How Can Man Who Has Defined God in His Conceptions Receive the Revelations of God?
The work of God continues to advance, and though the purpose of His work remains unchanging, the means by which He works are constantly changing, and thereby so are those who follow God. The more work of God, the more thoroughly man comes to know God, and the disposition of man changes accordingly along with His work. However, it is because the work of God is ever-changing that those who do not know the work of the Holy Spirit and those absurd men who do not know the truth become opponents of God. Not ever does the work of God conform to the conceptions of man, for His work is always new and never old. Not ever does He repeat work of old but rather forges ahead with work never before done. As God does not repeat His work and man invariably judges the work of God today based on His work of the past, it is exceedingly difficult for God to carry out each stage of work of the new age. Man presents far too many hindrances! The thinking of man is too hidebound! No man knows the work of God, yet they all define such work. Away from God, man loses life, truth, and the blessings of God, yet neither does man accept life nor truth, much less the greater blessings God bestows upon mankind. All men wish to gain God yet are unable to tolerate any changes in God’s work. Those who do not accept the new work of God believe that the work of God is changeless, and that the work of God forever remains at a standstill. In their belief, all that is needed to gain eternal salvation from God is to keep the law, and as long as they repent and confess their sins, the will of God will be forever satisfied. They are of the opinion that God can only be the God under the law and the God who was nailed on the cross for man; it is their opinion too that God should not and cannot exceed the Bible. It is precisely these opinions that have shackled them firmly to the law of old and kept them fettered by rigid regulations. Even more believe that whatever the new work of God, it must be substantiated by prophecies, and that in each stage of such work, all those who follow Him with a true heart must also be shown revelations, else that work could not be that of God. It is already no easy task for man to come to know God. Taken in addition to man’s absurd heart and his rebellious nature of self-importance and self-conceit, then it is all the more difficult for man to accept the new work of God. Man neither studies the new work of God with care nor accepts it with humility; rather, man adopts an attitude of contempt, waiting for the revelations and guidance of God. Is this not the behavior of a man who rebels against and opposes God? How can such men gain the approval of God?
At that time, Jesus stated that the work of Jehovah had fallen behind in the Age of Grace, much as I say today that the work of Jesus has fallen behind. If there had been only the Age of Law and not the Age of Grace, Jesus could not have been crucified and could not have redeemed all mankind; if there had only been the Age of Law, could mankind possibly have developed until this day? History advances forward; is not history the natural law of God’s work? Is this not a depiction of His management of man within the entire universe? History progresses forward, so does the work of God, and the will of God continuously changes. It would be impractical for God to maintain a single stage of work for six thousand years, for all of man knows that He is always new and never old. He could not possibly continue to sustain work akin to the crucifixion, and once, twice, three times … be nailed to the cross. This is the perception of an absurd man. God does not sustain the same work, and His work is ever-changing and always new, much as how I daily speak to you new words and do new work. This is the work I do, the key of which lies in the words “new” and “wondrous.” “God is changeless, and God will always be God”; this saying is true indeed. The essence of God does not change, God is always God, and He could never become Satan, but these do not prove that His work is as constant and invariable as His essence. You declare that God is thus, but how then can you explain that God is always new and never old? The work of God continuously spreads and constantly changes, and the will of God is continuously manifested and made known to man. As man experiences the work of God, his disposition continuously changes, and his knowledge continuously changes. From where, then, does this change arise? Is it not from the ever-changing work of God? If the disposition of man can change, why cannot man allow My work and My words to also continuously change? Must I be subject to the restrictions of man? Are you not now simply resorting to sophistry?
Following His resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples and said, “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father on you: but tarry you in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endued with power from on high.” Do you know how these words are explained? Are you now endued with His power? Have you now understood what is called power? Jesus proclaimed that the Spirit of truth would be bestowed upon man in the last days. It is now the last days; do you understand how the Spirit of truth utters words? Where does the Spirit of truth appear and work? Are those unclean spirits and evil spirits the Spirit of truth? They have no justice, much less the provision of life, and keep the laws of old without doing the slightest new work. Are they the Spirit of truth? Do they have the life, the truth, and the way? Did they emerge separately from the world? Those of you who keep obstinately to the Bible and cling tightly onto Jesus—have you followed the work of Jesus and His words? How faithful are you to Jesus? The greatest book of prophecy of Isaiah in the Old Testament never mentioned that a child named Jesus would be born in the age of the New Testament, merely said that a male infant would be born by the name of Emmanuel. Why did he not specify the name Jesus? Nowhere in the Old Testament does this name appear, so why then do you still believe in Jesus? Surely you did not see Jesus with your own eyes before you came to believe in Him? Or did you begin to believe upon receiving a revelation? Would God really show you such grace? And bestow upon you such a great blessing? On what basis did you believe in Jesus? Why then do you not believe that God has become flesh this day? Why do you say that the absence of a revelation to you from God proves that He has not become flesh? Must God tell man prior to commencing His work? Must He first receive the approval of man? Isaiah only proclaimed that a male infant would be born in a manger but never prophesied that Mary would give birth to Jesus. Why then did you believe in Jesus whom Mary gave birth to? Surely your belief is not one of uncertainty and confusion! Some say that the name of God does not change, so why then did the name of Jehovah become Jesus? It was prophesied of the coming of the Messiah, so why then did a man by the name of Jesus come? Why did the name of God change? Was not such work carried out long ago? Cannot God this day do a new work? The work of yesterday can be altered, and the work of Jesus can follow on from that of Jehovah. Cannot then the work of Jesus be succeeded by another work? If the name of Jehovah can be changed to Jesus, then cannot the name of Jesus also be changed? This is not unusual, and people think so[a] only due to their simple-mindedness. God will always be God. Regardless of the changes to His work and His name, His disposition and wisdom remain forever unchanged. If you believe that God can only be called by the name of Jesus, then you know too little. Do you dare assert that Jesus is forever the name of God, that God will forever and always go by the name of Jesus, and that this will never change? Dare you assert with certainty it is the name of Jesus that concluded the Age of Law and also concludes the final age? Who can say that the grace of Jesus can conclude the age? If now you cannot know these truths clearly, not only will you be unable to preach the gospel, but even you yourself cannot remain standing. When the day comes that you resolve all the difficulties of those religious people and refute all their fallacies, that shall be proof that you are absolutely certain of this stage of work and have not the slightest doubt. If you are unable to refute their fallacies, then they will frame you and slander you. Is this not disgraceful?
The Jews of the time all read from the Old Testament and knew of Isaiah’s prophecy that a male infant would be born in a manger. Why then, with this knowledge, did they still persecute Jesus? Is this not because of their rebellious nature and ignorance of the work of the Holy Spirit? At that time, the Pharisees believed that the work of Jesus was unlike what they knew of the prophesied male infant; man of today rejects God because the work of the incarnate God does not conform to the Bible. Is not the substance of their rebelliousness against God one and the same? Can you be such that you accept without question all the work of the Holy Spirit? If it is the work of the Holy Spirit, then it is the right stream. You should accept it without the slightest misgivings, rather than picking and choosing what to accept. If you gain some knowledge from God and exercise some caution against Him, is this not an act truly uncalled for? What you ought to do is accept, without the need for further substantiation from the Bible, any work so long as it is that of the Holy Spirit, for you believe in God to follow God, not to investigate Him. You should not search out further proof for Me to show that I am your God. Rather, you ought to discern whether I am of benefit to you; that is the key. Even if you have found out much irrefutable proof within the Bible, it cannot bring you fully before Me. You are one who lives within the confines of the Bible, and not before Me; the Bible cannot help you know Me, nor can it deepen your love for Me. Though the Bible prophesied that a male infant would be born, none could fathom upon whom the prophecy would come to pass, for man did not know the work of God, and this is what caused the Pharisees to stand against Jesus. Some know that My work is in man’s interests, yet they continue to believe that Jesus and I are two entirely separate beings who are mutually incompatible. At the time, Jesus only spoke to His disciples a series of sermons in the Age of Grace, such as how to practice, how to gather together, how to ask in prayer, how to treat others, and so forth. The work He carried out was that of the Age of Grace, and He expounded only on how the disciples and those who followed Him ought to practice. He did only the work of the Age of Grace and none of the last days. When Jehovah set down Old Testament law in the Age of Law, why did He not then do the work of the Age of Grace? Why did He not make clear in advance the work of the Age of Grace? Would this not have been of benefit to the acceptance of man? He only prophesied that a male infant would be born and come to power, but He did not carry out in advance the work of the Age of Grace. The work of God in each age has clear boundaries; He does only the work of the current age and never does He carry out the next stage of work in advance. Only in this way can His representative work of each age be brought to the fore. Jesus had spoken only of the signs of the last days, of how to be patient and how to be saved, how to repent and confess, as well as how to bear the cross and endure suffering; never did He speak of how man in the last days should enter in, or how to seek to satisfy God’s will. As such, would it not be an act of fallacy to search within the Bible for God’s work of the last days? What can you discern merely holding the Bible in your hands? Be it an interpreter of the Bible or a preacher, who can foreknow the work of today?
“He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Have you now heard the words of the Holy Spirit? The words of God have come upon you. Do you hear them? God does the work of the word in the last days, and such words are that of the Holy Spirit, for God is the Holy Spirit and can also become flesh; therefore, the words of the Holy Spirit, as spoken of in the past, are the words of the incarnate God today. There are many absurd men who believe that the words of the Holy Spirit ought to come down from the heavens to the ears of man. Any who thinks this way does not know the work of God. In truth, the utterances spoken by the Holy Spirit are those spoken by God become flesh. The Holy Spirit cannot speak directly to man, and Jehovah did not speak directly to the people, even in the Age of Law. Would it not be far less likely that He would do so in this age today? For God to speak utterances to carry out work, He must become flesh, else His work cannot accomplish His goal. Those who deny God become flesh are those who do not know the Spirit or the principles by which God works. Those who believe that now is the age of the Holy Spirit yet do not accept His new work are those who live in vague faith. Such manner of men shall never receive the work of the Holy Spirit. Those who wish only for the Holy Spirit to directly speak and carry out His work, yet do not accept the words or work of the incarnate God, shall never be able to step into the new age or receive complete salvation from God!
a. The original text reads “which is.”