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 Six)
II. The Interests of Antichrists
Last time we fellowshiped on Item Nine of the various manifestations of antichrists: 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. We then divided the interests of antichrists into several items. The first is their own safety, the second is their own reputation and status, and the third is benefits. What do these benefits include? (The first is embezzling the assets of God’s house, the second is exploiting brothers and sisters to labor in their service, and the third is using their position to acquire food, drink, and other things by fraud under the guise of believing in God.) These “other things” include special treatment, handling their personal affairs, and so on, right? (Yes.) Does fellowshiping in this way, dividing major topics into sub-topics, and sub-topics into various aspects to fellowship on, make you feel confused? (No, it doesn’t.) In fact, the more fellowship is carried out in this way, the clearer things should become. We have fellowshiped on three items of the interests of antichrists, but there is another, which is the most important, the fourth of the interests of antichrists—their prospects and destiny. Prospects and destiny are probably the main aim that antichrists harbor in their belief in God. They are also the biggest dreams that they hold in their hearts, and the highest things they pursue deep within their hearts. You’re most likely familiar with the topic of prospects and destiny. It concerns where people will end up, where people will go, or where people are headed in the future or the next age—in short, their future destination. Isn’t this the biggest and most important thing in the heart of each and every one of God’s believers? (Yes.) Prospects and destiny are incredibly important to all who believe in God. And so, it goes without saying that for antichrists, the most core part of their interests must be their prospects and destiny, that is, their destination.
D. Their Prospects and Destiny
Let us also fellowship on prospects and destiny within the interests of antichrists from various angles and aspects so that things will be relatively clear. The various interests of antichrists that we have fellowshiped on before include both material and non-material interests. For example, one’s own safety, reputation, and status are all non-material interests; they are just intangible things in their spiritual worlds. Whereas material interests include assets, food and drink, as well as special treatment, material pleasures, and so on. So, what do the prospects and destiny of today’s fellowship involve? If we look at them from the perspective of human notions, are these tangible or intangible things? (They’re intangible things.) Therefore, they must be things that exists in people’s spiritual worlds, in their notions and imaginings, and in their minds. For people, these things are a kind of hope and sustenance, and they are what people spend their whole lives pursuing. Although these things are invisible and intangible to people, they occupy a dominant position in people’s hearts, dominate people’s entire lives, and control their thoughts and actions, their intents, and the direction of their pursuits. So, prospects and destiny are incredibly important to everyone! Though prospects and destiny are important, antichrists pursue them in a way that is completely different from normal, ordinary people. What exactly is the difference? Which aspects demonstrate this, and enable people to clearly see and discern that it is an antichrist’s method of pursuit, and the characteristic of an antichrist? Isn’t this worthy of discussion and fellowship? Of course, the manifestations of many people are similar in a lot of ways to those of true antichrists and those with the essence of antichrists. But even when their manifestations and dispositions are the same, their essences are different. Let us fellowship on the fourth of the interests of antichrists—their prospects and destiny—from various aspects.
How can we dissect prospects and destiny? What kind of method and which examples can we use to dissect that the prospects and destiny in the interests of antichrists are not in line with the truth, and that they are revelations of the essence of antichrists? From what aspects can they be dissected? This requires careful investigation. Let us divide this into several broad categories so that people can understand the essence of antichrists more accurately and clearly. The first is how antichrists treat the word of God, the second is how antichrists treat their duty, the third is how antichrists treat being pruned and dealt with, the fourth is how antichrists regard “service-doers,” and the fifth is how antichrists approach their status in the church. Why these five categories? Try to figure it out. Can you get a bit of understanding of each one? Can you find some corresponding manifestations or dispositions that belong to antichrists? What exactly should be dissected upon the foundation of these five categories? With regard to these categories, what are the main characteristics of antichrists and the primary dispositions that they display, and what are the manifestations of normal pursuers of the truth and ordinary corrupt people? What are the differences between antichrists and ordinary corrupt people? Where do these differences lie? What is the difference between the paths they have chosen? What is the difference in their manifestations? Do you have some understanding of these categories? (In these five categories, antichrists primarily do not view things based on the truth in God’s words. They always use the superficial appearance of certain things or their own situation to guess at God’s intentions based on their own notions and imaginings, to see if they have any prospects and destiny. For example, when it comes to their duty, if they can get into the limelight and satisfy their desires, vanity, and pride, they will feel like they are useful people in God’s house, and as if they have prospects and destiny. As soon as they get pruned and dealt with, they will feel that God is displeased with them, that God is dissatisfied with them, and they will become discouraged and disappointed about belief in God, and negativity and opposition will arise within them.) This summary provides some light and touches a little on the truth within this matter. Judging from the general meaning of what you’ve said, you probably have a basic understanding of these five categories. Next, we will fellowship on them one by one.
1. How Antichrists Treat the Words of God
The first category is how antichrists treat the words of God. Antichrists are also people who believe in and follow God; they too have God’s words in their hands, and listen to sermons, attend gatherings, and have normal spiritual lives. For antichrists, reading God’s words is also a part of their lives, and they do this often. Though they both read God’s words, antichrists are different from pursuers of the truth; they have a completely different attitude toward God’s words. So, how do antichrists treat God’s words? First, they research and analyze God’s words, studying them from a strange perspective and viewpoint. Why do I call it “studying”? Based on the objective situation, antichrists have to admit that these are God’s words, and they also feel in their hearts that God’s words are so high that ordinary people could not express them and that these words could not be found anywhere else. On this basis, they have no choice but to admit that these are God’s words, but do they accept God’s words as the truth? They do not. So why do antichrists still read God’s words? Because, in God’s words, there are things that they need, things that they want to know, and things that sustain them in their spiritual worlds. What are these things? They are, of course, closely related to the antichrists’ prospects and destiny. When antichrists study God’s words, they are constantly looking for words relating to destinations, outcomes, where people will end up in the future, and so on. Therefore, antichrists’ reading of God’s words is called “studying,” they are researching, analyzing, and making judgments on God’s words while reading them. They research His words while they read: “From God’s tone, it seems that He doesn’t like people of this sort. Why do I feel like I’m one of them? I should find out what destination God gives to these people.” When they see God speak about kicking such people into the bottomless pit, they think to themselves, “This isn’t good. Getting kicked into the bottomless pit means being done for, doesn’t it? People of this sort have no prospects and they do not have a good destination, so what should I do?” They feel a dull pain, uneasiness, and discomfort in their hearts. “Is this really how God treats people like this? No, I can’t give up.” With this, they continue to search God’s words. When they see God’s words saying, “My sons, I will do this and that for you, and this and that will happen to you,” they no longer feel bad. “God’s words warm my heart, they are wonderful. I am one of the ‘sons’ that God speaks of.” Then, they see “firstborn sons” and “reign as kings” mentioned in God’s words, and they think, “Great! There are benefits and a promising future to believing in God. I have chosen the right path. I have made the right bet. I must be diligent in my belief and hold on to God’s robes. I must not give up, even at the last moment!” As they continue reading, they see God’s words mention that “the one who follows to the end will be saved.” For antichrists, reading this is like grabbing hold of a lifeline. “I will practice according to these words. No matter when and where, and no matter what happens, even when the seas run dry and the rocks turn to dust, even if the blue seas turn into green fields, these words will not change. Even if heaven and earth pass away, these words will not. So long as I keep to these words, won’t I have a good outcome, a good destination? Won’t my prospects and destiny be settled? Great! I must be one who follows to the end!” By searching over and over again, researching like this and analyzing like that, they finally find a lifeline in God’s words and discover the greatest “secret.” They are filled with joy, “Finally, I don’t have to worry about being cast out, I don’t have to worry about going to the lake of fire and brimstone, I don’t have to worry about going to hell. I have finally found my destination, and I have finally found a passage to heaven, the beautiful destination of mankind—how wonderful!” But this doesn’t last long, and when they read the chapter of God’s words, On Destination, they think: “What do these words say about destinations? God doesn’t seem to speak very specifically about the destinations of various types of people. What exactly does God mean? What should I do? I shouldn’t worry, I need to keep reading.” Then, when they see God say to “prepare sufficient good deeds for your destination,” they think about it some more. “If I want to have a good destination, I need to prepare sufficient good deeds. Now that God has laid out the conditions, this makes things easier. I don’t have to keep engaging in pointless endeavors and striking out in vain—now I know where to exert my efforts.” Through fellowship, antichrists learn what good deeds are, find a “way,” and have a solution. “Turns out it was so simple. Giving alms and offerings are good deeds. Preaching the gospel and gaining more people are good deeds. Supporting the brothers and sisters is a good deed. Giving away the things that I value is a good deed. For my destination, I’ll stake it all; I’ll give all these things away!” But then they think, “No. If I give away all my money and material possessions, then how will I live in the future? I should read God’s words to see first when His work will end and when people will no longer need these things in their lives on earth. I shouldn’t rush. But if I don’t offer these things, then how can I prepare good deeds? Hosting some brothers and sisters and preaching the gospel to gain people are easy things to do. I can achieve these things.” While preparing good deeds, in their hearts they are constantly counting how many good deeds they have prepared and how likely they are to have a good destination. “I’ve prepared so many good deeds, but why doesn’t God give me a statement of resolution? God’s work has not ended yet, so what should I do? No, I have to see what else God’s words say about prospects and destiny and what other specific explanations they contain.” They continue to search God’s words over and over again. If they find something that benefits their prospects and destiny, they feel happy; if they find something that conflicts with their prospects and destiny, they feel pained. In this manner, during the years they read God’s words, they repeatedly feel negative and weak because of God’s words, and they repeatedly feel positive, happy, and overjoyed because of His words. However, no matter what states or emotions they produce, they just can’t escape their obsession with their destination, prospects, and destiny, and they continue to search God’s words for determinations and statements regarding the outcomes of various types of people. In short, they exert all the effort they can into God’s words. No matter how they read God’s words, they just don’t know that there is the truth, the way, and the life in God’s words. They only know that in God’s words, they can find their destination, mankind’s destination, and a way to avoid going to hell and losing their destination. So, after reading God’s words for many years in this way, what have they gained? They can talk about many correct doctrines and spiritual theories, but they absolutely can’t link God’s words to their essence of opposing God, rebelling against God, not practicing the truth, and not loving the truth at all.
Antichrists often research and search God’s words for His disclosures about mysteries. They also search His words for new terms, new things, and new statements, even going so far as to search for some mysteries that are unknown to any person, spiritual or otherwise, such as what the fig tree is, what the meaning of the 144,000 male children is, and what an overcomer is, as well as some statements and terms in the Book of Revelation which people have researched for so many years without understanding. They work particularly hard on these things and are constantly searching and researching whether there are any statements about people’s destinations in these words, and whether there are any clear explanations about people’s destinations. But no matter how hard they look, their efforts are always futile. Therefore, while antichrists are reading God’s words, following God, and going with the flow in the church, they always feel uneasy deep in their hearts. They often ask themselves: “Can I receive blessings? Just what are my prospects and destiny? Will there be a place for me in God’s kingdom? When my destination arrives, will I be gazing at a blue sky or will I be in a world so dark that I can’t even see my own hand? Just what is my destination?” As they keep questioning themselves like this in their hearts, they are also silently questioning God in the depths of their hearts: “Am I qualified to enter the kingdom of heaven? Can I avoid going to hell? Can I enter the kingdom of heaven by pursuing like this? Can I receive future blessings? Will I be born again into this world? What is God’s attitude? Why doesn’t God give me an accurate and specific statement on this matter so that I can have peace of mind? Just what is my outcome?” Is this not what antichrists think deep in their hearts while they study God’s words, and while they go with the flow and have no choice but to move forward? This is the attitude they harbor toward their prospects and destiny in the depths of their hearts: Their minds are constantly preoccupied by these things, they grasp onto them desperately and refuse to let go.
When antichrists study the word of God, there is something that interests them more than seeking out their destinations and researching mysteries; that is, when God incarnate will leave the earth, when He will end His ministry, when His great enterprise will be completed, when His work will end, when those who follow Him will enjoy great blessings, and see His real person. Whether they will be able to see God leave the earth is also their greatest concern. In addition to the day in which God’s management plan will be successfully completed, they are more concerned about when Christ will leave the earth, what it will be like when Christ leaves the earth, how old they are now, whether they will still be alive to see Christ leave the earth in 10 or 20 years, what will happen if they see it, and what will happen if they can’t; such are the calculations in their minds. Some ponder to themselves, “I’m already 60 years old. If I am still alive in 10 years, I should be able to see Christ leave the earth, but if I am already dead when God’s work ends in 10 years, what is the point of my belief in God? Though God has ordained me to be born in this era, if I, a follower of God, miss the chance to witness such a great and big event, then I cannot be considered a blessed person, and I won’t have received any great blessings!” Such thoughts breed unhappiness and dissatisfaction in them. To what extent are they dissatisfied? “I am already so old; why hasn’t God left the earth yet? Why hasn’t God’s work ended yet? When will we finish spreading the gospel? Let God’s work quickly end, let God quickly complete His great enterprise, let the disasters swiftly descend, let God hurry up to destroy Satan and punish evil people!” What are they doing? Are they not making demands of God based on their personal will, hoping to get Him to act according to their will? Aren’t their personal interests contained within this will of theirs? Because of their own interests, they eagerly hope for God to complete His great enterprise, for the disasters to swiftly descend, for God to hurry up and punish the evil and reward the good, and for God to receive His glory. What intentions are they harboring in their hearts? Are they considering God’s will? (No.) What are they doing? (They are hoping to receive blessings.) They want to get the work of God’s management plan to revolve around their destinations for the sake of their own interests and destinations. Is this not despicable and shameless? In all matters, what is the essence displayed by antichrists? Placing their interests above all else, and letting their interests reign supreme. That is, they do not allow anything to conflict with their interests, even God’s management plan. When God’s work will end, when His great enterprise will be completed, when He will receive glory, and when He will destroy the human race, all this must revolve around their interests and their destinations, all this must be linked to their destinations. Otherwise, they will deny God, renounce their belief in Him, and even curse Him.
One of the primary manifestations of how antichrists treat the word of God is studying. This is the attitude with which a veritable nonbeliever treats God’s word. What is it that they study? They do not study the truth, or what God requires of mankind, or His words that expose mankind, or His words that judge mankind, and they certainly do not study His will, they study their own prospects and destiny. No matter what part of the word of God they read, if it contains words that relate to their prospects and destiny—which is what concerns them the most—they will study such parts with care and mark them as important. For example, when they see words of God that expose and dissect people like them, or characterizations or statements about people like them, they will painstakingly study such words and read them over and over again. What are they looking for? Are they looking to see how they can understand God’s will and find the principles of practice? Are they looking to see how they can understand themselves through the word of God? No. They seek to read between the lines so that they can clearly see the attitude that God harbors toward people like them behind these words, whether God hates and detests them, or if He will save them. They scrutinize not only the content of these words of God but also the tone and attitude of His words and the thoughts behind them. Once they have brought together all of the parts of God’s word that relate to the destinations of people like them, and they have discovered that His attitude toward them is spurning and not salvation, their attitude toward belief in Him will immediately cool off by 80 to 90 percent. Disbelief will immediately rise in their hearts, and their attitude will undergo a 180-degree shift. What is the extent of this shift? They will no longer wish to do the duties they planned to do, or to forsake that which they planned to forsake. Though they originally wanted to preach the gospel to their families, they won’t do that anymore—since they no longer believe, and there’s no question of the people in their families believing either. In sum, they will destroy and give up on all their original plans. Is this not an essential attitude that antichrists harbor toward the word of God? Their aim in studying the word of God is not to pursue the truth and find the principles of putting the truth into practice, so that they can understand His will, and be loyal to Him; their aim is to find a precise statement on how God determines the outcomes and destinations for people like them. When they find a glimmer of hope, they will hold on to it for dear life; for this glimmer of hope, they will be able to forsake everything, and their attitude will change drastically. But when all hope of them receiving blessings is shattered, their attitude will change drastically once again, to the point of them losing their belief and resorting to betrayal, and even cursing God in their hearts. These are the manifestations of antichrists.
Of course, antichrists will also use the words of God to seek personal benefit while studying them. What kind of benefit? While studying the words of God, they summarize what the rules of God’s speech are, what His tone is when He prunes and deals with people, what His way of speaking is when He exposes mankind, how He comforts and exhorts people, what methods He uses, and what wisdom He has. Antichrists specialize in learning and imitating how God speaks and works; at the same time, they also use words commonly spoken by God to speak to and fellowship with others. While they study God’s words, they are also constantly equipping themselves with the words of the various truths in them, turning them into their own things, using these words of God to do work and accumulate capital. What does this capital refer to? For example, they believe that[a] at a gathering, whoever is more capable of speaking the right words and doctrines, whoever memorizes more of God’s words, quotes more of God’s words, and explains more of God’s words may be the kind of person in the church most able to receive salvation. No matter what antichrists do, it is linked to their prospects and destiny. They will never simply practice God’s words as the truth, nor will they suffer or pay a price for the sake of practicing God’s words. Rather, they use God’s words to mislead people, use them to elevate their own reputation, and use them to prepare sufficient conditions for their salvation. Therefore, the essence of how antichrists treat the word of God is that no matter when, they never regard the word of God as the truth or as a way people should follow. Though antichrists hold up God’s words and read them every day, and though they listen to the readings of His words, one thing is certain: They do not practice God’s words. Whenever it comes time to practice His words, their sincerity disappears—they conspire only for their own prospects and destiny. On the outside, they present a facade of loving God’s words and yearning for them. But in actuality, in reading and accumulating God’s words every day, their goal is to achieve the conditions for their salvation; they do this in the hopes of making a good impression on God in exchange. They don’t believe that God scrutinizes people’s hearts—they only know that people only look at outward appearances, so God must also only look at outward appearances, and so in these matters they engage in disguise and deceit, resorting to trickery. They think, “I only need to do this on the outside. It doesn’t matter what I think in my heart—people can’t see it, and neither can God. In fact, no matter how I read God’s words, I’m not doing it to become some kind of true created being. If my prospects and destiny were not involved, I wouldn’t endure this hardship, nor would I put up with this grievance!” In their minds, no matter how good God’s words sound, they cannot possibly be realized, and people could not possibly live them out. Even if a handful of people do live God’s words out a little, they must also be doing so for their own aims. As the unbelievers say, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” They think to themselves, “We endure such hardships for our belief in God, reading and listening to His words every day, living according to His words—what is it all for? Is it not just for that one purpose? Everyone is well aware in their hearts that it’s all for the sake of their prospects and destiny; otherwise, why would we give up the wonderful times of pursuing the world just to suffer here?” In this matter, what fact have they denied? The word of God is truth, and the truth can save people, change people, and help them cast off their corrupt dispositions. Is this not the result that the word of God can bring about? (It is.) Do antichrists admit this fact? They deny it, saying: “Everyone claims the word of God can save people, but who has it saved? Who has seen it happen? Why don’t I believe this?” Why is it said that the word of God can save people, change people, and help people break free from Satan’s corrupt disposition? Because the word of God is the truth, and it can be people’s life. When people have the word of God as their life, they can be saved; they become the ones who are saved. This fact goes unacknowledged by the antichrists. They believe that it is only for the sake of receiving blessings and a good destination that people have gotten to where they are now, and that this is the only reason people do their duty in the house of God. They deny the fruits of God’s word, deny the results the truth achieves in people, and deny that the truth can conquer people, change people, and save people. They believe people follow God only out of concern for and in pursuit of their own prospects and destiny. They do not believe that the word of God can change people, make them loyal to God, make them submit to God unconditionally, or make them do their duties as created beings in the house of God—they don’t believe any of this. Therefore, people like antichrists who put their interests first do not pursue the truth themselves; while treating God’s words as a kind of rhetoric, a kind of statement, they do not believe that these words of God can save people. They believe that all those who are sincere and loyal to God are fake and have their own interests involved. No matter how many of God’s words they hear, no matter how many of God’s sermons they hear, what ultimately remains in their hearts are just those two words—prospects and destiny. That is, God’s words, God’s work, and God’s management plan can bring about good prospects and destiny for people, and bring about a good destination for them. For antichrists, this is what is most genuine, it is the most supreme truth. Were it not for this, first, they would not believe in God. Second, they would not endure such grievances to stay in the house of God. Third, they would not do any duties in the house of God. Fourth, they would not endure any hardships in the house of God. And fifth, they would have long since returned to worldly life to indulge in wealth and glory, pursue the world, pursue fame and gain, pursue money, and pursue wicked trends. They temporarily take up residence in the house of God now only because their prospects and destiny are involved. They have a determined attitude toward securing their prospects and destiny, while also harboring a mentality of taking a chance, hoping that when God’s work ends, they will be among those who enter the kingdom of heaven and receive great blessings. What kind of mentality is this? They want to seek profits from God to achieve their goals, yet they don’t want to submit to Him; moreover, they don’t even believe all the words that God has said, nor do they believe that God is sovereign over all things. Isn’t this a bit wicked? When it comes to their attitude of studying the word of God, they are nonbelievers. That antichrists can use such an attitude to research, read, and treat God’s words shows that they are textbook nonbelievers, outright nonbelievers through and through. So why can they still perform some superficial work in the house of God and continue to follow without falling away? No matter how they are pruned and dealt with, why can they stay and even participate in church life, and keep listening to and reading God’s words? Why is this? (They want to receive blessings.) It’s because they want to receive blessings. As the unbelievers say, “Whoever feeds me is my mother, and whoever gives me money is my father.” What kind of logic is this? Is this logic not filled with Satan’s philosophy for worldly dealings? It is under the sway of this satanic philosophy that they believe in God: “I don’t care what kind of extraordinary work You’ve done—whatever Your disposition or essence may be, as long as You can grant me blessings, a good destination, and a good future, and let me have great blessings, I will follow You and regard You as God for now.” Is there any component of genuine faith here? (No.) Therefore, in terms of how they treat God’s words, characterizing such people as antichrists and nonbelievers is all too accurate!
The attitude of antichrists toward God’s words is one of studying. They never regard the word of God as the word of God; what do they regard it as? A collection of mysteries? A fantastical story? Obscure and incomprehensible texts? When they read God’s words, they are not seeking His will, nor are they trying to understand His will or disposition. Nor do they want to know God, let alone be mindful of His will. When they hear God say, “My urgent intention at present is to seek out a group of people who are capable of being absolutely mindful of My will,” are they moved? They say: “What’s all this stuff about seeking people who are mindful of God’s will? What’s the use of being mindful of Your will? Will doing this keep me fed or allow me to earn money? Does being mindful of God’s will lead to a good destination? Can it bring me great blessings? If it can’t do these, then forget it; I don’t need to be mindful. I am searching for a path to avoid being cast down into hell and to secure a good destination. If being mindful of Your will can bring me blessings, then I will be mindful. Just tell me how.” Do you think they can meet the requirements set forth by God? (No.) God proposes just one: to do God’s will, to fear God and shun evil. In doing this, you are being mindful of His will and can receive great blessings. When antichrists hear this, they think, “I got ahead of myself, I shouldn’t have been taken seriously. I’m not capable of being mindful of God’s will, forget it. This way won’t work; I’ll find another.” They then start putting effort into other aspects of God’s words. They put their efforts into researching and analyzing other aspects, but after all the analyzing, all they get from it is just a few words and doctrines. Because they do not love the truth, and because they regard their own interests, prospects, and destiny as the lifelong objects of their pursuit, God’s words have become mere catchphrases for them. They have never experienced any enjoyment from God’s work or the guidance of the Holy Spirit. When they read God’s words, they see no light and obtain no enlightenment or sustenance. All they gain is a few words and doctrines, and some disclosures and sayings about mysteries and destinations. When they regard these sayings and doctrines as capital, they seem to feel they have taken control of their own destinations, that they have secured their own destinations. However, amid the continuous exposure, judgment, and chastisement of God’s words, or amid God’s requirements for man at different stages, they feel as if they have lost their destinations and cannot be saved. During this period, they are always feeling ill at ease inside; they are constantly engaged in mental struggles deep within themselves for the sake of securing a good destination. They will struggle because of one of God’s sentences, they will become negative because of another one of God’s sentences, and they will feel happy because of yet another. However, regardless of whether they are happy or they are grasping at a life-saving straw, for such people, this is only fleeting. So, in the end, some antichrists feel as if people like them cannot be saved; they see from God’s words that He does not seem to like people such as them—can they receive blessings or not? Just what are their prospects and destiny? They feel these are unknowns, they are uncertain about them. At this point, what will they do? Can they repent? Can they, like the people of Nineveh, abandon the evil in their hands, turn back to confess and repent to God, accept God’s words as their life, and accept God’s words as the foundation of their existence? They cannot. Therefore, after many years of pursuit, many years of hope, and many years of studying God’s words, if they conclude that those like them simply cannot receive blessings, have no hope at all, are absolutely not the ones God will save, and cannot get what they want, what will they do? (They will leave God.)
There is a spiritual saying, “I renew my oath to love God: I dedicate my heart and mind to Him.” This saying is very “grand.” When I first heard these words, I deeply felt the “grandeur” of human language in My heart. People regard their oaths as so precious, so pure and flawless; they regard their dedication of love as so pure and sacred. Are antichrists able to renew their oaths to love God and dedicate their hearts and minds to Him? (They are not.) Why not? Some people say: “After reading so many of God’s words, when I see that my way of thinking is not working or getting results, I just renew my oath to love God, and repeat the oath I originally made to Him. Isn’t this turning back? It’s not difficult.” Can antichrists do such a thing? (They can’t.) Why can’t they? Isn’t “I renew my oath to love God” the wisest statement of man? Isn’t it man’s greatest and purest love? So why can’t antichrists manage this? (Antichrists have no understanding of God, let alone true love. Their love is all false and based on their interests. Once there are no benefits for them to gain, they will turn their backs and leave.) When antichrists reach this point, they feel that something has gone wrong and that they have made the wrong bet. To raise their spirits, they need to use a slogan or theory to support their spiritual worlds—what kind of slogan? “I renew my oath to love God: I dedicate my heart and mind to Him.” This means that they are going to start again. Otherwise, they won’t be able to go on living, and their belief in God will end. God speaks every day during His work, and every time He speaks, His words are all about the truth—they are all words that expose man’s corrupt dispositions, that demand how people should enter into the truth realities and understand the truth principles—they are all these words. And so, antichrists think: “Why do none of these words talk about destinations or mention matters to do with gaining blessings? Doesn’t this mean that our prospects and destiny have come to nothing in the hands of God? Is God’s promise to us no more? If God never mentions these things, then perhaps our hopes are going to be dashed. If our hopes are dashed, what should we do? That’s easy. If God’s words don’t say anything about these things, then let’s use a human method: Let’s renew our oaths to love God!” How did people have such great enthusiasm, such great love and faith when they first came to believe in God? When these reached their climax, people made resolutions before God and swore oaths, saying: “No matter when and where I am in this life, I will expend myself for God and dedicate myself to Him without any complaints or regrets. No matter rain or shine, no matter the ups or downs, no matter if I’m sick, and no matter the tribulations, I will follow Him to the end, until the seas run dry and the rocks turn into dust. If I violate this oath, I will be struck down by thunder from heaven and I won’t have a good destination.” Why are their oaths gone now? They feel that it’s because too much time has passed, and it has worn away their faith and love. In their hearts, they think: “No, I have to raise my spirits. I have to be as fresh and lively, and have as much faith and enthusiasm as I did back then. I have to regain my ideals, my destination, and my desire to receive blessings. That way, won’t my faith in God and my love for Him be as great as before? Won’t my true dedication to Him be the same as before?” However, no matter how much a person who does not pursue the truth at all struggles deep in their heart or how much they recall their original faith in and enthusiasm for God, this cannot change their current situation. What is this situation? When their prospects and destiny come to nothing, when their prospects and destiny drift further and further away from them, when their desire to receive blessings is almost shattered, and when all their hopeful thoughts and all their desires can’t be realized, it becomes very difficult for them to persist—it is very painful for them in the depths of their heart to persist in this way. They often experience a state and mood where it seems as if they can no longer hold on. They often look forward to when God’s work will be completed so that they may enjoy the blessings of the kingdom of heaven. Some people even hope, “Let God’s work quickly end, let the great disasters swiftly descend—if the sky falls, everyone will die, no one should expect good results. If I can’t obtain blessings, then no one should!” Deep in their hearts, they do not hope for God’s kingdom to come, they do not hope for God’s great enterprise to be completed, and they do not hope for God’s six-thousand-year management plan to finally be glorified, or for God to gain overcomers among mankind and lead mankind to a beautiful destination—they do not hope for these things. On the contrary, when all their desires for blessings are facing destruction, deep down in their hearts, they curse God’s work, they are sick of God’s work, and even more, they are sick of His words.
For some people now, after listening to so many years of sermons, the more they listen, the more they understand, the clearer their hearts become, and the more they want to hear. By contrast, other people feel more averse the more they listen to sermons. As soon as they hear God’s words, their demonic side reveals itself. As soon as they listen to God fellowship on the truth and it touches on man’s corrupt dispositions, their rebellious mindset surfaces, and their aversion comes out lock, stock, and barrel—how far do they take this? Some curse in their hearts: They curse God, curse the truth, curse the church leaders and workers, and curse those who pursue the truth more. When they see those kinds of people, they dislike them and wish to attack them. When they see such people preach God’s words, ponder God’s words, and fellowship on God’s words, they curse in their hearts until they tire and feel sleepy. Therefore, some people’s eyes light up as soon as they hear fellowship on God’s words, whereas when others hear fellowship on God’s words or hear someone say that they have received some kind of light from God’s words, their minds become confused, their thoughts become unclear, and their spirits sink. Their hearts feel so smothered that they can’t breathe, and they always yearn to go outside to catch a breath of fresh air. But when you fellowship about things like prospects and destinies, God’s blessings, when God’s work will end, and mysteries, no matter how small the room is or how bad the air is, they do not go out for air or doze off, they prick up their ears and listen. It doesn’t matter how long you talk for, even if they must go without sleep or food. When some new believers came into contact with Me, I fellowshiped with them on people’s states and how people should pursue the truth, but they didn’t understand and asked Me if I could talk about some mysteries. I said: “You want to hear about mysteries? Then let Me tell you a fact first. Those who constantly inquire about mysteries and always pay attention to researching these things in God’s words are no good. They are all nonbelievers and Pharisees.” The new believers were dumbstruck at My response and too embarrassed to enquire further, but they found an opportunity to ask again later, and I responded to them in the same way. What do you think about how I answered them? (It was good. It could help them to reflect on themselves.) Would they reflect? They wouldn’t. Then how can you help them? Just tell them: “Mysteries are not life or the truth. No matter how many mysteries you understand, it won’t equate to you understanding the truth. Even figuring out every mystery won’t equate to you being able to go to heaven or have a good destination.” What do you think about helping them with these words? Doesn’t this explain the matter perfectly? When people who have spiritual understanding, love the truth, and pursue the truth hear these words, they say, “I thought mysteries were life, but now that I know they are not, I won’t research them anymore. So, what is life?” This shows they have understood a little. So, are antichrists helped after hearing these words? Do they transform? They are not able to transform. They do not find any benefits in these words, they believe there are no blessings in these words, that they do not involve their prospects and destiny, that they are unrelated and unlinked to their prospects and destiny, and that they are useless, so they cannot accept them. So, what fellowship is linked to their prospects and destiny? You can say, for example: “Nowadays, there are many strange phenomena appearing in the world. In some places, four moons have appeared, and a blood moon has been observed several times. Strange celestial phenomena often occur. Various plagues and disasters have also appeared in the human world, and in some places, people have been engaging in cannibalism. Looking at the situation, we’ve already arrived in the time of the bowls and plagues that were prophesized in the Book of Revelation.” When antichrists hear these words, their eyes light up, and their ears prick up. They rejoice, “It’s good that I was born in this era. I can receive great blessings. I’m truly smart! I did not choose to pursue worldly things. I gave up my worldly prospects and my family to follow this stage of God’s work—I’m so glad that I was able to follow till now. God’s day is at hand. Based on the situation, it appears that I will be able to reach the day when God’s work is completed before I die. On that day, I am sure to be one of those saved by Him. How wonderful!” In their hearts, they secretly rejoice that they have chosen the right path, found the right door, and paid some prices. They also rejoice that they have followed up to this point without giving up, that they are still in God’s house, and have not caused any trouble, or been cleared out or expelled. So, from then on, will they practice the truth or continue holding onto the same hopes? Their innermost attitude will not change. Therefore, when they find a part of God’s words that they believe has been fulfilled, they feel as if they have found a treasure. They immediately feel that they are fortunate, that they have chosen the right path, entered the right door, and chosen the right God, and that they are wise people and wise virgins. “Thankfully, I gave up my job back then. I made the right choice. How am I so smart? If I hadn’t been so careful back then, I might have missed out on blessings now. I have to continue to be careful in the future and devote my life to struggling for my prospects and destiny.” What essence of antichrists do you see in this matter? Are these people not opportunists? They have no real belief in God, His words, or His work. They are opportunists, people who have snuck into God’s house. Therefore, in God’s house, these people are always just seat-fillers, drifting through their days. They count on their fingers how many years they have followed God, the prices they have paid, the great things they have done, the work of God that they have personally experienced, and the steps of God’s work they have some understanding of. They calculate these things in their hearts all day long, over and over again, leaving behind the most important things which are of the truth and life. They believe in God only to receive blessings—this is opportunism. None of God’s words, nor anyone’s experiential knowledge, can ever change their opportunistic attitude. This is how antichrists are. They will never make any concessions when it comes to their own interests; they will never change their views, change the direction and goals of the path they are walking, or change their principles of comportment for the sake of their prospects and destiny. They will not put any of God’s words into practice for their prospects and destiny, not a single one. Some say: “They do put some words into practice occasionally, such as by forsaking things or expending themselves.” No matter what they put into practice, they do so on the premise that they have prospects and destiny and can receive blessings. No matter what truth they put into practice, it is adulterated and done with an intent and a goal. This is completely different from the practice required by God.
When antichrists read God’s words, they mainly use His words to look for their destination and for mysteries, along with content related to when God’s work and management plan will end, and when the disasters will descend, and so on. For the sake of their own destination, they can exert a lot and do many things. So, when God’s work ends and the great disasters descend, whether the things they’ve done, the prices they’ve paid, and the things they’ve abandoned can be exchanged for the blessings they desire, and whether they can avoid the suffering of the disasters—this is what they want to know and what they care about. Through the entire process of them studying God’s words, no matter how many years it takes, they only care about their own prospects and destiny. Therefore, their focus while reading God’s words and the content they look for in God’s words all have some special signs and characteristics. Generally, in the first six months or year, new believers search for such topics in God’s words. But after six months or a year have passed, some people see that they have read all of these parts before, and they find that it is meaningless to research them further, that they can’t enable people to enter into the truth, and that they can even impact and disturb them from entering into the truth, so they don’t read these parts anymore. For them, it’s enough to just occasionally give them a look and understand them. The rest of the time, they ponder, “How can I enter into the truth? There are many words of God that expose mankind. They expose people’s deceitfulness, rebelliousness, and arrogant dispositions; they expose people’s various religious notions and attitudes toward God. Even more, they expose people’s various manifestations of abnormal humanity. So, how can I find what people should practice from God’s words?” People who love and pursue the truth dedicate their efforts to these things. They often ask about practical problems that they need to understand and enter into in their real lives like, “What should we do next, and how should we practice? After believing in God, we are sure to be different from unbelievers and people with religious convictions, so what qualitative changes should occur in our lives? In terms of conducting ourselves and dealing with the world, how should we speak and act, how should we interact with others, and how should we put the truth into practice?” However, even if antichrists believe for 10, 20, or 30 years, they will never ask these questions. They study God’s words, and search for the hope of receiving blessings and for their destination in God’s words, and even if they search for 20 or 30 years they won’t be sick of doing this. As soon as there’s the slightest sign of trouble, they quickly search for content related to their destination in God’s words, then evaluate what God’s attitude toward them might be based on their current belief. They seem to judge their destination in terms of cycles and periods. They will never change their thoughts and attitudes and come to pursue the truth because of changes in God’s way of working or the expression of His urgent intention toward mankind. They will never do such a thing. Therefore, some people who have believed for 20 or 30 years are still dedicating their efforts to those mysteries and those topics mentioned by God that involve the destiny and destination of mankind. To what extent are some people dedicating their efforts? They say: “When I compared each part of God’s words, I discovered the greatest mystery. When Christ leaves the earth, it will be in spring.” How do you think I feel after hearing this? Do I feel happy or sad? I feel neither happy nor sad. I think it is ridiculous. There really are people who dedicate their efforts to this, to the point where they know the specific season. If they can go further and discover the specific time, to the point where they are accurate to the minute and second, they really would be “geniuses”! That such “geniuses” can discover something that I do not even know Myself really is both ridiculous and exasperating. Why is it ridiculous? No person knows the exact time when God became flesh, not even Satan knows this. Would God let any person know something that even Satan does not know? Of course not. Likewise, when it comes to the time when God will complete His great enterprise, and when His flesh will finish work on earth and leave—is this something God would tell anyone? Is there a reason for everyone to know this? (There isn’t.) Will God let slip anything He does not want people to know when He speaks? Absolutely not. Yet some people actually say that they have found the time when God will leave the earth in His words. They even say it will be in spring. Isn’t this strange? Isn’t it ridiculous? Which words of God do these people base this statement on? When God spoke about doing something in spring, He could have been referring to something else. Could He be referring to this? How could they project it onto this? God will clearly and explicitly tell people what He wants them to know. People won’t be able to understand that which He does not want them to know, no matter how much research they do; such things are impossible for mankind to know. These people say that they know, and that their research has gotten results. They even give a specific time. Is this not speaking nonsense? This is misleading people, disturbing their minds, and disrupting their vision. This comes from Satan and is absolutely not enlightenment from God. He would not enlighten people on this. It’s useless for them to know this. God would absolutely never accidentally let slip anything He does not want people to know. That’s why I say it’s ridiculous. So why is it exasperating? (God expresses the truth so that people can change their corrupt dispositions through these words, and to enable people to pursue and gain the truth, but antichrists use His words to research destinations and mysteries.) This is also a bit exasperating, but what is the real reason for My exasperation? For example, if a wealthy parent makes a lot of money for their children, and their children are still young and have to rely on their parent to raise them, and their livelihoods completely depend on that parent, will those children hope for their parent to die quickly? Will they find a fortune teller to quickly calculate when their parent will die? Does anyone act this way? (No.) If they did, wouldn’t it be exasperating? It would be exasperating! Such people are hateful! Now that God has come to earth, even if His flesh can live for over a hundred years and work for a hundred years, the truths that people can understand are limited. Think about it, from the incarnation of the Lord Jesus to the current stage of God’s work, how many truths has mankind gained in these two thousand years? Mankind basically doesn’t understand the truth. In this stage, God has been working for 30 years, and He has been speaking for nearly 30 years. Those who have read God’s words the most have been reading them for 30 years. How many truths have people come to understand? Their understanding is very limited. The speed at which mankind enters into the truth is slow. That is, to work the truth into people and turn it into their lives is quite difficult and very slow. Yet even with how slow it is, some people still hope, “When will God leave the earth? When will God’s work end?” Would God leaving the earth and His work ending benefit them? The day God leaves the earth, they will die. They will be sentenced to death. What do they have to be happy about? What type of person is this? Are they not lacking in morals? They are called unfilial sons among worldly people. We call them nonbelievers and antichrists, and they are no good.
When the content of The Word Appears in the Flesh was being expressed, many people believed that “God incarnate is just doing work. He is carrying out a few steps of work, He has several ways of working, and several ways of speaking, and that’s it, after that His work will be done. After His work is done, the flesh will be of no further use, and there will be no need for Him to speak anymore. We will have gained something and just need to look forward to the day that God’s work is completed. Once we can talk about and preach these words of God, we will have a destination and receive great blessings.” Some people harbored this attitude. Then, I fellowshiped many more words, namely the words of On Knowing God, as well as the words I am fellowshiping during this period of time. When some people saw this, they thought, “Aren’t God’s words all contained in The Word Appears in the Flesh? Why has He now expressed the volume On Knowing God? Why does God keep expressing more and more words? From now on, He should talk about some mysteries, some matters of heaven, and how people will walk with God in heaven in the future. Talking about these things really puts us in high spirits!” What kinds of people had these thoughts? (Antichrists.) Why did they develop these thoughts? Because they are not interested in the truth at all. They thought, “We have been following God for many years. We know how God worked in the beginning. We have personally experienced several steps of God’s work. We have also personally experienced the ways God speaks and seen this with our own eyes. We are God’s witnesses and the generation most worthy of receiving blessings.” They did not follow God because He spoke and expressed the truth but because of God’s predestination. God led them to experience several steps of work, and they followed God passively. Later, when God’s work continued to progress, He chose more people who could keep up with His current stage of work. The focal recipients of God’s work continuously expanded and shifted. Some people who followed God at the start were gradually cast out because they did not pursue the truth, because they had come to hold various notions and misunderstandings about God, and because various kinds of disobedience and dissatisfaction had arisen in them regarding God. There were both subjective and objective reasons for casting these people out. Subjectively, because they did not pursue the truth, and they took God’s words as doctrines and preached them far and wide, like the Pharisees. Until now, some people still don’t understand what the truth realities are—they are like dead people. Objectively, the people who were cast out were people who personally experienced the start of God’s new work, but because of their character, pursuit, and caliber, they were not qualified for God’s subsequent, newer work. As such, these people were quickly cast out and thrown away by the steps of God’s work. It can be said that for a period of time before the words of On Knowing God were expressed, many people secretly rejoiced deep in their hearts, saying: “The person I opposed and condemned finally has nothing to say. The steps of His work have finally been completed. In the past, I had notions about Him. I disobeyed Him and felt dissatisfied with Him, and I also condemned and opposed Him. Sure enough, I was right. He is not God; He is not Christ. It doesn’t matter how I treat Him because He is not God. He is only God’s outlet, God’s spokesperson.” What’s more, some even said: “This flesh is no different from us. It is the Spirit within Him that speaks and does work; it has nothing to do with this flesh.” Some people secretly condemned and blasphemed Christ in this audacious way. When the truths of The Word Appears in the Flesh Volume 2: On Knowing God were expressed, these people who condemned and blasphemed Christ felt uneasy in their hearts. What was the reason for this unease? In one respect, they had long-held notions in their hearts, they had set themselves against the person who expressed the truth. They had disobeyed and felt dissatisfied with this person, and even condemned and blasphemed Him. In another respect, the words expressed by God after 2013 disclosed many mysteries hitherto unknown to mankind. These mysteries had a certain effect of strengthening the faith of new believers who had yet to lay down solid foundations, and brought certainty to their doubtful hearts in an instant. Whereas for those who had believed in God for many years but previously opposed, condemned, and blasphemed Christ, these mysteries dealt them a head-on blow, making them feel even more uneasy. They thought, “Now we’re completely finished. We’ve been cast out by God. He doesn’t want us. God expressed so many words before, but we always regarded Him as a human being. We thought that after the steps of His work were completed, the rest would have nothing to do with Him, that this person would have finished His service, and that from then on, we would interact with the God in heaven and believe in the God in heaven. We held notions about the God on earth. We disobeyed and disdained Him.” Through the words expressed during the period of 2013, a lot of these people’s audacity was extinguished. Before this, some people developed doubts about God’s work. They resisted and blasphemed God’s incarnate flesh, and some even abandoned their belief. Why was this? Because they developed notions. They not only denied God incarnate and God’s work, they also denied God’s existence. Based on these people’s attitude toward God, what outcome should they have? Based on their attitude and view toward God, what is their essence? (That of a nonbeliever.) The first main characteristic of nonbelievers is opportunism. Once they find their own interests in God’s word, they will grasp onto them, refuse to let go, and try to benefit from His words. The second is that they are capable of blaspheming God anytime and anywhere, they are capable of developing notions about God anytime and anywhere, and when one little thing isn’t in line with their notions, they are capable of judging, condemning, and opposing God. They do not fear God at all. These people all have the essence of antichrists; they are all antichrists. What is their other characteristic? These people have absolutely no love for the truth. They were the first to receive God’s words, they were the first to hear God’s words, and they were also the ones who personally experienced the steps and methods of God’s work. These people have been believing for 30 years now, but the vast majority of them cannot do any duties in God’s house, and they have no experiences to talk about. Everywhere they go, they just talk about those dead words and doctrines. What is their most obvious characteristic? They have believed in God for 30 years, but their dispositions have not changed at all, and they have no fear or understanding of God. They are capable of casually judging God’s incarnate flesh in secret, and even of making a fuss and condemning God without the slightest dread or fear. They do not love the truth, they are sick of the truth, and they oppose the truth. When it comes to God incarnate, they dare to say anything; they dare to evaluate and judge everything, and whenever they develop notions, they dare to disseminate them. Are these people not abhorrent? (They are.) Are they people of God? They have believed in God for 30 years, but they possess no realities, and their dispositions have not changed at all—are these not dead people? Can’t those who really pursue the truth and really possess normal humanity understand and enter into some truths after believing in God for just three years? (They can.) But there are people who have believed in God for 30 years without having any experiences at all. If you ask them to talk about their experiences, they will only talk about doctrines, slogans, and lecturing words. So, what effort have they put into God’s words in the past 30 years? What have they gained? It goes without saying that they do not accept God’s words. They accept God’s words about giving blessings and promises to mankind, His nice-sounding words, His comforting and exhorting words, and words that are pleasing to the ear, but they do not accept any of the truths expressed by God or any of His requirements for mankind. They don’t accept a single one. Should these people not be cast out? (They should.) Is casting out such people an injustice? (No.) That is because they deliberately sin despite clearly knowing the truth.
God has done so much work and said so many words in the last days, and people have experienced it, and witnessed each step of God’s work with their own eyes. No matter what perspective it is viewed from, that God expresses so many truths and saves so many people is indisputable, and no one should question it. However ordinary and normal God incarnate is, however beneath notice He seems to man, people should still accept His words as the truth. Some say, “As God incarnate is so insignificant and so ordinary, and not great at all, how could we be made to admire Him? Could such an ordinary flesh be capable of any great work? Can we really receive great blessings from Him? We don’t know; all we can do is treat Him as an ordinary person.” Others say, “Because some of the things You have done have left us unconvinced, and some have given us notions, and some are incomprehensible to us, and because You have said some things that are unacceptable to us, You cannot represent the God in heaven—and so we must fight You to the very end. If You ask us to spread the gospel, we will not; if You ask us to do our duty, we will not; and if You ask us to accept the truth, we will not. We shall fight the person that You are to the very end—let’s see what You can do to us.” In the hearts of these people who do not accept the truth at all, there are a thousand—ten thousand—reasons to deny the work of God, to deny that the words of God are the truth, and to deny His incarnate flesh. But there is one thing that might not be so clear to them: No matter how many reasons they have, if they do not accept these truths, they will not be saved. If you do not accept the person that I am or submit to the work of God, that is fine—I will not force you. But if you do not acknowledge these words of God to be the truth and put them into practice as the truth, I tell you this in all honesty: You will never be saved, nor will you ever pass through the gate of the kingdom of heaven. If you circumvent these words of God, these truths, and this Christ who works and saves mankind, then no matter how much doctrine you understand, or how great the hardships you endure, you shall not gain the truth; you are just a piece of trash. No matter your reason for believing in God, and no matter your goal in doing your duty, you cannot be saved. And if you cannot be saved, what blessings can you receive? Some people vie with the God in heaven, some vie with the God on earth, and dare to contest the words of God and the truth, to the extent that they do not even care what their own outcome and destination will be like. Is this not vile? These degenerates are so wicked! Every one of them is evil. They are all nonbelievers, opportunists, people without shame, and this is the essence of antichrists.
I just fellowshiped on the attitude of antichrists toward God’s words. When antichrists approach God’s words, they don’t seek the truth or the principles of practice from within them. They do not seek to understand from God’s words how to attain the way of fearing God and shunning evil, and they certainly do not seek to understand the will of God, so that they can become a person who satisfies His will. Rather, they want to find their desired destination in God’s words, as well as the various benefits they desire, including whether they can receive blessings and how they can receive more grace in this life, and whether they can receive a hundred times as much in the next life, and so on. These are the things they search for in God’s words. Therefore, no matter what perspective you look at it from, antichrists never regard God’s words as the truth, nor do they think God’s words are the truth and should be accepted by mankind. Their attitude toward God’s words is that they want to use God’s words to get their desired blessings and destination. They want to use God’s words as a springboard to attain the things they pursue and achieve their goals. Based on their pursuit, the path they take, and their attitude toward God’s words, these people are a bunch of nonbelievers, a bunch of opportunists. When antichrists cannot find their desired benefits and destination in God’s words, or when, in the process of studying God’s words, God’s words about prospects and destinies or God’s promises to mankind disappoint them, and their desires cannot be satisfied, they unceremoniously and without hesitation set aside the words of God that they hold in their hands, they forsake and abandon God, and pursue the life they desire. They do not come before God to accept His salvation. When they read God’s words, they do not regard them as the truth, instead they want to use God’s words to achieve their personal goals and satisfy their personal desires and ambitions. As such, they tirelessly search God’s words for their outcome and destination. They search for what God says about disasters, His disclosures about mysteries, His disclosures about mankind’s development, and some behind-the-scenes information about His work. This is the content that they care about. They are not interested in anything outside of this scope. They even frequently despise and resist some of God’s requirements for corrupt mankind. They even get sick of God’s exposure of corrupt mankind. They often find fault with the wording and tone of speaking used in God’s words, and try to find something they can use against God. For example, when God exposes mankind as “whores” and “prostitutes,” they say: “How can these be God’s words? God would not speak like this! God should speak in a refined, gentle, and considerate manner.” When it comes to some of God’s words that are not in line with human notions, not in line with human grammar, and not in line with the conventional reasoning of corrupt humans, they think, “These are not God’s words, God would not speak like this! God is so supreme, great, and unfathomable, so how could His words be so ordinary? How could they be so out of line with conventional reasoning? If God’s words are the truth, they should be spoken in such a way that everyone holds them in high esteem, worships them, and admires them. They should all be unfathomable—that’s how God’s words should be!” When it comes to God’s words, they have various notions, various delimitations, and even various requirements. Based on their requirements and delimitations, it can be seen that the essence of antichrists is the essence of Satan. Their attitude toward God and God’s words is to research, to resist, to judge, to look for something to use against God, and to find fault. They do not put any effort into the truth in God’s words, nor do they submit to, accept, or practice it. Therefore, the essence of antichrists is the essence of Satan and evil spirits. How antichrists treat God’s words is also how they treat God. God’s words represent God Himself. All truths expressed by God represent His disposition, His essence, and even more, His identity and status. No matter if these words are spoken by God’s flesh or God’s Spirit, and no matter what content He expresses, these words undoubtedly represent God. Therefore, antichrists researching and analyzing God’s words and developing notions about them, is equal to developing notions about God. They are scrutinizing God. Since they don’t believe God’s words and don’t accept God’s words, they don’t believe in God’s existence, they certainly don’t believe that God’s words are the truth, and cannot submit to God. This is the essence of antichrists.
Some say: “God incarnate is too insignificant and too ordinary. His words and actions often make me develop notions, and are not at all in line with my imaginings. I see that God incarnate is just an ordinary person. He does not represent God, so no matter how many truths He expresses in His words and work, He’s not like God.” Where do these words come from? What do they represent? Do they not represent Satan? From start to finish, Satan has never acknowledged God’s identity and status. It has never believed that God’s words are the truth and it has certainly never accepted God’s words. As such, when Satan speaks to God, it wants to do so on an equal footing. The way it speaks is to ridicule and mock God, to trick God, and it has no place for God in its heart. And the things that antichrists do and the words that antichrists say are exactly the same as those of Satan. Their essence is the same, except that Satan is invisible to mankind, while antichrists are visible and tangible; they are Satans clothed in human skin. Were they not Satans, they would not be able to do and say such things. Satan often lies, and it believes that God’s words are also lies. Satan often tricks people and is crooked, deceitful, and wicked, and it believes that God speaks in the same way. No matter what God says, antichrists will always exaggerate and embellish God’s words, adding their own meaning and making arbitrary explanations. What’s more, they even think that some of God’s words are not as brilliant as theirs, not up to their level and high standards, and not sufficient to conquer corrupt mankind. Therefore, they want to bring the means, tone, and content of God’s words before some people to analyze and judge them, and even more so, to criticize and condemn them. What is their purpose in doing this? While following God, they look forward to gaining the prospects and destiny they want from this God, and wait to gain the destination they want from this God. So why do they still act like this? Isn’t this slapping themselves in the face? There is only one reason. That is, in their eyes, the words spoken by such a God are too common and ordinary—His actions are too ordinary as well. Such a God is not the one they want to revere, or the one in their imaginings, and He is not compatible with them. If they follow such a God, their destination and their prospects and destiny may all fall through. Therefore, they vehemently defy such a God. They judge Him, undermine Him, and they try to sabotage, disturb, and ruin His work, so that He cannot do it. Then their purpose will be achieved. Some say: “If they achieve their purpose, then won’t their destination be gone?” This type of person simply does not acknowledge the existence of God, nor do they acknowledge God’s incarnate flesh, let alone the fact of His management work saving mankind. They are simply betting and gambling. If this God is really brought down, then they can do whatever they want and they will no longer have to suffer such hardships in God’s house. Then, they can feel at ease returning to the world, to wicked trends, and to what they call a normal life. They won’t need to endure any disasters, they won’t need to undergo any kind of refinement, and they certainly won’t have to endure the judgment and chastisement of God’s words. All this will cease to exist, and the world will continue on as usual. This is what they long for in their dreams. Are these people not wicked? What is the root of their wickedness? (Their essence is Satan, so they hate God.) In fact, deep in the hearts of these antichrist demons, in their spirits, they can feel it—they know how God sees people like them. God hates people like them. They are incompatible with God. Their humanity and nature essence are detested by God. Therefore, no matter how hard they work and no matter how much they wish to receive blessings, their final result will not hinge on their will. They cannot change any of the facts. They are incompatible with God. They are incompatible with God’s words. They are incompatible with Christ. So how will they ultimately end up? They are all destined to perish. They have a faint understanding of this result in their hearts, so why do they still stay in God’s house? They just aren’t willing to give up such a good opportunity to receive blessings, so they want to take a gamble, “If I make a gamble like this, maybe I can still receive blessings. Maybe I can still slip by and survive. Maybe if God isn’t careful and doesn’t pay attention, I can slip through the gate of the kingdom of heaven.” With this wishful thinking of “maybes,” they continue to drift along in God’s house, but their viewpoint and their attitude toward God never change. They despise God’s words, despise the truth, and despise all positive things.
God requires people to be honest. Some, upon hearing this, think: “Isn’t this a very low standard? We’ve believed in God for a number of years now, why is He telling us now to ‘be honest’? If this is the word of God, then it should be profound, it should be ever loftier, ever more impenetrable, ever more out of the reach of man. What we need is higher standards of requirements, not these ordinary, inconsequential, low-standard requirements.” Such people don’t understand what the truth reality is. When those who don’t understand the truth hear this preaching, they feel upset, but with fellowship, experience, and a period of going through this, they come to realize that these words from God are those that humans need. Why are they what humans need? Man has been corrupted by Satan to the deepest extent, and so no person is honest; this world is full of lies, and this is also true of those who believe in God. Every day people tell one lie after the next; their speech is full to the brim with Satan’s lies and deceit. So God has put forward this most simple and straightforward requirement for man: be honest. With time and experience, people develop an understanding of the words of God, and a comprehension of His demand and His intention; under the guidance and direction of His words, they gradually come to realize how practical His words are, how every single word of His should be understood and entered into, how none of His words are empty, that all of His words are what humanity needs, how God comprehends people so thoroughly and can see through them, and that He understands their corruption very well. This is the course that an ordinary person undergoes. Yet when antichrists see this phrase where God requires people to be honest, they look upon it with an attitude of scorn, derision, sarcasm, and even resistance. After they’ve developed an opinion about this phrase, they push it to the back of their minds, their contempt for God increases, and they look upon Him and His word with increasing disdain, to the point where they don’t even study His word anymore. When some people speak of their experiences regarding how they revealed their deceitful disposition, and how they repented and tried to be honest, resistance, aversion, and contempt arise in the minds of these antichrists. Not only do they refuse to accept what those people say, they feel resistant and averse toward the experience and knowledge that the brothers and sisters fellowship on, to the extent that they feel hatred and contempt for those who fellowship more and possess better knowledge. They think, “You are fools. God tells you to be honest and you just do it. How can you be so obedient? Why do you not heed the words that I speak? Look at me—none of you know what my true state is, nobody knows how deceitful and shrewd I am. And I’m not going to tell you about those things; do you think you deserve to hear them?” This is the attitude they have toward God’s requirement; not only do they refuse to accept it, they are resistant toward it and they condemn it. Aren’t these the manifestations of nonbelievers? These are standard nonbelievers. On the surface, they have not openly condemned the word of God, they have not thrown books of His word to burn in the furnace. On the outside, they read the word of God and listen to sermons every day, and they fellowship during gatherings, but in actual fact, profound abhorrence, resistance, and rejection have arisen in the depths of their hearts toward the word of God. In other words, at the very moment that they developed notions about the word of God, they had already rejected it. There are some who say: “Had those antichrists already rejected God’s word before He said those things?” At that point, they hadn’t yet rejected it. Why is that? It’s because they had many notions and imaginings about God, and these made them esteem and admire Him, and regard Him as a great man. But when God expressed His words, their view of Him changed completely, and they said: “The words that God speaks are in actual fact so ordinary! They are so simple, so straightforward, so easy to understand: I can speak such words myself! Doesn’t everyone say that God is great? Why then would He tell us to be honest? If God is so great, if He is truly supreme, He shouldn’t give people such small and lowly requirements!” When they read the word of God, and felt it to be shallow, and felt that it didn’t match people’s notions, or accord with the grand image and identity of God, they developed notions about God’s words. In the background of them developing these notions, a deep abhorrence for the words of God arose within them, and subsequently the embankment in the depths of their hearts that held their imaginings and notions about God collapsed completely. What is the result of this collapse? From the very depths of their hearts, they rejected and condemned the word of God. So, what goes through the minds of antichrists when people preach the word of God? They are like bystanders, watching from the sidelines. When they hear someone praise God’s words or fellowship on their experience of God’s words, these antichrists are also bystanders, watching from the sidelines, and they never say “Amen” in the depths of their hearts. At times, they even scoff at people, saying, “What have you gained from being honest? Although you are trying to be honest, God won’t necessarily save you, and you won’t necessarily be blessed, either. Very few people receive blessings. If I don’t get any blessings, then none of you shall get any either!” An antichrist’s nature essence is antagonistic toward the word of God and toward God Himself, and due to this antichrists are unable to accept, and even less submit to, the word of God. If they do not accept and submit to the word of God, can they gain experience of it? They cannot, so what is the personal knowledge that they speak of? It is all just imaginings, inferences, doctrines, or theories, or sometimes even just some nice-sounding words that they echo from other people, and as such, it is impossible for any experience or knowledge of the words of God to arise in them. So, due to the various attitudes antichrists harbor toward God and His word, and due to their nature essence, regardless of whether they have believed in God for 10 years, 20 years, or even longer, to this day, you will never hear from them or see in them any experience of the word of God, and even less will you see the slightest knowledge of God. In their speech, you won’t hear about them having notions and misunderstandings about God, and being enlightened through the exposure of God, and eventually coming to the point where they no longer misunderstand God or harbor notions about Him. They do not have this experience, nor do they have this knowledge. This is the reason why antichrists cannot obtain the truth or talk about any personal experience or knowledge at all, no matter how much effort they put into studying God’s word. They just follow along in reading and memorizing some famous passages from the word of God that brothers and sisters often quote; they go through the motions and go with the flow, and then they continue to think in the same way that they always have. They do not resolve the notions that arise in them about God, or the conflicts and problems that arise between them and God, no matter how significant they are. These notions and problems always follow them around. What are the consequences of them not solving these problems? The resentment in their hearts gets deeper and deeper, and their hatred of God grows bigger and bigger. Going on in this way, what consequences will there be the longer they believe in God? Can these accumulated resentments and notions make them let go of their prospects, destiny, and intent to gain blessings? (No.) If these problems are not solved, what will the final result be? (They will explode.) The word “explode” is quite straightforward. How will they explode? How many ways are there? (I am reminded of some words of God I read before, “Even in the space of just one night, they may go from a smiling, ‘kind-hearted’ person to an ugly-looking and ferocious killer” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Practice).) What is the background of them becoming killers? When their desire to obtain blessings is shattered, the gloves come off, and they say, “None of us are going to have it easy, so I don’t have to conceal or hide this—I believe in God just to obtain blessings. If I had known that I wasn’t going to obtain blessings, I would have left long ago!” They say all the words that are in their hearts and they are not afraid of being condemned. Why are they not afraid of condemnation? Why are they able to throw off all pretense of civility and explode? It’s because they don’t want to believe anymore and wish to leave. They have been enduring humiliation and hardship for the sake of their goals for all these years, and they practice according to these strategies and use these strategies as their spiritual support. Today when they see that there is no hope of them obtaining blessings, they feel they might as well throw off all pretense of civility and say openly, “I’m just a nonbeliever. I don’t like positive things. I like pursuing worldly things and I like wicked trends. They say that God’s words are the truth and that God’s words can change people and save them. Why haven’t I seen that? Why can’t I experience it or feel it? What has God’s word changed about people? I think God’s words are nothing. There’s just one thing that has the most tangible benefits, and that is that those who follow God will be blessed and enter the kingdom of heaven. These words are true. I wouldn’t believe in God if it weren’t for the sake of gaining blessings! Where is God? If God could save people, why was He crucified? He couldn’t even save Himself!” They say what they really think—isn’t their demonic side revealed in this? The notions and resentments accumulated over the years explode out of them. This is antichrists finally showing their true colors.
There are some antichrists who often say things like: “I gave up my family and career, exerted so much, and suffered so much in my belief in God, and what did it get me? Isn’t God a God who blesses people? Isn’t God a God who gives people grace? So what did I get?” God has supplied man with so many truths, and He has given so much without asking for anything; though people oppose and rebel against God so much, He does not remember this, and He still comes to save man. Antichrists can’t see how much man has obtained from God. What do they really mean when they say, “What did I get?” (Blessings.) Antichrists want everything. They are able to give everything up to believe in God and follow God, and they think that, by doing this, they will have a chance at succeeding, and that it’ll be worth their while. They give up the world and their prospects, and in the future they want to own the whole world. What they want in exchange must be worth more than the things they have given up. It must be more valuable than those things, and provide them with greater advantages, only then will they make the exchange. Do you think antichrists say these words in a moment of anger during their explosions? (No.) They definitely hold these words in for a long time before they finally explode out of them. After this, all that the antichrists have been thinking and pursuing over the years are exposed, all of their disguises are torn off. What is the key point of what they say? “I believed in God and followed Him all these years, and what did I get?” What they want to gain isn’t the truth. They don’t want the truth. They don’t want life, they don’t want dispositional change, they don’t want God’s salvation. They think they are perfect people and they don’t want to gain these things. They want to gain something extra, some greater blessings than those that can be obtained in this world. That is, they want to exchange the things of the world they have given up for the blessings God has promised. They want to receive the greatest blessing from God. When they see they cannot achieve their desires, and that all hope is lost, they must give up. But when the time comes to do so, considering their disposition, will they be able to stop there? They will not. There are some families where everyone is a believer, and antichrists emerge among them. When these antichrists see that they will not receive blessings, they start to disturb their families to prevent them from believing. Are these still families? They’re close families in terms of outward physical or blood relationships. But when we look at the path each member follows, though they’ve all believed in God for over 10 years, some are revealed as antichrists, some are pursuing the truth and doing their duties quite well, and some are pursuing the truth to an average standard—their nature essences are thereby revealed. Of course, the worst of them are antichrists, who should be rejected by man and expelled by God’s house. So, are these families? Are real families like this? These are not even the same types of people! Some people have lived with devils for so many years and still regard them as family members. They can’t give up on them and even foolishly believe they’re their loved ones. What kind of loved ones are these? After antichrists show themselves, they engage in all manner of evil. They may even persecute the true believers in their families. Even worse, they may deliver their family members to wicked governments. Some parents sell out their children, and some children sell out their parents. No matter how close or intimate their relationship is, there’s nothing that antichrists won’t do. Since antichrists can sell out and persecute the true believers in their families, doesn’t this mean they are enemies? (Yes.) The emergence of one or two antichrists in the church means danger for the brothers and sisters. As soon as the antichrists see that they will not receive blessings, they write themselves off, they throw caution to the wind, the gloves come off, and they begin to think about disturbing other brothers and sisters. Some brothers and sisters are weak, small in stature, and do not understand the truth. Antichrists show these brothers and sisters some rumors on the internet, and then fan the flames by adding their own embellished explanations, thereby disturbing and misleading those brothers and sisters, and ultimately ruining them. Of course, some of the brothers and sisters have discernment and immediately recognize the antichrists. If they deal with the antichrists publicly it will cause trouble, so it’s enough if they just find a wise way to isolate them so that they can’t disturb or plague others. When dealing with Satans, people must act wisely.
Antichrists believe in God and follow God for the sake of their prospects and destiny. They clutch onto their desire for blessings and bring their ambitions with them when they enter God’s house, and read, accept, and preach God’s word. They make concessions, bear humiliation, and endure all manner of hardships in God’s house for the sake of their prospects and destiny. And after many years of waiting and watching, when their hopes are shattered, they also leave the church and the house of God because of their prospects and destiny, because their desire and intent to gain blessings cannot be realized. What is the outcome of such people? They will be cast out. And why will they be cast out? Does God decide not to save them from the moment they enter His house, or is it that they have some problems of their own? (They have problems of their own.) When antichrists enter the house of God, they blend in like tares among wheat. Some people say, “But doesn’t God know about this?” God knows about it; God scrutinizes all of this. People like this cannot change. Even if they have read all the words of God, even if they have read about the mysteries, the destination of man, and the various corrupt dispositions of man that have been revealed by God, and other such words, it’s of no use, because they do not accept the truth. The words spoken by God are addressed to all mankind. They are not hidden from anyone and are given to all equally. Everyone can read and hear God’s words, but in the end, antichrists will never gain them, because they are antichrists, devils, and Satans. Satan did not change after so many years by God’s side, so wouldn’t the same be true for antichrists? Even if you make them read God’s word every day, they will not gain it, because they are antichrists, and they have the essence of an antichrist. It’s not possible to make antichrists give up their own interests or their prospects and destiny. It’s like making a pig climb a tree. It’s an impossible task. Antichrists want to see immediate benefits, and they also want to see eternal benefits in the future. If they can’t attain or satisfy one of these things, they’ll immediately become hostile, and might leave at any time. Antichrists read between the lines of God’s words, listening to their tone and inflection, trying to guess the meaning and intent of His words, in order to measure those various benefits that they care about and wish to obtain. Will it be possible for them to understand the truth when they approach God’s word with this attitude? (No.) Therefore, in any case, antichrists are in opposition to, and are mortal enemies of God and His word. Some people say: “These people used to be really good. Why are they acting like this now? After the word of God was fellowshiped to them, they said that they understood it and promised to work hard to do their duties, so why can’t they change?” I’ll tell you the truth. It’s not just that they can’t change now—they won’t be able to change in the future either. Why is this? It’s because they have no intention of changing. Think about it: If a wolf can’t find a sheep to eat, when it’s starving it will sometimes eat a few mouthfuls of grass and drink some water to assuage its hunger. But does this mean its nature has changed? (It does not.) So, when antichrists don’t do anything evil and display some good behaviors temporarily, it doesn’t mean they’ve changed or accepted the truth. As soon as they’re seriously pruned and dealt with in a way that touches on their power and status, and they see that they have no hope—that they are certain to be cast out—they will immediately become negative, and throw up their work, and their original, true colors will come to light. Who can change people like this? God does not plan to save them, He just uses the facts to reveal them and cast them out. So, these servants of Satan must be discerned and rejected by all.
Discerning antichrists is like discerning evil people and Satan, and dissecting antichrists is like dissecting the invisible Satan and devils. The antichrists we are dissecting today can be seen by man. You can see what they do and hear what they say; you can see all of their manifestations and figure out their intentions. You can’t see or touch Satan or the devils of the spiritual world, so they will always be just a concept and a title to you. But the antichrists we are dissecting today are different. These are living devils and Satans. They are tangible devils and Satans of flesh and blood. These devils and Satans oppose God and reject God in the spiritual world, and they are sick of every word that God has spoken. When they come to the church, they still do these things. They still oppose, feel sick of, and reject God’s words as they did before. Often, they even despise God’s words. As long as it comes from God’s mouth, even a very small thing will raise many question marks in their hearts. They will research it, analyze it, and process it using their minds. Therefore, for antichrists, God’s words are not the object of their belief. They will never believe in God’s words. No matter how practical, true, or faithful God’s words are, they will not believe in them. So, judging from these points, aren’t antichrists enemies of God? Isn’t their inborn nature in enmity with the truth? These kinds of people were born enemies of God, they were born sick of the truth. They will never treat or hold to God’s words as the truth. Because of their essence, their various manifestations toward God, and their various attitudes toward God’s words, in the end these kinds of people are condemned by God’s words and spurned by God. So, will they be able to gain the greatest benefit that they pursue—their prospects and destiny? Never. Therefore, to whom does God speak of the promises and blessings He will give to mankind, and the destination He has prepared for mankind? Is there any share in these things for antichrists? (No.) The wonderful destination spoken of by God and promised to mankind is given to the objects of God’s salvation, to people who believe in God’s words and accept God’s words as the truth. It is not given to antichrists who are antagonistic toward God and who regard God’s word as the lies of a trickster.
April 11, 2020
a. The original text does not contain the phrase “they believe that.”