XII. Questions and Answers on How to Differentiate Between the Work of God and the Work of Man
Question 6: The words of famous spiritual figures also conform with the truth and are constructive for people. If what they say conforms with the truth, then how is that any different to the words of God that are the truth?
Answer: This question is so critical! Many people can’t see through this key issue to investigating the true way. They accept Almighty God’s word is the truth and has authority and power, but because they can’t see through the differences between the words of famous spiritual figures that conform with the truth and the truths expressed by God, it is very difficult for them to accept God’s work and be raptured before God's throne. If we treat all words that conform with the truth as God’s words, then it is very easy for us to be deceived and follow and worship man, and follow Satan in resisting God, betraying God, and offending God’s disposition. It's like how so many people follow religious pastors and leaders, and follow false Christs. This is something that will be cursed by God. Therefore, believing in God requires discerning what is the truth and what is knowledge and doctrines, and the difference between the truth and words that conform with the truth. This is extremely important. If we cannot discern the truth then we cannot recognize Christ. If we cannot distinguish the essential difference between the truth and words that conform with the truth, then it is impossible for us to hear God’s voice and return to God. This is absolute. So just what is the truth and what are words that conform with the truth? Let’s see what Almighty God has to say about it.
“The truth is the most real of life’s aphorisms, and the highest of such aphorisms among all mankind. Because it is the requirement that God makes of man, and is the work personally done by God, thus it is called life’s aphorism. It is not an aphorism summed up from something, nor is it a famous quote from a great figure; instead, it is the utterance to mankind from the Master of the heavens and earth and all things, and not some words summed up by man, but the inherent life of God. And so it is called the highest of all life’s aphorisms” (“Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“You have to understand the actual scope of the truth and you must also understand what does not pertain to truth. Tell Me, if some people gain some insights and have some understanding based on their experiences from the words of truth, does this count as the truth? At best we can say that they have some understanding of the truth. All the words of enlightenment of the Holy Spirit do not represent God’s word, do not represent truth, and they do not pertain to the truth. It can only be said that those people have some understanding of truth, and some enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. … Everyone can experience the truth, but the situations of their experience will be different, and what each person obtains from the same truth is different. But even after combining everyone’s understanding you still cannot completely explain this one truth; the truth is that deep! Why do I say that all of the things you have obtained and all of your understanding, cannot be a substitute for the truth? If you fellowship your understanding with others, they may ponder on it for two or three days and then they will finish experiencing it, but a person cannot fully experience truth even in a lifetime, even all people together cannot experience it thoroughly. Thus it can be seen that the truth is very profound, there is no way to use words to fully articulate the truth, the truth put into human language is man’s aphorism; humanity will never experience it fully, and humanity should live in reliance on it. A piece of truth can let all of humanity survive for thousands of years, and truth is the life of God Himself, representing His own disposition, representing His own substance, representing everything within Him. If you say you have truth and that to have some experiences means that you have the truth, then can you represent the disposition of God? You cannot. You see, a person may have some experience or light regarding a certain aspect or side of a truth, but they cannot supply others with it forever, so their light is not truth, it’s just a degree to which a person has reached, the experience—the proper experience—a person should have, the proper understanding, which is a realistic aspect of the experience of truth. This light, enlightenment and understanding based on experience can never be a substitute for truth; even if all people have experienced a truth, and if they put all of their words together, this cannot be equal to that one sentence of the truth. … Just that the life of man will always be the life of man, and no matter how much your understanding is in accordance with the truth, in accordance with the meaning of God, in accordance with the requirements of God, it will never be able to be a substitute for the truth” (“Do You Know What Truth Really Is?” in Records of Christ’s Talks).
Almighty God has made it very clear what the truth is and what are the words that conform with the truth. The truth originates from God. All words expressed by God are the truth. This is absolutely certain. Then just what is the truth? What is the essence of the truth? Because the truth is all an expression of God, it is naturally a revelation of the essence of God's life and a revelation of what God has and is, and are expressions of God’s disposition. The truth is the reality of all things positive. It will never change and will always exist. The truth is what God’s life is, and it carries authority and power. That is why the truth can cleanse man, save man, perfect man, and be man’s eternal life. The purpose of God expressing the truth is so that man can gain the truth as their life and live by God’s words. If mankind gains the truth as their life, their corrupt nature and satanic disposition will be completely cleansed. Living by the truth, mankind can live out the likeness of a real man and become a mankind that is holy and accords with God's intentions. This way, the meaning of God’s creation of man is completely achieved. This is the ultimate result that God's work of saving mankind seeks to achieve. After the great disasters, the surviving humans will all obey God and worship God. They are all human beings who have gained the truth and achieved salvation. Such people will be brought up by God into His kingdom, enjoy God’s promise and gain a wonderful destination. These are all facts accomplished by God’s words. These are all results achieved by the truths expressed by God. Even though the words of those famous spiritual figures conform with the truth and are constructive for people, they don’t count as truth and cannot be compared to God’s words. God’s words can be man’s life, but man’s words cannot be man’s life. The truth can cleanse man, change man, perfect man, but words of man that conform with the truth cannot cleanse, change, or perfect man. This is a fact nobody can deny. We can all see that there have been quite a few people used by God throughout the ages, but no matter who it was and no matter how many years of work or how many words spoken, their work and words cannot achieve the result of cleansing, saving, and perfecting man. Why is that so? It is because words spoken by man that conform with the truth are all defined by their limited experience and knowledge of God’s word and the truth. What is expressed are all their own viewpoints and opinions, and it represents their personal stature and knowledge of God and the truth. Even if the reception is pure, conforms with the truth, and is constructive and helpful to man, such words can only be said to be correct words, words that conform with the truth. But the words that conform with the truth are still very different from the essence of the truth itself, and cannot be said to be the truth. The books they write and words they preach all come from their own personal burden to the church and are for shepherding the church and comforting and exhorting believers, or helping people resolve some of their difficulties and confusion in their belief in God. But their words can only supply people for a period or a stage, and could never replace the results of God’s work. The facts are sufficient to show that words spoken by man that conform with the truth are entirely different from the essence of the truth itself, and therefore cannot be said to be the truth and moreover cannot be said to be God’s words. This is the essential difference between words spoken by man that conform with the truth and the truth itself. Everyone should understand this now, right?
It is through Almighty God’s revelation of these mysteries that we realize there is a substantive difference between what people say in accordance with the truth and God’s word that is the truth. The two are not comparable! The word of God is the truth. A man can spend his entire life in experiencing a single statement of God. For example, on being an honest person, the Lord Jesus had asked of people: “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Mat 5:37). “And said, Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mat 18:3). Today, Almighty God has come and asked the same of man. Almighty God said, “God has the substance of faithfulness, and so His word can always be trusted. Furthermore, His actions are faultless and unquestionable. This is why God likes those who are absolutely honest with Him” (“Three Admonitions” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Be an honest person, not someone who’s always being clever, always crafty. (Here I am asking you again to be an honest person.)” (“Transgressions Will Take Man to Hell” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). We realize from the word of God that it is of profound significance to be an honest man. Only honest people are ones with true humanity. Honest people are the likeness of true humans. God loves the honest man. God created man, saves man, and makes perfect man in order to make man honest. What the Lord Jesus said about becoming as little children is the style of an honest man. If a man succeeds in becoming an honest person, he will be blessed by God to enter the kingdom of heaven. What is most valuable about honest people is that they give their hearts to God, believe in God with their hearts, and love God with their hearts. They can purely open themselves to truly communicate with and give their hearts to God. In addition, honest people do not make deals, harbor motives or seek demands when they perform their duties. They deceive neither God nor man. This is the reality that normal humanity should possess. The truth about being an honest man appears simple, easy to understand and practice, but it is the most basic truth of being a man. It is enough for man to experience for a lifetime. No matter how many experiences and entries people have in the truth of being an honest person, they still do not feel it is complete or perfect. They always feel there is still certain crookedness, deception, and deals that have not been completely cleansed. They somehow always feel that they have not really lived the style of an honest person. This is the real experience of the truth behind living as an honest person. It can be seen that any truth is a mystery with a lot of practical content, which is inexhaustible. No matter how deeply man has experienced and understood the truth, it is impossible to explicitly state the essence of the truth in human languages. This is a fact. Therefore, as much as what one says is in conformity with the truth, it still cannot be compared with the word of the truth and regarded as the truth. The truth is possessed by God. Only God is the truth, so only Christ who possesses the divine essence can express the truth. Man only possesses the essence of humanity and what humanity is. Man himself is not the truth, and he does not possess the truth. So he can only express man’s views and knowledge. Even with the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and consistency with the truth, his words are never identical to the truth. If what man says in line with the truth is asserted as the word of God and the truth, it is purely an insult to God. It is blasphemy!
from the movie script of Who Is He That Has Returned