Question 3: You say that Christ is the truth, the way, and the life. This is the Holy Spirit’s testimony and is unquestionable. But the Bible also has recorded the words of some great spiritual adepts and apostles of the Lord Jesus. Do their expressions count as God’s word? If what they say also really counts as God’s word, then are they not also the truth, the way, and the life? As far as I can tell, there’s no difference between their words and those of the Lord Jesus, all count as God’s word. Why don’t they count as the truth, the way, and the life?
Answer: If believers can truly recognize that Christ is the truth, the way, and the life, this is truly precious, and shows that such believers have a true knowledge of Christ’s substance. Only such a person can be said to really know God. Christ is the practical God incarnate. Only those that recognize Christ and can obey Him really know God because the truth, the way, and the life all arise from God, all come from the expressions of the incarnate Christ. Other than Christ, no one can be said to be the truth, the way, and the life, very few people understand this. God uses man’s ability to recognize God’s incarnation as the standard by which He tests man. Only those that meet this standard in their belief may attain God’s commendation. All those that accept and obey God’s incarnation are the overcomers who are raptured before God to be first perfected. Those that cannot accept and obey Christ will be sent to endure the suffering of the calamities because they do not recognize God’s incarnation and are considered foolish virgins. Just as when the Lord Jesus came, He brought all those lovers of truth and those that accepted His word and truly followed Him atop the mountain, guiding and teaching them personally, while paying not the slightest bit of attention to those of the religious world and those that only believed in God for their own personal benefit because they believed only in the vague God of the high heavens and didn’t accept God’s incarnation. They were blind in their inability to recognize God. So only those that accept and obey the incarnate Christ will receive God’s commendation and be perfected by Him. Why is it that only Christ is the truth, the way, and the life? Let’s read a passage of Almighty God’s word: “Not just anyone can possess the way of life, nor can every single person easily obtain it. That is because life can only come from God, which is to say, only God Himself possesses the substance of life, and only God Himself has the way of life. And so only God is the source of life, and the ever-flowing wellspring of living water of life. Ever since He created the world, God has done much work involving the vitality of life, has done much work that brings life to man, and has paid a great price so that man might gain life. This is because God Himself is eternal life, and God Himself is the way by which man is resurrected. … only God possesses the way of life. Since His life is immutable, it is thus eternal; since only God is the way of life, God Himself is thus the way of eternal life” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From Almighty God’s word we see that the truth, the way, and the life all come from God. Only God Himself possesses the way of life. The Bible says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jhn 1:1). The Word is God. The Word is God’s word. The Word is the truth, the way, and the life. The Word becoming flesh refers to God’s Spirit materialized in the flesh, that is, the truth, the way, and the life have all come in the flesh. Just as Almighty God says, “The Word has become flesh and the Spirit of truth has been realized in the flesh—that all the truth, the way, and the life has come in the flesh, God’s Spirit has really arrived on earth and the Spirit has come in the flesh…” (“Practice (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s two incarnations are both testimony to the fact that He is the truth, the way, and the life. This gave man a profound revelation, it showed them that only Christ is the truth, the way, and the life Christ’s words and work, all that He has and is are the truth, the way, and the life. This is Christ’s substance. When Christ expresses God’s word, He does so as God Himself doing God’s work, concluding the previous age and initiating a new one, doing the work of an entire age for all of mankind. The word of God that Christ expresses is the entirety of His word in one stage of the work. It is truly the expression of God’s disposition, all that God has and is, the mystery of God’s management plan, and God’s demands and intention for mankind. All of His word is the truth. Not only can it constitute man’s life, it can also supply man with life. Just as when the Lord Jesus came, He expressed all the truth that man required in the Age of Grace, allowing man to confess his sins, repent and return before God, qualifying him to pray to God and come before God to enjoy His grace, and see His compassion and love. This was the effect achieved by the work of redemption. The Lord Jesus’ work allowed man’s sins to be forgiven, redeeming men from sin. The Lord Jesus carried out a stage of work of redeeming mankind, initiating the Age of Grace and concluding the Age of Law. The incarnate Almighty God of the last days has come, expressed all the truths that purify and save mankind, and carried out the work of judgment beginning from the house of God, allowing man to see God’s righteous disposition and almightiness and wisdom, purifying and changing man’s life disposition, so that man may fear God and shun evil, and thoroughly wrest themselves from the influence of Satan, to return before God and be gained by God. Almighty God’s work initiates the Age of Kingdom and concludes the Age of Grace. This shows us that all that Christ says, does, expresses and manifests is all the truth. Only Christ can point man toward the right way, and provide man with life supply and salvation, no man possesses or can express such things. Christ is the wellspring of man’s life, He is the appearance of God. He is the truth, the way, and the life, man’s only redemption and salvation. Apart from Christ, no man possesses the truth, the way, and the life, this fact is plain to see!
Christ is God’s incarnation, so He has divine substance, whereas the prophets and apostles, because they are not God’s incarnation, only possess human substance, so we can’t put the prophets and apostles on the same level as Christ. The incarnate God is the embodiment of truth, and the wellspring of God’s word, so He can express truth directly to supply man with life, whereas the prophets and apostles can only pass on God’s word, or, with the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, speak words that accord with the truth, but their substance is human, they are not God incarnate. So they certainly do not have truth, and cannot express truth. They are just those that God uses to water, supply and guide His chosen, they are fulfilling their human duties, they certainly aren’t qualified to directly speak the Holy Spirit’s voice. Let’s read some other passages of Almighty God’s word:
“The word of God cannot be made out to be the word of man, and still less can one make the word of man to be the word of God. A man used by God is not the incarnate God, and the incarnate God is not a man used by God. In this, there is an essential difference. … The words of God incarnate open up a new age, guide all of mankind, reveal mysteries, and show man the direction he is to take in the new age. The enlightenment obtained by man is but simple instructions for practice or knowledge. It cannot guide all of mankind into a new age or reveal the mysteries of God Himself. When all is said and done, God is God, and man is man. God has the essence of God, and man has the essence of man. If man views the words spoken by God as simple enlightenment by the Holy Spirit, and takes the words of the apostles and prophets as words personally spoken by God, that would be man’s mistake” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“This is to say that man’s fellowship differs from the word of God. What man fellowships conveys their individual seeing and experience, expressing what they see and experience on the foundation of God’s work. Their responsibility is to find out, after God works or speaks, what they ought to practice or enter into, and then deliver it to followers. … What God expresses is what God Himself is, and this is beyond the reach of man, that is, beyond the reach of man’s thinking. He expresses His work of leading all of mankind, and this is not relevant to the details of human experience, but is instead concerned with His own management. Man expresses his experience while God expresses His being—this being is His inherent disposition and is beyond the reach of man. Man’s experience is his seeing and knowledge acquired based on God’s expression of His being. Such seeing and knowledge are called man’s being. They are expressed on the foundation of man’s inherent disposition and his actual caliber; hence they are also called man’s being” (“God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“Take Paul and Peter, for example. They did not have their own personal experiences prior to walking upon[a] the path led by Jesus. It was only after Jesus led the path that they experienced the words spoken by Jesus, and the path led by Him; from this they gained many experiences, and wrote the epistles” (“Concerning Appellations and Identity” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Almighty God’s word clearly elucidates the difference between the speech and substance of men God uses and those of Christ Himself. Christ is the direct expression of the Holy Spirit, so all that Christ expresses is God’s word and is truth. As for the apostles and spiritual adepts, no matter whether it’s their letters, speech or writings, they only reflect their personal experience and understanding of God’s word. Despite the fact that most of what they say is in keeping with the truth, it can’t be called God’s word. There is still a wide chasm between such writings and the truths that Christ expresses. People believe that what they say is in keeping with the truth because they have received the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit and have experience and understanding of God’s word. But without Christ’s expression of the truth, the apostles and spiritual adepts would have no experience or understanding of God’s word, which is to say that Christ’s word and work serve as the foundation upon which their work is built. Only once Christ had expressed the truth, could the apostles have experience and understanding of it. So, in the context of God’s work, only Christ can express God’s word. The words of those that God uses are only reflective of their personal understanding and experience, they are testimonies to and propagation of the word which Christ has expressed. None of the knowledge of which they discuss can exceed the scope of Christ’s word, and nothing of what they say can achieve the level of profundity of Christ’s own word. So no matter how much their word coincides with the truth, it can never achieve the substance of the truth of God’s word. That’s the fact.
The truth which Christ expresses is inexhaustible. It is the eternal font of living water of life for man. Despite the fact that the prophets receive God’s instruction and convey His word, but the word of God which they convey is quite different from the word God expresses in His work. The prophets can not do God’s work, they can only convey God’s word in special circumstances. They express warnings to God’s chosen people in the context of special circumstances or events, they also communicate exhortation, consolation, and prophecies to guide the people of Israel. The prophets are merely the people that God used in the Age of Law as He raised up in different eras. They were able to convey God’s word through Jehovah God’s instruction. They were merely helping God to complete some minor works, all of what they did constituted fulfillment of their human duties. Without God's instruction, they would lose the function to convey God’s word. This proves that the prophets do not have the truth, the way of life, This is undeniable. When God does the work of initiating an age, all of the work is done by God's incarnation directly, and He expresses all of God’s will for mankind and His work to be done. Which is to say, only Christ can directly express God’s word, only Christ can fulfill the work of “The Word Appears in the Flesh.” The fragmented dispatches of the prophets do not represent God’s age-initiating work. This is unquestionable. No matter how many epistles or tomes the apostles and spiritual adepts wrote, in the end, what they expressed only amounts to their personal experience and understanding, their individual testimony, it cannot be compared to Christ’s expression of God’s word. So no matter whether it’s the people that God uses, the apostles, or spiritual adepts, none of them count as the truth, the way, and the life, they themselves wouldn’t even dare say they are the truth, the way, and the life, and they certainly wouldn’t dare say that the words they spoke were God’s words or the truth. We can all see for ourselves, be it the apostles or the spiritual adepts, no matter how many years they work, there is a limit to what they can do. They can’t save or perfect mankind. Only Christ can save and perfect mankind, this is fact. So only Christ is the truth, the way, and the life. None of the apostles or spiritual adepts are the truth, the way, and the life.
Excerpted from the movie screenplay of The Mystery Of Godliness