Question 2: What’s the difference between God’s work and the work done by man? And what’s the difference between the substance of God incarnate and that of the people used by God?
Answer: That’s a crucial question. It’s of vital importance to know both God’s work and His substance if we want to know God Himself. If we’re unable to tell God’s work from the work of man, and if we don’t see the substantive difference between God incarnate and the man used by God, we’re highly prone to treat the man we admire as the man that’s used by God, and to treat the work of man as the work done by God. We follow man but think we are following God. All the while, we’re unaware we’re straying from the true way, resisting God, and offending His disposition. For over two thousand years, nobody could clearly explain the difference between the work and substance of God incarnate and those of the man God uses. When the last days arrive, Almighty God comes to reveal this mystery. Let’s read some of God’s words regarding the difference between the work done by God incarnate and that of man used by God.
Almighty God says, “The work of God Himself involves the work of all of mankind, and it also represents the work of the entire era. That is to say, God’s own work represents the movement and trend of all of the work of the Holy Spirit, whereas the work of the apostles follows God’s own work and does not lead the era, nor does it represent the working trend of the Holy Spirit in the entire era. They only do the work man ought to do, which does not at all involve the management work. God’s own work is the project within the management work. Man’s work is only the duty of men being used and bears no relation to the management work” (“God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“The work of God incarnate begins a new era, and those who continue His work are the men who are used by Him. The work done by man is all within the ministry of God in the flesh, and is incapable of going beyond this scope. If God incarnate does not come to do His work, man is not able to bring the old age to an end, and is not able to usher in a new era” (“Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“… the incarnate God is substantively different from the people used by God. The incarnate God can do the work of divinity, but the people used by God cannot. At the beginning of each age, God’s Spirit speaks personally to launch the new era and bring man to a new beginning. When He finishes His speaking, it signifies that God’s work in divinity is done. Thereafter, people all follow the lead of those used by God to enter life experience” (“The Essential Difference Between the Incarnate God and People Used by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“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. … The words spoken by God’s incarnate flesh are the direct expression of the Spirit and express the work that has been done by the Spirit. The flesh has not experienced or seen it, but still expresses His being because the substance of the flesh is the Spirit, and He expresses the work of the Spirit” (“God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“The work of men who are used is also the work of the Holy Spirit. It is only that the work of God is the complete expression of the Holy Spirit, and there is no difference, whereas the work of men being used is mixed with many human things, and it is not the direct expression of the Holy Spirit, let alone the complete expression” (“God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“The work of man represents his experience and his humanity. What man provides and the work that man does represent him. Man’s seeing, man’s reasoning, man’s logic and his rich imagination are all included in his work. In particular, the experience of man is more able to represent his work, and what a person has experienced will be the components of his work. Man’s work can express his experience” (“God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“The work that God does does not represent the experience of His flesh; the work that man does represents man’s experience. Everyone talks about his personal experience. God can directly express the truth, while man can only express the corresponding experience after experiencing the truth. God’s work has no rules and is not subject to time or geographical constraints. He can express what He is at anytime, anywhere. He works as He pleases. Man’s work has conditions and context; otherwise, he is unable to work and unable to express his knowledge of God or his experience of the truth. You just have to compare the differences between them to tell whether it is God’s own work or man’s work” (“God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
We understand from these words that both the work of God incarnate and that of the people used by God are outwardly man’s working and speaking. But there remains substantive difference in their work. In appearance, God incarnate is an ordinary and normal man, but He is the flesh that God’s Spirit wears and His substance is divine. So He can directly express the truth, express God’s righteous disposition and what God has and is. He can disclose the mystery of God’s management plan, and open a new age and end the old age. All of mankind is moving forward with the work that God’s performing. With God’s work comes a new age as the old one ends, and all of mankind moves forward into that new age. This is sufficient proof that the work of God incarnate guides the entire age to progress forward. However, man’s work can’t open a new age or end the old. Also, another substantive difference is that God incarnate’s work and His word are expressions of divinity, not mixed with human thought, imagination, logic, or reasoning. It’s the original meaning of God’s Spirit, not mixed with any human will. Every word God incarnate has expressed is the truth with power and authority, so they can be man’s life and change his disposition. They can purify, save, and perfect him. Finally, man can be taken into good destination. The people used by God, however, are human and not God incarnate. So they can’t usher in a new age or end an old age, nor can they lead man in the direction of a new age. Their work is unrelated to God’s management. Instead, they just give cooperation in humanity based on God’s work, and fellowship about their experience and knowledge, which represent what man has and is, mixed with man’s imagination, logic, reasoning and all his lessons and so on. Although most accord with the truth and can bring man some support, supply, and help, they are not the truth and they can’t be man’s life. Only if man’s work cooperates with God’s work, can the result of purifying, saving, and perfecting man be achieved. This is the difference between the work of God incarnate and that of the man used by God.
This will make sense once we look at the facts of God’s work and those of man’s. When the Lord Jesus came to work, He preached that the kingdom of heaven was near and man should repent. He did a stage of work of redeeming man, ushering in the Age of Grace and ending the Age of Law. So, the new era of man began then from the Age of Grace. The Lord Jesus expressed His disposition of mercy and love, so man could be redeemed through the sin offering. Man was no longer cursed or condemned then for breaking the law, but qualified to come before God to pray and cry out to Him, and to enjoy truth and grace given by God. After Jesus finished His work and ascended into heaven, His apostles carried on the work of ministering to man based on the work and words of Jesus. They fellowshiped about their experience and knowledge of God’s word, so as to guide God’s chosen people to practice His word, observe His commandments, spread and testify to His salvation. They established churches and ministered to believers, etc. They cooperated with God’s work according to the word of the Lord Jesus, which was performing man’s duty. The letters that they wrote and what they said told us of their knowledge and experiences about the word and work of the Lord Jesus. They were in line with truth, and couldn’t be seen as equal with the Lord’s work and words. Christ of the last days, Almighty God, comes to start the Age of Kingdom and end the Age of Grace. The Age of Kingdom begins with Almighty God’s work. Almighty God has carried out the work of judgment beginning with God’s house. He’s disclosed all the mysteries of God’s six-thousand-year management plan, expressed all the truths that cleanse and save mankind, revealed to mankind His holy and righteous substance, and His majesty, wrath, and unoffendable disposition, so as to deliver man completely from his corrupt disposition and from Satan’s influence and finally bring man to the beautiful destination. Almighty God’s work completes God’s management plan and will end the entire old age. All of His words will be fulfilled and met. And in the end, the whole of mankind will acknowledge Almighty God is the only true God and see how Almighty God’s words are fulfilled and end the prior age. After Almighty God has made a group of overcomers, all kinds of disasters will strike and the whole mankind will fall into disasters and trials. And then, God will descend on a cloud from heaven, and appear to people of all nations. This is sufficient to prove Almighty God’s work in the last days is to open and end an age. The work of the man used by God is based on both the work and words of Almighty God, so he fellowships his experience and knowledge of God’s words, waters and shepherds God’s chosen people, and guides them to pursue the truth and enter the reality of God’s words. At the same time, he leads them to testify publicly the gospel of the descent of the kingdom to the whole world and to the whole of mankind. Man used by God just cooperates with God’s work and performs his duty. This is how the work of God incarnate mainly differs from the work of the man used by God. Each of them has a specific substance that decides it.
Now we are clear about the difference between the work of man used by God and the work of God incarnate. Next up, we will fellowship further about the essential difference between God incarnate and man used by God. As to this aspect of truth, Almighty God’s words have put it very clearly.
“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” (“The Substance of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“Because He is a man with the essence of God, He is above any of created humans, above any man who can perform God’s work. And so, among all those with a human shell like His, among all those who possess humanity, only He is the incarnate God Himself—all others are created humans. Though they all have humanity, created humans are nothing but human, while God incarnate is different: In His flesh He not only has humanity but more importantly has divinity” (“The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“The divinity of Christ is above all men, therefore He is the highest authority of all created beings. This authority is His divinity, that is, the disposition and being of God Himself, which determines His identity” (“The Substance of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“God is holy and flawless, He is true and real, and so His flesh comes from the Spirit—of this there is no doubt. Not only is God’s flesh able to bear witness to Himself, but His flesh can also fully carry out the will of God; this is one aspect of God’s substance. This flesh derives from the Spirit, who has an image; in other words, the flesh the Spirit of God assumes differs in substance from the flesh of man, and the difference mainly lies in the spirit …” (“The Interpretation of the Ninth Utterance” 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. …
… God, after all, is God, and man is man. God has the substance of God, and man has the substance of man” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Almighty God’s words have made it clear that God incarnate is God’s Spirit realized in the flesh. Although He has normal humanity, His substance is divinity. The substance of man used by God is human. There’s only humanity in him, and not a bit of divine substance. That Christ has divine substance means all that possessed by God’s Spirit is realized in the flesh, like God’s innate disposition, His righteous and holy substance, what God has and is, His almightiness and wisdom, as well as His authority and power. This flesh has divine substance and is the practical God who comes on earth and does His work of saving mankind. Because Christ has the divine substance, His emotional state, His thoughts, and His attitudes, viewpoints, and opinions on each kind of people, events, and things are all truths and the expression of His life disposition along with His holy substance. Christ can completely represent God, can directly express God’s voice, God’s life disposition, what He has and is in His identity, and can bestow on man the truth, the way, and the life, which is way beyond the grasp of any created human. It’s because Christ has complete divinity that He can directly express God’s word at any time or place, rather than occasionally convey it like a prophet. Christ only expresses the truth and God’s work in the new age. He never expresses the experience or knowledge of God’s words. Because Christ has complete divinity, He can express the truth at any time and any place to supply, water, and shepherd man, leading the whole of mankind. It’s because Christ has complete divinity that He can undertake the work of God. He can lead mankind and redeem them. He can conquer them, save them and end the entire old age. But men used by God are human in substance with no divinity, only humanity. So they can only do man’s work, and perform only man’s duty. Although they have the enlightenment from God, and the perfection of the Holy Spirit, they can merely assist in God’s work and share their experience and knowledge. Most of their words accord with the truth and edify others, but they’re not the truth and are not on a par with God’s words. What God incarnate does is the initiation and conclusion of an age. He speaks the truth directly and leads all of mankind. But the men used by God or those having the work of the Holy Spirit are just assisting with God’s work and performing the duty of man. What they express are merely the experiences and knowledge of God’s words, and the words in accordance with truth. Also, no matter how long they work or how many words they speak, they’re just fellowshiping on the experience and the knowledge of God’s word. They exalt and testify to God. This is the essential difference between God incarnate and men used by God, or the men who have the work of the Holy Spirit.
We know God incarnate has the divine substance. So, His word and work is without man’s notion, imagination, and logic and thinking, and He directly expresses God’s divine being and the original meaning of God’s Spirit. Just like in the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus revealed the mystery of the kingdom of heaven. He brought the way of repentance to man, expressed the disposition of love and mercy, etc. All this is the direct expression of God’s Spirit, as well as the natural expression of His disposition and all that He has and is, which is beyond the reach of human thinking. In the last days, Almighty God expresses all the truths to purify, save, and perfect man. He displays God’s holy, righteous, and unoffendable disposition, and reveals all the mysteries of His management plan, such as the mystery of God’s incarnation, the difference between the work of God and that of man, the purpose of God’s management plan, the inner truth of God’s three stages of work, the source of man’s corruption, how man should break free from sin and attain God’s salvation, the destination of man, etc. What Almighty God does is the direct expression of the divinity, and the original meaning of God’s Spirit, which cannot be envisioned in the mind of humankind. The work, words, and disposition of God incarnate are all enough to prove that the substance of God incarnate is the divine substance and that His identity is the unique God Himself. And men used by God can’t do the work of divinity in His stead, nor can they express the original meaning of His spirit. They can only assist with the work of God to the best of their ability. They express their experience and knowledge and they lead God’s chosen people to enter the reality of God’s word, testifying and serving Him as man’s duty. All of man’s work is attainable in their mind, and can be reached by experience. They are what man has and is. But because God incarnate and men used by God are very different in substance, the nature of their work is also totally different. The difference between God incarnate and man used by God is the difference between God and man. One is God’s substance while the other is man’s substance. Only He with divine substance can do God’s work, while mankind with man’s substance can only do the work of man. It’s something that believers of God all need to understand.
Now we understand the difference between God’s work and man’s work, as well as how God incarnate differs from man used by God in substance. But we still should be able to tell the difference between the work of men used by God and the work of religious leaders and figures. This is also very important. If we don’t know the difference between God’s work and the work of men, or if we can’t figure out the difference between men used by God and hypocritical Pharisees, we’re very likely to worship man, follow man, and go astray from the true way. Just like when the Lord Jesus came to work, the believers in Judaism followed those hypocritical Pharisees and forsook Jesus. In the last days, Almighty God does the work of judgment. Many religious people are restrained, deceived, and bound by the pastors and elders, the Pharisees of modern times, and thus reject Christ of the last days. It’s a severe lesson. In order to follow God, we should be able to discern these religious leaders’ hypocritical substance, which is like that of the Pharisees. They work by their gifts and talents. They expound the Bible according to their notions, imaginations, and logical reasoning. What they preach is biblical knowledge and theology. And what they preach and focus on is man’s word in the Bible. They don’t emphasize how to exalt and testify to God’s word. They use man’s word to replace the Lord Jesus’ word, making His words ring hollow. This kind of work runs contrary to God’s intention. This is the core of the Pharisees’ resistance to God. Religious people always accept the leadership and shepherding of the Pharisees. Having believed in God for years, they receive no provision of truth and life. All they get are some biblical knowledge and theology. So then, they become more arrogant, self-conceited, and contemptuous, without any reverence for God. Gradually God loses His place in man’s heart. Unknowingly, man finds themselves on the Pharisees’ path of resistance to God. In particular, there are many church leaders and religious figures who expound the Bible out of the context and misinterpret it. They spread absurd fallacies which conform to people’s notions and desires, getting people deceived, entrapped, and controlled. As a result, many people start to accept their fallacies as God’s word and truth, and go astray. These church figures and religious leaders are the very antichrists that God reveals during His work of judgment in the last days. This is strong enough proof that the work of these so-called religious leaders and the “great” spiritual figures doesn’t come from the Holy Spirit, but is the deceit and affliction of Pharisees and antichrists. They are the ones who resist and betray God. They’re the ones who re-crucify God and will end up cursed by Him.
Nowadays, many people have no discernment. They treat those people in charge of the church and the spiritual figures, the deceivers, as men used by God, and consider all their deceitful and fallacious talk as the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit and even as God’s word the truth. These people just follow God by name, but in substance they’re worshiping and following humans. There’s no room for God inside them. They’ve strayed from and betrayed God without awareness. It’s really pitiable that they do this. This is why the religious world is eliminated and forsaken by the work of God. If we can’t ever discern man’s work from God’s work and can’t figure out if it’s the work of men used by God or the hypocritical Pharisees’, we’ll never escape the control and deceit of antichrists and religious deceivers. If we continue to follow God in this way, no matter how long we toil and labor, it will be in vain. We’ll never have the chance to gain His approval. Just as what Almighty God says, “You who follow God with your words had better open your eyes wide to see who it is you truly believe in. Is it God or Satan? If you know that the one you believe in is not God but an idol, you had better not say that you believe in God. And if you do not know who you really believe in, you had better not say that you believe in God. It is blasphemy to say that! Believing in God is not something to be forced. Do not say you believe in Me—I have heard it often enough and do not want to hear it again, for the ones you believe in are the idols in your heart and the villains among you. All those who shake their heads when hearing the truth, yet are all smiles when hearing the words of death, are the descendants of Satan and are to be eliminated” (“Warnings to Those Who Do Not Practice the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
from the movie script of Rapture in Peril