XV. One Must Fellowship Clearly on How to Discern the Essence of the Pharisees and the Religious World That Defies God
6. In the religious world, do the truth and God hold the power, or do the antichrists and Satan 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:
Just look at the leaders of every denomination—they are all arrogant and self-righteous, 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 knowledge, and can preach on some doctrine, or know how to win over others and how to use some artifices. They use these to bring people before themselves and deceive them. Nominally, those people believe in God, but in reality they follow their leaders. If they encounter someone preaching the true way, some of them say, “We have to consult our leader about our faith.” Their faith has to go through a human being; 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
We’ve preached the gospel over and over to many leaders within religious circles, but no matter how we fellowship on the truth with them, they won’t accept it. Why is this? It’s because their arrogance has become second nature and God is no longer in their hearts! Some people may say: “People under the leadership of some pastors in the religious world really have a lot of drive. It seems that they have God in their midst!” No matter how lofty those pastors’ sermons may be, do they know God? If they really revered God in their hearts, would they make people follow them and exalt them? Would they monopolize others? Would they dare to impose restrictions on others seeking the truth and investigating the true way? If they believe that God’s sheep are actually theirs and that His sheep should all listen to them, aren’t they themselves acting as God? That kind of person is even worse than the Pharisees—aren’t they antichrists? Therefore, their arrogant nature can control them to do things that betray God.
from “Man’s Arrogant Nature Is the Root of His Opposition to God” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Any who do not understand the purpose of God’s work are those who stand against God, and even more so are those who are aware of the purpose of God’s work yet do not seek to satisfy God. 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, head 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