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 Two)
II. The Interests of Antichrists
Today, we will continue fellowshiping about item nine in the manifestations of antichrists. The ninth item about their manifestations is as follows: 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. Last time, we fellowshiped on a small portion of this, just starting our topic and fellowshiping about what interests are, which is the first point. For the second point, we fellowshiped about what people’s interests are and what is the essence of people’s interests. The third point we fellowshiped about was what God’s interests are and what is the essence of God’s interests—this was more or less the content of the three points we fellowshiped on. What we fellowshiped about last time was essentially conceptual truths, arriving at a definition for various aspects of interests and providing people with an understanding of basic concepts. We won’t delve any further this time into the aforementioned content, because the subject matter we will fellowship about for our ninth item is meant to highlight various manifestations of antichrists. Therefore, we will continue to hone in on the manifestations of antichrists in our fellowship of this item. We will primarily dissect antichrists’ attitude and behavior toward various interests related to themselves, attempting to identify the nature essence and disposition of antichrists and dissect them from this perspective. We will begin by fellowshiping on what, in the eyes of antichrists, are the things relevant to their interests.
In the eyes of antichrists, God, the house of God, and the church are merely labels, perhaps nothing more than names, without any actual value. Therefore, they regard the interests of God, of God’s house, and of the church with contempt, and they are beneath their consideration or unworthy of attention. In contrast, antichrists’ personal interests hold the utmost significance for them. Consequently, antichrists frequently sell the interests of the church and God’s house out in exchange for their personal interests. Now, let’s categorize and thoroughly dissect which things are relevant to antichrists’ interests, in order to provide people with a clear view of their viewpoints on matters of interest. First and foremost, regardless of how antichrists are labeled, be it as antichrists, evil people, or individuals who do not practice the truth or harbor hostility toward it, these kinds of people do not live in a vacuum. They live in the flesh and have the same needs of normal human life. Therefore, people like antichrists who live among the brothers and sisters or within the house of God and the church, also have interests related to their own safety. This is the first subsection about the interests of antichrists—their own safety. The second subsection about the interests of antichrists is their own reputation and status, which has to do with their authority. The third subsection about antichrists’ interests involves their benefit. Is it clearer to dissect antichrists’ interests through these three subsections compared to fellowshiping about them directly? (Yes.) If I ask you to fellowship based on these three subsections, do you have any insights? Can you fellowship some understanding? (I might be able to discuss some insights regarding the second subsection, but I’m not very clear about personal safety and benefit.) Alright, as I am fellowshiping, you can supplement where you are able to speak clearly, and I will fellowship on what you find unclear. Does that work? (Yes.)
A. Their Own Safety
We’ll begin our fellowship with the first subsection of antichrists’ interests—their own safety. The meaning of this subsection should be clear to everyone; it pertains to a person’s physical safety. In mainland China, believing in God means living in a dangerous environment. Every person who follows God faces the daily risk of being arrested, sentenced, and subjected to cruel persecution by the great red dragon. Antichrists are no exception. While they may be classified as antichrists within the house of God, the great red dragon, in alliance with the religious community, constantly does its utmost to suppress and persecute the church of God and His chosen people, and of course, antichrists also find themselves in such an environment and are not exempt from the threat of arrest. Therefore, they must frequently encounter the issue of their own safety. This brings us to the question of how antichrists handle their own safety. For this subsection we are mainly fellowshiping about the attitude antichrists hold toward their own safety. Well, what is their attitude? (They do their utmost to protect their own safety.) Antichrists do their utmost to protect their safety. What they think to themselves is: “I absolutely must guarantee my safety. No matter who gets caught, it mustn’t be me.” In this matter, they often come before God in prayer, pleading that God keeps them from getting into trouble. They feel that no matter what, they are indeed carrying out the work of a church leader and that God should protect them. For the sake of their own safety and to avoid being arrested, escape all persecution and situate themselves in a safe environment, antichrists often implore and pray for their own safety. Only when it comes to their own safety do they truly rely upon and offer themselves up to God. They have real faith when it comes to this and their reliance upon God is real. They only bother to pray to God asking that He protect their safety, not giving the slightest thought to the church’s work or their duty. In their work, personal safety is the principle that guides them. If a place is safe, then antichrists will choose that place to work, and, indeed, they will seem very proactive and positive, showing off their great “sense of responsibility” and “loyalty.” If some work does entail risk and is liable to meet with incident, to get its doer found out by the great red dragon, they make their excuses and refuse it, and find a chance to flee from it. As soon as there is danger, or as soon as there is a hint of danger, they think of ways to extricate themselves and abandon their duty, without a care for the brothers and sisters. They care only about getting themselves out of danger. They may already be prepared at heart: As soon as danger appears, they drop the work they are doing at once, without a care for how the church’s work goes, or for what loss it may incur to the interests of God’s house, or for the safety of the brothers and sisters. What matters to them is fleeing. They even have an “ace up their sleeve,” a plan to protect themselves: As soon as danger is upon them or they are arrested, they say everything they know, clearing themselves and absolving themselves of all responsibility to preserve their own safety. This is the plan they have at the ready. These people are unwilling to suffer persecution for believing in God; they are afraid of being arrested, tortured, and convicted. The fact is that they have long since succumbed to Satan in their hearts. They are terrified of the power of the satanic regime, and more afraid still of such things as torture and harsh interrogation befalling them. With antichrists, therefore, if all is smooth sailing, and there is no threat at all to their safety or issue with it, and no hazard is possible, they may offer up their zeal and “loyalty,” and even their assets. But if circumstances are bad and they could be arrested at any time for believing in God and doing their duty, and if their belief in God may get them fired from their official position or abandoned by those close to them, then they will be exceptionally careful, neither preaching the gospel and testifying to God nor doing their duty. When there is a slight sign of trouble, they become shrinking violets; when there is a slight sign of trouble, they wish immediately to return to the church their books of God’s words and anything related to belief in God, in order to keep themselves safe and unharmed. Are they not dangerous? If arrested, would they not become Judas? The antichrists are so dangerous that they may become Judas at any time; there is always the possibility that they will betray God. Furthermore, they are selfish and despicable to an extreme. This is determined by the antichrists’ nature essence.
Some may say, “Perhaps people with these manifestations are only found in the country of the great red dragon, in the social context of China. When you go overseas, there’s no persecution or arrest, so personal safety becomes irrelevant. Is there still a need for this topic?” Do you think there’s a need for it? (Yes.) Even overseas, many people who do duties in the house of God frequently exhibit these behaviors. As soon as the discussion turns to the political regime of a country or attacks, slandering, and movements of unbelievers or the religious community against the house of God, certain people feel profound fear and cowardice deep down. They may even feel that they would be better off in this moment and more free if they didn’t believe in God, some of them regret putting their faith in God, and in their hearts, some even contemplate beating a retreat and entertain ideas of backing out. At all times people like this harbor concerns about their own safety, feeling that nothing is more important than this. Their lives and their own safety are the foremost concerns deep within their hearts. So, when faced with how the world and all of humanity maligns, slanders, and condemns the church and the work of God, these people do not stand with God in their hearts. Instead, when these things occur, when they hear voices maligning and condemning God, deep down, they stand in opposition to God. They eagerly wish to draw a line between themselves and God, His house, and the church. Furthermore, in moments like these, admitting that they believe in God is a difficult and painful task for them. They desperately want to have no association with God, His house, or the church. At times like these, they feel uneasy and even ashamed and unable to show their face about being a member of the house of God. Are such people truly followers of God? Have they truly forsaken everything to follow God? (No.) When people believe in God in mainland China, they frequently face persecution and arrest and often encounter issues of personal safety; even though the environment overseas is not as harsh, people still encounter similar circumstances. They face slander and condemnation from the religious community, and they must contend with the indifference or certain statements of not understanding by various countries toward the church. Some feel at a loss and even have uncertainties and doubts about whether the work of God is genuine, questioning God’s correctness even more. Therefore, because they frequently consider their own safety, they cannot do their duties in the house of God with a heart that is steady and at ease. Have these individuals truly given their lives over to God? (No, they haven’t.) Some even think, “Coming overseas means escaping the clutches of the great red dragon, doesn’t it? Isn’t there religious freedom overseas? Isn’t everything free and liberated? Since God has led us overseas to do our duties, why do we still have to face the same harsh conditions? Why do we still have to learn these lessons and undergo this suffering overseas?” Some people have doubts in their hearts, and some not only doubt but resist, harboring questions like, “Since it’s the true way, since it’s the work of God, why do we, who are loyal in doing our duties, who have forsaken everything to expend ourselves for God, still have to endure such unequal treatment in this world?” They don’t understand. Because they don’t understand and they prioritize their own safety above all else, therefore, they turn this lack of understanding into complaints and questioning aimed toward God. Isn’t that the case? (Yes.) Some people overseas are even afraid to take risks in doing their duties. If they are assigned a duty that involves some risk, they find excuses like, “I’m not suitable for this duty. My family is still in mainland China, and if the great red dragon finds me out, won’t it be troublesome for me?” They refuse to perform such duties. They choose to preserve themselves, protect their own safety, and save their own lives. They leave a way out for themselves instead of completely offering themselves up, letting go of everything, and forsaking everything to accept their duties. They can’t achieve this. These are some of their behaviors when it comes to their own safety. Some people feel uneasy in their hearts and pray about this often. Some people often feel fear and cowardice, thinking that the forces of Satan are too powerful, and how can an ordinary person like them resist? Therefore, they often fear and worry about this. Some even feel that as soon as they are arrested, there will be nothing the church or the house of God can do, that nobody will be effective if something happens. So, they think it most crucial to protect themselves. Therefore, when they need to stick their necks out and take on a risky duty, they hide themselves, and nobody can persuade them. They claim they are not competent, finding all sorts of excuses and reasons to refuse the important duties entrusted to them by the house of God. If the environment is good, these people might even stand in a public place in front of a large crowd with a microphone and shout, “I believe in Almighty God, I am a member of The Church of Almighty God. I hope everyone can come and investigate the true way.” They can do this without any fear when their personal safety is not at risk. Once there’s even the slightest hint of a threat or any situation that involves their own safety, or when sudden circumstances arise, their enthusiasm disappears, their “loyalty” vanishes, and their “faith” fades away. They only know to flee this way and that, always trying to find some inconspicuous, behind-the-scenes work to carry out, pushing the tasks and duties that require sticking their necks out and taking on risks onto other people. As soon as the environment improves, they pop up again like stage jesters. Why do they reappear? To start showcasing themselves, to let people know of their existence, to show God their enthusiasm, to let God see their loyalty at that moment, and at the same time, to make amends for what they did before, desperately trying to recover. However, at the slightest sign of trouble or change in environment, these people disappear again and go into hiding.
When the gospel work was just beginning to expand, it was particularly difficult to spread the gospel. At that time, there were not many people who could preach the gospel, and those who did were quite shallow in their understanding of the truth. They couldn’t discern people’s religious notions very well, and it was challenging to gain people. Moreover, preaching the gospel also came with risks. When you encountered people with a somewhat good humanity, at most, they would refuse to accept it and call it a day, but they wouldn’t harm or insult you. If you maintained contact with them, there might still be hope of gaining them, which would yield some results. However, when you encountered evil people or pastors and elders from various denominations, these people not only refused to accept but would even lead a joint attack, force you to confess your sins, and if you didn’t, they might physically assault you. In more severe cases, they might even report you to the police and hand you over to the station, putting you in danger of being detained at any time. Some church leaders were not constrained by these matters. They continued to do their duties when they ought to do so and even led the way in preaching the gospel and bearing witness to God. However, some so-called leaders or those false leaders did not act this way. When they faced such dangers, they would not go themselves but would send others. I heard of one leader who found out that a potential gospel recipient was a leader in a certain denomination. She intended to arrange for someone to spread the gospel to him. After thinking it over, she couldn’t find a suitable person and decided it was more appropriate to go by herself. However, she was afraid of the danger and didn’t want to go, so she arranged for a young sister of eighteen or nineteen years old to go instead. What do you think? Should she have arranged for this young sister to go? (She shouldn’t have.) Why shouldn’t she have? (Because the potential gospel recipient was a leader in a certain denomination with many religious notions. The young sister was of small stature, had a shallow understanding of the truth, couldn’t fellowship about the truth to address the potential gospel recipient’s problems, and not only might she not have been able to convert him, but she herself might have been misled.) Considering her age, how much of the truth could this young sister really understand? How much knowledge of the Bible did she possess? How confident could she be in converting the leader from that denomination? Given her age, she certainly didn’t have much experience in preaching the gospel. Additionally, she had just come of age and lacked experience. Could she see through the notions, ideas, and difficulties of adults? (No, she couldn’t.) Certainly not. At her age, she simply wasn’t up to handling the thoughts of adults. Tell Me, considering her age, was this young sister the best choice? (She was not.) She was not the best choice. So, by sending the young sister, did this leader have the right intention? (She didn’t have the right intention.) She didn’t have the right intention. She should not have sent the young sister. Later, when the young sister came into contact with the leader of that denomination and found that he was not a good person, she reported back to the leader, expressing that she felt particularly fearful and didn’t dare to go again. This leader put pressure on her, insisting, “No, this is your duty, and you must go!” The young sister was forced to tears, saying, “It’s my duty, and I should go, but I can’t handle it, I can’t do it.” Nevertheless, this leader did not relent and continued to say, “Even if you can’t do it, you must go; there’s no one else, so it has to be you!” What kind of leader do you think this is? Not only did she protect herself when danger approached, but she also put another in harm’s way while she stepped back. Even in situations where this young sister expressed her inability and even cried in fear, she still disagreed. What kind of wretch is this? Is this a human being? (No.) It’s not a human being. She didn’t consider the safety of her brothers and sisters, only herself. She even exchanged others’ safety for her own interest, just like those gambling parents who, when they’ve lost all their money and have nothing left, offer their own daughters as collateral to pay back their debts, to allow themselves to weather hard times and escape disaster, sacrificing the ones they love most in exchange for their own happiness. What kind of wretch is this leader? Does she have any humanity left? (No.) There isn’t a shred of humanity in her. Based on this behavior, can people like this be classified as antichrists? (They can.) They absolutely can! Some might say, “What they’re doing is for the sake of the church’s work, for spreading the gospel. Don’t they mean well? Aren’t they doing it to safeguard the interests of God’s house? How can they be classified as being antichrists?” Has anyone ever thought this way? Can this argument be made? (No, it can’t.) So, tell Me, what is the nature of this issue? (This leader, for the sake of her own interests and safety, used the young sister’s life and security as a bargain, that is, she intentionally pushed her into a pit—she has a particularly malicious humanity.) To put it more plainly, this leader, fully aware that the young sister was completely incapable of this task, made this arrangement for the purpose of preserving herself. At the same time, she did it to make an account for the fulfillment of her own duty, sacrificing the interests and safety of another to achieve her personal goals. That was her intention. She simply didn’t consider who was capable of doing this job, who could convert this person, or who could do this job effectively, finding the best person for the task. The essence of her actions was not about performing her duty or fulfilling her loyalty or responsibility, but about having something to account for her superiors and preserving herself by sacrificing other’s interests, even causing harm to others. She acted in a way that harmed others in order to preserve herself and achieve her own goals—isn’t this the essence of it? (Yes.) That’s the essence of it. Therefore, the actions of this leader can be classified as the actions of an antichrist. Isn’t this the root of the matter? (Yes, it is.) This is precisely the case. If there were no suitable candidates, and this young sister wasn’t there, if she was told to go convert the leader of that denomination herself, would she have gone? Would she have been able to say, “If there are no suitable candidates, then I will go. I’m not afraid. Even if it means sacrificing my life to gain this person, I’m willing to throw it away, because this is my duty and my responsibility”? Could she have done that? (No.) Why do we say that she couldn’t do it? We’re not speculating here. What are we basing it on by saying she couldn’t? (Because when she was doing her duty, it wasn’t really to achieve results and convert that potential gospel recipient. Therefore, she was just going through the motions by sending the young sister. If the young sister wasn’t there, she wouldn’t have personally gone herself to gain this person.) That’s right, that’s how it would be. If she saw that there were no suitable candidates available, shouldn’t she have gone herself? (Yes.) If she truly was loyal to her duty and didn’t consider her own personal safety, she wouldn’t have let the young sister go, but would have gone herself. So, what is the issue underscored by her not going herself? (She was preserving her own safety and interests.) That’s right, that’s how it played out. If she truly was loyal to her duty, she would have shouldered that responsibility herself. However, she didn’t do that; instead, she chose the least suitable candidate to go in her place. Was it her intention to send the least suitable person to the most dangerous place in order to achieve her own goal of shielding herself from danger and preserving herself? (Yes.) This is the behavior of antichrists. This has to do with arranging people.
In mainland China, the great red dragon has consistently and brutally suppressed, arrested, and persecuted believers in God, often placing them in dangerous environments. For instance, the government uses various pretexts to apprehend believers. Whenever they discover the area in which an antichrist resides, what’s the first thing the antichrist thinks about? It’s not about arranging the work of the church properly but how to escape from this dangerous situation. When the church faces suppression and arrests, the antichrists never engage in follow-up work. They don’t make arrangements for essential church resources or personnel. Instead, they find excuses and reasons in order to secure a safe place for themselves and be done with it. Once their personal safety is guaranteed, they rarely get personally involved in arranging the church’s work, personnel, or resources, nor do they inquire into the matter or make any specific arrangements. This results in the church’s resources and finances not being promptly transferred to secure locations, and ultimately, much is plundered and taken away by the great red dragon, causing significant losses to the church and leading to the capture of more brothers and sisters. This is the result of the antichrists shirking their responsibility over the work. Deep within the antichrists’ hearts, their personal safety always takes precedence. It’s an issue in their hearts that is a constant concern for them. They think to themselves, “I mustn’t get into trouble. Whoever might get caught, I can’t afford to be—I have to stay alive. I’m still waiting to share in God’s glory when the work of God is finished. If I get caught, I’ll act like Judas, and it’ll be over for me. There won’t be a good outcome for me. I’ll be punished.” Therefore, whenever they go to a new place to work, they first investigate who has the safest and most powerful household, where they can hide from the government’s searches and feel secure. Secondly, they look for households with better living conditions, where there’s meat at every meal, air conditioning in summer, and heating in winter. Additionally, they inquire about who among the believers is more enthusiastic and has a stronger foundation, someone who can provide protection when trouble arises. They investigate all these matters first. After their investigation, they find a place to settle down and do some superficial work, send a letter, or convey some information or work arrangements verbally. Now, do you think the antichrists are capable of doing work? When you look at how they meticulously and neatly take consideration of and arrange for their personal safety, it might seem like they know how to do specific work, they know in their hearts how to do it. However, their intentions are not right, they think only of personal gain, and they are sick of the truth; even if they know that what they are doing goes against the truth and is selfish and despicable, they insist on doing things their own way and acting wantonly and recklessly. Everything they do is in order to preserve their own safety. After settling themselves down and feeling that they are out of harm’s way, that the danger is past, then the antichrists proceed to do some superficial work. Antichrists are quite meticulous in their arrangements, but it depends on who they are dealing with. They think very carefully about matters that concern their own interests, but when it comes to the work of the church or their own duties, they display their own selfishness and despicableness and show no responsibility, lacking even a hint of conscience or reason. It’s precisely because of these behaviors that they are classified as antichrists. If we were to judge based on caliber alone, considering how well they think through and make meticulous and concrete plans for their own safety, they are not lacking in caliber and they have a head on their shoulders. They should be capable of handling the work of God’s house. Now, if you look at it based on their capability, they shouldn’t be labeled as antichrists, so why have they still been labeled as such? It’s determined based on their essence, on whether they can accept the truth and practice it, on whether they are people who pursue the truth. They make thoughtful and specific considerations and arrangements concerning their living environment, their food and drink, and their safety. However, when it comes to the work of God’s house, they become entirely different people, particularly selfish and despicable, showing no consideration for God’s will. These certainly aren’t people who pursue the truth. Antichrists deal with the work of God’s house and the work arrangements of the Above by filtering through them. They selectively filter through what they are and aren’t willing to do, and what does and doesn’t relate to their own safety. Then, they do some easy work that has no danger in it, just to avoid the Above finding out that they are quick to eat and slow to work, and that they don’t attend to their proper duties. After arranging the work, they never inquire or supervise how the specific tasks are carried out. For example, God’s house has specific principles and regulations regarding offerings and various resources: how to arrange them, where to place them, how to manage them, and who should be in charge. The antichrists, on the other hand, only talk about these things, and once they have made the arrangements, they consider it done. No matter whether or not the environment is suitable, they never visit the site to take a look around; they merely move their lips, and in their hearts they don’t grasp, and do not inquire, investigate, or care whether specific arrangements for these resources of God’s house are appropriate or safe. So, during the antichrists’ time as leaders, within their scope of work, some books of God’s words are seized by evil people. Some books grow moldy due to improper storage, and in some cases, certain books or resources are placed in locations where nobody takes care of them. The antichrists not only fail to make specific arrangements for these matters, they certainly don’t inquire, investigate, or ask about them. Instead, they consider their task done once they make the arrangements. They talk the talk and that’s it; they only go through the motions without seeking any actual results. Do the antichrists display loyalty through these behaviors? (No.) They have no loyalty. When it comes to arranging various resources of the church, the antichrists never inquire. What does “never inquire” mean? Does it mean they don’t make any arrangements at all? They go through the motions and make arrangements in order to pull the wool over people’s eyes, lest someone report them to the superiors. But they never do any specific work. What does specific work refer to? It involves determining where these things should be placed, whether or not it’s safe, whether something might happen to them, whether rodents might come and chew things up, whether they might be flooded or stolen, whether the individuals responsible for safekeeping are suitable, and so on. The antichrists, however, never inquire, never investigate, and never concern themselves. In their hearts, they believe these things are not for them to enjoy; they don’t value them and have no use for them. They belong to other people, to God’s house, and are unrelated to them. They couldn’t care less; let whoever wants to be concerned worry about it—they aren’t concerned. They arrange things, and that’s the end of it. Some antichrists don’t even bother arranging. They believe that, regardless of whether the work is done well or not, there won’t be any rewards, and nobody will hold them accountable for doing it poorly. Who would report them for something as minor as this? Would God punish them for it? The antichrists’ attitude and viewpoint toward their duties are just like that: They go through the motions and handle matters in a perfunctory manner. As long as these things don’t affect their own status or safety, they don’t care whether they are managed or not. Whether these things are lost, diminished, or damaged, it’s all unrelated to them. In the antichrists’ mind, these resources of God’s house are considered public property. They don’t need to be concerned about them, don’t need to pay them any mind, and don’t need to expend any energy to manage them. So, during the antichrists’ time as leaders, due to their negligence toward their duty, their focus on personal enjoyment, and their failure to perform specific tasks, various resources in God’s house are plundered or taken by the great red dragon, or seized by some evil people. There were many such cases. Some might say, “In such a hostile environment, who could attend to everything so meticulously? Who could avoid a bit of negligence or making a few mistakes?” Is this just about making a few mistakes? I dare say, if people could fulfill their responsibilities and display loyalty, the loss of these resources wouldn’t be as great; it would definitely decrease, and the effectiveness of the work would improve a lot.
Antichrists believe in God to gain blessings. They never concern themselves with anything related to God’s house or God’s interests. Whatever they do has to revolve around their personal interests. If the work of God’s house doesn’t involve their personal interests, they simply don’t care and don’t inquire into it. How selfish they must be! When certain antichrists were acting as leaders, the great red dragon plundered large quantities of offerings that were under the scope of their supervision, and an astonishing amount was lost. But these antichrists didn’t blame themselves at all. They even said afterward, “It’s not just my responsibility: How can it all be blamed on me? Besides, this kind of situation is unavoidable.” They felt no remorse at all, they shifted the blame onto other people, and, filled with excuses, they tried to defend themselves. What kind of things are they? Shouldn’t people like this be expelled? Shouldn’t they be cursed and punished? (Yes.) After committing such a significant mistake, these antichrists had absolutely no remorse! What manifestations would a normal person, a person with humanity, a person who is loyal to God, or a person with a God-fearing heart, display if their negligence led to the assets of God’s house being snatched away by the great red dragon? (They would feel remorse, blame themselves, and feel in their heart that they didn’t fulfill their duty properly.) What would they do next? They would think of a way to make amends. From the bottom of their heart, they would feel a sense of indebtedness and remorse; regardless of what others said, they wouldn’t utter a single word of complaint, they wouldn’t defend themselves. They would acknowledge that it was their negligence, their transgression. They would accept whatever God said to them and however God’s house decided to handle them. So why don’t antichrists accept this? Why do they feel full of grievances after being expelled? This reveals the nature of antichrists. These antichrists caused such significant losses to the work of God’s house, so much effort from others went to waste due to them neglecting their duties, and so many offerings were taken by the great red dragon, yet they felt no self-blame, no sense of indebtedness, and they even defended themselves. When God’s house handled them, they refused to submit, and they spread their defiance everywhere. What kind of things are they? Isn’t this courting death? (Yes.) This is courting death. Looking at the core of antichrists, their nature essence is one of hostility toward the truth and God. They lack humanity; they are living demons, Satans, beasts in human clothing. When people with humanity make a small mistake or say something wrong, they feel self-reproach. But living demons, antichrists, don’t feel this. Even after committing such a grave mistake, those antichrists didn’t feel any self-reproach, and they even tried to defend themselves. So, what is the truth to them? Do they acknowledge the truth in their hearts? God’s words are the truth, and God is the truth—do they acknowledge this fact? (They don’t acknowledge it.) They clearly don’t acknowledge it. In their hearts, they consider themselves to be the truth, to be God; they think that apart from them, there is no other God. Are these not devils? (Yes.) These are devils, typical devils. Antichrists don’t inquire at all about the church’s resources, nor do they make any specific arrangements for them. But if they happen to possess something precious themselves, you can be sure they will take excellent care of it. They won’t reveal a word about it even when they talk in their sleep, and you couldn’t even beat it out of them. They guard it exceptionally well. However, when it comes to the resources of God’s house, their attitude is completely different. They actually have this kind of attitude: “What does that have to do with me? I don’t get to enjoy that resource, and it doesn’t belong to me. Even if I take good care of it, it might be given to someone else! What’s the use of guarding it so well?” They don’t consider this matter their duty. Isn’t this lacking in humanity? (Yes.) It is a manifestation of lacking humanity. What is this called? It’s called being unreliable. God has entrusted this work to you, and given you the duties you should perform—this is part of your job. You ought to handle these matters properly, carrying them out one by one, following God’s required principles and the work arrangements of God’s house, and arranging them properly, then your responsibility will be fulfilled. But do antichrists have this mindset or idea? (No, they don’t.) Not at all. This is a complete lack of humanity. What is the specific manifestation of lacking humanity? It is not caring about having conscience or reason, and being selfish and despicable, lacking trustworthiness, being unreliable, and not being worthy of entrusting anything to.
When it comes to matters of personnel within the church, such as who is doing what work where, whether they are doing it properly, whether they are performing their duty effectively, if any instances of disruptions or disturbances have arisen, or what the brothers’ and sisters’ feedback is like, antichrists never inquire in detail or make arrangements regarding these things. For instance, when God’s house asks them to provide various kinds of talented individuals, antichrists merely glance at the written introductions of these individuals without specifically finding out or inquiring about their situations—for example, whether these individuals have a foundation in their faith, how their humanity is, whether they can accept the truth, whether their particular talents and technical skills align with the standards required by God’s house, and if they are suitable for cultivating and taking on important duties. Antichrists just go through the motions regarding these things, putting up a facade, briefly reviewing the written introductions, and that’s it. They never actually interact with the individuals provided, nor do they seek a detailed or in-depth understanding of them. As a result, most of the people they select end up being cast out because they failed to do their duties or attend to their proper work. How do antichrists view this situation? “It’s not like I’m being promoted to do these duties; I have no part in them. What difference does it make who goes? As long as I approve the recommendations and provide these people, that counts as me doing my job. Furthermore, the individuals who were promoted will owe me a favor. Whether or not they are suitable for cultivation is none of my business.” If antichrists provide unsuitable individuals, causing hindrances to the work of God’s house, do they bear any responsibility? (Yes.) They bear a lot of responsibility, but these devilish things do not carry out any checks at all. Some say, “In certain places with harsh environments, we cannot interact with people face-to-face. How can we carry out checks on them?” No matter how harsh the environment is, there are still methods and approaches to handle these matters. It depends on whether you are responsible and genuinely committed. Isn’t that so? (Yes.) If you offer your loyalty and responsibility, then even if the outcome is not ideal, God scrutinizes and knows it, and the responsibility won’t be on you. But if you don’t offer your loyalty and responsibility, then even if nothing goes wrong and it doesn’t lead to any consequences in the end, God will scrutinize it. The nature of these two approaches is different, and God will treat them differently. Antichrists also scheme when it comes to providing people, they also have motives that are selfish and despicable, and they lack loyalty. No matter what they are doing, antichrists have their own calculations and they do not adhere to principles. Furthermore, in order for concrete work to be done well, they have to show their faces, travel around meeting with more people, endure hardships, and take risks. As soon as something touches on the issue of their own safety, antichrists start calculating again, and their nature is revealed. What is revealed? They believe that interacting with too many people is a risk to their own safety, and that they can’t get into contact with people arbitrarily. Antichrists don’t interact with those they should and don’t meet with anyone, instead they find a safe haven to stay in, hiding and doing nothing more than simple tasks. As for how well other aspects of the work are done, whether there are people causing disturbances, or whether the work arrangements, various books of God’s words, or recorded sermons are being distributed, antichrists never make specific arrangements or inquiries into these things. It’s not to say that they have to take risks, show their faces, and encounter trouble to be considered loyal. What’s the issue here? Who can explain? (When they initially started this work, they never considered how to do it well or whether the recommended personnel were suitable, and they never acted with all their hearts or fulfilled their responsibility. They never thought about these things.) They simply don’t show loyalty. There’s a difference in the nature of how people with loyalty to God work compared to those without it. When they both encounter matters that involve danger, those with loyalty are able to face the danger and do their work, using wisdom and methods to implement the work arrangements. However, antichrists don’t engage in concrete work, regardless of whether danger is involved or not, and work arrangements are never implemented by them. That’s the distinction. Antichrists may verbally inquire about the church’s situation, various tasks, and so on, but even their inquiries are mere formalities, they are just making some surface-level efforts, and they are not meticulous about it at all. From the outside, it might seem like they are doing concrete work, but in reality, they don’t understand the work, they don’t take notes, they don’t ponder over it, and they don’t pray or seek. They don’t put energy into considering how different segments of the work are progressing, or who is responsible for areas where things are not done well, or which church leaders might be unsuitable, or where work hasn’t been implemented. They don’t consider these things, they just go through the motions, and when they identify issues, they don’t resolve them. Some so-called leaders only bring people together for gatherings, inquire about the situation, and analyze and investigate the work. As soon as some concrete work is involved, and it requires them to suffer and pay a price, involves putting their personal safety at risk, and a certain level of difficultly, they don’t do it. They stop work at that point, prioritizing self-preservation. Even when they recognize issues, they don’t make specific arrangements. If they are well-known for their faith, and in danger of being captured, do they delegate these tasks to others? No, they don’t. They don’t arrange for others to do these tasks, and that’s the problem. So, what essence is revealed by people like this? They lack loyalty, they’re selfish and despicable, and consider their own safety in everything. They never inquire about whether the work arrangements of God’s house are being implemented, or about the progress of the work of God’s house, and they don’t care about these things. They haven’t offered their loyalty, and they do not show their loyalty. For them, going through the motions with regard to these matters is enough; they consider this doing work. If the risk is small, they might reluctantly do some work. But if the risk is large, and there is a possibility of them being captured, they won’t do it, no matter how crucial the task is. That is the essence of antichrists. In the depths of their hearts, as long as their interests are secure, they are capable of selling anyone out. Their interests are achieved at the expense of the interests of God’s house; to them, their interests are supreme. Can antichrists be loyal once they take on a duty? (No, they can’t.) Loyalty is impossible for them. Can they consider the lives and safety of their brothers and sisters? (They cannot.) When it comes to their own safety, antichrists will only preserve themselves, pushing their brothers and sisters into the fiery pit, and using them as sacrificial pawns. That is the nature essence of antichrists.
Besides considering their own safety, what do certain antichrists also think about? They say, “Right now, our environment is unfavorable, so let’s show our faces less and spread the gospel less. That way, we’re less likely to be caught, and the church’s work won’t be destroyed. If we avoid getting caught, we won’t turn Judas, and then we’ll be able to remain in the future, won’t we?” Aren’t there antichrists who use such excuses to mislead their brothers and sisters? Some antichrists are very afraid of death and drag out ignoble existences; they also like reputation and status, and are willing to take on leadership roles. Even though they know that, “The work of a leader isn’t easy to shoulder—if the great red dragon finds out that I’ve been made a leader, I’ll become famous, and I might get put on a wanted list, and as soon as I’m caught my life will be in danger,” for the sake of enjoying the benefit of this status, they disregard these dangers. When they serve as leaders, they only care about their fleshly enjoyment, and they do not engage in actual work. Apart from engaging in a bit of correspondence with various churches, they don’t do anything else. They hide in some place and don’t meet with anyone, keeping themselves sealed away, and the brothers and sisters don’t know who their leader is—that is the degree to which they are afraid. So, isn’t it correct to say that they are leaders in name only? (Yes.) They don’t engage in any actual work as leaders; they only care about hiding themselves. When others ask them, “How is it being a leader?” they will say, “I’m incredibly busy, and for the sake of safety, I have to keep moving house. This environment is so unsettling that I can’t focus on my work.” They always feel like many eyes are watching them, and don’t know where’s safe to hide. Apart from wearing disguises, hiding themselves in different places, and not staying in one location, they don’t do any actual work every day. Do such leaders exist? (Yes.) What principles do they follow? These people say, “A crafty rabbit has three burrows. In order for a rabbit to guard against a predator’s attack, it has to prepare three burrows to hide itself in. If a person encounters danger and has to escape, but they have nowhere to hide, is that acceptable? We must learn from rabbits! God’s created animals have this survival ability, and people should learn from them.” Since taking on leadership roles, they have come to realize this doctrine, and even believe that they have understood the truth. In reality, they are terribly frightened. As soon as they hear about a leader who got reported to the police because the place they lived in was unsafe, or about a leader who was targeted by the great red dragon’s spies, and subsequently got arrested and sentenced because they went out too often to do their duty and interacted with too many people, they immediately become frightened. They think, “Oh no, will I be the next one to be arrested? I must learn from this. I shouldn’t be too active. If I can avoid doing some of the church’s work, I won’t do it. If I can avoid showing my face, I won’t do it. I’ll minimize my work as much as possible, avoid going out, avoid interacting with anyone, and ensure that nobody knows I’m a leader. These days, who can afford to care about anyone else? Just staying alive is already a challenge!” Since taking on the role of a leader, apart from carrying a bag and hiding, they don’t do any work. They live on tenterhooks, in constant fear of being caught and sentenced. When they hear someone say, “If you get caught, you’ll be killed! If you weren’t a leader, if you were just an ordinary believer, you might be let out after just paying a little fine, but since you’re a leader, it’s hard to say. It’s too dangerous! Some leaders or workers who got caught refused to give up any information and were beaten to death by the police.” Once they hear about someone being beaten to death, their fear intensifies, and they become even more afraid to work. Every day, all they think about is how to avoid getting caught, how to avoid showing their faces, how to avoid being monitored, and how to avoid contact with their brothers and sisters. They rack their brains thinking about these things and completely forget about their duties. Are these loyal people? Can people like this handle any work? (No, they can’t.) People like this are just timid, and we can’t definitely label them as antichrists based solely on this manifestation, but what is the nature of this manifestation? The essence of this manifestation is that of a nonbeliever. They don’t believe that God can protect people’s safety, and they certainly don’t believe that dedicating oneself to expending for God is devoting oneself to the truth, and that it is something God approves of. They don’t fear God in their hearts; they are only afraid of Satan and wicked political parties. They don’t believe in God’s existence, they don’t believe that everything is in God’s hands, and they certainly don’t believe that God will approve of a person expending everything for His sake, and for the sake of following His way, and completing His commission. They can’t see any of this. What do they believe in? They believe that if they fall into the hands of the great red dragon, they’ll meet with a bad end, that they could be sentenced or even risk losing their lives. In their hearts, they only consider their own safety and not the work of the church. Aren’t these nonbelievers? (Yes, they are.) What does the Bible say? “He that loses his life for My sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:39). Do they believe these words? (No, they don’t.) If they are asked to take a risk while doing their duty, they’ll wish to hide themselves away and not let anyone see them—they’ll want to be invisible. This is the extent to which they are afraid. They don’t believe that God is man’s support, that everything is in God’s hands, that if something really goes wrong or they actually get caught, it’s permitted by God, and that people should have hearts of submission. These people don’t possess these hearts, this understanding, or this preparation. Do they truly believe in God? (No, they don’t.) Isn’t the essence of this manifestation that of a nonbeliever? (Yes, it is.) That’s how it is. People like this are exceptionally timid, terribly frightened, and afraid of physical suffering and something bad happening to them. They become as scared as skittish birds and can’t perform their work anymore. The type of person we talked about earlier simply doesn’t do any work at all, even if they are capable of doing it. Even if they know there is an issue, they won’t handle it. They just protect themselves, and they are particularly selfish and despicable. Both of these types of people are nonbelievers. The first type is slippery and treacherous, afraid of hardship and fatigue, concerned with their flesh, and doesn’t engage in actual work. The second type is timid and frightened, doesn’t dare to perform actual work, and is afraid of being caught and persecuted by the great red dragon. Isn’t there a difference between these two types of people? (Yes.)
Are there any examples you know about how antichrists protect their own safety? (God, I know of one such instance. There was a church that got busted by the great red dragon because it was controlled by an antichrist who was running amok doing evil, and the leaders, deacons, and a few brothers and sisters were all arrested. At the time, the antichrist was afraid of getting caught. Without making arrangements for the work of handling the aftermath, he hid in a remote location. He even refused to stay with a host family, and insisted instead on using offerings to rent a place. Because he didn’t make proper arrangements for the subsequent work and didn’t promptly eliminate hidden dangers, several brothers and sisters were then arrested, and the church’s work was forced to stop. It is clear that antichrists are exceptionally selfish and despicable. In critical moments, they only protect their own interests and don’t protect the interests of God’s house at all.) Antichrists are extremely selfish and despicable. They do not have true faith in God, much less loyalty to God; when they encounter an issue, they only protect and safeguard themselves. For them, nothing is more important than their own safety. As long as they can live and won’t get arrested, they don’t care how much harm is done to the work of the church. These people are extremely selfish, they don’t think of the brothers and sisters at all, or of the work of the church, they only think of their own safety. They are antichrists. So when such things befall those who are loyal to God and have true faith in God, how do they handle them? How does what they do differ from what antichrists do? (When such things befall those who are loyal to God, they will think of any way to safeguard the interests of the house of God, to protect against losses to the offerings of God, and they will make the necessary arrangements for the leaders and workers, and the brothers and sisters, to minimize losses. Antichrists, meanwhile, make sure they are protected first. They are not concerned about the work of the church or the safety of God’s chosen people, and when the church is faced with arrests, it results in a loss to church work.) Antichrists abandon the work of the church and God’s offerings, and they do not arrange for people to handle the aftermath. This is the same as permitting the great red dragon to seize God’s offerings and His chosen people. Is this not a covert betrayal of God’s offerings and His chosen people? When those who are loyal to God know clearly that an environment is dangerous, they still brave the risk of doing the work of handling the aftermath, and they keep the losses to God’s house to a minimum before they themselves withdraw. They do not give priority to their own safety. Tell Me, in this wicked country of the great red dragon, who could ensure that there is no danger at all in believing in God and doing a duty? Whatever duty one takes on, it entails some risk—yet the performance of duty is commissioned by God, and while following God, one must take on the risk of doing their duty. One should exercise wisdom, and one has need of taking measures to ensure their safety, but one should not put their personal safety first. They should consider God’s will, putting the work of His house first and putting the spread of the gospel first. Completing God’s commission of them is what matters most, and it comes first. Antichrists give top priority to their personal safety; they believe that nothing else has anything to do with them. They do not care when something happens to someone else, regardless of who it might be. As long as nothing bad happens to the antichrists themselves, they feel at ease. They are devoid of any loyalty, which is determined by the antichrists’ nature essence. In the environment of mainland China, is it possible to avoid taking on any risks and to ensure nothing bad happens while doing one’s duty? Even the most cautious person can’t guarantee that. But caution is necessary. Being well-prepared in advance will improve things a little, and it can help to minimize losses when something does go wrong. If there’s no preparation at all, the losses will be substantial. Can you see the difference between these two situations clearly? Therefore, no matter if it’s regarding gatherings or the performance of any kind of duty, it’s best to be cautious, and it’s necessary to take some preventive measures. When a loyal person performs their duty they can think a bit more comprehensively and thoroughly. They want to arrange these things as well as they can so that if something goes wrong, the losses are minimized. They feel that they must achieve this result. Someone who lacks loyalty doesn’t consider these things. They think that these things don’t matter, and they don’t treat them as their responsibility or duty. When something goes wrong, they don’t feel any sense of blame. This is a manifestation of a lack of loyalty. Antichrists show no loyalty to God. When they are assigned work, they accept it quite happily, and make some nice declarations, but when danger comes, they run away the fastest; they are the first to run, the first to escape. This shows that their selfishness and despicableness are particularly severe. They have no sense of responsibility or loyalty at all. When faced with a problem, they only know how to flee and how to hide, and think only of protecting themselves, never considering their responsibilities or duties. For the sake of their own personal safety, antichrists consistently display their selfish and despicable nature. They do not prioritize the work of God’s house or their own duties. Even less do they prioritize the interests of God’s house. Instead, they prioritize their own safety.
Doesn’t the subsection we just fellowshiped about relate to the ninth item of the various manifestations of antichrists—they never consider the interests of God’s house, and even sell those interests out in exchange for personal glory? (Yes.) In order to protect themselves, to avoid danger and physical suffering, antichrists adopt a perfunctory attitude toward the work of God’s house and their own duties. They occupy positions without doing actual work. Is this not selling out the interests of God’s house? Is it not disregarding the interests of God’s house, the work of God, and their own responsibilities, in exchange for personal safety? (Yes.) The manifestations we have dissected in this subsection fully expose the selfish and despicable essence of antichrists. What have we primarily fellowshiped about here? Antichrists, out of fear of getting into trouble and in order to preserve themselves, do not fulfill their duties, and show no loyalty to God whatsoever. Is there any truth reality in this manifestation? Is it not a loss of conscience and reason? This is a complete lack of humanity!
B. Their Own Reputation and Status
Let’s continue with the second subsection of fellowship, antichrists’ own reputation and status. This also involves the interests of antichrists. Now, these three subsections we are discussing: antichrists’ own safety, their own reputation and status, and their own benefits—all of them relate to antichrists’ own interests. Do these have any connection to the work of God’s house? (Yes, they do.) What is the connection? (Antichrists, in order to preserve themselves and safeguard their reputation and status, may disturb and undermine the work of the church.) Antichrists harm the interests of God’s house and the work of the church in order to preserve their own interests. To look at antichrists’ selfish and despicable nature, what does this type of person cherish, beyond being particularly protective of their own safety? (They like reputation and status very much.) That is right. Antichrists like reputation and status very much. Reputation and status are their lifeblood; they feel life is meaningless without reputation and status, and they lack energy to do anything without reputation and status. To antichrists, both reputation and status are intimately tied to their personal interests; they are their Achilles’ heel. That is why everything antichrists do revolves around status and reputation. If it were not for these things, they may not do any work at all. No matter whether antichrists have status or not, the goal they are fighting for, the direction in which they are striving is toward these two things—reputation and status. When they believe in God in an autocratic environment such as mainland China, antichrists give no consideration for the interests of God’s house, in the interest of ensuring their own safety. Part of what they do is to pursue status with all their might, firmly holding on to power and controlling the church. The other part is that they are always talking, working, running around, and toiling for the sake of their own reputation and status. This is the core around which everything antichrists say and do revolves. Antichrists never do any practical work for the life entry of God’s chosen people, and they never do any practical work to disseminate the kingdom gospel. When they pay a price, look at why they pay a price. When they ardently debate an issue, look at why they debate it. When they discuss or condemn a person, look at what intent and goal they have. When they are upset or angry about something, look at what disposition they reveal. People cannot see inside people’s hearts, but God can. When God looks inside people’s hearts, what does He use to gauge the essence of what people say and do? He uses the truth to gauge it. In the eyes of man, protecting one’s reputation and status is proper. So why is it labeled in God’s eyes as the revelation and expression of antichrists, and as the essence of antichrists? This is based in the impetus and motivation for everything antichrists do. God scrutinizes the impetus and motivation for what they do, and in the end, determines that everything they do is for their own reputation and status, rather than for the sake of doing their duty, much less for the sake of practicing the truth and submitting to God.
Antichrists pursue reputation and status, so they certainly also speak and work in order to uphold their reputation and status. They value their reputation and status above everything else. If someone around them has good caliber and pursues the truth, and this person gains some prestige among the brothers and sisters and is chosen as a team leader, and the brothers and sisters really admire and approve of this person, how will antichrists react? Certainly, they won’t be happy about it, and jealousy will arise in them. If antichrists harbor jealousy, tell Me, can they behave themselves? Won’t they have to do something about it? (Yes.) What will they do if they truly envy this person? In their minds, they’ll surely make this kind of calculation: “This person has quite good caliber, they possess some understanding of this profession, and they are stronger than me. This is beneficial for the work of God’s house, but not for me! Will they take my position? If they truly replace me one day, won’t that be troublesome? I should act preemptively. If they’re able to stand on their own two feet one day, it won’t be so easy for me to sort them out. It’s better for me to strike first. If I delay and allow them to expose me, who knows what the consequences will be. So, how can I strike? I need to find an excuse, find an opportunity.” Tell Me, if people want to punish someone, isn’t it easy for them to find an excuse and an opportunity to do so? What’s one of the devil’s tactics? (“He who has a mind to beat his dog will easily find his stick.”) Exactly, “He who has a mind to beat his dog will easily find his stick.” In Satan’s world, this kind of logic exists, and this kind of thing happens. This doesn’t exist at all to God. Antichrists are of Satan and they are most skilled at doing these things. They will ponder on this: “He who has a mind to beat his dog will easily find his stick. I’ll pin a charge on you, find an opportunity to punish you, suppress your arrogance and hubris, and stop the brothers and sisters from esteeming you and choosing you as team leader next time. Then, you won’t be a threat to me anymore, will you? If I eliminate this potential problem and remove this competitor, won’t I feel at ease?” If their minds are doing somersaults like this, can they outwardly restrain themselves from acting? Given the nature of antichrists, can they keep this idea buried inside of them and do nothing? Absolutely not. They’ll definitely find a way to act. This is the viciousness of antichrists. Not only do they think like that, they want to achieve this goal too. So, they’ll ponder on this matter desperately, racking their brains. They don’t consider the interests of God’s house, nor do they consider the work of the church. They care even less about whether their actions are in accordance with God’s intention. All they think about is how to maintain their reputation and status, how to safeguard their power. They think that their rival has already posed a threat to their status, so they try to find an opportunity to bring them down. When they learn that, without consulting them, their rival replaced someone who was doing their duty in a consistently perfunctory manner, they’ll see this as the perfect chance to pin something on their rival. In front of the brothers and sisters, they say, “Since everyone is here today, let’s bring this matter forward for dissection. Is it not an act of dictatorship to replace someone without authorization, without discussing it with your co-workers or partners? Why would someone make such a mistake? Isn’t there a problem with their disposition? Shouldn’t they be dealt with? Shouldn’t the brothers and sisters abandon them?” They seize upon this issue and blow it out of proportion to denigrate their rival and elevate themselves. In reality, the situation isn’t that severe. It’s perfectly acceptable to make a report after a team member’s duty is adjusted or replaced, so long as that adjustment or replacement adheres to the principles. However, antichrists blow this issue out of proportion. They purposefully attack their rival and exalt themselves. Isn’t this a manifestation of punishing others? They viciously deal with their rival, and make exaggerated allegations about them. After hearing about this, the brothers and sisters think, “What’s going on here? Something doesn’t seem right. What they’re saying doesn’t align with reality! The person whose duty was adjusted wasn’t doing it responsibly—that is a recognized fact. They were replaced in order to uphold the work of the church. Doing one’s duty in this way is a serious and responsible approach, and a manifestation of loyalty. So why label this as an act of dictatorship? This is clearly a case of ‘He who has a mind to beat his dog will easily find his stick!’” Anyone with some understanding of the truth and a bit of discernment can recognize at a glance that these antichrists are just throwing their own weight around and taking out their frustrations on their rival. How is this taking responsibility for the work? How is this pruning and dealing with the person? These antichrists are making a big deal out of nothing: It’s just plain retaliation and personal vengeance. This comes from human will and Satan, it does not come from God. It certainly does not come from an attitude of taking responsibility for the work and for their duties—that is not their intention. Antichrists expose their intentions too clearly, and some people can see this. Can antichrists sense that? (Yes.) That is the craftiness of antichrists. They’re the most skilled at safeguarding their status, at sophistry, at winning people over, and especially at having “insight” into people’s hearts. They think to themselves, “I can see through every thought you have in your hearts. You might understand the truth, but you can’t see through me. I can see through you. I can tell who isn’t convinced by the things I say.” But do they say any of this? No, they don’t. They use some pleasing words and expressions to convince everyone, to make them think they were reasonable for dealing with that person. What words do they use? They say, “I did not deal with you because of a selfish, personal motive. In reality, there’s no personal grudge between us. It’s just that when you arbitrarily removed that person from their duty, it harmed the interests of God’s house. Can I turn a blind eye to that? If I allowed you to do that, it would be irresponsible on my part. I’m not doing this to target you or anyone in particular. If I’m in the wrong, the brothers and sisters can criticize and rebuke me. I won’t run in the next election.” When some people hear this, they get all muddled. They think, “It seems I’ve misunderstood them. They’re even willing to not run during elections. They didn’t deal with that person to compete for status, their action was based on an attitude of taking responsibility for the work of the church. There’s no wrongdoing in this.” These antichrists manage to mislead some people again. Aren’t antichrists cunning? (Yes, they are.) They’re extremely cunning! It can be said that antichrists rack their brains, plumb the depths of their minds, and employ any means necessary for the sake of their reputation and status. There’s a certain saying: “Give them a slap, then offer them a sweet date.” Won’t antichrists use this tactic? After they strike you, they might say some pleasant words to coax you, persuade you, and make you feel that they’re incredibly tolerant, patient, and loving. Ultimately, you have to approve of them and say, “Look, this person has such clear objectives in their work, and they are so proficient at it—what great skill! It’s clear they have the qualities of a leader, and we all feel inadequate compared to them.” Haven’t these antichrists achieved their goal then? These are the tricks of antichrists.
Antichrists are especially treacherous and cunning. Everything they say is tightly considered; no one is more adept at putting on a pretense. But once the cat is out of the bag, once people have seen them for what they really are, they do their utmost to argue for themselves, and they think of ways to remedy the situation and bluff their way through as a means to salvage their image and reputation. Antichrists live each day only for reputation and status, they live only to revel in the trappings of status, this is all they think about. Even when they do occasionally suffer some minor hardship or pay some trivial price, this is for the sake of obtaining status and reputation. Pursuing status, holding power, and having an easy life are major things that antichrists always scheme for once they believe in God, and they don’t give up until they achieve their goals. If their evil deeds are ever exposed, they panic, as if the sky is about to fall on them. They can’t eat or sleep, and they seem to be in a trance, as if they are suffering from depression. When people ask them what was wrong, they make up lies and say, “Yesterday I was so busy that I didn’t sleep all night, so I’m very tired.” But actually, none of this is true, it is all deception. They feel this way because they are constantly pondering, “The bad things I did have been exposed, so how can I restore my reputation and status? What means can I use to redeem myself? What tone can I use with everyone to explain this? What can I say to keep people from seeing through me?” For a long time, they can’t figure out what to do, and so they are depressed. Sometimes their eyes stare blankly at a single spot, and no one knows what they are looking at. The issue makes them rack their brains, exhaust every train of thought, and not want to eat or drink. Despite this, they still put on the appearance of caring about church work, and ask people, “How is the gospel work going? How effectively is it being preached? Have the brothers and sisters gained any life entry recently? Has anyone been causing any disruptions or disturbances?” These inquiries of theirs about the church’s work are meant as a show for others. If they did learn of problems, they would have no way to resolve them, so their questions are a mere formality that others are liable to see as care for the church’s work. If someone should make a report of the church’s problems for them to resolve, they would just shake their heads. No scheme would avail them, and though they would wish to disguise themselves, they could not, and they would risk being exposed and revealed. This is the biggest problem antichrists face in their entire lives. At this moment, antichrists are like an ant on a hot plate, occasionally shaking their heads as though to say, “This can’t go on.” Then they tap their heads with their hands, as if thinking, “How am I so foolish? How could I stumble on this matter?” Antichrists can’t accept this fact and can only sigh. They labor, suffer, and pay the price only for their own reputation and status, indulging in all sorts of evil deeds to satisfy their ambitions and desires. Being exposed by God’s chosen people is an inevitable outcome. People are bound to fall sooner or later from not pursuing the truth. This saying is fulfilled perfectly on antichrists. Although skilled in disguises and able to speak persuasively and mislead others, if God’s chosen people understand the truth and they can discern a person’s essence, then no matter how deeply antichrists hide or how much evil they do, they can completely discern them. There are a couple of sayings: “Persisting in evil brings about self-destruction,” and “Playing with fire will get you burned.” These are objective laws governing the development of things, established by God for the development of all things and all matters. No one can escape them. Although the church’s work continues under the rule of antichrists, its effectiveness has greatly diminished. Some important work is still controlled by evil individuals, and the work arrangements of God’s house have not been implemented. Although God’s chosen people are each doing their duty, there is no real result, and various tasks have long fallen into a state of paralysis. What is the root cause of these problems? It’s because antichrists have taken control of the church. Anywhere antichrists hold power, no matter the scope of their influence, even if it is just one group, they will influence the work of God’s house and the life entry of a portion of God’s chosen people. If they hold power in a church, church work and God’s will are hindered there. Why can’t the work arrangements of God’s house be implemented in certain churches? It is because antichrists hold power in these churches. Anyone who is an antichrist will not sincerely expend for God, the performance of their duties will just be a matter of formalities and going through the motions. They will not do real work even if they are leaders or workers, and they will only speak and act for the sake of fame, gain, and status, without protecting the work of the church at all. So, what do antichrists do all day? They busy themselves with putting on performances and showing off. They only do things involving their own fame, gain, and status. They are busy misleading others, drawing people in, and when they have amassed their strength, they will go on to control more churches. They wish only to reign as kings and turn the church into their independent kingdom. They wish only to be the great leader, to have complete, unilateral authority, to control more churches. They don’t care in the slightest about anything else. They don’t concern themselves with the work of the church, or the life entry of God’s chosen people, much less do they care about whether God’s will is carried out. They are only concerned with when they can independently hold power, control God’s chosen people, and stand on an equal footing with God. The desires and ambitions of antichrists are enormous indeed! No matter how hard-working antichrists appear to be, they are only busy with their own endeavors, doing what they like to do, and with things related to their own fame, gain, and status. They don’t even think about their responsibilities or the duty they should be performing, and they do nothing proper at all. This is the sort of thing antichrists are—they are devils and Satans, who disrupt and disturb God’s work.
In the past, there was a leader to whom I entrusted five tasks during his term. However, after two months, none of these matters were implemented. On the surface, it appeared that the leader wasn’t just sitting around, he was quite busy and exhausted, and you hardly ever saw him. So, what was he busy with, and why wasn’t he able to fulfill the tasks I assigned to him? There was a problem here. The leader didn’t do some of the tasks because he didn’t like doing them, considering that they fell outside his duties. This was one problem. Additionally, he held different opinions on some tasks, intentionally laying them aside. There were also tasks that posed some challenges, requiring assistance from others and being somewhat troublesome, which the leader didn’t want to deal with. These were the scenarios that arose. So, two months passed by and not a single task was accomplished. Some people said, “Is it possible to complete all these tasks within two months?” It is possible, these tasks could all be completed in two months, and most of these tasks could be completed within a day or two, but the leader failed to implement them. When someone else took over and performed these tasks, all five were completed within a week. Do you think such a leader should be replaced? (Yes.) If you come across someone like this who doesn’t accomplish any of the tasks assigned from the Above, but on the surface they appear quite busy, then they are a false leader. Such individuals should be promptly replaced or cast out. What do you think of this principle? (It’s good.) Don’t look at their outward enthusiasm and the fact that they look pretty busy all day long. In reality, they don’t do any actual work; they keep themselves occupied with trivial matters. What do they do? Their actions fall into a few different categories. First, they take on tasks they believe they can handle, those that are safe and don’t involve much risk. What do I mean by “don’t involve much risk”? I mean that, by doing these tasks, it’s easy to avoid making mistakes, they don’t have to interact with the Above, and they can avoid doing things wrong and getting dealt with. Furthermore, they handle tasks they are proficient in, where they are less likely to make mistakes. This way, they can avoid bearing responsibility and, to a large extent, protect themselves from being pruned, dealt with, cleared out, or expelled. These tasks are risk-free and don’t involve responsibility, so they can respond to and handle them. In reality, there’s a hidden element to this. Would they do these tasks if they could do them without anyone seeing them? If there’s no personal benefit for them, would they do them? They definitely wouldn’t. What kind of tasks do they prefer? They prefer tasks that are relatively easy, simple, and can be accomplished without too much suffering. Additionally, they’re willing to listen to and memorize more sermons they are interested in and that align with their notions. Once they understand them, they can discuss these sermons with others, doing this to showcase themselves and garner admiration from others. Moreover, if performing these tasks allows them to interact with more people and makes others aware that they are busy working, that they are in a leadership position, and have this status and identity, they will do them. They select tasks of this nature. However, if the work they need to perform is complex and beyond their capabilities, and if someone else is more skilled than them, and there’s a risk of them losing face if they fail, of being looked down upon by others, then they are unwilling to do these tasks. They are afraid of hard work, fatigue, and the embarrassment of not performing well. Furthermore, they are particularly lazy and tend to avoid strenuous and laborious tasks, hiding themselves far away from these. Instead, they prefer to do tasks that improve their image, are easygoing, where they can go through the motions and win over people’s hearts, without being seen through by the Above. These are all inherent traits of antichrists. When it comes to doing their duties, they pick and choose. They have personal choices, plans, and even schemes. They are absolutely not simply obedient to the arrangements of God’s house; instead, they make their own choices. Regarding certain arrangements from the Above, if they don’t agree with them, they will absolutely not implement them. They gum up these matters completely, and the brothers and sisters in the church are unaware of them. If implementing these arrangements from the Above would conflict with certain individuals or offend people, would they implement them? They wouldn’t. In their hearts, they think, “If the Above wants this done, I won’t do it. Even if I do it, I have to do it in the name of the Above, claiming that it was ordered from them. I can’t afford to offend those people.” Antichrists are a cunning sort, aren’t they? With anything they do, they connive and calculate it eight or ten times, or even more. Their heads are full of thoughts about how to make themselves have stable positions in a crowd, how to have good reputations and high prestige, how to curry favor with the Above, how to make the brothers and sisters support, love and respect them, and they do whatever it takes to get these outcomes. What path are they walking? For them, the interests of God’s house, the interests of the church, and the work of God’s house are not their main consideration, much less are they things that they are concerned about. What do they think? “These things have nothing to do with me. It’s every man for himself, and may the devil take the hindmost; people have to live for themselves and for their own reputation and status. That’s the highest goal there is. If someone doesn’t know they should live for themselves and protect themselves, then they’re a moron. If I were asked to practice according to the truth principles and to submit to God and the arrangements of His house, then it would depend on whether or not there would be any benefit in it for me, and whether there would be any advantages in doing so. If not submitting to the arrangements of God’s house brings a chance that I might get cleared out and lose out on an opportunity to gain blessings, then I’ll submit.” Thus, in order to protect their own reputation and status, antichrists often choose to make some compromises. You could say that for the sake of status, antichrists are capable of enduring any sort of suffering, and for the sake of having a good reputation, they are capable of paying any sort of price. The saying, “A great man knows when to yield and when not to,” rings true with them. This is the logic of Satan, is it not? This is Satan’s philosophy for worldly dealings, and it is also Satan’s principle of survival. It is utterly disgusting!
Antichrists consider their own status and reputation as more important than anything else. These people are not only deceitful, cunning, and wicked, but also extremely vicious. What do they do when they detect that their status is at risk, or when they lose their place in people’s hearts, when they lose these people’s endorsement and affection, when people no longer venerate and look up to them, and they have fallen into ignominy? They suddenly change. As soon as they lose their status, they become unwilling to perform any duty, everything they do is perfunctory, and they have no interest in doing anything. But this isn’t the worst manifestation. What is the worst manifestation? As soon as these people lose their status, and no one looks up to them, and no one is misled by them, out comes the hate, jealousy, and revenge. They not only have no God-fearing hearts, but also lack any shred of submission. In their hearts, furthermore, they are liable to hate God’s house, the church, and the leaders and workers; they long for the work of the church to run into problems or come to a standstill; they want to laugh at the church, and at the brothers and sisters. They also hate anyone who pursues the truth and fears God. They attack and mock anyone who is loyal in their duty and willing to pay a price. This is the disposition of the antichrists—and is it not vicious? These are clearly evil people; antichrists are in their essence evil people. Even when gatherings are held online, if they see that the signal is good, they quietly curse and say to themselves: “I hope the signal drops! I hope the signal drops! It is better if no one can hear the sermons!” What are these people? (Devils.) They are devils! They are definitely not the people of God’s house. These kinds of devils and evil people stir the pot in this way, no matter which church they are in. Even if discerning people expose and restrict them, they won’t reflect on themselves or admit their mistakes. They will think it was just a momentary lapse on their part and that they should learn from it. A person like this, who absolutely refuses to repent, won’t submit, no matter who discerns and exposes them. They will seek retaliation against that person. When they feel uncomfortable, they don’t want the brothers and sisters to have it easy either. In their hearts, they even secretly curse the brothers and sisters, wishing for bad things to happen to them, and they curse the work of God’s house, wishing that trouble comes into it. When anything goes wrong in God’s house, they secretly rejoice and celebrate, thinking, “Hmph! Finally, something went wrong. This is all happening because you replaced me. It’s good that everything is falling apart!” They feel happy and take pleasure in seeing others weaken and grow negative, they speak words of mockery and ridicule to denigrate people, and even spread words of negativity and death, saying, “We believers give up our families and careers to do our duties and endure suffering. Do you think God’s house can really take responsibility for our futures? Have you ever thought about that? Is it worth the price we’re paying? My health isn’t great right now, and if I wear myself out, who will take care of me in my old age?” They say such things so that everyone will feel negative—only then will they feel happy. Aren’t they up to no good, aren’t they sinister and malicious? Shouldn’t such people receive retribution? (Yes, they should.) Do you think such people truly have God in their hearts? They don’t seem like genuine believers in God, they fundamentally don’t believe that God scrutinizes the depths of people’s hearts. Aren’t they nonbelievers? If they truly believed in God, how could they say such things? Some may say that it’s because they lack God-fearing hearts—is that correct? (No, it isn’t correct.) Why is it incorrect? (God is simply absent from their hearts; they are in opposition to God.) In reality, they dare to say such things because they don’t believe in the existence of God. They believe even less that God is scrutinizing everyone, and they don’t believe that God is observing their every word and deed, every thought and idea. They don’t believe these things, so they are not afraid and can freely and unscrupulously speak such devilish words. Even unbelievers often say, “Heaven has eyes” and “When man acts, Heaven is watching.” Anyone with even a bit of genuine faith wouldn’t casually utter these devilish words of nonbelievers. Won’t there be severe consequences for believers who think and speak like this? Isn’t the nature of this severe? It’s very severe! That they can deny God in such a way means that they are authentic devils, and evil ones who have infiltrated God’s house. Only devils and antichrists dare to openly clamor against God. The interests of God’s house represent God’s interests, and everything God’s house does is under God’s leadership, His permission, and His guidance; it is closely related to God’s management work and cannot be separated from it. People who openly curse the work of God’s house in this way, who slander it in their hearts, and want to make fun of God’s house, who wish to see God’s chosen people all arrested, the church’s work completely paralyzed, and believers turning away from their faith, who will be happy when this happens—what kind of people are these? (Devils.) They are devils, they are evil demons reincarnate! Ordinary people have corrupt dispositions, they are occasionally rebellious, and they entertain a few little ideas when they feel negative and weak, that’s it, but they wouldn’t be so bad or give rise to such wicked and malicious thoughts. This kind of essence is only present in antichrists and devils. When antichrists have these ideas, do they suspect that they might be mistaken? (No, they don’t.) Why not? (Because they consider what they think and say to be the truth. They don’t believe in God, they lack God-fearing hearts, and their nature is to resist God.) Exactly, that’s their nature. When has Satan ever treated God as God? When has it believed that God is the truth? It never has, and it never will. Antichrists and devils are the same; they don’t treat God as God or believe Him to be the truth. They don’t believe that God is the One who created and holds sovereignty over all things. That’s why they think that whatever they say is right. They unscrupulously think and act in this way; this is their nature. When corrupt humans do the same, they experience inner conflict. They have consciences and human awareness. Their consciences, awareness, and the truths they understand have an effect on them internally, and this gives rise to conflict. When this conflict arises, a battle between correct and incorrect, right and wrong, and justice and wickedness, takes place, and an outcome is reached: Those who pursue the truth stand on the side of God, while those who don’t pursue the truth stand on the side of Satan’s wicked forces. Everything that antichrists do is in collaboration with Satan. They disseminate negativity, spread rumors, and make fun of God’s house. They curse and slander the work of God’s house and curse the brothers and sisters. They even feel at ease doing all this, without any accusation from their consciences, without the slightest bit of remorse, and they believe that their actions are entirely correct. This fully reveals the satanic nature of antichrists, and reveals their ugly faces that resist God. Therefore, it’s no exaggeration to say that antichrists are genuine devils and Satans. Antichrists are born devils and are absolutely not recipients of God’s salvation. They are absolutely not a part of ordinary corrupt mankind. Antichrists are devils reincarnate, they are born evil demons. That’s how things are.
The primary focus of antichrists is put on reputation and status. When it comes to reputation and status, what are the actions undertaken by antichrists? They act unscrupulously, rack their brains, exhaust all thought, and spare no cost to manage their own reputation and status. These two things are their lifeblood, their everything. They believe that obtaining these two things means they’ve obtained everything. In their world, there is only status, reputation, and their own interests; nothing else matters to them. Therefore, is it useful to fellowship about the truth, humanity, justice, or positive things with people like antichrists? (It’s not useful.) That’s right, it’s not useful. It’s like trying to tell a prostitute about how to be a woman in a virtuous house, or teach her to be a virtuous wife and mother; she doesn’t want to listen, she doesn’t like it, and she finds it repugnant. How repugnant does she find it? She scolds you in her heart, and seizes opportunities to mock you, ridicule you, put you down, and exclude you. Nowadays, in the church, aren’t there people who, as soon as they hear someone fellowshiping about the truth, or about such truths as submitting to God’s orchestration and arrangements or obeying the arrangements of God’s house, display a particularly rebellious attitude? (Yes, there are.) There ought to be. Observe and identify those who exhibit such behavior. When you fellowship about the need to submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements, they react with a strong aversion, thinking, “All day they keep talking about submitting to God’s arrangements, as if everything were arranged by God, and people don’t have any choice at all!” As soon as you fellowship about the truth or the need to cooperate harmoniously, seek God’s will, and act according to the truth principles in their duties, they become especially averse and unwilling to listen. Even if they reluctantly listen, they can’t sit still, and if they somehow manage to sit still, it’s almost certain that they’ve fallen asleep. When you fellowship about the truth and about following principles when handling matters, they become drowsy and nod off. After some time without fellowshiping about the truth, without pruning and dealing with, they become full of energy. They act wantonly and recklessly, make unilateral decisions, and with one hand make a grab for reputation, while with the other they seize status. They leap higher than anyone else and indulge in all kinds of trouble-making. These people are all antichrists; they all resist God and can make big trouble at any moment.
Anyone who possesses the nature of antichrists should be classified as an antichrist. When they want to act unilaterally, they should be restrained and stopped; this is beyond doubt. Some might say, “What if we can’t stop them? What should we do?” I’ll tell you a surefire way to stop them with just one sentence. When you encounter such a situation, simply say, “If you stop acting recklessly, making unilateral decisions, and having the final say, can you survive?” How does that sound? (Good.) Do you think an antichrist could really die if they are prevented from acting unilaterally? (Yes.) How did you arrive at this “yes”? (Antichrists are like this at their very core; if they can’t act unilaterally, they feel miserable, and they can’t go on living.) Exactly, that’s just who they are at their core, and if they can’t act this way, they feel miserable. So, are these people normal? (No.) They are not normal. How would a normal person think? “If I can’t act unilaterally, then I’ll just give it up; what’s so difficult about that? It even makes life easier for me!” That’s how a normal person would think. But an antichrist will feel miserable if you don’t let them act this way. Isn’t there a devil dwelling inside them? (Yes.) So, not letting them act unilaterally can make them feel as if they’re dying. What does this “dying” mean? It means that the devil torments and disturbs them in their heart, making it so that they feel unable to bear it or to go on living, as if they were on the verge of death; that’s what it means. For antichrists, evil people, and those devils who seek to disturb the work of God’s house, saying this one sentence to them is more effective than discussing any truth with them. This one statement is useful on people like antichrists, evil people, and devils, who disturb the work of God’s house. Is speaking the truth to these people useful? (No, it isn’t.) “You have to cooperate harmoniously, and do your duty and handle matters according to the truth principles”—these kinds of words have been spoken for many years; is there anyone who doesn’t understand or remember them? There ought not to be. So why do some people still act unilaterally? This can only mean one thing: They are not in control of themselves; they are not normal people. Their minds and hearts cannot govern them; there is something else inside governing them, violently and forcefully directing them to act in this way, which is precisely to disrupt and disturb the work of God’s house, harm the work of God’s house and make the interests of God’s house suffer losses. Who could do such things? Only Satans and devils. Those who follow God, the normal people, the true created beings, would not have the motivation to do such things; only Satans and devils have the motivation and deliberately do these things. Have you remembered this statement? (Yes.) Then, we’ll conclude our fellowship here for today. Goodbye!
February 29, 2020