8. The Fallacy of the Religious World That: “All Claims That the Lord Has Returned Are False and Cannot Be Believed”
According to these words in the Bible, “But of that day and hour knows no man, not the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but My Father only” (Matthew 24:36), the religious world thinks that since no one knows which day the Lord will come, anyone who preaches that the Lord has already returned is preaching about a false Christ, and cannot be believed.
Words From the Bible
“And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12).
“I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2–3).
“If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come on you” (Revelation 3:3).
“Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes” (Matthew 24:44).
“For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in His day. But first must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation” (Luke 17:24–25).
“And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6).
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears My voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27).
“The other disciples therefore said to him, We have seen the LORD. But he said to them, Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe. And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the middle, and said, Peace be to you. Then said He to Thomas, Reach here your finger, and behold My hands; and reach here your hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said to Him, My LORD and my God. Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:25–29).
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in” (Matthew 23:13).
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Matthew 23:15).
Words of Almighty God of the Last Days
Since you believe in God, you must put faith in all of the words of God and in all of His work. Which is to say, since you believe in God, you must obey Him. If you are unable to do this, then it does not matter whether you believe in God or not. If you have believed in God for many years, and yet have never obeyed Him, and do not accept the entirety of His words, and instead ask that God submit to you and act according to your notions, then you are the most rebellious of all, you are a nonbeliever. How could such people be able to obey the work and words of God that do not conform to the notions of man? Most rebellious of all are those who intentionally defy and resist God. They are the enemies of God, the antichrists. Theirs is always an attitude of hostility toward the new work of God; they never have the slightest inclination to submit, nor have they ever gladly submitted or humbled themselves. They exalt themselves before others and never submit to anyone. Before God, they consider themselves the best at preaching the word, and the most skillful in working on others. Never do they discard the “treasures” in their possession, but treat them as family heirlooms for worship, for preaching about to others, and they use them to lecture those fools who idolize them. There are indeed a certain number of people like this in the church. It can be said that they are “indomitable heroes,” generation after generation sojourning in the house of God. They take preaching the word (doctrine) to be their highest duty. Year after year, generation after generation, they go about vigorously enforcing their “sacred and inviolable” duty. None dare touch them; not a single person dares openly reproach them. They become “kings” in the house of God, running rampant as they tyrannize others from age to age. This pack of demons seeks to join hands and demolish My work; how can I allow these living devils to exist before My eyes? Even those who are only half obedient cannot carry on until the end, much less these tyrants without the slightest obedience in their hearts!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Obey God With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God
There was a disciple by the name of Thomas who insisted on touching Jesus’ nail marks. And what did the Lord Jesus say to him? (“Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29).) “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” What does this really mean? Did they really see nothing? Actually, all the things Jesus had said and all of the work He did already proved that Jesus was God, and so people should have believed it. Jesus did not need to perform more signs and wonders or speak more words, and people did not need to feel His nail marks to believe. True faith does not rely only on seeing, but rather, with spiritual confirmation, belief is held until the very end and there is never any doubt. Thomas was a nonbeliever who only relied on seeing. Do not be like Thomas.
A portion of people like Thomas do indeed exist in the church. They are constantly doubting God’s incarnation, and they wait for God to leave the earth, return to the third heaven, and to see the real person of God to finally believe. They do not believe in Him because of the words He has spoken during His incarnation. By the time this kind of person believes, everything will be too late, and that’s the time they will be condemned by God. The Lord Jesus said, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” These words mean that he had already been condemned by the Lord Jesus and that he is a nonbeliever. If you truly believe in the Lord and in all He has said, you will be blessed. If you have followed the Lord for a long time but do not believe in His capacity for resurrection, or that He is the almighty God, then you do not have true faith and you will not be able to attain blessings. Only through faith can blessings be attained, and if you don’t believe, you will not attain them. Are you only capable of believing in anything if God appears to you, allows you to see Him, and convinces you in person? As a human being, how are you qualified to ask God to personally appear to you? How are you qualified to make Him personally speak to a corrupt human such as yourself? Moreover, what makes you qualified to need Him to explain everything clearly to you before you will believe? If you are sensible, then you will believe after just reading these words God has uttered. If you truly believe, then it does not matter what He does or what He says. Rather, upon seeing that these words are the truth, you will be one hundred percent convinced that they were said by God and that He did these things, and you will already be prepared to follow Him to the end. You need not doubt this. People who are full of doubts are so deceitful. They simply cannot believe in God. They are always trying to understand those mysteries, and will only believe after they thoroughly comprehend them. Their precondition for believing in God is to have clear answers to these questions: How did God become flesh? When did He arrive? How long will He stay before He has to leave? Where will He go after He leaves? What is the process of His leaving? How does God incarnate work, and how does He leave? … They want to understand some mysteries; they are here to investigate them, not to seek the truth. They think that they will not be able to believe in God unless they can fathom these mysteries; it is as though their belief has been obstructed. This viewpoint such people have is problematic. Once they have a desire to research mysteries, they do not bother paying attention to the truth or heeding God’s words. Could such people know themselves? Self-knowledge does not come easily for them. This isn’t to condemn a certain kind of person. If someone doesn’t accept the truth and doesn’t believe in God’s words, then they don’t have true faith. They’ll just focus on splitting hairs over some words, mysteries, trivial things, or problems people hadn’t noticed. But it’s also possible that one day God will enlighten them, or their brothers and sisters will help them by regularly fellowshiping on the truth, and they will turn around. The day this happens, they’ll feel that their former views were too absurd, that they were too arrogant and thought far too highly of themselves, and they’ll be ashamed.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Recognizing One’s Own Misguided Views Can One Truly Transform
The pastors and elders of the religious world are all people who study biblical knowledge and theology; they are hypocritical Pharisees resisting God. … Are those in Christianity and Catholicism who study the Bible, theology, and even the history of God’s work truly believers? Are they different from the believers and followers of God about whom He speaks? In God’s eyes, are they believers? No, they study theology, they study God, but they do not follow God or bear witness to Him. Their study of God is the same as those who study history, philosophy, law, biology, or astronomy. It’s just that they don’t like science or other subjects—they specifically like to study theology. What is the outcome of their seeking out bits and pieces of God’s work to study God? Can they discover God’s existence? No, never. Can they understand God’s will? (No.) Why? Because they live in words, in knowledge, in philosophy, in the human mind and in human thoughts; they will never see God or be enlightened by the Holy Spirit. How does God classify them? As nonbelievers, as unbelievers. These unbelievers and nonbelievers mingle within the so-called Christian community, acting as believers in God, as Christians, but in reality do they have true worship for God? Do they have true submission? (No.) Why is that? One thing is certain: A considerable number of them do not believe in God’s existence in their hearts; they do not believe that God created the world and is sovereign over all things, and they believe even less that God can become flesh. What does this unbelief mean? It means to doubt and deny. They even adopt an attitude of not hoping that the prophecies spoken by God, especially those concerning disasters, will be fulfilled or come to pass. This is their attitude toward belief in God, and it is the essence and true face of their so-called faith. These people study God because they are particularly interested in the subject and knowledge of theology, and in the historical facts of God’s work; they are purely a group of intellectuals studying theology. These intellectuals do not believe in the existence of God, so how do they react when God comes to work, when God’s words are fulfilled? What is their first reaction when they hear that God has become flesh and started a new work? “Impossible!” Whoever preaches God’s new name and God’s new work, they condemn that person, and they even want to kill or eliminate him. What kind of manifestation is this? Is this not the manifestation of a typical antichrist? What difference is there between them and the Pharisees, chief priests, and scribes of old? They are hostile toward God’s work, toward God’s judgment in the last days, toward God becoming flesh, and even more so, they are hostile to the fulfillment of God’s prophecies. They believe, “If You do not become flesh, if You are in the form of a spiritual body, then You are God; if You are incarnated and become a person, then You are not God, and we do not acknowledge You.” What does this imply? It means that as long as they are here, they will not allow God to become flesh. Isn’t this a typical antichrist? This is a genuine antichrist.
—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Seven: They Are Evil, Insidious, and Deceitful (Part Three)
Since we are searching for the footprints of God, it behooves us to search for God’s will, for the words of God, for His utterances—because wherever there are new words spoken by God, the voice of God is there, and wherever there are the footsteps of God, God’s deeds are there. Wherever there is the expression of God, there God appears, and wherever God appears, there the truth, the way, and the life exist. In seeking God’s footprints, you have ignored the words “God is the truth, the way, and the life.” And so, many people, even when they receive the truth, do not believe that they have found God’s footprints, and still less do they acknowledge the appearance of God. What a grave mistake! The appearance of God cannot be reconciled with man’s notions, still less can God appear at the behest of man. God makes His own choices and His own plans when He does His work; moreover, He has His own objectives and His own methods. Whatever work He does, He has no need to discuss it with man or seek his advice, much less to notify each and every person of His work. This is the disposition of God, which should, moreover, be recognized by everyone. If you desire to witness the appearance of God, to follow God’s footsteps, then you must first walk away from your own notions. You must not demand that God do this or that, much less should you place Him within your own confines and limit Him to your own notions. Instead, you should demand of yourselves how you ought to seek God’s footprints, how you ought to accept God’s appearance, and how you ought to submit to the new work of God: This is what man should do. Since man is not the truth, and is not possessed of the truth, he should seek, accept, and obey.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Appendix 1: The Appearance of God Has Ushered in a New Age
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.
It is not difficult to inquire into such a thing, but it requires each of us to know this one truth: He who is God incarnate shall possess the essence of God, and He who is God incarnate shall possess the expression of God. Since God becomes flesh, He shall bring forth the work He intends to do, and since God becomes flesh, He shall express what He is, and shall be able to bring the truth to man, bestow life upon him, and point the way for him. Flesh that does not have the essence of God is decidedly not the incarnate God; of this there is no doubt. If man intends to inquire into whether it is God’s incarnate flesh, then he must corroborate this from the disposition He expresses and the words He speaks. Which is to say, to corroborate whether or not it is God’s incarnate flesh, and whether or not it is the true way, one must discriminate on the basis of His essence. And so, in determining whether it is the flesh of God incarnate, the key lies in His essence (His work, His utterances, His disposition, and many other aspects), rather than external appearance. If man scrutinizes only His external appearance, and as a result overlooks His essence, this shows that man is benighted and ignorant. External appearance cannot determine essence; what’s more, the work of God can never conform to the notions of man. Did not Jesus’ outward appearance run counter to the notions of man? Were not His countenance and dress unable to provide any clues as to His true identity? Did not the earliest Pharisees oppose Jesus precisely because they merely looked at His external appearance, and did not take to heart the words in His mouth? It is My hope that each and every brother and sister who seeks the appearance of God will not repeat the tragedy of history. You must not become the Pharisees of modern times and nail God to the cross again. You should carefully consider how to welcome the return of God, and you should have a clear mind regarding how to be someone who submits to the truth. This is the responsibility of everyone who is waiting for Jesus to return riding upon a cloud. We should rub our spiritual eyes to make them clear, and not become mired in words of exaggerated fantasy. We should think about the practical work of God, and take a look at the practical aspect of God. Do not get carried away or lose yourselves in daydreams, always longing for the day when the Lord Jesus, riding upon a cloud, suddenly descends among you, and takes you who have never known or seen Him, and who do not know how to do His will. It is better to think upon more practical matters!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Preface
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 fear 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 God-fearing heart? 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 possess humble and God-fearing hearts. 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 the bit of a God-fearing heart you possess, 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
Be Someone Who Accepts the Truth
Your Attitude Toward the Truth Is Vital
Rejecting Christ of the Last Days Is Blaspheming the Holy Spirit