C. Words on Revealing Corrupt Mankind’s Religious Notions, Heresies, and Fallacies
135. In believing in God, how should one know God? One should come to know God based on the words and work of God today, without deviation or fallacy, and, before all else, one should know the work of God. This is the foundation of knowing God. All those various fallacies that lack a pure understanding of the words of God are religious notions; they are deviant and erroneous understandings. The greatest skill of religious figures is taking the words of God understood in the past and measuring the words of God today against them. If, when serving the God of today, you cling to the things revealed by the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment in the past, then your service will cause disruption, and your practice will be outdated, nothing more than religious ceremony. If you believe that those who serve God must outwardly be humble and patient, among other qualities, and if you put this kind of knowledge into practice today, then such knowledge is a religious notion; such practice has become a hypocritical performance. The phrase “religious notions” refers to things that are outmoded and obsolete (including the understanding of words previously spoken by God and light directly revealed by the Holy Spirit), and if they are put into practice today, then they disrupt God’s work and bring no benefit to man. If people are unable to purge those things from themselves that belong to religious notions, then these things will become a great hindrance to their serving God. People with religious notions have no way of keeping up with the steps of the Holy Spirit’s work—they fall one step behind, then two. This is because these religious notions cause man to become extraordinarily self-righteous and arrogant. God feels no nostalgia for what He said and did in the past; if something is obsolete, He eliminates it. Are you truly unable to let go of your notions? If you cling to the words that God spoke in the past, does this prove that you know the work of God? If you are unable to accept the light of the Holy Spirit today, and instead cling to the light of the past, can this prove that you follow the footsteps of God? Are you still unable to let go of religious notions? If that is the case, then you will become someone who opposes God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Those Who Know the Work of God Today May Serve God
136. Because there are always new developments in God’s work, there is work that becomes obsolete and old as new work arises. These different types of work, old and new, are not contradictory, but complementary; each step follows from the last. Because there is new work, the old things must, of course, be eliminated. For example, some of the long-established practices and habitual sayings of man, coupled with man’s many years of experience and teachings, have formed all manner and form of notions in the mind of man. That God has yet fully to reveal His true face and inherent disposition to man, along with the spread, over many years, of traditional theories from ancient times have been yet more propitious to man’s formation of such notions. It may be said that, over the course of man’s belief in God, the influence of various notions has led to the continual formation and evolution of all sorts of notional understandings of God in people, which has caused many religious people who serve God to become His enemies. So, the stronger people’s religious notions are, the more they oppose God, and the more they are the enemies of God. The work of God is always new and never old; it never forms doctrine, instead changing continually and being renewed to a greater or lesser extent. Working in this way is an expression of the inherent disposition of God Himself. It is also the inherent principle of God’s work, and one of the means by which God accomplishes His management. If God did not work in this way, man would not change or be able to know God, and Satan would not be defeated. Thus, in His work, changes continually occur that appear erratic, but which are actually periodic. The way in which man believes in God, however, is quite different. He clings to old, familiar doctrines and systems, and the older they are, the more palatable they are to him. How could the foolish mind of man, a mind that is as intransigent as stone, accept so much unfathomable new work and words of God? Man abhors the God who is always new and never old; he likes only the old God, who is long of tooth, white of hair, and stuck in place. Thus, because God and man each have their own likes, man has become the enemy of God. Many of these contradictions still exist even today, at a time when God has been doing new work for almost six thousand years. They are, then, beyond remedy. Perhaps it is because of the stubbornness of man, or the inviolability of God’s administrative decrees by any man—but those clergymen and women cling still to moldy old books and papers, while God carries on with His uncompleted work of management, as if He had no one by His side. Though these contradictions make enemies of God and man, and are even irresolvable, God pays them no heed, as if they were at once there and not there. Man, however, still sticks by his beliefs and notions, and never lets go of them. Yet one thing is self-evident: Even though man does not deviate from his stance, God’s feet are always moving, and He is always changing His stance according to the environment. In the end, it is man who will be defeated without a fight. God, meanwhile, is the greatest enemy of all His defeated foes, and is also the champion of mankind, defeated and undefeated alike. Who can compete with God and be victorious? Man’s notions seem to come from God because many of them were born in the wake of God’s work. However, God does not forgive man because of this, nor, moreover, does He pour praise on man for producing batch after batch of products “for God” in the wake of His work that are outside of His work. Instead, He is extremely disgusted by man’s notions and old, pious beliefs, and does not even have a mind to acknowledge the date on which these notions first emerged. He does not accept at all that these notions are caused by His work, for the notions of man are spread by man; their source is the thoughts and mind of man—not God, but Satan. God’s intention has always been for His work to be new and alive, not old and dead, and what He has man adhere to varies with the age and period, and is not everlasting and immutable. This is because He is a God who causes man to live and be new, rather than a devil who causes man to die and be old. Do you still not understand this? You have notions about God and are incapable of letting go of them because you are close-minded. It is not because there is too little sense within God’s work, nor because the work of God diverges from human wishes, nor, moreover, is it because God is always negligent in His duties. You cannot let go of your notions because you are too lacking in obedience, and because you have not the slightest likeness of a created being; it is not because God is making things difficult for you. You caused all of this, and it bears no relation at all to God; all suffering and misfortune is created by man. God’s thoughts are always good: He does not wish to cause you to produce notions, but wishes for you to change and be renewed as the ages pass. Yet you do not know what is good for you, and are always either scrutinizing or analyzing. It is not that God is making things difficult for you, but that you have no reverence for God, and your disobedience is too great. A tiny created being, daring to take some trivial part of that which was previously given by God, then turning around and using it to attack God—is this not the disobedience of man? Humans, it is fair to say, are utterly unqualified to express their views before God, and less still are they qualified to parade around their worthless, stinking, rotten, flowery language as they wish—to say nothing of those moldy notions. Are they not even more worthless?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Those Who Know the Work of God Today May Serve God
137. The work of God is always moving forward, and though the purpose of His work does not change, the method by which He works constantly changes, which means that those who follow God are constantly changing, too. The more work God does, the more thorough man’s knowledge of God is. Corresponding changes occur, too, in man’s disposition in the wake of God’s work. However, it is because the work of God is ever-changing that those who do not know the work of the Holy Spirit and those absurd people who do not know the truth start to resist God. Not ever does the work of God conform to the notions of man, for His work is always new and never old, and never does He repeat old work, but rather forges ahead with work never done before. As God does not repeat His work, and man invariably judges God’s current work by the work He did in the past, it has become exceedingly difficult for God to carry out each stage of work of the new age. Man has far too many difficulties! He is too conservative in his thinking! No one knows the work of God, yet everyone delimits it. When he leaves God, man loses life, truth, and God’s blessings, yet neither does he accept life nor truth, much less the greater blessings God bestows upon mankind. All men wish to gain God, yet are unable to tolerate any changes in God’s work. Those who do not accept God’s new work believe that the work of God is immutable, that it forever remains at a standstill. In their belief, all that is needed to gain eternal salvation from God is to observe the law, and as long as they repent and confess their sins, the will of God will always be satisfied. They are of the opinion that God can only be the God under the law and the God who was nailed to the cross for man; it is their opinion, too, that God should not and cannot exceed the Bible. It is precisely these opinions that have shackled them firmly to the laws of old and nailed them to dead rules. There are even more who believe that whatever the new work of God might be, it has to be substantiated by prophecies, and that in each stage of such work, all those who follow Him with a “true” heart must also be shown revelations; if not, such work could not be the work of God. It is already no easy task for man to come to know God. Taken in addition to man’s absurd heart and his rebellious nature of self-importance and self-conceit, it becomes all the more difficult for him to accept God’s new work. Man neither gives careful consideration to the new work of God, nor accepts it with humility; instead, he adopts an attitude of contempt as he awaits revelations and guidance from God. Is this not the behavior of those who rebel against and resist God? How can such people gain God’s approval?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How Can Man Who Has Delimited God in His Notions Receive the Revelations of God?
138. Since man believes in God, he must closely follow the footsteps of God, step-by-step; he should “follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” Only these are the people who seek the true way, only they are the ones who know the work of the Holy Spirit. People who slavishly follow letters and doctrines are those who have been eliminated by the work of the Holy Spirit. In each period of time, God will begin new work, and in each period, there will be a new beginning among man. If man only abides by the truths that “Jehovah is God” and “Jesus is Christ,” which are truths that only apply to their respective ages, then man will never keep up with the work of the Holy Spirit, and will forever be incapable of gaining the work of the Holy Spirit. Regardless of how God works, man follows without the slightest doubt, and he follows closely. In this way, how could man be eliminated by the Holy Spirit? Regardless of what God does, as long as man is certain that it is the work of the Holy Spirit, and cooperates in the work of the Holy Spirit without any misgivings, and tries to meet the requirements of God, then how could he be punished? The work of God has never ceased, His footsteps have never halted, and prior to the completion of His management work, He has always been busy, and never stops. But man is different: Having gained but a modicum of the Holy Spirit’s work, he treats it as if it will never change; having gained a little knowledge, he does not go forth to follow the footsteps of God’s newer work; having seen but a little of God’s work, he immediately prescribes God as a particular wooden figure, and believes that God will always remain in this form that he sees before him, that it was like this in the past and will always be thus in the future; having gained but a superficial knowledge, man is so proud that he forgets himself and begins to wantonly proclaim a disposition and a being of God that simply do not exist; and having become certain about one stage of the Holy Spirit’s work, no matter what kind of person it is that proclaims the new work of God, man does not accept it. These are people who cannot accept the new work of the Holy Spirit; they are too conservative, and incapable of accepting new things. Such people are those who believe in God but also reject God. Man believes that the Israelites were wrong to “only believe in Jehovah and not believe in Jesus,” yet the majority of people act out a role in which they “only believe in Jehovah and reject Jesus” and “long for the return of the Messiah, but oppose the Messiah who is called Jesus.” No wonder, then, that people still live under the domain of Satan after accepting one stage of the work of the Holy Spirit, and still do not receive God’s blessings. Is this not the result of man’s rebelliousness? Christians across the world who have not kept up with the new work of today all cling to the hope that they will get lucky, assuming that God will fulfill each of their wishes. Yet they cannot say for sure why God will take them up to the third heaven, nor are they certain about how Jesus will come to receive them riding upon a white cloud, much less can they say with absolute certainty whether Jesus will truly arrive upon a white cloud on the day that they imagine. They are all anxious, and at a loss; they themselves do not even know whether God will take up each of them, the varied small handfuls of people, who hail from every denomination. The work that God does now, the present age, God’s will—they have no grasp of any of these things, and they can do nothing but count down the days on their fingers. Only those who follow the footsteps of the Lamb to the very end can gain the final blessing, whereas those “clever people,” who are unable to follow to the very end yet believe they have gained all, are incapable of witnessing the appearance of God. They each believe they are the smartest person on earth, and they cut short the continued development of God’s work for no reason at all, and seem to believe with absolute certainty that God will take them up to heaven, they who “have the utmost loyalty to God, follow God, and abide by the words of God.” Even though they have the “utmost loyalty” toward the words spoken by God, their words and actions are still so disgusting because they oppose the work of the Holy Spirit, and commit deceit and evil. Those who do not follow to the very end, who do not keep up with the work of the Holy Spirit, and who only cleave to the old work have not only failed to achieve loyalty to God, but on the contrary, have become those who oppose God, have become those who are rejected by the new age, and who will be punished. Are there any more pitiable than them? Many even believe that all those who reject the old law and accept the new work are without conscience. These people, who only talk of “conscience,” and do not know the work of the Holy Spirit, will ultimately have their prospects cut short by their own consciences. God’s work does not abide by doctrine, and though it may be His own work, still God does not cling to it. That which should be denied is denied, that which should be eliminated is eliminated. Yet man places himself in enmity to God by holding onto but one small part of the work of God’s management. Is this not the absurdity of man? Is this not the ignorance of man? The more people are timid and overcautious because they are afraid of not gaining God’s blessings, the more they are incapable of gaining greater blessings, and of receiving the final blessing. Those people who slavishly abide by the law all display the utmost loyalty toward the law, and the more they display such loyalty toward the law, the more they are rebels who oppose God. For now is the Age of Kingdom and not the Age of Law, and the work of today and the work of the past cannot be mentioned in the same breath, nor can the work of the past be compared to the work of today. The work of God has changed, and the practice of man has also changed; it is not to hold onto the law or bear the cross, therefore people’s loyalty toward the law and the cross will not gain God’s approval.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Practice
139. Man has been corrupted and lives in Satan’s trap. All people live in the flesh, live in selfish desires, and there is not a single one among them who is compatible with Me. There are those who say that they are compatible with Me, but such people all worship vague idols. Although they acknowledge My name as holy, they tread a path that runs contrary to Me, and their words are full of arrogance and self-confidence. This is because, at root, they are all against Me and incompatible with Me. Every day, they seek traces of Me in the Bible and find “suitable” passages at random which they read endlessly and recite as scriptures. They do not know how to be compatible with Me nor what it means to be against Me. They merely read scriptures blindly. Within the Bible, they constrain a vague God that they have never seen, and are incapable of seeing, and take it out to look at at their leisure. They believe in My existence only within the scope of the Bible, and they equate Me with the Bible; without the Bible there is no Me, and without Me there is no Bible. They pay no heed to My existence or actions, but instead devote extreme and special attention to each and every word of Scripture. Many more even believe that I should not do anything I wish to do unless it is foretold by Scripture. They attach too much importance to Scripture. It can be said that they see words and expressions as too important, to the extent that they use verses from the Bible to measure every word I say and to condemn Me. What they seek is not the way of compatibility with Me or the way of compatibility with the truth, but the way of compatibility with the words of the Bible, and they believe that anything that does not conform to the Bible is, without exception, not My work. Are such people not the dutiful descendants of the Pharisees? The Jewish Pharisees used the law of Moses to condemn Jesus. They did not seek compatibility with the Jesus of that time, but diligently followed the law to the letter, to the extent that—after having charged Him with not following the law of the Old Testament and not being the Messiah—they ultimately nailed the innocent Jesus to the cross. What was their substance? Was it not that they didn’t seek the way of compatibility with the truth? They obsessed over each and every word of Scripture while paying heed neither to My will nor to the steps and methods of My work. They were not people who sought the truth, but people who rigidly clung to words; they were not people who believed in God, but people who believed in the Bible. Essentially, they were watchdogs of the Bible. In order to safeguard the interests of the Bible, to uphold the dignity of the Bible, and to protect the reputation of the Bible, they went so far as to nail the merciful Jesus to the cross. This they did merely for the sake of defending the Bible, and for the sake of maintaining the status of each and every word of the Bible in people’s hearts. So they preferred to forsake their future and the sin offering to condemn Jesus, who did not conform to the doctrine of Scripture, to death. Were they not all lackeys to each and every word of Scripture?
And what of people today? Christ has come to release the truth, yet they would rather expel Him from this world so that they may gain entry into heaven and receive grace. They would rather completely deny the coming of the truth in order to safeguard the interests of the Bible, and they would rather nail the Christ returned to flesh to the cross again in order to ensure the everlasting existence of the Bible. How can man receive My salvation when his heart is so malicious and his nature so antagonistic toward Me? I live among man, yet man does not know of My existence. When I shine My light upon man, he still remains ignorant of My existence. When I unleash My wrath upon man, he denies My existence with even greater vigor. Man searches for compatibility with words and compatibility with the Bible, yet not a single person comes before Me to seek the way of compatibility with the truth. Man looks up to Me in heaven and devotes particular concern to My existence in heaven, yet no one cares about Me in the flesh, for I who live among man am simply too insignificant. Those who only seek compatibility with the words of the Bible and who only seek compatibility with a vague God are a wretched sight to Me. That is because what they worship are dead words, and a God that is capable of giving them untold treasures; what they worship is a God that would lay Himself at the mercy of man—a God who does not exist. What, then, can such people gain from Me? Man is simply too lowly for words. Those who are against Me, who make limitless demands of Me, who have no love of the truth, who are rebellious toward Me—how could they be compatible with Me?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. You Should Seek the Way of Compatibility With Christ
140. If you use your own notions to measure and delimit God, as if God were an unchanging statue of clay, and if you completely delimit God within the parameters of the Bible and contain Him within a limited scope of work, then this proves that you have condemned God. Because the Jews in the age of the Old Testament took God to be an idol of fixed form that they held in their hearts, as if God could only be called the Messiah, and only He who was called the Messiah could be God, and because humanity served and worshiped God as if He were a (lifeless) clay statue, they nailed the Jesus of that time to the cross, sentencing Him to death—the guiltless Jesus was thus condemned to death. God was innocent of any offense, yet man refused to spare Him, and insisted on sentencing Him to death, and so Jesus was crucified. Man always believes that God is unchanging, and defines Him on the basis of one single book, the Bible, as though man has a perfect understanding of God’s management, as though man holds all that God does in the palm of his hand. People are absurd in the extreme, arrogant in the extreme, and they all have a flair for hyperbole. No matter how great your knowledge of God, I still say that you do not know God, that you are someone who opposes God the most, and that you have condemned God, because you are utterly incapable of obeying the work of God and walking the path of being made perfect by God. Why is God never satisfied with the actions of man? Because man does not know God, because he has too many notions, and because his knowledge of God in no way agrees with reality, but instead monotonously repeats the same theme without variation and uses the same approach for every situation. And so, having come to earth today, God is once more nailed to the cross by man.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Wicked Will Surely Be Punished
141. For several millennia, man has longed to be able to witness the arrival of the Savior. Man has longed to behold Jesus the Savior riding a white cloud as He descends, in person, among those who have pined and yearned for Him for thousands of years. Man has also longed for the Savior to return and be reunited with them; that is, longed for Jesus the Savior, who has been separated from people for thousands of years, to come back, and to once again carry out the work of redemption that He did among the Jews, to be compassionate and loving toward man, to forgive the sins of man and bear the sins of man, and even bear all of man’s transgressions and deliver man from sin. What man longs for is for Jesus the Savior to be the same as before—a Savior who is lovable, kind, and venerable, who is never wrathful toward man, and who never reproaches man, but who forgives and takes on all of man’s sins, and who will even, as before, die upon the cross for man. Since Jesus departed, the disciples who followed Him, as well as all of the saints who were saved in His name, have been desperately pining for Him and awaiting Him. All those who were saved by the grace of Jesus Christ during the Age of Grace have been longing for that exultant day in the end time when Jesus the Savior descends on a white cloud to appear before all people. Of course, this is also the collective wish of all those who accept the name of Jesus the Savior today. Everyone in the universe who knows of the salvation of Jesus the Savior has been desperately yearning for Jesus Christ to suddenly arrive to fulfill what Jesus said while on earth: “I shall arrive just as I departed.” Man believes that, following the crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus went back to heaven upon a white cloud to take His place at the Most High’s right hand. In like manner, Jesus shall descend again upon a white cloud (this cloud refers to the cloud that Jesus rode upon when He returned to heaven), among those who have desperately yearned for Him for thousands of years, and He shall bear the image and wear the clothing of the Jews. After appearing to man, He shall bestow food upon them, and cause living water to gush forth for them, and shall live among man, full of grace and full of love, vivid and real. All such notions are what people believe. Yet Jesus the Savior did not do this; He did the opposite of what man conceived. He did not arrive among those who had yearned for His return, and He did not appear to all people while riding upon the white cloud. He has already arrived, but man does not know Him, and remains ignorant of Him. Man is merely awaiting Him aimlessly, unaware that He has already descended upon a “white cloud” (the cloud which is His Spirit, His words, His entire disposition and all that He is), and is now among a group of overcomers that He will make during the last days. Man does not know this: Despite all the affection and love the holy Savior Jesus has for man, how can He work in those “temples” inhabited by filth and impure spirits? Though man has been awaiting His arrival, how could He appear to those who eat the flesh of the unrighteous, drink the blood of the unrighteous, and wear the clothes of the unrighteous, who believe in Him but do not know Him, and who constantly extort Him? Man knows only that Jesus the Savior is full of love and overflowing with compassion, and that He is the sin offering, filled with redemption. However, man has no idea that He is God Himself, who is brimming with righteousness, majesty, wrath, and judgment, possessed of authority, and full of dignity. Therefore, even though man eagerly yearns for and craves the return of the Redeemer, and even their prayers move Heaven, Jesus the Savior does not appear to those who believe in Him but do not know Him.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a “White Cloud”
142. If, as man imagines, Jesus will come again and, in the last days, still be called Jesus, and still come on a white cloud, descending among men in the image of Jesus: would that not be a repetition of His work? Is the Holy Spirit capable of clinging to the old? All that man believes are notions, and all that man understands is according to the literal meaning, and also according to his imagination; they are at odds with the principles of the work of the Holy Spirit, and do not conform to the intentions of God. God would not work in that way; God is not so foolish and stupid, and His work is not so simple as you imagine. Based on everything that man imagines, Jesus will come riding on a cloud and descend in your midst. You shall behold Him who, riding a cloud, shall tell you that He is Jesus. You shall also behold the nail marks in His hands, and shall know Him to be Jesus. And He shall save you again, and shall be your mighty God. He shall save you, bestow upon you a new name, and give each of you a white stone, after which you shall be allowed to enter the kingdom of heaven and be received into paradise. Are such beliefs not the notions of man? Does God work according to the notions of man, or does He work counter to the notions of man? Do not the notions of man all derive from Satan? Has not all of man been corrupted by Satan? If God did His work according to the notions of man, would He not then become Satan? Would He not be of the same kind as His own creations? Since His creations have now been so corrupted by Satan that man has become Satan’s embodiment, if God were to work in accordance with the things of Satan, would He not then be in league with Satan? How can man fathom the work of God? Therefore, God would never work according to the notions of man, and would never work in the ways you imagine. There are those who say that God Himself said that He would arrive on a cloud. It is true that God said so Himself, but do you not know that no man can fathom the mysteries of God? Do you not know that no man can explain the words of God? Are you certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you were enlightened and illuminated by the Holy Spirit? Surely it was not that the Holy Spirit showed you in such a direct manner? Was it the Holy Spirit who instructed you, or did your own notions lead you to think so? You said, “This was said by God Himself.” But we cannot use our own notions and minds to measure the words of God. As for the words spoken by Isaiah, can you with absolute certainty explain his words? Do you dare to explain his words? Since you do not dare to explain the words of Isaiah, why do you dare to explain the words of Jesus? Who is more exalted, Jesus or Isaiah? Since the answer is Jesus, why do you explain the words spoken by Jesus? Would God tell you of His work in advance? Not a single creature can know, not even the messengers in heaven, nor the Son of man, so how could you know?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Vision of God’s Work (3)
143. Do you wish to know the root of why the Pharisees opposed Jesus? Do you wish to know the essence of the Pharisees? They were full of fantasies about the Messiah. What is more, they believed only that the Messiah would come, yet did not seek the life truth. And so, even today they still await the Messiah, for they have no knowledge of the way of life, and do not know what the way of truth is. How, say you, could such foolish, stubborn and ignorant people gain God’s blessing? How could they behold the Messiah? They opposed Jesus because they did not know the direction of the Holy Spirit’s work, because they did not know the way of truth spoken by Jesus, and, furthermore, because they did not understand the Messiah. And since they had never seen the Messiah and had never been in the company of the Messiah, they made the mistake of clinging in vain to the name of the Messiah while opposing the essence of the Messiah by any means possible. These Pharisees in essence were stubborn, arrogant, and did not obey the truth. The principle of their belief in God was: No matter how profound Your preaching, no matter how high Your authority, You are not Christ unless You are called the Messiah. Are these views not preposterous and ridiculous? I will ask you further: Is it not extremely easy for you to commit the mistakes of the earliest Pharisees, given that you have not the slightest understanding of Jesus? Are you able to discern the way of truth? Can you truly guarantee that you will not oppose Christ? Are you able to follow the work of the Holy Spirit? If you do not know whether you will oppose Christ, then I say that you are already living on the brink of death. Those who did not know the Messiah were all capable of opposing Jesus, of rejecting Jesus, of slandering Him. People who do not understand Jesus are all capable of rejecting Him and reviling Him. Moreover, they are capable of seeing the return of Jesus as the deceit of Satan, and more people shall condemn Jesus returned to flesh. Does not all of this make you afraid? What you face shall be blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the ruination of the words of the Holy Spirit to the churches, and the spurning of all that is expressed by Jesus. What can you gain from Jesus if you are so befuddled? How can you understand the work of Jesus when He returns to flesh on a white cloud, if you obstinately refuse to realize your errors? I tell you this: People who do not receive the truth, yet blindly await the arrival of Jesus upon white clouds, will surely blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, and they are the category that shall be destroyed. You merely wish for the grace of Jesus, and merely want to enjoy the blissful realm of heaven, yet you have never obeyed the words spoken by Jesus, and have never received the truth expressed by Jesus when He returns to flesh. What will you hold up in exchange for the fact of Jesus’ return upon a white cloud? Is it the sincerity in which you repeatedly commit sins, and then speak your confession, over and over? What will you offer in sacrifice to Jesus who returns upon a white cloud? Is it the years of work with which you exalt yourselves? What will you hold up to make the returned Jesus trust you? Is it that arrogant nature of yours, which does not obey any truth?
—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
144. 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 revere 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 reverence for God? 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 of 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 be humble and reverential. 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 your heart holding such meager reverence for God, 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.
—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
145. You have not believed in God for very long, yet you have a lot of notions about Him, to the point that you dare not for a second think that the God of the Israelites would deign to grace you with His presence. Even less do you dare to think about how you could see God make a personal appearance, given how unbearably filthy you are. Neither have you ever thought about how God could personally descend into a Gentile land. He ought to descend on Mount Sinai or the Mount of Olives and appear to Israelites. Are not the Gentiles (that is, people outside of Israel) all objects of His loathing? How could He personally work among them? All these are the deep-rooted notions that you have developed over many years. The purpose of conquering you today is to shatter these notions of yours. Thus do you behold God’s personal appearance among you—not on Mount Sinai or on the Mount of Olives, but among people He has never led before. After God carried out His two stages of work in Israel, Israelites and all Gentiles alike came to harbor the notion that while it is true that God created all things, He is only willing to be the God of Israelites, not the God of Gentiles. Israelites believe the following: God can only be our God, not the God of you Gentiles, and because you do not revere Jehovah, therefore Jehovah—our God—loathes you. Those Jewish people also believe the following: The Lord Jesus assumed the image of us Jewish people and is a God who bears the mark of the Jewish people. It is among us that God works. God’s image and our image are similar; our image is close to God’s. The Lord Jesus is the King of us Jews; Gentiles are not qualified to receive such great salvation. The Lord Jesus is the sin offering for us Jews. It was merely on the basis of those two stages of work that Israelites and the Jewish people formed all these notions. They domineeringly claim God for themselves, not allowing that God is also the God of the Gentiles. In this way, God became an empty space in the hearts of Gentiles. This is because everyone came to believe that God does not want to be the God of the Gentiles and that He only likes Israelites—His chosen people—and the Jewish people, especially the disciples who followed Him. Do you not know that the work that Jehovah and Jesus did is for the survival of all mankind? Do you now acknowledge that God is the God of all of you born outside of Israel? Is God not right here in your midst today? This cannot be a dream, can it? Do you not accept this reality? You dare not believe it or think about it. Regardless of how you see it, is not God right here in your midst? Are you still afraid to believe these words? From this day on, are all conquered people and all who wish to be God’s followers not God’s chosen people? Are not all of you, who are followers today, the chosen people outside of Israel? Is your status not the same as the Israelites? Is not all this what you should recognize? Is this not the goal of the work of conquering you? Since you can see God, He will be your God forever, from the beginning and into the future. He will not abandon you, so long as all of you are willing to follow Him and to be His loyal, obedient creatures.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (3)
146. Only by putting aside your old notions can you gain new knowledge, yet old knowledge is not necessarily equivalent to old notions. “Notions” refers to the things imagined by man that are at odds with reality. If the old knowledge was already outdated in the old age and stopped man from entering into the new work, then such knowledge is also a notion. If man is able to take the correct approach to such knowledge and can come to know God from several different aspects, combining the old and the new, then the old knowledge becomes an aid to man, and becomes the basis by which man enters the new age. The lesson of knowing God requires you to master many principles: how to enter onto the path to knowing God, which truths you must understand in order to know God, and how to get rid of your notions and old nature so that you may submit to all of the arrangements of God’s new work. If you use these principles as the foundation for entering into the lesson of knowing God, then your knowledge will become deeper and deeper. If you have a clear knowledge of the three stages of work—which is to say, of God’s entire plan of management—and if you can fully correlate the previous two stages of God’s work with the present stage, and see that it is work done by one God, then you will have an incomparably sturdy foundation. … If man can see in the three stages of work that they were carried out by God Himself at different times, in different places, and in different people; if man can see that although the work is different, it is all done by one God, and that since it is work done by one God, then it must be right and without error, and that though it is at odds with the notions of man, there is no denying that it is the work of one God—if man can say for sure that it is the work of one God, then the notions of man will be reduced to mere trifles, unworthy of mention. Because the visions of man are unclear, and because man only knows Jehovah as God, and Jesus as the Lord, and is in two minds about the God incarnate of today, many people remain devoted to the work of Jehovah and Jesus, and are beset by notions about the work of today, most people are always doubtful, and do not take the work of today seriously. Man has no notions toward the last two stages of work, which were invisible. That is because man does not understand the reality of the last two stages of work, and did not personally witness them. It is because these stages of work cannot be seen that man imagines as he likes; regardless of what he comes up with, there are no facts to prove such imaginings, and no one to correct them. Man gives free rein to his natural instinct, throwing caution to the wind and letting his imagination run free, for there are no facts to verify his imaginings, and so man’s imaginings become “fact,” regardless of whether there is any proof to them. Thus man believes in his own imagined God in his mind, and does not seek the God of reality. If one person has one kind of belief, then among a hundred people there are a hundred kinds of belief. Man is possessed of such beliefs because he has not seen the reality of God’s work, because he has only heard it with his ears and has not beheld it with his eyes. Man has heard legends and stories—but rarely has he heard the knowledge of the facts of God’s work. Thus it is that people who have only been believers for a year come to believe in God through their own notions. The same is also true for those who have believed in God their entire lives. Those who cannot see the facts will never be able to escape from a faith in which they have notions about God. Man believes that he has freed himself from the bonds of his old notions, and has entered new territory. Does man not know that the knowledge of those who cannot see the true face of God is nothing but notions and hearsay? Man thinks that his notions are right and without error, and he thinks that these notions come from God. Today, when man witnesses the work of God, he lets loose notions that have built up over many years. The imaginings and ideas of the past have become an obstruction to the work of this stage, and it has become difficult for man to let go of such notions and to refute such ideas. The notions toward this step-by-step work of many of those who have followed God until today have become ever more grievous, and these people have gradually formed a stubborn enmity to the God incarnate. The source of this hatred lies in the notions and imaginings of man. The notions and imaginings of man have become the enemy of the work of today, work which is at odds with the notions of man. This has happened precisely because facts do not allow man to give free rein to his imagination, and, moreover, cannot be easily refuted by man, and the notions and imaginings of man do not brook the existence of facts, and, furthermore, because man does not give thought to the correctness and veracity of facts, and merely single-mindedly lets loose his notions and employs his own imagination. This can only be said to be the fault of the notions of man, and cannot be said to be a fault of the work of God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God
147. People say that God is a righteous God, and that as long as man follows Him to the very end, He will surely be impartial toward man, for He is most righteous. If man follows Him to the very end, could He cast man aside? I am impartial toward all men, and judge all men with My righteous disposition, yet there are suitable conditions to the requirements I make of man, and that which I require must be accomplished by all men, regardless of who they are. I care not how your qualifications are, or how long you have held them; I care only whether you walk in My way, and whether or not you love and thirst for the truth. If you lack the truth, and instead bring shame upon My name, and do not act according to My way, merely following without care or concern, then at that time I will strike you down and punish you for your evil, and what will you have to say then? Will you be able to say that God is not righteous? Today, if you have complied with the words I have spoken, then you are the kind of person whom I approve. You say you have always suffered whilst following God, that you have followed Him through thick and thin, and have shared with Him the good times and the bad, but you have not lived out the words spoken by God; you wish only to run about for God and expend yourself for God each day, and have never thought to live out a life of meaning. You also say, “In any case, I believe God is righteous. I have suffered for Him, run around for Him, and devoted myself for Him, and I have worked hard despite not receiving any recognition; He is sure to remember me.” It is true that God is righteous, yet this righteousness is untainted by any impurities: It contains no human will, and it is not tainted by the flesh, or by human transactions. All who are rebellious and in opposition, all who are not in compliance with His way, will be punished; none is forgiven, and none is spared! Some people say, “Today I run around for You; when the end comes, can You give me a little blessing?” So I ask you, “Have you complied with My words?” The righteousness that you speak of is based on a transaction. You think only that I am righteous and impartial toward all men, and that all those who follow Me to the very end are sure to be saved and gain My blessings. There is inner meaning to My words that “all those who follow Me to the very end are sure to be saved”: Those who follow Me to the very end are the ones who will be fully gained by Me, they are those who, after being conquered by Me, seek the truth and are made perfect. What conditions have you achieved? You have only achieved following Me to the very end, but what else? Have you complied with My words? You have accomplished one of My five requirements, yet you have no intention of accomplishing the remaining four. You have simply found the simplest, easiest path, and pursued it with an attitude of just hoping to get lucky. Toward such a person as you My righteous disposition is one of chastisement and judgment, it is one of righteous retribution, and it is the righteous punishment of all evildoers; all those who do not walk in My way will surely be punished, even if they follow to the very end. This is the righteousness of God. When this righteous disposition is expressed in the punishment of man, man will be dumbfounded, and feel regret that, whilst following God, he did not walk in His way. “At that time, I only suffered a little whilst following God, but did not walk in the way of God. What excuses are there? There is no option but to be chastised!” Yet in his mind he is thinking, “Anyway, I have followed to the very end, so even if You chastise me, it can’t be too severe a chastisement, and after exacting this chastisement You will still want me. I know You are righteous, and will not treat me that way forever. After all, I’m not like those who will be wiped out; those who are to be wiped out will receive a heavy chastisement, whereas my chastisement will be lighter.” Righteous disposition is not as you say. It is not the case that those who are good at confessing their sins are dealt with leniently. Righteousness is holiness, and is a disposition that is intolerant of offense by man, and all that is filthy and has not changed is the target of God’s disgust. God’s righteous disposition is not law, but administrative decree: It is administrative decree within the kingdom, and this administrative decree is the righteous punishment of anyone who does not possess the truth and has not changed, and there is no margin for salvation. For when each man is classified according to kind, the good will be rewarded and the evil will be punished. It is when the destination of man will be made clear; it is the time that the work of salvation will come to an end, after which, the work of saving man will no longer be done, and retribution will be brought upon every one of those who commit evil. Some people say, “God remembers every one of those who are often by His side. He will not forget any one of us. We are guaranteed to be made perfect by God. He will not remember any of those below, those among the people below who will be made perfect are guaranteed to be less than us, we who often encounter God; among us none have been forgotten by God, we have all been approved by God, and we are guaranteed to be made perfect by God.” You all have such notions. Is this righteousness? Have you put the truth into practice or not? You actually spread rumors such as these—you have no shame!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment
148. Know that you oppose God’s work, or use your own notions to measure the work of today, because you do not know the principles of God’s work, and because you do not take the work of the Holy Spirit seriously enough. Your opposition to God and obstruction of the work of the Holy Spirit is caused by your notions and inherent arrogance. It is not because God’s work is wrong, but because you are naturally too disobedient. After finding their belief in God, some people cannot even say with certainty where man came from, yet they dare to make public speeches appraising the rights and wrongs of the Holy Spirit’s work. They even lecture the apostles who have the Holy Spirit’s new work, passing comment and speaking out of turn; their humanity is too low, and there is not the slightest sense in them. Will the day not come when such people are rejected by the work of the Holy Spirit, and burned by the fires of hell? They do not know the work of God, but instead criticize His work, and also try to instruct God how to work. How can such unreasonable people know God? Man comes to know God during the process of seeking and experiencing; it is not through criticizing at whim that man comes to know God through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. The more accurate people’s knowledge of God becomes, the less they oppose Him. In contrast, the less people know of God, the more likely they are to oppose Him. Your notions, your old nature, and your humanity, character and moral outlook are the “capital” with which you resist God, and the more corrupt, degraded and low you become, the more you are the enemy of God. Those who are possessed of strong notions and who have a self-righteous disposition are even more in enmity of God incarnate; such people are the antichrists. If your notions are not rectified, then they will always be against God; you will never be compatible with God, and will always be apart from Him.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God
149. After the truth of Jesus become flesh came to be, man believed this: Not only the Father is in heaven, but also the Son, and even the Spirit. This is the conventional notion man holds, that there is a God such as this in heaven: a triune God who is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All mankind has these notions: God is one God, but comprises three parts, what all those grievously entrenched in conventional notions deem to be the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Only those three parts made one is all of God. Without the Holy Father, God would not be whole. Similarly, neither would God be whole without the Son or the Holy Spirit. In their notions, they believe that neither the Father alone nor the Son alone can be deemed God. Only the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit together can be deemed God Himself. Now, all religious believers, and even each follower among you, hold this belief. Yet, as for whether this belief is correct, none can explain, for you are always in a fog of confusion about the matters of God Himself. Though these are notions, you do not know whether they are right or wrong, for you have become too grievously infected by religious notions. You have accepted too deeply these conventional notions of religion, and this poison has seeped too deep within you. Therefore, so too in this matter have you succumbed to this pernicious influence, for the triune God simply does not exist. That is, the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit simply does not exist. These are all conventional notions of man, and the fallacious beliefs of man. Throughout many centuries, man has believed in this Trinity, conjured up by notions in the mind of man, fabricated by man, and never before seen by man. Throughout these many years, there have been many Bible expositors who have explained the “true meaning” of the Trinity, but such explanations of the triune God as three distinct consubstantial persons have been vague and unclear, and people are all befuddled by the “construct” of God. No great man has ever been able to offer a thorough explanation; most explanations pass muster in terms of reasoning and on paper, but not a single man has a fully clear understanding of its meaning. This is because this great Trinity man holds in the heart simply does not exist. …
If the three stages of work are assessed in accordance with this concept of the Trinity, then there must be three Gods as the work carried out by each is not the same. If any among you says that the Trinity indeed exists, then explain what exactly this one God in three persons is. What is the Holy Father? What is the Son? What is the Holy Spirit? Is Jehovah the Holy Father? Is Jesus the Son? Then what of the Holy Spirit? Is not the Father a Spirit? Is not the essence of the Son also a Spirit? Was not the work of Jesus the work of the Holy Spirit? Was not the work of Jehovah at the time carried out by a Spirit the same as Jesus’? How many Spirits can God have? According to your explanation, the three persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one; if this be so, then there are three Spirits, but to have three Spirits means there are three Gods. This means that there is no one true God; how can this kind of God still have the inherent essence of God? If you accept that there is only one God, then how can He have a son and be a father? Are these not all simply your notions? There is only one God, only one person in this God, and only one Spirit of God, much as it is written down in the Bible that “There is only one Holy Spirit and only one God.” Regardless of whether the Father and the Son of which you speak exist, there is only one God after all, and the essence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit you believe in is the essence of the Holy Spirit. In other words, God is a Spirit, but He is able to become flesh and live among men, as well as to be above all things. His Spirit is all-inclusive and omnipresent. He can simultaneously be in the flesh and in and above the universe. Since all people say that God is the only one true God, then there is a single God, divisible at will by none! God is only one Spirit, and only one person; and that is the Spirit of God. If it is as you say, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, then are They not three Gods? The Holy Spirit is one matter, the Son another, and the Father yet another. Their persons are different and Their essences are different, so how then can They each be part of a single God? The Holy Spirit is a Spirit; this is easy for man to understand. If this be so, then the Father is even more so a Spirit. He has never descended onto earth and has never become flesh; He is Jehovah God in the heart of man, and He is certainly a Spirit as well. Then what is the relationship between Him and the Holy Spirit? Is it the relationship between Father and Son? Or is it the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of the Father? Is the essence of each Spirit the same? Or is the Holy Spirit an instrument of the Father? How can this be explained? And then what is the relationship between the Son and the Holy Spirit? Is it a relationship between two Spirits or the relationship between a man and a Spirit? These are all matters that can have no explanation! If They are all one Spirit, then there can be no talk of three persons, for They are possessed of a single Spirit. If They were distinct persons, then Their Spirits would vary in strength, and They simply could not be one single Spirit. This concept of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is most absurd! This segments God and splits Him into three persons, each with a status and Spirit; how then can He still be one Spirit and one God? Tell Me, were the heavens and earth, and all things within created by the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit? Some say that They created it all together. Then who redeemed mankind? Was it the Holy Spirit, the Son, or the Father? Some say it was the Son who redeemed mankind. Then who is the Son in essence? Is He not the incarnation of the Spirit of God? The incarnation calls God in heaven by the name of Father from the perspective of a created man. Are you not aware that Jesus was born through the conception of the Holy Spirit? Within Him is the Holy Spirit; whatever you say, He is still one with God in heaven, for He is the incarnation of the Spirit of God. This idea of the Son is simply untrue. It is one Spirit who carries out all of the work; only God Himself, that is, the Spirit of God carries out His work. Who is the Spirit of God? Is it not the Holy Spirit? Is it not the Holy Spirit who works in Jesus? If the work had not been carried out by the Holy Spirit (that is, the Spirit of God), then could His work have represented God Himself? When Jesus called God in heaven by the name of Father as He prayed, this was done only from the perspective of a created man, only because the Spirit of God had put on an ordinary and normal flesh and had the exterior cover of a created being. Even if within Him was the Spirit of God, His exterior appearance was still that of a normal man; in other words, He had become the “Son of man” of which all men, including Jesus Himself, spoke. Given that He is called the Son of man, He is a person (whether man or woman, in any case one with the exterior shell of a human being) born into a normal family of ordinary people. Therefore, Jesus calling God in heaven by the name of Father was the same as how you at first called Him Father; He did so from the perspective of a created man. Do you still remember the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus taught you to memorize? “Our Father in heaven….” He asked all men to call God in heaven by the name of Father. And since He too called Him Father, He did so from the perspective of one who stands on an equal footing with you all. Since you called God in heaven by the name of Father, this shows that Jesus saw Himself to be on equal footing with you, and as a man on earth chosen by God (that is, the Son of God). If you call God Father, is this not because you are a created being? However great the authority of Jesus on earth, prior to the crucifixion, He was merely a Son of man, governed by the Holy Spirit (that is, God), and one of the earth’s created beings, for He had yet to complete His work. Therefore, His calling God in heaven Father was solely His humility and obedience. His addressing God (that is, the Spirit in heaven) in such a manner, however, does not prove that He was the Son of the Spirit of God in heaven. Rather, it was simply that His perspective was different, not that He was a different person. The existence of distinct persons is a fallacy! Prior to His crucifixion, Jesus was a Son of man bound by the limitations of the flesh, and He did not fully possess the authority of the Spirit. That is why He could only seek the will of God the Father from the perspective of a created being. It is as He thrice prayed in Gethsemane: “Not as I will, but as You will.” Before He was laid on the cross, He was but the King of the Jews; He was Christ, the Son of man, and not a body of glory. That is why, from the standpoint of a created being, He called God Father. Now, you cannot say that all who call God Father are the Son. If this were so, then would you not have all become the Son once Jesus taught you the Lord’s Prayer? If you are still not convinced, then tell Me, who is the one that you call Father? If you are referring to Jesus, then who is the Father of Jesus to you? After Jesus went away, this idea of the Father and the Son was no more. This idea was only appropriate for the years when Jesus became flesh; under all other circumstances, the relationship is one between the Lord of creation and a created being when you call God Father. There is no time at which this idea of the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit can stand; it is a fallacy rarely seen through the ages and it does not exist!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Does the Trinity Exist?
150. In the Old Testament of the Bible, there is no mention of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, only of the one true God, Jehovah, carrying out His work in Israel. He is called by different names as the age changes, but this cannot prove that each name refers to a different person. If this were so, then would there not be innumerable persons in God? What is written in the Old Testament is the work of Jehovah, a stage of work of God Himself for commencement in the Age of Law. It was the work of God, and as He spoke, it was, and as He commanded, it stood. At no time did Jehovah say that He was the Father come to carry out work, nor did He ever prophesy the Son coming to redeem mankind. When it came to the time of Jesus, it was only said that God had become flesh to redeem all mankind, not that it was the Son who had come. Because the ages are not alike and the work that God Himself does also differs, He needs to carry out His work within different realms. In this way, the identity He represents also differs. Man believes that Jehovah is the Father of Jesus, but this was actually not acknowledged by Jesus, who said: “We were never distinguished as Father and Son; I and the Father in heaven are one. The Father is in Me and I am in the Father; when man sees the Son, they are seeing the heavenly Father.” When all has been said, be it the Father or the Son, They are one Spirit, not divided into separate persons. Once man attempts to explain, matters are complicated with the idea of distinct persons, as well as the relationship between Father, Son, and Spirit. When man speaks of separate persons, does this not materialize God? Man even ranks the persons as first, second, and third; these are all but the imaginings of man, not worthy of reference, and utterly unrealistic! If you asked him: “How many Gods are there?” he would say that God is the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: the one true God. If you asked again: “Who is the Father?” he would say: “The Father is the Spirit of God in heaven; He is in charge of all, and is the Master of heaven.” “Then is Jehovah the Spirit?” He would say: “Yes!” If you then asked him, “Who is the Son?” he would say that Jesus is the Son, of course. “Then what is the story of Jesus? From whence did He come?” He would say: “Jesus was born to Mary through the conception of the Holy Spirit.” Then is His essence not the Spirit as well? Is not His work also representative of the Holy Spirit? Jehovah is the Spirit, and so too is the essence of Jesus. Now in the last days, needless to say it is still the Spirit at work; how could They be different persons? Is it not simply the Spirit of God carrying out the work of the Spirit from different perspectives? As such, there is no distinction between persons. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and indubitably, His work was precisely that of the Holy Spirit. In the first stage of work carried out by Jehovah, He neither became flesh nor appeared to man. So man never saw His appearance. No matter how great and how tall He was, He was still the Spirit, God Himself who first created man. That is, He was the Spirit of God. When He spoke to man from among the clouds, He was merely a Spirit. None witnessed His appearance; only in the Age of Grace when the Spirit of God came into the flesh and was incarnated in Judea did man see for the first time the image of the incarnation as a Jew. The feeling of Jehovah could not be sensed. However, He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, that is, conceived by the Spirit of Jehovah Himself, and Jesus was still born as the embodiment of the Spirit of God. What man first saw was the Holy Spirit descending like a dove upon Jesus; it was not the Spirit exclusive to Jesus, but rather the Holy Spirit. Then can the Spirit of Jesus be separated from the Holy Spirit? If Jesus is Jesus, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit, then how could They be one? The work could not be carried out if so. The Spirit within Jesus, the Spirit in heaven, and the Spirit of Jehovah are all one. It can be called the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the sevenfold intensified Spirit, and the all-inclusive Spirit. The Spirit of God can carry out much work. He is able to create the world and destroy it by flooding the earth; He can redeem all mankind, and moreover, He can conquer and destroy all mankind. This work is all carried out by God Himself and cannot have been done by any other of the persons of God in His stead. His Spirit can be called by the name of Jehovah and Jesus, as well as the Almighty. He is the Lord, and Christ. He can also become the Son of man. He is in the heavens and also on the earth; He is on high above the universes and among the multitude. He is the only Master of the heavens and earth! From the time of creation until now, this work has been carried out by the Spirit of God Himself. Be it the work in the heavens or in the flesh, all is carried out by His own Spirit. All creatures, whether in heaven or on earth, are in the palm of His almighty hand; all of this is the work of God Himself and can be done by no other in His stead. In the heavens, He is the Spirit but also God Himself; among men, He is flesh but remains God Himself. Though He may be called by hundreds of thousands of names, He is still Himself, and all the work is the direct expression of His Spirit. The redemption of all mankind through His crucifixion was the direct work of His Spirit, and so too is the proclamation unto all nations and all lands during the last days. At all times, God can only be called the almighty and one true God, the all-inclusive God Himself. The distinct persons do not exist, much less this idea of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. There is only one God in heaven and on earth!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Does the Trinity Exist?
151. Still some may say: “The Father is the Father; the Son is the Son; the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit, and in the end, They will be made one.” Then how should you make Them one? How can the Father and the Holy Spirit be made one? If They were inherently two, then no matter how They are joined together, would They not remain two parts? When you talk about making Them one, is that not simply joining two separate parts to make one whole? But were They not two parts before being made whole? Each Spirit has a distinct essence, and two Spirits cannot be made into a single one. The Spirit is not a material object and is unlike anything else in the material world. As man sees it, the Father is one Spirit, the Son another, and the Holy Spirit yet another, then the three Spirits mix like three glasses of water into one whole. Is not that then the three made one? This is purely an erroneous explanation! Is this not splitting up God? How can the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all be made one? Are They not three parts each of different natures? There are still those who say, “Did not God expressly state that Jesus was His beloved Son?” Jesus is the beloved Son of God, in whom He is well pleased—this was certainly spoken by God Himself. That was God bearing witness to Himself, but merely from a different perspective, that of the Spirit in heaven bearing witness to His own incarnation. Jesus is His incarnation, not His Son in heaven. Do you understand? Do not the words of Jesus, “I am in the Father, and the Father in Me,” indicate that They are one Spirit? And is it not because of the incarnation that They were separated between heaven and earth? In reality, They are still one; no matter what, it is simply God bearing witness to Himself. Owing to the change in ages, the requirements of the work, and the differing stages of His management plan, the name by which man calls Him also differs. When He came to carry out the first stage of work, He could only be called Jehovah, shepherd of the Israelites. In the second stage, the incarnate God could only be called Lord, and Christ. But at that time, the Spirit in heaven stated only that He was the beloved Son of God and made no mention of His being the only Son of God. This simply did not happen. How could God have an only child? Then would God not have become man? Because He was the incarnation, He was called the beloved Son of God, and, from this, came the relationship between Father and Son. It was simply because of the separation between heaven and earth. Jesus prayed from the perspective of the flesh. Since He had put on a flesh of such normal humanity, it is from the perspective of the flesh that He said: “My outer shell is that of a created being. Since I put on a flesh to come to this earth, I am now a long, long way from heaven.” For this reason, He could only pray to God the Father from the perspective of the flesh. This was His duty, and it was that which the incarnate Spirit of God should be furnished with. It cannot be said that He was not God simply because He prayed to the Father from the perspective of the flesh. Though He was called the beloved Son of God, He was still God Himself, for He was but the incarnation of the Spirit, and His essence was still the Spirit.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Does the Trinity Exist?