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Question 8: Regardless of whether pastors and elders reign over the religious world, and act with hypocrisy, walking down the vile path of the Pharisees, what do their sins have to do with us? We may have followed them and listened to them, but we believe in the Lord Jesus, not the pastors and elders. In my view, we are not walking the path of the Pharisees. How is it that we are also Pharisees?

Classic Questions and Answers on the Gospel of the Kingdom (Selections)

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XV. Questions and Answers on Dissecting the Essence of the Pharisees

Question 8: Even though the religious world is ruled by pastors and elders and they are hypocrites who walk the path of the Pharisees, what do their sins have to do with us? Although we follow and listen to them, who we believe in is the Lord Jesus and not pastors and elders. I feel we have not embarked on the path of the Pharisees. How come we have also become Pharisees?

Answer: There are a lot of people in religion who blindly believe in and worship and follow Pharisees. So whether the path they walk is the path of the Pharisees is obvious once you think about it. You dare say you worship and protect Pharisees in your heart but have nothing to do with their sins? You dare say you follow hypocritical Pharisees, but aren’t like them, a person who resists God? Can people still not see through such a simple question? The type of person you follow is the type of path you walk. If you follow the Pharisees then you are on the Pharisees’ path. If you walk the path of the Pharisees then you are naturally the same type of person as the Pharisees. Whom a person follows and what path they choose is all directly related to their nature. Whoever follows the Pharisees has the same nature and essence as the Pharisees. This is an undeniable truth! The essence of Pharisees is hypocrisy. They believe in God but don’t love the truth or seek life. They only believe in a vague God up in heaven and their own notions and imaginations, but they don’t believe in or admit Christ incarnate. Strictly speaking, they are all unbelievers. Their believing in God is researching theology and treating faith in God as a form of knowledge to conduct research. Their livelihoods depend on researching the Bible and theology. In their hearts, the Bible is their livelihood. They think the better they are at explaining biblical knowledge and theological theory, the more there will be people who worship them and the higher and more firmly they can stand on the podium, and the more stable their status will be. It’s precisely because Pharisees are people who only live for their status and livelihood, and are people who are fed up with and despise the truth, that when the Lord Jesus became flesh and came to work, they stubbornly held on to their own notions and imaginations and biblical knowledge for the sake of protecting their own status and livelihood, stopping at nothing to resist and condemn the Lord Jesus and oppose God. From the words of Almighty God we can completely see the Pharisees’ truth-hating essence and the roots of their resistance to God. Almighty God says, “Do you wish to know the root of why the Pharisees opposed Jesus? Do you wish to know the substance of the Pharisees? They were full of fantasies about the Messiah. What’s more, they believed only that the Messiah would come, yet did not seek the truth of life. … they made the mistake of paying empty tribute to the name of the Messiah while opposing the substance of the Messiah by any means. These Pharisees in substance were stubborn, arrogant, and did not obey the truth. The principle of their belief in God is: no matter how profound your preaching, no matter how high your authority, you are not Christ unless you are called the Messiah. Are these views not preposterous and ridiculous?” (“When You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus Will Be When God Has Made Anew Heaven and Earth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “… many of those who do not pursue reality become the enemies of God incarnate, become antichrists. Is this not an obvious fact? In the past, when God had yet to become flesh, you may have been a religious figure, or a devout believer. After God became flesh, many such devout believers unwittingly became the antichrist. Do you know what is going on here? In your belief in God, you do not concentrate on reality or pursue the truth, but instead obsess over falsehoods— is this not the clearest source of your enmity to God incarnate? God incarnate is called Christ, so are not all those who do not believe in God incarnate the antichrist?” (“Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). This shows that in nature the religious Pharisees are fed up with the truth and hates the truth. They only believe in their own notions and imaginations. They only believe in the theological theories researched and developed by themselves, but they don’t believe in Christ incarnate or the truths expressed by Christ. They are all enemies of God incarnate. They are all antichrists exposed by the work of God’s incarnation in the last days! Those who follow them are the same as them, also stubbornly holding on to their notions and imaginations as well as biblical knowledge and theological theory. They follow them in denying Christ, resisting and condemning Christ, refusing to accept the truth and treating Christ as the enemy! The facts are sufficient to prove that, in nature and substance, anyone who follows the Pharisees is also fed up with the truth and hates the truth! The path they walk is precisely the path of the Pharisees. They belong in the same category as the Pharisees and are all people who oppose Christ! This is a fact all can see. It has already been completely revealed by God’s work of the last days!

In religion, people all believe in God under the control of Pharisees, fully following them and listening to them. Like them, they only study the Bible and theology, only paying attention to understanding biblical knowledge and theological theory, and never focusing on seeking the truth or practicing the Lord’s words. Like the Pharisees, they only believe in a vague God up in heaven, but don’t believe in Christ incarnate of the last days—Almighty God. No matter how authoritative and powerful the truths expressed by Almighty God, they still stubbornly hold on to their notions and imaginations, and follow pastors and elders in resisting and condemning Almighty God. Needless to say, such people are the same type of people as the Pharisees, and are walking the God-resisting path of the Pharisees! Even if such people are not following the Pharisees, they are still the same type of people as the Pharisees and are also the descendants of the Pharisees because their nature and essence are the same. They are all unbelievers who only believe in themselves but don’t love the truth! They are antichrists who despise the truth and oppose Christ! Just as Almighty God has revealed: “there are many who lack discernment. When there is an occurrence of deception, they just happen to stand on the side of Satan. When you say that they are Satan's servants, they feel greatly wronged— but if you say that they lack discernment, they always stand on the side of the non-truth. They have never stood on the side of the truth at the crucial time, and have never stood up to defend the truth. Do they really lack discernment? Why do they just happen to stand on the side of Satan? Why do they never say a just and reasonable word for the truth? Is it really the result of momentary confusion? The more undiscerning a person is, the less they are able to stand on the side of the truth. What does this show? Does it not show that those who lack discernment are ones who love evil? Does it not show that those who lack discernment are the true sons of Satan? Why do they always stand on the side of Satan and echo the words of Satan? Their every word and act, and their facial expressions, are sufficient to prove that they are not the ones who love the truth, but the ones who loathe the truth” (“A Warning to Those Who Do Not Practice the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Isn’t this the truth? When people in religion follow pastors and elders, they not only listen to them but do all they can to protect them; as soon as they hear someone exposing religious pastors and elders, these people will feel uncomfortable and come out in defense of pastors and elders. What is the problem here? Is this not sufficient to prove that these people only have pastors and elders in their hearts but no place for God? In these people’s hearts, religious pastors and elders are all higher than God. What problem does this show? When man resists God, there aren’t many who come out in defense of God. There aren’t many who can stand up and bear witness to God! But as soon as the Pharisee essence of religious pastors and elders is exposed, why are there so many people who cry injustice on their behalf and come out in their defense? This is sufficient to prove that these people are the dutiful descendants of the Pharisees. They are the accomplices and lackeys of antichrists! This is a fact no one can deny!

from the movie script of Break Through the Snare

Previous:Question 7: Most believers now still think that by believing in God in religion they are believing in the Lord Jesus and not pastors and elders, so how can they not be saved?

Next:Question 9: I want to know how Almighty God of the last days performs His judgment work to save mankind from Satan’s influence. Can you tell us about your experience and testimonies?

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