Facing the Suppression of an Honest Report
By Li Ming, Germany
When I was managing the watering team, Fang Ping was the leader in charge of my work. Through our interactions, I realized she tended to go through the motions when carrying out work, that she just shouted slogans and couldn’t resolve real problems. As for the problems we faced in our duties, she wouldn’t lead us in summarizing feedback, and she didn’t fellowship on, or point out a path of practice, all she did was scold us. She rejected brothers’ and sisters’ suggestions. These behaviors left me feeling like she might be a false leader, so I wanted to contact her superior, Liu Yun, to talk it out. But I remembered Fang Ping was always in gatherings with her, and they’d done a lot of work together. I figured Liu Yun would be able to see the problems I saw, and Fang Ping was responsible for several groups’ work, overseeing over a dozen group leaders. Didn’t they see her problems? None of them had reported anything, so why would I speak up? What if I was misunderstanding things and Liu Yun said I was biased against Fang Ping, trying to find fault with her? I didn’t want to be the canary in the coal mine, to stir up trouble for myself. But then I thought of how I’d been hurt by false leaders and antichrists before. It was because of not reporting things in time. The antichrists made a mess of several churches’ work, and brothers’ and sisters’ lives were being impacted. Not reporting problems immediately wouldn’t be upholding the interests of God’s house. At that thought I felt a little uneasy, and I was thinking I should talk to the other brothers and sisters and see what they had to say. So I went to talk to Brother Liu, and he said he felt like Fang Ping couldn’t handle practical issues, that she didn’t follow up on or inquire about the work, she wasn’t instructive or helpful for others entering into the principles. He also said she was autocratic, disorganized, and couldn’t prioritize tasks. Their effectiveness really suffered from that and things had been seriously held up, plus she’d ignored several reminders from the brothers and sisters. During gatherings, she seldom fellowshiped on how she had reflected on and came to know herself, or how she practiced God’s words when faced with problems. She just spouted doctrine, saying things that sounded nice, but not doing anything practical. When I saw Brother Liu saw the same problem I had, I felt quite certain that Fang Ping was a false leader who didn’t do real work, and if she stayed on as a leader it would harm the work of God’s house. I realized Fang Ping’s problem was serious, and I had to report it. But then it occurred to me that she was directly responsible for my work, so if she wasn’t fired after I spoke up, and she found out, she might make my life very difficult, or even dismiss me from my duty. I would be so humiliated if I lost my position so soon after getting it. Then would I have another chance at a duty? They say “The nail that sticks up gets hammered down,” and I shouldn’t be the first. I wanted to talk to Brother Liu, to have him bring it up, and then I could back up his report. Then I wouldn’t be sticking my neck out. But when it was on the tip of my tongue, I just couldn’t say it. I kept wanting to wait and see how things turned out. But God sees our hearts and minds, and I never really felt okay about all of it. I just felt at fault, and guilty. I prayed to God, asking Him to enlighten me to understand myself.
Then I read a passage of God’s words that shined a light on my state. God says, “Most people wish to pursue and practice the truth, but much of the time they merely have a resolution and the desire to do so; the truth has not become their life. As a result, when they come across evil forces or encounter wicked and bad people committing evil deeds, or false leaders and antichrists doing things in a way that violates principles—thus causing the work of God’s house to suffer losses, and harming God’s chosen ones—they lose the courage to stand up and speak out. What does it mean when you have no courage? Does it mean that you are timid or inarticulate? Or is it that you do not understand thoroughly, and therefore do not have the confidence to speak up? It is none of these; it is that you are being controlled by several kinds of corrupt dispositions. One of these dispositions is cunning. You think of yourself first, thinking, ‘If I speak up, how will it benefit me? If I speak up and displease someone, how will we get along in the future?’ This is a cunning mentality, right? Is this not the result of a cunning disposition? Another is a selfish and mean disposition. You think, ‘What does a loss to the interests of God’s house have to do with me? Why should I care? It’s got nothing to do with me. Even if I see it and hear it happen, I don’t need to do anything. It’s not my responsibility—I’m not a leader.’ Such things are inside you, as if they had sprung from your unconscious mind, and as if they occupy permanent positions in your heart—they are the corrupt, satanic dispositions of man. These corrupt dispositions control your thoughts and bind your hands and feet, and they control your mouth. … You have no power over what you say and do. Even if you wanted to, you could not tell the truth or say what you really think; even if you wanted to, you could not practice the truth; even if you wanted to, you could not fulfill your responsibilities. Everything you say, do, and practice is a lie, and you’re just sloppy and perfunctory. Evidently, you are wholly shackled and controlled by your satanic disposition. You may want to accept and strive for the truth, but it’s not up to you: You are nothing but a puppet of corrupt flesh, you have become a tool of Satan, you say and do whatever your satanic disposition tells you to. … You never seek the truth, much less do you practice the truth. You just keep on praying, building up your determination, making resolutions, and swearing oaths. And what has come from all of this? You are still a yes-man; you don’t provoke anyone, nor do you offend anyone. If a matter is none of your concern, then you will stay away from it, and think: ‘I won’t say anything about things that have nothing to do with me, and this goes without exception. If anything can harm my own interests, my pride, or my self-regard, I will pay none of it any heed, and will approach all of it cautiously; I mustn’t act rashly. The nail that sticks up gets hit first, and I’m not that stupid!’ You are totally under the control of your corrupt dispositions of wickedness, cunning, hardness, and detesting the truth. They are running you into the ground, and have grown harder for you to bear even than the Golden Hoop the Monkey King wore. Living under the control of a corrupt disposition is so exhausting and excruciating!” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only Those Who Practice the Truth Are God-Fearing). God’s words revealed my selfish, cunning corrupt disposition. I could see how clearly irresponsible Fang Ping was in her duty. She couldn’t solve problems or do practical work. She couldn’t accept the truth, either. She was autocratic, everything had to be done her way. This not only didn’t benefit the brothers or sisters, instead it was holding them back. These were entirely signs of being a false leader, and things going on that way could seriously impact the church’s work. I knew in my heart that it needed to be reported immediately, but I was afraid that she’d make me regret it if I offended her, that I’d be fired. To protect my own interests, I chose allowing the church’s work to be harmed over reporting her. I chose being cunning over sticking my neck out—I decided to go with the flow. I thought nothing would come down on me if there were problems, and I wouldn’t have responsibility for any problems. “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost,” and “The nail that sticks up gets hammered down” were satanic philosophies I had lived by. I only thought about my own interests, not about the interests of God’s house or how the brothers’ and sisters’ lives were affected. I was so selfish! I always thought I had a sense of righteousness, that I could uphold the interests of God’s house, but this experience showed that I was a crafty and selfish person who just looked at which way the wind was blowing. I was living by satanic philosophies, and failed to report a false leader. I was hurting God’s house, hurting the brothers and sisters. I was a minion of a false leader. I felt like I couldn’t go on being a coward, I had to report any problems I saw.
Just when I’d resolved to make that report, a leader asked us to write evaluations of Fang Ping and her partner. I felt really glad, thinking this meant the leader had recognized Fang Ping’s issues. So I wrote out all of her behavior in great detail. I was surprised to learn that it was her partner who was dismissed, while Fang Ping got to keep her duty. A few days later, Fang Ping started crying in her fellowship, saying, “I haven’t been doing practical work or guiding the brothers and sisters, I’ve been a false leader. I’m not helping with people’s problems, and even oppress others through my words. Now no one dares give me suggestions. God elevated me to that duty, but I was irresponsible. I’m indebted to God. I’ve done so much evil. I am inhumane. God’s house is giving me a chance to keep doing that duty, so I must repent. If any of you see I have any problem please tell me and I’ll be glad to accept it.” I saw her crying bitterly, in tears as she spoke, and she seemed so genuine. I wondered if I’d been wrong, if she could accept the truth and I shouldn’t have asked too much. If she was ready to repent, I figured she could do good work. I should forget it, since she hadn’t been dismissed, I should do my best to work with her. Then I sent her a message saying, “We didn’t understand your struggles. Let’s work better together from now on.” She responded, asking me for more help and suggestions. I was so excited, thinking that if she could accept the truth and turn things around, she could be a good leader. But I was really surprised to see that she didn’t make any changes whatsoever. In gatherings she was going through the motions, not dealing with real problems. Some problems were coming up in the church’s general affairs, but she stayed focused on some external affairs during gatherings. She wouldn’t talk about seeking the truth in that kind of environment. All this kept everyone on edge, seriously disrupting church life, so that no one could do their duty in peace. Seeing all that going on, I went to speak to her. She said, “You’re the one with the problem, everyone else can just do as I say, except for you. You’re the one being disruptive.” I felt upset when I heard her say that. I didn’t know how to carry on in my duty, and I was really stressed out. I could stop, and be dealt with, or I could do what she said, but then I’d just get in everyone else’s way. So I felt helpless, like I didn’t have any room to breathe. I thought about that. But then I remembered how I’d told them about her problems before and they hadn’t really handled Fang Ping, instead they dismissed the other leader who did do real work. If I reported her, would they say I was stirring the pot, and think it was my problem? What if they put the blame on me and dismissed me? When I was in that state, I felt such a spiritual darkness, like I didn’t have God with me. After reporting her once, I’d be worried about my future and personal interests.
Before long, a work arrangement was issued by God’s house, that any evildoers or antichrists discovered in the church, or false leaders who didn’t do real work must be reported to protect the interests of God’s house. This was a responsibility of all God’s chosen people. If a leader lashed out at a brother or sister for being reported, they were an antichrist. Every leader also had to sign a guarantee that they wouldn’t lash out like that. What a wonderful way to handle things. God knows I lack faith and think too much of ourselves, that I struggle to protect the interests of God’s house. I felt both joy and guilt when I saw that arrangement. I was glad God knows how small our stature is, that He was encouraging us to expose false leaders and antichrists. I felt guilty because I knew there were false leaders in the church, but afraid of being oppressed and held back, I didn’t dare report them. I wasn’t worthy of being one of God’s chosen people. So, I spoke with a couple of group leaders about what I saw in Fang Ping’s behavior, and they agreed with me. Then we reviewed the principles for discerning false leaders together and ultimately determined that she was indeed a false leader. We also felt that Liu Yun and other upper leaders were shielding Fang Ping, so they were problematic, too. We decided we’d all write reports on them.
But when I’d written out my evaluation of Fang Ping, the two group leaders told me to send mine off first, not to wait for them. I started worrying again, that if Fang Ping found out about my report, she might give me trouble. I prayed to God about what I was feeling, and came across this passage in God’s words. God says, “All of you say you are considerate of God’s burden and will defend the testimony of the church, but who among you has really been considerate of God’s burden? Ask yourself: Are you someone who has shown consideration for His burden? Can you practice righteousness for Him? Can you stand up and speak for Me? Can you steadfastly put the truth into practice? Are you bold enough to fight against all of Satan’s deeds? Would you be able to set your emotions aside and expose Satan for the sake of My truth? Can you allow My intentions to be fulfilled in you? Have you offered up your heart in the most crucial of moments? Are you someone who does My will?” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 13). I was left speechless when I read all these questions from God. It was so poignant. I’d always talked about being considerate of God’s will, upholding the church’s work. But when I clearly saw that Fang Ping wasn’t doing real work, that she was misleading people with doctrine, being autocratic and arbitrary in her duty, and was seriously disrupting church life, I was weak-kneed. I didn’t report her so I could protect myself, not daring take a stand against dark forces. I preferred being Satan’s lapdog over protecting the interests of God’s house. How could I possibly face God? God’s every word was like a wake-up call for my callous heart, and I resolved to stop shielding myself. Even if I did get bullied, I still had to expose and report them. So I sent out that report about Fang Ping and the other two upper leaders.
A few days later, in a gathering for leaders and workers, Fang Ping, in tears again, put on another show about understanding herself. She said, “I’ve been working day and night, but haven’t managed to get anyone’s support, and I’ve even been reported. This is God’s love for me, and I know I need to stop and reflect on myself. The brothers’ and sisters’ reports are helpful for me, and I’ve written an oath to never suppress anyone who’s written one about me….” Later on, she came to ask me if I had any struggles in my work, how things were going, and she didn’t seem as brash as she had before. She also brought me some food. At first I wasn’t sure, thinking maybe she really had repented. But looking at it another way, I couldn’t be taken in by her being nice for a moment—I had to wait and see. She put on a show of understanding herself as she cried last time, but nothing changed. Maybe she was fawning over me because she knew I’d reported her. Did she want me to say she’d changed when the report was investigated later? I thought she might be deceiving me, and I couldn’t fall into Satan’s trap and be tricked by her again. I quickly said a prayer to God, asking Him to watch over my heart so I wouldn’t be taken in by her tears like last time. I can’t determine if someone has repented simply because they’re crying, nor can I go by their words, I must observe their actions. I was really surprised to see her show her true colors again so soon.
Just a few days later, we were discussing truths about discernment over people and she used the chance to say, “We can’t just learn about ourselves, but we have to learn to discern others. Recently, we were encouraged to report on others, and some evildoers came to the surface through that report writing. We need to expose these evildoers, and all their lackeys who fawn over them. We must hold every single evildoer and antichrist to account.” She was pointing the finger at the victim! I was pretty angry to hear her say that. I saw all her so-called self-knowledge had been fake. She didn’t have any of that, she was pointing the finger back at people writing reports without reflecting on herself at all. It reminded me of a couple passages of God’s words. “Antichrists do not repent. They have no sense of shame; they are vicious and evil of disposition, and they detest the truth in the extreme. Can someone who detests the truth so put it into practice, or repent? That would be impossible” (The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. They Would Have Others Obey Only Them, Not the Truth or God (Part One)). “Do such people as antichrists accept being pruned and dealt with? Would they admit that they have a corrupt disposition? (They would not.) They do not admit that they have a corrupt disposition. When dealing and pruning have befallen them, they make a show of knowing themselves in the presence of the majority; they call themselves the devil, Satan, and say that they have no humanity, that they are of poor caliber, that their actions have been ill-considered, that they are not up to the duty God’s house has given them. They cap it off by saying that this is God’s refinement, His salvation of them, so that others may see just how receptive they are to being dealt with and pruned and just how submissive they are to the truth. Crucially, they do not say why they have met with pruning and dealing, nor whether the pruning and dealing were fitting or deserved. They avoid saying anything on these topics, and others may even come to the mistaken belief that the pruning and dealing of God’s house were gratuitous, that they were wrongs against them and unfair. This is the fellowship they give when dealing and pruning have befallen them; they expose nothing of any of the mistakes, wrongdoings, interruptions and disturbances, or evil deeds that they have done. What, then, are the words of their fellowship, in which they admit to having a corrupt disposition and say they are willing to accept the truth and able to submit to dealing and pruning? Are they words of the heart? They certainly are not. They are falsehoods, all of them—a pack of lies meant to misdirect and beguile. Of course, they are also an imposture, and they are mainly meant to misdirect and beguile. What does an antichrist wish to achieve by beguiling others? (They wish to have others follow them.) Yes—they misdirect and beguile them so that those people will not see through the antichrist or label them an evil person, but will think them instead a person who accepts the truth, who accepts being dealt with and pruned, someone capable of repentance. Well, why is it that they do not openly fellowship the evil they have done or the losses they have incurred to God’s house? (If they said that, people would be able to identify them.) When people are able to identify them, and can see through them, and have seen their humanity for what it is and their disposition and essence for what they are, then people will renounce them. Will those people still fall for their tricks or be taken in by their guile? Will they still hold them in high regard? Will they still adulate them? Will they still worship them? They will do none of those things. When antichrists speak of their self-knowledge or their acceptance of being dealt with and pruned, they prevaricate in order to misdirect and beguile people into worshiping them. This is quite a wicked method, is it not? And some people really do fall for it. Indeed, they are very much moved, and when Satan is done beguiling them, they say, ‘He spoke wonderfully. I was so inspired that I wept more than a few times, and as it was happening, I held him in special admiration and esteem. I had no idea he was an antichrist.’ This is what comes of misdirection and guile” (The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Excursus Five: Summarizing the Character of Antichrists and the Essence of Their Disposition (Part Two)). I saw in God’s words that antichrists are incredibly arrogant by nature, and they never accept the truth. They despise and hate the truth. No matter how many bitter failures they experience, they refuse to repent or change. They’d rather deceive people with illusions, and be cunning. This increased my discernment over Fang Ping. She cried and talked about self-knowledge when she had been reported, saying the reports were God’s love and she’d reflect on herself, that she lacked humanity, was in debt to God, and she swore to repent. She even asked for more feedback. She used these external displays to deceive us, so we’d think she could accept being pruned and dealt with, and submit to the truth. But as for her behavior as a false leader, how she didn’t do real work, was autocratic in her duty, how she hurt the work of God’s house, she never truly addressed any of that at all. She just said a few words about lacking humanity, and never dissected the ways she displayed that lack of humanity. Her fellowship was by no means genuine self-knowledge, she never shared details of her own corruption, or bore witness to God’s righteousness. So people looked up to and sympathized with her. They thought she had stature and could treat those who reported her properly. She wanted to mislead people, to keep their support so she could hold her position. But the facade was short-lived. She turned things around the moment she got a chance, changing that hypocritical, crying veneer of hers, full of hatred for those who reported her. She was condemning us, taking revenge. She hated the truth, and her vicious nature was showing itself. Besides, she was incredibly arrogant and wouldn’t give in to anyone. She always demanded that others listen to her, she had to have final say in everything, never consulting with others. She never compromised when people had suggestions, and never accepted the truth. She cried just to trick and deceive people when she was reported, but then never repented, and even got worse. She was an evil person whose nature and essence were hatred of the truth. She wasn’t just a false leader, she had a complete antichrist essence. That performance of hers really showed everyone her true colors. I was surprised to see she did lots more evil after that, which made me totally certain she was an antichrist being exposed through God’s work.
I found out she and her crew were doing some purging work. They wanted to kick Brother Liu out of the church, someone who made lots of suggestions. Then they fired another leader who said Brother Liu didn’t meet the criteria for that, claiming she was a false leader. They also found excuses for dismissing the two other group leaders who reported them with me. There was a vote, and brothers and sisters decided to keep me in place, not to dismiss me. The church held its annual election right after that, and the ones who had been reported were re-elected. The people they were closer to and Fang Ping’s little sister all got leadership roles. I felt a little confused and didn’t know how it could turn out that way. They had clearly made a mess of the church’s work, so how could they be elected as leaders again? I even started to suspect that the church was just like the secular world, that it was all about relationships and power. Thinking this way left me with a darkness in my heart and I lost my drive to do my duty. I just wanted to leave the church, to crawl into a corner where no one could see me. I even started to develop doubts over God’s righteousness. I pretty much stopped speaking in gatherings and didn’t share any opinions. I was on my guard against everyone and just did my duty robotically. Sometimes I wondered if I should curry favor with them, too, apologize, admit fault, smooth things over with them, so maybe they wouldn’t pursue the issue of my report. Then at least they wouldn’t kick me out of the church.
One day, I watched a reading of God’s words. (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How to Know the God on Earth). Hearing God’s judgment, I felt ashamed with nowhere to hide. When these things I didn’t like happened, I didn’t seek the truth, but doubted God’s righteousness. I suspected that the powerful shielded each other, that darkness ruled in God’s house. Wasn’t that suspecting that God loved evil and darkness, just like humans? That was an absurd way to look at it. God is holy and righteous, so holiness and righteousness hold sway in His house. False leaders and antichrists may get their way for a little while in the church, and they may be able to mislead and control some people, but they’ll never gain a real foothold here—God will expose and eliminate them in the end. God allows those people to appear in the church so that His chosen people can develop true discernment and see the evil, satanic, anti-God faces of antichrists and evil people, then genuinely spurn them and be freed from their deceit and control. That’s the wisdom of God’s work. But when I saw the church under the control of people like that, seeing them oppressing the others, I was careful and on my guard, afraid they’d lash out at me, too. I was afraid to say too much to brothers and sisters, terrified I’d say the wrong thing and the antichrists would have something to use against me, and then I’d be fired or expelled. For my own self-protection, I even thought about employing a secular tactic of kissing up to them. I realized I was really cowardly and didn’t have any backbone at all. I was denying God’s righteousness, refusing to believe that the truth and Christ hold power in His house. These words of God were really poignant: “And your knowledge of Me does not stop at these misunderstandings; even worse is your blasphemy against God’s Spirit and vilification of Heaven. This is why I say that such faith as yours will only cause you to stray further from Me and be in greater opposition against Me” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How to Know the God on Earth). That left me feeling incredibly afraid. I was blaspheming, vilifying God with my absurd notions. I saw I didn’t have any real understanding of God in my faith. After antichrists oppressed me, I didn’t seek the truth and gain discernment or stand up against the antichrist evil forces, but doubted the righteousness of God’s house. That was evil of me! False leaders and antichrists appear in the church only with God’s permission. It’s God setting up a practical lesson for us, so I needed to seek the truth and learn my lesson in that environment. Realizing this, I kneeled down before God in prayer. I said, “God, I want to repent to You. Please give me faith. No matter what sort of situation I face after this, I’ll rely on You to get through it.” I felt a sense of release after my prayer.says, “I take pleasure in those who are not suspicious of others, and I like those who readily accept the truth; toward these two kinds of people I show great care, for in My eyes they are honest people. If you are deceitful, then you will be guarded and suspicious toward all people and matters, and thus your faith in Me will be built upon a foundation of suspicion. I could never acknowledge such faith. Lacking true faith, you are even more devoid of true love. And if you are liable to doubt God and speculate about Him at will, then you are, without question, the most deceitful of all people. You speculate whether God can be like man: unpardonably sinful, of petty character, devoid of fairness and reason, lacking a sense of justice, given to vicious tactics, treacherous and cunning, pleased by evil and darkness, and so on. Is not the reason that people have such thoughts because they lack the slightest knowledge of God? Such faith is nothing short of sin! There are even some who believe that the ones who please Me are precisely those who flatter and bootlick, and that those lacking in such skills will be unwelcome in the house of God and will lose their place there. Is this the only knowledge you have acquired after all these years? Is this what you have gained? And your knowledge of Me does not stop at these misunderstandings; even worse is your blasphemy against God’s Spirit and vilification of Heaven. This is why I say that such faith as yours will only cause you to stray further from Me and be in greater opposition against Me. Throughout many years of work, you have seen many truths, but do you know what My ears have heard? How many among you are willing to accept the truth? You all believe you are willing to pay the price for the truth, but how many of you have truly suffered for the truth? There is nothing but unrighteousness in your hearts, which makes you think that everyone, no matter who they are, is equally deceitful and crooked—to the point that you even believe that God incarnate could, like a normal person, be without a kind heart or benevolent love. More than that, you believe that a noble character and a merciful, benevolent nature exist only within the God in heaven. You believe that such a saint does not exist, that only darkness and evil reign on earth, while God is something with which people entrust their longing for the good and beautiful, a legendary figure fabricated by them. … You regard all deeds of Christ from the standpoint of the unrighteous and evaluate all His work, as well as His identity and essence, from the perspective of the wicked. You have made a grave mistake and done that which has never been done by those coming before you. That is, you serve only the lofty God in heaven with a crown upon His head, and never attend to the God whom you regard as so insignificant that He is invisible to you. Is this not your sin? Is this not a classic example of your offense against the disposition of God?”
One day, Fang Ping’s little sister arranged to go to a gathering with me, saying some brothers and sisters had reported me and so I had to pause my duties. But she didn’t tell me what they’d reported me for, instead telling me to reflect on myself. And she told me that if anyone asked me why I’d been dismissed, I couldn’t say anything. It was all happening to me so suddenly, I just didn’t know what to do—my mind was a blank. I went home and was sitting there in a daze, thinking and thinking. Were they going to remove me from the church? When they kicked Brother Liu out, first they used his old age as an excuse to stop his duty, then arranged for his purging papers. I was so afraid. I had no idea what I’d do if they used that tactic against me, too. Sometimes I looked at it more optimistically, thinking maybe someone really had reported me, and after their investigation, they might let me keep going to gatherings and doing a duty. I was veering between an optimistic and a pessimistic view of it. I felt like my head was about to explode. I was miserable, like there was a great weight on my heart. I didn’t know how to get through that situation and I was having doubts about God’s rule again. I rushed to pray, asking God to watch over me so I wouldn’t lose faith or doubt His work. I knew God was allowing that to happen to me, that it would be beneficial for my life. I wanted to calm down and really seek the truth. After that, I read a lot of God’s words about understanding God’s rule and going through trials, and I realized that God was allowing all of this to happen. Without God’s permission, no matter how savage Satan or an antichrist is, they can’t touch me. I couldn’t tell what those false leaders and antichrists were going to do, but I could learn to wait and seek, and at the very least, not blame God and become Satan’s laughingstock. Even if they did kick me out, I wouldn’t give up my faith, and I could still do my duty by sharing the gospel. I didn’t feel as weak and afraid when I thought about it that way.
After a couple weeks or so went by, Fang Ping’s little sister asked me to write an assessment of Sister Zhang. A sister who wrote that report letter with me before. I realized they were probably preparing the paperwork to kick her out of the church, so I calmly thought back in detail about everything that had happened, including all the things Fang Ping had done. I felt like I had more discernment over them. I read a passage. God says, “What is the main objective of an antichrist when they attack and exclude a dissenter? They seek to create a situation in the church where there are no voices contrary to their own, in which their power, their rule, and their words are absolute. Everyone must heed them, and if someone has a different opinion, they must keep it to themselves and nip it in the bud. This is a technique used by those who attack and exclude dissenters to consolidate their status. They say, ‘It’s fine for you to have different opinions, but you can’t go around talking about them as you please, much less compromise my power and status. If you have something to say, you can say it to me in private. If you say it in front of everyone and cause me to lose face, you are asking to be snubbed, and I’ll have to take care of you.’ What kind of disposition is this? Antichrists do not permit others to speak freely. If they have an opinion—whether about the antichrist or anything else—they must keep it to themselves; they must consider the antichrist’s face. If not, the antichrist will brand them an enemy, and attack and exclude them. What kind of nature is this? It is the nature of an antichrist. And why do they do this? Because they want continuously to consolidate their power and status in people’s minds, and for their power and status to be firm and unshakable. They could never tolerate anything that threatened or affected their pride, reputation, or status and value as a leader. Is this not a manifestation of the vicious nature of antichrists? Not content with the power they already possess, they consolidate and secure it and seek absolute domination. Not only do they want to control others’ behavior, but also their hearts” (The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. They Attack and Exclude Dissenters). I saw from God’s words that antichrists just want to solidify their power and position in the church, so they’ll oppress and lash out at anyone else who has different ideas or wants to report them. Weren’t Fang Ping and her crew exactly the same as God’s description of antichrists? Some people saw them clearly and reported them, so they jumped at a chance to dismiss them. The brothers and sisters punished by them were all within their range of supervision and the moment they pushed back against them at all, they would start preparing dismissal papers to expel them. They dismissed leaders and workers who had discernment over them and established the ones they liked and their own cronies in those positions. They had already ganged up to form a faction. Things were even worse than when we wrote that report—it was a bona fide gang of antichrists. If I didn’t report their evil, not only would the work of God’s house suffer, but it would be disastrous for brothers and sisters. But the thought of reporting them again scared me. They all had leadership roles, and I’d been dismissed and suspended from gatherings. If I reported them after all that, would the others believe me? If they got their hands on my report like before, not only would nothing come of it, but they might even expel me from the church. That would be the end of me. The thought of being expelled filled me with this indescribable dread. But then I thought about how severely they’d already disrupted the church’s work, and they were still on their rampage of lashing out at people. If I was too afraid of them to write a report, but let them keep running rampant, who knows how many brothers and sisters would suffer. That would be a serious transgression before God and He might abandon me. I could hardly eat or sleep for a few days. Then Brother Zhao called me and asked what all I had written in that report before, and what I thought now. I said, “Just wait.” He said, “Even if you don’t take a stand and report her now, will Fang Ping leave you be? This isn’t a personal matter, but it involves the church’s work. Give it some thought.” I was really unsettled after getting off the phone with him. I just couldn’t stop thinking about what he’d said. I felt really pent up and didn’t know what to do. For a while I’d think I should go for it and write another report. Then for a while I’d be thinking of my future and fate, afraid of being expelled and seeing my life of faith come to an end. I was really in a state of turmoil. Then I saw a passage of God’s words. God says, “Until people have experienced God’s work and gained the truth, it is Satan’s nature that takes charge and dominates them from within. What, specifically, does that nature entail? For example, why are you selfish? Why do you protect your own position? Why do you have such strong emotions? Why do you enjoy those unrighteous things? Why do you like those evils? What is the basis for your fondness for such things? Where do these things come from? Why are you so happy to accept them? By now, you have all come to understand that the main reason behind all these things is that Satan’s poison is within you. So what is Satan’s poison—how can it be expressed? For example, if you ask, ‘How should people live? What should people live for?’ people will answer, ‘Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.’ This single phrase expresses the very root of the problem. Satan’s philosophy has become people’s lives. No matter what people pursue after, they do it for themselves—and so they live only for themselves. ‘Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost’—this is the life and the philosophy of man, and it also represents human nature. These words have already become the nature of corrupt mankind, the true portrait of corrupt mankind’s satanic nature, and this satanic nature has already become the basis for corrupt mankind’s existence; for several thousand years, corrupt mankind has lived by this venom of Satan, right up to the present day” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Walk the Path of Peter). Thinking that over, I could see that protecting myself and not daring to report Fang Ping at every step was living by things like “The nail that sticks up gets hammered down,” “Protect yourself, seek only to escape blame,” “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost,” these satanic poisons. They’d taken root deep in my bones, in my blood, so I was selfish and cunning in everything I said and did, only thinking of myself. Back before I became a believer, in work and my personal life, if it could offend someone, I never wanted to speak up even if I saw a problem. Even after joining the church, I kept living by these philosophies instead of practicing the truth. I knew Fang Ping and the others were a gang of antichrists and that I should stand on God’s side and report them, but I was just thinking of my own future, not considering the work of God’s house or the others’ life entry. It was really selfish and vile!
Then I started giving thought to why I’d been so afraid of them. Could they decide my fate? Wasn’t my future and fate entirely in God’s hands? Wasn’t it foolish of me to be so scared of evil antichrist forces? That made me think of a passage of God’s words. God says, “God’s expression of His wrath is a symbol that all evil forces will cease to exist, and it is a symbol that all hostile forces will be destroyed. This is the uniqueness of God’s righteous disposition, and of God’s wrath. When God’s dignity and holiness are challenged, when the forces of justice are obstructed and unseen by man, then God will send forth His wrath. Because of God’s essence, all those forces on earth which contest God, oppose Him and contend with Him, are evil, corrupt and unjust; they come from and belong to Satan. Because God is just and is of the light and flawlessly holy, thus all things evil, corrupt and belonging to Satan will vanish when God’s wrath is unleashed” (The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique II). God’s house isn’t like the world—God holds power here. He is the truth and He is righteous, a symbol of all that’s light and good. All antichrists and evil people, these dark, satanic forces, can’t gain a real foothold here, but will be punished and cursed by God. There was no need for all my fretting. False leaders and antichrists are in God’s hands, too. Even if they really did kick me out, there would be a lesson in it for me. I knew I couldn’t be afraid of them anymore, but I had to practice the truth, take a stand and report them. So I called Sister Zhang to discuss writing a report with her, and I was surprised to hear her say that Fang Ping and her crew were doing the paperwork to expel me. I already knew that they’d probably find a way to kick me out, but hearing that news was such a shock, I went into a cold sweat. I read a passage of God’s words after that call. God says, “If a church contains no one who is willing to practice the truth and no one who can stand witness for God, then that church should be completely isolated, and its connections with other churches must be severed. This is called ‘burying death’; this is what it means to cast out Satan. If a church contains several local bullies, and they are followed by ‘little flies’ that entirely lack discernment, and if the congregants, even after having seen the truth, are still incapable of rejecting the binds and manipulation of these bullies, then all those fools will be eliminated in the end. These little flies might not have done anything terrible, but they are even more deceitful, even more slick and evasive, and everyone like this will be eliminated. Not a single one shall remain! Those who belong to Satan will be returned to Satan, while those who belong to God will surely go in search of the truth; this is decided by their natures. Let all those who follow Satan perish! No pity will be shown to such people. Let those who search for the truth be provided for, and may they take pleasure in God’s word to their hearts’ content. God is righteous; He would not show favoritism to anyone. If you are a devil, then you are incapable of practicing the truth; if you are someone who searches for the truth, then it is certain that you will not be taken captive by Satan. This is beyond all doubt” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. A Warning to Those Who Do Not Practice the Truth). Reading God’s words, I could really feel God’s holy, righteous disposition that tolerates no offense. God wouldn’t allow false leaders and antichrists to disrupt His work or hurt His chosen people. God also hates those who don’t practice the truth or uphold the church’s interests when false leaders and antichrists appear. If they don’t repent, they’re all bound to be eliminated and punished. In the face of Fang Ping’s gang, if I failed to practice the truth and take a stand to report them, didn’t that mean I was standing on Satan’s side, letting them run amok in God’s house? I had a part in their evil. I was enjoying the truth bestowed by God, eating and drinking what’s His, but when antichrists were disrupting the work of God’s house, I couldn’t uphold the interests of God’s house. That was a serious betrayal of God, and something that He condemns. Just like God said, “Let all those who follow Satan perish!” It was only then that I felt truly afraid. I knew that if I didn’t repent, even if they didn’t expel me, I’d be condemned and eliminated along with the false leaders and antichrists. So then I came before God to pray. I said, “God, I want to repent to You. I can’t keep being so protective of myself. Please give me strength so I can practice the truth, not be held back by Satan’s dark forces, and take a stand for the church’s work. Even if they do kick me out, I’ll still write out everything I know.” After that, with a sister’s help, I had my report delivered directly to an upper leader. An investigation was conducted, and they were determined to be antichrists. But they wouldn’t give up even after their duties were suspended. They were secretly getting their buddies to fight to the death for them and tried to dupe brothers and sisters into covering up evidence of their evildoing. They even supervised the sisters who came to handle the report. In the end, that entire gang of antichrists was thoroughly expelled from the church and the brothers and sisters who were oppressed were able to live a normal life of the church and do their duty again.
Through all of this, I really, truly saw God’s righteous, unoffendable disposition, and that in God’s house, it’s the truth, God, and righteousness that rule. No matter how vicious Satan is or how powerful it appears to be, it’s still just a tool God uses to perfect His chosen people. I remember a wonderful passage. Almighty God says, “We speak always of how vicious, evil, and malicious Satan is, that it detests and hates the truth. Can you see this? Can you see what Satan does in the spiritual world? How it speaks and acts, what is its attitude toward the truth and God, where its evil lies—you can see none of these things. So, however one might say that Satan is evil, that it resists God, and that it detests the truth, in your mind, it is merely a statement. There is no true image to it. It is too hollow, and it is impractical; it cannot serve as a practical reference. But when one has come into contact with an antichrist, they see Satan’s evil, vicious disposition and its truth-detesting essence a bit more clearly, and their understanding of Satan is a bit more incisive and practical. Without these real examples and events for people to come into contact with and see, the truths that people understand will be indistinct, hollow, and impractical. But when people come into real contact with these antichrists and evil people, they can see how they do evil and resist God, and they can identify the nature and essence of Satan. They see that these evil people and antichrists are Satan incarnate—that they are the living Satan, the living devil. Contact with antichrists and evil people can have such an effect. When Satan incarnates as an evil person or antichrist, the capabilities of its fleshly body are only so great, yet it can still do so many bad things, and get up to such mischief, and be so evil and insidious in conduct and in deed. What, then, of the spiritual Satan? The evil it does is a hundred or a thousand times greater still than the sum of that done by all the evil people, antichrists, and demons that live in the flesh. So, the lessons people learn by coming into contact with evil people and antichrists are of great help in developing discernment and seeing the face of Satan clearly. They enable people to learn to distinguish what things are positive and what are negative, what is loathed by God and what is pleasing to Him, what is the truth and what is absurdity, what is righteous and what is evil, exactly what God hates and what He loves, and which people God spurns and eliminates and which He praises and gains. It is useless to try to understand these questions from doctrine alone. One must experience many things, especially the deception and disturbance of evil people and antichrists. Not until one has true discernment can they understand these many truths and come to a deeper and more practical understanding of what God requires and what He wants to gain. Does this lead to a greater understanding of God’s will? (Yes.) Can it make you surer that God is the truth and that which is most lovely? (Yes.) God has people learn lessons and develop discernment in the course of experiencing things, and He is certainly training people, as well, while also revealing people of each sort. When some people encounter an evil person or an antichrist, they do not dare to expose or identify them, and they do not dare to come into contact with them. They are afraid, focusing only on avoiding them, as if they had seen a venomous snake. Such people are too timid to learn a lesson, and they will not develop discernment. Some people who encounter an evil person or an antichrist do not bother to learn discernment; they let their hot blood guide their treatment of them, and when the time comes to expose and identify an antichrist, they cannot be of use or do anything practical. Some people see an antichrist doing much evil, and they detest it at heart, but they feel there is nothing at all that they can do about it, that their hands are tied. They are toyed with at will by antichrists, to whom they meekly submit. They endure this and hold back, and no matter what outrages an antichrist commits, they do not report or expose them. They have failed in their responsibility and duty as humans. In short, when evil people and antichrists wreak havoc and do as they will, it exposes people of all sorts, and of course, it also serves to train those who pursue the truth and have a sense of righteousness, so that they may grow in discernment and insight, and learn something, and understand God’s will. What of God’s will do they understand? They are made to see that God does not save the ilk of antichrists, but simply uses them until they have done their service, then exposes and eliminates them, and ultimately punishes them, for they are evil people and of Satan. Those whom God saves are a group of people who, despite their corrupted dispositions, love positive things, and recognize that God is the truth, and submit to His sovereignty and arrangements, and who, having committed a transgression, are still able to repent. These people can accept being dealt with and pruned, being judged and chastised. Those who, no matter how God works, can accept it and submit to it, and learn something from it—such is the group of people who truly follow God, experience His work, and are gained by Him” (The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Nine (Part Eight)). Being bullied and oppressed by those antichrists, I got a real look at how evil and cruel they are in essence. They’ll condemn and expel anyone who doesn’t listen to them, who reports them or may threaten their position. What’s more, they don’t have the slightest conscience or reason. No matter how much evil they do or how many people they oppress, how many times they’re dealt with, they don’t have a shred of regret or repentance. I saw that antichrists hate and despise the truth by essence. They are enemies of God, demons reincarnated on earth. I also personally experienced that if you’re afraid of their power and don’t dare expose and report an antichrist, you’ll just be trampled anyway. You have to stand on God’s side, use His words and the truth to fight them. You have to report and reject them to drive them out of the church. That’s the only way to escape their power and control, to triumph over Satan. My chance to learn all of this was entirely thanks to God’s work! Thank God!