By Zhang Min, Spain
God’s words say: “It was previously said that these people are the progeny of the great red dragon. In fact, to be clear, they are the embodiment of the great red dragon” (“Chapter 36” of Interpretations of the Mysteries of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in). Although I acknowledged verbally that God’s words are the truth and that they reveal our actual state, I did not agree in my heart that I was the progeny nor the embodiment of the great red dragon. Instead, I always felt that I was capable of following God and expending myself for Him, that I was able to get along well with the majority of my brothers and sisters, and that the people around me thought quite highly of me. Though I possessed corrupt dispositions, I thought, that did not mean that I was as malicious as the great red dragon. Only after undergoing the experience of being exposed did I finally see the truth of how I had been corrupted by Satan, and I saw that I was filled with the poisons of the great red dragon, and that I was eminently capable of doing the exact same things as the great red dragon.
My duty in the church was to compile articles. One day, my group leader told me that the sister I worked with and I would henceforth be responsible for all the work of compiling articles from all the churches, and that if anyone had a problem, then we could all discuss it and fellowship together. When I heard this news, I felt a little taken aback and I felt enormous pressure, and yet I still felt pleased with myself. I thought to myself: “We’ll have a hand in compiling all the articles from all the churches. It looks as though I am able to do my part and I am a capable person within the church.” A feeling of “responsibility” suddenly welled up inside me and, before I knew it, I was acting and talking in the position of a reviewer. One time, when we were exchanging ideas with brothers and sisters from the all-church article work group, I noticed that one of the brothers in the group was very actively engaged in our work. Whenever a problem arose, he would always take the initiative to express his own views, and sometimes when another brother or sister asked a question and I had already replied to in our online group, he would still insist on expressing his views after me, and his view on the matter would unerringly differ from mine. Whenever this happened, I would feel quite unhappy, and would think to myself: “He’s so actively engaged in this group and many people agree with his views. Could it be that he wants to surpass me? Hmph! He knows too little about me. He doesn’t know what duty I do, yet still wants to compete with me. Isn’t he lacking in self-awareness?” Thinking of this, I began to feel aversion toward this brother arise in my heart.
Later, I organized the brothers and sisters in the all-church article work group to exchange ideas about problems in the articles. Most of the brothers and sisters agreed with my suggestions, but this brother once again took a different view on things and pointed out my shortcomings. I knew that it was normal for people to have different suggestions whenever a problem arose and that we should accept whatever suggestion benefited the performance of our duty, but when I thought of how this brother had rejected my suggestion in front of so many other brothers and sisters, I became filled with resistance and dissatisfaction. I thought: “The other brothers and sisters can accept my suggestion without any differing views. But you have to make it all about you—are you trying to make things difficult for me on purpose to show how responsible toward work you are and how clearly you understand things? You are so arrogant and so difficult to get on with!” The more I thought about it, the more averse I became toward this brother, to the point where I didn’t even want to say anything to him at all. Several days later, this brother sent us an article for us to read. He said the article was very well written and that we should send it out for everyone’s reference. When I heard him speak in such a self-assured tone, I began to feel uncomfortable, and I thought: “We’ve already read through these articles. If this article hasn’t been selected already then there must be something wrong with it. You must be as blind as a bat if you can’t even tell this.” In this way, I suppressed the dissatisfaction I felt inside and read this article all over again very unwillingly. I thereafter communicated to him my opinion and some of the issues I felt were present within the article, but he refused to accept my opinion and instead reminded me to take a serious approach to each and every article, or that I should ask my superiors to read this article through again. The resistance I felt within me grew at that moment, and I thought: “Since I met you, you’ve very seldom accepted or followed any of my suggestions, but instead you always make different suggestions for everyone to refer to and adopt. You show off your abilities at every opportunity and you are so arrogant. You simply have no regard for me whatsoever. Having dealings with someone like you is such a bother and so upsetting!” I even thought: “How could the church choose him to compile articles? Someone like him with such a terribly arrogant disposition is simply unsuited to perform this duty. Perhaps I should report his problems to my leader and let my leader decide whether he is suited to this duty. It might be best if my leader transferred him elsewhere.” When I thought about this, I realized that my state was wrong. I did not understand enough about this brother and I knew that I should not make judgments about him so lightly, but that I should be treating him fairly. I only thought about these things, however, and did not reflect on myself in regard to this matter any further, nor did I seek the truth to resolve my own corruptions, but instead continued to brood on this brother.
One day, my leader suggested that we exchange ideas with leaders and co-workers from all the other churches so as to discuss how we could better grasp the principles of article writing and take this work in hand. I agreed but then I felt incredibly nervous. This was going to be the first time I’d ever attended an online gathering to exchange ideas with the mid-level leaders and co-workers. Besides, I was not very good at expressing myself, and I worried that I wouldn’t be able to fellowship clearly and that I would make an embarrassing spectacle of myself, and so I felt tormented by the prospect. The day before the online gathering was to commence, however, I suddenly received a message from this brother asking whether he could attend the gathering. When I read his message, I almost lost it. I thought: “You’ve attended gatherings to exchange ideas several times before and you’ve never accepted any of our suggestions, so what’s the point in attending this one? I already feel under a lot of pressure with this gathering. If you ask me a difficult question tomorrow, you’ll just make the whole thing even more unbearable for me.” When I thought of him attending the gathering on the next day, I knew that I really did not want him there at all, and I tried to think of something to say to make him not want to attend. I pondered on what to say for a while but still couldn’t come up with a suitable reason, so I said bluntly, “The content of this gathering will be pretty much the same as our last gathering. You don’t need to attend.” I’d thought that if I replied to him in this way then he wouldn’t come back with anything else. To my surprise, however, he sent another message saying, “I have some time tomorrow and I’d like to hear what everyone will be discussing.” When I read his message, I felt very upset, but I still had no reason to deny him permission to go. All I could do was reluctantly agree, but I still hesitated to add him to the group. I thought to myself: “You’re such a pain! Why can I never get rid of you? Will we be able to achieve anything at this gathering with you in attendance? Are you trying to make things difficult for me on purpose?” I kept trying to think of a reason to stop him from attending, and I even thought of unfriending him, but then I thought: “Fine, you can attend. If you are as disagreeable and nitpicking as you were at the last gathering then everyone will see how arrogant and conceited you are, and then no one will think very much of you. …” Just then, I realized that my prejudices against him had transformed into hatred and that I was just expressing my evil intentions. If I allowed this situation to continue to develop, I dreaded to think how I would have treated this brother. And so, I hurriedly prayed and called to God, asking Him to protect my heart. Once I had calmed down, I began to reflect on why I had reacted so strongly when I encountered something which didn’t accord with my own ideas, why I couldn’t accept any voice that opposed me, and why I had formed such strong prejudices against this brother.
As I sought, I read a passage in fellowship: “How those who serve as leaders treat brothers and sisters who they find disagreeable, who oppose them, and who hold completely different views than them, is a very serious issue and should be handled with caution. If they do not enter into the truth of this issue, they will certainly discriminate and censure people when met with this kind of issue. This type of action is precisely an expression of the nature of the great red dragon that resists and betrays God. If those who serve as leaders pursue the truth, and possess conscience and reason, they will seek the truth and handle this matter correctly. … As people, we need to be just and fair. As leaders, we must handle things according to God’s words in order to stand witness. If we do things according to our own will, giving free rein to our own corrupt disposition, then that will be a terrible failure” (The Fellowship From the Above). This fellowship moved me greatly. I thought of why I had been so resistant and so averse toward this brother, so much so that I had even begun to hate him—was it not simply because he did not agree with my fellowships and had made some other suggestions which had caused me to lose face? Was it not simply because I’d seen him engage so actively in our group and gain everyone’s approval, and so I felt that he had stolen my thunder? At first, we brothers and sisters had worked together to perform our duty, and because of our different calibers and understandings, it was normal to have different opinions on certain issues. All this brother was doing was expressing his own views—he harbored no wicked intentions. And yet I always wanted him to listen to me and obey me. I wanted him to agree with me and accept whatever I said, and he could not possibly say anything different from me. When his actions touched upon my self-regard and my position, resistance arose within me, so much so that I even excluded him and did not want him to attend the gathering. And if I did allow him to attend, it was only because I wanted him to make a fool of himself. I dissected these thoughts and ideas and saw that all I had been expressing was a malevolent and arrogant satanic disposition. My actions truly had been so despicable and ugly!
I then read in fellowship: “No matter who you may be, as long as you disagree with them, you become a target for their punishment—what disposition is this? Is this not the same as the great red dragon? The great red dragon seeks supremacy over all and regards itself as the center of all things: ‘If you don’t agree with me then I’ll punish you; if you dare to oppose me then I’ll use military force to quash you.’ These are the policies of the great red dragon, and the disposition of the great red dragon is that of Satan, the archangel. There are some people who, once they become leaders or workers, begin to implement the policies of the great red dragon. How do they do this? ‘I’m a leader now and my first duty is to make everyone obey me in heart and by word, and only then can I begin my official work’” (“To Enter Into the Reality of the Truth, One Must Focus on Changing One’s Life Disposition” in Sermons and Fellowship XIII). “If a brother or sister takes a view or has an opinion on someone who genuinely possesses the truth and who can accept the truth and put it into practice, or if they discover that that person has shortcomings and makes mistakes, and they reproach them, criticize them or they prune them and deal with them, won’t that person end up hating them? That person must first look into the matter and think: ‘Is what you say right or not? Does it accord with the facts? If it does accord with the facts, then I’ll accept it. If what you say is half right or it basically accords with the facts, then I will accept it. If what you say does not accord with the facts, but I can see that you are not a wicked person, that you are a brother or a sister, then I will be tolerant, and I will treat you correctly’” (“The Deviations and Errors Which Must Be Resolved in Order to Practice Knowing Oneself” in Sermons and Fellowship VIII). From the fellowship, I saw that since the great red dragon came to power, it has never taken the interests of ordinary people into consideration, nor does it ever think about how to manage the country well or how to allow the Chinese people to live happy lives. Instead, everything it does is done merely to protect its own position and power. In order to rule over the people permanently and keep people firmly controlled in its grasp, it implements a policy of unified ideology and unified voice, it forbids people from having opposing views and from saying no to it. As long as an idea is put forward and advocated by itself, then everyone has to accept it whether it is right or wrong, and everyone absolutely must go along with it. If anyone doesn’t agree with it or opposes it, then it will take their lives and impose sanctions on them, in pursuit of the satanic law of “Those who follow me shall prosper while those who resist me shall die.” Anyone who raises an objection is viewed as a cancer that needs to be cut out and it is anxious to kill all who oppose it as soon as possible and destroy them to their very roots. The massacre of college students in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989 is a typical example. Those college students were just protesting against corruption and advocating democracy, but they were viewed by the CCP as enemies. The CCP called the student movement a counter-revolutionary rebellion and decided to enact a bloody suppression of the students. When I compared my own behavior to that of the great red dragon, I realized that the nature I had been expressing was exactly that of the great red dragon. I was a corrupt person and my disposition had not changed at all. Nor did I possess even a shred of the reality of the truth, and the views I raised were not necessarily always right. I always wanted others to listen to me and obey me without question, or else I’d grow sick of them and would shun them, so much so that we would become irreconcilable. I would think of every possible means to get rid of them—I was so evil and devoid of humanity! I thought of how the church had arranged for the brothers and sisters and me to perform our duty together so that we could learn from each other’s strengths, work together in harmony, and perform our duty together to satisfy God. And yet I hadn’t thought of these things at all, but instead had only considered whether or not I’d be able to hold onto my own position, whether or not my self-regard and dignity would be wounded, and whether or not anyone else would listen to me. To those who had views which differed from mine, I would exclude them and suppress them—I really had acted like a bandit who ruled as a lord over his own hill. By doing this, how could I have satisfied God in the performance of my duty? I was just doing evil and resisting God! When I thought of these things, I felt even more ashamed; I saw that I was so arrogant and conceited, that I had the same disposition as the great red dragon and that I was also eminently capable of doing all the things the great red dragon did. Only then did I see that I was indeed the progeny of the great red dragon and that I was filled with the great red dragon’s poisons. If I did not pursue dispositional change, then I would involuntarily do things which would interrupt and disturb God’s work and, in the end, I would be punished and cursed by God for having offended His disposition. At that moment, I began to understand God’s will and His good intentions. If this situation had not befallen me, I would have been totally unable to recognize that I possessed both the essence of the great red dragon—which was arrogant and conceited and which sought supremacy over all—and a God-resisting satanic nature. At the same time, I also came to understand that God arranging this kind of situation was indeed the best protection for someone like me who was so arrogant and conceited, and who thought himself so supreme. If all the brothers and sisters had supported me and approved of me, and no one had raised any objection whatsoever, then I would have been even more arrogant and conceited, I would have made others follow me and obey me in all respects, I would have stood in God’s place without even being aware of it, ruling my own kingdom and eventually offending God’s disposition until God detested and rejected me. When I understood these things, I offered up thanks and praise to God from the bottom of my heart. I also let go of my prejudices and opinions about this brother. No matter how this gathering to exchange ideas turned out, I was willing to forsake my satanic nature and submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements. Never did I imagine that the outcome of the gathering would be beyond all my expectations. That day, under the guidance of God, the gathering went very smoothly, and when I exchanged ideas with that brother, we were able to find common ground and we both helped strengthen each other’s weaknesses. We relied on the guidance of God and brought the gathering smoothly to a close.
Through being exposed by God, I came to recognize that I was indeed the progeny of the great red dragon and that the poisons of the great red dragon had long since become my life. If I couldn’t cast off these corrupt dispositions, then in the end I would only have been detested and rejected by God, God would have weeded me out, and I would have lost forever my chance to attain salvation. I thought of God’s words which say: “As My people who are born in the country of the great red dragon, surely there is not only a little, or a part, of the great red dragon’s venom within you. Thus, this stage of My work is primarily focused on you, and this is one aspect of the significance of My incarnation in China” (“Chapter 11” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “It was previously said that these people are the progeny of the great red dragon. In fact, to be clear, they are the embodiment of the great red dragon” (“Chapter 36” of Interpretations of the Mysteries of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I also came to understand from God’s words that God’s work to save man is very practical and wise. God expresses His words to expose the poisons of the great red dragon and the satanic nature which exist within us, and by revealing the facts, God allowed me to have some understanding and discernment of the poisons of the great red dragon within me, and thereby reject it and forsake it, never to be corrupted or harmed by it again. I knew that there were still many satanic philosophies and axioms, and many poisons of the great red dragon within me. But from that day on, I wished only to pursue the truth in earnest, accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, strive to rid myself of all the great red dragon’s poisons as soon as possible, and live out a human likeness in order to bring comfort to God’s heart!