You testify that The Word Appears in the Flesh was personally uttered by God, yet there are those who believe that these words were spoken by someone who was enlightened by the Holy Spirit. Just what is the difference between words expressed by the incarnate God, and words spoken by someone enlightened by the Holy Spirit?
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.
Excerpted from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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.”
Excerpted from “Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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 reality of the truth 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.
Excerpted from “Knowing God Is the Path to Fearing God and Shunning Evil” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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. No matter what, you should never mix up right and wrong, or make high out to be low, or mistake the profound for the shallow; no matter what, you should never deliberately refute what you know to be the truth. Everyone who believes there is a God should inquire into problems from the correct standpoint, and accept God’s new work and His new words from the perspective of His created being; otherwise, they will be eliminated by God.
Excerpted from Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh
Man’s ways of practice and his knowledge of the truth are all applicable to a particular scope. You cannot say that the path man treads is completely the will of the Holy Spirit, because man can only be enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and cannot be completely filled with the Holy Spirit. The things man can experience are all within the scope of normal humanity and cannot exceed the range of thoughts in the normal human mind. All those who can live out the reality of the truth experience within this range. When they experience the truth, it is always an experience of normal human life enlightened by the Holy Spirit; it is not a way of experiencing that deviates from normal human life. They experience the truth enlightened by the Holy Spirit on the foundation of living their human lives. Moreover, this truth varies from person to person, and its depth is related to the state of the person. One can only say that the path they walk is the normal human life of someone pursuing the truth, and it may be called the path walked by a normal person enlightened by the Holy Spirit. One cannot say that the path they walk is the path the Holy Spirit takes. In normal human experience, because people who pursue are not the same, the work of the Holy Spirit is also not the same. In addition, because the environments people experience and the ranges of their experience are not the same, and because of the admixture of their mind and thoughts, their experience is mixed to different degrees. Each person understands a truth according to their different, individual conditions. Their understanding of the real meaning of the truth is not complete and is only one or several aspects of it. The scope of the truth man experiences differs from person to person in line with each person’s conditions. In this way, the knowledge of the same truth, as expressed by different people, is not the same. This is to say, man’s experience always has limitations and cannot completely represent the will of the Holy Spirit, nor can the work of man be perceived as the work of God, even if what is expressed by man corresponds very closely to God’s will, and even if the experience of man is very close to the perfecting work that the Holy Spirit performs. Man can only be God’s servant, doing the work that God entrusts to him. Man can only express knowledge enlightened by the Holy Spirit and truths obtained from his personal experiences. Man is unqualified and does not meet the conditions to be the outlet of the Holy Spirit. He is not entitled to say that his work is the work of God.
Excerpted from “God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Everything God expresses directly is the truth, whereas all of the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment is merely in line with the truth. This is because the Holy Spirit enlightens people in accordance with their individual statures, and He cannot directly express the truth to them. This is something you must understand. If people gain some insights and have some understanding based on their experiences from the words of truth, does this count as the truth? At best it can be said that they have some understanding of the truth. All the words of enlightenment of the Holy Spirit do not represent God’s word, do not represent truth, and they do not pertain to the truth. It can only be said that those people have some understanding of truth, and some enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. If you gain some understanding from truth and then supply it to others, that is, supply your personal understanding and experience, you still cannot say: “Come, I will supply you with the truth.” Referring to it as fellowshiping is fine, and your wording must be appropriate. Why do we say that? There’s more to it than that. You should see this situation clearly, and not just word it in a certain way and be done with it; this is not a wording. People obtain things that they should possess from the truth, but that is not to say that they have the truth, that they are of the truth; we absolutely cannot say that. No matter how much you obtain from the truth, you cannot say you have the life, nor can you say that you are of the truth; you absolutely cannot say that. You have only obtained some sustenance from the truth, nourishing your life, making you have some things within you that you should have to believe in God, and to satisfy God. God supplies people through the truth, allowing people to satisfy God and conform to God’s will through the truth, and in the end even if people completely fulfill God’s will, it still cannot be said that they are of the truth, much less can it be said that they have truth as their life. … Everyone can experience the truth, but the situations of their experience will be different, and what each person obtains from the same truth is different. But even after combining everyone’s understanding you still cannot completely explain this one truth; the truth is that deep! Why do I say that all of the things you have obtained and all of your understanding, cannot be a substitute for the truth? If you fellowship your understanding with others, they may ponder on it for two or three days and then they will finish experiencing it, but a person cannot fully experience truth even in a lifetime, even all people together cannot experience it thoroughly. Thus it can be seen that the truth is very profound! There is no way to use words to fully articulate the truth, the truth put into human language is man’s aphorism; humanity will never experience it fully, and humanity should live in reliance on it. A piece of truth can let all of humanity survive for thousands of years.
Excerpted from “Do You Know What Truth Really Is?” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The truth is the life of God Himself; it represents His disposition, His essence, and everything in Him. If you say that having a bit of experience means possessing the truth, then can you represent God’s disposition? You may have some experience or light regarding a certain aspect or side of a truth, but you cannot supply others with it forever, so this light you have gained is not truth; it is merely a certain point that people can reach. It is simply the proper experience and the proper understanding a person should possess: some actual experience and knowledge of the truth. This light, enlightenment, and experiential understanding can never substitute for the truth; even if all people had completely experienced this truth, and pooled together all of their experiential understanding, it still would not be able to take the place of that one truth. As has been said in the past, “I sum this up with a maxim for the human world: Among men, there is no one who loves Me.” This is a statement of truth; it is the true essence of life. This is the most profound of things; this is an expression of God Himself. You can keep on experiencing it, and if you experience it for three years you will have a superficial understanding of it; if you experience it for seven or eight years you will gain even more understanding of it—but any understanding you gain will never be able to substitute for that one statement of truth. Another person, after experiencing it for a couple of years, might gain a little understanding, and then a slightly more profound understanding after experiencing it for ten years, and then some further understanding after experiencing it for a lifetime—but if you both combine what understanding you have gained, even then—no matter how much understanding, how much experience, how many insights, how much light, or how many examples you both possess—all of that still cannot substitute for that one statement of truth. What do I mean by this? I mean that the life of man will always be the life of man, and no matter how much your understanding might accord with the truth, God’s intentions, and His requirements, it will never be able to be a substitute for the truth. To say that people have gained the truth means that they possess some reality, that they have gained some understanding of the truth, that they have attained some real entry to God’s words, that they have had some real experience with them, and that they are on the right track in their faith in God. Just one statement from God is enough for a person to experience for an entire lifetime; even if people were to experience it for several lifetimes or even several millennia, they still would not be able to completely and thoroughly experience a single truth.
Excerpted from “Do You Know What Truth Really Is?” in Records of Christ’s Talks