The two times that God has become flesh to walk the earth and carry out the work of saving man He has been met with the utmost resistance, condemnation and frantic persecution from leaders in the religious world, a fact that has puzzled and even shocked people: Why is it that every time God unfolds a stage of new work He is always met with this kind of treatment? Why is it that those who most frantically and aggressively resist God are the religious leaders who read the Bible over and over again and who have served God for many years? Why is it that those religious leaders that people see as being the most devout, the most faithful and the most obedient to God are actually unable to be compatible with God, and instead are always acting perverse and being enemies of God? Could it be that God made a mistake in His work? Could it be that God’s actions are not amenable to reason? Certainly that is not the case! There are two fundamental reasons that various denominations and sects have people who are able to play the role of resisting God, turning into enemies of God, and these are: First, along with these people not possessing the truth and not having knowledge of the work of the Holy Spirit, they also do not have knowledge of God, they always rely on their limited knowledge of the Bible, theological theories and people’s conceptions and imaginations to delineate God’s work that is always new and never old; Second, since mankind is deeply corrupted by Satan, its nature is arrogant and self-conceited, it is unable to obey the truth, and it especially values status. The combination of these two aspects leads to the tragedy of mankind forsaking and condemning the true way time and again throughout history.
Look back to two thousand years ago, when the Lord Jesus was among the Jewish people He performed many miracles, He helped man by healing the sick and casting out demons, He preached the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, taught people about repenting, and absolved them for their sins. These are all things that were not recorded in the Old Testament, and it was also work that no one had ever carried out before. Of course, it was also something that nobody could carry out, because besides God there is no person with the authority and power to do such things. What the Lord Jesus accomplished at that time was personally assuming the sins of man by being nailed to the cross so that man could be rescued and redeemed from sin, bestowing upon man plentiful and abundant grace and peace and joy, and bringing man out from the rules of the law through the work of the new age, where man no longer is punished because he is unable to abide by the law. Those people under the law can only attain God’s salvation and not be destroyed by following the work of the Lord Jesus. But the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees of Judaism do not recognize the work of the Holy Spirit, they don’t understand what kind of work the Lord Jesus carries out, in their minds they believe: Not following the law, not praying in the name of Jehovah God is the same as betraying God, which is simply outrageous. In addition, they flaunt themselves as ardent readers of the Bible and servants of Jehovah God in the temple for many years, and they believe that what they are holding on to is the truth and the purest way, and so as far as they are concerned, the work of the Lord Jesus goes against the Bible and violates the law, it is a way apart from the Bible, and because of this they would rather die than accept the way that is spread by the Lord Jesus. They even regard the work of the Lord Jesus as “heresy,” an “evil cult” and as “deceiving man.” Even though the work and the word of the Lord Jesus have authority, power and wisdom, even though the miracles that the Lord Jesus manifested are unprecedented in history, even though more and more people come to bear witness to the deeds of the Lord Jesus and bear witness to the fact that the Lord Jesus is the Messiah that will come, they still are unwilling to look into and search for the higher way, instead they persist in their views, and with stiff necks they flatly deny that the Lord Jesus is Christ, that the Lord Jesus is the Messiah that will come. It’s just as Almighty God has revealed: “Man is only able to accept one kind of work, or one way of practice. It is difficult for man to accept work, or ways of practice, that are at odds with them, or higher than them—but the Holy Spirit is always doing new work, and so there appear group after group of religious experts that oppose the new work of God. These people have become experts precisely because man has no knowledge of how God is always new and never old, and has no knowledge of the principles of God’s work, and, what’s more, has no knowledge of the many ways in which God saves man. As such, man is utterly unable to tell if it is work that comes from the Holy Spirit, and if it is the work of God Himself. Many people cling to an attitude in which, if it corresponds with the words that came before, then they accept it, and if there are differences with the work of before, then they oppose and reject it” (“Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). To act as someone who believes in God, at the very least we ought to possess a heart that reveres God and have a hunger and a thirst for righteousness, only in this way will we be able to obtain enlightenment from the Holy Spirit, achieve an understanding of God’s new work and follow closely the footsteps of God. But those chief priests, scribes and Pharisees from Judaism have come into contact with the Lord Jesus many times, yet it is simply never in pursuit of the truth. Every time they are devising ways and means to test the Lord Jesus, to get a hold of something to use against the Lord Jesus. They’re all the same in that they have no knowledge of God, and that they hold notions about God’s new work, whereas Nathanael and the Samaritan woman and the disciples and common people who follow the Lord Jesus are able to set aside their notions to seek the truth. In this way they are able to know Christ’s identity, recognize the voice of God, obey and accept the truth, and return before the face of God. Through this comparison we can clearly see that the higher level figures in the religious world of Judaism are not only stubbornly conservative, but also arrogant and self-conceited, for they fundamentally do not accept the truth, and they definitely do not obey the truth. Therein lies one of the reasons for their resistance to God.
In addition, as more ordinary Jewish people start following the Lord Jesus, the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees grow concerned about losing their place in the hearts of the common people. With people no longer worshiping them or following them they become increasingly anxious, because the authority and power of the words and work of the Lord Jesus are far beyond their reach, it makes them pale by comparison, making them feel ashamed of themselves, and in this way they increasingly feel a sense of crisis: All it would take is for the Lord Jesus to live for one day, and then even more common people would leave them and go follow the Lord Jesus, and there would be fewer people in the temple, causing them to be unable to continue enjoying a life where they are supported and provided for by others in a way that is unsurpassed by anyone else. This makes the Lord Jesus like a needle in their eye or a thorn in their flesh, it turns Him into an enemy that cannot live in the same world as them. In order to safeguard their place, they think of everything they can do and use all kinds of despicable methods to bring false charges against the Lord Jesus. They blaspheme and condemn the Lord Jesus’ work, they vilify and slander the Lord Jesus, saying that He relies on Beelzebub to cast out demons, and they bring false witness accusing the Lord Jesus of speaking against the holy place and against the law (For reference see Act 6:10-14). Whatever it took they were going to eradicate the Lord Jesus from the Jewish people, and in the end they ruthlessly nailed Him to the cross. When the Lord Jesus was resurrected, He appeared before His disciples, and together with their spreading of the gospel there was power and miracles, facts that are sufficient to verify that this way contains the work of the Holy Spirit, that it is upheld by the Holy Spirit, and that it is the true way! Under these circumstances, those chief priests, scribes and Pharisees still did not reflect on this: How can the Lord Jesus’ gospel be so prosperous? Actually, those people who are proficient in the Bible and who deem themselves as “respectable” simply feel that it is beneath them to seek out and look study such things with those village fishermen and ignorant commoners who are without knowledge or status, and they even hypocritically act in the name of “upholding the law and defending the true way” while they continue to exploit the power at their fingertips by colluding with rulers to intensify their frantic suppression, persecution and slaughtering of the apostles and the Jewish commoners who are followers of the Lord Jesus. They do everything in their power to stop people from following the Lord Jesus, they even strictly prohibit anyone from spreading the name of the Lord Jesus. … In order to safeguard their own positions and their livelihoods, there truly is no crime they will not commit, which is the other reason for their frantic resistance and condemnation of the Lord Jesus. Of course, their evil deeds have stirred up the intense rage of God, they have suffered God’s punishments. The entire Jewish race has been a vanquished nation for almost 2,000 years, which is the painful price they have paid for resisting God and condemning God.
Let’s get back to the present where we are in the last days. God has prepared a greater salvation for those who have been redeemed by Him. This salvation is God using words to judge and cleanse man. It is a new, higher work. This stage of work shall thoroughly rid man of his satanic corrupt disposition. It will free man from the dark influence of Satan and turn mankind into a race that knows God, is compatible with God and truly belongs to God, where it will thereby attain salvation and be perfected. This is the final stage of work in God’s six-thousand-year management plan. In God’s work in the last days, Christ incarnate expresses all of the truths that cleanse man and save man, He exposes and judges man’s corrupt substance and nature, and He points out the path that man can go down to break away from his corruption. He also reveals all kinds of heavenly mysteries. Furthermore, God uses His wisdom, power and authority to spread the gospel of the last days to every family all over the world, and the millions of people who seek and thirst for the truth have returned one by one from various denominations and sects to the presence of Almighty God. The unprecedented sight of all nations flowing to this mountain has appeared, and the gospel of the last days is currently extending across every nation and every place all over the world. However, when facing all these truths, this big of a wonder and the testimony of the Holy Spirit’s work, leaders in the religious world have turned a blind eye and are not moved by them in the slightest, they aren’t carefully studying them, and they certainly are not accepting them with humility. These people are the same as the Pharisees, they do not recognize that the work of the Holy Spirit is continuously moving forward, they do not recognize that the principle of the work of the Holy Spirit is that it is always new and never old, they do not have the least bit of knowledge about Almighty God’s work in the last days, and they even believe with extreme self-confidence that: Since they already enjoy a way that is higher than that from the Age of Law, since they are proficient in the Old and New Testaments in their entirety and have worked and preached sermons for many years, they have already obtained the truth and known God. Moreover, they stubbornly believe in an erroneous concept that they believe to be true: That all of the Lord’s words are contained in the Bible, that if it goes beyond the scope of the Lord Jesus’ work, if it goes beyond the Bible, then it is not the true way. To stray from God’s requirements of man in the Age of Grace would be to transgress the teachings of Christ, only the things that they accept, have knowledge of and hold onto are the true way, anything beyond this is heresy or an evil cult. These people have firmly delineated God within the Bible, they have delineated Him within the notions and imagination of man. No matter how high the work brought by Almighty God is, how much work of the Holy Spirit it has, how many ways of practice it brings, and how many facts there are to verify it, they do not acknowledge that it is from God, and therefore they all maintain hostile views and a sceptical attitude towards the return of the Lord Jesus, so much so that they blaspheme the incarnate flesh of God and disparage and condemn the work and the word of Christ in the last days. Are they not the same as the Pharisees who in their time were stubborn and conservative and arrogant and self-conceited, looking down on the truth and blaspheming the Holy Spirit? It’s just like what Almighty God said: “If you only come to know God from one stage of His work, then your knowledge is too, too little. Your knowledge is but a drop in the ocean. If not, why would many of the religious old guard nail God to the cross alive? Is it not because man confines God within certain parameters? Do many people not oppose God and obstruct the work of the Holy Spirit because they do not know the varied and diverse work of God, and, furthermore, because they possess but a smidgeon of knowledge and doctrine with which to measure the work of the Holy Spirit? Though the experiences of such people are superficial, they are arrogant and indulgent in nature, and they regard the work of the Holy Spirit with contempt, ignore the disciplines of the Holy Spirit and, moreover, use their trivial old arguments to confirm the work of the Holy Spirit. They also put on an act, and are wholly convinced of their own learning and erudition, and that they are able to travel across the world. Are such people not those who are despised and rejected by the Holy Spirit, and will they not be eliminated by the new age? Are not those who come before God and openly oppose Him myopic little people, who are merely trying to show how clever they are? With but a meager knowledge of the Bible, they try to straddle the world’s ‘academia,’ with but a superficial doctrine to teach people, they try to reverse the work of the Holy Spirit, and attempt to make it revolve around their own thought process, and short-sighted as they are, they try to behold in one glance 6,000 years of God’s work. Do these people have any reason to speak of? In fact, the greater people’s knowledge of God, the slower they are to judge His work. Furthermore, they only talk a little of their knowledge of God’s work today, but they are not rash in their judgments. The less people know of God, the more arrogant and overconfident they are, and the more wantonly they proclaim God’s being—yet they only talk of theory, and offer no real evidence. Such people are of no value whatsoever. Those who see the work of the Holy Spirit as a game are frivolous! Those who are not cautious when they encounter the new work of the Holy Spirit, who run their mouths off, are quick to judge, who give free rein to their natural instinct to deny the rightness of the Holy Spirit’s work, and also insult and blaspheme it—are such disrespectful people not ignorant of the Holy Spirit’s work? Are they not, furthermore, the ones of arrogance, inherently proud and ungovernable?” (“Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
As people who truly believe in the Lord return in large quantities to the house of God, the gradual expansion of God’s work in the last days has achieved its climax, but even with the work of the Holy Spirit flourishing so much, the religious leaders who are used to being high and mighty and the religious experts who direct others are not reflecting on themselves, nor do they lower their arrogant heads to search and study. On the contrary, these people realize that their positions are becoming more and more precarious, that they are unstable all the time, and they start to fear that everyone else will turn to Almighty God and will reject them with cold shoulders. As a result, in order to “redeem the current situation,” pastors, elders, leaders and fellow workers from various denominations and sects act in the name of “watching over the flock for the Lord and upholding the true way.” They have started adopting measures such as fabricating and distributing propaganda materials, using the internet to disseminate rumors and other despicable methods to wantonly blaspheme and attack Almighty God. They spread disparaging rumors, claiming that the words of Almighty God are not the word of God, that they are written by man, and they even say such nonsense as “this book is like a drug that puts a spell on you, if you read it you will be brainwashed,” and other things that distort and misrepresent facts and vilify the Church of Almighty God as a “faction of Eastern Lightning,” which is a criminal organization. By deceiving and threatening believers in this way, they cause foolish and ignorant people to not dare approach and get in contact with God’s gospel, sealing off various denominations and sects to the point that a needle couldn’t even poke through, nor water seep in. These religious leaders strictly prohibit their believers from reading the Eastern Lightning books or listening to the Eastern Lightning sermons, they do not permit believers to receive people who preach God’s salvation in the last days or even any strangers, and they absolutely go against the teachings of God in the Age of Grace where He asks man to entertain strangers. The thing that is most shocking to people is that, in spite of being believers in God, these people collude with the satanic regime of the CCP, abetting them in their shady and evil business by tracking, monitoring and reporting on brothers and sisters who spread the gospel of the last days, and they even serve as undiscovered traitors within the church to gather information for the CCP’s clandestine capture of Christians. It seems that they can only feel relief from the hatred in their hearts by eliminating those who bear witness to God in one stroke and abolishing God’s new work. These people are fully aware that those who follow Almighty God are good-natured folks who truly believe in God, and they’re even more aware that there is no evil intent whatsoever in these people preaching about God’s salvation in the last days, yet they still insult them in an uncivilized and cruel manner, chasing away and even physically attacking brothers and sisters who spread the gospel. It’s clear that these religious leaders long ago stopped possessing the work of the Holy Spirit, and it’s also clear that they do not accept the truth, that they detest the truth, and that they hate truth in nature and substance. On the outside these people run around exerting themselves to carry out work, but on the inside they are mixed up with wild ambitions and disobedience. Really they are just trying to conspire for status, rushing about for their own benefit, and doing everything they can to satisfy their selfish desires.
It’s clear to see that regardless of whether it is the religious world of Judaism in its time or the religious figures from the various denominations and sects of today, the reason that they are able to time and again resist God, the truth and the true way, the reason they would “rather die than submit” and “face death with equanimity” is ultimately because they do not recognize the principle that God’s work is always new and never old, nor do they have knowledge of God’s new work, and furthermore they don’t pursue the truth at all, they are stubborn and conservative, they are haughty and self-conceited. It also has everything to do with them being excessively worried about their status and being of very poor quality. Nowadays, in this pivotal point when a new age is replacing an old one, the fight in the spiritual world has reached its peak. If people still believe the rumors and false testimonies spread by religious figures and suffer themselves to be manipulated by them, if they pay no heed to or even disdain and hold in contempt the work carried out and the words spoken by God in the last days, if they do not take responsibility for their own lives and just follow the herd and go with the flow while being over-critical of the work of the Holy Spirit with unrestrained irreverence, if they do not concern themselves with discernment and just blindly worship, listen to and obey the rumors and deceptions of pastors and elders, if they are not able to turn towards righteousness and break away from the control of the forces of Satan and seek out the true way and listen to God’s voice, if they cannot do these things, then they will never be able to welcome the Lord’s return, they will never be able to witness the countenance of the Creator, they will never get an opportunity to know God, they will just be reduced to a puppet in history, a sacrificial object for Satan, and they will sink into darkness where they will weep and gnash their teeth until they perish, just as it has been predicted in Scripture: “Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day. The ancient and honorable, he is the head; and the prophet that teaches lies, he is the tail. For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed” (Isa 9:14-16). We must know that God will not select anyone who does not thirst for the truth, who is not clear about their faith in God, who does not have a definitive stance on their viewpoints, who adores power and influence or who takes advantage of situations. On the contrary, God seeks out, perfects and gains the chaste virgins who honor God as great, who are of clear minds, who have pure obedience, who truly thirst for and seek God. This is a manifold fact! Could it be that the blood spilt by the Israelites was not enough to make you aware of this lesson?