XV. One Must Fellowship Clearly How to Discern the Essence of the Pharisees and of the Religious World That Defies God
6. In the religious world, is it the truth and God that hold the power, or is it antichrists and Satan that hold the power?
Bible Verses for Reference:
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in” (Mat 23:13).
“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said to them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves” (Mat 21:12-13).
Relevant Words of God:
Look at the leaders of every denomination and sect. They are all arrogant and self-right, and they interpret the Bible out of context and according to their own imagination. They all rely on gifts and erudition to do their work. If they were incapable of preaching anything, would those people follow them? They do, after all, possess some learning, and can speak a little of doctrine, or know how to win over others and how to use some artifices, through which they have brought people before themselves and have deceived them. Nominally, those people believe in God—but in reality they follow their leaders. If they encounter those who preach the true way, some of them would say, “We have to consult our leader about our belief in God.” They require someone’s consent to believe in God; is that not a problem? What have those leaders become, then? Have they not become Pharisees, false shepherds, antichrists, and stumbling blocks to people’s acceptance of the true way?
from “Only the Pursuit of the Truth Is the True Belief in God” in Records of Christ’s Talks
One expression of arrogance is rebelliousness to God. And after rebelling against God, you are liable to create your own kingdom, to do things your own way, to hold others in your own hands, and pull them into your own embrace. People are capable of doing such things; with their arrogant substance, they have become archangels, and their substance has determined that they are archangels and will likely put God to one side. With this disposition, you are without God.
Why is it that many leaders of various denominations never accept anything we say, no matter how many times we have preached to them, and no matter how we have tried? Their arrogance has already become their nature, and they are without God. Some people say: “God is among the people that person leads, and that person really longs for God!” As he is capable of making people believe in him, is God within his heart? He is not, yes? He is capable of making people follow him and hold him up high, he is able to monopolize people, he doesn’t allow people to go elsewhere to seek God and the truth, and he believes that what he says contains the truth. What does he see himself as? As God. And so because of this arrogance of his, purely because of this arrogance, he has done things that rebel against God.
from “Man’s Arrogant Nature Is the Root of His Opposition to God” in Records of Christ’s Talks
After working for some time, the people who God used on earth assumed God’s position and said, “I want to surpass the universe! I want to stand in the third heaven! We want the reigns of sovereign power!” They would become arrogant after several days of work; they wanted sovereign power on earth, they wanted to establish another nation, they wanted all things under their feet and wanted to stand in the third heaven. Do you not know that you are merely a man used by God? How can you ascend to the third heaven? … Those religious pastors who heal the sick and cast out demons, lecture others from the pulpit, give long and pompous speeches and discuss unrealistic matters, are arrogant to the core! They are descendants of the archangel!
from “You Should Know How the Whole of Humanity Has Developed to the Present Day” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Those who do not accept the new work of God are bereft of the presence of God, and, moreover, devoid of the blessings and protection of God. Most of their words and actions hold to the past requirements of the Holy Spirit’s work; they are doctrine, not truth. Such doctrine and regulation are sufficient to prove that the only thing that brings them together is religion; they are not the chosen ones, or the objects of God’s work. The assembly of all those among them can only be called a grand congress of religion, and cannot be called a church. This is an unalterable fact. They do not have the Holy Spirit’s new work; what they do seems redolent of religion, what they live out seems replete with religion; they do not possess the presence and work of the Holy Spirit, much less are they eligible to receive the discipline or enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. These people are all lifeless corpses, and maggots that are devoid of spirituality. They have no knowledge of man’s rebelliousness and opposition, have no knowledge of all of man’s evildoing, much less do they know all of God’s work and God’s present will. They are all ignorant, base people, they are scum that are unfit to be called believers! Nothing that they do has a bearing on the management of God, much less can it impair God’s plans. Their words and actions are too disgusting, too pathetic, and simply unworthy of mention. Nothing done by those who are not within the stream of the Holy Spirit has anything to do with the new work of the Holy Spirit. Because of this, no matter what they do, they are without the discipline of the Holy Spirit, and, moreover, without the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. For they are all people who have no love for the truth, and have been detested and rejected by the Holy Spirit. They are called evildoers because they walk in the flesh, and do whatever pleases them under the signboard of God. While God works, they are deliberately hostile to Him, and run in the opposite direction to Him. Man’s failure to cooperate with God is supremely rebellious in itself, to say nothing of these people’s deliberate flight from God. Will they not, then, receive their just retribution? At the mention of these people’s evildoing, some people cannot help but curse them, whereas God ignores them. To man, it appears that their actions concern God’s name, but in fact, to God, they bear no relation to His name or the testimony to Him. No matter what these people do, it is unrelated to God: It is unrelated to both His name and His work today. These people humiliate themselves, and manifest Satan; they are evildoers who are hoarding for the day of wrath. Today, regardless of their actions, and provided they do not obstruct God’s management and have nothing to do with the new work of God, such people will not be subjected to the corresponding retribution, for the day of wrath has yet to arrive.
from “God’s Work and Man’s Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Man does not know this: Although the holy Savior Jesus is full of affection and love toward man, how could He work in “temples” inhabited by filth and impure spirits? Though man has been awaiting His arrival, how could He appear to those who eat the flesh of the unrighteous, drink the blood of the unrighteous, wear the clothes of the unrighteous, who believe in Him but do not know Him, and who constantly extort Him?
from “The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The most rebellious person is one who intentionally defies and resists God. He is the enemy of God and the antichrist. Such a person constantly bears a hostile attitude toward the new work of God, has never shown the smallest intention of submitting, and has never gladly shown submission or humbled himself. He exalts himself before others and never shows submission to anyone. Before God, he considers himself the most proficient in preaching the word and the most skillful in working on others. He never discards the treasures already in his possession, but treats them as family heirlooms for worship, for preaching about to others, and uses them to lecture those fools who idolize him. There are indeed a certain number of people like this in the church. It can be said that they are “indomitable heroes,” generation after generation sojourning in the house of God. They take preaching the word (doctrine) to be their highest duty. Year after year and generation by generation, they go about vigorously enforcing their “sacred and inviolable” duty. None dare touch them and not a single person dares openly reproach them. They become “kings” in the house of God, running rampant as they tyrannize over others from age to age. This pack of demons seeks to join hands and demolish My work; how can I allow these living devils to exist before My eyes?
from “Those Who Obey God With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Those who read the Bible in grand churches recite the Bible every day, yet not one understands the purpose of God’s work. Not one is able to know God; moreover, not one is in accord with the heart of God. They are all worthless, vile men, each standing on high to teach God. Though they brandish the name of God, they willfully oppose Him. Though they label themselves believers of God, they are ones who eat the flesh and drink the blood of man. All such men are devils who devour the soul of man, demons who purposefully disturb those who try to step onto the right path, and stumbling blocks that impede the path of those who seek God. Though they are of “robust flesh,” how are their followers to know that they are antichrists who lead man in opposition to God? How are they to know that they are living devils who specially seek souls to devour?
from “All Who Do Not Know God Are Those Who Oppose God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh