Item Nine: They Do Their Duty Only to Distinguish Themselves and Feed Their Own Interests and Ambitions; They Never Consider the Interests of God’s House, and Even Sell Those Interests Out in Exchange for Personal Glory (Part Ten)

II. The Interests of Antichrists

D. Their Prospects and Destiny

What topic did we fellowship on at our last gathering? (God fellowshipped on the ways in which antichrists regard the title “service-doer.” First, God fellowshipped on how God defines the title “service-doer.” God also fellowshipped on the difference between someone who has left the state of a service-doer behind and someone who is still a service-doer, and lastly God dissected antichrists’ perspectives and pursuits regarding the title “service-doer.”) So, what perspective and attitude do antichrists have toward the title “service-doer”? What do they say and do? (Antichrists’ attitude toward the title “service-doer” is one of non-acceptance and repulsion. They don’t accept the title no matter who it comes from, and they believe that being a service-doer is degrading. They believe that service-doers are not defined by God based on the essence of mankind, but that it is rather God challenging and scorning human identity and value.) (Antichrists say this well-known phrase: “I’m not going to toil away behind the scenes while others take the spotlight.” Antichrists just want to get others to render service to them and they think that rendering service to God is a shameful thing to do, and so when they realize that they themselves are service-doers they don’t want to continue rendering service in God’s house and instead begin to seek a way to escape, and will even cause disruptions and disturbances, and do destructive things.) Judging by antichrists’ attitude toward the title “service-doer,” what do we see their essence to be? (Their essence is one that is hostile toward God and that hates the truth.) And what disposition is this, when their essence is one that is hostile toward God and the truth? (It is a wicked and vicious disposition.) That’s right, it is a wicked and vicious disposition. What are antichrists’ first motivation and intent in their belief in God? What do they want to gain? What are their ambitions and desires? Do they come to be service-doers? Do they come based on the attitude of being a good person and following the right path through believing in God? (No.) So what do they come for? To be accurate, they come for blessings, and to be specific, they seek to reign as kings, to reign as kings with God, and they seek lofty and great things. So, when God says that people are service-doers, this is entirely at odds with and against antichrists’ ambitions and desires to seek blessings and to reign as kings, it goes beyond their expectations, and they never thought that God would give this title to people. Antichrists are unable to accept this fact. And what things are they capable of doing when they can’t accept this fact? Do they seek to accept this fact and change themselves? They don’t seek to accept this fact, nor do they seek to change their ambitions and dispositions. Therefore, if they are told that they are service-doers and their intent and desire to gain blessings are stripped away, they are no longer able to stand firm in the church. The moment they realize the truth and know that such people as them with such manifestations are service-doers, they give up all hope and reveal their true colors. They don’t seek to change their situation as service-doers, nor do they seek to change their wrong attitude and perspective toward the title “service-doers” and follow the path in pursuit of the truth. That’s why, no matter what arrangements God makes, such people won’t submit to or accept them, and they won’t seek the truth. Instead, they rack their brains trying to think of a human way to rid themselves of this label, and they do everything possible to cast off this identity. Judging by this manifestation antichrists display, antichrists are averse to the truth right down to their very bones. They don’t love the truth, they don’t accept the truth, and they have their own ideas and notions about the truth, but not in the normal way. Rather, they feel profound aversion, hatred, and even hostility toward positive things and the truth from deep within their hearts—this is the antichrists’ essence.

From your answers just now, I see that you haven’t summarized the content of each fellowship, and afterward you didn’t pray-read or ruminate. Last time we fellowshipped on three main aspects: The first was defining what service-doers are; the second was the ways in which antichrists regard the title “service-doer” or, to be specific, what exactly the manifestations and behavior of their not wanting to be service-doers are, and what exactly the reasons behind that are; and the third was that antichrists don’t want to be service-doers, so what are their intentions? By this I mean what they want to do, what their ambitions are, and what their aim is in believing in God. Basically, we fellowshipped on the subtopic of “the ways in which antichrists regard the title ‘service-doer’” from these three aspects, and through these three aspects we dissected the various practices and behaviors antichrists employ in their approach to the title “service-doer,” as well as their thoughts and perspectives on it. You don’t contemplate the content of each fellowship after you hear it. You remember only these things in the short term, but if a long time passes, you can’t even remember these things. If you want to understand and gain the truth, then you must make effort in your heart and frequently pray-read and contemplate—you must have these matters in your heart. If you don’t, if you don’t take these matters to heart and make no effort, and you don’t think about these matters in your heart, then you won’t gain anything. Some people say, “The matter of antichrists is so far away from me. I’m not planning on being an antichrist and I’m not a bad person like them. I’ll just dutifully be the most insignificant person, and that’s fine with me. I’ll do whatever I’m asked to do and I won’t follow the path of an antichrist. What’s more, even if I have a little of an antichrist’s disposition, I’ll change it gradually over time, and that’s just an ordinary corrupt disposition and not that serious. There’s no point in listening to this.” Is this perspective correct? (No.) Why not? If someone wants to achieve dispositional change, then most importantly they must comprehend what states, thoughts, and perspectives can arise from their corrupt dispositions in all manner of situations. Only by comprehending these things can they know what their own corrupt dispositions are, in what areas they resist God and go against the truth, and what things they have inside them that are at odds with the truth; once they know these things, they can resolve these problems and corrupt dispositions, and attain entry into the truth reality. If you have no comprehension of the various corrupt dispositions that are revealed or the various states that can arise in various situations, and you have no comprehension of the ways in which these things oppose the truth or where the problems arise, how then will you resolve these problems? If you want to resolve these problems, you must first comprehend where their source lies, what their states are, where the specific problems arise, and then set about solving how you are to enter in. In this way, your corrupt dispositions and the various states that arise can be resolved one by one. It seems that you’re still not very clear on entering the truth reality or on resolving corrupt dispositions and attaining dispositional change; you still aren’t on the right track.

5. How Antichrists Approach Their Status in the Church

Today, we’ll fellowship on the final topic concerning the interests of antichrists: how antichrists approach their status in the church. When it comes to their status in the church, what manifestations antichrists display, what things they do, and what their perspectives and disposition essence are when they do those things—we’ll divide them into three aspects and dissect them one by one. The first aspect is “with pretense,” the second is “with imposture,” and the third is “by towering over all.” Each of these three aspects is written in few words and can be considered condensed, yet there are many of the various actions, manifestations, and sayings of the antichrists, as well as their attitudes and dispositions included in each one. Have a think now about why I defined these three aspects to fellowship on today’s topic. How did you define this topic of how antichrists approach their status in the church in your minds after you’d read it? What ideas did you have? What most people think of in their minds is undoubtedly the antichrists’ tyranny, their asserting of status, their winning people over, and their seizing of power in the church, that is, they always want to be officials, to assert their status, to hold power, and to control people—basically, these things are what people think of. These are relatively obvious aspects which antichrists often manifest in the church, so besides these, what other manifestations are there that people can’t see? What else do antichrists do to get a firm foothold in the church, to gain status and high prestige, and even to take power and control more people? What other manifestations do they have? These things are the more misleading, insidious, and covert ways and means antichrists employ, and could also be the unknown thoughts and hidden intents and aims in their innermost hearts, right? So, let’s fellowship on them one by one.

a. With Pretense

The first aspect is “with pretense.” The literal meaning of the word “pretense” is easy to understand and it is clearly not commendatory. When someone is said to be good at pretense, that everything they do is a pretense, that everything they do is impenetrable to others, and they only act and speak on a superficial level with others, then someone who acts and behaves in such a way is certainly a very deceitful person. They are not an honest person, and they are not a simple, guileless person, but rather they are very good at mind games, they are very subtle, and they are very good at deceiving others. This is the most fundamental understanding of the word “pretense.” So, what then is the relationship between the behavior and actions of antichrists and this kind of behavior? What do they do that shows they have an essence of pretense? What exactly is their purpose in engaging in pretense? What exactly is their intent? Why do they have to engage in pretense? These things are closely related to the topic we will fellowship on today.

Antichrists are people who are unwilling to fall behind others. They are unwilling to be dependent upon others, unwilling to accept other people’s orders, instructions, and commands, and unwilling to be ordinary and looked down upon by others. Rather, they are people who wish to have prestige, to have others hold them in high esteem, and to have others value them highly. Moreover, in the church and among other people, they wish even more to be people who give orders and instruct others to do things for themselves. They want to implement their wishes by means of their own prestige, influence, and the power they wield, and they don’t want to be ordinary people whom anyone can order about and instruct to do things. These are the pursuits and desires antichrists have among other people. Antichrists are quite sensitive when it comes to their status among other people. When in a group, they don’t believe their age and physical health are of any importance. What they believe to be important is how the majority sees them, whether the majority gives them time and saves them a place in their speech and actions, whether their status and position in the hearts of the majority are high or ordinary, whether the majority sees them as high up or ordinary or nothing special, and so on; what the majority considers their credentials of faith in God to be like, how weighty their words are among people, that is, how many people approve of them, how many people praise them, give them the thumbs up, listen attentively, and take it to heart after they say something; moreover, whether the majority sees them as having great or little faith, what their determination to endure suffering is like, how much they give up and expend, what their contributions to God’s house are like, whether the post they hold in God’s house is high or low, what they’ve suffered in the past, and what important things they’ve done—these are the things they are most concerned about. Antichrists often rank position and order in their minds, often comparing who is the most gifted in the church, who is the most articulate and eloquent in the church, who is good at professional skills and most proficient in technology. While they compare these things, they are constantly expending effort to study various professional skills, striving to be able to be proficient in and have mastery over them. Antichrists mainly focus on making effort with giving sermons and with how to explain God’s words in a way that shows themselves off and gets others to think highly of them. While they’re making this effort, they’re not seeking how to understand the truth or how to enter the truth reality, but rather they’re pondering how to remember these words, how they can show off their strengths to even more people, so that even more people come to know that they’re really something, that they’re not just ordinary people, that they’re capable, and that they’re higher up than ordinary people. Harboring these kinds of ideas, intents, and views, antichrists live among people doing all kinds of different things. Because they have these views, and because they have these pursuits and ambitions, they cannot help but engender good behaviors, correct sayings, and good actions of all kinds, great and small. These behaviors and actions cause those people who have no spiritual understanding, who basically don’t pursue the truth and who focus only on having good behavior to envy and admire the antichrists, and even imitate and follow them, and in this way, the antichrists’ aim is fulfilled. When antichrists harbor such intents and ambitions, how do they behave? This is what we’ll fellowship on today. It is a topic worth fellowshipping on, and even more so it is a topic worth focusing on and knowing for each of you.

Antichrists are averse to the truth, they do not accept the truth at all—which manifestly indicates one fact: Antichrists never act according to the truth principles, they never practice the truth—which is the most blatant manifestation of an antichrist. Apart from reputation and status, and being blessed and rewarded, another thing they pursue is the enjoyment of the comforts of the flesh and of the benefits of status; and with this being the case, they naturally cause disruptions and disturbances. These facts show that what they pursue, and their behavior and manifestations are not beloved by God. And these are absolutely not the actions and behaviors of people who pursue the truth. For example, some antichrists who are like Paul have the resolve to suffer when they do their duty, they can stay up all night and go without food when doing their work, they can subdue their own bodies, can overcome any sickness and discomfort. And what is their aim in doing all this? It is to show everyone that they are capable of putting themselves aside—of self-abnegation—when it comes to God’s commission; that for them, there is only duty. They exhibit all this in front of other people. When people are around, they do not rest when they should, even deliberately extending their working hours, getting up early and going to bed late. But what about work efficiency and the effectiveness of their duty when the antichrists toil like this from morning until night? These things are beyond the scope of their considerations. They only try to do all this in front of others, so that other people can see them suffering, and see how they expend for God without any thought to themselves. As for whether the duty they do and the work they are doing is carried out according to the truth principles, they don’t think about this at all. All they think about is whether their outwardly good behavior has been seen by everyone, whether everyone is aware of it, whether they have left an impression on everyone, and whether this impression will provoke admiration and approval in them, whether these people will give them the thumbs up behind their backs and praise them by saying, “They really can endure hardship, their spirit of endurance and extraordinary perseverance are beyond any of us. This is someone who pursues the truth, who is able to suffer and endure a heavy burden, they are a pillar in the church.” Hearing this, the antichrists are satisfied. In their hearts they think, “I was so clever to pretend like that, I was so smart to do this! I knew everyone would only look at the outside, and they like these good behaviors. I knew that if I acted like this, it would earn people’s approval, it would make them give me the thumbs up, it would make them admire me in the depths of their hearts, make them look favorably upon me, and that no one would look down on me ever again. And if a day comes when the Above discovers that I haven’t been doing real work and dismisses me, there will undoubtedly be many people who stick up for me, who cry for me, and urge me to stay, and speak on my behalf.” They secretly rejoice over their fake behavior—and does this rejoicing not also reveal the nature essence of an antichrist? And what essence is this? (Wickedness.) That’s right—this is the essence of wickedness. Dominated by this essence of wickedness, antichrists engender a state of complacency and self-admiration which causes them to secretly clamor against and oppose God in their hearts. On the surface, they appear to pay a great price and their flesh endures much suffering, but are they truly considerate of God’s burden? Do they genuinely expend themselves for God? Can they loyally do their duty? No, they can’t. In their hearts, they secretly compete with God, thinking, “Didn’t You say I’m without the truth? Didn’t You say I have corrupt dispositions? Didn’t You say that I’m arrogant and conceited, and that I try to establish my own kingdom? Didn’t You say I have no spiritual understanding, that I don’t understand the truth, and so am a service-doer? I’ll show You how I render service, and what the brothers and sisters think of me when I render service like this and I act like this. I’ll show You whether or not I can win the admiration of even more people by acting like this. And one day when You want to send me away and condemn me, then I’ll see how exactly You’re going to manage that!” Antichrists compete with God in this way in their hearts and they try to replace pursuing the truth with these good behaviors. In so doing, they try to negate the practical effect of God working and leading people to practice the truth so that they achieve dispositional change. In essence, they use this interpretation to negate and condemn God’s work of saving man through judgment and chastisement, and they believe that it’s wrong and ineffective for God to judge people. These ideas and perspectives antichrists have are wicked, insidious, God-resisting, and against God. When God has not condemned them explicitly, they begin to compete with God in their hearts; when God has not exposed them and condemned their behavior, they begin to use pretense to mislead others and win over people’s hearts in order to deny God’s words and deny the fact that only pursuing the truth can lead to dispositional change and the satisfaction of God’s intentions. Isn’t this the essence of their interpretation? Don’t antichrists have a wicked disposition? Behind their suffering, they harbor such ambitions and adulterations, and that’s why God detests such people and such a disposition. Antichrists, however, never see or acknowledge this fact. God scrutinizes man’s innermost heart, whereas man sees only the external appearance of man—the stupidest thing about antichrists is that they don’t acknowledge this fact, nor can they see it. And so they do all they can to use good behavior to package and glamorize themselves so that others think they can suffer and endure hardship, endure suffering which common people cannot, do work that common people cannot, so that others think they have stamina, that they can subdue their own bodies, and that they have no consideration for their own fleshly interests or enjoyment. Sometimes they’ll even intentionally wear their clothes until they’re a little dirty and not wash them, not washing them even when they begin to smell; they do whatever makes other people worship them. The more they’re in front of others, the more they do all they can to show themselves so that others see them as different from common people, that their desire to expend themselves for God is greater than that of common people, that their determination to suffer is greater than that of common people, and that their stamina for enduring suffering is greater than that of common people. Antichrists engender such behaviors in these kinds of circumstances, and behind these behaviors is the desire of the antichrists deep in their hearts for people to worship and think highly of them. And when they achieve their goal, when they hear people’s praises, and when they see people casting envious, admiring, and appreciative looks at them, that is when they feel happy and satisfied in their hearts.

What is the difference between antichrists’ superficial good behavior of enduring suffering and paying a price and genuinely being considerate to God’s intentions, being loyal, and sincerely expending oneself for God? (The intent is different. Those who genuinely expend themselves for God will focus on seeking the principles, on work results, and on work efficiency. Antichrists appear to expend themselves for God on the surface, but it is only to get others to hold them in high esteem. They don’t consider work efficiency or work results at all.) That’s right, there’s a difference in the intent, motivation, and source of their speech and actions—it is absolutely different. People who endure suffering like they do and pursue the truth seek the principles in the course of this suffering. Seeking the principles shows at the very least that they have a mentality of submission; they don’t try to do their own things or try to do things for themselves, they have submission and a God-fearing heart in their actions, and they know very clearly that they are doing their duty and not engaging in the business of man. Although antichrists likewise appear to endure suffering, they just go through the motions and make a show of it for people to see; they don’t seek the truth principles, they have no submission or God-fearing heart in their actions, their hearts don’t live before God, and they try to use such behavior and manifestations to win people over and buy people’s favor. There is a difference here, isn’t there? Judging by the essence of antichrists’ behavior, can we say that their enduring suffering is a pretense? (Yes.) This is sufficient to prove that their behavior and manifestation of enduring suffering is just them going through the motions and making a show of it for people to see—they are not acting before God. This is one aspect. Another aspect is that no one is more adept at pretense and deception than the antichrists—which means that they are highly adaptable, and often employ certain crafty means to mislead and deceive people in order to achieve their aims of making people worship them. This is what they’re best at, it is in their bones, they innately possess this crafty and changeable essence. There are some antichrists, for example, whose words and behavior seem very kind and humble, who never expose the weaknesses of others, who are accommodating, who are not quick to judge or condemn others, who, when people are negative and weak, immediately reach out a helping hand. They give the impression of being warmhearted and kind, a good person. When people are in difficulty, they sometimes help with words, and sometimes with a few actions; there are even times when they donate some money or material things to help them. On the outside, their actions seem good. In most people’s minds, this is the type of person they want to meet and associate with; such people will not threaten or disturb them, and they can gain much help from them—material or mental assistance, for example, even help with higher spiritual theories, and so on. Outwardly, such people do nothing bad: They do not disrupt or disturb in the church, and seem to bring harmony to whatever group they’re in; under their operation and mediation, everyone seems happy, people get on, and have no quarrels or disputes. When they’re there, everyone feels how well they get on with each other, how close they are. When they’re gone, some people start gossiping with each other, ostracizing each other, getting jealous and disputing things; only when the antichrist is among them and calls for peace does everyone stop arguing. The antichrist seems very capable in their work, but there’s one thing that shows what they’re really up to: Everyone whom they teach and lead is able to speak words and doctrines, they all know how to stand on their high horse and lecture others, they all know how to flatter people and curry favor with them, they know how to be slippery and crafty, they know what to say to which people, they become people-pleasers, and on the outside, seem perfectly at peace. What has the antichrist made the church into? Into a religious organization. And the result? People live by their satanic philosophy, and are not willing to pursue the truth, and have no entry into life, and have completely lost the work of the Holy Spirit. This is how the antichrists bring harm upon the brothers and sisters and forfeit them—and yet they still think that they’ve made great contributions, that they’ve done great things for the brothers and sisters, and brought them great blessings. They frequently teach the brothers and sisters to be humble and patient, to be tolerant and considerate when they see that a brother or sister has a problem, to not be coarse in speech or hurtful to others, and they instruct others on what pose to adopt when sitting or standing or what clothes to wear. What they often teach the brothers and sisters is not how to understand the truth or enter the truth reality, but how to follow regulations and behave well. Under their tutelage, people’s interactions are based not on God’s words, not on the truth principles, but on an interpersonal philosophy of being a people-pleaser. On the outside, no one is hurtful to each other, no one points out others’ failings, but no one tells anyone what they’re really thinking, and they do not open up and fellowship their corruption, rebelliousness, shortcomings, and transgressions. Instead, on a superficial level, they prattle on about who has suffered and paid a price, who has been loyal in doing their duty, who has been beneficial to the brothers and sisters, who has made considerable contributions in the house of God, who has been arrested and sentenced because of spreading the gospel—that’s all they talk about. Antichrists don’t just use good behavior—being outwardly humble, patient, tolerant, and helpful—to package and disguise themselves; they also try to set a personal example to infect others with this good behavior, and encourage them to emulate it. The aim behind their good behavior is nothing more than to make themselves the focus of people’s attention, to make people think highly of them. When God’s chosen ones speak of their self-knowledge and dissect their own corrupt dispositions, they keep silent, and make absolutely no attempt to dissect their own corruption. When the brothers and sisters expose and prune each other’s revelations of corruption, the antichrists are the only ones who practice humility, patience, and tolerance toward all; they don’t expose the corruption that anyone reveals, and even commend and praise the brothers and sisters for their good behavior, and for changing; they play the part of people-pleasers, putting on an act of being loving, considerate, tolerant, and comforting. These are the manifestations of antichrists being supremely adept at pretending and deceiving and misleading people.

To all appearances, the antichrists’ words seem especially kind, cultured, and distinguished. No matter who violates principle or disrupts and disturbs church work, the antichrist does not expose or criticize these people; they turn a blind eye, letting people think they are magnanimous in all matters. Regardless of what corruptions people reveal and what evil deeds they do, the antichrist is understanding and tolerant. They do not grow angry, or fly into a rage, they will not get cross and blame people when they do something wrong and harm the interests of God’s house. No matter who commits evil and disturbs the work of the church, they pay no heed, as if this has nothing to do with them, and they will never offend people because of it. What are the antichrists most concerned with? With how many people think highly of them, and with how many people see them when they suffer, and praise them for it. The antichrists believe that suffering must never be for nothing; no matter what hardship they endure, what price they pay, what good deeds they do, how caring, considerate, and loving they are toward others, this must all be carried out in front of others so that more people can see it. And what is their aim in acting thus? To buy people’s favor, to make more people feel admiration and approval toward their actions, toward their conduct, toward their character in their hearts. There are even antichrists that try to establish an image of themselves as “a good person” through this outwardly good behavior, so that more people come to them looking for help. For instance, someone becomes weak and believes that most people are without love, that they are very selfish, and that they don’t like helping others and are not warmhearted, and then they think of that “good person” who is actually an antichrist. Or, someone encounters a difficulty in their work and doesn’t know how to resolve it. They can’t think of anyone who could help, and the first person they think of is this “good person” who is actually an antichrist. Someone doesn’t want to do their duty anymore, they want to pursue the world, pursue power and riches, and live their own life, and even though they become so negative and weak, they don’t pray to God or fellowship with anyone, and in this situation they think of that “good person” who is actually an antichrist. As things go on in this way, these people don’t pray to God or read God’s words anymore when they encounter issues, instead wanting to rely on this “good person” who is actually an antichrist to help them. They only open their hearts and say what’s in their hearts to this people-pleaser, asking this people-pleaser to solve their difficulties; they affirm and follow this antichrist. And isn’t the antichrist’s aim thereby achieved? When the antichrist has achieved their aim, doesn’t their status in the church become higher than that of ordinary people? And when they can be number one and become the big fish in the church, are they really satisfied? No, they’re not. What aim do they want to achieve? They want to get even more people to approve of them, hold them in high esteem, and worship them, to hold a position in people’s hearts, and particularly to get people to look up to them, rely on them, and follow them when they encounter difficulties in their faith in God and have nowhere to turn. This is much more serious than the antichrist wanting to be number one and to be the big fish in the church. What’s so serious about it? (They contend with God to hold a position in people’s hearts. They want to directly replace God.) (Such people are difficult to discern. They use superficial good behavior to mislead others, which leads to others no longer seeking the truth in God’s words or fellowshipping on the truth when they have a problem, but instead depending on and looking up to these antichrists, getting them to solve their problems and regarding their words as the truth, resulting in these people growing more and more distant from God. This is a more insidious and malicious method.) That’s right, you’ve all understood and mentioned the important point, which is that antichrists hold a position and lay down roots in people’s hearts and want to take God’s place. Someone says, “If I go looking for God, I can’t find Him; I can’t see Him. If I look for God’s words, the book is so thick, there are too many words, and it’s hard to find answers. But if I go to this person, then I get answers right away; it’s both convenient and beneficial.” You see, their actions have already made people not only worship them in their hearts, but also leave a place for them there. They want to take God’s place—this is the antichrist’s aim in doing these things. It is evident that, by doing these things, the antichrist has already achieved initial success; there is already a place for this antichrist in the hearts of these undiscerning people, and some people already worship and look up to them. This is the aim the antichrist wants to achieve. If someone has a problem and prays to God instead of seeking the antichrist, they’re displeased, and think, “Why are you always going to God? Why do you always think of God? Why don’t you see me or think of me? I’m so humble and patient, I’m able to forsake things and expend myself so much, and I give to charity, so why don’t you come to me? I help you so much. Why don’t you have any conscience?” They feel unhappy and upset, and they feel angry—angry at that person and at God. In order to achieve their ultimate aim, they keep up the pretense, they keep giving to charity and remain patient and tolerant, they appear humble, they speak benevolently, they never hurt others, and they often provide comfort when people are trying to know themselves. Someone says: “I’m rebellious; I’m a devil and Satan.” They respond: “You’re not a devil or Satan. This is just a small problem. Don’t put yourself down so much and don’t underestimate yourself. God has raised us up; we’re not ordinary people, and you mustn’t belittle yourself. You’re much better than I am; I’m more corrupt than you. If you’re a devil, then I’m a wicked devil. If you’re a wicked devil, then I must go down into hell and suffer perdition.” This is how they help people. If someone admits to causing a loss to the interests of God’s house or to the church’s work, the antichrist says to them: “Causing a loss to the church’s work while doing your duty and going a little astray isn’t a big deal. I’ve previously caused losses much greater than you have and I’ve gone down much more crooked paths. Just change how you do things in the future, it’s not a problem. If you feel that your conscience can’t bear it, I have some money and I’ll make up the loss for you, so don’t be upset. If you have any problem in the future, just come to me and I’ll do all I can to help you, and whatever I can do, I’ll do right away.” They have this sense of “personal loyalty,” but what are they actually doing this for? Are they really helping you? They’re harming you, leading you into a ditch—you’ve fallen into the temptation of Satan. They dig a hole for you, and you jump right in; you fall into the trap and still think it’s great there, and you’re ruined by this antichrist without even knowing it—such stupidity! This is how Satan and antichrists treat, mislead, and harm people. The antichrist says: “It’s fine if you just consider the interests of God’s house a little bit and are a bit careful in the future. This matter can be rectified, no one would do it on purpose. Who among us can be a perfect person? None of us are perfect; we’re all corrupt. I used to be much worse than you. Let’s exhort each other in the future. Besides, even if God’s house suffers some losses, God won’t remember them. God is so forgiving and tolerant toward man. If we can show tolerance toward each other, mustn’t God be even more capable of tolerance? If God says He won’t remember our transgressions, then we no longer have any transgressions.” No matter how big a mistake a person may make, the antichrist just downplays it with a joke and passes it over, showing how big their heart is, and how benevolent, great, and tolerant they are. Conversely, this makes people mistakenly believe that God is always exposing people in His utterances, always making a fuss about people’s corrupt dispositions, and always nitpicking with people. If a person has transgressed or rebelled, God prunes, judges and chastises them, and it seems as though He is inconsiderate to people. The antichrist, however, can tolerate and forgive people in all situations; they are so great and respected. Isn’t this how it is? There are also some antichrists who say, “Unbelievers have this saying: ‘In a big household with lots of property, a little waste is nothing.’ God’s house is so big, and God gives bountiful blessings. It’s not a big deal to be a bit wasteful; God bestows so much on us. Have we not wasted much? And what has God done to us? Hasn’t God tolerated it all? Man is weak and corrupt, and God saw this long ago, so if He’s seen it then why doesn’t He punish us? This proves that God is patient and merciful!” What kind of thing is this to say? They use words that seem right and accord with people’s notions to mislead people and make them fall into temptation, to disturb their vision and misguide them, and to make them misunderstand God, so that they have not even a shred of a desire or wish to submit to Him. Instigated, misled and misdirected by antichrists, people lose what little conscience they have, and they all begin to obey and submit to the antichrists.

Antichrists are particularly adept at pretense when around other people. Just like the Pharisees, they appear on the outside to be very tolerant of people and patient, humble and good-natured—they seem so very lenient and tolerant with everyone. When handling problems, they always show how incredibly tolerant they are toward people from their position of status, and in every aspect they appear magnanimous and broad-minded, not being nitpicky with others, and showing people how great and kind they are. In reality, do antichrists actually possess these essences? They act for the good of others, are tolerant with people, and can help people in all situations, but what is their hidden motive for doing these things? Would they still do these things if they weren’t trying to win people over and buy people’s favor? Is this really how antichrists are behind closed doors? Are they really as they appear to be when around other people—humble and patient, tolerant of others, and helping others with love? Do they possess such an essence and such a disposition? Is this what their character is? Not at all. Everything they do is a pretense and is done to mislead people and buy people’s favor so that even more people come to have a favorable impression of them in their hearts, and so that people think of them first and seek their help when they have a problem. In order to achieve this aim, antichrists deliberately scheme to show off around others, to say and do right things. Before they speak, who knows how many times they will filter or process their words in their minds. They will deliberately scheme and rack their brains, pondering over their wording, expressions, pitch, voice, and even over the look they give people and the tone they speak with. They will ponder over who it is they’re talking to, whether that person is old or young, whether that person’s status is higher or lower than their own, whether that person holds them in high esteem, whether that person privately resents them, whether that person’s personality is compatible with their own, what duty that person does, and what their position in the church and in the hearts of their brothers and sisters is like. They will carefully observe and attentively ponder these things, and once they’ve pondered them, they come up with ways to approach all kinds of people. Regardless of the ways in which antichrists treat different kinds of people, their aim is nothing more than to get people to hold them in high esteem, to get people to no longer look at them as an equal but rather to look up to them, to have even more people admire and look up to them when they speak, endorse and follow them when they do things, and absolve and defend them when they make a mistake, and to have even more people fight in their corner, complain bitterly on their behalf, and take a stand to argue with and oppose God when they are revealed and rejected. When they fall from power, they’re able to have so many people assist, express support for, and stick up for them, which shows that the status and power that the antichrists have deliberately schemed to cultivate in the church have taken root deeply in people’s hearts, and that their “painstaking effort” has not been in vain.

Antichrists strive to manage and approach their status, prestige, reputation, and authority among people to the best of their ability—they will not slack off, be softhearted, and even less will they be careless. They observe the expression in everyone else’s eyes, their personalities, their daily routines, their pursuits, their attitudes toward positive and negative things, and even more so they observe everyone else’s faith and loyalty in their belief in God, as well as their attitudes toward expending themselves for God and doing their duties, and so on—they exert a great deal of effort on these things. So, based on this attitude they have, they avoid and guard themselves from those who pursue the truth and who can discern them, and they speak and act cautiously when around such people. When around people with relatively weak personalities, who are often negative and don’t understand the truth, and certain people who are foolish and lacking in the ability to understand the truth, they frequently do all they can to show themselves, constantly putting on a performance like a circus act and seizing every opportunity to put on a performance. For example, when at gatherings, most people approve of them, a minority of people feel repulsed by them, and even more people have no discernment of them, and so they begin to perform and look for opportunities to give fellowship. They give fellowship on their own experiences, on their past “glorious history,” on the merit they’ve achieved in God’s house, and even on how the Above has appreciated them and personally pruned them—they can’t let even one opportunity like this pass them by. No matter who they’re with or what the occasion, antichrists only ever do one thing: They perform; that is, they engage in grandstanding. This is the essence of antichrists: They’re averse to the truth, wicked, and shameless. How far do they go in their performances? Perhaps you’ve witnessed some yourselves. Some of them can clearly be seen to be putting on a performance, showing off, winning over people’s hearts, and seizing opportunities to get others to think highly of them. Some people despise them, some ignore them, and even mock them, but they don’t care. What do they care about? What they care about is their performance leaving people with a deep impression, getting people to see how they dare to say things, that they have courage, leadership style, leadership talent, the courage to not get stage fright in front of everyone, and even more so the ability to handle things without panicking. They feel satisfied when they’ve gotten people to understand and see these things, and that’s why they do all they can to perform the moment they get the opportunity to do so, and they perform without restraint, without any scruples, and without any shame. This is what antichrists do. If I always fellowship on the main topic in gatherings, some people get drowsy while they listen to Me talk. Or else when I fellowship on the main topic, people’s minds are still on other things and it’s not easy for them to attend to what I’m saying. In situations like these, I chat a little, tell a story or tell a joke. These things and stories usually have to do with certain corrupt dispositions and states that people reveal in their lives. I use stories or tell a joke to wake people up a bit so that they can understand a little better. When antichrists see this, they think, “You tell jokes in Your sermons at gatherings. I can too, I’m just as good as You. I’ll just casually make a lame joke and make everyone burst out laughing, and everyone will enjoy it—how great is that! I’ll just casually tell a story, and then no one will want to attend the gatherings anymore, they’ll just want to hear my stories.” They compete with Me on this. Is there any point in them competing with Me on this? Why do I tell stories? Why do I engage in chit-chat? People can understand some things from My chat and stories, and this helps them to understand the truth in a relaxed way—this is My aim. Antichrists, however, seize upon this and try to take advantage of it, saying, “At gatherings, during that time that is so crucial and important, You just engage in chit-chat, so I will too.” Is chit-chat always the same? Antichrists, these pieces of trash, don’t even understand the truth, so what can come from their chit-chat? What can come from their stories or jokes? These beasts without spiritual understanding take the serious matters of fellowshipping on the truth and telling stories too superficially and casually. What kind of people do this? Antichrists, people with no spiritual understanding, and people who don’t pursue the truth like doing things like this.

The eyes of brothers and sisters, the eyes of most people, can pick out almost no fault in the acts of pretense that antichrists engage in. Why is this? It’s because antichrists cover up and hide their faults and won’t let you see them; they keep their wicked side, their debauched side, and their bad side hidden behind closed doors. Where is “behind closed doors”? It’s the places you cannot see, that is, in their home, in society, in their job, in front of their relatives and friends; these are areas you cannot see or come into contact with. Their words and behavior which you can see and come into contact with are entirely the side of them that is pretense, the side of them that has undergone processing. The side of them you cannot see is their true essence, their true face. And what is their true face? When around their nonbelieving family, they say all kinds of bad words—complaints, resentful words, and hostile words against others, words judging and condemning brothers and sisters, complaints about God’s house being unrighteous—they say all these things, leaving nothing out, not holding back in the slightest. When around their relatives and friends, they discuss the secular world and gossip about other people’s families, they join in all the secular activities of the unbelievers, and even actively participate in weddings and funerals. They gossip with unbelievers, they judge and curse others, spread rumors about people and slander them behind their backs—they say all these things. When among the unbelievers, while dealing with other people, they swindle people, they form cliques, they attack people, and in the workplace they can frame others, tell tales on others, and trample over others to get a higher position—they can do all these things too. When with their families or unbelievers, they’re not patient, tolerant, or humble, but instead they completely reveal their true colors. In God’s house, they’re sheep in wolf’s clothing, and when among unbelievers, people who don’t believe in God, they reveal their wolf’s face for all to see; they fight against the unbelievers for their interests, for a word, for a saying, and will argue endlessly for the smallest interest with unbelievers until their face turns red. If they gain no benefit or get pruned in God’s house, they go home and cause a ruckus, they make trouble, and act in a way that makes their family afraid of them. Among unbelievers, they have no Christian decency, nor do they bear witness like Christians should—they are a wolf through and through, not even a human. In God’s house and before brothers and sisters, they make promises, they swear oaths, express their determination, and they appear willing to expend themselves for God and seem to have faith in God. When they come among the unbelievers, however, their pursuits and beliefs are the same as the unbelievers’. Some even follow celebrities as the unbelievers do and copy what the celebrities wear every day, exposing their upper body, having disheveled hair, and wearing heavy makeup—they resemble neither a human nor a ghost. They wear fashionable clothes and keep pace with the times every day, feeling that life is so full of flavor, and deep down in their innermost heart, they feel no sense of disgust toward the way unbelievers live at all. Antichrists do many things and go to great effort to assure themselves a place in the church and have prestige and status in people’s hearts. This effort is made entirely to achieve their aims and to get others to think highly of and worship them. These behaviors, approaches, and external revelations form a clear comparison with how they live behind closed doors, and their actions and behavior behind people’s backs are utterly not things a Christian should do. With such a clear comparison, we can determine that everything they do and reveal around brothers and sisters is all pretense, that it is not real and not a natural revelation. Antichrists engage in pretense only to achieve their aims, otherwise they would never compromise themselves to do these things. Judging by what they do and the revelations of their dispositions behind closed doors, as well as by their own pursuits, they don’t love the truth, they don’t love positive things, they don’t love decency and uprightness, much less do they love enduring suffering and paying a price or following the Christian path. Therefore, these good behaviors they show do not spring from their hearts, they are not voluntary, not genuine, but rather they are contrary to their own wishes, are done for others to see, and are done to win favor and buy off people’s hearts. Some people say, “How do they benefit from buying off people’s hearts?” This is where antichrists are different from ordinary people; this benefit is of such importance to them. So then, what is this benefit? It is that, when they stand among people, there is no one who does not know them, no one who does not give them the thumbs up, no one who does not praise them, no one who does not worship them. People seek the antichrist out when they have an issue instead of seeking and praying to God. And when everyone worships the antichrist and revolves around them, how does the antichrist feel? They feel that they are a godlike or extraordinary person, and they feel like they’re floating on clouds, living on cloud nine, which is different from how an ordinary person lives. When they’re among people, everyone heaps praise and admiration on them and extols them like stars clustering around the moon—what a great feeling this is, and how much enjoyment, comfort, and happiness there is in their heart! This is precisely what antichrists want. However, if no one in a group of people pays the antichrist any attention, if very few people know their name, if no one knows their strengths, if they’re regarded as an ordinary person in most people’s minds, someone without any special characteristics, without any strengths, without anything extraordinary about them and nothing for other people to esteem or respect, nothing for anyone to speak admiringly about, then this makes the antichrist feel uncomfortable and bad in their heart; they don’t feel like a deity or like they’re floating on clouds. To them, living like this is too boring, too uncomfortable, too stifling, too unfulfilling, and not worth it. They think that if they are to be just an ordinary person all their life, performing some duty and becoming a qualified created being, then what pleasure is there in such a life? How can there be so little pleasure in believing in God? To them, this is too low a standard, and it needs to be raised. But how is it to be raised? They must increase their popularity so that people look up to them and esteem them highly, and they can live a life of splendor. That’s why, when they pray, they don’t pray at home on their own, but instead must go to church to pray, pray when gathered together with brothers and sisters, pray loudly, pray grammatically, logically, in an orderly way, and thoughtfully, pray so that everyone present can hear, so that everyone present can hear their eloquence and clear thinking, and know that they have their own pursuit. When they read God’s words, they don’t read them alone at home either. First, they prepare at home, and then they read for others to hear so that other people see that the words of God they read are all important, all crucial. No matter what they do, they always do their homework behind closed doors, and only when they are prepared, when other people think them respectable and approve of them, do they come before others. There are even some who preview and prepare at home in front of the mirror before bringing it before others. When they bring it before other people, it is not in its most original state, but has already undergone processing many times, processed via the antichrist’s thoughts, views, corrupt dispositions, cunning schemes and underhanded means. In order to achieve their aim of having status and popularity in the church and among people, antichrists will not flinch at paying any price to do these things. Therefore, what are all these things called? Are they true revelations? Are they practices which someone pursuing dispositional change should be engaged in? (No.) They all spring from pretense; antichrists engage in so much pretense that it makes one sick!

Some people won’t give fellowship at gatherings if they haven’t prepared a draft first. They have to prepare a draft behind closed doors first, amend it many times, process it, polish it, and only when it’s ready will they give fellowship before brothers and sisters. Someone says to them, “We’re all brothers and sisters here. Just speak honestly and truthfully at gatherings. Just say whatever comes to mind. That’s the best way.” They reply, “No, I can’t. If I do that, then brothers and sisters will look down on me.” You see, they unconsciously say something true. In every respect, they do things to safeguard their reputation and status. Some people who are outstanding talents, professors, university students, doctoral students, or scientific researchers in society use certain pretending behaviors and processed behaviors to interact with people in order to prove themselves and safeguard their status and reputation. That is, they wear a mask to interact with people, and people never know what they’re truly after, whether they have any weakness, what exactly they get up to behind closed doors, and there is always a hint of doubt, always a question mark, when it comes to their private life and how they conduct themselves. Don’t these people engage in such profound pretense? So, how should you approach these people? Should it be that because they are false with you, you are false with them? For example, they speak only polite pleasantries when they meet you, so you are just constantly polite with them, too—is this acceptable? (No.) So then, what is the appropriate way to associate with them? (When one discovers that they’re showing these manifestations, one should first expose them, fellowship with them on what the nature essence of this kind of disposition is and what intent it is governed by. If they don’t accept what one says, then one should not fellowship with them again.) You must expose them, and if they don’t accept what you say, then shun them. Are there any among you who could still be misled by them and worship them? With the stature you have now, you are basically able to see through these obvious Pharisees a little, but if you encounter someone who is more capable, who can engage in pretense, who keeps themself deeply hidden, will you be able to see through them? If they only ever say and do the right things, if they appear to have no faults and never make mistakes, if you sometimes become negative and weak with some matters but they never do, and if they do then they can solve it themselves and quickly emerge from it, but you can’t, then when you encounter such people you will approve of and worship them, and you will learn from them and follow them; if you are not able to discern such people, then it’s hard to say whether you will be deceived by them or not.

How many aspects have we fellowshipped on this topic of pretense? One aspect is that they use enduring suffering as a pretense. In their hearts, they really don’t want to endure suffering and they feel very resistant toward it, yet they very reluctantly endure suffering, give things up, and pay a price in order to achieve their aims. After they’ve suffered, they still don’t resign themselves to it and feel that this suffering wasn’t worth it because many people aren’t aware of it. They therefore go publicizing it everywhere, telling lots of people who didn’t know about it. In the end, some people come to know what happened and get a profound impression of them, think highly of them and worship them, and thereby they achieve their aims. There are also some who advertise themselves as good people, as well-behaved and dutiful, wanting to associate with people using this kind of image, identity, and personality so that people believe they are good people and get close to them. They take being a good person like this as their aim in order to receive admiration from even more people, so that people think highly of them and they can increase their popularity. Isn’t that so? (Yes, it is.) Using certain approaches antichrists employ, we’ve just now exposed and dissected the hidden aims behind their pretending behavior and the essence of their pretense, what things they do and say, and what manifestations they display which prove that they are engaging in pretense. We will finish fellowshipping on this item here.

b. With Imposture

Now we’ll fellowship on the second aspect. Antichrists often use imposture to obtain status; they say certain things people like to hear and which accord with people’s notions, and they do certain things on the surface which cause people to approve of and admire them, thereby increasing their popularity—this is another way in which antichrists mislead people. Is there a difference between imposture and pretense? In terms of external behavior, pretense and imposture are usually one state; they are interrelated. We’ll fellowship on them separately so that they sound clearer for people, and so that people can get to know them more clearly. The primary meaning of “imposture” is not fake, but rather impersonating. Why do antichrists engage in imposture? Naturally, they have certain aims: Antichrists engage in imposture in order to gain status and prestige; if not, they would never engage in imposture, they would never do such a stupid thing. This can be plainly seen by those with discerning eyes. If people often engage in imposture, they will naturally earn the disgust, detestation, and excoriation of others—so why do the antichrists still do as they do? This is just their nature: They don’t care what it takes to gain reputation and status, they already lack a sense of shame. To gain status in people’s minds, the first thing the antichrists do is to make people trust them, look up to them, worship them. So how do they achieve this aim? Apart from faking some good behavior and manifestations that fit with people’s notions, they also style themselves after great and famous figures, copying the way they speak, in order to make people think highly of them and look up to them. In this way, they imperceptibly start to be worshiped, flattered, and supported by certain people in the church, people look upon the antichrists like some spiritual figures or famous people, which means that in the church and in the hearts of a certain proportion of people, the antichrists are admired and revered as spiritual figures. This is because most people are utterly without discernment, they worship and revere anyone their hearts like and admire. In the church, what kind of person do the antichrists chiefly impersonate? They impersonate spiritual figures, because most people worship spiritual figures. In Judaism, the Pharisees were spiritual figures worshiped by people, people worshiped them for their knowledge, false piety, and good behavior; and so in Judaism, the Pharisees were very popular, they were very admired. Today, there are some in the church who also like to worship spiritual figures. Firstly, they worship those in the church who have believed in God for many years, who have certain so-called spiritual experiences and testimonies, who have received God’s graces and blessings, who have beheld great visions, who have had some extraordinary experiences. In addition, there are also those who are boastful and glib when they’re around people, inspiring worship and admiration in others. There are others whose means, ways, and principles by which they act are in line with church rules, whose external behavior seems pious. There are still others who appear to have great faith in God. These people are all given the title of spiritual people. So how do the antichrists impersonate spiritual people? What they do, quite simply, is to say the things that spiritual people say, and do the things that spiritual people do, in order to make people view them as a spiritual person. But do they say and do these things from the heart? No: This is mimicry, following a regulation, they are just doing it for others to see. For example, when something happens to them, they immediately pray—but they are not truly seeking or truly praying, they’re just going through the motions, putting on a show so that people say they love God so much and have such great fear toward God. What’s more, when illness befalls them and they require treatment, they don’t go for treatment or take the medicine they ought to. People say, “If you don’t take medicine, your illness could get worse. There’s a time for medicine, and there’s a time for prayer. You just need to follow your faith and not abandon your duty.” They reply, “It’s alright—God is with me, I’m not afraid.” On the outside, they pretend to be calm, unafraid, and full of faith, but inside, they’re terrified, and secretly run to the doctor as soon as they feel any discomfort. And if someone discovers they went to the doctor and took medicine, they try to find reasons or excuses to cover it up. They also often say, “Illness is a trial from God. When you live in sickness, you get sick; when you live in God’s words, you have no sickness. We must not live in sickness—if we live in God’s words, this disease will disappear.” Overtly, this is what they often teach people, they use the words of God to help people; but in secret, they resolve their illness using human means. In front of other people, they say they depend on God and that everything is in God’s hands, they say they don’t fear illness or death; but in their hearts, they are more afraid than anyone, they’re afraid of falling ill and going to hospital, and are even more so terrified of death. They have no true faith at all. In front of other people, they pray and say that they gladly submit to the sovereignty and arrangements of God, that everything comes from God, and people should not complain; in their hearts, meanwhile, they’re thinking: “I have done my duty so faithfully, how could this illness befall me? And how come no one else has gotten it? Is God using this to reveal me, to stop me from doing this duty? Does God detest me? And if He detests me, am I a service-doer? Is God using me for rendering service? Will I have an outcome in the future?” They dare not complain out loud, but in their hearts, doubts have appeared about God, they think to themselves that not everything God does is necessarily right. On the outside, however, they pretend as if nothing’s wrong, they give the appearance that even when they fall ill it can’t hold them back, and they can still do their duty, and be submissive and faithful, that they can still expend for God. Is this not putting on a pretense and engaging in imposture? Their faith and submission are fake; their loyalty is fake. There is no true submission here, no true faith, much less is there true dependence and surrender. They do not seek the intentions of God, they do not reflect on their own corrupt dispositions, nor do they seek the truth to solve their own problems. All they think about in their hearts are their fleshly interests, outcome, and destination; their hearts are filled with complaints, misunderstandings and suspicions about God—and yet on the outside, they give the appearance of some spiritual figure, and whatever happens to them they say, “There is God’s good intention, I must not complain.” Their mouths don’t complain, but their hearts are reeling: Their complaints, misunderstandings, and doubts about God keep churning in their hearts. To all appearances, they often read God’s words and do not delay in doing their duty, but in their hearts, they have already given up on their duty. Is this not what imposture means? This is imposture.

Antichrists will always engage in imposture, no matter the situation; they make no distinction regarding the occasion. For instance, when attending gatherings, some brothers and sisters exchange greetings. How do antichrists approach this? They say, “Stop chit-chatting, we’re at a gathering! Where do you think you are to be chatting about these kinds of things? You have no God-fearing heart. Be serious!” Some people take a break when doing their duty, and when an antichrist sees this, they say, “Being perfunctory again, ay? Then you should immediately read God’s words and come before Him to pray.” When brothers and sisters exchange views to learn professional skills from each other, they will say, “You should fellowship about God’s words and pray first, and then exchange views and ideas later.” If someone hasn’t prayed before a gathering begins, the antichrist will reproach them, define them as being a certain type of person, and have something to say about them. In every respect, they get others to see that they’re very spiritual, very earnest, that they’re very conscientious toward the truth and try hard to pursue it, that they’re very responsible with their duty, that they can read God’s words regularly every day, that they have a normal spiritual life, that they regularly attend gatherings, that when they attend gatherings they pray, read God’s words, and fellowship in the prescribed way, and that they never engage in chit-chat or talk about home matters. If someone says to them, “Your hair’s getting long. You should go get it cut. The weather’s hot now, so you’ll feel cooler if you get your hair cut,” they reply, “It doesn’t matter that my hair’s getting a bit long. Work is important. The heat won’t cause me any problems if I leave my hair to grow a couple more days.” Someone says, “Your clothes are ragged. If you keep wearing them, people will laugh at you.” The antichrist says, “It doesn’t matter. Do we believers in God worry about being laughed at? We’ve all suffered so much, and we’ve endured the persecution of the great red dragon all this time. We’ve walked the path of being rejected by worldly people. So what if people laugh at me for my ragged clothes? So long as God accepts me, that’s all that matters.” Is this a good thing to say? (They’re pretending to be spiritual.) Some people see that I ask questions and get everyone to fellowship on them after a sermon, but people can’t answer them in fellowship, so they give this summary: “I’ve found some new light here. God never eats anything in vain, but we even eat cabbage in vain.” Have you heard this said before? (No.) They say that God never eats anything in vain, meaning that God preaches sermons to people and so He has earned His food. We aren’t able to fellowship on anything, so we even eat cabbage in vain. Some people without discernment take this as the truth and go telling it everywhere. They don’t believe that fellowshipping on self-knowledge, seeking to submit to and love God, and other such common topics often discussed by people can be considered as spiritual, lofty, or as new light. To them, only what that person has said is the new light and is lofty! To them, what that person said sounds right, but upon careful consideration, it feels disgusting and is a nonsensical thing to say. This is something invented by those who have no spiritual understanding, yet who still want to pretend to be spiritual, pretend to have knowledge of the truth, and pretend that they understand the truth—isn’t this nonsense? (Yes.) They specialize in learning to say boastful and empty words and doctrines, and they attach no importance to practicing the truth and entering reality. That’s why they specialize in learning to speak spiritual doctrine and they never dissect themselves to see whether or not they have the truth reality—aren’t these people hypocrites? God detests people like this most of all.

When these so-called spiritual people get together, they philosophize, discuss mysteries, talk about knowing oneself and knowing God. The things they talk about are so lofty and it doesn’t sound like earthly talk at all. They talk and talk, drifting away and talking about totally irrelevant things. What does “talking about totally irrelevant things” mean? They talk and talk until they begin talking utter nonsense, they compete with each other to see who has read more of God’s words and how much of a chapter of God’s words they can remember and preach, who can preach in a loftier and more profound way than others, and who can preach in a way that brings more light than others. They compete with these things, and this is called “competing in spirituality.” Sometimes people are chatting together, talking about how they’ve been lately or some external matters. Then a “spiritual person” comes over and, when they hear everyone chatting about these things, they take their book of God’s words and go find a corner to read it in. Doesn’t such a person look antisocial and odd? When I fellowship with some people on a main topic, we’ll take a break in the middle and chat about external matters—isn’t that normal? During this chat, some people don’t make a sound. What they mean by this is, “I’ll listen when You fellowship on the truth, but if You start chatting then I’ll stop listening. If You go on chatting for a long time, then I’ll leave.” Where do they go? They go find someplace to pray, and they say confidently, “Oh God, please take back my heart. Let me be quiet before You, let me not be drawn in and taken up by matters of the unbelievers, and let me not be taken off by worldly trends.” Is that very spiritual? They believe it is. When you chat about home matters and what your state has been like recently, they think this isn’t fellowshipping on the truth, that God’s words are not mentioned at all, and so they leave and go before God to pray. Isn’t that a little odd? This is the imposture of those who seek to be spiritual—they’re so good at imposture! Their aim in engaging in imposture is to get others to see that they’re spiritual, that they’re earnest in their pursuit, that they live always before God, that there is light in their words, that they pursue the truth, that they are not constrained by the outside secular world or by family affections, that they have no such fleshly needs, that they’re different from normal people, that they have already cast off the secular world and such vulgar interests. When certain people speak a few words to unbelievers, they say, “That’s not right. These unbelievers are bad. The moment you speak to them and get mixed up in their affairs, you feel disturbed inside and must hurry before God to confess and pray. You must hurry to read God’s words, let His words occupy you and fill you up.” And so, when they see unbelievers, people who don’t believe in God, they avoid them and won’t speak to them. They won’t even engage in normal interaction, and people think them odd. Their basis for acting this way is, “Unbelievers are all devils and we mustn’t speak to them. God detests devils, so if we associate with devils and get close to them, then God will detest us too. We should detest what God detests, and we should reject what God rejects.” If they see a brother or sister speaking with, having a heart-to-heart with, or talking about home matters with a non-believing family member or friend, they form a judgment about them, thinking, “They’re an experienced believer who’s believed in God for many years. They don’t try to avoid unbelievers, but instead get so close to them. This is them betraying God, and when they encounter a problem, they’ll surely become a Judas.” They pin a label on such people. Some people have parents who don’t believe in God themselves, yet neither do they object to their child believing in God. They occasionally call their parents up to ask how they are, or when they’re sick, they return home to look after them—this is entirely normal and God does not condemn it. And what do these spiritual people—these antichrists—do? Is this how they see things? They make a fuss over it, saying, “You ordinarily speak so well and you get others to let go of their affections and not be constrained by them. But I see that your affections are even stronger. Your parents don’t believe in God, so you must reject them.” The other person replies, “My parents don’t believe in God but they don’t stand in my way either. They’re very supportive of me.” The antichrist replies, “Even if they do support you, it’s not acceptable and they’re still devils. How can you still cook for them?” The other says, “Isn’t this normal human affection? Isn’t it normal to cook a few meals for one’s parents and show some filial love for them? God doesn’t condemn it, so what are you condemning it for?” The antichrist replies, “God wouldn’t bother Himself with such a small matter! As God won’t bother Himself with it, we should take a stand and stand firm in our testimony. You’ve believed in God for all these years and yet you have no discernment or stature, and you can treat devils so well—your affections are too strong!” They condemn even this! They condemn people and pin labels on them for doing anything to show that they have stature, that they’re earnest in their pursuit, that they have faith, but in the end when a member of their own family dies, they cry for so many days that they can’t get out of bed and even want to abandon their faith. Someone says to them, “Aren’t you a spiritual person?” They reply, “Can’t spiritual people be weak too? Can’t I be weak for a little bit?” Isn’t this sophistry? Fake spiritual people are capable of engaging in pretense, and this is called imposture. They pretend to have no weakness, to be submissive, to have faith in God and be loyal to God, to be able to keep their oaths, to be able to endure suffering and expend themselves, not behaving in any way which people might think of as unsuitable or not ideal. Judging by their external behavior, people approve of them and cannot pick out any fault, they appear to be basically consistent with Christian decency, and they don’t even appear to become negative or weak. When they see someone feeling weak and negative, they often sternly rebuke them, saying, “You become weak over such an insignificant matter—doesn’t that hurt God so much? Do you have any idea what time it is now? God has uttered so many words to us, so how can you still become weak? How can you understand God’s heart so little? No matter what issue you encounter, you must always go before God to pray, learn to love God and be loyal to Him, and you must submit and not become weak. If you’re always considerate to your flesh, aren’t you rebelling against God?” It doesn’t sound like there’s any problem with any particular thing they say here, but it is all empty and cannot solve people’s problems. They say, “Do you have any idea what time it is now?”—does that have anything to do with people feeling weak? Does it have anything to do with rebelling? People have corrupt dispositions and live within their flesh, and people can always become weak and rebel.

Antichrists want to play the role of spiritual people, of the best among brothers and sisters, and of people who understand the truth and can help those who are weak and immature. What is their aim in playing this role? First, they believe they have already gone beyond the flesh and the secular world, that they have cast off the weakness and fleshly needs of normal humanity. They believe they are the ones in God’s house who can take on important tasks, be considerate of God’s intentions, and whose hearts are filled with God’s words. They praise themselves for having already met God’s requirements and satisfied God, for being able to be considerate of God’s intentions, and for being able to obtain the wonderful destination God has promised. They therefore often feel very smug and that they are a cut above the rest. They use the words they can remember and understand with their minds to lecture others, and to condemn and delimit others. They also often use certain approaches and sayings they imagine in their notions to delimit and instruct others, making other people keep the regulations and obey them, so that they can safeguard their status in the church. They believe that as long as they can preach a set of spiritual doctrines, shout trendy slogans, lead the way, be willing to come forward and take on work, and maintain the normal order of the church, then they will be spiritual people, and their status will be stable. They therefore pass themselves off as spiritual people and praise themselves for being so, while at the same time they pass themselves off as omnipotent, wholly capable, and perfect people. For instance, if you ask them if they can type, they say, “Yes, typing isn’t difficult for me.” You ask them, “Can you fix machines?” They say, “The principles of all machines are the same. Yes, I can fix them.” You ask, “Can you fix tractors?” They say, “Does fixing that crude machine count as being able to fix machines?” You ask them, “Can you cook?” They say, “I eat food, so of course I can cook!” You ask, “Can you fly a plane?” They say, “I’ve never learned, but if I learned it I could do it. I could be an airplane captain, no problem.” They think they can do anything, that they’re good at everything. Someone’s computer breaks and they ask them to fix it. They say they can fix it easily, but really they have no clue and don’t know how to fix it, and in the end after trying to fix it over and over, they end up deleting all the information on the computer. The person whose computer it is asks them, “Can you fix it or not?” And they reply, “I’ve fixed computers before, but now I’ve somehow forgotten how to do it. You’d best ask someone else to fix it.” They’re so good at pretense, right? People like this have the disposition of the archangel; they can never say, “I don’t know how to do it,” or “I can’t do it,” or “I’m no good at doing it,” or “I’ve never seen that before,” or “I don’t know”—they can never say such things. No matter what the matter is, if you ask them about it, then even if they don’t know how to do it and have never seen it before, they still have to come up with reasons and excuses so that you mistakenly believe they are good at everything, know how to do everything, can do everything, and that everything can be done. What kind of person do they want to be? (Supermen, wholly capable people.) They want to be wholly capable people, to pass themselves off as angels of light—aren’t they this kind of thing? Because antichrists always want to pretend that they are good at everything, when you ask them to work together with others, to exchange views, discuss, fellowship, and communicate with others on issues, they can’t do it. They say, “I don’t need anyone to work with me. I don’t need an assistant. I don’t need anyone’s help to do anything. I can do it myself, I know how to do everything, I’m wholly capable, and there’s nothing I can’t do, nothing I can’t achieve, and nothing I can’t complete. Who am I? You don’t know how to do anything, and even if you know how to do something, you’re not proficient at it. Even though I’ve only learned to do one thing, I know how to do everything. If I’m proficient at one thing, then I’m proficient at all things. I know how to write articles and can speak foreign languages. Even though I can’t speak any foreign languages right now, if I studied, then it would be no problem for me to learn five foreign languages.” Someone asks them if they can act in movies, sing and dance, and they say they can do all those things. They’re great at boasting, right? They pretend that they can do anything and know how to do everything—they really have the archangel’s nature! Someone asks them if they’ve ever become weak over the years they’ve believed in God, and they reply, “What’s there to become weak about? God’s words are spoken so clearly. We mustn’t become weak. If we do, then we’re letting God down. We should make 120 percent effort to repay God’s love!” The other person asks, “Have you ever missed home after leaving it all those years ago? Do you cry when you miss home?” They reply, “What’s there to cry about? God is in my heart. When I think of God, I don’t miss home anymore. All my non-believing family members are devils and Satans. I pray for them to be cursed.” The other person asks them, “Have you ever gone astray in your years of faith?” They reply, “God’s words are spoken so clearly, how could one go astray? Those who go astray are absurd people with no spiritual understanding. Can someone with a caliber like mine go astray? Can I take the wrong path? No way.” They believe they’re good at everything, that they’re better than everyone else. What do they think of people who become negative and weak? They say, “People who become negative and weak just have nothing better to do.” Is this really the case? Some negativity and weakness are normal, whereas there is a reason behind some negativity and weakness, so how can they describe this problem by saying these people “have nothing better to do”? Antichrists pretend to be spiritual in this way, they pretend to be able to do anything, they pretend to have no deficiency or weakness, and even more so they pretend to not be rebellious and that they’ve never committed any transgressions.

Regardless of the context, no matter what duty they do, an antichrist will try and give the impression that they aren’t weak, that they are always strong, full of faith, and never negative, so that people never see their real stature or real attitude toward God. In fact, in the depths of their heart, do they really believe there is nothing they cannot do? Do they genuinely believe that they are without weakness, negativity, or revelations of corruption? Absolutely not. They are good at putting on an act, adept at hiding things. They like showing people their strong and splendid side; they don’t want them to see the side of them that is weak and true. Their purpose is obvious: It is, quite simply, to keep face, to protect the place they have in people’s hearts. They think that if they open up before others about their own negativity and weakness, if they reveal the side of them that is rebellious and corrupt, this will be grievous damage to their status and reputation—more trouble than it’s worth. So they would rather die than admit to having times when they are weak, rebellious, and negative. And if a day does come when everyone sees the side of them that is weak and rebellious, when they see that they are corrupt, and have not changed at all, they will still keep putting on an act. They think that if they admit to having a corrupt disposition, to being an ordinary person, someone who is insignificant, then they will lose their place in people’s hearts, will lose everyone’s worship and adoration, and thus will have utterly failed. And so, whatever happens, they will not simply open up to people; whatever happens, they will not give their power and status to anyone else; instead, they try as hard as they can to compete, and will never give up. Whenever they encounter an issue, they take the initiative to step into the limelight and show and display themselves. The moment a problem occurs and consequences arise, they rush off and hide or try to put the responsibility onto someone else. If they encounter an issue they understand, they immediately show off what they can and grasp the opportunity to let others know them, so that people can see they have gifts and special skills and can think highly of them and worship them. If something major should occur, and someone asks them for their understanding of the event, they are reticent to reveal their views, instead letting others speak first. Their reticence has its reasons: Either it is not that they have no view, but they are afraid that their view is wrong, that if they say it aloud, others will rebut it, making them feel ashamed, and that is why they do not say it; or they do not have a view, and, unable to perceive the matter clearly, they do not dare speak arbitrarily, for fear of people laughing at their mistake—so silence is their only choice. In short, they do not readily speak up to express their views because they are afraid of revealing themselves for what they are, of letting people see that they are impoverished and pathetic, thus affecting the image others have of them. So, after everyone else has finished fellowshipping their views, thoughts, and knowledge, they seize upon some loftier, more tenable claims, which they trot out as their own views and understanding. They summarize them and fellowship them to everyone, thereby gaining high status in the hearts of others. Antichrists are extremely crafty: When the time comes to express a point of view, they never open up and show others their true state, or let people know what they really think, what their caliber is like, what their humanity is like, what their powers of understanding are like, and whether they have true knowledge of the truth. And so, at the same time as bragging and pretending to be spiritual, and a perfect person, they do their utmost to cover up their true face and real stature. They never reveal their weaknesses to the brothers and sisters, nor do they ever try to know their own deficiencies and shortcomings; instead, they do their utmost to cover them up. People ask them, “You’ve believed in God for so many years, have you ever had any doubts about God?” They reply, “No.” They are asked, “Have you ever regretted forsaking everything in expenditure for God?” They reply, “No.” “When you were ill, did you feel upset and did you miss home?” And they reply, “Never.” So you see, antichrists portray themselves as staunch, strong-willed, and able to forsake and suffer, as someone who is simply flawless and without any faults or problems. If someone points out their corruption and shortcomings, treats them equally, as a normal brother or sister, and opens up and fellowships with them, how do they treat the matter? They do their utmost to vindicate and justify themselves, to prove they are correct, and ultimately to make people see that they have no problems, and that they are a perfect, spiritual person. Is it not all imposture? Any who think themselves flawless and holy are all imposters. Why do I say all of them are imposters? Tell Me, is there anyone flawless amid corrupt humanity? Is there anyone who is truly holy? (No.) Definitely not. How can man achieve flawlessness when they are so deeply corrupted by Satan and, besides, not innately possessed of the truth? Only God is holy; all corrupt humanity is defiled. If a person were to impersonate someone holy, saying they were flawless, what would that person be? They would be a devil, Satan, the archangel—they would be a bona fide antichrist. Only an antichrist would claim to be a flawless and holy person. Do antichrists know themselves? (No.) And since they do not know themselves, will they fellowship about their self-knowledge? (No.) Are there antichrists that will fellowship about their self-knowledge? (Yes.) What kind of people do this? (Hypocrites). That’s right. These people pretend to know themselves, and make mountains out of molehills and give themselves several big labels, saying they are Satans and demons, pretending that they have a profound knowledge of themselves. They’re falsely spiritual people, aren’t they? Are they not hypocrites? When they fellowship about their self-knowledge, do they really know themselves? (No.) So what do they say about their self-knowledge? (When antichrists talk about their self-knowledge, they don’t talk about their actual situation, they only speak empty words and words of doctrine, which are not practical at all; they seem to have a very profound knowledge, but there is no sign of remorse.) Is this real knowledge of oneself? There is no true remorse, so have they achieved the effect of hating themselves? When there is no remorse and no hatred of themselves, they do not truly know themselves. The self-knowledge that antichrists speak about only includes the things that everyone knows about them, that everyone sees. They also resort to sophistry and self-justification for themselves to make everyone feel that they haven’t done anything wrong, and can nevertheless still speak about their self-knowledge, so that people think even more highly of them. Seeing that they haven’t done anything wrong yet are still reflecting on themselves and trying to know themselves, what people think is, “If he really does do something wrong, he would be even more likely to know himself. How pious he is!” What is the result of the antichrist doing this? They mislead people. They don’t truly dissect or understand their own corrupt disposition so that other people can learn a lesson from this; instead, they use fellowshipping about their self-knowledge to make others think more highly of them. What is the nature of this act? (Testifying to oneself to mislead people.) That’s right. They are misleading people. How does this count as knowing oneself? This is deception, pure and simple. They are using talking about their self-knowledge to mislead people, to make people think they are spiritual, and that they know themselves, in order to make people think highly of them and worship them. This is a despicable and sordid practice—and it is the wickedness of the antichrists.

There are some performing their duty in the church who are clearly incapable of taking on technically demanding jobs, yet they insist on being on the team. They believe they’ve learned a related professional skill before, they understand this specialism, they know the ropes, and so they insist on taking on this job. They don’t understand the truth and, moreover, on the basis of them not understanding the truth, they don’t fellowship or work with others, much less do they seek the truth principles, insisting that they understand and know about it. So, is there a difference between knowing a professional skill and knowing the ropes on the one hand, and understanding the truth principles on the other? By knowing a professional skill and knowing the ropes, does that mean one understands the truth principles? (No.) These people with no spiritual understanding believe that knowing a professional skill means that they understand the truth principles, and so they can boldly set to doing the job with a free hand, not listen to anyone, and not have to do the job according to the rules of God’s house. They believe that this is their business and no one else can interfere or ask them about it—the job will turn out however they want it to turn out, and what they do is taken as the standard. Isn’t this how antichrists behave? Isn’t this a serious problem? If one only knows a professional skill and doesn’t understand the truth, what consequences will come of them performing their duty? (They’ll cause disturbance to church work.) Only disturbance? Won’t they become arrogant and conceited? Won’t they do things that shame God? (Yes.) Through performing your duty, the effect you are to achieve is to bear witness to God; you don’t just purely engage in a profession, but rather you achieve the effect of bearing witness to God through performing your duty, and therefore this professional skill is merely in the service of the duty you’re performing. A professional skill is no representation of the truth, and being proficient in a professional skill doesn’t mean that you understand the truth or that you can do the job in accordance with the truth principles. Some people object to this, saying, “I came to God’s house, I know this professional skill, I know the ropes, so God’s house should give me important tasks and think highly of me. It shouldn’t embarrass me or stick its nose in anything that falls within the scope of my professional skill. I should be the one teaching others. God’s house shouldn’t arrange for those who don’t know the ropes to work with me. These people don’t deserve to work with me.” Is this a correct way to think? (No.) Other people don’t deserve to work with them—isn’t this the way an antichrist thinks? If there is no one in God’s house who deserves to work with you, do you then deserve to perform this duty? Who do you think you are? Have you been made perfect? You don’t deserve to perform this duty! Only because God exalts you do you have the chance to perform this duty. You should understand the principles of performing your duty. You’re now bearing witness to God, not engaging in a profession. That bit of professional skill you know is merely used to render service and used in the service of this duty. Therefore, no matter how technically demanding the duty you perform is, you must always focus on the truth principles in every part of it so that you can achieve the effect of bearing witness to God. If you can’t achieve this effect and the duty you perform brings shame on God, what use will your technical abilities have then? Will they be of any value? No, they won’t. Therefore, don’t take that little bit of professional skill and technical ability as the truth—they are not the truth and are not worth cherishing. If God’s house didn’t use you, if God didn’t exalt you, your little bit of professional skill and technical ability would amount to nothing. When compared with the truth, those things aren’t worth a dime!

It can be said that the imposture of antichrists is a means they employ to have a place in people’s hearts—they use the means of imposture to mislead and misdirect people. That these people can engage in imposture shows not only that they fundamentally do not accept or acknowledge the truth, but also that there is an even more realistic interpretation that can be applied to these people: They have no spiritual understanding. What does “they have no spiritual understanding” mean? It means that they don’t understand God’s words or the truth. And because they don’t understand the truth, they therefore have no idea what kind of people God loves, and so they imagine this kind of spiritual person and then engage in imposture and pretense. They act like this kind of person, believing that by doing so they can get God and other people to like them. Actually, the opposite happens, as people like this are precisely those whom God detests and condemns. So don’t be someone like this. If you also want to be someone like this, if you often engage in imposture and pretense in this way, and you mislead people in this way, then you are following the path of an antichrist. You must learn to say, “I have weakness, I have negativity, I have corrupt dispositions. I’m an ordinary person, I’m nothing special. There are many things I don’t understand and don’t know how to do. I’m often weak and misled by Satan so that I fall into the temptation of Satan. In terms of studying technical skills, I can master one or two at most, and I can learn how to generally do them. I know how to do this bit of professional skill, and I have this bit of special skill. I’m an ordinary person, I’m not of high caliber, and my perception is so-so. In terms of the truth, I understand only as much as God gives in fellowship. I can’t understand anything that God doesn’t lay bare or explain clearly, and my caliber is so-so. Brothers and sisters choose me to be church leader or team leader, and this is God exalting me, and it is not because I’m better than others. I have nothing to brag about.” Can you say such a thing? Have you ever said such a thing? Do you think this way in your heart? If you always feel in your heart that you’re great, wonderful, a cut above the rest, one in a million, that you’re special in any group you find yourself in, that you’re top-notch, that if you spend a month or two in a group of people your special skills, talents, caliber, and perception can be witnessed by all, and that you’re superior to ordinary people—if you always measure and position yourself in your heart in this way, then you are in great danger and a lot of trouble.

There are very few among all of mankind who are genuinely able to understand the truth, much less are there any perfect people or people who can do anything—everyone is ordinary. Some people think they’re not ordinary, so how does this idea come about? It comes about by them having something they’re good at; some are good at singing, some at acting, some at technical skills, some at physical labor, some at social interaction, some at politics, some at business, and so on. None of these things have anything to do with the truth, yet they often give you a misapprehension and make you mistakenly think that you’re a cut above the rest. Why is it wrong for these things to make you mistakenly think that you’re a cut above the rest? These things you’re good at and this so-called “cut above the rest” do not mean that you can understand the truth, that you can surpass ordinary people in terms of understanding the truth, or that you possess favorable conditions in terms of being in pursuit of God’s salvation and being made perfect—they don’t mean these things. You must recognize this matter clearly! From the time God began to utter His words and perform His work until now, He has spoken countless words and performed countless works, and has even one person among all of corrupt mankind seen in God’s utterances that He is the Creator and that the words He speaks are the truth? Can even one person see in God’s words His identity and status and then stand up to bear witness to God’s identity and status? Not a single one! This fact proves that, in terms of the caliber, minds, and perception of all of mankind, they do not possess the necessary conditions for comprehending the truth, never mind the fact that all human beings possess corrupt dispositions. Some people say, “If we don’t possess the necessary condition for comprehending the truth, how come we now understand a little truth?” Isn’t that because I’ve spoken so much about it? I’ve spoken so much that I don’t even feel like speaking anymore and am fed up with speaking. Every time I speak and fellowship with you, I have to separate the topics into main topics, middle topics, and subtopics, constantly explaining things in detail, and you still don’t understand, so what then must your caliber be like? Some people are still extremely arrogant and self-righteous, but what do you have to be arrogant about? I see that there is nothing admirable about most of you. After performing technical jobs for so many years, how many among you truly understand the truth principles, can follow the truth principles, and can perform your jobs in accordance with the truth principles? You don’t do any job well, no matter what it is, and always the Above has to personally instruct you how to do things. If not, then nothing turns out right, and if any job proceeds without the Above following it up and instructing you how to do it, then problems arise. Tell Me, do such people have anything to boast about? No, they don’t, yet still they pretend in every respect to be perfect, spiritual, great, and supreme people—aren’t they shameless? You really are troublesome! No matter what topic I fellowship on, I have to do it in detail, the more detail the better. It won’t do to explain things a little more simply. This is what people’s caliber and bit of perception are like; they’re pitiful in the extreme and yet they still believe they’re great. I’ll finish My fellowship on this aspect here.

c. By Towering Over All

Now we’ll fellowship on the third item: By towering over all. No matter what antichrists do, they always want to tower over all—this is the most prominent manifestation of their nature. When anyone wants to tower over all, this problem is a very serious one, and such people are all genuine antichrists. What does “towering over all” mean? Antichrists possess the essence of Satan, the archangel; they are innately unwilling to be normal or ordinary people. If they are made to be ordinary people, to live an ordinary life, they will be unwilling to do so and feel discontented about this, and they will be in a constant struggle. Why will they be in a constant struggle? Because they want to cause a stir and pull off some tricks for others to see, so that other people know there is a top dog like them between the heavens and earth. They want to make a name for themselves, so that others know they are a fish that’s too big for its pond, like the unbelievers say. What kind of things are these fish that are too big for their ponds? They are evil spirits, unclean demons, archangels, Satans, and devils. Antichrists inherently do not wish to pass their days being content with their lot in life, living the life of an ordinary person; they don’t quietly keep to their own duty or act like well-behaved ordinary people—they are not content with being like that. Therefore, no matter how they behave on the surface, in their innermost hearts they always feel unhappy with their lot in life and they will do certain things. What things? They will do certain things which normal people could never come up with. They like to be in the limelight and they won’t hesitate to endure some suffering and pay a bit of a price. There is a saying that goes: “New officials are eager to impress.” Once an antichrist becomes a leader, they feel they must perform some marvels and make some “achievements in their career” to prove that they are not just ordinary. What is the most serious problem here? Although they are doing things in the church, and although they adopt the guise of doing their duty, they never go seek with God on how to do their duty or how to do the church work well, nor do they earnestly try to ascertain what the rules of God’s house are, what the truth principles are, or how to act in a way that benefits the work of God’s house and the brothers and sisters, brings no shame on God, bears witness to God, enables the church work to progress smoothly, and ensures no careless mistakes appear in their work. They never ask about these things and they never inquire about these things—they do not have these things in their heart, their heart isn’t filled with these things. So, what do they inquire about? What is their heart filled with? It’s filled with thoughts about how they can show off their talents, and show that they’re different from the rest, and show off their leadership style in the church, so that other people can see that they are a pillar of the church, and that the church couldn’t do without them, and that only with them can all church work progress smoothly. Judging by the manifestations of antichrists, and the motivation and original impetus of their actions, what position do they place themselves in? They place themselves towering above all. And how is this manifested? (They are defiant toward everyone and always want to have the final say, and make other people do what they say.) There is a problem with their being defiant toward everyone; there is a hidden meaning within this. That is, when they do the church work, they are not doing their duty, nor are they being considerate of God’s intentions, and so they don’t feel there is any need to seek the truth principles, to bother finding out what the church’s rules are or what principles are required by God’s house—they don’t even pay attention to anything I say. What principles do they adhere to? They adhere to such principles and motivations as serving the church and serving the brothers and sisters in order to carry out their own business. As long as they can get a foothold in the church and among the brothers and sisters, and come to have prestige and the power to call the shots, then that’s enough, and they will have achieved their so-called “result” in doing their duty. What is their aim? It’s not to fulfill the duty of a created being or to be considerate of God’s burden, but rather to serve the church and serve the brothers and sisters and, while doing this, to control all of these things. Why do I say they want to control all of these things? Because when they are doing things, they first come to gain a foothold for themselves, to gain a certain renown, their repute grows, they come to have the power to call the shots and make decisions, and then they can make God a mere figurehead and take God’s place. Within the scope of their influence, they make the incarnate God a mere figurehead, a puppet, and this is what “towering over all” means. Isn’t this what antichrists do? This is how antichrists behave. Antichrists use the opportunity of doing their duty to fully show their gifts and talents, and display their unique thoughts and deeds, in order to win people’s favor and be noticed by more people. They then obtain the power to call the shots, to make decisions, and to control things in the church, and this leads to many people obeying them and submitting to them, and God becomes the outsider—isn’t this them making God a mere figurehead? This is the aim antichrists want to achieve with their actions, and this is what happens in the end to any place where antichrists reign.

If a church has an antichrist in power, what state will the brothers and sisters there be in? They will only do what the antichrist says, they will just stick to regulations in everything they do, they won’t understand the truth, and they won’t seek the truth. No matter how much they suffer or how great a price they pay, they will make no progress at all in life entry. Even I will be rejected in such a church when I go there. Among them, this antichrist is nominally a leader, but in fact the antichrist has become their master and their God. In any church controlled by an antichrist, the truth and God are turned into mere figureheads. This is what it means when an antichrist towers over all. Isn’t this serious? When the people in a church are controlled by an antichrist, and outsiders go there to do work, won’t these people have to take their cues from their master whenever they speak and act? They are under a unified command, they act in unison, and no one dares to speak out of turn. After just one look from their master, these people know what is meant by it, and then they act accordingly. If I ask them something, they converse with each other in their own dialect. This means that they don’t want Me to know what they’re saying, they want to avoid Me, and they think of Me as an outsider. Isn’t this a problem? What’s the nature of their wanting to avoid Me? This is the disposition and essence of an antichrist—they want to control the church and control people. No matter what antichrists do, they absolutely will not do things in accordance with the truth principles, much less consider the interests of God’s house; they are trying to establish their own kingdoms and engage in their own business. How is this doing their duty? This is them establishing their own kingdoms under the guise of doing their duty. Since antichrists have this kind of nature, even if they don’t say they love status and want status subjectively, the moment they do something and stretch out their hand, they rush down the path of antichrists, their demonic nature is revealed, and they try to establish their own kingdoms. The moment they do anything, they try to engage in their own business; the moment they do anything, they try to proceed according to their own means and methods. When the Above arranges something and it reaches them, antichrists don’t implement it, but instead they study it, deliberate on it, and fellowship on it. What’s their aim in fellowshipping on it? To get everyone to discuss it to see if it’ll be adopted or not, and whether it’s workable or not—not to implement it. Everything God says and does is the truth, but this changes when it reaches an antichrist, it changes into something for them to study. They study, analyze, and discuss it, and in the end, they get everyone to negate God’s requirements of man and God’s arrangements. In their hearts, they think, “You’re not the truth, You’re just an ordinary person. What You say doesn’t count for anything, and if You want to have the final say in my jurisdiction, then You can forget it! I’m in charge here now so everyone has to do what I say. I have absolute power to call the shots and make decisions, and You can only be a figurehead here. I must have the final say on everything within the scope of my work and influence. Even if You understand the truth, and everything You say is the truth, that won’t work on me!” This is an antichrist and a devil, right? So, when they reach the territory of an antichrist, the church’s work arrangements, the Above’s requirements, and the truth principles do not get implemented at all. What can be done about these things not being implemented? When a church doesn’t implement them, this means that there’s something wrong with the leaders and workers there, and these stumbling blocks and obstacles should be handled. Do you think there’s nothing God’s house can do to you? If God’s house can use you, then it can handle you, too. Do you think this is the world? Do you think that if you have influence, act like a tyrant, and if you’re cruel, despotic, and vicious enough, there’s nothing anyone can do to you? If so, then you’re wrong! This is God’s house, God’s house is ruled by the truth, and it treats people in a principled way. God’s house may use you, and God’s house may not use you and cast you out—whether you are used or not is decided by a word from God. If you cause disturbances and obstruct things in an unreasonable manner here, then you will ultimately be cast out; if you make efforts to render service, if you stay here and know your place and behave yourself, then God’s house will keep you to render service and see how your rendering service turns out.

The essence of antichrists establishing their own kingdoms is that of towering above all, disregarding God, disregarding the truth, and disregarding church rules. They just serve the name “church,” they just serve the title “God’s house,” they just serve the group of people called “brothers and sisters,” and they never do the duty of a created being, much less do they follow God or submit to His words—this is them establishing their own kingdoms. This is the essence of antichrists, and this essence is that of towering above all. Now, is this essence condemned or approved of? (Condemned.) And since it is condemned, these people should be rejected among you. Some muddled, ignorant, and blind people follow, praise, admire, and worship such people when they see them, and they even want to bow down to them—they’re so foolish! Where can antichrists lead you? When they lead you, it’s like the great red dragon leading you, and they won’t stop until they’ve led you into the ditch or the bottomless pit. Once they’ve totally ruined you, they’ll give you a kick; you won’t gain anything, and you will have believed in God for nothing. If you’re blind and can’t see through these people, and you obey, submit to, and follow these people, then you’re terribly ignorant, and you deserve to die. So, what should you do if you encounter such a person? When you encounter someone in the church who engages in pretense and imposture, who towers over all when doing anything, who despises the truth, despises God, and despises church rules, everyone should take a stand to prune them and reject them. If they can be well-behaved and render service in God’s house, then keep them to render service; if they are not well-behaved and are always unreasonably obstructing things, then you should implement the administrative decrees of God’s house and cleanse them away.

May 23, 2020

Previous: Item Nine: They Do Their Duty Only to Distinguish Themselves and Feed Their Own Interests and Ambitions; They Never Consider the Interests of God’s House, and Even Sell Those Interests Out in Exchange for Personal Glory (Part Nine)

Next: Item Ten: They Despise the Truth, Publicly Flout Principles, and Ignore the Arrangements of God’s House (Part One)

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