18. The Notion of the Religious World That: “The Pope Is God’s Representative on Earth, When the Lord Returns, He Will First Reveal It to the Pope”

Most Catholics believe that the Pope was established by God and that he is God’s representative on earth. They think that when God returns, He will first reveal it to the Pope; that the Pope would be the first to know; and that if the Pope does not know about it or condemns it, then it is not the true way.

God’s Words From the Bible

“But of that day and hour knows no man, not the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but My Father only” (Matthew 24:36).

“Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes” (Matthew 24:44).

“He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7).

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27).

“And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6).

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears My voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).

“And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:14).

“Cursed be the man that trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from Jehovah” (Jeremiah 17:5).

“These are they which follow the Lamb wherever He goes” (Revelation 14:4).

Words of Almighty God of the Last Days

There are several major religions in the world, and each has its own head, or leader, and the followers are spread across different countries and regions all over the world; almost every country, be it large or small, has different religions within it. However, regardless of how many religions there are across the world, all people within the universe ultimately exist under the guidance of one God, and their existence is not guided by religious heads or leaders. This is to say that mankind is not guided by a particular religious head or leader; rather, the whole of mankind is led by the Creator, who created the heavens and earth and all things, and who also created mankind—this is a fact. Although the world has several major religions, regardless of how great they are, they all exist under the dominion of the Creator, and none of them can exceed the scope of this dominion. The development of mankind, the supersedure of society, the development of natural sciences—each is inseparable from the arrangements of the Creator, and this work is not something that can be done by any given religious head. A religious head is merely the leader of a particular religion, and cannot represent God, nor can they represent the One who created the heavens and earth and all things. A religious head can lead all those within the entire religion, but they cannot command all creatures beneath the heavens—this is a universally acknowledged fact. A religious head is merely a leader, and cannot stand equal to God (the Creator). All things are in the hands of the Creator, and in the end they will all return to the hands of the Creator. Mankind was made by God, and regardless of the religion, every person will return under the dominion of God—this is inevitable. Only God is the Most High among all things, and the highest ruler among all creatures must also return under His dominion.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God

All of the actions and deeds of Satan are manifested in man. Today, all of the actions and deeds of man are an expression of Satan and hence cannot represent God. Man is the embodiment of Satan, and the disposition of man is unable to represent the disposition of God. Some people are of good character; God may do some work through such people’s character, and the work they do is directed by the Holy Spirit. Yet their disposition is unable to represent God. The work God does upon them is nothing more than working with and expanding on what already exists within. Be it prophets in ages past or those used by God, no one can directly represent Him. … Only the love, the will to suffer, the righteousness, submission, and humbleness and hiddenness of the incarnate God directly represent God. This is because when He came, He came without a sinful nature and came directly from God, without having been processed by Satan. Jesus is only in the likeness of sinful flesh and does not represent sin; therefore, His actions, deeds, and words, up to the time prior to His accomplishment of the work through crucifixion (including the moment of His crucifixion), are all directly representative of God. The example of Jesus is sufficient to prove that anyone with a sinful nature cannot represent God, and that the sin of man represents Satan. Which is to say, sin does not represent God, and God is sinless. Even the work done in man by the Holy Spirit can only be considered to have been directed by the Holy Spirit, and cannot be said to be done by man on behalf of God. But, as far as man is concerned, neither his sin nor his disposition represents God.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Corrupt Man Is Incapable of Representing God

Look at the leaders of each religion and each denomination—they are all arrogant and self-righteous, and their interpretations of the Bible lack context and are guided by their own notions and imaginings. They all rely on gifts and knowledge 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 some doctrines, or they know how to win others over and make use of some tricks. They use these things to deceive people, and to bring people before themselves. Nominally, those people believe in God, but in reality, they follow these leaders. When they encounter someone preaching the true way, some of them say, “We have to consult our leader about matters of faith.” See how people need the agreement and approval of others when it comes to believing in God and accepting the true way—is this 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? Such people are of the same kind as Paul.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three

Some people do not rejoice in the truth, much less judgment. Instead, they rejoice in power and riches; such people are called power seekers. They search only for those denominations in the world with influence, and they search only for pastors and teachers that come from seminaries. Though they have accepted the way of truth, they are only half-believing; they are incapable of giving all of their hearts and minds, their mouths speak words of expending themselves for God, but their eyes are focused on the great pastors and teachers, and they do not spare Christ a second glance. Their hearts are fixated upon fame, fortune, and glory. They think it out of the question that such a meager person could be capable of conquering so many, that one so unremarkable could perfect man. They think it out of the question that these nobodies among the dust and dunghills are the people chosen by God. They believe that if such people were the objects of God’s salvation, then heaven and earth would be turned upside down, and all people would laugh themselves silly. They believe that if God chose such nobodies to be perfected, then those great men would become God Himself. Their perspectives are tainted with unbelief; more than not believing, they are simply preposterous beasts. For they value only status, prestige, and power, and they esteem only large groups and denominations. They have not the slightest regard for those led by Christ; they are simply traitors who have turned their backs on Christ, on truth, and on life.

What you admire is not the humility of Christ, but those false shepherds of prominent standing. You do not adore the loveliness or wisdom of Christ, but those libertines who wallow in the filth of the world. You laugh at the pain of Christ who has no place to lay His head, but you admire those corpses that hunt for offerings and live in debauchery. You are not willing to suffer alongside Christ, but you gladly throw yourself into the arms of those reckless antichrists, though they only supply you with flesh, words, and control. Even now, your heart still turns toward them, toward their reputation, toward their status, toward their influence. And yet you continue to hold an attitude whereby you find the work of Christ hard to swallow and you are unwilling to accept it. This is why I say that you lack the faith to acknowledge Christ. The reason you have followed Him to this day is only because you had no other option. A series of lofty images are forever towering in your heart; you cannot forget their every word and deed, nor their influential words and hands. They are, in your heart, forever supreme and forever heroes. But this is not so for the Christ of today. He is forever insignificant in your heart, and forever undeserving of fear. For He is far too ordinary, has far too little influence, and is far from lofty.

In any case, I say that all those who do not value the truth are nonbelievers and traitors to the truth. Such men shall never receive the approval of Christ. Have you now identified how much unbelief is within you, and how much betrayal of Christ you have? I exhort you thus: Since you have chosen the way of truth, then you should devote yourself wholeheartedly; do not be ambivalent or half-hearted. You should understand that God does not belong to the world nor any one person, but to all those who truly believe in Him, all those who worship Him, and all those who are devoted and faithful to Him.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Are You a True Believer in God?

Of principal importance in following God is that everything should be according to the words of God today: Whether you are pursuing life entry or the fulfillment of God’s will, everything should be centered around the words of God today. If what you commune and pursue are not centered around the words of God today, then you are a stranger to the words of God, and totally bereft of the work of the Holy Spirit. What God wants are people who follow His footsteps. No matter how wonderful and pure what you understood before is, God does not want it, and if you are unable to put aside such things, then they will be a tremendous obstacle to your entry in the future. All those who are able to follow the present light of the Holy Spirit are blessed. The people of ages past also followed the footsteps of God, yet they could not follow until today; this is the blessing of the people of the last days. Those who can follow the present work of the Holy Spirit, and who are able to follow the footsteps of God, such that they follow God wherever He leads them—these are people who are blessed by God. Those who do not follow the present work of the Holy Spirit have not entered into the work of God’s words, and no matter how much they work, or how great their suffering, or how much they run about, none of it means anything to God, and He will not commend them. Today, all those who follow the present words of God are in the stream of the Holy Spirit; those who are strangers to the words of God today are outside of the stream of the Holy Spirit, and such people are not commended by God. … “Following the work of the Holy Spirit” means understanding the will of God today, being able to act in accordance with the present requirements of God, being able to obey and follow the God of today, and entering in accordance with the newest utterances of God. Only this is someone who follows the work of the Holy Spirit and is in the stream of the Holy Spirit. Such people are not only capable of receiving God’s praise and seeing God, but can also know God’s disposition from the latest work of God, and can know man’s notions and disobedience, and man’s nature and essence, from His latest work; furthermore, they are able to gradually achieve changes in their disposition during their service. Only people such as this are those who are able to gain God, and who have genuinely found the true way.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Know God’s Newest Work and Follow His Footsteps

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Previous: 17. The Notion of the Religious World That: “Pastors and Elders Are Established by the Lord”

Next: 19. The Notion of the Religious World That: “Catholicism Is the Orthodox Church, Departing From the Catholic Church Is Betraying the Lord”

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Question 3: No matter what, pastors and elders all preach based on the Bible. Isn’t explaining the Bible and making people hold on to the Bible exalting and bearing witness to the Lord? Is it wrong for pastors and elders to explain the Bible? How could you say they are hypocritical Pharisees?

Almighty God says, “Look at the leaders of every denomination and sect. They are all arrogant and self-right, and they interpret the Bible out of context and according to their own imagination. They all rely on gifts and erudition to do their work. If they were incapable of preaching anything, would those people follow them? They do, after all, possess some learning, and can speak a little of doctrine, or know how to win over others and how to use some artifices, through which they have brought people before themselves and have deceived them. ”

Question 1: It is clearly written in the Bible: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Heb 13:8). So the name of the Lord does not change, but you say that the name of the Lord Jesus will change in the last days. How can you explain that?

Almighty God says, “There are those who say that God is immutable. That is correct, but it refers to the immutability of God’s disposition and substance. Changes in His name and work do not prove that His substance has altered; in other words, God will always be God, and this will never change. If you say that the work of God always stays the same, then would He be able to finish His six-thousand-year management plan? You merely know that God is forever unchanging, but do you know that God is always new and never old?"

Question 2: You say Paul’s words are not the truth. Then why are his words in the Bible? Paul’s words are written in the Bible. Therefore, they were inspired by God; they represent God’s words. We should pursue them!

Almighty God says, “… Paul’s letters in the New Testament to the churches were not the revelation of the Holy Spirit, nor words directly from the Holy Spirit; they were simply Paul’s exhortation, consolation, and encouragement to the churches during the time he worked, as well as a record of much work done by him. … Everything he said that edified others and had a positive effect was correct, but his words did not represent the words of the Holy Spirit, and did not represent God."

Question 4: People are sinful, but the sin offering of the Lord Jesus is forever effective. As long as we confess our sins to the Lord, He will forgive us. We are sinless in the Lord’s eyes, so we can enter the kingdom of heaven!

Almighty God says, "A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as sinners because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure."

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