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?
Answer: In religion, many people put blind faith in the Pharisees, worship and follow them. So whether they walk the Pharisees’ path or not is self-evident. Do you dare to say that you absolutely have no part in the Pharisees’ sin, if you worship and defend them? Do you dare to say you follow the hypocritical Pharisees, but are different from them and you don’t resist God? Can’t you see through such a simple question? Men walk the same path as the ones they follow. Following the Pharisees means that they are walking the Pharisees’ path. Judging by their walking the path of the Pharisees, they are naturally considered a Pharisee too. What kind of people one follows and what path one chooses both relate directly to one’s nature. People who follow the Pharisees have the same nature and substance as the Pharisees. This is an undeniable fact. The Pharisees’ substance is hypocritical. They believe in God but don’t love the truth or pursue life. They believe in a vague God in heaven and their own notions and imaginations, but don’t truly believe in or acknowledge the incarnate Christ. Strictly speaking, they are all unbelievers. Their belief is academic in nature. They treat it just as a subject to study and learn. The Bible and theology are their means to make a living. From their point of view, the Bible is plainly their livelihood. They think the more they can expound on the biblical lore and the theological theories, the more people will come to worship them. And that makes them stand tall and steady at their podiums, and so their positions grow more stable. The Pharisees are all those who live for their positions and jobs, those weary of and hostile to the truth. So when the Lord Jesus became flesh to do His work, in order to protect their own positions and jobs, they stubbornly clung to their notions and imaginations and biblical theories. They resisted, condemned, and opposed Jesus by any means. From Almighty God’s words, we can clearly see the Pharisees’ substance of hating the truth and the root 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). It’s clear that the Pharisees are weary of the truth and hostile to it by their very nature. They just trust in their own notions and imaginations, and in the theology that they draw from all their research, but they don’t believe in the incarnate Christ, nor admit the truth that Christ expresses. All of them are enemies of the incarnate God and antichrists revealed by the work of God incarnate in the last days. And their followers, like them, stubbornly cling to their own imaginations and notions, and to biblical knowledge and theology. They follow them to deny Christ, resist and condemn Him, refuse to accept the truth, and become Christ’s enemies. This is proof enough that those who follow the Pharisees are also weary of and hostile to the truth in nature and substance. They truly walk the same path as the Pharisees. They are cut from the same cloth as them, enemies of Christ and the truth. This fact can’t be questioned. It’s been completely revealed by God’s work of the last days.
In religion, people believe in God under the Pharisees’ control, and they fully emulate them as well as listen to them. They learn to study the Bible and theology just like they do. And they only focus on biblical knowledge and theology, never focus on seeking the truth or practicing the Lord’s words. And like the Pharisees, they just believe in a vague God in heaven, not in Almighty God, the incarnate Christ of the last days. No matter how much authority and power the truth expressed by Almighty God possesses, they stubbornly hold on to their notions and imaginations, and follow the pastors and elders to resist and condemn Almighty God. Such people are definitely the Pharisees. They walk the Pharisees’ path of resistance to God. Such people don’t follow the Pharisees knowingly, and yet they are cut from the same cloth. They are the offspring of the Pharisees, because their nature and substance are identical. They are all unbelievers, truth-weary believers of the self, and antichrists who hate the truth and are in enmity with Christ. Just like what Almighty God exposes them, “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” (“Warnings to Those Who Do Not Practice the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). The fact is plain for all to see. People follow the pastors and elders in religion, obey them and make every effort to defend them. Once they hear somebody expose the pastors and elders, they feel a sting in their hearts, and so they will try to defend their religious leaders. What is the problem here? Isn’t this evidence that these people have the pastors and elders in their hearts and not God? Inside these people’s hearts, the position of the pastors and elders is much higher than that of God. What problem do we see? People resist God and few of them rise to defend God or rise up to stand in testimony for Him. But when we expose the pastors and elders’ substance as Pharisees, why do so many people shout out their grievances? Why do they defend them? It’s enough to show that these people are the dutiful descendants of the Pharisees. They are accomplices and lapdogs of the antichrists. This is a fact, and no one can deny it.
from the movie script of Break Through the Snare