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
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, so won’t those people who deliberately run counter to God particularly receive their just retribution?
from “God’s Work and Man’s Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If you have believed in God for many years, and yet have never obeyed Him or accepted all of His words, but instead asked God to submit to you and act in accord with your notions, then you are the most rebellious of persons, and you are an unbeliever. How is one such as this able to obey the work and the words of God that do not conform to the notions of man? 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, 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