Exposing Religious Notions
Daily Words of God Excerpt 281
God and man cannot be spoken of on equal terms. His essence and His work are most unfathomable and incomprehensible to man. If God does not personally do His work and speak His words in the world of man, then man would never be able to understand the will of God. And so, even those who have devoted their entire lives to God would not be able to receive His approval. If God does not set to work, then however well man does, it will all be for naught, because God’s thoughts will always be higher than the thoughts of man, and God’s wisdom is beyond man’s comprehension. And so I say that those who claim to “fully understand” God and His work are an inept lot; they are all overweening and ignorant. Man should not define the work of God; moreover, man cannot define the work of God. In the eyes of God, man is as insignificant as an ant; so how can man fathom God’s work? Those who like to spout, “God does not work in this or that way,” or “God is like this or that”—are they not speaking arrogantly? We should all know that man, who is of the flesh, has been corrupted by Satan. Mankind’s very nature is to oppose God. Mankind cannot be on par with God, much less can mankind hope to advise the work of God. As for how God guides man, this is the work of God Himself. It is fitting that man should submit, without professing this or that view, for man is but dust. Since it is our intent to seek God, we should not superimpose our notions onto His work for God’s consideration, still less should we employ our corrupt disposition to its utmost to deliberately oppose the work of God. Would that not make us antichrists? How could such people believe in God? Since we believe that there is a God, and since we wish to satisfy Him and to see Him, we should seek the way of truth, and should look for a way to be compatible with God. We should not stand in stiff-necked opposition to Him. What good could possibly come of such actions?
Today, God has done new work. You may not be able to accept these words, and they may seem odd to you, but I would advise you not to expose your naturalness, for only those who truly hunger and thirst for righteousness before God can obtain the truth, and only those who are truly devout can be enlightened and guided by Him. Results are obtained by seeking the truth with sober tranquility, not with quarrel and contention. When I say that “today, God has done new work,” I am referring to the matter of God’s returning to the flesh. Perhaps these words do not bother you; perhaps you despise them; or even perhaps they are of great interest to you. Whatever the case, I hope that all those who truly yearn for God to appear can face this fact and give it their careful scrutiny, rather than jump to conclusions about it; that is what a wise person should do.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Preface
Daily Words of God Excerpt 282
In believing in God, how should one know God? One should come to know God based on the words and work of God today, without deviation or fallacy, and, before all else, one should know the work of God. This is the foundation of knowing God. All those various fallacies that lack a pure understanding of the words of God are religious notions; they are deviant and erroneous understandings. The greatest skill of religious figures is taking the words of God understood in the past and measuring the words of God today against them. If, when serving the God of today, you cling to the things revealed by the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment in the past, then your service will cause disruption, and your practice will be outdated, nothing more than religious ceremony. If you believe that those who serve God must outwardly be humble and patient, among other qualities, and if you put this kind of knowledge into practice today, then such knowledge is a religious notion; such practice has become a hypocritical performance. The phrase “religious notions” refers to things that are outmoded and obsolete (including the understanding of words previously spoken by God and light directly revealed by the Holy Spirit), and if they are put into practice today, then they disrupt God’s work and bring no benefit to man. If people are unable to purge those things from themselves that belong to religious notions, then these things will become a great hindrance to their serving God. People with religious notions have no way of keeping up with the steps of the Holy Spirit’s work—they fall one step behind, then two. This is because these religious notions cause man to become extraordinarily self-righteous and arrogant. God feels no nostalgia for what He said and did in the past; if something is obsolete, He eliminates it. Are you truly unable to let go of your notions? If you cling to the words that God spoke in the past, does this prove that you know the work of God? If you are unable to accept the light of the Holy Spirit today, and instead cling to the light of the past, can this prove that you follow the footsteps of God? Are you still unable to let go of religious notions? If that is the case, then you will become someone who opposes God.
If people can let go of religious notions, they will not use their minds to measure the words and work of God today, and instead will obey directly. Even though God’s work today is manifestly unlike that of the past, you are yet able to let go of the views of the past and obey the work of God today directly. If you are capable of understanding that you must give pride of place to the work of God today, regardless of how God worked in the past, then you are someone who has let go of their notions, who obeys God, and who is able to obey the work and words of God and follow His footsteps. In this, you will be someone who truly obeys God. You do not analyze or scrutinize the work of God; it is as if God has forgotten His previous work, and you, too, have forgotten it. The present is the present, and the past is the past, and since today, God has put aside that which He did in the past, you should not dwell on it. Only such a person is one who obeys God completely and has let go of their religious notions completely.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Those Who Know the Work of God Today May Serve God
Daily Words of God Excerpt 283
Because there are always new developments in God’s work, there is work that becomes obsolete and old as new work arises. These different types of work, old and new, are not contradictory, but complementary; each step follows from the last. Because there is new work, the old things must, of course, be eliminated. For example, some of the long-established practices and habitual sayings of man, coupled with man’s many years of experience and teachings, have formed all manner and form of notions in the mind of man. That God has yet fully to reveal His true face and inherent disposition to man, along with the spread, over many years, of traditional theories from ancient times have been yet more propitious to man’s formation of such notions. It may be said that, over the course of man’s belief in God, the influence of various notions has led to the continual formation and evolution of all sorts of notional understandings of God in people, which has caused many religious people who serve God to become His enemies. So, the stronger people’s religious notions are, the more they oppose God, and the more they are the enemies of God. The work of God is always new and never old; it never forms doctrine, instead changing continually and being renewed to a greater or lesser extent. Working in this way is an expression of the inherent disposition of God Himself. It is also the inherent principle of God’s work, and one of the means by which God accomplishes His management. If God did not work in this way, man would not change or be able to know God, and Satan would not be defeated. Thus, in His work, changes continually occur that appear erratic, but which are actually periodic. The way in which man believes in God, however, is quite different. He clings to old, familiar doctrines and systems, and the older they are, the more palatable they are to him. How could the foolish mind of man, a mind that is as intransigent as stone, accept so much unfathomable new work and words of God? Man abhors the God who is always new and never old; he likes only the old God, who is long of tooth, white of hair, and stuck in place. Thus, because God and man each have their own likes, man has become the enemy of God. Many of these contradictions still exist even today, at a time when God has been doing new work for almost six thousand years. They are, then, beyond remedy. Perhaps it is because of the stubbornness of man, or the inviolability of God’s administrative decrees by any man—but those clergymen and women cling still to moldy old books and papers, while God carries on with His uncompleted work of management, as if He had no one by His side. Though these contradictions make enemies of God and man, and are even irresolvable, God pays them no heed, as if they were at once there and not there. Man, however, still sticks by his beliefs and notions, and never lets go of them. Yet one thing is self-evident: Even though man does not deviate from his stance, God’s feet are always moving, and He is always changing His stance according to the environment. In the end, it is man who will be defeated without a fight. God, meanwhile, is the greatest enemy of all His defeated foes, and is also the champion of mankind, defeated and undefeated alike. Who can compete with God and be victorious? Man’s notions seem to come from God because many of them were born in the wake of God’s work. However, God does not forgive man because of this, nor, moreover, does He pour praise on man for producing batch after batch of products “for God” in the wake of His work that are outside of His work. Instead, He is extremely disgusted by man’s notions and old, pious beliefs, and does not even have a mind to acknowledge the date on which these notions first emerged. He does not accept at all that these notions are caused by His work, for the notions of man are spread by man; their source is the thoughts and mind of man—not God, but Satan. God’s intention has always been for His work to be new and alive, not old and dead, and what He has man adhere to varies with the age and period, and is not everlasting and immutable. This is because He is a God who causes man to live and be new, rather than a devil who causes man to die and be old. Do you still not understand this? You have notions about God and are incapable of letting go of them because you are close-minded. It is not because there is too little sense within God’s work, nor because the work of God diverges from human wishes, nor, moreover, is it because God is always negligent in His duties. You cannot let go of your notions because you are too lacking in obedience, and because you have not the slightest likeness of a created being; it is not because God is making things difficult for you. You caused all of this, and it bears no relation at all to God; all suffering and misfortune is created by man. God’s thoughts are always good: He does not wish to cause you to produce notions, but wishes for you to change and be renewed as the ages pass. Yet you do not know what is good for you, and are always either scrutinizing or analyzing. It is not that God is making things difficult for you, but that you have no reverence for God, and your disobedience is too great. A tiny created being, daring to take some trivial part of that which was previously given by God, then turning around and using it to attack God—is this not the disobedience of man? Humans, it is fair to say, are utterly unqualified to express their views before God, and less still are they qualified to parade around their worthless, stinking, rotten, flowery language as they wish—to say nothing of those moldy notions. Are they not even more worthless?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Those Who Know the Work of God Today May Serve God
Daily Words of God Excerpt 284
The work of God is always moving forward, and though the purpose of His work does not change, the method by which He works constantly changes, which means that those who follow God are constantly changing, too. The more work God does, the more thorough man’s knowledge of God is. Corresponding changes occur, too, in man’s disposition in the wake of God’s work. However, it is because the work of God is ever-changing that those who do not know the work of the Holy Spirit and those absurd people who do not know the truth become people who resist God. Not ever does the work of God conform to the notions of man, for His work is always new and never old, and never does He repeat old work, but rather forges ahead with work never done before. As God does not repeat His work, and man invariably judges God’s current work by the work He did in the past, it has become exceedingly difficult for God to carry out each stage of work of the new age. Man has far too many difficulties! He is too conservative in his thinking! No one knows the work of God, yet everyone delimits it. When he leaves God, man loses life, truth, and God’s blessings, yet neither does he accept life nor truth, much less the greater blessings God bestows upon mankind. All men wish to gain God, yet are unable to tolerate any changes in God’s work. Those who do not accept God’s new work believe that the work of God is immutable, that it forever remains at a standstill. In their belief, all that is needed to gain eternal salvation from God is to observe the law, and as long as they repent and confess their sins, the will of God will always be satisfied. They are of the opinion that God can only be the God under the law and the God who was nailed to the cross for man; it is their opinion, too, that God should not and cannot exceed the Bible. It is precisely these opinions that have shackled them firmly to the laws of old and nailed them to dead rules. There are even more who believe that whatever the new work of God might be, it has to be substantiated by prophecies, and that in each stage of such work, all those who follow Him with a “true” heart must also be shown revelations; if not, such work could not be the work of God. It is already no easy task for man to come to know God. Taken in addition to man’s absurd heart and his rebellious nature of self-importance and self-conceit, it becomes all the more difficult for him to accept God’s new work. Man neither gives careful scrutiny to the new work of God, nor accepts it with humility; instead, he adopts an attitude of contempt as he awaits revelations and guidance from God. Is this not the behavior of those who rebel against and resist God? How can such people gain God’s approval?
Jesus said that the work of Jehovah had fallen behind in the Age of Grace, just as I say today, that the work of Jesus has also fallen behind. If there had been only the Age of Law and not the Age of Grace, then Jesus would not have been crucified and could not have redeemed all mankind. If there had only been the Age of Law, could mankind ever have gotten as far as today? History moves forward, and is not history the natural law of God’s work? Is this not a depiction of His management of man throughout the entire universe? History moves forward, and so does the work of God. God’s will is constantly changing. He could not remain at a single stage of work for six thousand years, for as everyone knows, God is always new and never old, and He could not possibly keep doing work like the crucifixion, being nailed to the cross once, twice, three times…. It would be ridiculous to think thus. God does not keep on doing the same work; His work is ever-changing and always new, much as how I speak new words to you and do new work each day. This is the work I do, and what is key are the words “new” and “wondrous.” “God is immutable, and God will always be God”: this saying is indeed true; the substance of God does not change, God is always God, and He could never become Satan, but this does not prove that His work is as constant and invariable as His substance. You declare God is immutable, but how, then, can you explain that God is always new and never old? The work of God continuously spreads and constantly changes, and His will is continuously manifested and made known to man. As man experiences God’s work, his disposition changes without cease, as does his knowledge. Whence, then, does this change arise? Is it not from the ever-changing work of God? If the disposition of man can change, why cannot man allow My work and My words to continuously change also? Must I be subject to the restrictions of man? In this, are you not using forced arguments and perverted logic?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How Can Man Who Has Delimited God in His Notions Receive the Revelations of God?
Daily Words of God Excerpt 285
The Jews all read the Old Testament and knew of Isaiah’s prophecy that a male infant would be born in a manger. Why, then, despite being fully aware of this prophecy, did they still persecute Jesus? Was it not because of their rebellious nature and ignorance of the work of the Holy Spirit? At the time, the Pharisees believed the work of Jesus to be different from what they knew of the prophesied male infant, and people today reject God because the work of God incarnate does not conform to the Bible. Is not the essence of their rebelliousness toward God the same? Can you accept, without question, all the work of the Holy Spirit? If it is the work of the Holy Spirit, then it is the right stream, and you should accept it without any misgivings; you should not pick and choose what to accept. If you gain more insight into God and exercise more caution toward Him, then is this not uncalled for? You need not look for further substantiation from the Bible; if it is the work of the Holy Spirit, then you must accept it, for you believe in God to follow God, and you should not investigate Him. You should not seek further evidence of Me to prove that I am your God, but should be able to discern whether I am of benefit to you—this is what is most crucial. Even if you find much irrefutable proof within the Bible, it cannot bring you fully before Me. You merely live within the confines of the Bible, and not before Me; the Bible cannot help you know Me, nor can it deepen your love for Me. Though the Bible prophesied that a male infant would be born, none could fathom upon whom that prophecy would come to pass, for man did not know the work of God, and this is what caused the Pharisees to stand against Jesus. Some know that My work is in man’s interests, yet they continue to believe that Jesus and I are two entirely separate, mutually incompatible beings. At the time, Jesus only gave His disciples a series of sermons in the Age of Grace on such subjects as how to practice, how to gather together, how to supplicate in prayer, how to treat others, and so forth. The work He carried out was that of the Age of Grace, and He expounded only on how the disciples and those who followed Him ought to practice. He only did the work of the Age of Grace, and none of the work of the last days. When Jehovah set down the Old Testament law in the Age of Law, why did He not then do the work of the Age of Grace? Why did He not make clear in advance the work of the Age of Grace? Would this not have helped man to accept it? He only prophesied that a male infant would be born and come to power, but He did not carry out in advance the work of the Age of Grace. The work of God in each age has clear boundaries; He does only the work of the current age, and never carries out the next stage of work in advance. Only thus can His representative work of each age be brought to the fore. Jesus spoke only of the signs of the last days, of how to be patient and how to be saved, of how to repent and confess, and of how to bear the cross and endure suffering; never did He speak of how man in the last days should achieve entry, nor of how he should seek to satisfy God’s will. As such, is it not ridiculous to search the Bible for God’s work of the last days? What can you see by merely clutching the Bible? Be it an expositor of the Bible or a preacher, who could have seen the work of today in advance?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How Can Man Who Has Delimited God in His Notions Receive the Revelations of God?
Daily Words of God Excerpt 286
Do you wish to know the root of why the Pharisees opposed Jesus? Do you wish to know the essence of the Pharisees? They were full of fantasies about the Messiah. What is more, they believed only that the Messiah would come, yet did not pursue the truth of life. And so, even today they still await the Messiah, for they have no knowledge of the way of life, and do not know what the way of truth is. How, say you, could such foolish, stubborn and ignorant people gain God’s blessing? How could they behold the Messiah? They opposed Jesus because they did not know the direction of the Holy Spirit’s work, because they did not know the way of truth spoken by Jesus, and, furthermore, because they did not understand the Messiah. And since they had never seen the Messiah and had never been in the company of the Messiah, they made the mistake of clinging to the mere name of the Messiah while opposing the essence of the Messiah by any means possible. These Pharisees in essence were stubborn, arrogant, and did not obey the truth. The principle of their belief in God was: No matter how profound Your preaching, no matter how high Your authority, You are not Christ unless You are called the Messiah. Is this belief not preposterous and ridiculous? I ask you further: Is it not extremely easy for you to commit the mistakes of the earliest Pharisees, given that you have not the slightest understanding of Jesus? Are you able to discern the way of truth? Can you truly guarantee that you will not oppose Christ? Are you able to follow the work of the Holy Spirit? If you do not know whether you will oppose Christ, then I say that you are already living on the brink of death. Those who did not know the Messiah were all capable of opposing Jesus, of rejecting Jesus, of slandering Him. People who do not understand Jesus are all capable of rejecting Him and reviling Him. Moreover, they are capable of seeing the return of Jesus as the deceit of Satan, and more people shall condemn Jesus returned to flesh. Does not all of this make you afraid? What you face shall be blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the ruination of the words of the Holy Spirit to the churches, and the spurning of all that is expressed by Jesus. What can you gain from Jesus if you are so befuddled? How can you understand the work of Jesus when He returns to flesh on a white cloud, if you obstinately refuse to realize your errors? I tell you this: People who do not receive the truth, yet blindly await the arrival of Jesus upon white clouds, will surely blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, and they are the category that shall be destroyed. You merely wish for the grace of Jesus, and merely want to enjoy the blissful realm of heaven, yet you have never obeyed the words spoken by Jesus, and have never received the truth expressed by Jesus when He returns to flesh. What will you hold up in exchange for the fact of Jesus’ return upon a white cloud? Is it the sincerity in which you repeatedly commit sins, and then speak your confession, over and over? What will you offer in sacrifice to Jesus who returns upon a white cloud? Is it the years of work with which you exalt yourselves? What will you hold up to make the returned Jesus trust you? Is it that arrogant nature of yours, which does not obey any truth?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. By the Time You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus, God Will Have Made Heaven and Earth Anew
Daily Words of God Excerpt 287
Your loyalty is in word only, your knowledge is merely intellectual and conceptual, your labors are for the sake of gaining the blessings of heaven, and so what must your faith be like? Even today, you still turn a deaf ear to each and every word of truth. You do not know what God is, you do not know what Christ is, you do not know how to revere Jehovah, you do not know how to enter into the work of the Holy Spirit, and you do not know how to distinguish between the work of God Himself and the deceptions of man. You know only to condemn any word of truth expressed by God that does not conform to your own thoughts. Where is your humility? Where is your obedience? Where is your loyalty? Where is your desire to seek the truth? Where is your reverence for God? I tell you, those who believe in God because of the signs are surely the category that shall be destroyed. Those who are incapable of receiving the words of Jesus who has returned to flesh are surely the progeny of hell, the descendants of the archangel, the category that shall be subjected to everlasting destruction. Many people may not care what I say, but I still want to tell every so-called saint who follows Jesus that, when you see Jesus descend from the heaven upon a white cloud with your own eyes, this will be the public appearance of the Sun of righteousness. Perhaps that will be a time of great excitement for you, yet you should know that the time when you witness Jesus descend from the heaven is also the time when you go down to hell to be punished. That will be the time of the end of God’s management plan and it will be when God rewards the good and punishes the wicked. For the judgment of God will have ended before man sees signs, when there is only the expression of truth. Those who accept the truth and do not seek signs, and thus have been purified, shall have returned before the throne of God and entered the Creator’s embrace. Only those who persist in the belief that “The Jesus who does not ride upon a white cloud is a false Christ” shall be subjected to everlasting punishment, for they only believe in the Jesus who exhibits signs, but do not acknowledge the Jesus who proclaims severe judgment and releases the true way and life. And so it can only be that Jesus deals with them when He openly returns upon a white cloud. They are too stubborn, too confident in themselves, too arrogant. How could such degenerates be rewarded by Jesus? The return of Jesus is a great salvation for those who are capable of accepting the truth, but for those who are unable to accept the truth it is a sign of condemnation. You should choose your own path, and should not blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and reject the truth. You should not be an ignorant and arrogant person, but someone who obeys the guidance of the Holy Spirit and longs for and seeks the truth; only in this way will you benefit. I advise you to tread the path of belief in God with care. Do not jump to conclusions; what is more, do not be casual and thoughtless in your belief in God. You should know that, at the very least, those who believe in God should be humble and reverential. Those who have heard the truth and yet turn their nose up at it are foolish and ignorant. Those who have heard the truth and yet carelessly jump to conclusions or condemn it are beset by arrogance. No one who believes in Jesus is qualified to curse or condemn others. You should all be someone with sense and who accepts the truth. Perhaps, having heard the way of truth and having read the word of life, you believe that only one in 10,000 of these words are in line with your convictions and the Bible, and then you should continue to seek in that 10,000th of these words. I still advise you to be humble, to not be over-confident, and to not exalt yourself too highly. With your heart holding such meager reverence for God, you will gain greater light. If you carefully examine and repeatedly contemplate these words, you shall understand whether or not they are the truth, and whether or not they are life. Perhaps, having only read a few sentences, some people will blindly condemn these words, saying, “This is nothing more than some enlightenment of the Holy Spirit,” or, “This is a false Christ come to deceive people.” Those who say such things are blinded by ignorance! You understand too little of the work and wisdom of God, and I advise you to start again from scratch! You must not blindly condemn the words expressed by God because of the appearance of false Christs during the last days, and you must not be someone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit because you fear deception. Would that not be a great pity? If, after much examination, you still believe that these words are not the truth, are not the way, and are not the expression of God, then you shall ultimately be punished, and you shall be without blessings. If you cannot accept such truth spoken so plainly and so clearly, then are you not unfit for God’s salvation? Are you not someone who is not blessed enough to return before the throne of God? Think about it! Do not be rash and impetuous, and do not treat belief in God as a game. Think for the sake of your destination, for the sake of your prospects, for the sake of your life, and do not play yourself. Can you accept these words?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. By the Time You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus, God Will Have Made Heaven and Earth Anew
Daily Words of God Excerpt 288
At the time, part of Jesus’ work was in accordance with the Old Testament, as well as with the laws of Moses and the words of Jehovah during the Age of Law. All these things, Jesus used to do part of His work. He preached to the people and taught them in the synagogues, and He employed the predictions of the prophets in the Old Testament to rebuke the Pharisees that were in enmity with Him, and used the words from the Scriptures to reveal their disobedience and thus condemn them. For they despised what Jesus had done; in particular, much of Jesus’ work was not done according to the laws in the Scriptures, and, furthermore, what He taught was higher than their own words, and even higher than that which had been foretold by the prophets in the Scriptures. The work of Jesus was only for the sake of man’s redemption and for the crucifixion, and so there was no need for Him to say more words in order to conquer any man. Much of what He taught man was drawn from the words of the Scriptures, and even if His work did not exceed the Scriptures, still He was able to accomplish the work of the crucifixion. His was not the work of the word, nor work done for the sake of conquering mankind, but work done in order to redeem mankind. He only acted as the sin offering for mankind, and did not act as the source of the word for mankind. He did not do the work of the Gentiles, which was the work of conquering man, but the work of the crucifixion, work that was done among those who believed there was a God. Even though His work was carried out upon the foundation of the Scriptures, and even though He used that which had been foretold by the old prophets to condemn the Pharisees, this was sufficient to complete the work of the crucifixion. If the work of today were still carried out upon the foundation of the predictions of the old prophets in the Scriptures, then it would be impossible to conquer you, for the Old Testament contains no record of the disobedience and sins of you Chinese people, and there is no history of your sins. So, if this work still lingered in the Bible, you would never yield. The Bible records only a limited history of the Israelites, one which is incapable of establishing whether you are evil or good, or of judging you. Imagine that I were to judge you according to the history of the Israelites—would you still follow Me as you do today? Do you know how difficult you are? If no words were spoken during this stage, then it would be impossible to complete the work of conquest. Because I have not come to be nailed to the cross, I must speak words that are separate from the Bible, so that you may be conquered. The work done by Jesus was merely a stage higher than the Old Testament; it was used to begin an age, and to lead that age. Why did He say, “I have not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill the law”? Yet in His work there was much that differed from the laws practiced and the commandments followed by the Israelites of the Old Testament, for He did not come to obey the law, but to fulfill it. The process of fulfilling it included many practical things: His work was more practical and real, and, furthermore, it was more alive, and was not blind adherence to rules. Did the Israelites not keep the Sabbath? When Jesus came, He did not observe the Sabbath, for He said that the Son of man was the Lord of the Sabbath, and when the Lord of the Sabbath arrived, He would do as He wished. He had come to fulfill the laws of the Old Testament and to change the laws. All that is done today is based upon the present, yet it still rests upon the foundation of the work of Jehovah in the Age of Law, and it does not transgress this scope. To watch your tongue, and not commit adultery, for example—are these not the laws of the Old Testament? Today, what is required of you is not only limited to the Ten Commandments, but consists of commandments and laws of a higher order than those that came before. Yet this does not mean that what came before has been abolished, for each stage of God’s work is carried out upon the foundation of the stage that came before. As for the work that Jehovah then did in Israel, such as requiring people to offer up sacrifices, honor their parents, not to worship idols, not to assault or curse others, not to commit adultery, not to smoke or drink, and not to eat dead things or drink blood—does this not form the foundation for your practice even today? It is upon the foundation of the past that the work has been carried out up until today. Though the laws of the past are no longer mentioned and new demands have been made of you, these laws, far from being abolished, have instead been raised higher. To say that they have been abolished means that the previous age is outdated, whereas there are some commandments that you must honor for all eternity. The commandments of the past have already been put into practice, have already become the being of man, and there is no need to place special emphasis on such commandments as “Do not smoke,” and “Do not drink,” and so on. Upon this foundation, new commandments are laid down according to your needs today, according to your stature, and according to the work of today. Decreeing commandments for the new age does not mean abolishing the commandments of the old age, but lifting them higher upon this foundation, to make the actions of man more complete, and more in line with reality. If, today, you were only required to follow the commandments and abide by the laws of the Old Testament in the same way as the Israelites, and if you were even required to memorize the laws laid down by Jehovah, there would be no possibility that you could change. If you were only to abide by those few limited commandments or memorize innumerable laws, your old disposition would remain deeply embedded, and there would be no way to uproot it. Thus you would become increasingly depraved, and not one of you would become obedient. This is to say that a few simple commandments or countless laws are incapable of helping you know the deeds of Jehovah. You are not the same as the Israelites: By following the laws and memorizing the commandments, they were able to witness the deeds of Jehovah and give their devotion to Him alone. But you are unable to achieve this, and a few commandments of the Old Testament age are not only incapable of making you give over your heart, or of protecting you, but will instead make you lax, and will make you fall down into Hades. For My work is the work of conquest, and it is aimed at your disobedience and your old disposition. The kind words of Jehovah and Jesus fall far short of the severe words of judgment today. Without such severe words, it would be impossible to conquer you “experts,” who have been disobedient for thousands of years. The laws of the Old Testament lost their power on you long ago, and the judgment of today is far more formidable than the old laws. What is most suitable for you is judgment, and not the trifling restrictions of laws, for you are not the mankind of the very beginning, but a mankind that has been corrupt for thousands of years. What man must achieve now is in line with the real state of man today, according to the caliber and actual stature of present-day man, and it does not require that you follow rules. This is so that changes may be achieved in your old disposition, and in order that you may cast aside your notions.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Vision of God’s Work (1)
Daily Words of God Excerpt 289
History is always moving forward, and the work of God is always moving forward. For His six-thousand-year management plan to reach its end, it must keep progressing in a forward direction. Each day He must do new work, each year He must do new work; He must launch new paths, launch new eras, begin new and greater work, and along with these, bring new names and new work. From moment to moment, the Spirit of God is doing new work, never clinging to old ways or rules. Nor has His work ever stopped, but is coming to pass with each passing moment. If you say that the work of the Holy Spirit is immutable, then why did Jehovah ask the priests to serve Him in the temple, yet Jesus did not enter the temple despite the fact that, when He came, people also said that He was the high priest, and that He was of the house of David and also the high priest and the great King? And why did He not offer sacrifices? Entering the temple or not entering the temple—is all this not the work of God Himself? If, as man imagines, Jesus will come again and, in the last days, still be called Jesus, and still come on a white cloud, descending among men in the image of Jesus: would that not be a repetition of His work? Is the Holy Spirit capable of clinging to the old? All that man believes are notions, and all that man understands is according to the literal meaning, and also according to his imagination; they are at odds with the principles of the work of the Holy Spirit, and do not conform to the intentions of God. God would not work in that way; God is not so foolish and stupid, and His work is not so simple as you imagine. Based on everything that man imagines, Jesus will come riding on a cloud and descend in your midst. You shall behold Him who, riding a cloud, shall tell you that He is Jesus. You shall also behold the nail marks in His hands, and shall know Him to be Jesus. And He shall save you again, and shall be your mighty God. He shall save you, bestow upon you a new name, and give each of you a white stone, after which you shall be allowed to enter the kingdom of heaven and be received into paradise. Are such beliefs not the notions of man? Does God work according to the notions of man, or does He work counter to the notions of man? Do not the notions of man all derive from Satan? Has not all of man been corrupted by Satan? If God did His work according to the notions of man, would He not then become Satan? Would He not be of the same kind as His own creations? Since His creations have now been so corrupted by Satan that man has become Satan’s embodiment, if God were to work in accordance with the things of Satan, would He not then be in league with Satan? How can man fathom the work of God? Therefore, God would never work according to the notions of man, and would never work in the ways you imagine. There are those who say that God Himself said that He would arrive on a cloud. It is true that God said so Himself, but do you not know that no man can fathom the mysteries of God? Do you not know that no man can explain the words of God? Are you certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you were enlightened and illuminated by the Holy Spirit? Surely it was not that the Holy Spirit showed you in such a direct manner? Was it the Holy Spirit who instructed you, or did your own notions lead you to think so? You said, “This was said by God Himself.” But we cannot use our own notions and minds to measure the words of God. As for the words spoken by Isaiah, can you with absolute certainty explain his words? Do you dare to explain his words? Since you do not dare to explain the words of Isaiah, why do you dare to explain the words of Jesus? Who is more exalted, Jesus or Isaiah? Since the answer is Jesus, why do you explain the words spoken by Jesus? Would God tell you of His work in advance? Not a single creature can know, not even the messengers in heaven, nor the Son of man, so how could you know? Man is too lacking. What is crucial for you now is to know the three stages of work. From the work of Jehovah to that of Jesus, and from the work of Jesus to that of this current stage, these three stages cover in a continuous thread the entire gamut of God’s management, and they are all the work of one Spirit. Since the creation of the world, God has always been at work managing mankind. He is the Beginning and the End, He is the First and the Last, and He is the One who begins an age and the One who brings the age to an end. The three stages of work, in different ages and different locations, are unmistakably the work of one Spirit. All those who separate these three stages stand in opposition to God. Now, it behooves you to understand that all the work from the first stage until today is the work of one God, the work of one Spirit. Of this there can be no doubt.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Vision of God’s Work (3)
Daily Words of God Excerpt 290
Since man believes in God, he must closely follow the footsteps of God, step-by-step; he should “follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” Only these are the people who seek the true way, only they are the ones who know the work of the Holy Spirit. People who slavishly follow letters and doctrines are those who have been cast out by the work of the Holy Spirit. In each period of time, God will begin new work, and in each period, there will be a new beginning among man. If man only abides by the truths that “Jehovah is God” and “Jesus is Christ,” which are truths that only apply to their respective ages, then man will never keep up with the work of the Holy Spirit, and will forever be incapable of gaining the work of the Holy Spirit. Regardless of how God works, man follows without the slightest doubt, and he follows closely. In this way, how could man be cast out by the Holy Spirit? Regardless of what God does, as long as man is certain that it is the work of the Holy Spirit, and cooperates in the work of the Holy Spirit without any misgivings, and tries to meet the requirements of God, then how could he be punished? The work of God has never ceased, His footsteps have never halted, and prior to the completion of His management work, He has always been busy, and never stops. But man is different: Having gained but a modicum of the Holy Spirit’s work, he treats it as if it will never change; having gained a little knowledge, he does not go forth to follow the footsteps of God’s newer work; having seen but a little of God’s work, he immediately prescribes God as a particular wooden figure, and believes that God will always remain in this form that he sees before him, that it was like this in the past and will always be thus in the future; having gained but a superficial knowledge, man is so proud that he forgets himself and begins to wantonly proclaim a disposition and a being of God that simply do not exist; and having become certain about one stage of the Holy Spirit’s work, no matter what kind of person it is that proclaims the new work of God, man does not accept it. These are people who cannot accept the new work of the Holy Spirit; they are too conservative, and incapable of accepting new things. Such people are those who believe in God but also reject God. Man believes that the Israelites were wrong to “only believe in Jehovah and not believe in Jesus,” yet the majority of people act out a role in which they “only believe in Jehovah and reject Jesus” and “long for the return of the Messiah, but oppose the Messiah who is called Jesus.” No wonder, then, that people still live under the domain of Satan after accepting one stage of the work of the Holy Spirit, and still do not receive God’s blessings. Is this not the result of man’s rebelliousness? Christians across the world who have not kept up with the new work of today all cling to the hope that they will get lucky, assuming that God will fulfill each of their wishes. Yet they cannot say for sure why God will take them up to the third heaven, nor are they certain about how Jesus will come to receive them riding upon a white cloud, much less can they say with absolute certainty whether Jesus will truly arrive upon a white cloud on the day that they imagine. They are all anxious, and at a loss; they themselves do not even know whether God will take up each of them, the varied small handfuls of people, who hail from every denomination. The work that God does now, the present age, God’s will—they have no grasp of any of these things, and they can do nothing but count down the days on their fingers. Only those who follow the footsteps of the Lamb to the very end can gain the final blessing, whereas those “clever people,” who are unable to follow to the very end yet believe they have gained all, are incapable of witnessing the appearance of God. They each believe they are the smartest person on earth, and they cut short the continued development of God’s work for no reason at all, and seem to believe with absolute certainty that God will take them up to heaven, they who “have the utmost loyalty to God, follow God, and abide by the words of God.” Even though they have the “utmost loyalty” toward the words spoken by God, their words and actions are still so disgusting because they oppose the work of the Holy Spirit, and commit deceit and evil. Those who do not follow to the very end, who do not keep up with the work of the Holy Spirit, and who only cleave to the old work have not only failed to achieve loyalty to God, but on the contrary, have become those who oppose God, have become those who are rejected by the new age, and who will be punished. Are there any more pitiable than them? Many even believe that all those who reject the old law and accept the new work are without conscience. These people, who only talk of “conscience,” and do not know the work of the Holy Spirit, will ultimately have their prospects cut short by their own consciences. God’s work does not abide by doctrine, and though it may be His own work, still God does not cling to it. That which should be denied is denied, that which should be cast out is cast out. Yet man places himself in enmity to God by holding onto but one small part of the work of God’s management. Is this not the absurdity of man? Is this not the ignorance of man? The more people are timid and overcautious because they are afraid of not gaining God’s blessings, the more they are incapable of gaining greater blessings, and of receiving the final blessing. Those people who slavishly abide by the law all display the utmost loyalty toward the law, and the more they display such loyalty toward the law, the more they are rebels who oppose God. For now is the Age of Kingdom and not the Age of Law, and the work of today and the work of the past cannot be mentioned in the same breath, nor can the work of the past be compared to the work of today. The work of God has changed, and the practice of man has also changed; it is not to hold onto the law or bear the cross, therefore people’s loyalty toward the law and the cross will not gain God’s approval.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Practice
Daily Words of God Excerpt 291
The purpose of conquering you today is to have you acknowledge that God is your God and also the God of others, and most importantly He is the God of all who love Him, and the God of all creation. He is the God of the Israelites and the God of the people of Egypt. He is the God of the British and the God of Americans. He is not just the God of Adam and Eve, but also the God of all their descendants. He is the God of everything in the heavens and everything on earth. All families, be they Israelite or Gentile, are all in the hands of one God. Not only did He work in Israel for several thousand years and was once born in Judea, but today He descends in China, this place where the great red dragon lies coiled. If being born in Judea makes Him the King of the Jews, then does not descending among all of you today make Him the God of all of you? He led the Israelites and was born in Judea, and He has also been born in a Gentile land. Is not all His work done for the whole of the mankind that He created? Does He love Israelites a hundred fold and loathe Gentiles a thousand fold? Is that not your notion? It is not the case that God was never your God, but rather just that you do not acknowledge Him; it is not the case that God is unwilling to be your God, but rather just that you reject Him. Who among the created is not in the hands of the Almighty? In conquering you today, is not the goal to have you acknowledge that God is none other than your God? If you still maintain that God is the God of Israelites only, and still maintain that the house of David in Israel is the origin of God’s birth, and that no nation other than Israel is qualified to “produce” God, much less is any Gentile family able to personally receive Jehovah’s work—if you still think this way, then does that not make you an obstinate holdout? Do not always fixate on Israel. God is right here among you today. Nor should you keep looking heavenward. Stop pining for your God in heaven! God has come into your midst, so how can He be in heaven? You have not believed in God for very long, yet you have a lot of notions about Him, to the point that you dare not for a second think that the God of the Israelites would deign to grace you with His presence. Even less do you dare to think about how you could see God make a personal appearance, given how unbearably filthy you are. Neither have you ever thought about how God could personally descend into a Gentile land. He ought to descend on Mount Sinai or the Mount of Olives and appear to Israelites. Are not the Gentiles (that is, people outside of Israel) all objects of His loathing? How could He personally work among them? All these are the deep-rooted notions that you have developed over many years. The purpose of conquering you today is to shatter these notions of yours. Thus do you behold God’s personal appearance among you—not on Mount Sinai or on the Mount of Olives, but among people He has never led before. After God carried out His two stages of work in Israel, Israelites and all Gentiles alike came to harbor the notion that while it is true that God created all things, He is only willing to be the God of Israelites, not the God of Gentiles. Israelites believe the following: God can only be our God, not the God of you Gentiles, and because you do not revere Jehovah, therefore Jehovah—our God—loathes you. Those Jewish people also believe the following: The Lord Jesus assumed the image of us Jewish people and is a God who bears the mark of the Jewish people. It is among us that God works. God’s image and our image are similar; our image is close to God’s. The Lord Jesus is the King of us Jews; Gentiles are not qualified to receive such great salvation. The Lord Jesus is the sin offering for us Jews. It was merely on the basis of those two stages of work that Israelites and the Jewish people formed all these notions. They domineeringly claim God for themselves, not allowing that God is also the God of the Gentiles. In this way, God became a lacuna in the hearts of Gentiles. This is because everyone came to believe that God does not want to be the God of the Gentiles and that He only likes Israelites—His chosen people—and the Jewish people, especially the disciples who followed Him. Do you not know that the work that Jehovah and Jesus did is for the survival of all mankind? Do you now acknowledge that God is the God of all of you born outside of Israel? Is God not right here in your midst today? This cannot be a dream, can it? Do you not accept this reality? You dare not believe it or think about it. Regardless of how you see it, is not God right here in your midst? Are you still afraid to believe these words? From this day on, are all conquered people and all who wish to be God’s followers not God’s chosen people? Are not all of you, who are followers today, the chosen people outside of Israel? Is your status not the same as the Israelites? Is not all this what you should recognize? Is this not the goal of the work of conquering you? Since you can see God, He will be your God forever, from the beginning and into the future. He will not abandon you, so long as all of you are willing to follow Him and to be His loyal, obedient creatures.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (3)
Daily Words of God Excerpt 292
Only by putting aside your old notions can you gain new knowledge, yet old knowledge is not necessarily equivalent to old notions. “Notions” refers to the things imagined by man that are at odds with reality. If the old knowledge was already outdated in the old age and stopped man from entering into the new work, then such knowledge is also a notion. If man is able to take the correct approach to such knowledge and can come to know God from several different aspects, combining the old and the new, then the old knowledge becomes an aid to man, and becomes the basis by which man enters the new age. The lesson of knowing God requires you to master many principles: how to enter onto the path to knowing God, which truths you must understand in order to know God, and how to get rid of your notions and old dispositions so that you may submit to all of the arrangements of God’s new work. If you use these principles as the foundation for entering into the lesson of knowing God, then your knowledge will become deeper and deeper. If you have a clear knowledge of the three stages of work—which is to say, of God’s entire plan of management—and if you can fully correlate the previous two stages of God’s work with the present stage, and see that it is work done by one God, then you will have an incomparably sturdy foundation. The three stages of work were done by one God; this is the greatest vision, and this is the only path to knowing God. The three stages of work could only have been done by God Himself, and no man could do such work on His behalf—this is to say that only God Himself could have done His own work from the beginning until today. Though the three stages of God’s work have been carried out in different ages and locations, and though the work of each is different, it is all work done by one God. Of all the visions, this is the greatest vision that man should know, and if it can be completely understood by man, then he will be able to stand fast. Today, the biggest problem facing various religions and denominations is that they do not know the work of the Holy Spirit, and are unable to differentiate between the work of the Holy Spirit and work that is not of the Holy Spirit—because of this, they cannot tell whether this stage of work is, like the last two stages of work, also done by Jehovah God. Though people follow God, most are still unable to tell whether it is the right way. Man worries whether this way is the way personally led by God Himself, and whether God’s incarnation is a fact, and most people still have no clue about how to discern such things. Those who follow God are unable to determine the way, and so the messages which are spoken only have a partial effect among these people, and are incapable of being fully effective, and so this then affects the life entry of such people. If man can see in the three stages of work that they were carried out by God Himself at different times, in different places, and in different people; if man can see that although the work is different, it is all done by one God, and that since it is work done by one God, then it must be right and without error, and that though it is at odds with the notions of man, there is no denying that it is the work of one God—if man can say for sure that it is the work of one God, then the notions of man will be reduced to mere trifles, unworthy of mention. Because the visions of man are unclear, and because man only knows Jehovah as God, and Jesus as the Lord, and is in two minds about the God incarnate of today, many people remain devoted to the work of Jehovah and Jesus, and are beset by notions about the work of today, most people are always doubtful, and do not take the work of today seriously. Man has no notions toward the last two stages of work, which were invisible. That is because man does not understand the reality of the last two stages of work, and did not personally witness them. It is because these stages of work cannot be seen that man imagines as he likes; regardless of what he comes up with, there are no facts to prove such imaginings, and no one to correct them. Man gives free rein to his temperament, throwing caution to the wind and letting his imagination run free; there are no facts to verify his imaginings, and so man’s imaginings become “fact,” regardless of whether there is any proof to them. Thus man believes in his own imagined God in his mind, and does not seek the God of reality. If one person has one kind of belief, then among a hundred people there are a hundred kinds of belief. Man is possessed of such beliefs because he has not seen the reality of God’s work, because he has only heard it with his ears and has not beheld it with his eyes. Man has heard legends and stories—but rarely has he heard the knowledge of the facts of God’s work. Thus it is that people who have only been believers for a year come to believe in God through their own notions. The same is also true for those who have believed in God their entire lives. Those who cannot see the facts will never be able to escape from a faith in which they have notions about God. Man believes that he has freed himself from the bonds of his old notions, and has entered new territory. Does man not know that the knowledge of those who cannot see the true face of God is nothing but notions and hearsay? Man thinks that his notions are right and without error, and he thinks that these notions come from God. Today, when man witnesses the work of God, he lets loose notions that have built up over many years. The imaginings and ideas of the past have become an obstruction to the work of this stage, and it has become difficult for man to let go of such notions and to refute such ideas. The notions toward this step-by-step work of many of those who have followed God until today have become ever more grievous, and these people have gradually formed a stubborn enmity to the God incarnate. The source of this hatred lies in the notions and imaginings of man. The notions and imaginings of man have become the enemy of the work of today, work which is at odds with the notions of man. This has happened precisely because facts do not allow man to give free rein to his imagination, and, moreover, cannot be easily refuted by man, and the notions and imaginings of man do not brook the existence of facts, and, furthermore, because man does not give thought to the correctness and veracity of facts, and merely single-mindedly lets loose his notions and employs his own imagination. This can only be said to be the fault of the notions of man, and cannot be said to be a fault of the work of God. Man may imagine whatever he wishes, but he may not freely dispute any stage of God’s work or any bit of it; the fact of God’s work is inviolable by man. You may give free rein to your imagination, and may even compile fine stories about the work of Jehovah and Jesus, but you may not refute the fact of each stage of the work of Jehovah and Jesus; this is a principle, and it is also an administrative decree, and you should understand the importance of these issues. Man believes that this stage of work is incompatible with the notions of man, and that this is not the case for the two previous stages of work. In his imagination, man believes that the work of the two previous stages is surely not the same as the work of today—but have you ever considered that the principles of God’s work are all the same, that His work is always practical, and that, regardless of the age, there will always be a deluge of people who resist and oppose the fact of His work? All those who today resist and oppose this stage of work would also undoubtedly have opposed God in times past, for such people will always be the enemies of God. The people who know the fact of God’s work will see the three stages of work as the work of one God, and will let go of their notions. These are people who know God, and such people are those who truly follow God. When the entire management of God is nearing its end, God will class all things according to kind. Man was made by the hands of the Creator, and in the end He must completely return man under His dominion; this is the conclusion of the three stages of work. The stage of work of the last days, and the previous two stages in Israel and Judea, are God’s plan of management in the entire universe. No one can deny this, and it is the fact of God’s work. Although people have not experienced or witnessed much of this work, the facts are still the facts, and this is undeniable by any man. People who believe in God in every land of the universe will all accept the three stages of work. If you only know one particular stage of work, and do not understand the other two stages of work, do not understand the work of God in times past, then you are unable to speak the whole truth of God’s entire plan of management, and your knowledge of God is one-sided, for in your belief in God you do not know or understand Him, and so you are not fit to bear testimony to God. Regardless of whether your current knowledge of these things is profound or superficial, in the end, you must have knowledge, and must be thoroughly convinced, and all people will see the entirety of God’s work and submit under the dominion of God. At the end of this work, all religions will become one, all creatures will return under the dominion of the Creator, all creatures will worship the one true God, and all evil religions will come to nothing, never to appear again.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God
Daily Words of God Excerpt 293
To grasp the purpose of God’s work, the effect His work achieves in man, and what exactly is His will for man: this is what every person who follows God should attain to. Nowadays knowledge of God’s work is just what all people are lacking. The deeds that God has worked upon people, the entirety of the work of God, and what exactly is God’s will for man, from the creation of the world to the present time—these are things that man neither knows nor comprehends. Not only is this inadequacy seen throughout the religious world, but also in all those who believe in God. When the day comes that you truly behold God, when you really appreciate His wisdom, when you behold all the deeds that God has worked, when you recognize what God is and has—when you have seen His bounty, wisdom, wonder, and all that He has worked upon people—it is then you will have achieved success in your faith in God. When God is said to be all-encompassing and all-bountiful, in what way exactly is He all-encompassing, and in what way is He all-bountiful? If you do not understand this, then you cannot be deemed to believe in God. Why do I say that those in the religious world are not believers in God but are evildoers, of the same ilk as the devil? When I say they are evildoers, it is because they do not understand the will of God and are unable to see His wisdom. God at no time reveals His work to them. They are blind; they cannot see the deeds of God, they have been forsaken by God, and they completely lack the care and protection of God, not to mention the work of the Holy Spirit. Those without the work of God are all evildoers and opponents of God. The opponents of God of which I speak refer to those who do not know God, those who acknowledge God with their lips and yet do not know Him, those who follow God and yet do not obey Him, and those who revel in the grace of God and yet are unable to stand witness to Him. Without an understanding of the purpose of God’s work or an understanding of the work that God does in man, he cannot be in accord with the will of God, nor can he stand witness to God. The reason why man opposes God stems, on the one hand, from his corrupt disposition, and on the other hand, from ignorance of God and lack of understanding of the principles by which God works and of His will for man. These two aspects, taken together, constitute a history of man’s resistance to God. Novices in the faith oppose God because such opposition lies within their nature, while the opposition to God of those with many years in the faith results from their ignorance of Him, in addition to their corrupt disposition. In the time before God became flesh, the measure of whether a man opposed God was based on whether he kept the decrees set forth by God in heaven. For instance, in the Age of Law, whoever did not keep the laws of Jehovah was regarded as one who opposed God; whoever stole the offerings to Jehovah, or whoever stood against those favored by Jehovah, was regarded as one who opposed God and would be stoned to death; whoever did not respect his father and mother, and whoever struck or cursed another, was regarded as one who did not keep the laws. And all who did not keep the laws of Jehovah were regarded as standing against Him. This was no longer so in the Age of Grace, when whoever stood against Jesus was regarded as one who stood against God, and whoever did not obey the words uttered by Jesus was regarded as one who stood against God. At this time, the way in which opposition to God was defined became both more accurate and more practical. In the time when God had not yet become flesh, the measure of whether man opposed God was based on whether man worshiped and looked up to the invisible God in heaven. The way in which opposition to God was defined at that time was not all that practical, for man could not see God, nor did he know what the image of God was like, or how He worked and spoke. Man had no notions about God whatsoever, and he believed in God vaguely, because God had not yet appeared to man. Therefore, no matter how man believed in God in his imagination, God did not condemn man or make too many demands of him, because man was completely unable to see God. When God becomes flesh and comes to work among men, all behold Him and hear His words, and all see the deeds that God works from within His body of flesh. At that moment, all man’s notions become foam. As for those who have seen God appearing in the flesh, they shall not be condemned if they willingly obey Him, whereas those who purposefully stand against Him shall be deemed an opponent of God. Such people are antichrists, enemies who willfully stand against God. Those who harbor notions regarding God but are still ready and willing to obey Him will not be condemned. God condemns man on the basis of man’s intentions and actions, never for his thoughts and ideas. If He were to condemn man on the basis of his thoughts and ideas, then not a single person would be able to escape from the wrathful hands of God. Those who willfully stand against the incarnate God shall be punished for their disobedience. With regard to these people that willfully stand against God, their opposition stems from the fact that they harbor notions about God, which leads them in turn into actions that disrupt God’s work. These people intentionally resist and destroy the work of God. They do not merely have notions about God, but they also engage in activities that disrupt His work, and for this reason people of this kind shall be condemned. Those who do not willfully disrupt God’s work shall not be condemned as sinners, because they are able to willingly obey and not engage in activities that cause disruption and disturbance. People like this shall not be condemned. However, when people have experienced God’s work for many years, if they continue to harbor notions about God and remain unable to know the work of the incarnate God, and if, no matter how many years they have experienced His work, they continue to be filled with notions about God and are still unable to come to know Him, then even if they do not engage in disruptive activities, their hearts are nevertheless filled with many notions about God, and even if these notions do not become apparent, people like this are of no help whatsoever to the work of God. They are unable to spread the gospel for God or stand witness to Him. People like this are good-for-nothings and imbeciles. Because they do not know God and are moreover wholly incapable of casting away their notions about Him, they are therefore condemned. It can be said like this: It is normal for novices in the faith to hold notions about God or to know nothing of Him, but for one who has believed in God for many years and experienced a good deal of His work, it would not be normal for such a person to continue to hold notions, and it would be even less normal for someone like this to have no knowledge of God. It is because this is not a normal state that they are condemned. These abnormal people are all garbage; they are the ones who oppose God the most and who have enjoyed the grace of God for nothing. All such people shall be cast out in the end!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. All People Who Do Not Know God Are People Who Oppose God
Daily Words of God Excerpt 294
Anyone who does not understand the purpose of God’s work is one who opposes Him, and one who has come to understand the purpose of God’s work but still does not seek to satisfy God is even more to be deemed an opponent of God. There are those who read the Bible in grand churches and recite it all day long, yet not one among them understands the purpose of God’s work. Not one among them is able to know God; still less can any one among them accord with God’s will. They are all worthless, vile people, each standing on high to lecture God. They willfully oppose God even as they carry His banner. Claiming faith in God, still they eat the flesh and drink the blood of man. All such people are devils that devour the soul of man, head demons that deliberately get in the way of those trying to step onto the right path, and stumbling blocks impeding those who seek God. They may appear of “sound constitution,” but how are their followers to know that they are none other than antichrists who lead people to stand against God? How are their followers to know that they are living devils dedicated to the devouring of human souls? Those who hold themselves in high esteem in God’s presence are the most abject of men, while those who think themselves lowly are the most honored. And those who think they know the work of God and who are, moreover, capable of proclaiming the work of God to others with great fanfare even as they look directly at Him—these are the most ignorant of men. Such people are without the testimony of God, arrogant and full of conceit. Those who believe that they have too little knowledge of God, despite having actual experience and practical knowledge of Him, are those most beloved by Him. Only such people truly have testimony and are truly capable of being perfected by God. Those who do not understand the will of God are opponents of God; those who understand the will of God and yet do not practice the truth are opponents of God; those who eat and drink the words of God, and yet go against the essence of God’s words, are opponents of God; those who have notions about the incarnate God, and moreover have a mind to engage in rebellion, are opponents of God; those who pass judgment on God are opponents of God; and whoever is unable to know God or to bear witness to Him is an opponent of God. So I urge you: If you really have faith that you can walk this path, then keep on following it. But if you are unable to refrain from opposing God, then you had best walk away before it is too late. Otherwise, the chances of things turning out badly for you run extremely high, because your nature is simply too corrupt. Of loyalty or obedience, or a heart that thirsts for righteousness and truth, or love for God, you have not one jot or iota. It may be said that your situation before God is an utter shambles. You cannot abide by what you ought to abide by, and are unable to say what ought to be said. What you ought to put into practice, you have failed to put into practice; and the function that you ought to fulfill, you have been unable to fulfill. You do not have the loyalty, conscience, obedience, or resolution that you ought. You have not endured the suffering that it behooves you to endure, and you do not have the faith that you ought. Quite simply, you are completely devoid of any merit: Are you not ashamed to go on living? Let Me persuade you that you would be better off closing your eyes in eternal rest, thereby sparing God from worrying on your account and suffering for your sake. You believe in God and yet do not know His will; you eat and drink the words of God and yet are unable to keep to what God demands of man. You believe in God and yet do not know Him, and you stay alive without a goal to strive for, without any values, without any meaning. You live as a human being and yet have no conscience, integrity, or credibility in the slightest degree—can you still call yourselves human beings? You believe in God and yet deceive Him; what is more, you take God’s money and eat up the offerings that are made to Him. And yet, in the end you still fail to show the slightest consideration for God’s feelings or the faintest conscience toward Him. Not even the most trivial of God’s demands can you meet. Can you still call yourselves human beings? Eating the food God provides you and breathing the oxygen He gives you, enjoying His grace, yet, in the end, you do not have the slightest knowledge of God. On the contrary, you have become good-for-nothings that oppose God. Does that not make you a beast even lower than a dog? Among animals, are there any that are more malicious than you?
Those pastors and elders who stand in the high pulpit teaching others are opponents of God and allies of Satan; would not those of you who do not stand in the high pulpit teaching others be even greater opponents of God? Are you not, even more than they, in cahoots with Satan? Those who do not understand the purpose of God’s work do not know how to accord with the will of God. Surely, it cannot be that those who do understand the purpose of His work would not know how to accord with God’s will. The work of God is never in error; rather, it is man’s pursuit that is flawed. Are not those degenerates who willfully oppose God even more sinister and malevolent than those pastors and elders? Many are those who oppose God, but among them there are also many different ways in which they oppose God. As there are all manner of believers, so too are there all manner of those who oppose God, each unlike the other. Not a single one of those who fail to recognize clearly the purpose of God’s work can be saved. Regardless of how man may have opposed God in the past, when man comes to understand the purpose of God’s work and dedicates his efforts to satisfying God, God will wipe clean all of his former sins. As long as man seeks the truth and practices the truth, God will not keep in mind what he has done. Moreover, it is on the basis of man’s practice of the truth that God justifies him. This is the righteousness of God. Before man has seen God or experienced His work, regardless of how man acts toward God, He does not keep it in mind. However, once man has seen God and experienced His work, all the deeds and actions of man will be entered by God into the “annals,” for man has seen God and lived amid His work.
When man has truly seen what God has and is, when he has seen His supremacy, and when he has truly come to know the work of God, and furthermore, when the old disposition of man is changed, then man will have completely cast away his rebellious disposition that opposes God. It can be said that everyone has at some time opposed God and everyone has at some time rebelled against God. However, if you willingly obey the incarnate God, and from this point satisfy God’s heart with your loyalty, practice the truth that you ought, perform your duty as you ought, and keep the regulations that you ought, then you are one who is willing to cast away your rebelliousness to satisfy God and one who can be perfected by God. Should you stubbornly refuse to see your errors and have no intention of repenting yourself, should you persist in your rebellious conduct without the least intention of cooperating with God and satisfying Him, then such an obstinate and incorrigible person as you will certainly be punished and will certainly never be one to be perfected by God. This being so, you are the enemy of God today and tomorrow you will also be the enemy of God, and so too will you remain the enemy of God the day after; you will forever be an opponent of God and the enemy of God. In that case, how could God possibly let you off? It is in the nature of man to oppose God, but man must not seek out on purpose the “secret” of opposing God just because changing his nature is an insurmountable task. If that were the case, then you had better walk away before it were too late, lest your chastisement in the future become more severe, and lest your brutish nature erupt and become ungovernable, until your fleshly body were terminated by God in the end. You believe in God to receive blessings; but if in the end only misfortune befell you, would not that be a shame? I urge you, you had better make another plan. Anything that you can do would be better than believing in God: Surely it cannot be that there is just this one path. Would you not go on surviving if you did not seek the truth? Why must you be at odds with God in this way?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. All People Who Do Not Know God Are People Who Oppose God
Daily Words of God Excerpt 295
I have done much work among man, during which time I have also expressed many words. These words are all for the sake of man’s salvation and were expressed so that man might become compatible with Me. However, I have gained only a few people on earth who are compatible with Me, and so I say that man does not treasure My words—it is because man is not compatible with Me. In this way, the work I do is not merely so that man can worship Me; more importantly, it is so that man can be compatible with Me. Man has been corrupted and lives in Satan’s trap. All people live in the flesh, live in selfish desires, and there is not a single one among them who is compatible with Me. There are those who say that they are compatible with Me, but such people all worship vague idols. Although they acknowledge My name as holy, they tread a path that runs contrary to Me, and their words are full of arrogance and self-confidence. This is because, at root, they are all against Me and incompatible with Me. Every day, they seek traces of Me in the Bible and find “suitable” passages at random which they read endlessly and recite as scriptures. They do not know how to be compatible with Me nor what it means to be against Me. They merely read scriptures blindly. Within the Bible, they constrain a vague God that they have never seen, and are incapable of seeing, and take it out to look at at their leisure. They believe in My existence only within the scope of the Bible, and they equate Me with the Bible; without the Bible there is no Me, and without Me there is no Bible. They pay no heed to My existence or actions, but instead devote extreme and special attention to each and every word of Scripture. Many more even believe that I should not do anything I wish to do unless it is foretold by Scripture. They attach too much importance to Scripture. It can be said that they see words and expressions as too important, to the extent that they use verses from the Bible to measure every word I say and to condemn Me. What they seek is not the way of compatibility with Me or the way of compatibility with the truth, but the way of compatibility with the words of the Bible, and they believe that anything that does not conform to the Bible is, without exception, not My work. Are such people not the dutiful descendants of the Pharisees? The Jewish Pharisees used the law of Moses to condemn Jesus. They did not seek compatibility with the Jesus of that time, but diligently followed the law to the letter, to the extent that—after having charged Him with not following the law of the Old Testament and not being the Messiah—they ultimately nailed the innocent Jesus to the cross. What was their substance? Was it not that they didn’t seek the way of compatibility with the truth? They obsessed over each and every word of Scripture while paying heed neither to My will nor to the steps and methods of My work. They were not people who sought the truth, but people who rigidly clung to words; they were not people who believed in God, but people who believed in the Bible. Essentially, they were watchdogs of the Bible. In order to safeguard the interests of the Bible, to uphold the dignity of the Bible, and to protect the reputation of the Bible, they went so far as to nail the merciful Jesus to the cross. This they did merely for the sake of defending the Bible, and for the sake of maintaining the status of each and every word of the Bible in people’s hearts. So they preferred to forsake their future and the sin offering to condemn Jesus, who did not conform to the doctrine of Scripture, to death. Were they not all lackeys to each and every word of Scripture?
And what of people today? Christ has come to release the truth, yet they would rather expel Him from this world so that they may gain entry into heaven and receive grace. They would rather completely deny the coming of the truth in order to safeguard the interests of the Bible, and they would rather nail the Christ returned to flesh to the cross again in order to ensure the everlasting existence of the Bible. How can man receive My salvation when his heart is so malicious and his nature so antagonistic toward Me? I live among man, yet man does not know of My existence. When I shine My light upon man, he still remains ignorant of My existence. When I unleash My wrath upon man, he denies My existence with even greater vigor. Man searches for compatibility with words and compatibility with the Bible, yet not a single person comes before Me to seek the way of compatibility with the truth. Man looks up to Me in heaven and devotes particular concern to My existence in heaven, yet no one cares about Me in the flesh, for I who live among man am simply too insignificant. Those who only seek compatibility with the words of the Bible and who only seek compatibility with a vague God are a wretched sight to Me. That is because what they worship are dead words, and a God that is capable of giving them untold treasures; what they worship is a God that would lay Himself at the mercy of man—a God who does not exist. What, then, can such people gain from Me? Man is simply too lowly for words. Those who are against Me, who make limitless demands of Me, who have no love of the truth, who are rebellious toward Me—how could they be compatible with Me?
Those who are against Me are those who are not compatible with Me. Such is also the case among those who do not love the truth. Those who rebel against Me are even more against Me and incompatible with Me. I deliver into the hands of the evil one all those who are not compatible with Me, and I relinquish them to the corruption of the evil one, give them free rein to reveal their maleficence, and ultimately hand them over to the evil one to be devoured. I care not how many worship Me, which is to say, I care not how many people believe in Me. All that concerns Me is how many are compatible with Me. That is because all those who are not compatible with Me are evil ones who betray Me; they are My enemies, and I shall not “enshrine” My enemies in My home. Those who are compatible with Me shall forever serve Me in My home, and those who go against Me shall forever suffer My punishment. Those who only care about the words of the Bible and are concerned neither with the truth nor with seeking My footsteps—they are against Me, for they limit Me according to the Bible, constrain Me within the Bible, and so are blasphemous in the extreme toward Me. How could such people come before Me? They pay no heed to My deeds, or My will, or the truth, but instead obsess over words—words that kill. How could such people be compatible with Me?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. You Should Seek the Way of Compatibility With Christ
Daily Words of God Excerpt 296
After the truth of Jesus become flesh came to be, man believed that in heaven, there is not only the Father, but also the Son, and even the Spirit. This is the conventional notion man holds, that there is a God such as this in heaven: a triune God who is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All mankind has these notions: God is one God, but comprises three parts, what all those grievously entrenched in conventional notions deem to be the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Only those three parts made one is all of God. Without the Holy Father, God would not be whole. Similarly, neither would God be whole without the Son or the Holy Spirit. In their notions, they believe that neither the Father alone nor the Son alone can be deemed God. Only the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit together can be deemed God Himself. Now, all religious believers, and even each follower among you, hold this belief. Yet, as for whether this belief is correct, none can explain, for you are always in a fog of confusion about the matters of God Himself. Though these are notions, you do not know whether they are right or wrong, for you have become too grievously infected by religious notions. You have accepted too deeply these conventional notions of religion, and this poison has seeped too deep within you. Therefore, so too in this matter have you succumbed to this pernicious influence, for the triune God simply does not exist. That is, the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit simply does not exist. These are all conventional notions of man, and the fallacious beliefs of man. Throughout many centuries, man has believed in this Trinity, conjured up by notions in the mind of man, fabricated by man, and never before seen by man. Throughout these many years, there have been many Bible expositors who have explained the “true meaning” of the Trinity, but such explanations of the triune God as three distinct consubstantial persons have been vague and unclear, and people are all befuddled by the “construct” of God. No great man has ever been able to offer a thorough explanation; most explanations pass muster in terms of reasoning and on paper, but not a single man has a fully clear understanding of its meaning. This is because this great Trinity man holds in the heart simply does not exist. For none have ever seen the true countenance of God, nor have any been fortunate enough to ascend to the abode of God for a visit so as to examine what items are present in the place where God lies, to determine exactly how many tens of thousands or hundreds of millions of generations are in the “house of God” or to investigate just how many parts compose the inherent construct of God. What mainly needs to be examined is this: the age of the Father and the Son, as well as the Holy Spirit; the respective appearances of each person; exactly how it is that They split up, and how it is that They are made one. Unfortunately, in all these many years, not a single man has been able to determine the truth of these matters. They all simply conjecture, for not a single man has ever ascended to heaven for a visit and returned with an “investigative report” for all mankind in order to report on the truth of the matter to all those fervent and devout religious believers concerned about the Trinity. Of course, the blame cannot be put on man for forming such notions, for why did Jehovah the Father not have Jesus the Son accompany Him when He created mankind? If, in the beginning, all had gone by the name of Jehovah, it would have been better. If blame must be laid, let it be laid on the momentary lapse of Jehovah God, who did not call the Son and the Holy Spirit before Him in the time of creation, but rather carried out His work alone. If They had all worked simultaneously, then would They not have become one? If, from the very beginning until the end, there was only the name Jehovah and not the name of Jesus from the Age of Grace, or if He had then still been called Jehovah, then would God not have been spared the suffering of this division by mankind? To be sure, Jehovah cannot be blamed for all this; if blame must be laid, let it be laid on the Holy Spirit, who for thousands of years continued His work by the name of Jehovah, of Jesus, and even of the Holy Spirit, befuddling and confusing man such that man could not know exactly who God is. If the Holy Spirit Himself had worked without form or image, and moreover, without a name such as Jesus, and man could neither touch nor see Him, only hearing the sounds of thunder, then would not this kind of work have been of more benefit to mankind? So what can be done now? The notions of man have amassed high as a mountain and wide as the sea, to the extent that the God of the present day can no longer endure them and is at a complete loss. In the past when it was only Jehovah, Jesus, and between Them, the Holy Spirit, man was already at a loss as to how to cope, and now there is the addition of the Almighty, who is even said to also be a part of God. Who knows who He is and in which person of the Trinity He has been intermingled with or hidden within for however many years? How can man bear this? The triune God alone was enough to take man a lifetime to explain, but now there is “one God in four persons.” How can this be explained? Can you explain it? Brothers and sisters! How have you believed in such a God until this day? I take My hat off to you. The triune God was already enough to bear; how could you continue to have such unshakable faith in this one God in four persons? You have been urged to get out, yet you refuse. How inconceivable! You are really something! A person can actually go so far as to believe in four Gods and make nothing of it; do you not think this is a miracle? To look at you, no one would know you are able to work such a great miracle! Let Me tell you that, in truth, the triune God does not exist anywhere in this universe. God has no Father and no Son, and much less is there a concept that the Father and Son jointly use the Holy Spirit as an instrument. All of this is the greatest fallacy in this world and simply does not exist! Yet even such a fallacy has its origin and is not entirely without basis, for your minds are not so simple, and your thoughts are not without reason. Rather, they are quite appropriate and ingenious, so much so that they are impregnable even to any Satan. The pity is that these thoughts are all fallacies and simply do not exist! You have not seen the real truth at all; you are merely making conjectures and imaginings, then fabricating it all into a story to deceitfully gain others’ trust and to gain dominance over those most foolish of people without wit or reason, so that they believe in your great and renowned “expert teachings.” Is this truth? Is this the way of life that man should receive? It is all nonsense! Not a single word is appropriate! Throughout these many years, God has been split by you in this way, being split finer and finer with each generation, to the extent that one God has been openly split into three Gods. And now it is simply impossible for man to rejoin God as one, for you have split Him up too finely! If not for My prompt work before it was too late, it is hard to say how long you would have brazenly continued this way! To continue splitting God in this way, how can He still be your God? Would you still recognize God? Would you still find your origins? If I had arrived any later, it is likely that you would have sent the “Father and Son,” Jehovah and Jesus, back to Israel and claimed that you yourselves are a part of God. Fortunately, it is now the last days. Finally, this day I have long awaited has come, and only after I carried out this stage of work by My own hand has your splitting of God Himself been halted. If not for this, you would have escalated, even placing all the Satans among you onto your tables for worship. This is your artifice! This is your means of splitting God! Will you continue to do so now? Let Me ask you: How many Gods are there? Which God will bring you salvation? Is it the first God, the second, or the third that you always pray to? Which do you always believe in? Is it the Father? Or the Son? Or is it the Spirit? Tell Me who it is that you believe in. Though with every word you say you believe in God, what you actually believe is your own brain! You simply do not have God in your hearts! And yet in your minds are a number of such Trinities! Do you not agree?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Does the Trinity Exist?
Daily Words of God Excerpt 297
If the three stages of work are assessed in accordance with this concept of the Trinity, then there must be three Gods as the work carried out by each is not the same. If any among you says that the Trinity indeed exists, then explain what exactly this one God in three persons is. What is the Holy Father? What is the Son? What is the Holy Spirit? Is Jehovah the Holy Father? Is Jesus the Son? Then what of the Holy Spirit? Is not the Father a Spirit? Is not the essence of the Son also a Spirit? Was not the work of Jesus the work of the Holy Spirit? Was not the work of Jehovah at the time carried out by a Spirit the same as Jesus’? How many Spirits can God have? According to your explanation, the three persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one; if this be so, then there are three Spirits, but to have three Spirits means there are three Gods. This means that there is no one true God; how can this kind of God still have the inherent essence of God? If you accept that there is only one God, then how can He have a son and be a father? Are these not all simply your notions? There is only one God, only one person in this God, and only one Spirit of God, much as it is written down in the Bible that “There is only one Holy Spirit and only one God.” Regardless of whether the Father and the Son of which you speak exist, there is only one God after all, and the essence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit you believe in is the essence of the Holy Spirit. In other words, God is a Spirit, but He is able to become flesh and live among men, as well as to be above all things. His Spirit is all-inclusive and omnipresent. He can simultaneously be in the flesh and in and above the universe. Since all people say that God is the only one true God, then there is a single God, divisible at will by none! God is only one Spirit, and only one person; and that is the Spirit of God. If it is as you say, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, then are They not three Gods? The Holy Spirit is one matter, the Son another, and the Father yet another. Their persons are different and Their essences are different, so how then can They each be part of a single God? The Holy Spirit is a Spirit; this is easy for man to understand. If this be so, then the Father is even more so a Spirit. He has never descended onto earth and has never become flesh; He is Jehovah God in the heart of man, and He is certainly a Spirit as well. Then what is the relationship between Him and the Holy Spirit? Is it the relationship between Father and Son? Or is it the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of the Father? Is the essence of each Spirit the same? Or is the Holy Spirit an instrument of the Father? How can this be explained? And then what is the relationship between the Son and the Holy Spirit? Is it a relationship between two Spirits or the relationship between a man and a Spirit? These are all matters that can have no explanation! If They are all one Spirit, then there can be no talk of three persons, for They are possessed of a single Spirit. If They were distinct persons, then Their Spirits would vary in strength, and They simply could not be one single Spirit. This concept of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is most absurd! This segments God and splits Him into three persons, each with a status and Spirit; how then can He still be one Spirit and one God? Tell Me, were the heavens and earth, and all things created by the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit? Some say that They created it all together. Then who redeemed mankind? Was it the Holy Spirit, the Son, or the Father? Some say it was the Son who redeemed mankind. Then who is the Son in essence? Is He not the incarnation of the Spirit of God? The incarnation calls God in heaven by the name of Father from the perspective of a created man. Are you not aware that Jesus was born through the conception of the Holy Spirit? Within Him is the Holy Spirit; whatever you say, He is still one with God in heaven, for He is the incarnation of the Spirit of God. This idea of the Son is simply untrue. It is one Spirit who carries out all of the work; only God Himself, that is, the Spirit of God carries out His work. Who is the Spirit of God? Is it not the Holy Spirit? Is it not the Holy Spirit who works in Jesus? If the work had not been carried out by the Holy Spirit (that is, the Spirit of God), then could His work have represented God Himself? When Jesus called God in heaven by the name of Father as He prayed, this was done only from the perspective of a created man, only because the Spirit of God had put on an ordinary and normal flesh and had the exterior cover of a created being. Even if within Him was the Spirit of God, His exterior appearance was still that of a normal man; in other words, He had become the “Son of man” of which all men, including Jesus Himself, spoke. Given that He is called the Son of man, He is a person (whether man or woman, in any case one with the exterior shell of a human being) born into a normal family of ordinary people. Therefore, Jesus calling God in heaven by the name of Father was the same as how you at first called Him Father; He did so from the perspective of a created man. Do you still remember the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus taught you to memorize? “Our Father in heaven….” He asked all men to call God in heaven by the name of Father. And since He too called Him Father, He did so from the perspective of one who stands on an equal footing with you all. Since you called God in heaven by the name of Father, Jesus saw Himself to be on equal footing with you, and as a man on earth chosen by God (that is, the Son of God). If you call God Father, is this not because you are a created being? However great the authority of Jesus on earth, prior to the crucifixion, He was merely a Son of man, governed by the Holy Spirit (that is, God), and one of the earth’s created beings, for He had yet to complete His work. Therefore, His calling God in heaven Father was solely His humility and obedience. His addressing God (that is, the Spirit in heaven) in such a manner, however, does not prove that He was the Son of the Spirit of God in heaven. Rather, it was simply that His perspective was different, not that He was a different person. The existence of distinct persons is a fallacy! Prior to His crucifixion, Jesus was a Son of man bound by the limitations of the flesh, and He did not fully possess the authority of the Spirit. That is why He could only seek the will of God the Father from the perspective of a created being. It is as He thrice prayed in Gethsemane: “Not as I will, but as You will.” Before He was laid on the cross, He was but the King of the Jews; He was Christ, the Son of man, and not a body of glory. That is why, from the standpoint of a created being, He called God Father. Now, you cannot say that all who call God Father are the Son. If this were so, then would you not have all become the Son once Jesus taught you the Lord’s Prayer? If you are still not convinced, then tell Me, who is the one that you call Father? If you are referring to Jesus, then who is the Father of Jesus to you? After Jesus went away, this idea of the Father and the Son was no more. This idea was only appropriate for the years when Jesus became flesh; under all other circumstances, the relationship is one between the Lord of creation and a created being when you call God Father. There is no time at which this idea of the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit can stand; it is a fallacy rarely seen through the ages and it does not exist!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Does the Trinity Exist?
Daily Words of God Excerpt 298
This may call to mind for most people the words of God from Genesis: “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). Given that God says “let Us make man in Our image,” then “Us” indicates two or more; since He stated “Us,” then there is not just one God. In this way, man began to think in the abstract of distinct persons, and from these words arose the idea of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. What then is the Father like? What is the Son like? And what is the Holy Spirit like? Could it possibly be that the mankind of today was made in the image of one joined together from three? Then is the image of man like that of the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit? Which of the persons of God is man in the image of? This idea of man’s is simply incorrect and nonsensical! It can only split one God into several Gods. At the time that Moses wrote Genesis, it was after mankind was created following the creation of the world. In the very beginning, when the world began, Moses did not exist. And it was not until much later that Moses wrote the Bible, so how could he have possibly known what it was that God in heaven spoke? He had not an inkling of how God created the world. In the Old Testament of the Bible, there is no mention of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, only of the one true God, Jehovah, carrying out His work in Israel. He is called by different names as the age changes, but this cannot prove that each name refers to a different person. If this were so, then would there not be innumerable persons in God? What is written in the Old Testament is the work of Jehovah, a stage of work of God Himself for commencement in the Age of Law. It was the work of God, where as He spoke, it was, and as He commanded, it stood. At no time did Jehovah say that He was the Father come to carry out work, nor did He ever prophesy the Son coming to redeem mankind. When it came to the time of Jesus, it was only said that God had become flesh to redeem all mankind, not that it was the Son who had come. Because the ages are not alike and the work that God Himself does also differs, He needs to carry out His work within different realms. In this way, the identity He represents also differs. Man believes that Jehovah is the Father of Jesus, but this was actually not acknowledged by Jesus, who said: “We were never distinguished as Father and Son; I and the Father in heaven are one. The Father is in Me and I am in the Father; when man sees the Son, they are seeing the heavenly Father.” When all has been said, be it the Father or the Son, They are one Spirit, not divided into separate persons. Once man attempts to explain, matters are complicated with the idea of distinct persons, as well as the relationship between Father, Son, and Spirit. When man speaks of separate persons, does this not materialize God? Man even ranks the persons as first, second, and third; these are all but the imaginings of man, not worthy of reference, and utterly unrealistic! If you asked him: “How many Gods are there?” he would say that God is the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: the one true God. If you asked further: “Who is the Father?” he would say: “The Father is the Spirit of God in heaven; He is in charge of all, and is the Master of heaven.” “Then is Jehovah the Spirit?” He would say: “Yes!” If you then asked him, “Who is the Son?” he would say that Jesus is the Son, of course. “Then what is the story of Jesus? From whence did He come?” He would say: “Jesus was born to Mary through the conception of the Holy Spirit.” Then is His essence not the Spirit as well? Is not His work also representative of the Holy Spirit? Jehovah is the Spirit, and so too is the essence of Jesus. Now in the last days, there is less need to say that it is still the Spirit; how could They be different persons? Is it not simply the Spirit of God carrying out the work of the Spirit from different perspectives? As such, there is no distinction between persons. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and indubitably, His work was precisely that of the Holy Spirit. In the first stage of work carried out by Jehovah, He neither became flesh nor appeared to man. So man never saw His appearance. No matter how great and how tall He was, He was still the Spirit, God Himself who created man in the beginning. That is, He was the Spirit of God. He spoke to man from among the clouds, merely a Spirit, and none witnessed His appearance. Only in the Age of Grace when the Spirit of God came into the flesh and was incarnated in Judea did man see for the first time the image of the incarnation as a Jew. There was nothing of Jehovah about Him. However, He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, that is, conceived by the Spirit of Jehovah Himself, and Jesus was still born as the embodiment of the Spirit of God. What man first saw was the Holy Spirit descending like a dove upon Jesus; it was not the Spirit exclusive to Jesus, but rather the Holy Spirit. Then can the Spirit of Jesus be separated from the Holy Spirit? If Jesus is Jesus, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit, then how could They be one? The work could not be carried out if so. The Spirit within Jesus, the Spirit in heaven, and the Spirit of Jehovah are all one. It is called the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the sevenfold intensified Spirit, and the all-inclusive Spirit. The Spirit of God can carry out much work. He is able to create the world and destroy it by flooding the earth; He can redeem all mankind, and moreover, He can conquer and destroy all mankind. This work is all carried out by God Himself and cannot be done by any of the personhoods of God in His stead. His Spirit can be called by the name of Jehovah and Jesus, as well as the Almighty. He is the Lord, and Christ. He can also become the Son of man. He is in the heavens and also on the earth; He is on high above the universes and among the multitude. He is the only Master of the heavens and earth! From the time of creation until now, this work has been carried out by the Spirit of God Himself. Be it the work in the heavens or in the flesh, all is carried out by His own Spirit. All creatures, whether in heaven or on earth, are in the palm of His almighty hand; all of this is the work of God Himself and can be done by no other in His stead. In the heavens, He is the Spirit but also God Himself; among men, He is flesh but remains God Himself. Though He may be called by hundreds of thousands of names, He is still Himself, the direct expression of His Spirit. The redemption of all mankind through His crucifixion was the direct work of His Spirit, and so too is the proclamation unto all nations and all lands during the last days. At all times, God can only be called the almighty and one true God, the all-inclusive God Himself. The distinct persons do not exist, much less this idea of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. There is only one God in heaven and on earth!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Does the Trinity Exist?
Daily Words of God Excerpt 299
The management plan of God spans six thousand years and is divided into three ages based on the differences in His work: The first age is the Old Testament Age of Law; the second is the Age of Grace; and the third is that of the last days—the Age of Kingdom. In each age a different identity is represented. This is only because of the difference in the work, that is, the requirements of the work. The first stage of work during the Age of Law was carried out in Israel, and the second stage of concluding the work of redemption was carried out in Judea. For the work of redemption, Jesus was born through the conception of the Holy Spirit and as the only Son. All of this was due to the requirements of the work. In the last days, God wishes to expand His work into the Gentile nations and conquer the people there, so that His name may be great among them. He wishes to guide man in understanding and entering into all the truth. All of this work is carried out by one Spirit. Though He may do so from different standpoints, the nature and principles of the work remain the same. Once you observe the principles and nature of the work They have carried out, then you will know that it is all done by one Spirit. Still some may say: “The Father is the Father; the Son is the Son; the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit, and in the end, They will be made one.” Then how should you make Them one? How can the Father and the Holy Spirit be made one? If They were inherently two, then no matter how They are joined together, would They not remain two parts? When you talk about making Them one, is that not simply joining two separate parts to make one whole? But were They not two parts before being made whole? Each spirit has a distinct essence, and two spirits cannot be made into a single one. A spirit is not a material object and is unlike anything else in the material world. As man sees it, the Father is one Spirit, the Son another, and the Holy Spirit yet another, then the three Spirits mix like three glasses of water into one whole. Is not that then the three made one? This is purely an erroneous and absurd explanation! Is this not splitting up God? How can the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all be made one? Are They not three parts each of different natures? There are others who say, “Did not God expressly state that Jesus was His beloved Son?” Jesus is the beloved Son of God, in whom He is well pleased—this was certainly spoken by God Himself. That was God bearing witness to Himself, but merely from a different perspective, that of the Spirit in heaven bearing witness to His own incarnation. Jesus is His incarnation, not His Son in heaven. Do you understand? Do not the words of Jesus, “I am in the Father, and the Father in Me,” indicate that They are one Spirit? And is it not because of the incarnation that They were separated between heaven and earth? In reality, They are still one; no matter what, it is simply God bearing witness to Himself. Owing to the change in ages, the requirements of the work, and the differing stages of His management plan, the name by which man calls Him also differs. When He came to carry out the first stage of work, He could only be called Jehovah, who is the shepherd of the Israelites. In the second stage, the incarnate God could only be called Lord, and Christ. But at that time, the Spirit in heaven stated only that He was the beloved Son of God and made no mention of His being the only Son of God. This simply did not happen. How could God have an only child? Then would God not have become man? Because He was the incarnation, He was called the beloved Son of God, and, from this, came the relationship between Father and Son. It was simply because of the separation between heaven and earth. Jesus prayed from the perspective of the flesh. Since He had put on a flesh of such normal humanity, it is from the perspective of the flesh that He said: “My outer shell is that of a created being. Since I put on a flesh to come to this earth, I am now a long, long way from heaven.” For this reason, He could only pray to God the Father from the perspective of the flesh. This was His duty, and it was that which the incarnate Spirit of God should be furnished with. It cannot be said that He was not God simply because He prayed to the Father from the perspective of the flesh. Though He was called the beloved Son of God, He was still God Himself, for He was but the incarnation of the Spirit, and His essence was still the Spirit. People wonder why He prayed if He was God Himself. This is because He was the incarnate God, God living within the flesh, and not the Spirit in heaven. As man sees it, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all God. Only the three all made as one can be deemed the one true God, and, in this way, His power is exceptionally great. There are those who say that only in this way is He the sevenfold intensified Spirit. When the Son prayed after His coming, it was that Spirit to whom He prayed. In reality, He was praying from the perspective of a created being. For the flesh is not whole, He was not whole and had many weaknesses when He came into the flesh, and He was much troubled as He carried out His work in the flesh. That is why He thrice prayed to God the Father prior to His crucifixion, as well as many times even before that. He prayed among His disciples; He prayed alone upon a mountain; He prayed aboard the fishing boat; He prayed among a multitude of people; He prayed when breaking bread; and He prayed when blessing others. Why did He do so? It was the Spirit to whom He prayed; He was praying to the Spirit, to God in heaven, from the perspective of the flesh. Therefore, from man’s standpoint, Jesus became the Son in that stage of work. In this stage, however, He does not pray. Why is this? This is because what He brings forth is the work of the word, and the judgment and chastisement of the word. He has no need for prayers, and His ministry is to speak. He is not put upon the cross, and He is not turned over by man to those in power. He simply carries out His work. At the time when Jesus prayed, He was praying to God the Father for the descent of the kingdom of heaven, for the will of the Father to be done, and for the work to come. In this stage, the kingdom of heaven has already descended, so does He still need to pray? His work is to bring the age to an end, and there are no more new ages, so is there a need to pray for the next stage? I am afraid there is not!
There are many contradictions in the explanations of man. Indeed, these are all the notions of man; without further scrutiny, you would all believe they are correct. Do you not know that such ideas as a triune God are but the notions of man? No knowledge of man is full and thorough. There are always impurities, and man has too many ideas; this demonstrates that a created being simply cannot explain the work of God. There is too much in the mind of man, all coming from logic and thought, that conflicts with the truth. Can your logic thoroughly dissect the work of God? Can you gain an insight into all the work of Jehovah? Is it you as a man who can see through to it all, or is it God Himself who is able to see from everlasting to everlasting? Is it you who can see from everlasting long ago to the everlasting to come, or is it God who can do so? What do you say? How are you worthy to explain God? On what basis is your explanation? Are you God? The heavens and earth, and all things were created by God Himself. It was not you who did this, so why are you giving incorrect explanations? Now, do you continue to believe in the triune God? Do you not think it is too burdensome this way? It would be best for you to believe in one God, not in three. It is best to be light, for the burden of the Lord is light.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Does the Trinity Exist?