1. What an antichrist is and how they can be identified
Relevant Words of God:
What is God’s definition of an antichrist? One who is hostile to God. This is an enemy of God! One who is hostile to God, hostile to the truth, who loathes the truth, loathes God, and who loathes absolutely anything that is positive—this is no common person who is momentarily weak, foolish, and slightly mistaken in their thoughts and views, nor one with a slightly absurd understanding that does not accord with the truth. This is not the kind of person they are. This is an antichrist, an enemy of God. His role is that of someone who hates absolutely anything that is positive, hates all truth, and hates all of God’s disposition and essence. How does God treat one in this role? God will not save them! Such people despise and detest the truth by nature. What is exposed here is evil, ferocity, and detestation of the truth—these are the most serious manifestations and dispositions among corrupt dispositions, and they are the things most typical of and essential to Satan. This is no minor revelation of the corrupt disposition that is in common, corrupted people, but is a force that is hostile to God. They can disrupt and control a church, and they can destroy and interrupt God’s management work. Is this something that common, corrupted people do? Absolutely not, and you should therefore not underestimate it. Common people can also have an evil disposition; some of them behave selfishly and despicably, and some fiendishly, not allowing others to push them around, and thinking to themselves, “If people don’t offend me, I won’t offend them.” But how are the antichrists different from this? Their main disposition is not arrogance, but full-blown evil. And how is this evil mainly manifested? It can be seen in their bizarre way of doing things, which common people with some intelligence, with some knowledge and some social experience, find difficult to detect; this has risen to evil, and it is not deceit. They can play shadow games and tricks, and play them “better” than most people; most ordinary people cannot compete with them and cannot deal with them. This is an antichrist. Why is it said that ordinary people cannot deal with them? It is because their evil is so extreme that they possess an enormous power to deceive people. Why are we fellowshiping about the manifestations of antichrists? Because antichrists are all too able to deceive people. They deceive swaths of people at once, like a lethal plague, which, through its contagion, can harm and kill many in a single outbreak; it is highly contagious and wide reaching, and its infectiousness and mortality rates are greater than those of common diseases. Are these not severe consequences?
—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. They Behave in Strange and Mysterious Ways, They Are Arbitrary and Dictatorial, They Never Fellowship With Others, and They Force Others to Obey Them
In the time when God had not yet become flesh, the measure of whether man opposed God was based on whether man worshiped and looked up to the invisible God in heaven. The way in which opposition to God was defined at that time was not all that practical, for man could not see God, nor did he know what the image of God was like, or how He worked and spoke. Man had no notions about God whatsoever, and he believed in God vaguely, because God had not yet appeared to man. Therefore, no matter how man believed in God in his imagination, God did not condemn man or make too many demands of him, because man was completely unable to see God. When God becomes flesh and comes to work among men, all behold Him and hear His words, and all see the deeds that God works from within His body of flesh. At that moment, all man’s notions become foam. As for those who have seen God appearing in the flesh, they shall not be condemned if they willingly obey Him, whereas those who purposefully stand against Him shall be deemed an opponent of God. Such people are antichrists, enemies who willfully stand against God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. All People Who Do Not Know God Are People Who Oppose God
Anyone who does not understand the purpose of God’s work is one who opposes Him, and one who has come to understand the purpose of God’s work but still does not seek to satisfy God is even more to be deemed an opponent of God. There are those who read the Bible in grand churches and recite it all day long, yet not one among them understands the purpose of God’s work. Not one among them is able to know God; still less can any one among them accord with God’s will. They are all worthless, vile people, each standing on high to lecture God. They willfully oppose God even as they carry His banner. Claiming faith in God, still they eat the flesh and drink the blood of man. All such people are devils that devour the soul of man, head demons that deliberately get in the way of those trying to step onto the right path, and stumbling blocks impeding those who seek God. They may appear of “sound constitution,” but how are their followers to know that they are none other than antichrists who lead people to stand against God? How are their followers to know that they are living devils dedicated to the devouring of human souls?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. All People Who Do Not Know God Are People Who Oppose God
Since you believe in God, you must put faith in all of the words of God and in all of His work. Which is to say, since you believe in God, you must obey Him. If you are unable to do this, then it does not matter whether you believe in God or not. If you have believed in God for many years, and yet have never obeyed Him, and do not accept the entirety of His words, and instead ask that God submit to you and act according to your notions, then you are the most rebellious of all, you are a nonbeliever. How could such people be able to obey the work and words of God that do not conform to the notions of man? Most rebellious of all are those who intentionally defy and resist God. They are the enemies of God, the antichrists. Theirs is always an attitude of hostility toward the new work of God; they never have the slightest inclination to submit, nor have they ever gladly submitted or humbled themselves. They exalt themselves before others and never submit to anyone. Before God, they consider themselves the best at preaching the word, and the most skillful in working on others. Never do they discard the “treasures” in their possession, but treat them as family heirlooms for worship, for preaching about to others, and they use them to lecture those fools who idolize them. There are indeed a certain number of people like this in the church. It can be said that they are “indomitable heroes,” generation after generation sojourning in the house of God. They take preaching the word (doctrine) to be their highest duty. Year after year, generation after generation, they go about vigorously enforcing their “sacred and inviolable” duty. None dare touch them; not a single person dares openly reproach them. They become “kings” in the house of God, running rampant as they tyrannize others from age to age. This pack of demons seeks to join hands and demolish My work; how can I allow these living devils to exist before My eyes? Even those who are only half obedient cannot carry on until the end, much less these tyrants without the slightest obedience in their hearts! The work of God is not easily gained by man. Even using all the strength they have, people can only gain a mere portion of it, ultimately allowing them to be made perfect. What, then, of the children of the archangel, who seek to destroy the work of God? Do they not have even less hope of being gained by God?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Obey God With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God
Look at the leaders of each denomination—they are all arrogant and self-righteous, and their interpretations of the Bible lack context and are guided by their own imaginings. They all rely on gifts and erudition to do their work. If they could not preach at all, would people follow them? They do, after all, possess some knowledge and can preach on some doctrine, or they know how to win others over and make use of some artifice. They use these to bring people before themselves and deceive them. Nominally, those people believe in God, but in reality, they follow their leaders. When they encounter someone preaching the true way, some of them say, “We have to consult our leader about our faith.” A human is the medium of their faith in God; is that not a problem? What have those leaders become, then? Have they not become Pharisees, false shepherds, antichrists, and stumbling blocks to people’s acceptance of the true way?
—“Only to Pursue the Truth Is Truly to Believe in God” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
There are some who are entirely too cavalier in their attitude toward work arrangements from the Above. “The Above makes the work arrangements,” they think, “and we’re down here, doing the work. Some of what’s said and some of the tasks can be implemented flexibly—they can be altered when they come down to us. The Above just talks, after all, and we’re the ones doing practical work. We understand the situation in the church, but the Above doesn’t, so the people and work of the church that are given to us are ours to do with as we see fit. We can do as we like, and no one has the right to interfere.” To such people, the principle of serving God is this: “If I think something’s right, I’ll take note of it; if I think something isn’t workable, I’ll ignore it. I can resist you if I like, or go against you, and I don’t have to implement or carry out anything I don’t want to. If something you say strikes me as unsuitable, I’ll edit it for you, and, once I’ve filtered it, I’ll pass it on down. Nothing I haven’t approved may go to print.” Everywhere else, they disseminate the arrangements from the Above in their original form, but this person sends their edited version of the work arrangements to the people in the area they lead. Such a person wishes always to set God off to the side, and desperately wants everyone to follow and believe in them. The way they see it, God is not their equal in certain areas—they should be God, too, and everyone should believe in them. That is the nature of what they do. If you understood this, would you still cry when such a person is removed and replaced? Would you still feel sympathy for them? Would you still think, “What the Above does is uncalled for and unjust—how could the Above dismiss someone who’s suffered so much?” For whose sake have they suffered? They have suffered for the sake of their own status. Are they serving God? Are they performing their duty? Are they loyal and submissive to God? They are nothing but a lackey of Satan, and their work is the devil’s dominion; it destroys God’s management plan and disturbs His work. What sort of faith is that? They are nothing but a devil, an antichrist!
—“What Is It to Offend God?” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
Antichrists are openly hostile to the truth and to God. They vie with God for the chosen ones, they vie with Him for status, and for people’s hearts, and go so far as to try all manner of things to win over people’s hearts, delude them, and benumb them. In short, everything they do—whether openly or in secret—is, in its very nature, hostile to God. Why do I say it is hostile to God? Because, even when they clearly know that this is the truth, and clearly know this is God, they still rise up in resistance. An example: In some churches, when the antichrists have enticed people over to their side, lured them away, and bent them to their own will, they will then exact all kinds of books and other materials from the house of God in order to establish their own separate church. The antichrists are worshiped and followed by these people, they have them firmly under their control. In behaving in this way, they are clearly vying with God for the chosen ones. Is this or is this not one of the attributes of an antichrist? To classify them as antichrists on the basis of such an obvious attribute, far from doing them an injustice, is only too accurate! Then there are some antichrists who create their own kingdom within the church, cultivating their own power and influence, weeding out anyone who fails to conform, keeping those who follow and obey them by their side, in order to form an independent force and bend people to their own will. Whatever work arrangements or requirements come from the Above, these antichrists take an independent course of action, leading the people under them to openly defy the work arrangements from the Above. For example, the requirements from the Above are that leaders and workers who are unsuitable may be replaced at any time, but from the perspective of the antichrists, although these leaders and workers may be unsuitable, since they were cultivated by the antichrists, they cannot under any circumstances be replaced by a directive from the Above unless the antichrists are themselves removed first. Have they or have they not seized control of this church? Once in their hands, the work arrangements of the house of God cease to be feasible, and can no longer be carried out. The work arrangements have long since been issued, and each church has sent back a status report on their implementation—who had their duties changed or taken away from them because of certain circumstances, for example—but in the areas for which the antichrists are responsible, there are no such people, no one has had any changes made to their duties. Could it be that there is not a single unsuitable person in that area? It is even the case that some personnel are unsuitable, and the antichrist has been ordered directly from the Above to replace them, yet even after a long time no reply has been forthcoming. Is there or is there not a problem here? This is a situation in which the church has fallen into the hands of the antichrist. Orders for carrying out the work arrangements come down from the Above, but once they get to the antichrists, they are intercepted, and no word reaches those lower down, so that they lose all contact with the Above, and everything is controlled by the antichrists. What is their nature when they do such things? This is a case of the antichrists showing themselves.
—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. They Are Evil, Insidious, and Deceitful (Part One)
What kind of person sets up his own kingdom? (An antichrist.) And why is such a person called “an antichrist”? First of all, “anti” means being antagonistic and hostile, and it involves being antagonistic and hostile toward Christ, toward God, and toward the truth. What does it mean to be “antagonistic and hostile?” (To stand in direct opposition.) (To have hatred.) Can people who hate God and who are in direct opposition to Him accept the truth? Can they love the truth? They certainly cannot. The very first way in which they express themselves is to not love the truth. Whenever someone speaks the truth, they do not express anything to that person’s face, but in their hearts they do not accept the truth, and deep down they resist it. While resisting, with regard to all positive things—all these truths such as submitting to God, loyally performing their duties, being honest people, seeking the truth in all things, and so on—do they have a little bit of subjective yearning or love? No, not in the slightest. Therefore, given this sort of nature essence that they have, they are already standing in direct opposition to God and the truth. So, inevitably, such people do not, deep down, love the truth or any positive thing. For example, people in positions of leadership have to be able to accept the various opinions of their brothers and sisters, they must be able to open themselves up to the brothers and sisters and accept the reproach of the brothers and sisters, and they must not take up status. What would an antichrist think of all of these correct ways of practicing? Perhaps he would say, “If I heard the brothers’ and sisters’ opinions, then would I still be a leader? Would I then still have status and prestige? Would I still be able to make people fear me? If I cannot make people fear me, and if I have no prestige, then what work can I do?” This is precisely the kind of disposition possessed by an antichrist; he does not accept the truth in even the tiniest way, and the more proper a method of practice is, the more he resists it. He does not admit that these correct methods of practice are ways of practicing the truth. What is the truth, as he believes it to be? It is that one should always use an iron fist, evil deeds, cruel methods, and shadowy tricks when dealing with anyone; one should never use truth, love, and God’s words. His way is an evil way. This is the nature essence of those who are of an antichrist’s ilk, and it is also the way they do things and the impetus behind their actions, the source from which they spring. This is what their motivation and their intentions are like. The essence of their motivations and intentions, which they often reveal, is precisely the essence of an antichrist—an aversion and hatred toward the truth. This is their essence. What, then, does it mean to stand in opposition to the truth and to God? It means hating the truth and positive things. For example, as an object of creation, one should fulfill the duty of a created being; no matter what God might say, people should submit, for humans are objects of creation. But how does an antichrist think? “It’s not untrue that I am an object of creation, but when it comes to submitting, that depends on the situation. First and foremost, there has to be some benefit in it for me; I mustn’t be put at a disadvantage, and I must put my own interests first. If there are rewards and great blessings to be gained and You want me to submit, then that’s fine, but without rewards and without a destination, then I can’t submit.” That is how an antichrist sees it. As another example, God would have people be honest, but what does an antichrist think of this? “Only idiots are honest; clever people aren’t honest.” Do these opinions constitute the antichrists’ attitude of not accepting of the truth? What is the essence of this sort of attitude? Its essence is a hatred for the truth. This is precisely the essence of antichrists, and their essence determines what kind of path they walk and, in turn, the path they walk determines what things they will do while fulfilling this sort of duty.
—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. They Try to Win People Over
Some people have certain manifestations of an antichrist and certain outpourings of the disposition of an antichrist, but also accept and acknowledge the truth, and love the truth. They are possible objects of salvation. There are some people who, regardless of their appearance, are hostile and loathsome toward the truth by their nature essence. As soon as you speak of the truth or preach to them, they grow annoyed and oppositional: They start to doze off, they fall asleep, they are bored, and are not interested even when they do understand; or they may seem diligent on the outside, but measure the truth with a different attitude, or with some body of knowledge and theory. If this is the case, then regardless of how many of God’s words they have read or how many sermons they have listened to, there will ultimately never be the least change in their attitude, which is the pursuit of status and worldly things, enmity to God, and hostility to the truth. This is typical of the antichrist. Therefore, when you say that their actions are meant to win people to their side, and that they exalt and testify about themselves to vie for God’s status, to deceive people, and that their actions are those of Satan and antichrists, do they accept such condemnation? They do not. They think: “It is right and proper for me to act in this way. This is how I do things. You can condemn and criticize me all you want—I will not give up on this pursuit, this desire, or this way of doing things.” It is settled: They are antichrists. Nothing you say can alter their perspective, nor can it alter their motivations and intentions, nor their ambitions and desires. Such is the nature essence of a typical antichrist. No matter how their circumstances change, or how the people, matters, and things around them change, or how the times change, and regardless of the signs and miracles performed by God, and how much grace God gives them—even if He punishes them—their intentions will never change. Their way of being a human and way of doing things will never change, nor will their attitude of hostility to the truth. When others point out that what they are doing is exalting and testifying about themselves and trying to deceive people, they change their manner of speaking to one with which others can find no fault and which no one can discern. They use even more crafty means to carry on their management and achieve their secret aims. This is what is manifested in an antichrist, and it is engendered by the essence of an antichrist. Even if God told them they would be punished, that their end had come, that they were cursed and damned, could this change their essence? Could it change their attitude toward the truth? Could it change their love of status, fortune, and prestige? It could not. Turning people who have been corrupted by Satan into people with normal humanity who worship God is the work of God; it can be achieved. But is it possible to turn demons, people who are dressed in human skin but whose essence is satanic, who worship Satan in Satan’s camp and are hostile to God, into normal people? That would be impossible. God does not do this kind of work; these people are not included among those God saves. How, then, does God define such people? They belong to Satan. They are not objects of God’s selection or salvation; God does not want such people. No matter how long they have been in the house of God, how much they have suffered or what they have accomplished, their intentions do not change. They will not put aside their ambitions or desires, much less will they relinquish their motivation and craving to vie for status and for people with God. Such people are living antichrists.
—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. They Exalt and Testify About Themselves
All antichrists would rather die than repent. They vow to resist God to the death, and fight to the very end. Even though, deep down, they acknowledge that there is a God, that He created man, and that He can save mankind, their nature makes them incapable of changing the path they have chosen, and incapable of changing the fact of their hostility to God. Thus, the essence of the behavior of antichrists is to constantly use various means and methods to achieve their goal of having status, of winning people over and making them follow and venerate them. It is possible that in the depths of their hearts they are not deliberately vying over humanity with God, but one thing is certain: Even when they do not vie with God for humans, they still wish to have status and power among them. Even if the day comes when they realize that they are vying with God for status, and they rein themselves in, they still employ other methods to gain status among people and be validated. In short, though everything antichrists do appears to comprise a faithful performance of their duties, and they seem to be true followers of God, their ambition to control people—and to gain status and power among them—will never change. No matter what God says or does, and no matter what He asks of people, they do not do what they should do or fulfill their duties in a way that befits His words and requirements, nor do they give up their pursuit of power and status as a result of understanding His utterances and the truth; throughout, their ambition consumes them, controls and directs their behavior and thoughts, and determines the path they walk. This is the epitome of an antichrist. What is emphasized here? Some people ask, “Are antichrists not those who vie with God to gain people, and who do not recognize Him?” They may recognize God, they may genuinely recognize and believe in His existence, and they may be willing to follow Him and pursue the truth, but one thing will never change: They will never relinquish their ambition for power and status, nor will they give up their pursuit of those things due to their environments or God’s attitude toward them. These are the characteristics of antichrists. However much a person has suffered, however much of the truth they have understood, however many truth realities they have entered, and however much knowledge of God they possess, beyond these external phenomena and manifestations, they will never rein in or relinquish their ambition for, and pursuit of, status and power, and this determines precisely their nature essence. There is not the slightest inaccuracy in God’s defining such people as antichrists; it has been determined by their very nature essence. Some people, perhaps, used to believe that an antichrist was anyone who tried to vie over humanity with God. However, sometimes antichrists do not necessarily have to vie with Him; they simply have to be those whose knowledge, understanding, and need for status and power is unlike that of normal people. Normal people can be vainglorious; they can try to win credit with others and make a good impression on them, and they can try to vie for a good ranking. This is the ambition of normal people. When they are replaced as leaders, losing their positions, they get over it; with a change in their environment, some growth in their stature, some attainment of entry to the truth, or the gaining of a deeper understanding of the truth, their ambition gradually cools. A change occurs in the path they take and in the direction they travel, and their pursuit of status and power fades. Their desires, too, gradually lessen. Antichrists, however, are different: They could never give up their pursuit of status and power. At any given time, in any environment, and no matter what people they have around them and however old they might be, their ambition will never change. What indicates that their ambition will never change? Supposing they are church leaders: They would want to control everyone in the church. They might then go to another church, where they are not the leaders, yet, they still yearn for that status. Wherever such people go, they want to wield power. Are their hearts not swollen with ambition? What they manifest goes beyond the realm of normal humanity. Is there not something abnormal about this? What is abnormal about it? What they manifest is not what ought to be manifested by normal humanity. What do they manifest? What is it that causes this to manifest? It is caused by their nature. They are evil spirits. This is not the same as ordinary corruption; there is a difference. Antichrists will stop at nothing in their pursuit of status and power; they are utterly engrossed by it. This is their nature essence; it is their original form, and their true face. They do not merely compete with God for status, but they compete with people for status, too. Whether others are willing or in agreement or not, antichrists actively try to control them and be their leaders, without regard for their wishes. Wherever they go, antichrists want to be in charge and have the last word. Is this their nature? Do people want to listen to you? Did they choose you? Did they elect you? Do they agree with your having the last word? No one wants these people to have the last word, and no one listens to them, but they still try to have it. Is this a problem? They are utterly shameless and unapologetic. When such people are leaders, they are antichrists; when they are not leaders, they are also antichrists.
—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. They Confound, Draw In, Threaten, and Control People
The antichrists’ cherishment of their status and prestige goes beyond that of normal people, and is something within their disposition and essence; it is not a temporary interest, or the transient effect of their surroundings—it is something within their life, their bones, and so it is their essence. This is to say that in everything an antichrist does, their first consideration is their own status and prestige, nothing else. For an antichrist, status and prestige are their life, and their lifelong goal. In all they do, their first consideration is: “What will happen to my status? And to my prestige? Will doing this give me prestige? Will it elevate my status in people’s minds?” That is the first thing they think about, which is ample proof that they have the disposition and essence of antichrists; they would not strive thus otherwise. It can be said that for an antichrist, status and prestige are not some additional requirement, much less something extraneous that they could do without. They are part of the nature of antichrists, they are in their bones, in their blood, they are innate to them. Antichrists are not indifferent toward whether they possess status and prestige; this is not their attitude. Then, what is their attitude? Status and prestige are intimately connected to their daily lives, to their daily state, to what they strive for on a daily basis. And so for antichrists, status and prestige are their life. No matter how they live, no matter what environment they live in, no matter what work they do, no matter what they strive for, what their goals are, what their life’s direction is, status and prestige are the purpose they pursue, the goal they pursue that they cannot let go of in their hearts. This is the true face of the antichrists, and their essence. You could put them in a primeval forest deep in the mountains, and still they would not forsake status and prestige; you can put them among a group of ordinary people, and all they think about is still status and prestige. And so, once they acquire faith, they see their own status and prestige as tantamount to the pursuit of faith in God; which is to say, as they walk the path of faith in God, they also pursue their own status and prestige. It can be said that in their hearts, they believe that faith in God and the pursuit of the truth is the pursuit of status and prestige; pursuit of status and prestige is also the pursuit of the truth, and to gain status and prestige is to gain the truth and life. On the path of faith in God, if they feel that they have not gained substantial status—if no one reveres or looks up to them, if they are not exalted among others, and have no real power—then they are much discouraged, and believe that there is no significance or worth to faith in God. “Is the way I believe disapproved of by God? Have I not gained life?” In their minds, they often calculate about these things; they plan how they can gain a position in the house of God or environment they are in, how they can gain an elevated reputation and a certain level of authority, how they can make people listen to them and flatter them when they speak, how they can have them do as they say, how, in a group, they can have unilateral say over things and assert their presence. This is what they often think about in their minds. This is what such people strive for. Why are they always thinking about such things? After hearing the truth, after listening to the sermons, after reading the words of God, do they really not understand all this? Are the words of God and the truth really not able to change their notions, ideas, and opinions? This is a problem of people’s nature and essence.
—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing 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 (Part Three)
What is the motto of antichrists, no matter what group they are in? “I must compete! Compete! Compete! I must compete to be the highest and mightiest!” This is the disposition of antichrists; everywhere they go, they compete and try to achieve their aims. They are the lackeys of Satan, and they disturb the work of the house of God. The disposition of antichrists is like this: They compete against whoever shows excellence in their professional work, whoever has believed in God for a long time, whoever has some special skill, whoever has been of benefit to the brothers and sisters in their entry into life, whoever is well-regarded, whoever is well spoken of among the brothers and sisters, whoever has more positive things. In sum, every time antichrists are among a group of people, this is what they always do. They compete for status, compete for an elevated reputation, compete for final say over matters and the ultimate power to make decisions in the group, which, once they have gained it, makes them happy. But do they do any actual work after procuring these things? (No.) They do not compete for these things in order to do actual work. Their aim is to push everyone else down: “Who cares whether you are convinced? In terms of capital, I have the most; in terms of speech, I’m the most eloquent; in terms of skill at the professional work at hand, I’m second to none.” They compete in everything. When the brothers and sisters choose them to be the supervisor, they compete with their partners for the final say, for the authority to make decisions; if the church puts them in charge of some work, they want to have final say over how it is carried out, and fight for what they say, their ideas, and their decisions to be adopted and be turned into reality. If the brothers and sisters adopt someone else’s suggestion, it will not make it past them. If you do not do as they say, they will show you who is boss, so that you feel you cannot do without them, and so that you are left with a sense of the consequences if you do not do as they say. That is how arrogant, odious, and unreasonable the disposition of antichrists is. What is revealed in them is a total lack of humanity and, moreover, of sense. Everything in their behavior shows a total lack of rationality in their actions. They will not accept what you say; no matter how right your words may be, they will not heed them, and you would arrive at a dead end. The only principle they can accept is, regardless of what group they are in, if they can gain the status and prestige that is their due, their hearts are at ease: This, they believe, is the value of their existence. Regardless of what group of people they are among, they have to show people the “light” and “warmth” they provide, their special talents, their uniqueness. And it is because they believe they are special that they naturally think that they should be treated better than others, that they should receive people’s support and admiration, that people should look up to them, worship them—they think all of this is their due. Are such people not a lot of trouble? Common sense would dictate that when something happens, people should listen to whoever is right, that whoever’s words are beneficial to the house of God should be obeyed, that people should adopt whoever’s ideas are in line with the truth principles—but if common sense prevailed, people might not adopt their ideas, and so what do they do? They panic, and keep trying to defend and vindicate their ideas and suggestions, doing anything they can to convince others, to make the brothers and sisters listen to them and adopt their suggestion. They do not consider how their suggestion would affect the work of the house of God if it were adopted; that is not within their scope of consideration. They think only, “How will I be able to show my face if my suggestions are not adopted this time? So, I must compete—compete to have my suggestion adopted.” That is what they think and do every time—and this is precisely the disposition of an antichrist.
—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing 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 (Part Three)
One of the most obvious characteristics of the essence of an antichrist is that they are like despots running their own dictatorship: They do not listen to anyone, they look down on everyone, and what anyone else says, does, the insights they have, their viewpoint, their strengths—in their eyes, they are all inferior to them. It seems to them that no one is fit to participate in what they want to do, nor are they qualified to be consulted, or to give suggestions—that is the kind of disposition of an antichrist. Some people say this is being of poor humanity—how could it just be commonplace poor humanity? This is entirely a satanic disposition; this kind of disposition is supremely fierce. Why do I say that their disposition is supremely fierce? Antichrists think of the work of the house of God, including the interests of the church, as entirely their own, as their personal property that should be entirely managed by them, without anyone else interfering. And so the only things they think about when doing the work of the house of God are their own interests, their own status and prestige. They reject anyone who, in their eyes, is a threat to their status and reputation; they suppress and ostracize them. They even exclude and suppress people who are useful and suitable for performing certain special duties. They do not give the slightest consideration to the work of the house of God, nor to the interests of the house of God. If anyone may be a threat to their status, does not submit to them, does not pay them any mind, then they exclude them and keep them at a distance. They do not allow them to cooperate with them, and they particularly do not let them play any important role or be of any important use within their scope of power. No matter how deserving of merit these people’s deeds or how great the thing they have done for God’s house, antichrists cover it up, play it down, don’t let it show in front of the brothers and sisters, and keep them in the dark. Furthermore, the antichrists often bring up these people’s failings and corruptions among the brothers and sisters, they say these people are arrogant, that they make a fuss over people and issues, that they are liable to sell out the interests of the house of God, that they help outsiders instead of God’s house, that they are ignorant, and so on. They find every kind of excuse they can to exclude and suppress these people. In fact, some of these people have a special skill, and some just have a slight fault. Overall, they are suitable for performing a duty, they accord with the principles for those who perform a duty. But in the eyes of the antichrists, they think, “There’s no way I’m going to put up with this. You want to have a role within my domain, to compete with me. That’s impossible, don’t even think about it. You’re more capable than me, more articulate than me, more educated than me, and more popular than me. What would I do if you stole my thunder? You want me to work alongside you? Don’t even think about it!” Are they considering the interests of the house of God? No. All they are thinking about is how to preserve their own status, so they would rather harm the interests of the house of God than use these people. This is exclusion. Moreover, they cultivate dolts without any ability, people who are incompetent, easy to order around, pliable, and ignorant, people who lack insight, who do not think for themselves, who do not understand the truth—they are the only ones they cultivate. The unbelievers have a saying: “I’d rather lead the horse of a true man, and hold his stirrups for him, than be the ancestor of an idler.” But antichrists are the exact opposite: They would be the ancestors of these idlers. Is this not the manifestation of incompetence? For example, they mention someone who is not arrogant, and is able to contribute. When you ask them how this person is at understanding the truth, they say, “They understand it acceptably well, they have a little caliber.” In fact, this person they have mentioned hides when they encounter a small issue, they have no faith. Among such people, there are those who do not understand the truth, those who do not understand spiritual matters, those who always complain in private, and those who always make mistakes. They are a bunch of dolts, the antichrists are their ancestors, and they are the ones they cultivate. These are the people the antichrists are liable to cultivate when they become “leaders” in the house of God, and is the work of the house of God not delayed as a result? They have no regard for people who have a little caliber, who are able to understand a little of the truth, who pursue the truth, who practice some of the truth, and who can undertake the work of the house of God. Why is that? Such people would never become their slaves and followers, they would never be at their beck and call, so they cultivate a bunch of people who are foolish, timid, ignorant, stupid, slow, and who do not have minds of their own—this is the kind of garbage they cultivate. Is this way of acting beneficial to the work of God’s house? No. And do they give any thought to this? What are they thinking about? “I’m looking for whoever I can work with and get on with, whoever makes me feel significant, and can highlight my value.” Their cohort is a bunch of dolts who do not understand spiritual matters. None of them seek the truth when they encounter an issue, none of them understand the truth, none of them handle things according to the truth principles. There is one thing, however, that the antichrists do like about them: When such people encounter an issue, they seek the antichrists out and do what they say. This is the principle by which the antichrists find people to work alongside. They find a bunch of dolts, a pile of garbage, to work and kiss their feet—and ultimately, some of the work of the house of God is held up. The interests of the church and the speed of work are affected, but these people have no sense of that, and even say, “That’s not only my responsibility.” If everyone says this is not their own responsibility, then just whose is it? If no one takes responsibility when a problem occurs, what was the point in them listening to sermons all these years? The facts are right in front of their eyes, yet they still do not recognize them. What kind of people are these? This fact proves that the people the antichrists choose are no good; they do not accept the truth. Antichrists deliberately team up with dolts, contemptible wretches, and good-for-nothings who do not accept or love the truth. They rope them in, insinuating themselves with them until they are congenial, on intimate terms, and they get on well together. What is this? Is this not an antichrist gang? When you replace their “ancestors,” their faithful offspring object, they pass judgment, and say the Above is being unfair, and band together to stick up for them. Are the antichrists just some evil people? Some antichrists are wasters without any significant talents, but there is one thing about them: their special fondness for status. Do not think that being talentless and uneducated, they have no love of status; that is wrong, and it shows that you have not thoroughly understood the essence of the antichrists. Anyone who is an antichrist loves status. Since the antichrists are incapable of working alongside anyone, how are they capable of cultivating a bunch of rotten eggs and feet kissers? Do they want to work alongside such people? If they were truly able to work alongside these people, then those words would not hold true. They are incapable of working alongside anyone—and that “anyone” also includes the people they cultivate. So what are they doing cultivating them? They cultivate a group who are easy to order about and manipulate, who cannot think for themselves, who do whatever they are told, who work with them to protect their status. Protecting their status unaided would be a little difficult, a little arduous, and so they cultivate such a group of people—a group who, in their eyes, are supposedly “spiritual”—who happily endure hardship and are able to protect the “interests of the house of God.” Each of them does many different tasks, and they go to the antichrists to ask questions or consult every time they encounter an issue. They think that this is what it means to work alongside people. But is it? They find a bunch of people to give orders to, to get their work done, to cement their status. This is not cooperating—it is running their own personal operation.
—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. They Would Have Others Obey Only Them, Not the Truth or God (Part One)
Antichrists behave individualistically and dictatorially, never fellowship with others, and force people to obey them. These are a certain type of behavior, a set of behaviors sharing the same nature. It can be said that no matter what the antichrists do, no matter what decisions or arrangements they make, they never fellowship them with others, never reach consensus with others, and never seek principles for work and practice. Furthermore, they do not enlighten people as to why they act in this way; people are mired in confusion, but must do as the antichrists say. If anyone asks questions, the antichrists do not wish to fellowship or explain, but keep these matters entirely controlled within a certain state—and what is that state? In this state, no one has the right to knowledge; the antichrists do as they please, and what they believe to be right must be carried out in full, with no one else entitled to ask questions, or to know, much less to work in partnership with them. People can only do as they are told. What is the antichrists’ view on this? “Since you chose me as the leader, you are therefore under my charge, and you must do as I say. If you’re not going to do as I say, then don’t choose me—if you choose me, then you must do as I say! I alone have the final say about what we do.” So, in their eyes, what is the relationship between them and the followers beneath them? They are the ones who give the orders, and those below them cannot analyze whether they are right or wrong, nor may they reproach, distinguish, question or doubt them, nor inquire about anything—none of these things are allowed. Whenever an antichrist puts forward some new plan, statement, or way of doing things, everyone must clap their hands in endorsement; there can be no questions. Is there not something coercive in this? What manner of method is this? Behaving individualistically and dictatorially. What kind of disposition is this? (Viciousness.) From the perspective of the surface meaning of the phrase “behaving individualistically and dictatorially,” “behaving individualistically” means that their word goes, and “dictatorially” means that after they alone have made the judgments and decisions, everyone has to carry them out, and no one else is permitted to have different opinions or ideas, or to even ask questions. Them behaving individualistically and dictatorially means that when they encounter an issue, they themselves give it a little thought and decide what to do; they make such decisions alone, in private, without regard for anyone else. No one else, even their partners or the leaders above them, may have any say in what is to be done. That is what “behaving individualistically and dictatorially” means. And what is the perennial principle and method by which such people act? When they encounter an issue, they begin to ponder it in their mind, they think it over this way and that in their head—but just what they are thinking, nobody knows. And why does no one know? Because they say nothing. Some people claim it is because they don’t like talking. Is that the case? This is not a problem of character; they say nothing because they are deliberately not telling you. They wish to act alone; they calculate for themselves what they should do. What are they calculating? This involves their interests, status, prestige, and reputation; they calculate all these things, and say to themselves, “How can I find a way to secure my status, to stop those below me from seeing through me, and most importantly, to hide it from the Above? This is no easy task. If I encounter an issue and fellowship it with the brothers and sisters below me without a second thought, everyone will see through me, and after they do, anyone might blab and report it to the Above, who may well dismiss me, in which case I will not be able to keep my status. What’s more, if I constantly fellowship with others, will this little talent of mine not be exposed to everyone? Then, wouldn’t people look down on me?” Would you say it is a good thing or a bad thing if people really do see through them? In fact, to those who pursue the truth, who are honest, the loss of a little face or reputation, having people see through them, means nothing to them; they do not seem to feel these things, nor to have any significant awareness of them; they do not regard them as particularly important. The antichrists, meanwhile, are the exact opposite: They do not pursue truth, and they regard their own status, and other people’s views and attitude toward them, as more important than their own life. If they were offered gold, and in return they had to speak the truth, to talk about the actual situation, the inside story, would they take up the offer? If only a small amount of gold were offered, they would think it was not worth it; they would not take the deal but rather would continue to clothe themselves in pretense, saying “We believers in God do not love money, we love the truth.” If a large amount of gold were offered, they might say a few cursory things that are genuine in order to fraudulently obtain the money, then carry on as usual, not the slightest bit altered. This is what is meant by “A leopard cannot change its spots.”
—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. They Act Sneakily, Behave Individualistically and Dictatorially, Never Fellowship With People, and Force People to Obey
Antichrists have the same disposition as the archangel. The archangel said, “The heavens and earth and all things are made by me, and mankind is under my control,” and it therefore spoiled and corrupted mankind at will. As soon as antichrists come to power, they say, “You must all believe and follow me. I hold power, I have the final say, so come to me when anything comes up, and bring me the church’s money.” Others say, “Why should we give you that?” “Because I am the leader—I have the power to handle these matters, and it is up to me to take care of everything!” So they take care of everything. They do not care whether the brothers and sisters have no words of God to eat and drink, or whether they lack sermons or books. They do, however, care about who holds the money, how much of it there is, and how it is to be used. If the Above were to question the financial status of the church, not only would they not hand over the church’s money, they would also not let the Above know the truth. Why would they keep the truth from the Above? They want to embezzle, to dominate—is that the reason? Antichrists are extremely interested in material possessions, money and status, and they are certainly not as they seem when they say “I now believe in God, and I have stopped pursuing worldly things and stopped lusting after money.” They are definitely not as simple as they seem. Why do they do everything they can to pursue and maintain status? Because they want to have or control and dominate everything that status brings. They are the authentic descendant of the archangel, and they live up to their name as the nature and essence of the archangel. Anyone who pursues status and focuses on wealth and money certainly has a problem in their disposition. This is not simply a case of having an antichrist’s disposition, so what is it then? First of all, if they were allowed to take responsibility for a task, they would not allow others to interfere; in addition, once they are the supervisor of any task, they will seek ways to showcase, defend, and lift themselves up, to make themselves stand out from the crowd and become the highest, holding onto and fighting for status; furthermore, at the sight of property, their gaze turns covetous, and their mind is always hard at work, thinking and exerting themselves for money. These are all marks of an antichrist. They are uninterested in any mention of communicating the truth, or in asking after the states of brothers or sisters, or how many of them are feeling weak or negative, or how well everyone performing their duties; but when it comes to money, to who can donate, to amounts, to where it is kept, these are the things that they care most about. This is a mark and sign of an antichrist.
—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. They Would Have Others Obey Only Them, Not the Truth or God (Part Two)
The evil of antichrists has one major characteristic—I will share with you the secret of how to discern it. The secret is this—firstly, whether in their speech or their actions, they are unfathomable to you; you cannot read them. When they are speaking to you, their eyes are always swiveling to and fro, and you cannot tell what sort of scheme they are hatching. Even when they do appear very “sincere” and “honest,” you still cannot figure them out. You have a particular feeling in your heart, a sense that there is a deep subtlety within their thoughts, an unfathomable depth. They seem secretive and strange. This is the first characteristic, and this alone is a characteristic of evil. The second characteristic of the evil of antichrists is that they speak and behave in very delusive ways. Where can this delusiveness be seen? It can be seen in the fact that they are particularly skilled in grasping the psychology of others, their words sound pleasant and correct; they expound upon profound theories and say the right things, things that others find acceptable from the standpoints of emotions, conscience and reason, and ideology. But there is one thing that you should discern: All those pleasant-sounding things that they say, they never personally honor. Suppose, for example, they tell you how to be an honest person, how to pray when you are confronted with a problem, or how to let God take charge in your life—just look at what they do when they are the one confronted with problems. They rely on their own ideas, their own thinking, and they rely on their own abilities, racking their brains, doing this and that. They try everything possible to make other people do service for them, to take care of their own affairs. What they do not do is pray to God. Also, they pay lip service to how people should accept and submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, but when faced with their own problems, the very first thing they do is look for a way out. They do not accept God’s orchestrations and arrangements—what people see is that they do not submit in their actions but just try to find a way out for themselves. This is the evil side of antichrists, which lies behind their delusive aspect. In their work, sometimes they labor late into the night or even eschew food and sleep, yet when they are faced with an arrangement made by the house of God, they do not implement it or put it into practice, and they do not accept the truth. Another behavior they reveal is that when brothers and sisters express an opinion they don’t agree with, they reject it in a very roundabout way, talking in circles. It makes you feel like they are taking your idea very seriously; they share fellowship and discuss it with everyone, but when all is said and done, you still have to do as they say. They will do whatever it takes to negate other people’s ideas, to make others go along with them and do as they say. Is this seeking the truth principles? What is the principle that they are putting into practice? It is to make everyone listen and submit to them, and that listening to other people can never be as good as listening to them, that their ideas are the best, the most elevated, and they themselves are the truth and what they say is absolutely correct. Is this not evil? The third characteristic of the evil of an antichrist is that whenever they bear witness to themselves—bearing witness to their own merit, the price they paid, and some things that they did well on the surface that everyone can see, or some things that can bring others some benefits along with them—every time they finish saying all these things, they end by saying something particularly spiritual, like “Thanks be to God; this was all done by Him,” making you see that they are so capable, yet still is able to bear witness to God, when in fact, they are just bearing witness to themselves and making God a footnote. They have not borne witness to God in the least, but are using this as an opportunity to bear witness to themselves alone. Is this not a cunning trick on the part of an antichrist? Is this not evil? With these three things as a basis, antichrists can easily be discerned.
There is another major characteristic of antichrists, which is also one of the primary expressions of their evil disposition and essence. Whether they are hearing sermons and fellowship, or taking part in a gathering—regardless of how other brothers and sisters fellowship on their knowledge of themselves, on acceptance of being judged, chastised, dealt with, and pruned, on properly performing duties, on standing in a position befitting a created being, and on letting go of their longing for blessings, what is antichrists’ attitude to this? No matter how others fellowship or how many people share their fellowship, the antichrists never change their motive to pursue status and blessings. This is why, each time they have worked for a certain period, they tally the things they did, what contribution they made to God’s house, and what matters they handled for the brothers and sisters. They are always surreptitiously making calculations, tallying things within their heart, and haggling with God. Why would they haggle over these things? It is because, deep within their heart, their aim in their pursuit and in their faith from the beginning has always been to chase after blessings. No matter how many years they listen to sermons or how much of God’s words they eat and drink, they will never let go of their desire and motive to receive blessings. If you ask them to be a dutiful created being and accept God’s rule and arrangements, they say, “That is not the right path, it is not what I should be pursuing. What I’m after is, when I have fought the fight, when I have made the requisite effort and suffered the requisite hardship, once I have done everything according to God’s standards, what sort of reward God will give me, whether I will be one of the ones kept, what kind of position I will have in God’s kingdom, and what my final destination will be.” No matter how you fellowship, you can never dispel this motive and longing that they harbor. They are of the same ilk as Paul. Is there not a certain kind of ferocious disposition harbored within this kind of evil?
—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. They Are Evil, Insidious, and Deceitful (Part Two)
Antichrists’ archetypal attitude toward dealing and pruning is to vehemently refuse to accept or admit it; no matter how much harm they have done to the brothers and sisters and the house of God, they do not feel the slightest remorse or that they owe anything. From this point of view, do the antichrists have humanity? (No.) They have caused such harm to the lives of the brothers and sisters and all aspects of the interests of God’s house—anyone can see it, and everyone who sees it would say that is the case—and yet the antichrists do not accept or acknowledge this fact, they stubbornly stick to their guns and do not admit that they are in error in this matter, that they are responsible. Is this not an indication that they abhor the truth? Such is the antichrists’ abhorrence of the truth, such is the way they treat these matters. Is this not taking seriously the interests of the house of God, of the church, of the brothers and sisters? If they acknowledged that they have harmed the interests of the brothers and sisters and the house of God, then they would have to accept responsibility, and at the same time, their status and prestige would be severely compromised—so they staunchly refuse to acknowledge it; it absolutely cannot be acknowledged, and even if they do admit this in their hearts, they will still not do so outwardly. Whether their denial is deliberate or not, in short, in one regard such things clearly indicate the antichrists’ essence of abhorrence of, and hostility toward the truth; in another regard, they show how much the antichrists treasure their own interests, whilst having an attitude of contempt and denial of responsibility toward the interests of the house of God, and of the church. They have no humanity. Does the antichrists’ shirking of responsibility demonstrate these issues? (Yes.) In one regard, shirking responsibility represents their attitude of hostility toward the truth; in another regard, it shows their lack of humanity. No matter how much other people’s interests are harmed because of them, they feel no self-recrimination and could never be troubled by this. What sort of creature is this? Even if they only conceded a little, saying “I did have something to do with this, but it wasn’t all my fault,” this could still be considered as having some humanity, some conscience, a moral baseline—but the antichrists do not even have that slight amount of humanity. So what would you say they are? (The devil.) The essence of such people is the devil. They do not see the tremendous harm they have done to the interests of the house of God, they are not the slightest bit troubled in their hearts, and nor do they reproach themselves, much less feel indebted. Are they even people? This is absolutely not what should be seen in normal people. This is the devil. Even if you did not ask that they accept responsibility for what they did but asked only that they admit their mistake, still they could not do it, still they could not acknowledge this. They think, “If I admit this, is this not the same as saying I was wrong? Could I be someone who does wrong? I will always be right, and great; to ask that I acknowledge a mistake, is that not dishonoring my character? I could never do anything wrong. Even if this matter might have had something to do with me, I didn’t cause it, nor am I chiefly responsible for it; go looking for whoever you want, but don’t come to me. In any case I cannot take responsibility for this, I cannot admit this mistake.” They could not do it if you asked them to acknowledge their mistake in word only; it would be like demanding their death—as if, were they to admit their mistake, they would be condemned and go to hell, and be plunged into the lake of fire and brimstone. In sum, no matter what other people say or fellowship, even if the antichrists force themselves to keep quiet and not argue outwardly, deep down they are competing, pushing back, resisting. To what extent do they resist? There are some antichrists who were dealt with ten years previously because they did something wrong; when it is brought up a decade later, still they do not admit it was their fault or bear their own responsibility; twenty years later, when it is brought up again, still they try to defend themselves; thirty years later, when it is brought up once more, still they do not turn away from their course: They continue to try to justify and vindicate themselves, to defend themselves. After thirty years, still they do not come before God to pray about this matter, to accept this fact, to acknowledge their mistake; still they do not seek out the truth to be practiced and the principles that should be followed in this matter; still their hearts are filled with resentment: They feel that they have been wronged by the brothers and sisters and that God does not understand them; they think that the house of God should feel sorry toward them, that it has made things hard for them, intentionally created problems for them, turned them into a scapegoat. Can such people change? Their hearts are filled with hostility, resistance, and antipathy toward positive things; they believe that for others to deal with and prune them for this is an assault on their character, that it shames their prestige, and does the utmost damage to their status; never do they come before God on account of this matter to pray and seek or recognize their mistakes, nor do they ever have an attitude of repentance and acknowledgment of their mistakes, or come before God to accept this fact—and were they to come before God to pray about this matter, they would do so against their will and with grievances, which they would express to God so that He will redress them. They want God to shed light on what happened, to judge just who was in the right and who was in the wrong. What’s more, because of this matter, they even doubt or deny the righteousness of God; they doubt and deny the fact that the truth and God reigns supreme in the house of God and in the church. This is the final result when antichrists are dealt with and pruned; they simply do not accept the truth.
—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing 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 (Part Three)
No matter what their circumstances, antichrists always feel that this ordinary person who is the incarnate flesh of God is superfluous to them, an obstacle to their getting to know God. They think to themselves, “As soon as human beings come into contact with Christ, He shows us up to be so insignificant and so corrupt in comparison. As long as we do not come into contact with Christ, we are so holy, but as soon as we come into contact with Christ, we feel ourselves to be so lacking. Before meeting Christ, we understand a good many things, and our stature is great. This Christ is just too much trouble.” Thus do they believe that it would be best to only read The Word Appears in the Flesh as much as possible when they have time on their hands. Regardless of what means they employ, or what their situation, the chief manifestation of antichrists is that they try to deny the fact of God’s incarnation and the fact that the words from Christ’s mouth are the truth. It’s as if denying the essence of the incarnate God and the fact that the words from Christ’s mouth are the truth gives them hope of salvation. In their inborn nature, the antichrists and the incarnate flesh of God are as fundamentally incompatible as fire and water and can never be reconciled. What these antichrists believe is, “As long as Christ continues to exist, there will be no hope that my day will come, and I will be in danger of being condemned and eliminated, of being destroyed and punished. But so long as this Christ does not make utterances or do His work and people do not look up to Him, even to the point of forgetting Him and consigning Him to the back of their minds, then there will be a chance for me.” The nature and essence of antichrists is that they can’t help but loathe and abhor Christ; they compare themselves with Christ in the size of their talent and the level of their skill, and vie with Him to see whose words are more powerful and who is more capable. In doing the same thing as Christ, they try to show people that Christ, though likewise a human being, has not even the talent or learning of an ordinary human being. In every respect, the antichrists pit themselves against Christ and compete with Him. In every respect, they try to deny the fact that Christ is God, the embodiment of God’s Spirit, and the incarnation of the truth. In every respect, they rack their brains to find ways to stop Christ from holding sway among the brothers and sisters, to prevent His words from finding fruition among them, and, furthermore, to prevent the things Christ does, the words He speaks, and the demands He makes of people and the expectations He has of them from being realized among them. It’s as if, with Christ present, these antichrists are going to be cast aside and will become that contingent of people within the church who are condemned, forsaken, and placed in a dark corner. From all kinds of manifestations, it can be seen that antichrists are in essence so utterly inimical to Christ that they are irreconcilable. Antichrists are born with the desire to separate themselves from Christ and stand against Him, to defeat Christ and strike Him down, to make the work done by Christ cease to exist, become untenable, and be unable to come to fruition among God’s chosen ones; no matter what work Christ is doing, and where He is working, they wish to see it utterly in ruins and without fruit. But when none of this goes as they would wish, there is darkness and depression in their hearts; they feel that these are dark times and their day will never come. They feel that they have been cast aside. Do these manifestations of the antichrists show that their essence of opposition and enmity to God is something acquired? (No.) In that case, it is innate. Therefore, it is impossible for people who are antichrists to accept the truth, to tolerate Christ. Seen from the outside, they don’t seem to have said or done anything, and they, too, are capable of doing their bit and paying a price in a down-to-earth manner. But as soon as they get the chance, as soon as the time is ripe, scenarios of the antichrists’ fundamental incompatibility with Christ will begin to appear, and the fact of the antichrists’ war against God and their rupture with God will become plainly visible. All these things have happened before in places where there are antichrists, and have become especially numerous during these years of God’s work of the last days. Many people have experienced them at first hand.
—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. They Despise the Truth, Publicly Flout Principles, and Ignore the Arrangements of God’s House (Part Four)
That antichrists deny the uniqueness of God is chiefly because they, too, wish to be God. The words of Paul are their particular favorite: “For to me to live is Christ, for me to live is God, with the life of God I am God.” They believe that, if this view holds true, they have hope of becoming God, of reigning as king, and of wielding control over people; if it does not, then their hopes of reigning as king and becoming God are dashed. In short, Satan always wants to be on an equal footing with God—and so do the antichrists: They, too, possess this essence. For example, among those who follow God, there are people who constantly exalt God and testify to Him, bear witness to His work and to the effect that the judgment and chastisement of His words have in man. They praise all of the work God does to save man, and they also praise the price paid by God. Do antichrists also wish to enjoy all of this, or do they not? They wish to enjoy support, flattery, exaltation—praise, even, from people. And what other shameful ideas do they come up with? They want people to believe in them, to depend on them in all things; it’s all right for people to rely on God, too—but if, at the same time that they depend on God, their reliance on the antichrists is even more real, even more genuine, then the antichrists will be exceedingly pleased. If, at the same time that you praise God and count the graces God has given you, you also tot up all the meritorious achievements of the antichrists, and sing their praises among your brothers and sisters, broadcasting far and wide everything they do, then in their hearts they will be wonderfully gratified, and they will feel content. Thus, speaking from the point of view of the nature and essence of the antichrist, when you say God is possessed of authority, that He is righteous, and that He is able to save people, when you say that only God possesses such essence, that only God can do this kind of work, and no one can stand in His stead or represent Him in doing these things, nor could anyone possess this essence and do these things: when you say this, the antichrists, in their hearts, do not accept these words, and refuse to acknowledge them. Why do they not accept them? Because they have ambitions—that’s one side of the issue. The other side is that they do not believe, nor do they acknowledge, the incarnate flesh to be God. Whenever anyone says that God is unique, that only God is righteous, they take exception in their hearts and will inwardly resist it, saying: “Wrong—I’m righteous too!” When you say that only God is holy, they will say: “Wrong—I am holy too!” Paul is an example of this: When people spread the word of the Lord Jesus Christ, saying that the Lord Jesus Christ gave His precious blood for mankind, that He served as a sin offering, and saved all mankind, and redeemed all mankind from sin—how did Paul feel on hearing this? Did he acknowledge that all this was God’s work? Did he acknowledge that the One who was able to do all this was Christ, and that only Christ could have done it all? And did he acknowledge that only the One who was able to do all this could represent God? He did not. He said: “If Jesus could be crucified, then people can be crucified, too! If He could give His precious blood, then people can, as well! In addition to which, I can preach the way, too, and I’m more knowledgeable than Him, and I can endure suffering! If you say that He is Christ, then shouldn’t I, too, be called Christ? If you extol His holy name, then shouldn’t I also get my due? If He is fit to be called Christ, if He can represent God, and if He is the Son of God, then are not we, too? We who are able to suffer and pay a price, and who can toil and work for God—can’t we also become Christ? Can’t we also be praised by God and called Christ? How is this any different from Christ?” In short, they have failed to grasp the uniqueness of God, and they do not understand what, in the final analysis, the uniqueness of God is. They believe that being Christ or being God is something that one hammers out on the strength of talent and capability, just as one wins a place under the sun through sweat and toil. You do not get to be called Christ by having the essence of Christ; it comes to a person from his own sweat and toil, and from his own capability: Whoever is more talented and more capable is the one who gets to be a big-time official and has the final say. This is their logic. Antichrists do not acknowledge God’s word to be the truth. The essence and disposition of God that are spoken of in God’s words are incomprehensible to them; they are laymen, amateurs, clueless, so their talk consists entirely of the words of amateurs, words without spiritual understanding. If they’ve worked for a few years, they think that they are already capable of suffering and paying a price, that they can blow a lot of hot air whilst preaching, that they’ve learned how to play the hypocrite, and can beguile others, and have won the approbation of some—and so they believe, as a matter of course, that they are capable of becoming Christ, of becoming God.
—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. They Despise the Truth, Publicly Flout Principles, and Ignore the Arrangements of God’s House (Part One)