1. What is an antichrist? How can an antichrist 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 their essence. What is exposed here is not the common corrupt disposition of the masses, things such as arrogance, a touch of hardness, or minor deceit; 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, which can neither constitute a real threat to the truth nor coalesce into a substantial force—this 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. There are some people who also have an evil disposition, some of whom behave selfishly and despicably, some fiendishly, who do not allow others to push them around, and who think, “If people don’t offend me, I won’t offend them.” 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 eyes and ears, with some culture and some social experience, find difficult to detect; this has risen past deceit to evil. 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?
Excerpted from “For Leaders and Workers, Choosing a Path Is of Utmost Importance (4)” in Records of Christ’s Talks
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.
Excerpted from “All People Who Do Not Know God Are People Who Oppose God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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?
Excerpted from “All People Who Do Not Know God Are People Who Oppose God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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?
Excerpted from “Only to Pursue the Truth Is Truly to Believe in God” in Records of Christ’s Talks
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!
Excerpted from “What Is It to Offend God?” in Records of Christ’s Talks
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 an attitude that is 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 such 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.
Excerpted from “For Leaders and Workers, Choosing a Path Is of Utmost Importance (1)” in Records of Christ’s Talks
What is the difference between when an antichrist exalts and testifies about themselves and when an ordinary person does? Ordinary people often brag and show off to make others look up to them; they, too, possess such dispositions and manifest such states. Wherein is the difference? If you can articulate this, then you are able to see what the essence of the antichrists is. If you do not figure this out, and assign all occasional manifestations of self-exaltation or showing off to the domain of antichrists, is this not a conceptual error? How, then, do you make the distinction? What is the essential difference between people who deliberately exalt and testify about themselves, and those who do so unconsciously? (Their motivations are different). That is the difference. Ordinary people have corrupt dispositions. When they exalt themselves and brag, they are trying to show off, and it goes no further than that. Others could look up to them or look down on them—they do not care; their intentions are unclear, and their behavior is governed by one sort of disposition and it is an outpouring of that sort of disposition, nothing more. If they pursue the truth and accept being dealt with and pruned, judged and chastised, this sort of disposition can gradually be alleviated, and, slowly, they will come to have a sense of integrity and shame, and become more rational. Such behavior will become rarer and they will condemn it, reining themselves in and holding themselves back. This is when people unconsciously exalt and testify about themselves. The disposition inherent in exalting and testifying about oneself deliberately is the same as that of doing so unconsciously, but their natures are not the same. Deliberately exalting and testify about oneself is done with an agenda; one who does so is not speaking on the spur of the moment—every time they exalt and testify about themselves, they do so with a certain motivation and a secret aim, and their actions bear features of the ambitions and desires of Satan. Externally, the behavior looks the same: In both cases, people are exalting and testifying about themselves, but when they do so unconsciously, God defines this as the outpouring of a corrupt disposition; when they do so deliberately, how does God define this? God defines this as being deceptive, with an aim to make people think highly of them, venerate them, look up to them, and then follow them. The nature of this behavior of theirs is delusion. So, when their intention is to deceive people, to take possession of them, and to make them follow them, they employ certain methods and techniques in their words and actions. People who do not understand the truth and are of small stature, or who have a relatively shallow foundation, are easily taken in and led astray, and they cannot discern what is going on. Not only are they blind to this, they are also liable to look up to these people and think highly of them. As time goes on, they will also venerate and even follow them. One of the most commonly seen phenomena in everyday life is when some people seem to have a good understanding of a sermon they just heard, but cannot solve issues they encounter later. Even when they come before God to seek, they get nowhere, and they are ultimately forced to seek out a leader, who becomes the one they think of every time they encounter an issue. It is like having an opium smoking habit—they are addicted. So, antichrists who exalt and testify about themselves become a virtual drug for those benighted people of small stature who cannot discern what is happening. As soon as these people have an issue, they go looking for the antichrist. Even after discussing an issue with the group and having clearly understood the truth principles, they will not dare to call it what it is, nor will they dare to attend to it. Instead, they wait for the “master” whom they admire to have the final say, to define the problem, to make a decision—and if their “master” says nothing, no one has the confidence to handle the affair in question. Have they not been poisoned? How much work—how much poison—does it take for the antichrists to poison these folks so badly? If they were often to dissect themselves and know themselves, if they were often to lay bare their weaknesses, mistakes, and sins to everyone, would everyone venerate them so? Absolutely not. It seems that they expend considerable effort to obtain this “achievement,” which is precisely the outcome they wish for. People do not know what to do when they are apart from them; when they encounter an issue, they lack any principle and are at a loss. Clearly, the antichrists fed them no small amount of poison while controlling them. They really went to work on them! If they had only said a few words, would these people have fallen under their control? Absolutely not.
Excerpted from “For Leaders and Workers, Choosing a Path Is of Utmost Importance (2)” in Records of Christ’s Talks
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. No one can discern what they are doing; 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.
Excerpted from “For Leaders and Workers, Choosing a Path Is of Utmost Importance (2)” in Records of Christ’s Talks
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.
Excerpted from “For Leaders and Workers, Choosing a Path Is of Utmost Importance (3)” in Records of Christ’s Talks
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?
Excerpted from “Those Who Obey God With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh