Daily Words of God: Knowing God's Work | Excerpt 163
Isaiah, Ezekiel, Moses, David, Abraham, and Daniel were leaders or prophets among the chosen people of Israel. Why were they not called God? Why did the Holy Spirit not bear testimony to them? Why did the Holy Spirit bear testimony to Jesus as soon as He began His work and started to speak His words? And why did the Holy Spirit not bear testimony to others? They, men who were of flesh, were all called “Lord.” Regardless of what they were called, their work represents their being and substance, and their being and substance represent their identity. Their substance is not related to their appellations; it is represented by what they expressed, and what they lived out. In the Old Testament, there was nothing out of the ordinary in being called Lord, and a person might be called in any which way, but his substance and inherent identity were immutable. Among those false Christs, false prophets, and deceivers, are there not also those who are called God? And why are they not God? Because they are incapable of doing the work of God. At root they are men, deceivers of people, not God, and so they do not have the identity of God. Was David not also called Lord among the twelve tribes? Jesus was also called Lord; why was Jesus alone called God incarnate? Was Jeremiah not also known as the Son of man? And was Jesus not known as the Son of man? Why was Jesus crucified on behalf of God? Is it not because His substance was different? Is it not because the work that He did was different? Does a title matter? Although Jesus was also called the Son of man, He was the first incarnation of God, He had come to assume power, and accomplish the work of redemption. This proves that the identity and substance of Jesus were different from others who were also called the Son of man. Today, who of you dare to say that all the words spoken by those who were used by the Holy Spirit came from the Holy Spirit? Does anyone dare to say such things? If you do say such things, then why was Ezra’s book of prophecy discarded, and why was the same thing done to the books of those ancient saints and prophets? If they all came from the Holy Spirit, then why do you dare to make such capricious choices? Are you qualified to choose the work of the Holy Spirit? Many stories from Israel were also discarded. And if you believe that these writings of the past all came from the Holy Spirit, then why were some of the books discarded? If they all came from the Holy Spirit, they should all be kept, and sent to the brothers and sisters of the churches to read. They should not be chosen or discarded by human will; it is wrong to do that. Saying that the experiences of Paul and John were mixed with their personal seeings does not mean that their experiences and knowledge came from Satan, but only that they had things that came from their personal experiences and seeings. Their knowledge was according to the background of the actual experiences at the time, and who could confidently say that all of it came from the Holy Spirit? If the Four Gospels all came from the Holy Spirit, then why was it that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each said something different about the work of Jesus? If you don’t believe this, then look at the accounts in the Bible of how Peter denied Jesus three times: They are all different, and they each have their own characteristics. Many who are ignorant say, God incarnate was also a man, so could the words He spoke have completely come from the Holy Spirit? If the words of Paul and John were mixed with human will, then were the words that He spoke really not mixed with human will? People who say such things are blind, and ignorant! Carefully read the Four Gospels; read what they recorded about the things that Jesus did, and the words He spoke. Each account was, quite simply, different, and each had its own perspective. If what was written by the authors of these books all came from the Holy Spirit, then it should all be the same and consistent. Why then are there discrepancies? Is man not extremely foolish, to be unable to see this? If you are asked to bear testimony to God, what kind of testimony can you provide? Can such a way of knowing God bear testimony to Him? If others ask you, “If the records of John and Luke were mixed with human will, then are the words spoken by your God not mixed with human will?” would you be able to give a clear answer? After Luke and Matthew had heard the words of Jesus, and seen the work of Jesus, they spoke of their own knowledge, in the manner of reminiscences detailing some of the facts done by Jesus. Can you say that their knowledge was completely revealed by the Holy Spirit? Outside of the Bible, there were many spiritual figures with a higher knowledge than them; why have their words not been taken up by later generations? Were they not also used by the Holy Spirit? Know that in the work of today, I am not speaking of My own seeing based upon the foundation of Jesus’ work, nor am I speaking of My own knowledge against the background of Jesus’ work. What work did Jesus do at that time? And what work am I doing today? What I do and say have no precedent. The path that I walk today has never been trodden before, it was never walked by the people of ages and generations past. Today, it has been opened, and is this not the work of the Spirit? Even though it was the work of the Holy Spirit, the leaders of the past all carried out their work upon the foundation of others. But the work of God Himself is different, as was Jesus’ stage of work: He opened a new way. When He came He preached the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, and said that man should repent, and confess. After Jesus completed His work, Peter and Paul and others began to carry on the work of Jesus. After Jesus was nailed to the cross and ascended to heaven, they were sent by the Spirit to spread the way of the cross. Even though the words of Paul were exalted, they were also based upon the foundation laid by Jesus, such as patience, love, suffering, head-covering, baptism, or other doctrines to be followed. All this was upon the foundation of the words of Jesus. They were incapable of opening a new way, for they were all men used by God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Concerning Appellations and Identity