V Classic Words on the Relationship Between Each Stage of God’s Work and the Name of God
1. The work done by God Himself in each age contains the expression of His true disposition, and both His name and the work that He does change along with the age; they are all new. During the Age of Law, the work of guiding mankind was done under the name of Jehovah, and the first stage of work was initiated on earth. At this stage, the work consisted of building the temple and the altar, and using the law to guide the people of Israel and to work in their midst. By guiding the people of Israel, He launched a base for His work on earth. From this base, He expanded His work beyond Israel, which is to say that, starting from Israel, He extended His work outward, so that later generations gradually came to know that Jehovah was God, and that it was Jehovah who created the heavens and earth and all things, and that it was Jehovah who made all creatures. He spread His work through the people of Israel outward beyond them. The land of Israel was the first holy place of Jehovah’s work on earth, and it was in the land of Israel that God first went to work on earth. That was the work of the Age of Law. … During the Age of Grace, the name of God was Jesus, that is to say, God was a God who saved man, and He was a compassionate and loving God. God was with man. His love, His compassion, and His salvation accompanied each and every person. Only by accepting the name of Jesus and His presence was man able to gain peace and joy, to receive His blessing, His vast and numerous graces, and His salvation. Through the crucifixion of Jesus, all those who followed Him received salvation and were forgiven their sins. During the Age of Grace, Jesus was the name of God. In other words, the work of the Age of Grace was done principally under the name of Jesus. During the Age of Grace, God was called Jesus. He undertook a stage of new work beyond the Old Testament, and His work ended with the crucifixion. This was the entirety of His work. Therefore, during the Age of Law Jehovah was the name of God, and in the Age of Grace the name of Jesus represented God. During the last days, His name is Almighty God—the Almighty, who uses His power to guide man, conquer man, and gain man, and in the end, bring the age to its close. In every age, at every stage of His work, God’s disposition is evident.
Excerpted from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
2. “Jehovah” is the name that I took during My work in Israel, and it means the God of the Israelites (God’s chosen people) who can take pity on man, curse man, and guide the life of man; the God who possesses great power and is full of wisdom. “Jesus” is Emmanuel, which means the sin offering that is full of love, full of compassion, and which redeems man. He did the work of the Age of Grace, and He represents the Age of Grace, and can only represent one part of the work of the management plan. That is to say, only Jehovah is the God of the chosen people of Israel, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of Moses, and the God of all the people of Israel. And so, in the current age, all the Israelites, apart from the tribe of Judah, worship Jehovah. They make sacrifices to Him on the altar and serve Him in the temple wearing priests’ robes. What they hope for is the reappearance of Jehovah. Only Jesus is the Redeemer of mankind, and He is the sin offering that redeemed mankind from sin. Which is to say, the name of Jesus came from the Age of Grace and came into existence because of the work of redemption in the Age of Grace. The name of Jesus came into existence to allow the people of the Age of Grace to be reborn and saved, and is a particular name for the redemption of the whole of mankind. Thus, the name Jesus represents the work of redemption, and denotes the Age of Grace. The name Jehovah is a particular name for the people of Israel who lived under the law. In each age and each stage of work, My name is not baseless, but holds representative significance: Each name represents one age. “Jehovah” represents the Age of Law, and is the honorific for the God worshiped by the people of Israel. “Jesus” represents the Age of Grace, and is the name of the God of all those who were redeemed during the Age of Grace.
Excerpted from “The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
3. When Jesus came to do His work, it was under the direction of the Holy Spirit; He did what the Holy Spirit wanted, and it was not according to the Old Testament Age of Law or according to the work of Jehovah. Although the work that Jesus came to do was not to abide by the laws of Jehovah or the commandments of Jehovah, Their source was the one and the same. The work that Jesus did represented the name of Jesus, and it represented the Age of Grace; as for the work done by Jehovah, it represented Jehovah, and it represented the Age of Law. Their work was the work of one Spirit in two different ages. The work that Jesus did could only represent the Age of Grace, and the work that Jehovah did could only represent the Old Testament Age of Law. Jehovah only guided the people of Israel and of Egypt, and of all the nations beyond Israel. … Although They were called by two different names, it was the same Spirit that accomplished both stages of work, and the work that was done was continuous. As the name was different, and the content of the work was different, the age was different. When Jehovah came, that was the age of Jehovah, and when Jesus came, that was the age of Jesus. And so, with each coming, God is called by one name, He represents one age, and He opens up a new path; and on each new path, He assumes a new name, which shows that God is always new and never old, and that His work never ceases to progress in a forward direction. History is always moving forward, and the work of God is always moving forward. For His six-thousand-year management plan to reach its end, it must keep progressing in a forward direction. Each day He must do new work, each year He must do new work; He must open up new paths, must launch new eras, begin new and greater work, and along with these, bring new names and new work.
Excerpted from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
4. In each age, God does new work and is called by a new name; how could He do the same work in different ages? How could He cling to the old? The name of Jesus was taken for the sake of the work of redemption, so would He still be called by the same name when He returns in the last days? Would He still be doing the work of redemption? Why is it that Jehovah and Jesus are one, yet They are called by different names in different ages? Is it not because the ages of Their work are different? Could a single name represent God in His entirety? This being so, God must be called by a different name in a different age, and must use the name to change the age and to represent the age. For no one name can fully represent God Himself, and each name is able only to represent the temporal aspect of God’s disposition in a given age; all it needs to do is to represent His work. Therefore, God can choose whatever name befits His disposition to represent the entire age.
Excerpted from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
5. Supposing that the work of God in every age is always the same, and He is always called by the same name, how would man know Him? God must be called Jehovah, and apart from a God called Jehovah, anyone called by any other name is not God. Or else God can only be Jesus, and apart from the name of Jesus He may not be called by any other name; apart from Jesus, Jehovah is not God, and Almighty God is not God either. Man believes it is true that God is almighty, but God is a God who is with man, and He must be called Jesus, for God is with man. To do this is to conform to doctrine, and to confine God to a certain scope. So, in every age, the work that God does, the name by which He is called, and the image that He assumes—what work He does at every stage all the way down to today—these do not follow a single regulation, and are not subject to any limitations whatsoever. He is Jehovah, but He is also Jesus, as well as Messiah, and Almighty God. His work can undergo gradual transformation, with corresponding changes in His name. No single name can fully represent Him, but all the names by which He is called are able to represent Him, and the work that He does in every age represents His disposition.
Excerpted from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
6. Could the name of Jesus—“God with us”—represent God’s disposition in its entirety? Could it fully articulate God? If man says that God can only be called Jesus and may not have any other name because God cannot change His disposition, these words are blasphemy indeed! Do you believe that the name Jesus, God with us, alone can represent God in His entirety? God may be called by many names, but among these many names, there is not one that is able to encapsulate all of God, not one that can fully represent God. And so, God has many names, but these many names cannot fully articulate God’s disposition, for God’s disposition is so rich that it simply exceeds the capacity of man to know Him. There is no way for man, using the language of mankind, to encapsulate God fully. Mankind has but a limited vocabulary with which to encapsulate all that they know of God’s disposition: great, honored, wondrous, unfathomable, supreme, holy, righteous, wise, and so on. Too many words! This limited vocabulary is incapable of describing the little that man has witnessed of God’s disposition. Over time, many others added words that they thought better able to describe the fervor in their hearts: God is too great! God is too holy! God is too lovely! Today, human sayings such as these have reached their peak, yet man is still incapable of clearly expressing himself. And so, for man, God has many names, yet He has no one name, and this is because God’s being is too bountiful, and the language of man too impoverished. One particular word or name does not have the capacity to represent God in His entirety, so do you think His name can be fixed? God is so great and so holy yet you will not permit Him to change His name in each new age? Therefore, in every age in which God personally does His own work, He uses a name that befits the age in order to encapsulate the work that He intends to do. He uses this particular name, one that possesses temporal significance, to represent His disposition in that age. This is God using the language of mankind to express His own disposition. Even so, many people who have had spiritual experiences and have personally seen God nevertheless feel that this one particular name is incapable of representing God in His entirety—alas, this cannot be helped—so man no longer addresses God by any name, but simply calls Him “God.” It is as though the heart of man is full of love and yet also beset with contradictions, for man does not know how to explain God. What God is is too bountiful, there is simply no way of describing it. There is no single name that can summarize God’s disposition, and there is no single name that can describe all that God has and is. If someone asks Me, “Exactly what name do You use?” I will tell them, “God is God!” Is that not the best name for God? Is it not the best encapsulation of God’s disposition? This being so, why do you spend so much effort seeking after the name of God? Why should you cudgel your brains, going without food and sleep, all for the sake of a name? The day will arrive when God is not called Jehovah, Jesus, or Messiah—He will simply be the Creator. At that time, all the names that He has taken on earth shall come to an end, for His work on earth will have come to an end, after which His names shall be no more. When all things come under the dominion of the Creator, what need has He of a highly appropriate yet incomplete name? Are you still seeking after God’s name now? Do you still dare to say that God is only called Jehovah? Do you still dare to say that God can only be called Jesus? Are you able to bear the sin of blasphemy against God? You should know that God originally had no name. He only took on one, or two, or many names because He had work to do and had to manage mankind. Whatever name He is called by—did He not freely choose it Himself? Would He need you—one of His creatures—to decide it? The name by which God is called is a name that accords with what man is capable of apprehending, with the language of mankind, but this name is not something that man can encompass. You can only say that there is a God in heaven, that He is called God, that He is God Himself with great power, who is too wise, too exalted, too wondrous, too mysterious, and too almighty, and then you can say no more; this little bit is all you can know. This being so, can the mere name of Jesus represent God Himself? When the last days come, even though it is still God who does His work, His name has to change, for it is a different age.
Excerpted from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
7. There are those who say that God is immutable. That is correct, but it refers to the immutability of God’s disposition and His substance. Changes in His name and work do not prove that His substance has altered; in other words, God will always be God, and this will never change. If you say that the work of God is unchanging, then would He be able to finish His six-thousand-year plan of management? You only know that God is forever unchanging, but do you know that God is always new and never old? If the work of God is unchanging, then could He have led mankind all the way to the present day? If God is immutable, then why is it that He has already done the work of two ages? His work never ceases to move forward, which is to say that His disposition is gradually revealed to man, and what is revealed is His inherent disposition. In the beginning, God’s disposition was hidden from man, He never openly revealed His disposition to man, and man simply had no knowledge of Him. Because of this, He uses His work to gradually reveal His disposition to man, but working in this way does not mean that God’s disposition changes in every age. It is not the case that God’s disposition is constantly changing because His will is always changing. Rather, it is that, because the ages of His work are different, God takes His inherent disposition in its entirety and, step by step, reveals it to man, so that man may be able to know Him. But this is by no means proof that God originally has no particular disposition or that His disposition has gradually changed with the passing of the ages—such an understanding would be erroneous. God reveals to man His inherent and particular disposition—what He is—according to the passing of the ages; the work of a single age cannot express the entire disposition of God. And so, the words “God is always new and never old” refer to His work, and the words “God is immutable” to what God inherently has and is. Regardless, you cannot make the work of six thousand years hinge upon a single point, or circumscribe it with dead words. Such is the stupidity of man. God is not as simple as man imagines, and His work cannot linger in any one age. Jehovah, for example, cannot always stand for the name of God; God can also do His work under the name of Jesus. This is a sign that God’s work is always moving in a forward progression.
God is always God, and will never become Satan; Satan is always Satan, and will never become God. God’s wisdom, God’s wondrousness, God’s righteousness, and God’s majesty shall never change. His essence and what He has and is shall never change. As for His work, however, it is always progressing in a forward direction, always going deeper, for He is always new and never old. In every age God assumes a new name, in every age He does new work, and in every age He allows His creatures to see His new will and new disposition. If, in a new age, people fail to see the expression of God’s new disposition, would they not nail Him to the cross forever? And by doing so, would they not define God?
Excerpted from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
8. If man still longs for the arrival of Jesus the Savior during the last days, and still expects Him to arrive in the image He bore in Judea, then the entire six-thousand-year management plan would have stopped in the Age of Redemption, and could not have progressed any further. The last days, furthermore, would never arrive, and the age would never be brought to an end. This is because Jesus the Savior is only for the redemption and salvation of mankind. I took the name of Jesus only for the sake of all the sinners in the Age of Grace, but it is not the name by which I shall bring the whole of mankind to an end. Although Jehovah, Jesus, and the Messiah all represent My Spirit, these names only denote the different ages of My management plan, and do not represent Me in My entirety. The names by which people on earth call Me cannot articulate My entire disposition and all that I am. They are merely different names by which I am called during different ages. And so, when the final age—the age of the last days—arrives, My name shall change again. I shall not be called Jehovah, or Jesus, much less the Messiah—I shall be called the powerful Almighty God Himself, and under this name I shall bring the entire age to an end. I was once known as Jehovah. I was also called the Messiah, and people once called Me Jesus the Savior with love and esteem. Today, however, I am no longer the Jehovah or Jesus that people knew in times past; I am the God who has returned in the last days, the God who shall bring the age to an end. I am the God Himself that rises up from the end of the earth, replete with My entire disposition, and full of authority, honor, and glory. People have never engaged with Me, never known Me, and have always been ignorant of My disposition. From the creation of the world until today, not one person has seen Me. This is the God who appears to man in the last days but is hidden among man. He resides among man, true and real, like the burning sun and the blazing flame, filled with power and brimming with authority. There is not a single person or thing that shall not be judged by My words, and not a single person or thing that shall not be purified through the burning of fire. Eventually, all nations shall be blessed because of My words, and also smashed to pieces because of My words. In this way, all people during the last days shall see that I am the Savior returned, and that I am the Almighty God that conquers all of mankind. And all shall see that I was once the sin offering for man, but that in the last days I also become the flames of the sun that incinerate all things, as well as the Sun of righteousness that reveals all things. This is My work in the last days. I took this name and am possessed of this disposition so that all people may see that I am a righteous God, the burning sun, the blazing flame, and so that all may worship Me, the one true God, and so that they may see My true face: I am not only the God of the Israelites, and I am not just the Redeemer; I am the God of all creatures throughout the heavens and the earth and the seas.
Excerpted from “The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
(Selected Passage of God’s Word)
Does the Trinity Exist?
After the truth of Jesus become flesh came to be, man believed this: It is not only the Father 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 Trinity that is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, all in one. 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, including each and every 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 Trinity 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 spiritual greats who have explained the “true meaning” of the Trinity, but such explanations of the Trinity 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. For none have ever seen the true countenance of God or have any been fortunate enough to ascend to the abode of God for a visit so as to examine what items are present in the place where God lies, to determine exactly how many tens of thousands or hundreds of millions of generations are in the “house of God” or to investigate just how many parts compose the inherent construct of God. What mainly needs to be examined is: the age of the Father and the Son, as well as the Holy Spirit; the respective appearances of each person; exactly how is it that They split up, and how is it that They are made one. Unfortunately, in all these many years, not a single man has been able to determine the truth of these matters. They all simply conjecture, for not a single man has ever ascended to heaven for a visit and returned with an “investigative report” for all mankind in order to report on the truth of the matter to all those fervent and devout religious believers concerned about the Trinity. Of course, the blame cannot be put on man for forming such notions, for why did Jehovah the Father not have Jesus the Son accompany Him when He created mankind? If, in the beginning, all had gone by the name of Jehovah, it would have been better. If blame must be put, let it be put on the momentary lapse of Jehovah God, who did not call the Son and the Holy Spirit before Him in the time of creation, but rather carried out His work alone. If They had all worked simultaneously, then would They not have become one? If, from the very beginning until the end, there was only the name Jehovah and not the name of Jesus from the Age of Grace, or if He had then still been called Jehovah, then would God not have been spared the suffering of this division by mankind? To be sure, Jehovah cannot be lamented for this all; if blame must be put, let it be put on the Holy Spirit, who for thousands of years continued His work by the name of Jehovah, of Jesus, and even of the Holy Spirit, befuddling and confusing man such that man could not know who exactly is God. If the Holy Spirit Himself had worked without form or image, and moreover, without a name such as Jesus, and man could neither touch nor see Him, only hearing the sounds of thunder, then would not this kind of work have been of more benefit to mankind? So what can be done now? The notions of man have amassed high as a mountain and wide as the sea, to the extent that the God of present day can no longer endure them and is at a complete loss. In the past when it was only Jehovah, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in between the two, man was already at a loss as to how to cope, and now there is the addition of the Almighty, who is even said to also be a part of God. Who knows who He is and in which person of the Trinity He has been intermingled with or hidden within for however many years? How can man bear this? The Trinity alone was enough to take man a lifetime to explain, but now there is “one God in four persons.” How can this be explained? Can you explain it? Brothers and sisters! How have you believed in such a God until this day? I take My hat off to you. The Trinity was already enough to bear, and yet now you continue to have such unshakable faith in this one God in four persons. You’ve been urged to get out, yet you refuse. How inconceivable! You are really something! A person can actually go so far as to believe in four Gods and make nothing of it; do you not think this is a miracle? I could not tell that you are able to work such a great miracle! Let Me tell you that, in truth, the Trinity does not exist anywhere in this universe. God has no Father and no Son, much less is there the concept of an instrument jointly used by the Father and the Son: the Holy Spirit. All of this is the greatest fallacy and simply does not exist in this world! Yet even such a fallacy has its origin and is not entirely without basis, for your minds are not so simple, and your thoughts are not without reason. Rather, they are quite appropriate and ingenious, so much so that they are impregnable even to any Satan. The pity is that these thoughts are all fallacies and simply do not exist! You have not seen the real truth at all; you are merely making conjectures and conceptions, then fabricating it all into a story to deceitfully gain others’ trust and to gain dominance over those most foolish of men without wit or reason, so that they believe in your great and renowned “expert teachings.” Is this truth? Is this the way of life that man should receive? It is all nonsense! Not a single word is appropriate! Throughout these many years, God has been split by you in this way, being split finer and finer with each generation, to the extent that one God has been openly split into three Gods. And now it is simply impossible for man to rejoin God as one, for you have split Him up too finely! If not for My prompt work before it was too late, it is hard to say how long you would have brazenly continued this way! To continue splitting God in this way, how can He still be your God? Would you still recognize God? Would you still return to Him? If I had arrived any later, it is likely that you would have sent the “Father and Son,” Jehovah and Jesus back to Israel and claimed that you yourselves are a part of God. Fortunately, it is now the last days. Finally, this day I have long awaited has come, and only after I carried out this stage of work by My own hand has your splitting of God Himself been halted. If not for this, you would have escalated, even placing all the Satans among you onto altars for worship. This is your artifice! Your means of splitting God! Will you continue to do so now? Let Me ask you: How many Gods are there? Which God will bring you salvation? Is it the first God, the second, or the third that you always pray to? Which of Them do you always believe in? Is it the Father? Or the Son? Or is it the Spirit? Tell Me who it is that you believe in. Though with every word you say you believe in God, what you actually believe is your own brain! You simply do not have God in your heart! And yet in your minds are a number of such “Trinities”! Do you not agree?
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 is this one God in three persons. 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 substance 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 so, 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 substance 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 substance of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit you believe in is the substance 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 throughout 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. They are distinct persons of different substances, 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 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 substance 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 simply They 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 it 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 substance? 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 from the conception through 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 simply is 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 represent 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 an ordinary 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 man of creation. Do you still remember the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus taught you to memorize? “Our Father in heaven….” He asked all man 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 is the Son of the Spirit of God in heaven. Rather, it is simply that His perspective is different, not that He is 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 longer. 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 does not exist!
This may call to mind for most people the words of God from Genesis: “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.” Given that God says let “Us” make man in “Our” image, then “Us” indicates two or more; since He stated “Us,” then there is not just one God. In this way, man began to think in the abstract of distinct persons, and from these words arose the idea of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. What then is the Father like? What is the Son like? And what is the Holy Spirit like? Could it possibly be that the mankind of today was made in the image of one joined together from three? Then is the image of man like that of the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit? Which of the persons of God is man in the image of? This idea of man’s is simply incorrect and nonsensical! It can only split one God into several Gods. At the time that Moses wrote Genesis, it was after mankind was created following the creation of the world. In the very beginning, when the world began, Moses did not exist. And it was not until much later that Moses wrote the Bible, so how could he have possibly known what it was that God in heaven spoke? He had not an inkling of how God created the world. 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, where 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, or 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 conceptions 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 substance not the Spirit as well? Is not His work also representative of the Holy Spirit? Jehovah is the Spirit, and so too is the substance of Jesus. Now in the last days, needless to say it is still the Spirit at work;[a] 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, 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[b] 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 management plan of God spans six thousand years and is divided into three ages based on the differences in His work: The first age is the Old Testament Age of Law; the second is the Age of Grace; and the third is that which belongs to the last days—the Age of Kingdom. In each age a different identity is represented. This is only because of the difference in the work, that is, the requirements of the work. The first stage of work during the Age of Law was carried out in Israel, and the second stage of concluding the work of redemption was carried out in Judea. For the work of redemption, Jesus was born from the conception through the Holy Spirit and as the only Son. All of this was owing to the requirements of the work. In the last days, God wishes to expand His work into the Gentile nations and conquer the people there, so that His name may be great among them. He wishes to guide man in understanding and entering into all the truth. All of this work is carried out by one Spirit. Though He may do so from different standpoints, the nature and principles of the work remain the same. Once you observe the principles and nature of the work They have carried out, then you will know that it is all done by one Spirit. 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 say making Them one, isn’t that simply joining two separate parts to make one whole? But were They not two parts before being made whole? Each Spirit has a distinct substance, 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 men see 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, 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 that which the incarnate Spirit of God should be furnished with. It cannot be said that He is not God simply because He prays to the Father from the perspective of the flesh. Though He is called the beloved Son of God, He is still God Himself, for He is but the incarnation of the Spirit, and His substance is still the Spirit. As man sees it, they wonder why He prays if He is God Himself. This is because He is the incarnate God, God living within the flesh, and not the Spirit in heaven. As man sees it, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all God. Only the three all made as one can be deemed the one true God, and, in this way, is His power exceptionally great. There are still those who say that only in this way is He the sevenfold intensified Spirit. When the Son prayed after His coming, that is the Spirit to whom He prayed. In reality, He was praying from the perspective of a created being. For the flesh is not whole, He was not whole and had many weaknesses when He came into the flesh, and He was much troubled as He carried out His work in the flesh. That is why He thrice prayed to God the Father prior to His crucifixion, as well as many times even before that. He prayed among His disciples; He prayed alone upon a mountain; He prayed aboard the fishing boat; He prayed among a multitude of people; He prayed when breaking bread; and He prayed when blessing others. Why did He do so? It was the Spirit to whom He prayed; He was praying to the Spirit, to God in heaven, from the perspective of the flesh. Therefore, from man’s standpoint, Jesus became the Son in that stage of work. In this stage, however, He does not pray. Why is this? This is because what He brings forth is the work of the word, and the judgment and chastisement of the word. He has no need for prayers, for His ministry is to speak. He is not put upon the cross, and He is not turned over by man to those in power. He simply carries out His work and all is set. At the time when Jesus prayed, He was praying to God the Father for the descent of the kingdom of heaven, for the will of the Father to be done, and for the work to come. In this stage, the kingdom of heaven has already descended, so does He still have need to pray? His work is to bring the age to an end, and there are no more new ages, so is there a need to pray for the next stage? I’m afraid there is not!
There are many contradictions in the explanations of man. Indeed, these are all the notions of man; without further scrutiny, you would all believe they are correct. Do you not know that this idea of God as a Trinity is but the notion of man? No knowledge of man is full and thorough. There are always impurities, and man has too many ideas; this demonstrates that a created being simply cannot explain the work of God. There is too much in the mind of man, all coming from logic and thought, that conflicts with the truth. Can your logic thoroughly dissect the work of God? Can you gain an insight into all the work of Jehovah? Is it you as a man who can see through to it all, or is it God Himself who is able to see from everlasting to everlasting? Is it you who can see from everlasting long ago to the everlasting to come, or is it God who can do so? What do you say? How are you worthy to explain God? On what basis is your explanation? Are you God? The heavens and earth, and all things in it were created by God Himself. It was not you who did this, so why are you giving incorrect explanations? Now, do you continue to believe in the Trinity? Do you not think it is too burdensome this way? It would be best for you to believe in one God, not in three. It is best to be light, for the burden of the Lord is light.
Excerpted from The Word Appears in the Flesh
a. The original text does not contain the phrase “at work.”
b. The original text does not contain the phrase “the work.”