Chapter 6 Several Forms of Differentiation That You Should Possess in Your Belief in God
3. How Can You Tell the Difference Between the True Christ and False Christs?
Relevant Words of God:
God become flesh is called Christ, and so the Christ that can give people the truth is called God. There is nothing excessive about this, for He possesses the substance of God, and possesses God’s disposition, and wisdom in His work, that are unattainable by man. Those who call themselves Christ, yet cannot do the work of God, are frauds. Christ is not merely the manifestation of God on earth, but instead, the particular flesh assumed by God as He carries out and completes His work among man. This flesh is not one that can be replaced by just any man, but one that can adequately bear God’s work on earth, and express the disposition of God, and well represent God, and provide man with life. Sooner or later, those fake Christs will all fall, for although they claim to be Christ, they possess none of the substance of Christ. And so I say that the authenticity of Christ cannot be defined by man, but is answered and decided by God Himself.
from “Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in 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
The incarnate God is called Christ, and Christ is the flesh donned by the Spirit of God. This flesh is unlike any man that is of the flesh. This difference is because Christ is not of flesh and blood but is the incarnation of the Spirit. He has both a normal humanity and a complete divinity. His divinity is not possessed by any man. His normal humanity sustains all His normal activities in the flesh, while His divinity carries out the work of God Himself. Be it His humanity or divinity, both submit to the will of the heavenly Father. The substance of Christ is the Spirit, that is, the divinity. Therefore, His substance is that of God Himself; this substance will not interrupt His own work, and He could not possibly do anything that destroys His own work, nor would He ever utter any words that go against His own will. …
… Even though Christ represents God Himself in the flesh and carries out in person the work that God Himself ought to do, He does not deny the existence of God in heaven, nor does He feverishly proclaim His own deeds. Rather, He humbly remains hidden within His flesh. Apart from Christ, those who falsely claim to be Christ do not have His qualities. When juxtaposed against the arrogant and self-exalting disposition of those false Christs, it becomes apparent what manner of flesh is truly Christ. The more false they are, the more such false Christs show off themselves, and the more capable they are of working signs and wonders to deceive man. False Christs do not have the qualities of God; Christ is not tainted by any element belonging to false Christs. God becomes flesh only to complete the work of the flesh, not simply to allow all men to see Him. Rather, He lets His work affirm His identity, and allows what He reveals to attest to His substance. His substance is not baseless; His identity was not seized by His hand; it is determined by His work and His substance. …
The work and expression of Christ determines His substance. He is able to complete with a true heart that which has been entrusted to Him. He is able to worship God in heaven with a true heart, and with a true heart seek the will of God the Father. This is all determined by His substance. And so too is His natural revelation determined by His substance; the reason His natural revelation is so called is because His expression is not an imitation, or the result of education by man, or the result of many years of cultivation by man. He did not learn it or adorn Himself with it; rather, it is inherent within Him.
from “The Substance of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If, during the present day, there is to emerge a person who is able to display signs and wonders, and can cast out demons, and heal, and perform many miracles, and if this person claims that they are Jesus who has come, then this would be the counterfeit of evil spirits, and their imitation of Jesus. Remember this! God does not repeat the same work. Jesus’ stage of work has already been completed, and God will never again undertake that stage of work. The work of God is irreconcilable with the conceptions of man; for example, the Old Testament foretold the coming of a Messiah, but it turned out that Jesus came, so it would be wrong for another Messiah to come again. Jesus has already come once, and it would be wrong if Jesus were to come again this time. There is one name for every age, and each name is characterized by the age. In the conceptions of man, God must always display signs and wonders, must always heal and cast out demons, and must always be just like Jesus, yet this time God is not like that at all. If, during the last days, God still displayed signs and wonders, and still cast out demons and healed—if He did exactly the same as Jesus—then God would be repeating the same work, and the work of Jesus would have no significance or value. Thus, God carries out one stage of work in every age. Once each stage of His work has been completed, it is soon imitated by evil spirits, and after Satan begins to follow on the heels of God, God changes to a different method; once God has completed a stage of His work, it is imitated by evil spirits. You must be clear about these things.
from “Knowing God’s Work Today” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
There are some who are possessed by evil spirits and persistently cry out, “I am God!” Yet in the end, they cannot remain standing, for they act on behalf of the wrong being. They represent Satan and the Holy Spirit pays them no attention. However highly you exalt yourself or however strongly you cry out, you are still a created being and one that belongs to Satan. I never cry out, “I am God, I am the beloved Son of God!” But the work I do is God’s work. Need I shout? There is no need for exaltation. God does His work Himself and does not need for man to accord Him a status or honorific title, and His work is sufficient to represent His identity and status. Prior to His baptism, was not Jesus God Himself? Was He not the incarnate flesh of God? Surely it cannot be said that He became the only Son of God only after He was testified to? Was there not a man by the name of Jesus long before He began His work? You cannot bring forth new paths or represent the Spirit. You cannot express the work of the Spirit or the words that He speaks. You cannot do the work of God Himself or that of the Spirit. You cannot express the wisdom, wonder, and unfathomableness of God, or all the disposition by which God chastises man. So your repeated claims to be God do not matter; you have only the name and none of the substance. God Himself has come, but none recognize Him, yet He continues on in His work and does so in representation of the Spirit. Whether you call Him man or God, the Lord or Christ, or call Her sister, it is all right. But the work He does is that of the Spirit and represents the work of God Himself. He does not care about the name by which man calls Him. Can that name determine His work? Regardless of what you call Him, from the perspective of God, He is the incarnate flesh of the Spirit of God; He represents the Spirit and is approved by Him. You cannot make way for a new age, and you cannot bring the old to an end and cannot usher in a new age or do new work. Therefore, you cannot be called God!
from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If a man calls himself God yet is unable to express the being of divinity, do the work of God Himself, or represent God, he is undoubtedly not God, for he has not the essence of God, and that which God can inherently achieve does not exist within him.
from “The Difference Between the Ministry of the Incarnate God and the Duty of Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Among those false Christs, false prophets, and deceivers, are there not also those who are called God? And why are they not God? Because they are incapable of doing the work of God. At root they are men, deceivers of people, not God, and so they do not have the identity of God.
from “Concerning Appellations and Identity” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The Man’s Fellowship:
We who have experienced God’s work of the last days have all clearly seen one fact: Each time God does a new stage of work, Satan and various evil spirits follow at His heels, imitating and falsifying His work in order to beguile people. Jesus healed, and cast out demons, and so, too, do Satan and evil spirits heal and cast out demons; the Holy Spirit gave man the gift of tongues, and so, too, do evil spirits make people speak “tongues” that no one understands. And yet, although the evil spirits do various things that pander to man’s needs, and perform some supernatural acts to beguile him, because neither Satan nor these evil spirits are possessed of the slightest truth, they will never be able to give man the truth. From this point alone it is possible to differentiate between the true Christ and false Christs.
… Having been realized in the flesh, the Spirit of God works humbly and secretly, and experiences all of the pain of man without the slightest complaint. As Christ, God has never flaunted Himself, or bragged, much less has He assumed His position, or been self-righteous, which completely radiates the honorableness and holiness of God. This demonstrates the supremely honorable substance of God’s life, and shows that He is the embodiment of love. The work of false Christs and evil spirits is precisely the opposite of the work of Christ: Before anything else, evil spirits always cry out that they are Christ, and they say that if you do not listen to them you cannot enter the kingdom. They do everything they can to get people to meet them, they brag, and flaunt themselves, and boast, or else perform some signs and wonders in order to beguile people—and after these people have been beguiled and accepted their work, they collapse without a whisper because it has been so long since they were provided with the truth. There are many, many examples of this. Because false Christs are not the truth, the way, or the life, thus they have no path, and sooner or later those who follow them will be humiliated—but by then it will be too late to go back. And so, most important is to recognize that only Christ is the truth, the way, and the life. False Christs and evil spirits are surely bereft of the truth; no matter how much they say, or how many books they write, neither contain the slightest truth. This is absolute. Only Christ is able to express the truth, and this is key to telling the difference between the true Christ and false Christs. What’s more, Christ has never forced people to accept or acknowledge Him. For those who believe in Him, the truth becomes clearer and clearer, and the way they walk becomes brighter and brighter, which proves that only Christ is able to save people, for Christ is the truth. False Christs can only imitate a few words, or say things that twist black into white. They are without the truth, and can only bring people darkness, destruction, and the work of evil spirits.
from Foreword to Dissecting Cases of Beguilement by False Christs and Antichrists
How can false Christs be identified? It’s very simple. You say to them: “Go on, talk. What makes you Christ? Say something of what God has and is, and if you can’t say it, writing’s OK, too. Write some words expressed by divinity—go on, write something for me. You’ve no problem imitating some words of humanity. Say some more, speak for three hours and see if you can do it. Commune the truth with me for three hours, speak of what God is, and this stage of His work, speak clearly for me, try it and see. And if you can’t speak, then you are fake, and an evil spirit. The true Christ can speak for days without any problems, the true Christ has expressed over a million words—and has still not finished. There are no limits to how much He can speak, He can speak at any time or place, and His words could not be written by any human being throughout the world. Could they be written by someone who is not divine? Could such a person speak these words? You false Christs are without divinity, and the Spirit of God is not within you. How could you be able to speak the words of God? You can imitate some of the words of God, but how long can you go on for? Anyone with a brain can memorize a few words, so speak for an hour, commune the truth for two hours—try it and see.” If you are insistent with them in this way, they’ll be unmasked, they’ll be dumbfounded, and will soon flee. Is this not the case? What say you, is it not so? Say this to them: Christ is the truth, the way, and the life, so express the truths of Christ for me to hear, or read. If you can, then you are Christ, and if you can’t, then you’re an evil spirit! It’s easy to tell the difference between the true Christ and false Christs. False Christs and antichrists are without the truth; whoever is possessed of the truth is Christ, and whoever lacks the truth is not. Is this not the case? Say to them: “If you cannot express what Christ is, or what God is, and you say you are Christ, then you are lying. Christ is the truth—let’s see how many words of the truth you can express. If you imitate a couple of sentences, then you are not issuing them forth, but are simply copying them. You’ve stolen them, they’re an imitation.” There you go—that’s all it takes to identify false Christs. … Let us speak of a fact: how God appeared when He appeared. When God began working, He did not say that He is God, He did not say so. God expressed many words, and when He had expressed hundreds of thousands of words, still He did not say that He is God. Hundreds of thousands of words—that’s a whole book, three or four hundred pages—and still He did not say that He is God. Having been enlightened and illuminated by the Holy Spirit, some people said: “Oh, these are the words of God, this is the voice of the Holy Spirit!” At the start, they believed that it was the voice of the Holy Spirit; later, they said it was the voice of the seven Spirits, of the sevenfold intensified Spirit. They called it the “voice of the seven Spirits,” or the “utterances of the Holy Spirit.” This is what they believed at the beginning. Only later, after God had spoken many words, hundreds of thousands of words, did He begin to witness what is the incarnation, and what is the Word’s appearance in the flesh—and only then did people begin to know, saying: “Oh! God has become flesh! It is the incarnation of God who speaks to us!” See how hidden and humble God’s work is. Ultimately, after God had finished expressing all of His words that He must express, still He did not say that He is God when He worked and preached, still He never said, “I am God! You must listen to Me.” Never did He speak thus. Yet false Christs say they are Christ before having uttered even a few words. Are they not fake? The true God is hidden and humble, and never flaunts Himself; Satan and evil spirits, on the other hand, love to flaunt themselves, which is another way of identifying them.
from “The Answers to Questions” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (I)
Now, if people try to beguile you, look at whether they are able to express the voice of God. This will confirm whether or not they are possessed of divine substance. If they are unable to speak of what God has and is, and are unable to express the things and voice of God, then they are surely without the substance of God, and so they are fake. There are those who say: We’ve seen some people speak words that no man could say. They can also speak prophecy, and speak without obfuscation of things that no one could know or see—so are they God? How do you tell the difference when it comes to people such as this? As has just been said, if they are God, then they must be able to speak of what God has and is, and be able to speak of the mysteries of the kingdom of God; only someone such as this can be said to be the incarnation of God. If there are people who are able to speak of things that others do not know, who can tell them of their future, and can say what will happen to countries, these are not necessarily the words of God; evil spirits are also capable of such things. For example, if today you say to them: “What will happen to me in the future?” they’ll tell you what kind of disaster will befall you, or will tell you when you’ll die, or else will say what will happen to your family. In many instances, these things come true. But being able to speak of such things is not what God is, nor part of the work of God. You must be clear about this point. These are the trifling matters that evil spirits excel at; God does not engage in such things. Look at what work God has done each time He has become flesh. God does the work of saving mankind, He does not predict what will happen to people, how long they will live, how many children they will have, or when disaster will befall them. Has God ever foretold such things? He has not. Now, what do you say, does God know such things? Of course He does, for He created the heavens and earth and all things. Only God knows them best, whereas there is limitation to what evil spirits know. What are evil spirits capable of knowing? Evil spirits know the fate of a person, or a country, or a nation. But they know nothing of God’s management, they do not know what the end of mankind is, or where the true destination of mankind is, much less do they know when the world will come to an end and the kingdom of God will arrive, or what the beautiful scenes of the kingdom will be like. They know nothing of this, none of them do. Only God knows such matters, and thus God is all-knowing, whereas what evil spirits know is extremely limited. We know that the world’s greatest prophets had spoken of what will happen in the last days, and today their words have been fulfilled—but they knew not what work God does during the last days, much less did they know what God has come to achieve, or how the Millennial Kingdom will be realized, or who will enter the kingdom of God and survive. Nor, moreover, did they know anything of what will happen afterward, in God’s kingdom. No evil spirit knows such matters; only God Himself knows, and thus evil spirits are totally incapable of knowing anything that relates to God’s management plan. If you say to them, “What is my fate? What will happen to my family?” some evil spirits will be able to give you a clear answer. But if you say to them, “In the future, will I have a destination in my belief in God? Will I survive?” they won’t know. Evil spirits are extremely limited in what they know. If an evil spirit can only say but a few limited things, could it be God? It could not—it is an evil spirit. When an evil spirit can tell people things they do not know, tell them about their future, and even tell what they used to be like and the things they have done, if there are those who think this is really divine, are such people not ridiculous? This proves that you are totally ignorant of God. You see the petty skills of evil spirits as too divine, and treat them like God. Do you know of God’s omnipotence? Thus, if today we have a knowledge of the omnipotence and work of God, no evil spirit, regardless of what signs and wonders they perform, can beguile us, for at the very least there is one thing we can be certain about: Evil spirits are not the truth, they are unable to do the work of God, they are not the Creator, they are incapable of saving mankind, and they can only corrupt mankind.
from “The Difference Between the Work of God and the Work of Man” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (II)
a. The original text reads “as for.”