1. How exactly should one discern the voice of God? How can one confirm that Almighty God is indeed the Lord Jesus returned?
Bible Verses for Reference:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (Jhn 10:27).
“I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (Jhn 16:12-13).
Relevant Words of God:
The words of God incarnate initiate a new age, guide the whole of mankind, reveal mysteries, and show man the direction ahead in a new age. The enlightenment obtained by man is but simple practice or knowledge. It cannot guide the whole of mankind into a new age or reveal the mystery of God Himself. God, after all, is God, and man is man. God has the substance of God, and man has the substance of man.
from Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh
He who is God’s incarnation shall hold the substance of God, and He who is God’s incarnation shall hold the expression of God. Since God becomes flesh, He shall bring forth the work He must 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 man, and show man the way. Flesh that does not contain the substance of God is surely not the incarnate God; of this there is no doubt. To investigate whether it is God’s incarnate flesh, man must determine this from the disposition He expresses and the words He speaks. Which is to say, whether or not it is God’s incarnate flesh, and whether or not it is the true way, must be judged from His substance. And so, in determining[a] whether it is the flesh of God incarnate, the key is to pay attention to His substance (His work, His words, His disposition, and many more), rather than external appearance. If man sees only His external appearance, and overlooks His substance, then that shows the ignorance and naivety of man.
from Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh
First, He is able to open up a new age; second, He is able to supply the life of man and show man the way to follow. This is sufficient to establish that He is God Himself. At the very least, the work He does can fully represent the Spirit of God, and from such work it can be seen that the Spirit of God is within Him. As the work done by the incarnate God was mainly to usher in a new age, lead new work, and open up new circumstances, these few conditions alone are sufficient to establish that He is God Himself.
from “The Difference Between the Ministry of the Incarnate God and the Duty of Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
… the authority and identity of God are clearly revealed in the wording of God’s utterances. For example, when God says “my covenant is with you, and you shall … have I made you … I will make you…,” phrases such as “you shall” and “I will,” whose wording bears the affirmation of God’s identity and authority, are, in one respect, an indication of the Creator’s faithfulness; in another respect, they are special words used by God, who possesses the identity of the Creator—as well as being part of conventional vocabulary. …
… These words were spoken from the mouth of God, and there is power, majesty, and authority in the words of God. Such might and authority, and the inevitability of the accomplishment of fact, are unattainable by any created or non-created being, and unsurpassable by any created or non-created being. Only the Creator can converse with mankind with such a tone and intonation, and facts have proven that His promises are not empty words, or idle boasts, but are the expression of the unique authority that is unsurpassable by any person, thing, or object.
… When words like these are uttered from the mouth of God, they are a revelation and expression of God’s true disposition, a perfect revelation and manifestation of the substance and authority of God, and there is nothing which is more appropriate and suitable as proof of the Creator’s identity. The manner, tone, and wording of such utterances are precisely the mark of the Creator’s identity, and correspond perfectly to the expression of God’s own identity, and in them there is no pretense, or impurity; they are, completely and utterly, the perfect demonstration of the substance and authority of the Creator.
from “God Himself, the Unique I” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh
God’s word is actually an expression of God’s disposition. From God’s word you can see God’s love for mankind, His salvation of mankind, and the way He saves them … because God’s word is expressed by God as opposed to God using man to write it out. It is personally expressed by God. It is God Himself expressing His own words and His inner voice. Why do we call them heartfelt words? Because they are issued from deep down, expressing His disposition, His will, His thoughts, His love for mankind, His salvation of mankind, and His expectations of mankind. Among God’s words are severe words, gentle and soft words, some considerate words, and there are some revelatory words that are inhumane. If you look only at the revelatory words, you feel that God is quite stern. If you look at only the gentle and soft side, God appears to not have much authority. You must therefore not understand out of context in this. You must look at it from every angle. Sometimes God speaks from a gentle and compassionate perspective, and people see God’s love for mankind; sometimes He speaks from a strict perspective, and people see God’s unoffendable disposition. Man is deplorably filthy and is not worthy of seeing God’s face, and is not worthy of coming before God. People’s coming before God now is purely out of God’s grace. God’s wisdom can be seen from the way God works and the meaning of His work. Even if people don’t come into contact with God, they will still be able to see these things in God’s word.
from “Knowledge of the Incarnation” in Records of Christ’s Talks
This time, God comes to do work not in a spiritual body but in a very ordinary one. Not only is it the body of God’s second incarnation, but also the body in which God returns. It is a very ordinary flesh. In Him, you cannot see anything that is different from others, but you can receive from Him the truths you have never heard before. This insignificant flesh is the embodiment of all the words of truth from God, that which undertakes God’s work in the last days, and an expression of the whole of God’s disposition for man to come to know. Did you not desire greatly to see the God in heaven? Did you not desire greatly to understand the God in heaven? Did you not desire greatly to see the destination of mankind? He will tell you all these secrets that no man has been able to tell you, and He will even tell you of the truths that you do not understand. He is your gate into the kingdom, and your guide into the new age. Such an ordinary flesh holds many unfathomable mysteries. His deeds may be inscrutable to you, but the goal of all the work He does is sufficient for you to see that He is not a simple flesh as man believes. For He represents the will of God as well as the care shown by God toward mankind in the last days. Though you cannot hear the words He speaks that seem to shake the heavens and earth or see His eyes like blazing flames, and though you cannot feel the discipline of His iron rod, you can hear from His words the fury of God and know that God shows compassion for mankind; you can see the righteous disposition of God and His wisdom, and moreover, realize the concern and care that God has for all mankind.
from “Do You Know? God Has Done a Great Thing Among Men” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work and all that man sees of God on earth are supernatural. What you behold with your eyes and what you hear with your ears are all of the supernatural, for His work and His words are incomprehensible and unattainable to man. If something of heaven is brought to earth, how can it be anything but supernatural? The mysteries of the kingdom of heaven were brought to earth, mysteries that were incomprehensible and unfathomable to man, that were too wondrous and wise—were they not all of the supernatural? … What work done by the incarnate God this day is not of the supernatural? His words are incomprehensible and unattainable to you, and His work can be done by no man. What is in His understanding cannot be understood by man, and neither can man know where His knowledge is from. Some say, “I too am ordinary such as You, how is it that I do not know what You know? I am older and richer in experience, yet how can You know of that which I do not?” All of this is unattainable to man. There are even those who wonder: “None truly know of the work that was carried out in Israel; how come You know? Even the Bible expositors can offer no explanation; how come You know?” Are these not all matters of the supernatural? He has not experienced any wonders, yet He knows all and the word comes to Him with the greatest of ease. Is this not of the supernatural? His work exceeds that which is attainable to the flesh. Such work simply cannot be achieved by the thinking of any of flesh and is utterly inconceivable to the mind and reasoning of man. Though He has never read the Bible, He understands the work of God in Israel. And though He stands on earth as He speaks, He speaks of the mysteries of the third heaven. When man looks at these words, a feeling overcomes man, “Is this not the language of the third heaven?” Are these not all matters that exceed what can be achieved by normal man?
from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
He is well aware of the essence of man, He can reveal all kinds of practices pertaining to all kinds of people. He is even better at revealing human corrupt disposition and rebellious behavior. He does not live among the worldly people, but He is aware of the nature of the mortals and all the corruptions of the worldly people. This is what He is. Though He does not deal with the world, He knows the rules of dealing with the world, because He fully understands human nature. He knows about the Spirit’s work that man’s eyes cannot see and that man’s ears cannot hear, both of today and of the past. This includes wisdom that is not a life philosophy and wonder that people find hard to fathom. This is what He is, made open to people and also hidden from people. What He expresses is not what an extraordinary person is, but the inherent attributes and being of the Spirit. He does not travel around the world but knows everything of it. He contacts the “anthropoids” who have no knowledge or insight, but He expresses words that are higher than knowledge and above great men. He lives among a group of obtuse and numb people who do not have humanity and who do not understand the human conventions and lives, but He can ask mankind to live out normal humanity, at the same time revealing the base and low humanity of mankind. All of this are what He is, higher than what any flesh-and-blood person is. For Him, it is unnecessary to experience a complicated, cumbersome and sordid social life to do the work that He needs to do and thoroughly reveal the essence of corrupt mankind. The sordid social life does not edify His flesh. His work and words only reveal man’s disobedience and do not provide man with the experience and lessons for dealing with the world. He does not need to investigate society or man’s family when He supplies man with life. Exposing and judging man is not an expression of the experiences of His flesh; it is to reveal man’s unrighteousness after long knowing man’s disobedience and abhorring mankind’s corruption. The work He does is all to reveal His disposition to man and express His being. Only He can do this work, it is not something that a flesh-and-blood person could achieve.
from “God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
When people experience God’s work, their first knowledge of Him is that He is unfathomable, wise and wonderful, and they unconsciously revere Him and feel the mystery of the work He does, which is beyond the reach of man’s mind. People just want to be able to meet His requirements, to satisfy His desires; they do not wish to exceed Him, because the work that He does goes beyond man’s thinking and imagination and cannot be done by man instead. Even man himself does not know his own inadequacies, while He has opened up a new path and come to bring man into a newer and more beautiful world, so that mankind has made new progress and had a new start. What man feels for Him is not admiration, or rather, is not only admiration. Their deepest experience is awe and love, their feeling is that God is indeed wonderful. He does work that man is unable to do, He says things that man is unable to say. People who have experienced His work always experience an indescribable feeling. People with deeper experiences particularly love God. They always feel His loveliness, feel that His work is so wise, so wonderful, and this thereby generates infinite power among them. It is not fear or occasional love and respect, but deep feeling of God’s compassion and tolerance of man. However, people who have experienced His chastisement and judgment feel Him to be majestic and inviolable.
from “God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
His words carry life power, and show us the way we should walk, and allow us to understand what the truth is. We start to be drawn to His words, we begin to focus on the tone and manner of His speaking, and subconsciously begin to take an interest in the heart’s voice of this unremarkable person. He makes painstaking efforts for us, loses sleep and appetite for us, weeps for us, sighs for us, groans in sickness for us, suffers humiliation for the sake of our destination and salvation, and His heart bleeds and sheds tears for our numbness and rebelliousness. Such being and possessions of His are beyond an ordinary person, and cannot be possessed or attained by any of the corrupted. He has tolerance and patience possessed by no ordinary person, and His love is not possessed by any created being. No one apart from Him can know all of our thoughts, or have such a grasp of our nature and substance, or judge the rebelliousness and corruption of mankind, or speak to us and work among us like this on behalf of the God of heaven. No one except for Him can possess the authority, wisdom, and dignity of God; the disposition of God and what He has and is are issued forth, in their entirety, from Him. No one apart from Him can show us the way and bring us light. No one apart from Him can reveal the mysteries God has not disclosed from creation until today. No one apart from Him can save us from Satan’s bondage and our corrupt disposition. He represents God, and expresses the heart’s voice of God, the exhortations of God, and the words of judgment of God toward all mankind. He has begun a new age, a new era, and brought a new heaven and earth, new work, and He has brought us hope, and ended the life we led in vagueness, and allowed us to fully behold the path of salvation. He has conquered our whole being, and gained our hearts. From that moment onward, our minds become conscious, and our spirits seem to be revived: This ordinary, insignificant person, who lives among us and has long been rejected by us—is He not the Lord Jesus, who is ever in our thoughts, and whom we long for night and day? It is He! It’s really Him! He is our God! He is the truth, the way, and the life!
from “Beholding the Appearance of God in His Judgment and Chastisement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
a. The original text reads “as for.”