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 Three)
II. The Interests of Antichrists
B. Their Own Reputation and Status
Last time we fellowshiped on item nine of the various manifestations of antichrists. Let’s do a simple recap of that. How many subsections did we divide the interests of antichrists into for our dissection? (Three subsections. The first was antichrists’ own safety, the second was their own reputation and status, and the third was benefits.) Interests that relate to antichrists involve these three subsections: their own safety, status, and their personal benefits—is that right? (It is.) The first subsection, their own safety, is relatively easy to understand. It relates to the dangerous environments that they encounter, and it touches on the direct interests of antichrists: their personal safety. We have basically finished fellowshiping on this subsection. The second subsection is their own reputation and status. Last time we fellowshiped on some of the manifestations of this, but it was in rather broad terms. I reckon that you all just have a conceptual comprehension and knowledge of this subsection. If I don’t give you some examples, and provide some detailed, concrete analysis, you might only possess a bit of doctrinal and literal understanding of this aspect of the essence and manifestations of antichrists, and you may not be able to recognize any of these real, specific revelations and manifestations. From your perspective, when it comes to fellowshiping on these subjects, the more specific the better, right? (Yes.) You like hearing ready-made stuff; you don’t like having to figure things out. After you listen to these sermons, do you do some homework? If I fellowship in too much detail, will you feel like I’m being too pedantic and long-winded? You might say, “You’re really underestimating our IQs; are we really of such poor caliber? It’s enough for You to just give one or two examples. Also, when it comes to dissecting the essence of antichrists, we’ve already fellowshiped quite a bit on things to do with their love of status and power. Why does our fellowship on the interests of antichrists also touch on this topic? Isn’t that overly repetitive and finicky? Is it really necessary to fellowship on this?” Actually, a little repetition is not a bad thing. If we fellowship from all angles, you will have a more thorough understanding of this aspect of the essence of antichrists. Furthermore, when fellowshiping on the truth, you must not shy away from repetition. There are some truths that have been fellowshiped on for years without anyone gaining entry into them. Is it right to always be striving to avoid repetition, and always seeking new styles and expressions? (It’s wrong.) The truth itself is intimately related to people’s lives. All the various things and corrupt dispositions people reveal throughout their lives, their manifestations, and the viewpoints and attitudes they have toward all manner of things are constantly playing out over and over each day. Fellowshiping on the truth and dissecting different content and essences from various angles is absolutely beneficial for people’s entry into the truth. Last time, we fellowshiped in a simple, broad manner on the second subsection of the interests of antichrists: their own reputation and status. Today I will give some examples so that we can fellowship on this in detail. Of course, if you have gained some new understanding or obtained some revelation or light upon the foundation on My fellowship, or if you have seen some relevant examples in the course of your own experience or life, you can also participate in the fellowship. Next, let’s specifically dissect, from the perspective of the interests of antichrists, what antichrists manifest when it comes to reputation and status, what corrupt dispositions antichrists reveal, and in what ways antichrists reveal such nature essences.
Antichrists’ cherishment of their reputation and status goes beyond that of normal people, and is something within their disposition and essence; it is not a temporary interest, or the transient effect of their surroundings—it is something within their life, their bones, and so it is their essence. This is to say that in everything antichrists do, their first consideration is their own reputation and status, nothing else. For antichrists, reputation and status are their life, and their lifelong goal. In all they do, their first consideration is: “What will happen to my status? And to my reputation? Will doing this give me a good reputation? Will it elevate my status in people’s minds?” That is the first thing they think about, which is ample proof that they have the disposition and essence of antichrists; they would not consider these problems otherwise. It can be said that for antichrists, reputation and status are not some additional requirement, much less something extraneous that they could do without. They are part of the nature of antichrists, they are in their bones, in their blood, they are innate to them. Antichrists are not indifferent toward whether they possess reputation and status; this is not their attitude. Then, what is their attitude? Reputation and status are intimately connected to their daily lives, to their daily state, to what they strive for on a daily basis. And so for antichrists, status and reputation are their life. No matter how they live, no matter what environment they live in, no matter what work they do, no matter what they strive for, what their goals are, what their life’s direction is, it all revolves around having a good reputation and a high status. And this aim does not change; they can never put aside such things. This is the true face of antichrists, and their essence. You could put them in a primeval forest deep in the mountains, and still they would not put aside their pursuit of reputation and status. You can put them among any group of people, and all they can think about is still reputation and status. Although antichrists also believe in God, they see the pursuit of reputation and status as equivalent to faith in God and give it equal weight. Which is to say, as they walk the path of faith in God, they also pursue their own reputation and status. It can be said that in antichrists’ hearts, they believe that faith in God and the pursuit of the truth is the pursuit of reputation and status; the pursuit of reputation and status is also the pursuit of the truth, and to gain reputation and status is to gain the truth and life. If they feel that they have no reputation or status, that no one admires them, or venerates them, or follows them, then they are very frustrated, they believe there is no point in believing in God, no value to it, and they say to themselves, “Is such faith in God a failure? Is it hopeless?” They often deliberate such things in their hearts, they deliberate how they can carve a place out for themselves in the house of God, how they can have a lofty reputation in the church, so that people listen when they talk, and support them when they act, and follow them wherever they go; so that they have a voice in the church, and prestige, profit, and status—they really focus on such things in their hearts. These are what such people pursue. Why are they always thinking about such things? After reading the words of God, after hearing sermons, do they really not understand all this, are they really not able to discern all this? Are the words of God and the truth really not able to change their notions, ideas, and opinions? That is not the case at all. The problem starts with them, it is wholly because they do not love the truth, because, in their hearts, they are sick of the truth, and as a result, they are utterly unreceptive to the truth—which is determined by their nature essence.
After antichrists listen to God’s words and the truth, they seem to find a direction in their hearts. But what is this so-called direction, actually? It is them obtaining a kind of tool—or, one might say, a sort of beneficial weapon—which enables them to be even more assured of obtaining status. So, they use this opportunity to listen more, read more, learn more, fellowship more, and practice more, and gradually get to the point where they can speak about many words and doctrines, and preach a bunch of so-called sermons that are memorable and make people esteem them. Once they have grasped these doctrines that people think are good on paper, it’s as if they have grabbed hold of a lifeline, and found a direction and the light of dawn. So, antichrists do not listen to sermons and read God’s words for the sake of their practice or to follow God’s way, and they certainly don’t do these things to understand His will. They do these things so that they can win people over and entice more people to worship and follow them using God’s words, or using these theories that they believe to be spiritual, or by preaching lofty sermons. Intangibly, God’s words, the truth, and His way become a sort of channel, a sort of ladder, and a sort of tool that these people use to obtain status and prestige among others. Therefore, no matter what way you look at it, you won’t be able to find any genuine faith or any real submission within antichrists. On the contrary, regardless of how much effort they put into listening to sermons and reading God’s words, and no matter how “pious” their belief in His words seems to be, there is one thing that cannot be denied, which is that while antichrists do these things, their intention and plan is not to do God’s will, and it is certainly not to perform their duties well; they do not wish to be the smallest of followers or to be created beings, dutifully accepting God’s commission and His sovereignty and arrangements in a well-behaved manner. Rather, they just want to use these things to achieve their individual goals, to obtain a place in the hearts of others, and a positive assessment before God—this is all they want. So, no matter how antichrists preach God’s words, and no matter how correct, lofty, spiritual, and suited to people’s tastes the sermons they preach are, they will have zero practice and entry. At the same time, their pursuit of status and reputation will bear more and more “fruit” in their eyes. Why do I say this? I say it because no matter what people like this do, what they manage to achieve through great effort, the direction and goals they pursue, and the motive and point of origin they harbor in the depths of their heart whenever they act, cannot be separated from the status and reputation that is so closely entwined with their own interests.
The saying goes that you will reap what you sow. No matter what kind of good caliber and gifts antichrists possess, or what pious and spiritual manifestations they display, since they harbor the ambition and desire to wield power and control God’s chosen people, and since they do not pursue the truth and only seek reputation and status, can they practice according to God’s requirements? Can they meet the standards that God requires in their actions? (No.) So what consequences will their actions and behavior actually lead to? (Definitely to them establishing their own independent kingdom and calling the shots.) That’s right. No matter what antichrists do, this is the ultimate result. So, what gives rise to this consequence? It is primarily due to their inability to accept the truth. No matter if they are pruned and dealt with, or judged and chastised, antichrists will not accept it in their hearts. No matter what it is they’re doing, antichrists always have their own aims and intentions, they are always acting according to their own plan, and their attitude toward the arrangements and work of the house of God is, “You may have a thousand plans, but I have one rule”; this is all determined by the nature of antichrists. Can antichrists change their mentality and act according to the truth principles? That would be absolutely impossible, unless the Above directly demands them to do so, in which case they will be able to reluctantly do a bit, out of necessity. If they did nothing at all, they would be exposed and replaced. It is only under these circumstances that they are able to do a bit of practical work. This is the attitude that antichrists have toward doing duties; this is also the attitude they have toward practicing the truth: When practicing the truth is beneficial to them, when everyone will approve of them and admire them for it, they are sure to oblige, and make some token efforts that appear just about acceptable to others. If practicing the truth is of no benefit to them, if no one sees it, and the superior leaders don’t see it, then at such times there is no question of them practicing the truth. Their practicing of the truth depends on the context and situation, and they consider how they can do this in a way that will be visible to others, and how great the benefits will be; they have an ingenious grasp of these things, and they can adapt to different situations. They are at all times considering their own fame, gain and status, and not paying any heed whatsoever to the will of God, and in this they fall short of practicing the truth and upholding the principles. Antichrists only pay attention to their own fame, gain, status, personal interests, and their not gaining any benefit or putting themselves on display is unacceptable, and the practice of the truth is troublesome for them. If their efforts are not recognized, and even if they are working before others their work is not seen, then they won’t practice any truth at all. If the work is arranged directly by the house of God, and they have no choice but to do it, still they take into consideration whether this will benefit their status and reputation. If it is good for their status and can improve their reputation, they put everything they have into this work and make a good job of it; they feel they are killing two birds with one stone. If it is of no benefit to their fame, gain, and status, and doing it badly could discredit them, they think of a way or excuse to get out of it. No matter what duty antichrists perform, they always stick to the same principle: They must make some gain in terms of reputation, status, or their interests, and they must not incur any losses. The kind of work antichrists like most is when they don’t have to suffer or pay any price, and there is a benefit to their reputation and status. In sum, no matter what they’re doing, antichrists first consider their own interests, and they only act once they’ve thought it all out; they do not truly, sincerely, and absolutely submit to the truth without compromise, but do so selectively and conditionally. What condition is this? It is that their status and reputation must be safeguarded, and must not suffer any loss. Only after this condition is satisfied will they decide and choose what to do. That is, antichrists give serious consideration to how to treat the truth principles, God’s commissions, and the work of God’s house, or how to deal with the things they face. They do not consider how to satisfy God’s will, how to keep from damaging the interests of God’s house, how to satisfy God, or how to benefit the brothers and sisters; these are not the things they consider. What do antichrists consider? Whether their own status and reputation will be affected, and whether their prestige will be lowered. If doing something according to the truth principles benefits the work of the church and the brothers and sisters, but would cause their own reputation to suffer and cause many people to realize their true stature and know what sort of nature essence they have, then they will definitely not act in accordance with the truth principles. If doing some practical work will cause more people to think highly of them, look up to them and admire them, allow them to gain even greater prestige, or enable their words to carry authority and make more people submit to them, then they will choose to do it that way; otherwise, they will never choose to disregard their own interests out of consideration for the interests of God’s house or of the brothers and sisters. This is the nature essence of antichrists. Isn’t it selfish and despicable? In any situation, antichrists see their status and reputation as of utmost importance. No one can compete with them. No matter the method required, so long as it wins people over and makes others worship them, antichrists will do it. If someone else is esteemed and approved of for bearing witness to God, antichrists will also use this method to win people over. But antichrists do not possess the truth, or practical experience, so they rack their brain manufacturing a set of theories that testify for God based on human imaginings, talking about how great God is, how much God loves man, how God pays a price to save man, and how much God humbles and hides Himself. After they testify for God in this way, the outcome they achieve is that people esteem them even more, and have more of a place for them in their hearts, and no place for God. If they see that speaking about self-knowledge can make more people trust, look up to, and esteem them, they will often talk about knowing themselves, and will often dissect themselves. They will dissect the fact that they are a devil, that they are not human, that they lack reason, that they do not pursue the truth, and that they do not possess the truth. They will fellowship on a few specious, irrelevant topics to mislead others, win their trust, and get more people to praise and look up to them. This is how antichrists act. If a certain method of sharing experiential testimony will enable them to gain other people’s approval and admiration, they won’t hesitate to use it. They will really focus, put in effort, and rack their brain over this method. In sum, their goal and motive in doing all of this revolves around nothing more than status and reputation. Regardless of whether it’s their external language, methods, behavior, or a kind of thought, view, or method of pursuit, these things all revolve around reputation and status. This is the way that antichrists work.
For antichrists, if their reputation or status is attacked or taken away, it is a matter even more serious than trying to take their life. No matter how many sermons they listen to or how many of God’s words they read, they will not feel sadness or regret over never having practiced the truth and having taken the path of antichrists, nor over their possession of the nature essence of antichrists. Instead, they are always racking their brains for ways to gain status and increase their reputation. It can be said that everything antichrists do is done to show off in front of others, and is not done before God. Why do I say this? It is because such people are so in love with status that they treat it as their very life, as their lifelong goal. Moreover, because they love status so much, they never believe in the existence of truth, and it can even be said that they harbor absolutely no belief in God’s existence. Thus, no matter how they calculate to gain reputation and status, and no matter how they try to use false appearances to trick people and God, in the depths of their hearts, they have no awareness or guilt, let alone any anxiety. In their consistent pursuit of reputation and status, they also brazenly deny what God has done. Why do I say that? In the depths of antichrists’ hearts, they believe, “All reputation and status are earned by people themselves. Only by gaining a firm foothold among people and gaining reputation and status can they enjoy God’s blessings. Life only has value when people gain absolute power and status. Only this is living like a human. By contrast, it would be useless to live in such a way as to submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements in everything, to willingly stand in the position of a created being, and to live like a normal person as spoken of in the word of God—no one would look up to a person like that. A person’s status, reputation, and happiness must be won through their own struggles; they must be fought for and seized with a positive and proactive attitude. No one else will give them to you—waiting around passively can only lead to failure.” This is how antichrists calculate. This is the disposition of antichrists. If you hope for antichrists to accept the truth, admit mistakes, and have real repentance, it is impossible—they absolutely cannot do it. Antichrists have the nature essence of Satan, and they hate the truth, so no matter where they go, even if they go to the ends of the earth, their ambition of pursuing reputation and status will never change, and neither will their views on things, or the path that they walk. Some people will say: “There are a few antichrists who can change their views.” Is this statement right? If they can truly change, are they still antichrists? Those who have the nature of an antichrist will never change. Those who possess the disposition of an antichrist will only change if they pursue the truth. Some people who walk the path of an antichrist do some evil that disturbs the church’s work, and though they are classified as antichrists, after they get replaced, they feel true remorse, and they resolve to change their comportment, and after a period of reflection, self-knowledge, and repentance, they undergo some real change. These people cannot be classified as antichrists; they just possess the disposition of an antichrist. If they pursue the truth, they can change. However, it can be definitively said that most of those who are classified as antichrists, cleared out, and expelled by the church will not truly repent or change. If any of them do, they are rare cases. Some people will ask: “Then were those rare cases misclassified?” This is impossible. They did commit some evil, after all, and this cannot be written off. However, if they are able to truly repent, if they are willing to do a duty, and if they possess true testimony of their repentance, the church can still admit them. If these people absolutely refuse to admit fault or to repent after being classified as antichrists, and they keep trying to justify themselves by any means possible, then it is accurate and completely correct to classify them as antichrists. If they had acknowledged their errors and felt true remorse then, how could the church still classify them as antichrists? That would be impossible. No matter who they are, no matter how much evil they did, or how serious their errors were, whether a person is determined to be an antichrist or to possess the disposition of an antichrist depends on whether they are able to accept the truth and being pruned and dealt with, and whether they possess true remorse. If they can accept the truth and accept being pruned and dealt with, if they possess true remorse, and if they are willing to spend their whole life rendering service for God, then this truly indicates a bit of repentance. A person like this cannot be classified as an antichrist. Can those veritable antichrists truly accept the truth? Absolutely not. It is precisely because they do not love the truth, and are sick of the truth, that they will never be able to let go of reputation and status, which are so closely entwined with their life. Antichrists firmly believe in their hearts that only with reputation and status do they have dignity and are they true created beings, and that only with status will they be rewarded and crowned, qualify for God’s approval, gain everything, and be a genuine person. What do antichrists see status as? They see it as the truth; they regard it as the highest goal to be pursued by people. Isn’t that a problem? People who can obsess over status in this way are genuine antichrists. They are the same kind of people as Paul. They believe that pursuing the truth, seeking submission to God, and seeking honesty are all processes that lead one to the highest possible status; they are merely processes, not the goal and standard of being human, and that they are done entirely for God to see. This understanding is preposterous and ridiculous! Only the absurd ones who hate the truth could produce such a ridiculous idea.
When it comes to antichrists, no matter what aspect of the truth you fellowship on, their method of comprehension and understanding will be different from that of people who pursue the truth. After hearing the truth, people who pursue it think, “I do not possess this aspect of the truth, and I can link this state that God has revealed to myself. Why, after listening to it, do I feel so full of remorse and so indebted to God? I still fall far short of pursuing the truth, and am nowhere near being able to truly submit. I feel very frightened; this has served as a wake-up call to me. I thought I’d been doing pretty well recently, and I had no idea that I am actually not someone who practices the truth or someone who pleases God. From now on, I must be careful and prudent, and focus on praying before God and imploring Him for guidance and illumination. I must not go my own way. I still haven’t entered deeply into this aspect of the truth, and I still have room to progress. I hope God will set out an environment that can allow me to perform better, and to offer up my sincerity and loyalty.” This is how people who pursue the truth think. So, how do antichrists comprehend various sorts of truths? After hearing God’s words that reproach man, what do they think? “I didn’t do a very good job at that, I let something slip in my actions, and mistakes appeared. How many people know about it? God’s words were spoken quite clearly; does that mean He has seen right through me? Well, this is not a great outcome; this is not what I want. If God has seen right through me, does anyone else know about it? If someone has found out, that’d be even worse. If only God knows, and no one else does, then that’s okay. If some people hear these words of God that expose man and they link them to me and apply them to me, that would be bad for my reputation. I’ll need to think of a way to remedy this. How can I remedy this?” Antichrists ponder in this way. For example, after listening to God fellowship about how people must be honest, an antichrist will immediately think, “Only morons try to be honest people. How could someone as smart as myself be an honest person? Honest people are dummies and idiots; they say whatever comes into their minds, they tell other people everything and allow them to understand everything. I would never do that! God saying that we should be honest people is relative, so I’m just going to be a wise person, and that’s that. As for being an honest person, I’ll just pick and choose when to be that. I’ll open up about some things, but I can’t talk about all those secrets and hidden things that I harbor deep inside my heart, things that might make people look down on me if I spoke about them. What advantage is there in being an honest person? I don’t think there are any advantages to it. Some people are always dissecting themselves, trying to be honest and speak honestly, and bringing their corrupt dispositions to light, but they haven’t gained God’s grace, and when they should be dealt with, they still get dealt with; God doesn’t give them any additional exaltation.” They ponder on and on, “I’ll have to choose another way. This is not the path I should be on; I’ll just leave it to others. How can a smart person such as myself live like that?” No matter what aspect of the truth an antichrist hears, what calculations do they make in their heart? Can they comprehend that truth purely? Are they capable of accepting it as the truth in the depths of their heart? Absolutely not. They are constantly calculating and plotting, and continuously observing. How do they ultimately respond? They change according to the situation, they adapt to the conditions, they are smooth and slick in their dealings with other people, and they act in total secrecy. No matter what they do, no matter what they are thinking or calculating deep down, they cannot let others know, nor can they let God know; they cannot lay these things bare to God, let alone communicate about them clearly with people—they believe that these things are their own personal business. Thus, antichrists are the sort of people who are absolutely incapable of practicing the truth. Apart from not practicing the truth themselves, they also disdain people who do practice the truth, and even more so, they mock those people who get dealt with and pruned because they have made some deviations while practicing the truth, or because they have taken some wrong turns, or made some mistakes, and laugh at them from the sidelines. They do not believe in God’s righteousness, let alone that the various ways in which He treats people have the truth and His love in them; antichrists do not believe these things. From their point of view, they believe all of these things are lies meant to deceive people; they think they are all just a kind of excuses, a bunch of sayings that sound nice. And what do they often secretly delight in? “Luckily, I’m not dumb enough to offer up everything; luckily, I haven’t spoken about those filthy, ugly things that I harbor deep down; luckily, I am still holding on to my status and reputation and doing my utmost to pursue them, and running around for their sake. If I didn’t run around for my own sake, then who would spare any thought for me?” Antichrists are not only deceitful, but they are also wicked, they are sick of the truth, and vicious by disposition; that is, all of the aspects of corrupt dispositions that manifest in corrupt humans have, in antichrists, been confirmed and “elevated” one step further. If you want to look at the corrupt dispositions of humankind, find an antichrist to dissect and interact with; that is the best way of illustrating the issue, and the best way to see through the corrupt essence of corrupt humanity and the face of Satan. If you take an antichrist as a prime example, and dissect and get to know them, you will be able to understand these things more clearly.
Antichrists’ pursuit of status and reputation goes far beyond that of ordinary people, and so does their desire for status and reputation. Ordinary people do not have such a huge desire for status and reputation, whereas that desire in antichrists is extremely strong and obvious. Once you have interacted with an antichrist and talked with them and spent time with them, their nature essence will be exposed before your eyes, and you will immediately see right through them. This is how great their desire is. When your interactions with them deepen, you will feel disgusted with them and reject them. Ultimately, you will not only reject them, but you will even condemn and curse them. Antichrists are not good things; they are God’s enemies, as well as the enemies of everyone who pursues the truth. Antichrists are sick of the truth, and are capable of doing all sorts of bad things for the sake of status and reputation. In everything they do, they will disguise themselves, imitate, and play along according to the situation, making compromises for the sake of status and reputation. The very souls and essences of people like these are filthy; they are disgusting. They do not have one iota of love for the truth or positive things. At the same time, they use positive things and the preaching of correct words and doctrines to mislead people, so that they can gain reputation and status, and satisfy their desires and ambitions. This is the behavior and essence of antichrists. You cannot see what Satan looks like, how Satan conducts itself in the world and deals with people, and what sort of nature essence Satan has; you do not know what kind of thing Satan is exactly in God’s eyes. This is not a problem; all you have to do is observe and dissect an antichrist, and you will see all of these things—Satan’s nature essence, Satan’s ugly visage, and Satan’s wickedness and viciousness—all of them will be visible to you. Antichrists are living Satans; they are living demons.
1. How Antichrists Treat Being Dealt With and Pruned
Antichrists harbor immense ambitions and desires when it comes to status and reputation, and others find this incredibly sickening and loathsome. This is enough to demonstrate that the nature essence of an antichrist is very unsightly and wicked. So, which specific manifestations illustrate the nature essence of an antichrist? First, let’s think about how antichrists treat being dealt with and pruned. (They hate it and do not accept it.) In what way do they hate it? Go into detail. (There was an antichrist who did quite a bit of evil, and when his brothers and sisters went to expose some of his manifestations, he didn’t repent at all, he was very intransigent, and didn’t feel the slightest bit of remorse. He even felt that he had been wronged. This is the sort of manifestation I have seen.) This is a classic manifestation of an antichrist. Antichrists’ archetypal attitude toward dealing and pruning is to vehemently refuse to accept or admit it. No matter how much evil they do or how much harm they do to the work of God’s house and the life entry of God’s chosen people, they do not feel the slightest remorse or that they owe anything. From this point of view, do the antichrists have humanity? Absolutely not. They cause all sorts of damage to God’s chosen people and bring harm to the work of the church—God’s chosen people can see this as clear as day, and they can see antichrists’ succession of evil deeds. And yet the antichrists do not accept or acknowledge this fact; they stubbornly refuse to admit that they are in error or that they are responsible. Is this not an indication that they are sick of the truth? Such is the extent to which antichrists are sick of the truth. No matter how much wickedness they commit, they refuse to admit it, and they remain unyielding to the end. This sufficiently proves that antichrists never take the work of God’s house seriously or accept the truth. They haven’t come to believe in God; they are minions of Satan, come to disturb and disrupt the work of God’s house. In antichrists’ hearts there are only reputation and status. They believe that if they were to acknowledge their error, then they would have to accept responsibility, and then their status and reputation would be severely compromised. As a result, they resist with the attitude of “deny until you die.” No matter how people expose or dissect them, they do their utmost to deny it. Whether their denial is deliberate or not, in short, in one regard these behaviors expose the antichrists’ nature essence of being sick of and hating the truth. In another regard, it shows how much the antichrists treasure their own status, reputation, and interests. What, meanwhile, is their attitude toward the work and interests of the church? It is one of contempt and irresponsibility. They lack all conscience and reason. Doesn’t the antichrists’ shirking of responsibility demonstrate these issues? In one regard, shirking responsibility proves their nature essence of being sick of and hating the truth, while in another regard, it shows their lack of conscience, reason, and humanity. No matter how much the brothers’ and sisters’ life entry is harmed by their disturbance and evildoing, they feel no self-recrimination and could never be upset by this. What sort of creature is this? Even admission to part of their mistake would count as them having a bit of conscience and reason, but the antichrists do not even have that slight amount of humanity. So what would you say they are? The essence of antichrists is the devil. No matter how much damage they do to the interests of the house of God, they do not see it. They are not remotely saddened by it in their hearts, nor do they reproach themselves, much less feel indebted. This is absolutely not what should be seen in normal people. This is the devil, and the devil is devoid of any conscience or reason. No matter how many bad things they do, and no matter how great losses they bring to the church’s work, they vehemently refuse to acknowledge this. They believe that acknowledging it would mean that they had done something wrong. They think, “Could I do something wrong? I’d never do anything wrong! If I’m made to acknowledge my mistake, wouldn’t that be an insult to my character? Though I was involved in that incident, I didn’t cause it to happen, and I wasn’t the main person in charge. Go look for whoever you want, but you shouldn’t come looking for me. In any case, I can’t acknowledge this mistake. I can’t shoulder this responsibility!” They think that they will be condemned, sentenced to death, and sent down to hell and the lake of fire and brimstone if they acknowledge their mistake. Tell Me, can people like this accept the truth? Can one expect their true repentance? Regardless of how others fellowship on the truth, antichrists still resist it, set themselves against it, and defy it in the depths of their hearts. Even after they are replaced, they still don’t admit to their mistakes, and they do not show any manifestations of repentance at all. When the matter is mentioned 10 years later, they still don’t know themselves, and don’t admit that they made a mistake. When the matter is brought up 20 years later, they still don’t know themselves, and they still try to justify and defend themselves. And more detestable still, when the matter is mentioned 30 years later, they still don’t know themselves, and they still try to argue for and justify themselves, saying: “I didn’t make a mistake, so I can’t admit to one. It wasn’t my responsibility; I shouldn’t shoulder it.” And to everyone’s surprise, 30 years after they were replaced, these antichrists still harbor an attitude of resistance toward the way that the church handled them. Even after 30 years, they haven’t changed at all. So, how did they spend those 30 years? Could it be that they didn’t read God’s word or reflect on themselves? Could it be that they didn’t pray to or confide in God? Could it be that they didn’t listen to sermons and fellowship? Could it be that they are mindless, and do not possess the thinking of normal humanity? How they spent those 30 years is truly a mystery. Thirty years after the incident took place, they’re still full of resentment, thinking that their brothers and sisters wronged them, that God doesn’t understand them, that God’s house let them down, created problems for them, made things difficult for them, and unjustly blamed them. Tell Me, can people like this change? They absolutely cannot change. Their hearts are filled with hostility toward positive things, and resistance and opposition. They believe that, by exposing their evil deeds, and pruning and dealing with them, other people damaged their characters, dishonored their reputation, and caused immense harm to their reputation and status. They will never come before God to pray, seek, and recognize their own mistakes in this matter, and they will never have an attitude of repentance or acknowledgment of their mistakes. Even less will they accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words. Today, they still harbor disobedience, dissatisfaction, and grievances as they justify themselves to God, and ask God to redress these wrongs, to reveal this matter, and to judge exactly who was right and who was wrong, to the extent that they even doubt and deny God’s righteousness because of this matter, and doubt and deny the fact that God’s house is ruled by the truth and God. This is the ultimate outcome of antichrists being dealt with and pruned—do they accept the truth? They do not accept the truth at all; they are dead set against accepting it. From this, we can see that the nature essence of an antichrist is sick of and hates the truth.
Since antichrists do not accept being pruned and dealt with, do they have any knowledge of being pruned and dealt with? When they fellowship on this aspect of the truth, what do they say? What do they teach others? They say, “Pruning and dealing with people is one method God uses to perfect them. It enables people to know themselves better. When people are pruned and dealt with, they should accept it and submit to it unconditionally. Those who do not accept being pruned and dealt with are people who rebel against God and do not love the truth. If you want to practice the truth, you first must accept being pruned and dealt with; this is how God perfects people, and every individual must experience this. It can be said that accepting being pruned and dealt with is one of the best paths of practice for people to understand the truth, so that they may achieve self-knowledge and satisfy God. No matter who you are—a leader or an ordinary believer—and regardless of what duty you are performing, you must prepare to be pruned and dealt with. If you cannot accept being pruned and dealt with, it proves you are someone without stature, a child. Everyone who can accept being pruned and dealt with is a mature adult that possesses life and is capable of being perfected.” These big words pound out of the mouths of antichrists like the blows of a hammer, and they sound great! But what are these words? Is a single line they utter the truth? Can you discern this? You often say such things, too, don’t you? (Yes.) Tell Me, what are these words? (Doctrines.) Use a common phrase to summarize and define what doctrines are. (Slogans.) Can you think of any other phrases? (Useless, theoretical words.) Any others? (They’re all rubbish and drivel.) That’s right, this definition gets to the point, and it is true-to-life. This is called everyday language: Doctrines are all drivel. What is implied by the word “drivel”? Empty words. In reality, how do we define it? As words and doctrines. These words that antichrists speak are just words and doctrines. When it comes to the subject of being pruned and dealt with, they can utter such doctrines frequently, but does that prove that they have a true understanding and comprehension of it? As soon as you hear them speak these words, you know that they do not have any real understanding of being pruned and dealt with. Their ability to utter such a pile of rubbish shows that people like them do not pursue the truth. If they were to actually be pruned and dealt with, there is no way they would accept it. An antichrist’s attitude toward being pruned and dealt with is one of hostility and resistance; they absolutely do not accept it or submit to it as the truth. For them, doing so would be an insult to their characters and dignity.
Do you have any other examples regarding how antichrists treat being pruned and dealt with? (Some antichrists, when faced with being pruned and dealt with, might seem on the surface to be coming to know themselves, but between the lines, there will be quibbling and a quality of trying to mislead people within this. Sometimes if they’ve made a mistake, they’ll say, “God permitted this to happen, everyone should submit to God’s sovereignty.” Sometimes antichrists will even make bogus counter-accusations, saying that, “You mustn’t try to catch out leaders and workers, or have overly high demands of them.” Antichrists say such things in an effort to mislead people and prevent people from discerning them.) This is one manifestation—that is, antichrists twist wrongs into rights, they turn white and black upside down. Terrified that people will see through their problems, antichrists rush to quibble and use all manner of verbal tricks to mislead people, disturb their minds, and blur their vision, in order to keep them from having any knowledge or discernment of the things they’ve done, and thereby retain their high status and a good reputation in people’s minds. This is the same sort of attitude we spoke of a moment ago, with regard to how antichrists absolutely will not make a turnaround when they are pruned and dealt with, or when they have made a mistake or taken the wrong path. What are some other examples? (Antichrists bear grudges against anyone who prunes and deals with them, and later might even look for opportunities to retaliate and attack them.) Attacking and retaliation is another manifestation. How is this related to antichrists protecting their own status and reputation? Why do they want to attack and retaliate? (Whoever dealt with and pruned them exposed all of the evil they did and the true facts of the matter; they damaged their status and reputation, and destroyed the image of them that existed in people’s hearts, so they bear a grudge against them.) That’s right, that’s where the relationship lies. They think that the people who pruned and dealt with them damaged their image, put them in an embarrassing position, ruined their reputation, and severely compromised their status in the minds of others by exposing them in front of so many people. This is the reason for their retaliation. In this matter, their reputation and status were damaged, and in order to vent their resentment and the hatred in their hearts, they look for chances to attack and retaliate against the people who exposed, pruned, and dealt with them. What other manifestations do antichrists display? (Some antichrists are also especially cunning. When someone prunes and deals with them, they might not contradict them or make any declarations on the surface, and they actually may seem to come to understand something about themselves, but later on, they will continue to commit the same evil acts as they did before and never truly repent. They use facades like that to mislead people.) This is another manifestation. A certain type of antichrist does exactly that. They think to themselves, “Where there is life there is hope. I will exercise patience for the time being and not let you see through me. If I blatantly contradict you and refuse to accept being pruned and dealt with, you’ll say I am someone who doesn’t practice or love the truth, and if that got out, it would have an impact on my reputation. If our brothers and sisters found out, they’d most certainly refuse to accept the leadership of someone who has absolutely no love for the truth. I must establish a good image first. When I’m faced with being pruned and dealt with, and someone is exposing any mistakes or transgressions I have made, I will grin and bear it by pretending to accept it and nod my head in admission, not letting anyone see through me or know what I’m really thinking. Then I can put on a facade, shed some tears, and say some stuff about being indebted to God, and get the matter over with. That way, my brothers and sisters will think I’m someone who accepts the truth, and I can continue to be a leader, as I rightfully should—and then my reputation and status will be preserved, right?” Everything they do is a facade. Would you say people like this are easy to see through? (They’re not easy to see through.) It takes a period of observation and interaction with them to see if they protect the interests of God’s house when encountering problems, and whether or not they really practice in accordance with the truth principles. No matter how well or correctly they might speak on the surface, that is only temporary; sooner or later, the way they really think will come to light. Even if God does not reveal them, can antichrists keep such a tight lid on their true thoughts and their nature essence? Can they cover them up for their whole life? That would be impossible; sooner or later, these things will come to light. Therefore, no matter how wicked or cunning antichrists might be, as long as they harbor intentions and motives and go against the truth in their actions, they will eventually be discerned and seen through by people who understand the truth. Antichrists like these are the most cunning of all; on the surface, they seem to accept the truth and positive things, but actually, in the depths of their hearts and in their essence, they do not love the truth, and they are even sick of positive things and the truth. Because they are eloquent, most cannot discern them, and only people who understand the truth are able to discern and see through this sort of person. Are there any other examples? (There was this one antichrist who saw that his co-workers had better caliber than him and were better at doing work than he was. In order to secure his status, he secretly distorted the facts and passed judgments on his co-workers and partners, misleading people, drawing them in, and making them listen to him. This led to mutual distrust among his co-workers. They weren’t working together harmoniously anymore, and no results were achieved in any aspects of the work. When the antichrist’s evil deeds were exposed, he not only refused to accept it, he even gave excuses and tried to shirk responsibility. It was evident that he’d do anything for the sake of his reputation and status; no matter how many brothers and sisters he harmed, and no matter how severely he disturbed and disrupted the work of God’s house, he just didn’t care, let alone feel upset or guilty. He did not have a single shred of humanity or reason.) In short, antichrists have no qualms about sacrificing anyone’s interests to protect their own reputation and status. Even if they have to step on everyone in order to maintain their own status, they won’t hesitate to do this. When it comes to protecting their reputation and status, they do not care whether other people live or die, and the work of God’s house and the interests of the church simply do not even exist in their minds and are not at all within the scope of their consideration. From these actions, we can see that antichrists are not people of God’s house; they are unbelievers that have wormed their way in. God’s house is not their home, so none of its interests have anything to do with them. They just want to achieve their goal of wielding power and controlling people, and satisfy their personal ambitions and desires in God’s house. Because this is the sort of nature essence antichrists have, they absolutely will not accept being pruned and dealt with, nor will they accept any aspect of the truth.
From the examples we have just given, you can see that antichrists’ ambition and desire to pursue reputation and status is innate. Antichrists are born that way, with that kind of nature essence. They absolutely do not learn this after they are born, and it is not a consequence of their environment. It’s like how some sick people don’t contract their illnesses after they are born, but inherit them instead. These kinds of illnesses are impossible to cure. Antichrists are born with an ambition to pursue reputation and status, and they are no different to reincarnations of devil kings. Antichrists are sick of and hate the truth, and they do not accept the judgment and chastisement of God at all. So, no matter what kind of pruning and dealing with they encounter, they won’t accept it. If an ordinary brother or sister deals with them, they will be even less willing to accept it. They believe: “You’re not qualified to deal with me, you’re not worthy! How many days have you been a believer for? When I became a believer, you hadn’t even been born yet! When I became a leader, you hadn’t even started believing in God!” That is the attitude they harbor toward brothers and sisters dealing with them and pruning them. They talk about qualifications, seniority, and reject being dealt with and pruned on these grounds. So, can they accept it when the Above deals with and prunes them? Based on their nature essence, they won’t accept that either. Though they may not say anything on the surface, their hearts will definitely resist and refuse it. This is without a doubt. When they are truly faced with the Above’s pruning and dealing with, the most common manifestation of antichrists is to desperately quibble and argue on their own behalf in order to shirk responsibility, even lying to the Above and hiding things from those below them so that they can get off scot-free. Antichrists often use the approach of lying to the Above and hiding things from those below them to avoid being dealt with and pruned by the Above. For example, if there are lots of problems in a church, they never report them. If their brothers and sisters want to report those problems, antichrists don’t allow them to, and whoever does meets with their suppression and exclusion. As a result, most people are forced to stay out of it, to leave the problems unresolved, and to act as people-pleasers. Antichrists seal off all of the church’s problems, keeping them completely secret, and they do not allow the Above to step in or make inquiries. Antichrists also hold back the work arrangements of the Above as much as they can, and do not pass them down or implement them. If the Above’s work arrangements don’t impact their personal reputation or status at all, they might make a few superficial announcements, and go through the motions, but they certainly won’t actually implement them. If the Above’s work arrangements pose a threat to, or have a certain impact on their reputation and status, then antichrists have to think. They have to consider how to act, who to act upon, and when to act. They must tread a fine line regarding these things, calculating them over and over again in their minds. If some problems appear in the church’s work, antichrists know that they’ll definitely be pruned and dealt with, or even dismissed when the Above finds out about the issues, so they withhold the problems, and do not report them to the Above. They don’t care at all about what impact or harm those problems will bring upon the work of God’s house if they aren’t resolved; they are indifferent to whatever losses the work of God’s house will suffer. They don’t think about what course of action will benefit the work of God’s house or satisfy God, they only consider their own reputation and status, how the Above will view and treat them, and how to safeguard their reputation and status so that they won’t be affected. This is the way that antichrists view things and think about problems, and it completely represents their disposition. Therefore, antichrists will absolutely not truthfully report the problems that exist within the church, or that arise in their work. No matter what work they do, no matter what difficulties they face, or if they encounter situations that they don’t know how to handle, or where they don’t know what choice to make, while carrying out that work, they’ll cover it up and hide it, afraid that the Above will say that their caliber is too poor, or find about their real situation, or deal with and prune them because they did not handle and resolve those difficulties or situations promptly. Antichrists disregard the interests of God’s house and the work of the church in order to avoid being pruned and dealt with by the Above. They do not hesitate to sacrifice the work and interests of the church to preserve their status and livelihood, and to ensure that the Above has a good impression of them. They don’t care about delaying or impacting the progress of the church’s work, and they care even less about the life entry of God’s chosen people. Regardless of what difficulties the brothers and sisters encounter, or what problems exist in terms of their life entry, antichrists cannot resolve them, and they won’t seek from the Above. They clearly know that withholding problems and leaving them unresolved will delay and impact the progress of the church’s work, and cause losses to the lives of the brothers and sisters, but they ignore these things, and do not care about them. No matter what major problems arise in the church, they never report them, instead they do their utmost to conceal them and seal them off. If their brothers and sisters discover their evil deeds and write letters reporting them, antichrists try even harder to withhold and seal off those letters. What is their goal in withholding and sealing off those letters? It is to keep their status, to protect their reputation and prestige, and to retain everything they possess at that moment. To them, being replaced, or having the Above evaluate them as unfit for their work, is like losing their lives and being sentenced to death, it’s like reaching the end of the road in their belief in God. So, no matter what, they never seek from the Above. Instead, they think of ways to conceal all of the problems that exist in their work and stop the Above from discovering them. Isn’t this practice of theirs very despicable? They believe that a good leader in the eyes of God and the Above must be someone who never has any problems or difficulties, who can handle all matters well, and is fit for all kinds of work. They think that a good leader never complains about difficulties, or seeks on problems, and that a good leader absolutely must be a perfect, flawless person in the minds of God and the Above, who can get the work done well without the Above having to deal with or prune them. Consequently, they vehemently safeguard their status, hoping to make a good impression on the Above, and to make the Above mistakenly believe that they are fit for their work, that they can shoulder their work, and that no big problems will occur, and therefore think that there’s no need to directly ask them questions or give them guidance, and certainly no need to prune and deal with them. Antichrists want to create this kind of image for themselves, to make others mistakenly believe that God believes in them and entrusts everything to them, that He commissions them with important posts and has great trust in them, to the extent that He’s reluctant to deal with and prune them, out of fear that them becoming negative and slacking off would affect the work. Antichrists make the brothers and sisters think that they are popular people in God’s house and the church, and important figures in God’s house. Why do they want to impress this kind of illusion and facade upon the brothers and sisters? It’s so that they can make people esteem and worship them, so that they can enjoy the trappings of their positions in the church, as well as high status and favorable treatment, to the extent that they may take God’s place. They often say to the brothers and sisters, “God cannot speak to you personally, He cannot come to your level and personally carry out work, and He could not possibly live alongside you, and guide you in all the different things you encounter in your daily lives. So, who will carry out these specific tasks? Won’t it be leaders and workers like us?” While they do their utmost to safeguard their status, they often say things like this and express these kinds of ideas, so that the brothers and sisters completely and undoubtedly believe in and trust them. What is the nature of this practice of theirs? Isn’t it lying to their superiors and hiding things from the people below them? (It is.) This is the clever part of their approach. Most people have poor caliber, they do not understand the truth, cannot discern antichrists, and can only be misled and used by antichrists. If antichrists directly tried to mislead people by saying: “The Above really has faith in me, they listen to me in all matters,” people might be a little wary and have a bit of discernment of them, but antichrists don’t speak in a direct way like this. They use statements to mislead people, and make them mistakenly believe that the Above must have faith in and trust them in order to have entrusted the work of a leader to them. Dimwits who lack discernment and do not pursue the truth fall for this and follow them. And, when something happens, those dimwits don’t pray to God, or seek the truth in God’s words, instead they come before the antichrists, asking the antichrists to show them the way and choose a path for them. This is the goal that antichrists want to achieve with their actions. If there aren’t a few people who understand the truth in the church that discern and expose the antichrists, most people will blindly believe them, worship and follow them, and live under their control. This is so dangerous! If someone is misled and controlled by an antichrist for three or five years, their life will suffer a great loss. If they are misled and controlled by an antichrist for eight or 10 years, then they will be thoroughly ruined; even if they want to redeem themselves, they won’t have the chance to.
Antichrists often mislead people, win them over, and control them using claims that they are popular people in God’s house, who have been put in important positions by God, and who God esteems and trusts, in an effort to achieve their goal of always enjoying status and forever having a voice. What do antichrists fear the most? They are most scared of losing their status and being held in bad repute. They fear that their brothers and sisters will think that they do not pursue the truth, that they are of very poor caliber, and that they do not have spiritual understanding, or do any actual work, and that they are incapable of doing any actual work. These are the things antichrists are most terrified of hearing. When antichrists hear such statements and declarations, they fly into a panic and even get annoyed, sometimes going so far as to throw a tantrum, saying, “I have poor caliber, so go ahead and use whoever you can use; I can’t do this work anyway! Isn’t God righteous? I’ve believed in Him for all these years, given up my family and career for Him, and exerted so much for all of you, my brothers and sisters. Why can’t you even speak a fair word about me?” They no longer care about their reputation and status, nor do they try to cover themselves up or pretend anymore; their ugliness is on full display. After venting their anger, they wipe their tears and think, “Oh no; I’ve disgraced myself. I’ll have to make a comeback!” Then they go on pretending, they go on learning good slogans and doctrines, and listening, reading, preaching, and misleading people. They feel that they must salvage their reputation and status, and they hope that one day, when it is election time, their brothers and sisters will still think of them, recall the good things they’ve done, remember the prices they have paid, and the things they have said. This is absolutely shameless, is it not? That old nature of theirs hasn’t changed at all, has it? Why don’t antichrists ever change? This is determined by their nature essence, they cannot change; this is just who they are. When their ambitions and desires have completely gone up in smoke, they throw tantrums, and then they suddenly become much better behaved. I recently asked about how one person had been doing, and some brothers and sisters said that he had been very well-behaved. What did “well-behaved” mean? It meant that he had behaved himself a lot better lately, and had been acting a lot better than before; he was no longer causing trouble, attacking people, or vying for status, and he had been learning how to speak to people more gently, modestly, and quietly. Then he’d been using correct words to help others, and in his everyday life, he had been showing special concern and care for other people. It was as though he had transformed into a completely new person. But had he really? No. So, what were those practices? (External good behaviors.)
After some antichrists are revealed and all of their evil deeds come to light, when they see their brothers and sisters, they say, “I feel like I’ve been enlightened and illuminated by God recently, and I’m in a really good state. I feel a deep hatred toward my previous actions, and I will never be able to forget or let go of the losses I caused my brothers and sisters to suffer. I feel very sad.” As they say this, they burst into tears and even take the initiative to ask their brothers and sisters to prune and deal with them, saying, “Don’t worry about me being weak. If you see me doing something wrong, then deal with me, I can accept it—I can accept it from God; I will hold no grudge against you.” They have gone from stubbornly refusing, resisting, and defying being pruned and dealt with by their brothers and sisters, justifying and arguing on their own behalf, and being full of resentment, to actively seeking to be pruned and dealt with. This is a rather speedy change of attitude, isn’t it? Does this mean they feel remorse? Based on this attitude, it looks like they have made a turnaround, so you should deal with them. Doing this can enable them to realize the wrongs they have committed in the past, and help them to come to know themselves. In that moment, you should help them by showing some sincerity, and say, “I can see that you have been acting quite well recently. I’m going to speak to you from the heart for a bit. If something I say is incorrect, and you cannot accept it, then pay it no mind; if you believe what I say to be correct, then accept it from God. My intention is to help you, not to kick you while you’re down or attack you. Let’s open up our hearts to each other and fellowship. Back when you served as a leader, you would strut around the place, and refuse to admit to your mistakes; even if you outwardly admitted to some, you did not actually accept fault deep down—and afterward, when you came across the same sort of issue, you still acted just as you did before. Let’s talk about that last incident, for example. Because you were irresponsible, something went wrong, and a great loss was brought upon the assets of God’s house. Your irresponsibility also led to many brothers and sisters being arrested and imprisoned, and paying a price for this. Don’t you think you should take responsibility for that? You were the person directly responsible for that incident, so you should come before God, confess your sins, and repent. In fact, if you admit your mistake, God will see it as a transgression at worst, and it will not affect your pursuit of the truth in the future. Your brothers and sisters will also be able to treat you properly and see you as a member of God’s house; they won’t ostracize you or attack you. It is true that everything about a person is in God’s hands, but if you never pursue the truth, then you are sure to be loathed and abandoned by God, at which point you will be a target for destruction. If you accept and submit to God’s work and can genuinely repent, God will not remember your past transgressions and you will still be a person who pursues the truth before God. We do not ask for His pardon or forgiveness, but at the very least, we must do what humans should do; this is the responsibility and duty of every created being, and it is the path that we all should walk.” These are true words, aren’t they? Is there any mockery or trickery in them? Is there any sarcasm or ridicule in them? (No.) These are just heartfelt words, spoken calmly and in line with the principle of helping and edifying people. These words are correct; within them, there is a path of practice, as well as truth to be sought. However, can antichrists accept these words? Can they comprehend and practice them as the truth? (They cannot.) How will they respond to these words? “Even now, you all just keep seizing upon my shortcomings, refusing to let go, huh? God doesn’t remember people’s past transgressions, so why are you always looking into mine? You even say that you want to have a heart-to-heart with me and that you’re helping me. What sort of help is this? This is obviously an attempt to dwell on the past and hold me accountable. You are just trying to make me take responsibility, right? Am I alone responsible for that incident? Everything’s in God’s hands, which means that He’s the One who is responsible. When that incident happened, why didn’t God give us any hints about it? Isn’t everything orchestrated by God? Well then, how can you blame me?” This is them speaking their minds, isn’t it? Wherein lies their problem? On the surface, they seemed to have made a turnaround and to have become humbler; they appeared much better behaved than they were before, as though they no longer pursued status and reputation and as if they can calmly sit down, speak with someone, and have a heart-to-heart chat. So how are they still capable of saying something like this? What problem can be seen in this? (The way they acted was just an illusion they put up so that they could make a comeback.) What else? (They don’t truly know themselves at all, and those aren’t displays of real repentance. They are just a kind of hypocritical practice. When other people fellowship with them about their problems, they’re still incapable of accepting the truth. It’s clear that their nature essence is hostile toward the truth.) Two points are very clear in this. First of all, when an antichrist loses their status, one of their state of being is, “Where there is life there is hope”—they are always ready to make a comeback. The second point is that with regard to the erroneous path they were on before and the transgressions they committed, antichrists will absolutely never genuinely reflect on themselves. They will not admit their mistakes or accept the truth, and even less will they come to understand their essence from the facts of their evildoing, or summarize how to practice according to the truth. When they are dismissed and lose their status, they do not think, “What exactly did I do wrong? How should I repent? If this sort of thing happens again, how should I act so that I may be in accordance with God’s intention?” They do not have this attitude of turning themselves around. Even if they are pruned and dealt with, and even if they get dismissed, they still will not turn back and pursue the truth, seek a path of practice, or change the direction of their pursuit. No matter how great losses they bring to God’s house and no matter how big a fall they take, they will never confess their sins. Their failures will not cause them to pursue and seek the truth in the time that follows; instead they will be calculating just what they can do to salvage everything and get back the status they have lost. These are the two points. The first is a sort of state of being they have after losing their status, which is constantly being ready to make a comeback. The second point is their refusal to admit or understand the erroneous path they were on. Within this second point, not understanding the erroneous path they were on is one part of it; additionally, they absolutely will not genuinely repent, nor will they accept the truth, and they certainly won’t make up for the damage they did to God’s house with hearts of remorse. They absolutely will not think about how to transform, about how to change from people who don’t pursue the truth to people who pursue and practice the truth. These two points make it evident that antichrists are sick of the truth and wicked by nature; they are especially good at disguising themselves and adapting to their environment, like chameleons. They have a fickle essence, and, in the depths of their hearts, their pursuit of status and their ambitions and desires never relaxes, nor will it ever change. No one can change those people. Looking at these manifestations, what is the nature essence of this kind of person? Is an antichrist a brother or a sister? Is an antichrist a real person? (No.) If you see these people as brothers and sisters, doesn’t that mean you are seriously stupid? These manifestations are revelations of the essence of an antichrist. When antichrists have no status, this is the sort of state of being they are in; the calculations in their hearts, what they reveal, and how they outwardly act, and the sort of attitude they have in the depths of their hearts toward the truth and toward their transgressions are like this, and their viewpoint will not change. No matter how much you fellowship on the truth or speak about correct, positive paths of practice, they will never really accept it deep down; instead, they will resist it. They will even believe, “Well, I don’t have status anymore, so what I say doesn’t count. No one supports me anymore; you just want to ridicule me and teach me a lesson. Are you qualified to teach me a lesson? Who do you think you are? When I became a leader, you still hadn’t learned how to walk! Didn’t you learn the few things you speak about from me? And you’re trying to teach me a lesson. You really do not know your place in the universe!” They think people need a certain seniority in order to prune and deal with them, speak to them, chat with them, or have a heart-to-heart with them. What sort of thing are these people? Only antichrists are capable of saying such things; normal people, and people who have some sense of shame and a bit of rationality, would never say these things. If someone is preaching a sermon to you, calmly having a heart-to-heart conversation with you, and pointing out problems you have and giving you some suggestions, would you be able to accept this? Or would you have the same sort of mindset as an antichrist? For example, say that you have been a believer for 10 years but never served as a leader. Another person has only believed for two years but has higher status than you do, and you feel upset about this. Say that you believed in God for 20 years before finally becoming a district leader. Someone else becomes a regional leader after believing for just five years and starts guiding you, and you find this hard to accept. If they deal with you, you feel uncomfortable, and even if they are right to deal with you, you still do not want to accept it. Have you ever possessed this kind of attitude or manifestations? (Yes.) This is an antichrist’s disposition. Do you think that only antichrists have an antichrist’s disposition? Anyone who has the disposition of an antichrist is in danger, they may embark upon the path of an antichrist, and this disposition may destroy them. That’s how things are. When we fellowship on and dissect the essence of an antichrist, this also includes people who have an antichrist’s disposition. Would you say that the people included in this are the minority or the majority? Or does this include everyone? (It includes everyone.) That’s right, because the disposition of an antichrist is the disposition of Satan, and all corrupt humans possess Satan’s disposition. Now, we have fellowshiped a bit about this topic of how antichrists treat being dealt with and pruned. To go into more detail, some concrete examples can be given. I’ll leave that to you to fellowship on during your gatherings. While you are fellowshiping, don’t always talk about how other people are. Of course, fellowshiping on the manifestations of others is unavoidable, but you should mainly fellowship about your own manifestations. If you can find in yourselves some manifestations or revelations that are linked to the disposition of an antichrist, it will be helpful and beneficial to your self-knowledge, and it will aid you in ridding yourselves of that disposition.
We have fellowshiped on the topic of the various manifestations of an antichrist’s disposition before—are you now able to hold yourselves against them for comparison? Have you been able to attain some understanding? Can you resolve some real problems? Regardless of which aspect of your corrupt dispositions you change, it is all achieved upon a foundation of understanding the truth, holding yourself against the truth for comparison, and then coming to understand yourself. Therefore, being able to discern and dissect the various manifestations of a corrupt disposition is a path that you must tread when it comes to knowing yourself and achieving a change in disposition. Have you come to understand this point yet? Some of you might not have, and be thinking, “You’re always fellowshiping on these trivial topics and things; You never talk about some profound truths or reveal any profound mysteries. This is so boring and tedious! What do these things You’re fellowshiping on have to do with us entering the kingdom of heaven, obtaining great blessings, and being perfected in the future?” These people never understand; they become sleepy as they listen to these things. People who do not have spiritual understanding don’t get it; they do not understand the various human states that each truth touches upon, or the relationships between the various truths. They do not understand these things. The more detailed an explanation you give them, the more confused they get and the less they take in, so they always get sleepy. When a gathering first starts, they are singing and dancing, and do not grow sleepy no matter how dull or repetitive the rules and ceremonies are. However, as soon as you fellowship on the truth and people’s different states, they start to nod off. What is going on with people who always become sleepy like that? Haven’t they been revealed? This is a manifestation of not loving the truth, isn’t it? When it comes to the details of various truths to do with life entry, people who genuinely pursue the truth and who possess a certain caliber understand them better the more they hear about them, whereas those who do not love the truth and do not have spiritual understanding just get more confused the more they hear about them. The more they listen, the more dull they find them, and no matter how much they listen, they still feel the same way; they cannot hear a path in them. They feel that matters to do with life entry are not actually all that complicated, so there is no need to fellowship so much on them. This is what people who do not have spiritual understanding are like. Dispositional change involves a great many truths. If, on the path of seeking to change their dispositions, people do not spend time and effort on each truth, achieve understanding, comprehension, and knowledge of each truth, and find a path of practice, then they absolutely will not be able to enter any truths. What is the way by which people can come to know God? It is by understanding and entering all the various truths; this is the only way. Moreover, each truth is not some kind of theory or a type of knowledge or philosophy; it has to do with people’s lives and the status of their existences, the states they are in and the things they think about each day, and the various thoughts, ideas, intentions, and attitudes that they produce under the domination of their corrupt essences. So, these are the topics we are talking about. When you have figured out these topics, linked them to yourself, found the principles of practice, and come to know the various states and viewpoints that your different dispositions produce, you will have really understood the truths that are related to them, and only then will you be able to practice accurately according to the truth principles. If you only understand the words literally, and when you see God’s exposure of the selfishness and despicableness of antichrists, you think, “Antichrists are selfish and despicable, but I myself am quite selfless; I have a lot of love to give, I am tolerant, I was born into a family of scholars, I have received higher education, and I have been influenced by famous figures and masterpieces, I am not a selfish person”—is saying these things accepting the truth? Is it knowing yourself? It is quite obvious that you do not understand this particular truth, or the various states that are encompassed by this particular truth. When you understand the various states spoken of and exposed by God that are encompassed by a certain truth, and can hold yourself against them for comparison and find the precise principles of practice, you will have embarked upon the path of practicing the truth, and you will have entered the truth reality. If you have not done this, then you have merely understood a doctrine; you have not understood the truth. It’s like the topic we just spoke of, about how antichrists treat being dealt with and pruned. The various states, manifestations, and revelations we fellowshiped on all have to do with the nature essence and disposition of an antichrist. How many of these do you understand? How many of them have you held against yourself for comparison? Are the statements, details, and states contained within this topic that you’ve grasped related to other people or to you? Do you yourself have any connection with these states? Have you truly linked them to yourself, or have you just reluctantly acknowledged and agreed with them? This depends on your comprehension and on your attitude toward the truth. Linking these states to yourself is merely a prerequisite for you being able to practice the truth; it does not mean you have already started practicing it. However, if you cannot link these states to yourself, then you will have absolutely nothing to do with practicing the truth. That being the case, when you listen to sermons, what will you hear? You’ll just be pretending; it will seem as though you believe in God, but you actually will not be practicing according to His words, and you will not be able to enter the reality of His words. You will just be a layman, a serving object, a foil. When it comes to how you should hold yourself against these states for comparison and how you should dissect the various states that relate to the things I’ve said, this depends on your own knowledge. All I can do is tell you these words and supply you with these words, for the rest, you will need to apply effort yourself. Whether or not you can accept these words depends on your attitude. Some people are intransigent in their hearts; they are always pretending and trying to protect their status and reputation. They clearly have problems, but they cannot see these problems and do not admit to them, and they even take it upon themselves to expose and dissect others. As a result, those other people end up benefiting from this, while they themselves gain nothing. These folks are fools, are they not? This is foolish behavior. The point of listening to sermons is not to learn how to discern other people, nor is it to listen on other people’s behalf; it is so that you yourself can hear what’s said and gain it. You listen to God’s words, the truth, and sermons, and from it all you come to understand the truth, gain the life, and achieve a transformation of disposition. Does this have anything to do with other people? These words have to do with you. If you adopt this sort of attitude, then these words might just be able to change you, become your reality, and enable you to achieve a change of disposition.
In this first topic, we spoke about the various manifestations of how antichrists treat being dealt with and pruned. In one respect, fellowshiping on this subject helps you all to understand the sort of attitude antichrists have, and the revelations of their nature essence, when it comes to this matter; in another respect, it gives you some positive guidance and warnings. You can fellowship on and resolve the remaining problems yourselves; they are your own affairs.
2. How Antichrists Treat Those Stronger Than Themselves
When it comes to antichrists’ desire to protect their own reputation and status, they not only display and reveal their nature essence when they are being pruned and dealt with—antichrists encounter many other kinds of situations and matters. Therefore, the second topic we will fellowship on is how antichrists maintain their status and reputation within groups of people. While in a group of people, what behaviors do antichrists exhibit that can illustrate that in everything they do, they are trying to protect their own reputation and status? Is this topic clear or not? Is its scope large or small? Is it representative or not? (It is representative.) This topic is directly related to the nature essence of antichrists. What manifestations do antichrists display while living among groups of people? What sort of attitude and what actions do they use to protect their reputation and status? First of all, if antichrists have no status, are they still antichrists? (Yes.) You need to have a clear understanding of this concept. Don’t think that only people with status can possess the essence of antichrists and be antichrists, or that ordinary people without status are not antichrists. The scope is actually quite large. Any person who possesses the essence of antichrists is still an antichrist, regardless of whether or not they have status, and whether they are a leader or an ordinary believer; this is determined by their essence. So, what manifestations do people with the essence of antichrists exhibit while they are ordinary followers? Which nature essence revelations serve as sufficient proof that they are, in fact, antichrists? Firstly, let’s look at how they live within groups of people, how they treat others, and the attitude they harbor toward the truth. What we ought most to fellowship on isn’t what antichrists eat, what they wear, where they reside, or how they get around, but how they protect their reputation and status while in groups. Even if they are ordinary believers, they are still constantly trying to protect their reputation and status, constantly revealing this sort of disposition and essence, and doing these sorts of things. Therefore, this enables us to take a step further in our understanding of the disposition and essence of antichrists. Whether or not antichrists have status, and no matter when or where they are, the disposition and essence of antichrists are always being revealed and manifested in them. This is not restricted to any space, geography, or people, events, and things.
When antichrists perform a duty, no matter what it is and regardless of the group they are in, they demonstrate a distinct form of conduct, which is that in everything, they always want to stand out and show off, they always tend to constrain people and control them, they always want to lead people and call the shots, they always want to be in the limelight, they want to draw people’s eyes and attention to them, and they want admiration from everyone. Whenever antichrists join a group, regardless of its numbers, who the members of the group are, or what their profession or identity is, antichrists first take stock of things to see who is imposing and outstanding, who speaks well, who is impressive, and who is qualified or has prestige. They evaluate who they can beat and who they can’t, as well as who surpasses them and who is inferior. These are the first things they look at. After quickly assessing the situation, they begin to take action, setting aside and ignoring those who are beneath them. They go first to those who they believe are superior, who have some prestige and status, or those with gifts and talent. These are the people they first measure themselves against. If any of these people are held in esteem by the brothers and sisters, or have been long-time believers in God and are in good standing, then they become targets of antichrists’ envy, and are seen as competition. Then, antichrists quietly compare themselves to these people who have prestige, who have status, and who command the brothers’ and sisters’ admiration. They begin to ponder such people, examining what they can do and what they have mastered, and why others esteem them. Watching and observing, the antichrists realize that these people are experts in a certain profession, as well as the fact that everyone holds them in high regard, because they have believed in God for longer, and because they can share some experiential testimony. Antichrists regard such people as “prey” and recognize them as opponents, and then they form a plan of action. What plan of action? They look at the aspects where they do not match up with their opponents and then begin to work on these aspects. For example, if they are not as good at a certain profession as them, they will study that profession, reading books, looking up all sorts of information, and humbly asking others for instruction. They will participate in every kind of work related to that profession, gradually accumulating experience and cultivating their own power. And when they believe that they have the capital to contend with their opponents, they frequently come forward to express their own “brilliant views,” and often deliberately refute and belittle their opponents, to embarrass them and muddy their names, and thereby highlight how clever and extraordinary they are, and suppress their opponents. Clear-sighted people can see all of these things, only those who are foolish and ignorant and lack discernment cannot. Most people just see the antichrists’ enthusiasm, their pursuit, their suffering, price-paying, and external good behavior, but the true situation is concealed in the depths of the antichrists’ hearts. What is their core objective? It is to gain status. The target on which all their work, all their toil, and all the price they pay is centered is the thing in their hearts they worship the most: status and power.
In order to obtain power and status, the first thing antichrists do in the church is try to win other people’s trust and esteem, so that they can convince more people, and make more of them look up to and worship them, thereby achieving their goal of having the final say in the church, and holding power. When it comes to obtaining power, they are most skilled at competing and fighting with other people. People who pursue the truth, who have prestige in the church, and who are loved by the brothers and sisters, are their primary competition. Any person who poses a threat to their status is their competition. They compete with those who are stronger than them while hiding all signs of weakness; and they compete against those who are weaker than them, without feeling any pity at all. Their hearts are filled with philosophies of battle. They believe that if people do not compete and fight, they won’t be able to obtain any benefits, and that they can only get the things they want by competing and fighting. In order to obtain status, and to take a preeminent position within a group of people, they do whatever it takes to compete with others, and they do not spare a single person who poses a threat to their status. No matter who they interact with, they are full of the desire to do battle, and even as they grow old, they still fight. They often say: “Could I beat that person in a contest?” Whoever is eloquent, and can speak in a logical, structured, and methodical way, becomes the target of their envy and of their imitation. Even more so, they become their competition. Whoever pursues the truth and possesses faith, and is able to help and support the brothers and sisters frequently, and enables them to emerge from negativity and weakness, also becomes their competition, as does anyone who is an expert in a certain profession, and somewhat esteemed by the brothers and sisters. Whoever gets results in their work, and obtains the recognition of the Above, naturally becomes an even greater source of competition for them. What is the motto of antichrists, no matter what group they are in? Share your thoughts. (Fighting with other people and with Heaven is a source of endless fun.) Isn’t this mad? This is mad. Anyone else? (God, don’t they think that: “In all the universe, only I reign supreme”? That is, they want to be the greatest, and no matter who they are with, they always want to outdo them.) This is one of their ideas. Anyone else? (God, I thought of four words: “The winner is king.” I think that they always want to be superior to others and stand out, no matter where they are, and they strive to be the greatest.) Most of what you’ve spoken about are kinds of ideas; try using a sort of behavior to describe them. Antichrists do not necessarily want to occupy the highest position no matter where they are. Whenever they go to a place, they have a disposition and a mentality compelling them to act. What is this mentality? It is “I must compete! Compete! Compete!” Why three “competes,” why not a single “compete”? (Competition has become their life, it is what they live by.) This is their disposition. They were born with a disposition that is wildly arrogant and difficult to contain, that is, seeing themselves as second to none, and being extremely egotistical. No one can curtail this incredibly arrogant disposition of theirs; they themselves cannot control it. So their life is all about fighting and competing. What do they fight and compete for? Naturally, they compete for fame, gain, status, face, and their own interests. No matter what methods they have to use, so long as everyone submits to them, and so long as they obtain benefits and status for themselves, they have achieved their goal. Their will to compete is not a temporary amusement; it is a kind of disposition that comes from a satanic nature. It is like the disposition of the great red dragon that fights with Heaven, fights with the earth, and fights with people. Now, when antichrists fight and compete with others in the church, what do they want? Without a doubt, they are competing for reputation and status. But if they gain status, what use is it to them? What good is it to them if others listen to, admire, and worship them? Antichrists themselves cannot even explain this. In reality, they like to enjoy reputation and status, to have everyone smile at them, and to be greeted with flattering and fawning. So, every time an antichrist goes to a church, they do one thing: fight and compete with others. Even if they win power and status, they are not done. To protect their status and secure their power, they continue to fight and compete with others. They will do this until they die. So, the philosophy of antichrists is, “As long as you are alive, do not stop fighting.” If an evil person like this exists within the church, will it disturb the brothers and sisters? For example, say that everyone is quietly eating and drinking the words of God and fellowshiping on the truth, and the atmosphere is peaceful and the mood pleasant. At this time, an antichrist will simmer with dissatisfaction. They will become jealous of those fellowshiping on the truth and hate them. They will begin to attack and make judgments of them. Will this not disturb the peaceful atmosphere? They are an evil person who has come to disturb and disgust others. That is what antichrists are like. Sometimes, antichrists are not seeking to destroy or defeat those that they compete with and suppress; as long as they attain reputation, status, pride, and face, and make people admire them, they have achieved their goal. While they are competing, they reveal a kind of clear satanic disposition. What disposition is this? That, no matter what church they appear in, they always want to compete and fight with other people, they always want to compete for fame, gain, and status, and they only feel that they have accomplished their goal when the church is thrown into disarray and turmoil, when they have gained status and everyone submits to them. This is the nature of antichrists, that is, they use competition and fighting to achieve their goals.
What is the motto of antichrists, no matter what group they are in? “I must compete! Compete! Compete! I must compete to be the highest and mightiest!” This is the disposition of antichrists; everywhere they go, they compete and try to achieve their aims. They are the lackeys of Satan, and they disturb the work of the church. The disposition of antichrists is like this: They begin by looking around the church to see who has believed in God for many years and has capital, who has some gifts or talents, who has been of benefit to the brothers and sisters in their life entry, who has more prestige, who has seniority, who is well spoken of among the brothers and sisters, who has more positive things. Those people are to be their competition. In sum, every time antichrists are among a group of people, this is what they always do: They compete for status, compete for a good reputation, compete to have the final say over matters and the right to make decisions in the group, which, once they have gained it, makes them happy. Are they able to do practical work after they gain these things? Absolutely not, they do not compete and fight in order to do practical work; their goal is to overpower everyone else. “I don’t care if you’re willing to submit to me or not; in terms of capital, I’m the greatest, in terms of speaking skills, I’m the best, and in terms of gifts and talents, I have the most.” No matter what area, they always want to compete for first place. If the brothers and sisters choose for them to be supervisors, they will compete with their partners to have the final say and the right to make decisions. If the church puts them in charge of certain work, they will insist on calling the shots about how it’s carried out. They will want to strive to make everything they say and all the things they decide succeed and become a reality. If the brothers and sisters adopt somebody else’s idea, will this get past them? (No.) That means trouble. If you don’t listen to them, they’ll teach you a lesson, make you feel that you couldn’t do without them, and show you what consequences there will be if you don’t obey them. That is how conceited, odious, and unreasonable the disposition of antichrists is. They have neither conscience nor reason, nor even a shred of the truth. One can see in the actions and deeds of an antichrist that what they do has none of the reason of a normal person, and though one may fellowship about the truth to them, they do not accept it. However right what you say is, it does not fly with them. The only thing they like to pursue is reputation and status, which they hold in reverence. So long as they can enjoy the benefits of status, they are contented. This, they believe, is the value of their existence. Regardless of what group of people they are among, they have to show people the “light” and “warmth” they provide, their talents, their uniqueness. And it is because they believe they are special that they naturally think that they should be treated better than ordinary people, that they should receive people’s support and admiration, that people should look up to them, worship them—they think all of this is their due. Are such people not brazen and shameless? Is it not trouble to have such people present in the church? When something happens, it’s common sense that people should listen to whoever speaks correctly, submit to whoever makes a suggestion that is beneficial to the work of God’s house, and adopt whoever’s suggestion is in line with the truth principles. If antichrists say something that isn’t in accordance with the principles, everyone else might not listen to them, or adopt their suggestion. In that case, what will antichrists do? They will keep trying to defend and justify themselves, and think of ways to convince others, and make the brothers and sisters listen to them and adopt their suggestion. They won’t consider what effect it might have on the church’s work if their suggestion is adopted. This is not within the scope of their consideration. What is the only thing that they’ll consider? “If my suggestion isn’t adopted, where will I be able to show my face? So, I have to compete, and strive for my suggestion to be adopted.” Whenever something happens, this is how they think and act. They never reflect on whether this is in accordance with the principles or not, and they never accept the truth. This is the disposition of antichrists.
What is the primary manifestation of antichrists’ complete lack of reason? They believe that they have gifts, that they are capable, possess good caliber, and that they ought to be worshiped and supported by other people, and put in an important position by God’s house. Furthermore, they believe that God’s house should adopt and promote all of the suggestions and ideas they put forward, and if God’s house doesn’t adopt them, they become very angry, set themselves against God’s house, and establish their own independent kingdoms. Doesn’t this revelation of the disposition and essence of antichrists cause disruptions and disturbances in the church? It can be said that all of the actions of antichrists cause immense disruptions and disturbances to the church’s work and the life entry of God’s chosen people. When antichrists compete for church leadership positions and prestige among God’s chosen people, they use every means they can to attack others and elevate themselves. They do not consider how badly they may harm the work of God’s house and the life entry of God’s chosen people. They only consider whether their ambitions and desires can be satisfied, and whether their own status and reputation can be secured. Their role in churches and among God’s chosen people is as demons, as the evil, it is as lackeys of Satan. They are absolutely not people who genuinely believe in God, nor are they followers of God, let alone are they people who love and accept the truth. When their intentions and goals have yet to be achieved, they never reflect on and know themselves, they never reflect on whether their intentions and goals are in line with the truth, they never search for how to walk the path of pursuit of the truth to achieve salvation. It is not with a submissive state of mind that they believe in God and choose the path they ought to take. Instead, they rack their brains, thinking: “How can I get into the position of a leader or a worker? How can I compete with the leaders and workers of the church? How can I mislead and control God’s chosen people, and turn Christ into a mere figurehead? How can I secure a place for myself in the church? How can I make sure that I have a firm footing in the church and gain status, guarantee that I succeed and do not fail, and ultimately achieve my goal of controlling God’s chosen people and establishing my own kingdom?” These are the things that antichrists spend their days and nights thinking about. What disposition and nature is this? For instance, when ordinary brothers and sisters write testimony articles, they think about how to express their experiences and understanding faithfully in writing. So, they pray before God in the hope that He will grant them more enlightenment regarding the truth, and enable them to gain a greater and more in-depth understanding of it. Whereas, when antichrists write articles, they rack their brains pondering on how to write in a way that will make more people understand them, know about them, and admire them, and thereby gain status in the minds of more people. They wish to use this most ordinary, minor thing to increase their fame. They cannot even let this sort of opportunity go. What sort of people are they? Some antichrists, upon seeing that others can write experiential testimony articles, wish to write something that is more wonderful than anyone else’s experiential testimony, in an effort to compete with them for status and prestige. And so, they fabricate and plagiarize stories. They even dare to do things like give false testimony. In order to make a name for themselves, to make more people know about them, and spread their name, antichrists do not hesitate to do all kinds of shameful things. They won’t even pass up the tiniest opportunity to become well-known, to obtain status, and to be esteemed of among a group of people and looked upon with special respect. What is the purpose of being looked upon with special respect? What consequences and goals do antichrists wish to achieve? Antichrists want others to see them as extraordinary people, people who are nobler than anyone else, and who excel in certain areas; they want to leave a good impression in the minds of others, a profound impression, and even gradually make other people envy, admire, and look up to them. While striving with all their might to achieve this goal, they also keep walking the same path as they did before.
No matter what group of people they are in, regardless of if they are pretending or toiling, what’s hidden in the depths of antichrists’ hearts is nothing more than a desire for status. The essence that they reveal and manifest is nothing more than fighting and competition. No matter what antichrists do, they are competing with others for status, face, and interests. The most common manifestation of this is competing for a good name, a good appraisal, and status in people’s minds, so that people will esteem and worship them, and revolve and center themselves around them. This is the path that antichrists walk; this is what antichrists compete for. Regardless of how God’s words condemn and dissect these things, antichrists won’t accept the truth, or accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, or give up these things that are judged and condemned by God. On the contrary, the more God exposes these things, the more cunning antichrists become. They adopt more covert and slippery means to pursue these things, so that people cannot see what they are doing, and mistakenly believe that they have given up these things. The more God exposes these things, the more antichrists find ways to use more devious and cleverer methods to pursue and gain them. Furthermore, they use pleasant-sounding words to conceal their ulterior motives. In sum, antichrists absolutely do not accept the truth, reflect on their behavior, or come before God praying and seeking the truth. On the contrary, they are even more dissatisfied in their hearts with God’s exposure and judgment, to the extent that they adopt a hostile attitude toward these things. Not only do they not give up their pursuit of reputation and status, they cherish these things even more, and think of ways to hide and conceal this pursuit, and to stop people from seeing through and spotting it. No matter the situation, antichrists not only fail to practice the truth, when their true colors are revealed, that is, when they accidentally reveal these ambitions and desires of theirs, they feel more worried that others will see through their essence and true face on the basis of God’s words and the truth, so they try to conceal this, and do their utmost to defend themselves. What is the purpose of them concealing this? It is to protect their status and reputation from suffering losses, and to conserve their strength for their next fight. This is the essence of antichrists. No matter when, or what the situation is, the goals and direction of their comportment won’t change, neither will their goals in life, or the principles behind their actions, or the desire, ambition, and aim in the depths of their hearts of pursuing status. Not only will they do their utmost to strive to attain status, they will escalate their efforts to obtain it. The more God’s house fellowships on the truth, the more they will cleverly shy away from using some obvious behaviors and manifestations that other people can see through and discern. They will switch to a different kind of method, and cry bitterly as they admit their mistakes and condemn themselves, winning people’s sympathy, making them mistakenly believe that they’ve repented and changed, and making it harder for people to discern them. What is this essence of antichrists? Isn’t it a bit devious? (It is.) When people are this devious, they are devils. Can devils truly repent? Can they truly put aside their ambition and desire to pursue status? Devils would rather die than put aside this ambition. No matter how you fellowship the truth with them, it will be useless, they won’t put aside this ambition. If, in this situation, they lose the fight and are exposed by the brothers and sisters, they will still continue fighting, and competing for status, face, the final say, and the right to make decisions when they move on to the next group. They will compete for these things. No matter what the situation, or what group of people they are in, the principle they always observe is to compete: “Only I can lead; no one else may lead me!” They are absolutely unwilling to be ordinary followers, or to accept other people’s leadership or help. This is the essence of antichrists.
In the church, are there those who have believed in God for many years and yet do not pursue the truth at all, and always pursue status and reputation? What are the manifestations of such people? Would you say that this type of person is someone who always puts themselves on display, who is apt to come up with original thoughts and spout high-sounding ideas? What kinds of things do they often do? (Someone expresses their point of view, and to everyone else it seems right, but to show how brilliant they are, this person comes out with a different point of view, which people will feel is even more right, and which will repudiate the first person’s point of view, thus showing how brilliant they are.) This is called showing off. They reject other people’s views, and then come out with their own unique perspective, one that even they don’t feel is realistic or valid—a mere slogan—yet they have to show people how brilliant they are and make everyone listen to them. They always have to be different, they always have to come up with original thoughts, they are always spouting high-sounding ideas, and no matter how feasible and practicable what other people say is, they have to vote against it, and find various reasons and excuses to abnegate other people’s viewpoints. These are the most common behaviors of people who try to come up with original thoughts and spout high-sounding ideas. Regardless of how correct or appropriate someone’s actions were, they will dismiss and ignore them. Even though they clearly know that this person acted appropriately, they still say that their actions weren’t appropriate, and make it sound as if they could have done a better job, and that they are absolutely not second to that person. People like this think that nobody is as good as they are, that they are better than other people in all respects. To them, everything that other people say is incorrect; other people are worthless, and they themselves are good in every respect. Even if they do something wrong and get dealt with, they will be unwilling to submit, they will not accept the truth at all, and they may also come out with a pile of excuses, which make others think they didn’t make a mistake, and that they shouldn’t have been dealt with. People who like coming up with original thoughts and spouting high-sounding ideas are arrogant and self-righteous in this way. Actually, these people lack real talent, and can’t do anything well, whatever they do becomes a complete shambles. But they have no self-knowledge, and they think that they are better than other people, and they dare to interfere and get involved with whatever other people are doing, and keep spouting high-sounding ideas, always wanting others to esteem them and listen to them. No matter what the situation, or what group they are in, they only want others to serve them and listen to them; they don’t want to serve or listen to anyone else. Aren’t these antichrists? This is how arrogant and self-righteous antichrists are; this is how lacking in reason they are. They only speak about specious doctrines, and if other people point out their mistakes, they have to twist words and logic, and speak in a false, pleasant-sounding way, to make people feel that they are right. No matter how correct somebody else’s opinion is, antichrists will use an eloquent manner of speaking to make it sound incorrect, and get everyone to accept their own opinion. Antichrists are people of this sort—they are exceptionally capable of misleading others, they can mislead them to the point that they are thrown into confusion, disorientated, and no longer know right from wrong. In the end, all those who lack discernment will be thoroughly misled and taken captive by these antichrists. There are people who mislead others like this in most churches. When God’s chosen people are fellowshiping the truth or sharing their experiential testimony, antichrists always stand up and express their own views. They do not open up their hearts to fellowship on their experience and knowledge in a candid way; instead, they always point things out and make critical, irresponsible remarks about other people’s experiences and knowledge, to show off how smart they are, and achieve their aim of getting others to esteem them. Antichrists are most skilled at speaking about words and doctrines; they can never share true experiential testimony, and they never talk about self-knowledge. Instead, they are always looking for problems in other people and making a big fuss about them. You never see antichrists accepting other people’s opinions with open minds, or proactively fellowshiping on their own corrupt dispositions and laying themselves bare to others. You certainly don’t see them fellowshiping on what erroneous and absurd views they harbored, and how they turned them around, and you absolutely don’t hear them acknowledging the mistakes they’ve made or their shortcomings…. Regardless of how long antichrists interact with others, they always make other people feel that they don’t have any corruption, that they were born saints and perfect people, and that others should worship them. People who truly possess reason aren’t willing to be esteemed or worshiped by others. If other people really esteem and worship them, they find this shameful, because they know they are corrupt humans with corrupt dispositions, and that they don’t possess the truth realities. They know their own measure, so whatever corruption they reveal, and whatever mistaken views they produce, they can fellowship on these things candidly and let others know about them, and doing this makes them feel very relaxed, liberated, and happy. They do not feel that it is difficult to do this at all. Even if other people judge them, look down on them, call them stupid, or despise them, they don’t feel very upset. On the contrary, they feel that this is very normal, and they can approach it correctly. Because people have corrupt dispositions, they will naturally reveal corruption. Regardless of whether you acknowledge it or not, this is a fact. If you can recognize your own corruption, that’s a good thing, and it’s even better if others can see it clearly, that way they won’t worship or esteem you. People who understand the truth and possess a bit of reason can open up their hearts and fellowship about knowing themselves; they do not find this difficult. But this is very difficult for antichrists. They view those who open up in a pure way as idiots, and view those who talk about their self-knowledge and speak honestly as foolish. Therefore, antichrists completely look down on those people. If someone can understand the truth and everyone particularly approves of them, antichrists will see that person as a nail in their eyes and a thorn in their sides, and they will judge and condemn them. They will refute the correct practices and positive things possessed by that person, and make them sound like incorrect and distorted understanding. No matter who does something that benefits the church or the brothers and sisters, antichrists will think of ways to belittle, mock, and ridicule them; no matter how good the thing they did was, or how much it benefited people, antichrists won’t think it’s worth mentioning, and they’ll trivialize it and minimize it, diminishing it to the point that it appears completely worthless. Whereas, if antichrists do a bit of something good, they will do their utmost to exaggerate and enlarge it, to make everyone see it, know that they did it, and that it was their meritorious service, so that the brothers and sisters regard them with special respect, bear them in mind constantly, feel very grateful toward them, and remember what’s good about them. All antichrists are capable of acting in this way, as are those who possess the disposition of antichrists. In this respect, antichrists are no different from the hypocritical Pharisees; in fact, they are worse than them. These are the most common and obvious typical manifestations of antichrists.
What is the attitude of antichrists toward their actions? They want to do good things in front of others, and they want to do bad things in secret. They want everyone to know about the good things they do, and to cover up all of the bad things so that no one will find out about them, to the point that not a single rumor will get out, and they feel compelled to do their utmost to hide them. This disposition of antichrists is disgusting, isn’t it? What is the purpose of antichrists acting this way? (It’s to safeguard their reputation and status.) That’s right. On the surface, they seem to not be competing for status or saying anything to get status, but everything they do and say is for the sake of protecting and retaining their status, and for the sake of possessing high prestige and a good name. Sometimes they even strive for status within a group without letting anyone see that they are doing so. Even if they do a recommendation for someone, that is, carrying out a few of the sorts of things they should do, they want to make the person they recommended feel very grateful to them, and make them know that they only had the opportunity to perform this duty because of their recommendation. Antichrists won’t ever miss this sort of opportunity. They think, “Even though I recommended you, I am still your leader, so you can’t surpass me.” Antichrists’ passion for status and reputation is quite evident. To compete for and safeguard status, they do not overlook a single glance or a single inadvertent word from anyone, much less anything that happens in any corner. Antichrists notice all these things, big or small, and the words that other people have spoken play over and over again in their minds. What is their purpose in doing this? Do they enjoy getting into arguments? No; it’s that they want to find in all this a way and an opportunity to protect their own status. They do not want their status or name to suffer losses due to some momentary negligence or carelessness. For the sake of status, they have learned how to gain “insight” into everything; whenever a brother or sister says anything that they feel is disrespectful or expresses an opinion that conflicts with their own, they do not let it go; they take it seriously, carrying out detailed research and deep analysis, and then find a corresponding response to deal with what they said, to the point where their status is solidly established in everyone’s minds and absolutely unshakable. The moment their name is damaged or they hear some words that are detrimental to it, they will quickly track down the source and try to find excuses and rationalizations with which to redeem themselves. Therefore, no matter what duties antichrists are doing, regardless of whether they are acting as leaders and workers or not, every single thing they busy themselves with and every single word they utter is for the sake of their status, and cannot be separated from their desire to protect their interests. In the depths of antichrists’ hearts, they have no concept whatsoever of practicing the truth or protecting the interests of God’s house. Therefore, the essence of antichrists can be accurately defined as follows: They are enemies of God; they are a pack of devils and Satans that have come to disturb, disrupt, and destroy the work of God’s house. They are Satan’s lackeys; they are not people who follow God, nor are they members of God’s house, nor are they people who will receive God’s salvation.
Have you felt touched by any of the things we’ve fellowshiped on today? Which part touched you? (The last part, that is, when God dissected the competitive nature of antichrists.) It’s not a good thing to always be competing. This behavior is linked to antichrists and to destruction. It is not a good path. What should people do when they possess these manifestations and revelations? What choice should they make? How should they avoid these things? These are the problems that people should think about and ponder on the most now, and they are problems that people encounter every day. How they can refrain from competing when things happen, and how they should resolve the pain and uneasiness in their heart after they compete—this is a problem that every person must face. People have corrupt dispositions, so they all compete for prestige, profit, and face, and it’s difficult for them to refrain from competing. Then, if a person does not compete, does it mean they have gotten rid of the disposition and essence of antichrists? (No, that is just a surface-level phenomenon. If their inner disposition is not resolved, then the problem of them walking the path of antichrists cannot be resolved.) So, how can the problem of them walking the path of antichrists be resolved? (In one respect, they must understand this matter, and come before God to pray when they reveal thoughts of striving for status. Furthermore, they must lay themselves bare to their brothers and sisters, and then consciously rebel against these incorrect thoughts. They must also ask for God to judge, chastise, deal with, and discipline them. Then they will be able to embark on the correct path.) That’s quite a good answer. However, this is not easy to achieve, and it’s even harder for those who love reputation and status too much. Letting go of reputation and status isn’t easy—it depends on people pursuing the truth. Only by understanding the truth can one come to know oneself, see clearly the emptiness of seeking fame, gain and status, and see clearly the truth of mankind’s corruption. Only when a person truly comes to know themselves can they abandon status and reputation. It’s not easy to cast off one’s corrupt disposition. If you have recognized that you lack the truth, are beset with deficiencies, and reveal too much corruption, yet you put no effort into pursuing the truth, and you disguise yourself and engage in hypocrisy, leading people to believe that you can do anything, then this will put you in danger—and sooner or later, there will come a time when you will hit a roadblock and fall. You must admit that you don’t have the truth, and be brave enough to face reality. You have weaknesses, reveal corruption, and are beset with all manner of inadequacies. This is normal, because you’re a regular person, you’re not superhuman or omnipotent, and you must recognize that. When other people scorn or satirize you, don’t immediately react with antipathy because what they say is unpleasant, or resist it because you believe yourself to be capable and perfect—this shouldn’t be your attitude toward such words. What should your attitude be? You should say to yourself, “I have my faults, everything about me is corrupt and flawed, and I’m simply an ordinary person. Their scorn and satirizing of me notwithstanding, is there any truth to it? If part of what they say is true, then I must accept it from God.” If you have this attitude, it is proof that you are capable of handling status, reputation, and what other people say about you correctly. Status and reputation are not easily put aside. For those who are somewhat gifted, have some degree of caliber, or are possessed of some work experience, putting these things aside is even harder. Though they may sometimes claim to have put them aside, they cannot do so in their hearts. As soon as the situation permits and they have the opportunity, they will go on striving for fame, gain, and status as they did before, because all corrupt humans love these things, it’s just that those who don’t possess gifts or talents have a slightly weaker desire to pursue status. Those who possess knowledge, talent, good-looks, and special capital, have a particularly strong desire for reputation and status, to the extent that they are filled with this ambition and desire. This is the hardest thing for them to put aside. When they have no status, their desire is in the nascent stage. Once they acquire status, when the house of God entrusts them with some important task, and particularly if they have worked for many years and have a lot of experience and capital, the desire is no longer nascent, but has already taken root, blossomed, and is about to bear fruit. If a person has the constant desire and ambition to do great things, to become famous, to become some great figure, then as soon as they commit a great evil, and its consequences take effect, they’ll be completely finished, and cast out. And so, before this leads to great calamity, they must quickly turn the situation around, while there’s still time. Whenever you do anything, and in whatever context, you must seek truth, practice being someone who is honest and obedient to God, and put aside the pursuit of status and reputation. When you have the constant thought and desire to compete for status, then you must realize what bad things this kind of state will lead to if left unsolved. So waste no time in searching for the truth, overcome your desire to compete for status while it is in the nascent stage, and replace it with practicing the truth. When you practice the truth, your desire and ambition to compete for status will be diminished, and you will not disturb the work of the church. In this way, your actions will be remembered and approved of by God. So what am I trying to emphasize? It is this: You must rid yourself of your desires and ambitions before they come to fruition and lead to great calamity. If you don’t address them while they are still in their infancy, you will miss a great opportunity; and once they have led to great calamity, it will be too late to solve them. If you lack even the will to rebel against the flesh, it will be very difficult for you to set foot upon the path of pursuing the truth; if you encounter setbacks and failure in your pursuit of fame, gain, and status, and you do not come to your senses, then this is dangerous: There is a possibility that you will be cast out. When those who love the truth encounter one or two failures and setbacks in terms of their reputation and status, they can see clearly that reputation and status have no value at all. They are able to utterly forsake status and reputation, and resolve that, even if they never possess status, they will still continue to pursue the truth and perform their duty properly, and share their experiential testimony, thereby bearing testimony to God. Even when they are ordinary followers, they are still capable of following to the very end, and all they want is to receive God’s approval. Only these are people who genuinely love the truth and have resolve. The house of God has cast out many antichrists and evil people, and some who pursue the truth, after seeing the failure of antichrists, reflect on the path that those people took, and also reflect on and know themselves. From this, they gain an understanding of God’s will, resolve to be ordinary followers, and focus on pursuing the truth and doing their duty well. Even if God says they are service-doers or lowly nobodies, it’s fine by them. They will just try to be lowly people, and small, insignificant followers in God’s eyes, who will ultimately end up being called acceptable created beings by God. People like this are the good ones and those that God approves of.
God likes people who pursue the truth, and the people He loathes the most are those who pursue fame, gain, and status. Some people really cherish status and reputation, are deeply attached to them, can’t bear to give them up. They always feel that without status and reputation there is no joy or hope in living, that there is only hope in this life when they are living for status and reputation, and even if they have a bit of renown, they will carry on fighting, never giving up. If this is the thought and view you have, if your heart is filled with such things, then you are incapable of loving and pursuing the truth, you lack the right direction and aims in your faith in God, and are incapable of pursuing the knowledge of yourself, casting off corruption and living out the image of man; you let things slide when doing your duty, you are devoid of any sense of responsibility, and are satisfied only with not committing evil, not causing disturbance, not being cleared out. Could such people do their duty to an acceptable standard? And could they be saved by God? Impossible. When you act for the sake of reputation and status, you even think, “As long as what I do isn’t an evil deed and doesn’t constitute a disturbance, then even if my motive is wrong, no one can see it or condemn me.” You do not know that God scrutinizes all. If you do not accept or practice the truth, and are spurned by God, it is all over for you. All who do not have God-fearing hearts think themselves smart; in fact, they do not even know when they have offended Him. Some people do not see these things clearly; they think, “I only pursue reputation and status in order to do more, to take on more responsibility. It doesn’t constitute a disruption or disturbance to the church’s work, and it certainly doesn’t damage the interests of God’s house. It’s not a major problem. I simply love status and protect my status, but that’s not an evil act.” On its surface, such a pursuit may seem not to be an act of evil, but what does it lead to in the end? Will such people gain the truth? Will they achieve salvation? Absolutely not. Therefore, pursuing reputation and status is not the right path—it runs in exactly the opposite direction of the pursuit of the truth. In sum, regardless of what the direction or target of your pursuit is, if you do not reflect on the pursuit of status and reputation, and if you find it very difficult to put these things aside, then they will affect your life entry. As long as status has a place in your heart, it will totally control and influence your life’s direction and the goals you strive for, in which case it will be very difficult for you to enter the truth reality, to say nothing of achieving changes in your disposition; whether you are ultimately able to gain God’s approval, of course, goes without saying. What’s more, if you are never able to put aside your pursuit of status, this will affect your ability to adequately do your duty, which will make it very difficult for you to become an acceptable created being. Why do I say this? God loathes nothing more than when people pursue status, because the pursuit of status is a satanic disposition, it is a wrong path, it is born of the corruption of Satan, it is something condemned by God, and it is the very thing that God judges and purifies. God loathes nothing more than when people pursue status, and yet you still mulishly compete for status, you unfailingly cherish and protect it, always trying to take it for yourself. And in nature, is all of this not antagonistic to God? Status is not ordained for people by God; God provides people with the truth, the way, and the life, and ultimately makes them become an acceptable created being, a small and insignificant created being—not someone who has status and prestige and is revered by thousands of people. And so, no matter what perspective it is viewed from, the pursuit of status is a dead end. No matter how reasonable your excuse for pursuing status is, this path is still the wrong one, and is not approved of by God. No matter how hard you try or how great the price you pay, if you desire status, God will not give it to you; if it’s not given by God, you will fail in fighting to obtain it, and if you keep fighting there will only be one outcome: You will be revealed and cast out, which is a dead end. You understand this, yes?
March 7, 2020