietly! If you don’t properly do your duty and face a little pruning and dealing with, you should not feel wronged. You have obtained great blessings; don’t you know that? (Yes.) Tell Me, what’s it like for unbelievers to be in the “meat grinder.” They are better off dead. The bit of suffering you endure in the house of God is what people should endure; it’s not at all too painful. However, people aren’t content, and they are unwilling to repent no matter how they are pruned and dealt with. But when you are sent home, you are unwilling to return to the unbelievers because you feel they are too evil and bad. When actually facing death, people don’t want to die; everyone cherishes life and follows the principle of “a bad life is better than a good death.” As soon as they see their coffin, they burst into tears. People now know that it’s not easy to survive among the unbelievers. If you want to live with dignity and earn a living based on your abilities, there is no way to do it. Having abilities alone is not enough; you also have to be wicked, evil, and malevolent enough to be successful. What do you possess? Some people say, “I possess a little wickedness now, but not enough evil.” That’s easy. Put yourself in the “meat grinder,” and in less than a month, you will become evil. If you are a good person, they will want to kill you; you spare them, but they won’t spare you, so you have to fight back in order to survive. Once you turn evil, there is no turning back, and you become a devil too. Wickedness is formed in this way. The world of unbelievers is so dark and wicked. How can people break free from the satanic influence of darkness and wickedness? They need to understand the truth to attain salvation. Now that you believe in God, if you want to be saved and liberated from Satan’s influence, it’s not a simple matter. You must learn to submit to God, have a God-fearing heart, see through many things, and, furthermore, your principles of conduct must in one respect be wise and in another not offend God. Also, don’t always strive for fame and gain, or constantly seek to enjoy the benefits of status. Just having enough to eat and not starve to death is sufficient. You need to pray to God, asking for the grace to be bestowed in this way, in order to be granted protection. If you always harbor extravagant desires, that isn’t reasonable, and God won’t heed your prayers.
Regarding the wicked nature of antichrists, today we are mainly fellowshiping about the third manifestation, which is what antichrists worship. What do antichrists worship? (Knowledge and learning.) Knowledge and learning, and also one more thing—gifts. What do knowledge and learning include? They include what is found in those books which are studied in the world, the experience gained from engaging in knowledge-related industries, as well as the various restrictions, rules, and regulations preached in society regarding morality, humanity, behavior, and so on. Additionally, they include knowledge from various fields of science. For example, some people do not believe in the reincarnation mentioned in God’s words. But if one day scientific research discovers that humans have a soul because, after death, something leaves the body, and the person’s weight decreases by a certain amount, which could possibly be the weight of the soul, then they might believe it. Regardless of how God speaks, they don’t believe, but as soon as scientists measure something based on weight, they believe it. They only trust science. Some people only believe in the nation, the government, and interpretations of related information, theories, and renowned figures. They only trust these. They don’t take God’s words, teaching, guiding, or utterances seriously. But as soon as they hear a celebrity speak, they immediately accept and even worship them and spread their words. For instance, God said that the manna He dropped for the people each day could not be stored and should not be eaten the next day as it would not be fresh, but they didn’t believe God’s words. They thought, “What if God doesn’t send manna, and we go hungry?” So, they found a way to collect and store it. God sent manna the second day, and they continued to collect it. God sent manna the third day, and they kept collecting. God spoke the same words every day, and they consistently acted in a way that went against what God instructed them. They never believed or listened to God’s words. One day, a scientist did research and said, “If manna is not eaten on the same day and is left for the next day, even if it looks fresh on the outside, it contains bacteria that can cause a stomach illness if consumed.” From that day forward, they stopped collecting. To them, one statement from a scientist outweighs ten statements from God. Isn’t this wicked? (Yes, it is.) They verbally acknowledged that God’s words are the truth, and they acknowledged God, followed God, and wished to receive blessings from God. At the same time, they enjoyed the grace and blessings given by God, relishing God’s care and protection, but apart from that, they didn’t listen to a sentence of what God said, what He instructed, commanded, or commissioned them to do. If a knowledgeable and learned person with authority and position said something or uttered a fallacy, they immediately accepted it, regardless of right or wrong. What’s going on here? This is wicked, too wicked! For example, I told some people not to eat sweet potatoes together with eggs, as it can cause food-poisoning. What is My statement based on? I’m not making things up; there have been cases of people getting food-poisoning by eating both at the same time. After hearing this, what would a normal person’s reaction be? They would think, “In the future, I won’t eat eggs when I have sweet potatoes, at least not in the same two to three hours.” They’d take it seriously and change their eating habits. However, some people wouldn’t believe it. They’d say, “Food-poisoning from eating eggs and sweet potatoes together? That’s impossible. I will eat them together, and You see if I get food-poisoning or not!” What kind of person is this? (Wicked.) I find this person a bit vile! I say this one thing, and they insist on eating them together; isn’t this vile? They specifically oppose, contest, and contend that which is right, correct, and positive—this is wicked. Corrupt humanity esteems wickedness and power. No matter what fallacy devils and Satan put forth, people can unquestionably accept it, while God expresses many truths, but people are unwilling to accept them and even form many notions. Here’s another example. In many rural areas in the United States, there are primitive forests where wild animals often roam. It’s advisable to have company when going out, and it’s best not to go out at night unless necessary. If you need to go out, you have to take precautions, go with someone, or carry weapons of self-defense—better to be safe than sorry. Some people say, “Nothing will happen; God will protect me.” Isn’t this testing God? Taking these precautions is what people should do. You have a head, a heart, and a spirit, so why insist on God’s protection? Don’t test God. Do what you should do. If by chance you encounter a ferocious wild animal that even a group of four or five people can’t deal with, you might still survive—that’s God’s protection. Some people have indeed seen wolves and heard wolves and bears howling, confirming the existence of these wild animals. So, when I say not to go out at night because it’s easy to encounter wild animals, am I just making things up? (No.) I’m not trying to scare people. Some people, after hearing this, say, “I should be more cautious. I’ll find someone to accompany me when going out, or carry a weapon of self-defense, just in case I encounter wild animals.” Some people, after hearing this, take it seriously, believe and accept it, and then proceed to put what I’ve said into practice. This is simple acceptance; it couldn’t be easier. However, there is a certain type of person who refuses to listen. They say, “Why have I never seen a wild animal? Where are they? Let one come out; I’ll confront it and see who’s more fierce. What’s so frightening about wild animals? You all are just timid with little faith. Look at my faith; I’m not afraid of bears!” They intentionally go out alone, just moseying along for no reason. After meals, they have to take a walk outside and insist on going alone. When others suggest finding a companion to go with them, they reply, “No way, why do I need a companion? Having a companion would make me look worthless! I’ll go out by myself!” They have to try it out. What kind of person is this? Let’s not even talk about whether they encounter wild animals or not; isn’t their attitude toward such matters problematic? (Yes, it is.) What’s the problem? (The disposition of such a person is wicked.) You try and talk to them about serious matters, and they treat it like a joke. Is there any point in talking to such people? People like this are worse than beasts; there’s no need to bother with them.
Just now, we talked about the fact that people with the wicked disposition of antichrists are particularly sensitive to knowledge, learning, gifts, and certain special talents; they particularly admire and esteem those with special talents; and they are completely in awe and obedient to what such people say. What is their attitude toward the common knowledge, insights, and genuine learning that are beneficial to people and that those with normal humanity need to possess, or the practical and positive things that are comprehensible within normal human thought? They disdain them, paying no attention to them. Every time these words and truths are fellowshiped about during gatherings, what are they doing? They scratch their heads, some have their eyes half-closed, appear numb and dull-witted, and some seem lost in thought. The more the house of God discusses serious matters, the less interested they become. The more it fellowships about the truth, the more they doze off and feel drowsy. It’s evident that these people have no interest in the truth at all. Aren’t these nonbelievers beyond redemption? Some people in religion enjoy hearing others speak in tongues or witnessing strange things, and seeing incredible things immediately lifts their spirits. Some people, upon seeing Me, like to say, “I graduated with a bachelor’s degree and majored in philosophy. What did You study?” I say, “I didn’t study any particular subject; I can just understand a few characters and read books.” They say, “Well then, You don’t measure up.” I respond, “Comparing this is useless, but let’s fellowship for a bit—do you have any current difficulties?” How do they respond? “Hmph, what difficulties do I have? I don’t have any difficulties. I’m doing my duties very well!” When fellowshiping about the truth with them, they lose interest, yawning and shedding tears, as if possessed by a ghost. If I go on to expose their corrupt disposition, they simply grab their cup and leave, not wanting to listen anymore. The more I try to get along and converse equally with them, the more they look down on Me. Is this not a failure to appreciate goodwill? There was someone who knew how to drive. I asked, “How many years have you been driving?” He said, “I bought a car after I had been working for two years after graduating from college.” I said, “So, you’ve been driving for quite a few years. I still don’t know how to drive.” Isn’t saying this getting along equally? Isn’t it the conversation of people with normal humanity? (Yes, it is.) After hearing this, he said, “Huh? You still don’t know how to drive? Then what can You do?” I said, “I can’t do much. I just know how to ride in a car.” I asked him, “What duty are you currently doing?” He said, “I work in finance and accounting. My mind is full of numbers. In college, I excelled in mathematics and was strongest in the sciences. I had the potential to attend Tsinghua or Peking University.” I said, “I’m terrible at math. Numbers give Me a headache. I prefer studying words, learning vocabulary, stuff like that.” He said, “Learning that is useless. People who study liberal arts generally have no future.” Look at what he said. Does it possess any normal human reason? (No, it doesn’t.) When I spoke and interacted with him in such a calm and friendly manner, he failed to handle the matter correctly. Instead, he looked down upon Me and belittled Me. If he encountered someone with status or knowledge, it might be different. After spending some time together, he would start feeling, “I’ve become familiar with God, had a chat with Him, and had dealings with Him.” He would think he had some capital now. Consequently, his tone would change. Once, I asked him, “I heard someone didn’t want to do their duties anymore and wished to go home. Did that person go home?” He replied, “Oh, that person? They never intended to go home!” What kind of tone is this? Did it change? When I first met him, he felt that he couldn’t get a handle on Me: He was respectful and behaved himself, keeping a low profile. Now that he’s more familiar, his tail is up. What kind of tone is this? He carries a bit of defiance, nonchalance, disregard, and a belittling and condescending attitude with him as he talks to Me. What kind of disposition is this? It’s wickedness. Is this someone with normal humanity? (No, it isn’t.) An ordinary, normal person can communicate and converse with you normally—it’s the most normal thing. If they bully you, suppress you, or belittle you, how does it feel? Does treating you like this exhibit any normal humanity in them? Tell Me, if someone like this encounters a world-renowned figure, someone with status and a reputation, or their boss or superior, do they dare to approach them this way? They wouldn’t dare. They would eagerly prostrate themselves, having to take on titles like subordinate, underling, servant, humble man, commoner, or plebeian to refer to themselves and converse with these people. Among the unbelievers, top officials crush the people beneath them, and being the nobody that you are, who would converse with you in a calm and friendly manner? Even if they talk to you occasionally when they’re happy, they don’t have any regard for you; they treat you as something less than human, kicking you around for no reason. When I speak and chat with that person in a calm and friendly manner, not only do I fail to receive a positive response, but I also face disdain, belittlement, scorn, and mockery. Is it because there’s something wrong with My way of interacting with that person or a problem with their disposition? (It’s because that person’s disposition is too arrogant.) Correct, I’ve been thinking along those lines. I treat everyone the same way, so why do some respond correctly, while others don’t? People can generally be divided into two categories: Those with humanity who know how to respect others, understand their relationship with God, and know who they are, and those who are wicked and arrogant, lacking self-awareness. Tell Me, what do you call something that wears human skin but doesn’t even know who it is? That is a beast without rationality. Another time, I asked him, “How did the matter I instructed you to handle a few days ago turn out? Did you handle those things?” He replied, “What are You talking about?” I said, “Those few things, did you take care of them? Were they handled?” I reminded him twice, and he finally remembered, “Oh, You’re talking about those things? They were handled a long time ago.” What sort of tone is conveyed by the first word, “Oh”? Again it’s a tone of disdain, his devilish nature emerging once again. His nature remained unchanged; that’s just the kind of wretch he is. I continued to ask him how he handled it, and he replied, “Some people looked it over and handled it like that,” with no further details. If I tried to ask for more specifics, even if I picked at them, I wouldn’t get any. I instructed him to handle a task; don’t I have the right to be informed? (Yes.) So, what was his responsibility? After receiving the task from Me, didn’t he need to report back on how he handled it? (Yes.) But he didn’t report back, and I was unable to get any updates throughout. I could only send someone to inquire about how this matter was handled, but still, there was no response. In My heart, I thought, “Okay, I’ll remember you. You are not trustworthy. I can’t entrust you with anything. You’re too lacking in credibility!” What kind of devil is this? What is the disposition of such a person? Wickedness. When you treat him as an equal, discuss things with him politely, and try to be amicable, how does he perceive it? He sees it as your incompetence and weakness, as you being a pushover. Isn’t this wickedness? (Yes, it is.) It’s pure wickedness. Although this kind of wicked person is not widespread, they exist in every church. Their hearts are hardened, arrogant, sick of the truth, and their dispositions are vicious. It is precisely these dispositions and behaviors that confirm people like this are wicked. Not only do they dislike positive aspects of normal humanity, such as kindness, tolerance, patience, and love, but on the contrary they harbor discrimination and contempt in their hearts. What lies deep within the hearts of such people? Wickedness. They are extremely wicked! This is another manifestation of the wickedness of antichrists.
Today, the content of our fellowship on the wicked manifestations of antichrists is somewhat different from the previous two fellowships, and each emphasizes one aspect. Tell Me, deep within the hearts of antichrists, they esteem knowledge, learning, gifts, and special talents—they feel a deep esteem for these things—so, do they have genuine faith in God? (No, they don’t.) Some might say that over time they might change. Will they change? No, they won’t, they can’t. It’s in their nature to disdain God’s humility and hiddenness, His genuine love, His faithfulness, and His mercy and care for humanity. What else? They disdain the normality and practicality of God living among humans and, even more, despise all the truths that have no relevance to knowledge, learning, science, and gifts. Can such people be saved? (No, they cannot.) Why can’t they be saved? Because this is not a momentary revelation of some corrupt disposition; it’s a revelation of their nature essence. No matter how others advise them or how much truth is fellowshiped to them, none of this can change them. This isn’t a temporary hobby, but a deep-seated need within them for these things. Precisely because they need knowledge, learning, gifts, and special talents, this allows them to esteem these things. What does esteem mean? It means being willing to follow and obtain these things at any cost, that’s what esteem implies. For the sake of obtaining these things, they are willing to endure suffering and pay any price to get them, because these are the things they esteem. Some even say, “Whatever God asks me to do is fine. I can satisfy God, as long as He doesn’t require me to pursue the truth.” They hope for this. These people will never accept God’s words as the truth; even if they sit there calmly listening to sermons and reading God’s words, what they gain from these is not the truth. This is because they always measure God’s words against human notions and imaginings, studying God’s words using theological knowledge, making it impossible for them to obtain the truth. They hope to gain knowledge, learning, and some kind of information or mystery from God’s words—some kind of learning they long for and seek, which is unknown to the masses. After obtaining this learning which is unknown to people, they go around showing it off, vainly hoping to arm and package themselves with this learning and knowledge and make themselves live a more respectable, fulfilling life, in order to have more prestige, status, and credibility among people, making people worship them more. Therefore, they tirelessly boast about certain significant things they have done, things they consider glorious, as well as things they believe are impressive, which they can brag about and use to flaunt their own capability and uniqueness. Wherever they go, they preach the same set of theories. These people, no matter how they read God’s words or attend gatherings and hear sermons, cannot understand the truth. Even if they grasp a bit of the truth, they will absolutely not practice it. This is the essence of such people, and it’s something that cannot be changed by anyone. This is because they are inherently endowed with something others don’t possess, and what they love is related to their inherently wicked essence—this is their fatal flaw. They are destined not to accept the truth, destined to follow the path of Paul, and destined to oppose the truth and God to the end. Why is that? Because they do not love the truth; they will never accept it.
Have you experienced the wickedness of antichrists? Do you have people like this around you? Have you had contact with such people? Why have we spent time in several gatherings discussing this topic? Usually, when people talk about knowing themselves, I often hear them mention dispositions of arrogance, self-righteousness, and deceitfulness. However, it’s rare to hear people talk about wickedness. Now, as we fellowship about a wicked disposition, I often hear people say that someone’s disposition is wicked. It seems you have gained some understanding. In the past, when people talked about knowing themselves, they always brought up arrogance. Looking at it now, which disposition is more severe, arrogance or wickedness? (Wickedness.) Correct. In the past, people didn’t recognize the severity of the problem of wickedness. In fact, the disposition and essence of wickedness are more severe than arrogance. If a person’s disposition and nature essence are fiercely wicked, let Me tell you, you must avoid contact with them—keep your distance. Such people will not walk the right path. What benefits can you gain from associating and maintaining contact with wicked people? If there are no benefits, but you have the “antibodies” to resist their wickedness, then you may interact with them. Do you have this assurance? (No.) Why should you avoid interaction with such people if you don’t have this assurance? Because behind wickedness, there are two other things—insidiousness and deceitfulness. Most people who lack an understanding of the truth and lack experience and insight are easily misled. You can only be subdued by them, and in the end, you become their captive. Becoming their captive can happen in two ways: Either you can’t defeat them, and you feel unconvinced in your heart, but out of necessity, you have to submit to them verbally; or, there is another way in which you are completely subdued by them. This is because in the wicked nature of antichrists there is something unknown to people: They can use various means, speeches, methods, strategies, ways, and fallacies to persuade you to listen to them, to make you believe they are right, correct, and positive, and even if they do evil, violate the truth principles, and reveal corrupt dispositions, in the end, they will turn things around and make people think they are right. They have this ability. What is this ability? It is to be highly misleading. This is their wickedness, that they are highly misleading. In their hearts, the things which they like, dislike, are fed up with, and esteem and worship are formed by certain distorted viewpoints. These viewpoints carry a set of theories within them, all of which are plausible fallacies that are difficult for ordinary people to refute because they do not accept the truth at all and can even present sophisticated arguments for their own mistakes. Without the truth reality, you cannot convince them by fellowshiping the truth with them. The ultimate result is that they use their hollow theories to refute you, leaving you speechless, gradually succumbing to them. The wickedness of such people lies in the fact that they are highly misleading. Clearly, they are nothing and mess up every duty they do; yet, in the end, they can still mislead some people into worshiping them, “kneeling” at their feet, and make people become obedient to them. This kind of person can turn wrong into right, black into white. They can reverse truth and falsehood, attribute the wrongs they’ve done to others, and take credit for the good deeds of others as if they were their own. Over time, you become confused, not knowing who they truly are. Judging by their words, actions, and appearance, you might think, “This person is extraordinary; we can’t compare to them!” Is this not being misled? The day you fall into deception is the day you fall into danger. Isn’t this kind of person who misleads others just too wicked? Whoever listens to their words can be misled and disturbed, finding it hard to recover for a period of time. Some brothers and sisters can discern them and see that they are misleaders, they can expose and reject them, but others who are misled might even defend them, saying, “No, God’s house is being unfair to him; I must stand up for him.” What is the problem here? Clearly, they are misled, yet they defend and justify the one who misled them. Aren’t these people who believe in God but follow human beings? They claim to believe in God, but why do they worship this person thus and particularly defend them? If they can’t spot such an obvious matter, haven’t they been misled to a certain extent? The antichrist has misled people to the point where they no longer resemble humans or have a mind to follow God; instead, they worship and follow the antichrist. Aren’t these people betraying God? If you believe in God, but He hasn’t gained you, and the antichrist has gained your heart, and you follow them wholeheartedly, it proves that they have taken you away from the house of God. Once you depart from God’s care and protection, from the house of God, the antichrist can manipulate and toy with you as they like. When they’re done playing with you, they won’t want you anymore, and they’ll move on to misleading others. If you continue listening to their words and have value to exploit to them, they might let you follow along for a while longer. However, if they no longer see any value to exploit in you, if they no longer have any regard for you, then they will discard you. Can you still return to believing in God? (No.) Why can’t you believe anymore? Because your initial faith is gone; it has dissipated. This is how antichrists mislead and harm people. They use knowledge and learning that people worship, coupled with their gifts, to mislead and control people, just like Satan misled Adam and Eve. Regardless of the nature essence of the antichrist, regardless of what they like, loathe, and esteem in their nature essence, one thing is certain: What they like and what they use to mislead people goes against the truth, has nothing to do with the truth, and is antagonistic to God—this much is certain. Remember this: Antichrists can never be compatible with God
Tell Me, which kind of people exhibit the signs and marks of the wickedness of antichrists? (People with gifts.) Who else? (Those who like to show off.) Those who like to show off, that isn’t wicked enough. While they may like to show off, they don’t have the desire to control others, they haven’t gone that far—this is a corrupt disposition. Consider it in detail: Which people show signs and marks that allow you to discover early on from the various behaviors and indications in them that this wretch is an antichrist? (Arrogant people who love status.) Arrogance and a love for status have some relevance, but this doesn’t go far enough. Let Me talk about something and you listen and see if this point is crucial or not. Some people constantly bring up viewpoints that differ from the truth and positive things. From the outside, it may seem like they always want to play to the gallery and stand out from the rest, but this is not necessarily the case. It might also be that their viewpoints give rise to such outward behavior. In fact, if they truly hold such viewpoints, there will be a serious problem. For instance, when everyone is fellowshiping together, saying, “We must accept this matter from God. If we don’t understand, we should submit first,” and everyone agrees with this, is this viewpoint correct? (Yes, it is.) Is this principle of practice off course? (No, it isn’t.) Then, what manner of words do people say that shows they have the signs and marks of an antichrist’s wicked disposition? “Submission is one thing, but you have to get a grip on what’s going on, don’t you? Treat everything seriously, right? You can’t submit muddle-headedly; God doesn’t ask for us to submit casually.” Isn’t this a kind of argument? (Yes, it is.) Some people say, “If there’s something we don’t understand, we can wait patiently, seeking fellowship with someone who understands. Right now, none of us understands, and we can’t find anyone who does to fellowship with. So, let’s submit first.” What is the viewpoint of antichrists? “You bunch of weaklings, submitting to everything and listening to God in everything. Listen to me! Why hasn’t anyone mentioned me? Let me present a profound opinion to you!” They want to share their lofty views. They are opposed to people practicing the truth, opposed to them abiding by the truth principles. They always want to sit on their high horse, pick fights, resort to evil tricks, share lofty views, and make people look at them differently. Isn’t this a sign of the wicked disposition of antichrists? Isn’t this their mark? Why is it wrong for everyone to submit? Even if they submit foolishly—is this wrong? Would God condemn it? (No, He wouldn’t.) God wouldn’t condemn it. What right do they have to throw in a wrench and stir things up? When they see people submitting to God, do they feel angry in their hearts? When they witness people submitting to God, in their hearts they feel resentful, dissatisfied that they don’t get any benefits, that people don’t obey them, don’t listen to them, don’t seek their advice, and they become unhappy—they resist in their hearts, thinking, “Who do you submit? Do you submit to the truth? Submitting to the truth is fine, but we need to study it. So, what is the truth? Do you submit the right way? Shouldn’t you at least understand the ins and outs?” Isn’t this their argument? What are they trying to do? They want to stir things up, to mislead people. Some numb, dull-witted and foolish people, upon hearing this, become misled, while those with discernment refute them, saying, “What are you doing? Are you jealous and envious that I submit to God? You’re unhappy when I submit to God, but pleased when I obey you? Is it only right if everyone obeys you, listens to you, and does whatever you say? Does what you say align with the truth?” Seeing this, they think, “Some people have discernment—I’ll wait for now.” In short, when everyone is practicing in accordance with the truth principles, they can’t wait to jump out. The more everyone obeys God, submits to the arrangements of God’s house, practices in accordance with God’s words, handles matters according to the work arrangements and principles, the more uncomfortable, upset, and uneasy they become. This is a sign of the wicked essence of antichrists. As long as everyone listens to God’s words, practices the truth, and handles matters according to principles, they feel uncomfortable and restless. Isn’t this a problem? (Yes, it is.) If nobody reads God’s words, or if they read them and don’t fellowship about them, if they just listen to the antichrists, then they’re delighted. What issue does this illustrate? They never fellowship about God’s words. As long as everyone is calmly fellowshiping about God’s words, and the antichrists see that nobody pays attention to them, that they don’t listen to them, that they cannot gain their worship, their status is threatened, and they are in danger—that’s when they throw in a wrench to stir things up, proposing a heresy or fallacy to mislead and disturb you, making you unsure whether what you just discussed is right or wrong. Just when everyone has finally understood something through fellowship, they speak a few devilish words to stir the pot. Isn’t this the wicked disposition of antichrists? Which manifestation does this wicked disposition correspond to? (Hostility toward the truth.) Exactly. The more everyone understands the truth, the more upset they feel. Isn’t this hostility toward the truth? Doesn’t this match up? (Yes, it does.) Have you encountered people like this? While everyone is fellowshiping about something, they remain silent for a long time. Finally, when there’s some clarity in the fellowship, they emerge, and after emerging present a challenging question to make things difficult for these people. Their intent is to say, “Let me show you, I’ll let you see what I can do! You fellowship about the truth, you don’t listen to me, you ignore me, you don’t care about me, and you don’t pay attention to me, so I will pose a difficult question for you to fellowship on and get you all mixed up!” Is this not a devil? (Yes, it is.) This is a devil, an authentic antichrist.
Some people, whenever they hear that someone is negative or weak, feel especially happy. Particularly when they see someone disturbing church life, someone doing bad things to throw the church’s work into chaos, or witness someone blindly stirring up trouble—they feel especially delighted, only too eager to set off fireworks and celebrate. What’s the matter with such people? Why are they so joyful at others’ misfortune? Why, at this crucial moment, can’t they stand on God’s side, defending the interests of the house of God? Aren’t such people nonbelievers? Aren’t they lackeys of Satan? You all should reflect on whether you exhibit such behaviors and also check if there are people like this around you and see how to discern such individuals, especially when you see evil people doing evil deeds—what is your attitude? Are you just a bystander enjoying the spectacle, or could you also go down this path? Are you such a person? Some people won’t self-reflect in this way. They don’t like seeing the good in people; they prefer it when everyone is worse than them—that’s when they feel joy. For instance, when they see someone who expends themselves for God being dealt with, or when someone who genuinely believes in God transgresses, they secretly rejoice and say, “Hmph, your day has also come. You expended yourself for God—how’s that working out for you? You’ve been wronged, haven’t you? You’ve suffered loss, haven’t you? What’s the point of expending yourself? You always speak truthfully, and now you’re being dealt with, aren’t you? You deserve it!” Why are they so delighted? Aren’t they finding joy in others’ misfortune? Don’t such people have their hearts in the wrong place? When they see someone causing disturbances in the work of God’s house, they’re happy. When they see the work of God’s house suffering loss, they’re happy. What is it that makes them happy? They think, “Finally, someone who, like me, doesn’t love the truth, has caused a loss to the interests of God’s house, and they feel no self-blame whatsoever.” That’s what makes them happy. Isn’t this wicked? (Yes, it is.) It’s extremely wicked! Are there people like this among you? There are some people who won’t hum a tune most of the time, but as soon as they see someone making a mistake, they suddenly start singing, swaying their bodies, looking extremely pleased, and thinking, “Today, I finally have some good news. I’m so happy, I’ll have a couple extra bowls of rice!” What kind of disposition is this? Wickedness. They won’t shed one tear or feel sad for one second because the interests of God’s house suffered losses. They feel no self-blame, no sorrow or pain. Instead, they feel happy and content because someone’s mistake has led to losses to the interests of God’s house and brought shame to God’s name. Isn’t this wickedness? Isn’t this a sign of possessing the wicked nature of antichrists? This is also a sign.
It is said that some on the gospel teams are eloquent speakers. They have listened to sermons for years and summed up a set of doctrines, they are full of hot air wherever they go, never at a loss for words when they preach, which fully demonstrates their own gifts and eloquence. Some people see such individuals as quite capable and decide to follow them. What do they say in the end? “We listen to that person’s fellowship, so we don’t need to listen to sermons from the Above; we don’t need to listen to God’s words either. That person’s fellowship replaces them.” Aren’t these people in danger? (Yes.) These people are in great danger. They love the actions and behaviors of antichrists, as well as their insolence, unreasonableness, and wickedness. They love what antichrists love and are fed up with what antichrists are fed up with. They love the knowledge, learning, doctrines, and various theological theories, heresies, and fallacies that antichrists preach. They worship these things. To what extent do they worship them? Even in their dreams at night, they speak these words. Is this serious? When their worship reaches this level, can these people still follow God? Some may say, “No, they’re still in the church, they still believe in God.” They haven’t had the opportunity yet. Once they find the person or object they want to worship, they can leave God at any time. Isn’t this a sign of possessing the wicked essence of antichrists? (Yes.) Can you discern such people when you see them? (Yes, we can.) In the past, you might not have known the severe nature of such matters. Now, when you encounter such people again, would you still have questions in your mind about them? Would you ignore them? (No, we wouldn’t.) So, have you gained some discernment regarding such people? (Yes, I have.) These are some of the signs and information they reveal. That is, once these people have an opportunity or status, or someone misleads them, they can betray God anytime, anywhere. Can people see their revelations and their wicked essence? Are there some traces that people can see? (Yes, there are.) There ought to be. If I hadn’t mentioned these, you might think, “Who exhibits these marks? Who reveals these signs? No one, I haven’t seen anyone.” Through My discussion of these signs, haven’t you discovered that such people exist? Some of them are followers, and some are leaders and workers. This is the third sign of possessing the wicked essence of antichrists.
People who possess the wicked essence of antichrists have another distinctive sign, something they all have in common. These people, under the guise of loving the truth and longing for the true way, come to attend sermons, learn various knowledge and content related to the truth, and equip theological theories and knowledge, then using these theories and knowledge to engage in verbal battles with leaders and workers, employing them to condemn certain individuals, to mislead and persuade others, and even to give so-called provision, assistance, and watering to certain people. However, one point makes it clear that they are not lovers of the truth. What is that point? It is that no matter how these people equip themselves and preach, they only talk and say things, merely arming themselves, but they never handle matters according to the truth principles. What does “never” signify? It means that they cannot speak a single truthful word, have never been honest, and never paid the price of letting go of the benefits of status. Regardless of the occasion, as they speak and act they always make maximum effort for the sake of their own fame, gain, and status. Despite how on the outside they appear to pay the price and love the truth, their wicked essence remains unchanged. What is the issue here? In one respect, these people never seek the truth principles in their actions. In another respect, even if they know the truth principles and the path of practice, they do not practice them. This is a sign that they possess the wicked essence of antichrists. No matter whether they have status or not, and whether they do their duty of spreading the gospel or are leaders and workers, what is their characteristic? They can only articulate the right doctrines, but they never do the right things. That is their characteristic. They speak about doctrines more clearly than anybody, but they do things worse than anybody—isn’t this wicked? This is the fourth sign of possessing the wicked essence of antichrists. Check it out for yourselves, and assess whether there are many people around you with the wicked essence of antichrists. After I’ve listed these, you may evaluate whether or not there are quite a lot of such people around you. What percentage do they make up? Are there more leaders or ordinary believers? Didn’t some of you previously think that only leaders had the opportunity to become antichrists? (That was how it was previously.) So, has this viewpoint changed now? Antichrists don’t become antichrists because they have status; they were this wretch even when they lacked status. It’s just that, as luck would have it, they end up in a leadership position, and their true features as antichrists are quickly exposed, much like a fungus that, with the right temperature and soil, ferments rapidly, revealing its true face. If there isn’t a suitable environment, it may take a bit longer for their nature essence to be revealed, but this slower revelation does not mean that they lack that nature. With such a nature, people will inevitably act and reveal things, and these revealed behaviors are signs and marks of the wicked essence of antichrists. Once they possess these signs and marks, they can be classified as antichrists.
Tell Me, does practicing the truth and handling matters according to the truth principles require various excuses and justifications? (No, it doesn’t.) As long as a person has a sincere heart, they can put the truth into practice. Do people who don’t practice the truth come up with various excuses? For example, when they do something wrong, go against principles, and someone corrects them, can they listen? They don’t listen. Is the fact that they don’t listen all that there is? How are they wicked? (They find an excuse to persuade you, making you think they are right.) They will find an interpretation that aligns with your notions and imaginings, then they use a set of spiritual theories that you can acknowledge and accept and which align with the truth to convince you, make you go along with them, and make you sincerely believe they are right, all to achieve their goal of misleading and controlling people. Isn’t this wickedness? (Yes.) This is indeed wickedness. Clearly, they have done something wrong, gone against the principles and truth in their actions, and failed to practice the truth, yet they come up with a set of theoretical justifications. This is truly wicked. It’s like a wolf eating a sheep; it was originally in the wolf’s nature to eat sheep, and God created this kind of animal to eat sheep—sheep are its food. But after eating it, the wolf still finds various excuses. Do you have any thoughts about it? You think, “You ate my sheep, and now you want me to think that you ought to have eaten it, that it was reasonable and appropriate for you to eat it, and I should even thank you.” Don’t you feel angry? (Yes, I do.) While you are angry, what thoughts do you have? You think, “This fellow is too wicked! If you want to eat it, go ahead, that’s just what you are; eating my sheep is one thing, but you even come up with a bunch of reasons and excuses, and ask me to feel grateful to you in return. Isn’t this confusing right and wrong?” This is wickedness. When a wolf wants to eat a sheep, what excuses does it find? The wolf says, “Little lamb, today I must eat you because I need to get back at you for insulting me last year.” The lamb, feeling wronged, says, “I wasn’t even born last year.” When the wolf realizes it misspoke and miscounted the lamb’s age, it says, “Well we won’t count that then, but I still have to eat you because last time when I drank water from this river, you muddied the water, so I need to get back at you.” The lamb says, “I’m downstream from the river, and you’re upstream. How could I dirty the water upstream? If you want to eat me, just go ahead and eat me. Don’t look for various excuses.” That’s the nature of the wolf. Isn’t it wickedness? (Yes, it is.) Is the wolf’s wickedness the same as that of the great red dragon? (Yes.) This description best fits the great red dragon. The great red dragon wants to arrest people who believe in God; it wants to charge these people with crimes. So, it first creates certain fronts, it fabricates certain rumors, and then broadcasts them into the world in order to make the whole world rise up and condemn you. It assigns multiple charges to those who believe in God, such as “disturbing public order,” “leaking state secrets,” and “subverting state power.” It also spreads rumors that you’ve committed various criminal offenses and assigns these charges to you. Is it fine if you refuse to admit to them? Is it a matter of whether you admit to them or not? No, it isn’t. Once it is set on arresting you, then just like a wolf set on eating a sheep, it looks for various excuses. The great red dragon creates certain fronts, claiming that we have done something bad when, in fact, it was other people who did it. It shifts the blame and frames the church. Can you argue with it? (No.) Why can’t you argue with it? Can you have a clear argument with it? Do you think that by arguing with it and explaining the situation, it won’t arrest you? You think too well of it. Before you can finish speaking, it will grab you by the hair, slam your head into the wall, and then ask you, “Do you know who I am? I am a devil!” Following that, there will be a severe beating, along with days and nights of alternate interrogation and torture, and then you’ll start to behave. At this point, you’ll realize, “There’s no room for reasoning here; this is a trap!” The great red dragon doesn’t argue with you—do you think it creates those fronts unintentionally, by chance? It has a conspiracy behind it, and it has the next move planned. This is just a prelude to its actions. Some people may still think, “They don’t understand matters related to believing in God; if I explain it to them, everything will be fine.” Can you explain it clearly? It framed you for something you didn’t do—can you still explain things clearly? When it framed you, did it not know that you didn’t do it? Is it ignorant of who did it? It knows very well! So why does it pin the blame on you? You are the one it is capturing. Do you think when it pins the blame on you it doesn’t know you are being treated unjustly? It wants to treat you unjustly and to arrest and persecute you. That is wickedness.
Anyone with the wicked essence of antichrists is sick of and hates the truth in their essence. In their hearts, they do not accept the truth in the slightest and have no intention of practicing it. If you think they lack an understanding of the truth and attempt to fellowship about it with them, what will happen as a result? You’ll hit a wall—you’ve found the wrong person. They are not someone who accepts the truth, and you shouldn’t fellowship with them; instead, you should teach them a lesson and be stern with them, saying, “How long have you been doing your duty? How could you treat your duty as a trifling matter? Is it your own work? Whom are you challenging? You’re not against me; you’re against God and the truth!” Don’t you need to teach them a lesson? Is it useful to fellowship about the truth with them? No, it isn’t. Why isn’t it useful? They are wolves, not lost or stray sheep. Can a wolf practice the truth? No. What is the nature of a wolf? (Wickedness.) The moment it sees a sheep, it starts drooling, its eyes filled with images of delicious food, and the sheep is destined to be its provision. That’s its nature; that’s wickedness. If you tell it, “The sheep are so pitiful and gentle; please don’t eat them. Choose another fierce animal to eat, okay?” Can it understand? It cannot. That’s its nature. Some people don’t practice the truth and find various excuses—that’s their nature. What is this nature? It’s wickedness. Regardless of how base, rebellious, or blatantly against principles their actions are, they still want to save face; even if they go against the truth, they want to do it in a grand, dignified manner. Isn’t this wickedness? Is violating the truth a positive or negative thing? (Negative.) How can something negative be done in a grand, dignified, and honorable way? Isn’t it a bit awkward to try and combine these two aspects? This is wickedness: This is the behavior and manifestation of those who have the wicked essence of antichrists. It might sound contradictory, but that’s just how they operate, that’s their disposition and what they reveal. They harbor a hatred for the truth, never accepting it—that is antichrists, that is the wicked nature essence of antichrists. How many items are there to the wicked essence of antichrists? (Four items.) There are four in total. Aren’t these four signs sufficient for you to discern? Wickedness inherently contains insidious and deceitful elements, and when insidious and deceitful elements reach their extreme, they are categorized as a wicked disposition. Antichrists embody this kind of wicked disposition.
September 3, 2019