Question 24: You bear witness that Almighty God is God incarnate who is currently doing His work of judgment in the last days, but the religious pastors and elders say that the work of Almighty God is actually the work of a human being, and on top of that, many people who don’t believe in the Lord Jesus also say that Christianity itself is just belief in a man. We still cannot discern what exactly is the difference between the work of God and the work of man, so please fellowship on this with us.
The work of God and the work of man are certainly different. If we investigate carefully we will all be able to see it. For instance, if we look at the utterances and work of the Lord Jesus and then take a look at the utterances and work of the apostles, we can say that the difference is too obvious. Every word uttered by the Lord Jesus is the truth and carries authority, and can reveal many mysteries. These are all things mankind can never do. That is why there are so many people who follow the Lord Jesus. However, the apostles can only spread the gospel, bear witness to God, and supply the church. The results are all very limited. The difference between God’s work and man’s work is so obvious. Then, why can’t we see through it? What is the reason? It’s because corrupt mankind doesn’t know God and possesses no truth whatsoever. Therefore, it results in us not knowing the difference between God’s work and man’s work, and makes it easy to treat the work of God incarnate as man’s work and makes it easy to treat the work of man we admire and the work of evil spirits, the work of false Christs and false prophets as God’s work to be accepted and followed. This is deviating from the true way and resisting God, and is considered adoring man, following Satan and worshiping Satan. It’s a serious offense against God’s disposition and will be cursed by God. People like this will lose the opportunity to be saved. That is why this question is very important to our investigation of the true way and knowing God’s work of the last days. From the outside, the work of God incarnate and the work of men used by God both look like man is working and speaking. But there is a world of difference between their essence and the nature of their work. Today, Almighty God has come and revealed all truths and mysteries and revealed the differences between God’s work and man’s work. Only now do we have knowledge and discernment over God’s work and man’s work. Let’s take a look at Almighty God’s words.
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. The work done by man is merely within the range of his duty that is humanly possible, and does not represent the work of God. Only the incarnate God can come and complete the work that He should do, and apart from Him, no one can do this work on His behalf. Of course, what I speak of is in regard with the work of incarnation” (“Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” 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. …
“… The words of God incarnate initiate a new age, guide the whole of mankind, reveal mysteries, and show man the direction ahead in a new age. The enlightenment obtained by man is but simple practice or knowledge. It cannot guide the whole of mankind into a new age or reveal the mystery of God Himself. God, after all, is God, and man is man. God has the substance of God, and man has the substance of man” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“The incarnate God is substantively different from the people used by God. The incarnate God is able to do the work of divinity, whereas the people used by God are not. At the beginning of each age, God’s Spirit speaks personally and launches the new era to bring man into a new beginning. When He has finished speaking, this signifies that God’s work within His divinity is done. Thereafter, people all follow the lead of those used by God to enter into their life experience” (“The Essential Difference Between the Incarnate God and the 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 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).
“If man were to do this work, then it would be too limited: It could take man to a certain point, but it would not be able to bring man to the eternal destination. Man is not able to decide man’s destiny, nor, moreover, is he able to ensure man’s prospects and future destination. The work done by God, however, is different. Since He created man, He leads him; since He saves man, He will thoroughly save him, and will completely gain him; since He leads man, He will bring him to the proper destination; and since He created and manages man, He must take responsibility for man’s fate and prospects. It is this which is the work done by the Creator” (“Restoring the Normal Life of Man and Taking Him to a Wonderful Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Almighty God’s words have made the difference between God’s work and man’s work very clear. As the essences of God incarnate and men used by God are different, the work they do is also very different. God incarnate looks like an ordinary and normal person from the outside, but He is the Spirit of God realized in the flesh. He therefore has a divine substance and is possessed of God’s authority, power, omnipotence, and wisdom. So God incarnate can directly express truths in His work and express God’s righteous disposition and all that He has and is, and can begin a new age and end the old age, and can reveal all the mysteries of God’s management plan, expressing God’s intentions and God’s requirements of mankind. All words expressed by God incarnate are the truth and can be man’s life and change man’s life disposition. The work of God incarnate can conquer and cleanse man and save man from Satan’s influence, and bring mankind to a beautiful destination. The effect of such work is something no person could do. The work of God incarnate is the work of God Himself, and cannot be replaced by anyone. On the other hand, the essence of a man used by God is man. They only have humanity and do not possess Christ’s divine essence, so they cannot express truths or God’s disposition and all that He has and is. They can only communicate their personal knowledge of God’s words on the foundation of God’s utterances and work, or speak of their own experiences and testimonies. Their knowledge and testimonies all represent their personal understanding of God’s words. No matter how high their knowledge or how accurate their words, what they say cannot be said to be the truth, and moreover cannot be said to be God’s words, so it cannot be man’s life and can only give man assistance, supply, support, and edification, cannot achieve the results of cleansing man, saving man, and perfecting man. Therefore, man used by God cannot perform the work of God Himself and can only coordinate with God to fulfill man’s duty.
When it comes to the difference between God’s work and man’s work, we can give an actual example to make it much clearer for everyone. In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus preached the way of repentance, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” revealing the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. And He was personally crucified as a sin offering for man, making man confess and repent, and forgiving man’s sins, absolving man from the conviction and curse of law so we can be qualified to come before God to pray and commune with God, and enjoy God’s rich grace and truths, and let us see God’s loving and merciful disposition. The work of the Lord Jesus began the Age of Grace and ended the Age of Law. This is the part of God’s work in the Age of Grace. After the Lord Jesus completed His work, His apostles led God’s chosen people to experience and practice the words of the Lord Jesus on the foundations of His utterances and work, spreading testimonies of His salvation and spreading His gospel of redeeming mankind throughout the earth. This is the work of the apostles in the Age of Grace, and also the work of men who were used by God. This allows us to see that there is a difference in essence between the work of the Lord Jesus and the work of the apostles. Almighty God incarnate of the last days has expressed all truths to cleanse and save mankind, revealing all mysteries of God’s 6,000-year management plan, performing the work of judgment beginning from the house of God to thoroughly save mankind from Satan’s corruption and influence, making man see God’s righteous, majestic, wrathful, and unoffendable disposition, so that corrupted mankind can break free from sin, achieve purification, and be gained by God. The work of Almighty God began the Age of Kingdom and ended the Age of Grace. This is God’s work for the Age of Kingdom. The work of the man used by God, on the foundation of the work and words of Almighty God, is to water and shepherd God’s chosen people, leading them to enter the reality of God’s words and enter the right track to believing in God, and spread and testify to Almighty God’s gospel of the descent of the kingdom. This is the work of the man used by God in the Age of Kingdom. This allows us to see that the work of God both times He became flesh is the work of beginning an age and ending an age. His work is oriented toward all of mankind and is all a stage of work for completing God’s management plan. It is precisely the work of redeeming and saving mankind. The work of God both times He became flesh completely verifies that only God can express the truth in His work to cleanse and save mankind. No man can perform God’s work. Only God incarnate can perform God’s work. So both times God became flesh, He testifies that only Christ is the truth, the way, and the life. Apart from God in the flesh, no one else can do the work of God Himself. They cannot begin new ages, end old ages, and moreover cannot save mankind. The work of men used by God can only coordinate with God’s work, to lead and shepherd God’s chosen people and fulfill man’s duty. No matter how many years man has worked or how many words are spoken, or how great their work seems from the outside, its essence is all the work of man. That is a fact. That’s the main difference between the work of God in the flesh and the work of men used by God.
The words of Almighty God have made us realize the substantive difference between God’s work and man’s work. Only now do we know that as God incarnate works He can express truths, express God’s disposition and all that God has and is. If we accept and experience God’s work we will be able to understand the truth, and be able to understand God’s holy and righteous disposition, God’s essence, God’s intentions of saving mankind, God’s methods of saving mankind, and God’s love for mankind more and more. At the same time, we will also gain an understanding of the essence, nature and truth of our being corrupted by Satan. That way, our corrupt disposition can achieve purification and change, and we can generate true obedience and fear toward God, and achieve God’s salvation. However, man’s work and God’s work are completely different. Because man cannot express the truth and can only discuss their personal experiences and knowledge of God’s words, even if it conforms with the truth, it can only guide, shepherd, support, and assist God’s chosen people. This shows that if it is a person approved by God, the work they do is just to coordinate with God’s work and fulfill man’s duty. If it is not a person used by God, a person without the work of the Holy Spirit, then they are a person who exalts man’s gifts, talents, and fame. Even when they explain the Bible, they are exalting the words of man in the Bible, making God’s words irrelevant and using man’s words to replace God’s words. The work of such people is the work of the Pharisees and is the work of resisting God. The work of man mainly falls into these two different situations. No matter what, the biggest difference between man’s work and God’s work is this: If it is only man’s work, it cannot achieve the results of cleansing and saving man. Only God is capable of expressing the truth in His work and only His work can achieve the results of cleansing and saving man. That’s a fact. The main thing we’re talking about here is the difference between God’s work and the work of people used by God. The work of those religious leaders not used by God is another matter.
The work of God and the work of man have such obvious differences, then why can we still worship and follow man at the same time as believing in God? Why are there still so many people who treat the work of those they worship, such as famous spiritual figures and religious leaders as the work of God? Why are there people who even treat the deception of false Christs and evil spirits as God’s work? It’s because we don’t possess the truth and can’t distinguish between God’s work and man’s work. We don’t know the essence of God incarnate and the essence of man, and don’t know how to discern what is the truth and what conforms with the truth. We can’t distinguish between God’s voice and man’s utterances, plus we have been corrupted by Satan and we all worship knowledge and gifts, so it is very easy to treat the biblical knowledge, religious doctrines, and theological theories that come from man as the truth. Accepting these things that are not the truth and that come from man might serve to increase our knowledge, but it provides no supply whatsoever to our life, and moreover cannot achieve the effects of knowing God and revering God. This is an undeniable fact. Therefore, no matter how much work man does, how many words man speaks, how long man works, or how great the work is, it cannot achieve the result of cleansing and saving man. Man’s life will not change. This reveals that man’s work can never replace God’s work. Only God’s work can save man. No matter how short the period of God’s work and how limited the words He utters, it can begin an age and end an age, and can achieve the results of redeeming and saving mankind. This is the obvious difference between the work of God and the work of man. Only when we understand the difference between God’s work and man’s work will we not blindly worship and follow man, and be able to discern and reject the deception and control of false Christs and antichrists. In this way, we will be able to accept and obey the work of Almighty God of the last days, and gain God’s judgment and purification to achieve God’s salvation. If we cannot distinguish between God’s work and man’s work, we will not be able to break free from the deception and control of false Christs and antichrists. Such people believe in God nominally, but are in fact believing in man, following man, and worshiping man; they are worshiping idols. This is resisting God and betraying God. If they still refuse to realize the error of their ways, they will ultimately be cursed by God and eliminated by God for offending God’s disposition.
from Classic Questions and Answers on the Gospel of the Kingdom
If we can’t differentiate between God’s work and man’s work, or differentiate between the men God uses and those hypocritical Pharisees, we’ll be prone to worshiping and following men and will easily deviate from the true way! It will be just like when the Lord Jesus came to do His work, and God’s chosen people in Judaism all followed the hypocritical Pharisees, and forsook Him. In the last days, Almighty God does the work of judgment. In the religious world, pastors and leaders, the modern-day Pharisees, deceive, restrain, and confine so many people, leading them to forsake Christ of the last days. This is a grave lesson that we must learn. To follow God, we must be able to discern the essence of the religious leaders and hypocritical Pharisees. They work through their gifts and talents, interpreting the Bible in accordance with their own notions, imaginations, and logical reasoning. What they really preach are the theories of theology and biblical studies. They only care about interpreting and preaching the words of men in the Bible, instead of exalting and bearing witness to God’s words in the Bible. They use the words of men to substitute the Lord Jesus’ words, turning the Lord into a mere figurehead. This work runs completely counter to God’s will. The crux of the Pharisee’s opposition to God lies here. Religious people all fall for the Pharisees’ leadership and shepherding, and they follow blindly. They follow God for years and years, but never receive any nourishment of the truth or the life. At best, they can only hope to gain some knowledge of the Bible and theological theories. They grow more and more arrogant, self-righteous, and contemptuous in disposition, and lack the slightest amount of reverence for God. Gradually, God loses His position in their hearts, and unbeknownst to them, they walk the Pharisees’ path in opposition to God. In particular, there are many religious leaders and personalities who take the Bible out of context and misinterpret it, spreading heresies and fallacies that agree with man’s notions and imaginations and satisfy their ambitions and desire in order to deceive, imprison, and manipulate them. There are many people who treat these heresies and fallacies as if they were God’s word, the truth. They are led onto the wrong path. These religious leaders and so-called famous men are precisely the antichrists that God has exposed through His work of judgment in the last days. These facts are enough to prove that the work of these so-called religious leaders and spiritual figures doesn’t come from the work of the Holy Spirit. Rather, it is merely Pharisees and antichrists deceiving and harming us. They all stand in opposition to God and betray Him. It is they who nail God to the cross once more, and God has cursed them!
from Classic Questions and Answers on the Gospel of the Kingdom
There are three main differences between God’s work and man’s work. The first difference is that God’s work involves beginning and ending ages. So, His work is directed at the entire human race. It does not just target a single country, a single race of people or a certain group of people. It is for the entire human race. All of God’s work inevitably affects the entire human race. This is where the greatest difference between God’s work and man’s work lies. During the Age of Grace, God incarnated as the Lord Jesus and performed a stage of the work of redemption of mankind. After the Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross, fulfilling the work of redemption, the Holy Spirit began guiding God’s chosen people to bear witness to the Lord Jesus and ultimately disseminated His work throughout the entire human race. The gospel of the Lord Jesus’ redemption was thus spread to the ends of the earth—this proves that this was the work of God. If this had been the work of man, it definitely would not have spread to the ends of the earth. Two thousand years separated the Age of Grace and the Age of Kingdom. Over those two thousand years, no one was seen who was able to do the work of starting a new age. Moreover, there was nobody that was able to do any kind of special work that would spread throughout all the nations of the world. There were no such examples of this until God became flesh in the last days to perform the work of judgment and chastisement. The pilot stage of God’s work has already been a success in China—God’s great project has already been completed, and His work has begun to expand to all corners of the globe. This way we can further affirm that all of God’s work is directed at all of mankind. God starts out His test work in a country, and after that has been successfully accomplished, God’s work begins to expand and reach all of mankind. This is the greatest difference between God’s work and man’s work. …
The second difference between God’s work and man’s work is that God’s work expresses what God is. It is completely representative of God’s disposition. Everything that God expresses is utterly the truth, the way and the life. All those who experience God’s work recognize God’s righteousness, holiness, almightiness, wisdom, wonderfulness and unfathomableness. What the work of man expresses is man’s experience and understanding—it is representative of man’s humanity. Regardless of how much work man does or how great it is, none of it can be the truth at all. It can only be a human understanding or experience of the truth—it absolutely cannot be said that it is entirely the truth or that it represents the truth. …
The third aspect of the differences between God’s work and man’s work is that God’s work has the power to conquer people, to change people, to transform their dispositions and free them from Satan’s influence. Regardless of how much experience and understanding a man has of God’s word, his work cannot save people. Furthermore, it is unable to change another person’s disposition. This is because God’s word is the truth and only the truth can be a person’s life. Man’s word is, at best, an understanding that is in accordance with the truth. It can just temporarily help and edify others, but it cannot be someone’s life. That is why God’s work is able to save man and man’s work is incapable of providing salvation to anyone else. God’s work can transform people’s dispositions while man’s work is incapable of changing anyone’s disposition. All those with experience can see this clearly. Basically, regardless of how much work of the Holy Spirit someone has, even if he has been working among people for a number of years, his work cannot achieve a transformation in their dispositions. It is incapable of helping them achieve complete, genuine salvation. This is absolute. Only God’s work can do this. If man does well in his experience and pursuit of the truth, he will be able to receive the work of the Holy Spirit and he will achieve a transformation in his life disposition. He will achieve a genuine understanding of his own corrupt essence. In the end, he will be able to free himself from the influence of Satan and gain salvation from God. This is the greatest difference between man’s work and God’s work.
from “The Differences Between the Work of God and Man” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life II
The greatest difference between the work of God and the work of man lies in the fact that God is able to begin and end ages. Only God Himself can do that work; humans cannot. Why is that? It’s because humans do not possess the truth, and they are not the truth; only God is. No matter how closely people’s words conform to the truth, how lofty their preaching is, or how much they understand, it is nothing more than a little experience and knowledge of the words of God and of the truth, and it is only something limited they have attained by undergoing God’s work. It is not the accurate truth. Therefore, no matter how much of the truth a person comprehends, he cannot do the work of beginning and ending ages. This is determined by the essence of human beings. …
All that man has and is and his humanity, no matter how lofty or good, are something limited that ought to be possessed within normal humanity; this simply cannot be compared to what God has and is, nor to the reality of truth that God expresses. It is the difference between heaven and earth; man therefore cannot do the work of God. … Regardless of how great the work you do is, how many years you work, how many more years you have worked than God incarnate has, or how many more words you have uttered than He has, what you express is nothing more than what man has and is. It is only a little piece of man’s experience and knowledge of God’s words and truth. It cannot be a person’s very life. So no matter how many sermons someone delivers, no matter how profound others think their sermons are and no matter how much work they do, nothing they express possesses the truth and it is not the most accurate expression of truth, much less can it lead all of humankind forward. Even if a person’s words contain the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, they can only bring people a little bit of edification and sustenance. All they can do is bring a bit of help to people for a certain period of time, and no more. This is what can be achieved through the work of man. Why is it, then, that the work of man cannot attain the same results as work of God? It is because the essence of man is not the truth; man’s essence merely possesses some things that normal humanity has and is. It is so far removed from what God has and is, so far removed from the truth that God expresses. In other words, if man departs from the work of God and the Holy Spirit ceases to work, the work of man will be of less and less benefit on others and people will gradually have no path. There are a few obvious outcomes that only the work of God can achieve and the work of man never can: Whatever man does, it cannot transform people’s life disposition; whatever man does, it cannot allow people to truly know God or be purified. This is absolute. Some say: “That’s because their time for working isn’t as long.” That’s simply not true. Even a long period of time will not do. Can the work of man allow man to achieve knowledge of God? No matter how many years you lead others, you can’t lead them to knowledge of God. Let us consider a few examples. Can the work of Paul allow people to know God? Can all those epistles of the apostles in the New Testament allow people to know God? Is the work of the many prophets and servants of God of the Old Testament able to allow people to know God? None of them can. The results that can be achieved by the work of man are extremely limited; all they can do is uphold a period of God’s work. … The work of man cannot help man know God, the work of man cannot change the disposition of man, and the work of man cannot help them attain purification. This is the proof. What about God’s work during the last days? There are more and more testimonies from God’s chosen people undergoing God’s work. So many people have been conquered and have cast aside everything to follow God, so many people have borne resounding witness, and so many people have written articles giving testimony on their own personal experiences; there are all kinds of testimonies. Some people who have experienced God’s work for eight or ten years have such wonderful testimonies; some have wonderful testimonies after just three to five years. If these people who have gained some testimony were to have ten or twenty more years of experience, what kind of witness would that be? Would it be even more resounding and more glorious? Is this what is achieved through God’s work? It is the result of a single decade of God’s work which excels the results of a century or a millennium of the work of man. What does this illustrate? That only God’s work can achieve the salvation, transformation, and perfection of man, while no amount of time of the work of man could achieve such results. What can the work of a man ultimately result in? Only having others admire, endorse, and emulate that person. At most, people may behave a bit better and nothing more; a change of their life disposition cannot be attained, submission to God and knowledge of God cannot be attained, the fear of God and shunning of evil cannot be attained, and seeing God through true purification cannot be attained. Results cannot be achieved in any of these major aspects.
One aspect of the work of God is that through it, we can discover what God has and is, see God’s disposition, and can know His wisdom and almightiness. This is something that can be achieved directly through God’s words. Another aspect is that the word of God can be man’s life. When we have true experience and understanding of God’s word, a heart of reverence for God will develop within us and we will then be able to continually absorb the sustaining living water of His word, and as it takes root within us, we will become able to live out the testimony that God requires of us at all times. That is, His word will become our very life. The word of God is our inexhaustible and boundless fount of life. And what of the work of man? No matter how correct a person’s words are or how in line with truth they are, they cannot serve as life itself for others; they can only provide temporary help and edification. Now you can see this, right? Is this not the distinction between the work of man and the work of God? That is to say, what man expresses is just what he is, but what God expresses is all that He is. All man can do is bring a bit of benefit and edification to others, while what God brings to man is eternal sustenance for life—the differences are that stark. If we depart from man, we can still continue on; without God’s word, we would lose the fountainhead of life. God therefore said, “Christ is the truth, the way, and the life.” God’s words are our treasure, our lifeblood, and are indispensable to all. With God’s words, we have direction in our lives, we have a goal for our lives as well as the sustenance of life and principles for living.
from The Fellowship From the Above