Question 33: When the Lord Jesus came to do His work, the Jewish Pharisees wildly defied and condemned Him, and they nailed Him to the cross. Now that Almighty God of the last days has come to do His work, the religious pastors and elders also wildly defy and condemn Him, nailing God once again to a cross. Why do the Jewish Pharisees and religious pastors and elders hate the truth so, and set themselves against Christ in this way? What exactly is their nature and essence?
Everyone that believes in the Lord knows the Pharisees resisted the Lord Jesus, but what was the root and the true essence of their resistance? You can say that in the 2,000-year history of religion, no one has figured out the answer to this question. Though the Lord Jesus’ cursing of the Pharisees was written in the New Testament, no one has been able to discern the Pharisees’ essence. Is this not the case? When Almighty God arrives in the last days, He reveals the true answer to this question. Let’s read Almighty God’s words, “Do you wish to know the root of why the Pharisees opposed Jesus? Do you wish to know the substance of the Pharisees? They were full of fantasies about the Messiah. What’s more, they believed only that the Messiah would come, yet did not seek the truth of life. And so, even today they still await the Messiah, for they have no knowledge of the way of life, and do not know what the way of truth is. How, say you, could such foolish, stubborn and ignorant people gain God’s blessing? How could they behold the Messiah? They opposed Jesus because they did not know the direction of the Holy Spirit’s work, because they did not know the way of truth spoken by Jesus, and, furthermore, because they did not understand the Messiah. And since they had never seen the Messiah, and had never been in the company of the Messiah, they made the mistake of paying empty tribute to the name of the Messiah while opposing the substance of the Messiah by any means. These Pharisees in substance were stubborn, arrogant, and did not obey the truth. The principle of their belief in God is: No matter how profound Your preaching, no matter how high Your authority, You are not Christ unless You are called the Messiah. Are these views not preposterous and ridiculous?” (“By the Time You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus, God Will Have Made Heaven and Earth Anew” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Almighty God says it very clearly. The root of the Pharisees’ resistance and condemnation of the Lord Jesus was that they did not revere God or search for the truth at all. In substance, they were stubborn and arrogant; they did not obey the truth. The Pharisees defined God within their own conceptions and imaginings, within the literal words of the Bible. They only kept the name of the Messiah. No matter how profound and correct the Lord Jesus’ preachings are, how much truth His preachings have, or how much authority or power His words have, because His name is not Messiah, the Pharisees opposed and condemned Him. Not only did the Pharisees not accept the truths expressed by the Lord Jesus, they tempted Him and tried to find fault with Him. For example, they probed what authority the Lord Jesus used to perform miracles and purposely asked the Lord Jesus whether they could pay taxes to Caesar. They asked the Lord Jesus whether He was the Son of God, Christ, etc. There were many examples of how the Pharisees opposed and tempted the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus struck back at their evil plans with truth and wisdom. The Pharisees had no strength to refute Him, yet they still did not search for the truth. They still fanatically resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus; they had the Lord Jesus arrested and demanded that He be nailed to the cross. It was just as the Lord Jesus said when He exposed them, “But now you seek to kill Me, a man that has told you the truth, which I have heard of God” (Jhn 8:40). “And if I say the truth, why do you not believe Me?” (Jhn 8:46). Therefore, we can see that the Pharisees, in nature and essence, were satanic demons, enemies of God that hated the truth! What kind of people can hate and condemn Christ? The Pharisees’ story clearly demonstrates one fact: If believers do not love the truth, are weary of the truth and hate the truth, they surely do not know God. In addition, these people surely resist God and take Him as their enemy. Because Christ’s essence is the truth, the way, and the life, anyone who hates the truth also hates Christ. Many people that hate the truth seem good on the outside; they follow the rules of the Bible and do not seem like evil people at all, but when Christ comes to do His work, these Satan-types, enemies of God, will be completely exposed.
The Pharisees’ evil resistance and condemnation of the Lord Jesus completely exposes their demonic essence: hating the truth and resisting God. When the Lord Jesus preached and did His work, He expressed many truths, displayed many miracles and gave mankind abundant grace, which revealed the authority and power of God. The Lord Jesus’ work shook the foundations of Judaism and shocked the Jewish state. Many people followed the Lord Jesus. The Pharisees knew that if the Lord Jesus continued to do His work, all of the faithful in Judaism would follow Him; Judaism would fall, and their positions and meal-tickets would disappear. Therefore, they decided to kill the Lord Jesus. These facts were clearly recorded in the Bible: “Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man does many miracles. If we let Him thus alone, all men will believe on Him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. … Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put Him to death” (Jhn 11:47–53). To protect their status and meal-tickets, the Pharisees used any possible means and even colluded with the Roman government to crucify the Lord Jesus. They said, “His blood be on us, and on our children” (Mat 27:25). As we can see, the Pharisees hated the truth and hated Christ. They reached the point where they no longer wished to co-exist with Christ long ago! They would rather forsake their sin offering than not crucify the Lord Jesus; they would rather commit monstrous sins, resist God and offend God and have their sons and grandsons cursed than not nail the Lord Jesus to the cross, He who expressed the truth and redeemed mankind. That is the genuine, satanic, truth-hating nature and substance of the Pharisees. When the Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross, the sun became dark, the earth shook and the curtain of the temple split open. After the Lord Jesus was resurrected, He appeared before men once again. After people learned these facts, they repented for their sins and turned to the Lord Jesus. What about the Pharisees? Not only did they not repent, but they became even more antagonistic enemies of the Lord Jesus. They paid off soldiers to bear false witness and say the Lord Jesus had not been resurrected. When the apostles spread the gospel of the Lord Jesus, the Pharisees fanatically captured and persecuted them. They wanted to ban the Lord Jesus’ work to obtain their ambitions of permanently controlling the religious community. These facts are enough to prove that the Pharisees believed in God in name only. In reality, they hated the truth and resisted God. The essence of their resistance and condemnation of the Lord Jesus was as follows: They were trying to compete with God and size Him up; they were fighting against God. The arrogance of their resistance and hatred of the Lord Jesus completely exposed their ambitions and exposed their evil, satanic face. Plus, it exposed their demonic antichrist nature: a refusal to repent, a frenzied hatred of the truth and a hatred of God. Isn’t that how the pastors and elders of the religious community treat Almighty God in the last days? If we could clearly see how the pastors and elders resist and condemn Almighty God, we would definitely know that the Pharisees resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus in the same way.
Two thousand years ago, the Jewish chief priests, scribes and Pharisees nailed the Lord Jesus to the cross. Two thousand years later, the religious leaders have caused history to repeat itself by nailing God to a cross again. We have all seen that Almighty God carries out the work of judgment beginning with God’s house in the last days. He expresses truths that cleanse and save humanity. He uncovers all the mysteries of God’s management plan. He judges and exposes humanity’s satanic nature that resists and betrays God. He shows them His righteous disposition which cannot be offended. Almighty God’s words are the truth. They have authority and power and fully convince us. These truths cleanse and save humanity. Then what about the pastors and elders nowadays? They do not care how much truth, authority, power, ability to cleanse man and ability to save man the words expressed by Almighty God have. They still stubbornly maintain their fallacy: “Whoever does not descend on a cloud and raise me up into the kingdom of heaven is not the return of the Lord Jesus.” They frantically resist and condemn Almighty God. They only keep the Lord Jesus’ name and keep these three words “the Lord Jesus” blindly, yet fanatically resist and condemn Almighty God. Is that any different from when the Pharisees kept the name of Messiah but resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus? Is their essence not the same as that of the Pharisees: stubborn, arrogant, disobeying the truth, hating the truth? They only believe in a vague God up in heaven, and they deny, resist and condemn Christ incarnate; they are irreconcilable rivals with Christ. Aren’t they just antichrists denying, condemning and resisting Christ? The Bible says, “And as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time” (1Jn 2:18). “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” (2Jn 1:7). Therefore, all who do not acknowledge God incarnate are antichrists. All who resist and condemn Christ are antichrists. Therefore, the Jewish Pharisees were exposed as antichrists by the Lord Jesus’ work. The pastors and elders in the last days are all antichrists that are exposed by Almighty God’s work. God incarnate’s work really does expose people! Everything Christ expresses in the last days is the truth. Not only does He expose the wise and foolish virgins, He exposes all kinds of antichrists and non-believers. This is a truth that no one can deny!
The religious pastors and elders in the last days and the Pharisees, the essence and roots of their resistance to God are the same. The ways that the pastors and elders resist God are even worse than those of the Jewish Pharisees. Ever since Almighty God started doing His work of judgment beginning from God’s house, all people of every denomination were caught up before God’s throne, as long as they love the truth and long for God’s appearance. The pastors and elders stop at nothing to resist and condemn Almighty God, all in an attempt to constrain the faithful and stabilize their positions and livelihoods. They spread rumors, bear false witness and blaspheme Almighty God; they seal off the church and strictly forbid believers from studying Almighty God’s work in the last days. They threaten, scare, ridicule and beat brothers and sisters who spread the gospel of the kingdom. They even collude with the CCP to capture and persecute brothers and sisters, leaving hundreds of thousands of them without a home to return to. At least a hundred thousand people have been brutally tortured by the CCP. Many have even been killed…. The pastors and elders’ resistance of Almighty God is even more fanatical than the Pharisees’ resistance of the Lord Jesus was. Their evil deeds in resistance to God are numerous. Almighty God judged and cursed them long ago. Almighty God says, “How many seek the truth and follow righteousness? They are all beasts like pigs and dogs, leading a gang of stink flies in a dung heap to wag their heads and incite disorder. They believe that their king of hell is the most superior of kings, without realizing that they are nothing more than flies on rot. Not only that, they make slanderous remarks against the existence of God by relying on their pigs and dogs of parents. The minuscule flies think their parents to be as large as a toothed whale. Do they not realize that they are diminutive, yet their parents are unclean pigs and dogs a billion times larger than themselves? Unaware of their own lowliness, they run amok on the basis of the putrid odor of those pigs and dogs and have the delusional idea to procreate future generations. That is absolutely shameless! With green wings upon their backs (this refers to their claiming to believe in God), they begin to become conceited and boast everywhere of their own beauty and attractiveness, secretly casting away their impurities onto man. And they are even smug, as if a pair of rainbow-colored wings could conceal their own impurities, and thus they persecute the existence of the true God (this refers to the inside story of the religious world). Little does man know that, though the wings of the fly are beautiful and enchanting, it is after all no more than a minuscule fly that is full of filth and covered with germs. On the strength of their pigs and dogs of parents, they run amok across the land (this refers to the religious officials who persecute God on the basis of strong support from the country betraying the true God and the truth) with overwhelming ferocity. It is as if the ghosts of the Jewish Pharisees have returned along with God to the nation of the great red dragon, back to their old nest. They have again begun their work of persecution, continuing their work spanning several thousand years. This group of degenerates is sure to perish on earth in the end!” (“Work and Entry (7)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). The words expressed by Almighty God were publicly shared via newspapers, TV and the Internet a long time ago. All different types of gospel movies and videos have already been posted on the Internet to openly bear witness of God’s appearance and work to the whole world. This has caused a ripple among the religious community and humanity in general. The pastors and elders in the religious community have already seen the growing trend: The words of Almighty God are conquering those of the religious community and humanity in general. No person and no force can stop it. They have become irritable and are frantically resisting and condemning Almighty God. They are trying to outlaw Almighty God’s work in the last days and achieve their wildest dreams: eternal control over the religious community and eternal hegemony over God’s chosen people. These facts are enough to prove that the religious pastors and elders in the last days are the reappearance of the Pharisees! They are the antichrist demons that work as hard as they can to disturb and destroy God’s work and swear to the death to be enemies of God! Their numerous evil deeds have already provoked God’s disposition. How can they escape God’s righteous judgment and punishment?
Excerpted from Classic Questions and Answers on the Gospel of the Kingdom