XVII. One Must Fellowship Clearly How to Discern Between the Reality of the Truth and Bible Knowledge and Doctrine
3. Why is the truth expressed by God in the last days able to purify man, perfect man and become man’s life?
Relevant Words of God:
The way of life is not something that can be possessed by just anyone, nor is it easily obtainable by all. That is because life can only come from God, which is to say, only God Himself possesses the substance of life, there is no way of life without God Himself, and so only God is the source of life, and the ever-flowing wellspring of living water of life. From when He created the world, God has done much work involving the vitality of life, has done much work that brings life to man, and has paid a great price so that man might gain life, for God Himself is eternal life, and God Himself is the way by which man is resurrected. God is never absent from the heart of man, and lives among man at all times. He has been the driving force of man’s living, the fundament of man’s existence, and a rich deposit for man’s existence after birth. He causes man to be reborn, and enables him to tenaciously live in his every role. Thanks to His power, and His inextinguishable life force, man has lived for generation after generation, throughout which the power of God’s life has been the mainstay of man’s existence, and for which God has paid a price that no ordinary man has ever paid. God’s life force can prevail over any power; moreover, it exceeds any power. His life is eternal, His power extraordinary, and His life force not easily overwhelmed by any created being or enemy force. The life force of God exists, and shines its brilliant radiance, regardless of time or place. God’s life remains forever unchanged throughout the upheavals of heaven and earth. All things pass away, but God’s life still remains, for God is the source of the existence of all things, and the root of their existence. Man’s life originates from God, the existence of the heaven is because of God, and the existence of the earth stems from the power of God’s life. No object possessed of vitality can transcend the sovereignty of God, and no thing with vigor can break away from the ambit of God’s authority. In this way, regardless of who they are, everyone must submit under the dominion of God, everyone must live under God’s command, and no one can escape from His control.
God Himself is life, and the truth, and His life and truth coexist. Those who are incapable of gaining the truth shall never gain life. Without the guidance, support, and provision of the truth, you shall only gain letters, doctrines, and, moreover, death. God’s life is ever-present, and His truth and life coexist. If you cannot find the source of truth, then you will not gain the nourishment of life; if you cannot gain the provision of life, then you will surely have no truth, and so apart from imaginations and conceptions, the entirety of your body shall be nothing but flesh, your stinking flesh. Know that the words of books do not count as life, the records of history cannot be feted as the truth, and the doctrines of the past cannot serve as an account of words presently spoken by God. Only that which is expressed by God when He comes to earth and lives among man is the truth, life, God’s will, and His current way of working. If you apply the records of words spoken by God during past ages to today, then you are an archaeologist, and the best way of describing you is as an expert on historical heritage. That is because you always believe in traces of the work that God did in times gone by, only believe in the shadow of God left from when He previously worked among man, and only believe in the way that God gave to His followers in former times. You do not believe in the direction of God’s work today, do not believe in the glorious countenance of God today, and do not believe in the way of truth presently expressed by God. And so you are undeniably a daydreamer who is completely out of touch with reality. If now you still cling to words that are incapable of bringing life to man, then you are a hopeless piece of deadwood,[a] for you are too conservative, too intractable, too impervious to reason!
from “Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Christ of the last days brings life, and brings the enduring and everlasting way of truth. This truth is the path through which man shall gain life, and the only path by which man shall know God and be approved by God.
from “Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, expose the essence of man, and dissect his words and deeds. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out the normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, those words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan and an enemy force against God. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with just a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes it over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth that man does not possess at all. Only methods of this kind are deemed judgment; only through judgment of this kind can man be subdued and thoroughly convinced into submission to God, and moreover gain true knowledge of God. What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his own rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that are incomprehensible to him. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt substance and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the substance of this work is actually the work of opening up the truth, the way, and the life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God.
from “Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
People cannot change their disposition themselves; they must undergo the judgment and chastisement and painful refinement of God’s words, or being dealt with, disciplined, and pruned by His words. Only after that can they achieve obedience and devotion to God, and not try to fool Him and deal with Him perfunctorily. It is under the refinement of God’s words that people have a change in disposition. Only those who undergo the exposure, judgment, disciplining, and dealing with of His words will no longer dare to do things recklessly, and will become calm and collected. The most important point is that they are able to obey God’s current words and obey God’s work, and even if it is not in line with human notions, they can put them aside and intentionally obey.
from “Those Whose Disposition Has Changed Are Those Who Have Entered Into the Reality of God’s Words” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In the work of the last days, the word is mightier than the manifestation of signs and wonders, and the authority of the word surpasses that of signs and wonders. The word reveals all the corrupt dispositions in the heart of man. You are unable to recognize them on your own. When they are revealed to you through the word, you will naturally come to the realization; you will not be able to deny them, and you will be utterly convinced. Is this not the authority of the word? This is the result achieved by the present work of the word. Therefore, man cannot be fully saved from his sins by the healing of sickness and casting out of demons and cannot be fully made complete by the manifestation of signs and wonders. The authority to heal sickness and cast out demons only gives man grace, but the flesh of man still belongs to Satan and the corrupt satanic disposition still remains within man. In other words, that which has not been made clean still belongs to sin and filth. Only after man has been made clean through words can he be gained by God and become sanctified. If no more is done than casting out the demons within man and redeeming him, that is only seizing him from the hands of Satan and returning him to God. However, he has not been made clean or changed by God, and he remains corrupt. Within man still exists filth, opposition and rebelliousness; man has only returned to God through redemption, but man has no knowledge of Him and still resists and betrays God. Before man was redeemed, many of Satan’s poisons were already planted within him. After thousands of years of Satan’s corruption, man already has within him a nature that resists God. Therefore, when man has been redeemed, it is nothing more than redemption, where man is bought at a high price, but the poisonous nature within has not been eliminated. Man that is so defiled must undergo a change before being worthy to serve God. Through this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt substance within him, and he will be able to completely change and become clean. Only in this way can man be worthy to return before the throne of God. All the work done this day is so that man can be made clean and be changed; through judgment and chastisement by the word, as well as refinement, man can cast away his corruption and be made pure. Rather than deeming this stage of work to be that of salvation, it would be more apt to say it is the work of purification. In truth, this stage is that of conquest as well as the second stage of salvation. Man is gained by God through judgment and chastisement by the word; through the use of the word to refine, judge and disclose, all of the impurities, notions, motives, and individual hopes within man’s heart are completely revealed. Though man has been redeemed and forgiven of his sins, it is only considered as God not remembering the transgressions of man and not treating man in accordance with man’s transgressions. However, when man lives in the flesh and he has not been set free from sin, he can only continue to sin, endlessly revealing the corrupt satanic disposition. This is the life that man leads, an endless cycle of sin and forgiveness. The majority of men sin in the day only to confess in the evening. As such, even if the sin offering is forever effective for man, it would not be able to save man from sin. Only half the work of salvation has been completed, for man still has corrupt disposition. For instance, when people knew that they were descended from Moab, they issued words of complaint, no longer sought life, and became utterly passive. Does this not show that they are still unable to fully submit under the dominion of God? Is this not precisely the corrupt satanic disposition? When you were not being subjected to chastisement, your hands were raised higher than all others, even that of Jesus. And you cried out in a loud voice: “Be a beloved son of God! Be an intimate of God! We would rather die than submit to Satan! Revolt against the old Satan! Revolt against the great red dragon! Let the great red dragon completely fall from power! Let God make us complete!” Your cries were louder than all others. But then came the times of chastisement and, once again, was the corrupt disposition of people revealed. Then, their cries ceased, and they no longer had resolution. This is the corruption of man; it runs deeper than sin, planted by Satan and deeply rooted within man. It is not easy for man to become aware of his sins; man is unable to recognize his own deeply rooted nature. Only through judgment by the word can such effects be achieved. Only thus can man gradually be changed from that point onward. Man shouted thus in the past because man had no understanding of his original corrupt disposition. Such are the impurities within man. Throughout such a long period of judgment and chastisement, man lived in an atmosphere of tension. Was this not all achieved through the word? Did you not also cry out with a very loud voice prior to the trial of service-doers? “Enter the kingdom! All those who accept this name shall enter into the kingdom! All shall partake of God!” When the trial of service-doers came, you no longer cried. At first, all cried out, “God! Wherever You place me, I shall submit to being steered by You.” Upon reading the words of God, “Who will be My Paul?” man said, “I am willing!” Then he saw the words, “And what of the faith of Job?” So he said, “I am willing to take the faith of Job. God, please test me!” When the trial of service-doers came, he collapsed at once and almost could not stand up again. After that, the impurities in man’s heart gradually diminished. Was this not achieved through the word? So, what you have experienced in the present are results achieved through the word, even greater than that achieved through Jesus’ working of signs and wonders. The glory of God and authority of God Himself that you see are not merely seen through the crucifixion, healing of sickness and casting out of demons, but more so through His judgment by the word. This shows you that not only the working of signs, healing of sickness and casting out of demons are the authority and power of God, but judgment by the word is better able to represent the authority of God and to reveal His almightiness.
from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The greatest significance of the work of words is allowing people to put the truth into practice after having understood the truth, achieve changes in their disposition, and achieve the knowledge of themselves and the work of God. Only the means of working through speaking can communicate the relationship between God and man, only words can explain the truth. Working in this way is the best means of conquering man; apart from the utterance of words, no other method is capable of giving man a clearer understanding of the truth and the work of God, and so in His final stage of work, God speaks to man in order to open up to man all the truths and mysteries that they do not understand, allowing them to gain the true way and the life from God, and thus satisfy the will of God. … This stage of work—the work of words—opens up to man all of the ways and mysteries that they do not understand, so that man can understand the will of God and God’s requirements of man, so that they can have the conditions to put God’s words into practice and achieve changes in their disposition.
from “You Should Put Aside the Blessings of Status and Understand God’s Will for the Salvation of Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
During the last days, when God becomes flesh, He principally uses the word to accomplish all and make all plain. Only in His words can you see what He is; only in His words can you see that He is God Himself. … to allow man to behold His power and supremacy in His words, to allow man to see in His words how He humbly hides Himself, and to allow man to know His entirety in His words. All that He has and is are in His words, His wisdom and wondrousness are in His words. In this are you made to see the many methods with which God speaks His words. … God causes man to gain life from His words, and this is the greatest of all signs, and even more so, it is an undisputable fact. This is the best evidence through which to have knowledge of God, and is an even greater sign than signs. Only these words can make man perfect.
from “All Is Achieved by the Word of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
a. A piece of deadwood: a Chinese idiom, meaning “beyond help.”