1. The Lord Jesus said: “My sheep hear My voice” (Jhn 10:27). When the Lord returns, He shall speak His utterances and go in search of His sheep. Critical to awaiting the return of the Lord is seeking the voice of God, but we are unable to distinguish between the voice of God and the voice of man. Please fellowship on this with us.
Bible Verses for Reference:
“Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me” (Jhn 14:6).
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb 4:12).
Relevant Words of God:
The truth comes from the world of man, yet the truth among man is passed on by Christ. It originates from Christ, that is, from God Himself, and this is not something man is capable of.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks
The truth is the most real of life’s aphorisms, and the highest of such aphorisms among all mankind. Because it is the requirement that God makes of man, and is the work personally done by God, thus it is called “life’s aphorism.” It is not an aphorism summed up from something, nor is it a famous quote from a great figure. Instead, it is the utterance to mankind from the Master of the heavens and earth and all things; it is not some words summed up by man, but the inherent life of God. And so it is called “the highest of all life’s aphorisms.”
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God
Whether the words spoken by God be plain or profound in outward appearance, they are all truths indispensable to man as he enters into life; they are the fount of living waters that enables man to survive in both spirit and flesh. They provide what man needs to stay alive; the principles and creed for conducting his daily life; the path, goal, and direction through which he must pass in order to receive salvation; every truth that he should possess as a created being before God; and every truth about how man obeys and worships God. They are the guarantee that ensures man’s survival, they are man’s daily bread, and they are also the sturdy support that enables man to be strong and stand up. They are rich in the truth reality of normal humanity as it is lived out by created mankind, rich in the truth by which mankind breaks free from corruption and eludes Satan’s snares, rich in the tireless teaching, exhortation, encouragement, and solace that the Creator gives to created humanity. They are the beacon that guides and enlightens men to understand all that is positive, the guarantee which ensures that men will live out and come into possession of all that is righteous and good, the criterion by which all people, events, and objects are measured, and also the navigation marker that leads men toward salvation and the path of light.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. Preface
The word of God cannot be made out to be the word of man, and still less can one make the word of man to be the word of God. A man used by God is not the incarnate God, and the incarnate God is not a man used by God. In this, there is an essential difference. Perhaps, after reading these words, you do not acknowledge them to be the words of God, but only as the enlightenment that man has gained. In that case, you are blinded by ignorance. How can the words of God be the same as the enlightenment that man has gained? The words of God incarnate open up a new age, guide all of mankind, reveal mysteries, and show man the direction he is to take in the new age. The enlightenment obtained by man is but simple instructions for practice or knowledge. It cannot guide all of mankind into a new age or reveal the mysteries of God Himself. When all is said and done, God is God, and man is man. God has the essence of God, and man has the essence of man. If man views the words spoken by God as simple enlightenment by the Holy Spirit, and takes the words of the apostles and prophets as words personally spoken by God, that would be man’s mistake.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Preface
Man’s fellowship differs from the word of God. What people fellowship conveys their individual insights and experience, expressing their insights and experience on the basis of God’s work. Their responsibility is to find out, after God works or speaks, what of it they ought to practice or enter into, and then to deliver it to followers. Therefore, man’s work represents his entry and practice. Of course, such work is mixed with human lessons and experience or some human thoughts. However the Holy Spirit works, whether on man or in God incarnate, the workers always express what they are. Though it is the Holy Spirit who works, the work is founded on what man inherently is, because the Holy Spirit does not work without foundation. In other words, the work does not come from nothing, but is always done in accord with actual circumstances and real conditions. Only in this way can man’s disposition be transformed and his old notions and old thoughts be changed. What man expresses is what he sees, experiences, and can imagine, and it is attainable by man’s thinking, even if it is doctrine or notions. Man’s work cannot exceed the scope of man’s experience, nor what man sees, nor what man can imagine or conceive, regardless of the size of that work. All God expresses is what He Himself is, and this is unattainable by man—that is, beyond the reach of man’s thinking. He expresses His work of leading all mankind, and this is unrelated to the details of human experience, but is concerned instead with His own management. What man expresses is his experience, while what God expresses is His being, which is His inherent disposition, beyond the reach of man. Man’s experience is his insight and knowledge acquired on the basis of God’s expression of His being. Such insight and knowledge are called man’s being, and the basis of their expression is man’s inherent disposition and caliber—this is why they are also called man’s being. Man is able to fellowship what he experiences and sees. No one can fellowship that which they have not experienced, have not seen, or their thinking cannot reach, those being things they do not have inside of them. If what man expresses is not from his experience, it is then his imagination or doctrine. Simply put, there is no reality in his words. Were you never to come into contact with the things of society, you would not be able to fellowship clearly the complex relationships of society. If you had no family, were others to talk about family issues, you would not understand most of what they said. So, what man fellowships and the work he does represent his inner being.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Work
The authority and identity of God are clearly revealed in the wording of God’s utterances. For example, when God says “My covenant is with you, and you shall … have I made you … I will make you…,” phrases such as “you shall” and “I will,” whose wording bears the affirmation of God’s identity and authority, are, in one respect, an indication of the Creator’s faithfulness; in another respect, they are special words used by God, who possesses the identity of the Creator—as well as being part of conventional vocabulary. If someone says they hope another person will be exceedingly fruitful, that nations will be made from them, and that kings shall come from them, then that is undoubtedly a kind of wish, not a promise or a blessing. So, people dare not say “I will make you such and such, you shall such and such…,” for they know that they do not possess such power; it is not up to them, and even if they say such things, their words would be empty nonsense, driven by their desire and ambition. Does anyone dare to speak in such a grand tone if they feel that they cannot accomplish their wishes? Everyone wishes well for their descendants, and hopes that they will excel and enjoy great success. “What great fortune it would be for one of them to become emperor! If one were to be a governor that would be good, too—just as long as they’re someone important!” These are all people’s wishes, but people can only wish blessings upon their descendants, and cannot fulfill or make any of their promises come true. In their hearts, everyone clearly knows that they do not possess the power to achieve such things, for everything about them is beyond their control, and so how could they command the fate of others? The reason why God can say words like these is because God possesses such authority, and is capable of accomplishing and realizing all the promises that He makes to man, and of making all the blessings that He bestows upon man come true. Man was created by God, and for God to make someone exceedingly fruitful would be child’s play; to make someone’s descendants prosperous would require but a word from Him. He would never have to work Himself into a sweat for such a thing, or task His mind, or tie Himself in knots over it; this is the very power of God, the very authority of God.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique I
There are many elements of man’s experience in his work; what man expresses is what he is. God’s own work also expresses what He is, but His being is different from man’s. Man’s being represents man’s experience and life (what man experiences or encounters in his life, or the philosophies for living he has), and people living in different environments express different beings. Whether you have experiences of society and how you actually live in your family and experience within it can be seen in what you express, whereas you cannot see in the work of God incarnate whether He has social experiences. He is well aware of the substance of man and can reveal all kinds of practices pertaining to all kinds of people. He is even better at revealing the corrupt dispositions and the rebellious behavior of humans. He does not live among worldly people, but He is aware of the nature of mortals and all the corruptions of worldly people. This is His being. Though He does not deal with the world, He knows the rules of dealing with the world, because He understands human nature fully. He knows about the Spirit’s work that man’s eyes cannot see and man’s ears cannot hear, both of today and of the past. This includes wisdom that is not a philosophy for living and wonders that are hard for people to fathom. This is His being, open to people and also hidden from people. What He expresses is not the being of an extraordinary person, but the inherent attributes and being of the Spirit. He does not travel the world but knows everything of it. He contacts the “anthropoids” who have no knowledge or insight, but He expresses words that are higher than knowledge and above great men. He lives within a group of obtuse and numb people who are without humanity and who do not understand the conventions and life of humanity, but He can ask mankind to live out normal humanity, at the same time revealing the base and low humanity of mankind. All this is His being, higher than the being of any flesh-and-blood person. For Him, it is unnecessary to experience a complicated, cumbersome, and sordid social life to do the work He needs to do and reveal the substance of corrupt mankind thoroughly. A sordid social life does not edify His flesh. His work and words only reveal man’s disobedience and do not provide man with experience and lessons for dealing with the world. He does not need to investigate society or man’s family when He supplies man with life. Exposing and judging man is not an expression of the experiences of His flesh; it is His revelation of man’s unrighteousness after having known man’s disobedience for a long time and abhorring mankind’s corruption. The work He does is all meant to reveal His disposition to man and to express His being. Only He can do this work; it is not something a flesh-and-blood person could achieve.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Work