God’s six-thousand-year plan of management is coming to an end, and the gate of the kingdom has already been opened to all those who seek His appearance. Dear brothers and sisters, what are you waiting for? What is it that you seek? Are you waiting for God to appear? Are you searching for His footprints? How one yearns for the appearance of God! And how difficult it is to find God’s footprints! In an age such as this, in a world such as this, what must we do to witness the day on which God appears? What must we do to keep pace with the footsteps of God? Questions of this kind are faced by all those who are waiting for God to appear. You have all considered them on more than one occasion—but with what outcome? Where does God appear? Where are God’s footprints? Have you got the answer? Many people would reply in this way: “God appears among all those who follow Him and His footprints are in our midst; it’s that simple!” Anyone can provide a formulaic answer, but do you understand what is meant by the appearance of God or His footprints? The appearance of God refers to His arrival on earth to do His work in person. With His own identity and disposition, and in the way that is innate to Him, He descends among mankind to conduct the work of initiating an age and ending an age. This kind of appearance is not a form of ceremony. It is not a sign, a picture, a miracle, or some kind of a grand vision, and even less is it a kind of religious process. It is a real and actual fact that can be touched and beheld by anyone. This kind of appearance is not for the sake of going through the motions, or for any short-term undertaking; it is, rather, for a stage of work in His management plan. The appearance of God is always meaningful and always bears some relation to His management plan. What is called “appearance” here is completely different from the kind of “appearance” in which God guides, leads, and enlightens man. God carries out a stage of His great work each time He reveals Himself. This work is different from that of any other age. It is unimaginable to man, and has never been experienced by man. It is work that starts a new age and concludes the old age, and it is a new and improved form of work for the salvation of mankind; moreover, it is work that brings mankind into the new age. This is what the appearance of God signifies.
Once you have understood what the appearance of God means, how should you seek God’s footprints? This question is not hard to explain: Wherever God appears, there you will find His footsteps. Such an explanation sounds straightforward, but is not so easy in practice, for many people do not know where God appears, much less where He is willing to, or where He should, appear. Some impulsively believe that wherever the Holy Spirit is at work, there God appears. Or else they believe that wherever there are spiritual figures, there God appears. Or else they believe that wherever there are people of high reputation, there God appears. For the moment, let us leave aside whether such beliefs are right or wrong. To explain such a question, we must first have a clear objective: We are searching for the footprints of God. We are not seeking spiritual figures, much less are we pursuing figures of renown; we are pursuing the footprints of God. For this reason, since we are searching for the footprints of God, it behooves us to search for God’s will, for the words of God, for His utterances—because wherever there are new words spoken by God, the voice of God is there, and wherever there are the footsteps of God, God’s deeds are there. Wherever there is the expression of God, there God appears, and wherever God appears, there the truth, the way, and the life exist. In seeking God’s footprints, you have ignored the words “God is the truth, the way, and the life.” And so, many people, even when they receive the truth, do not believe that they have found God’s footprints, and still less do they acknowledge the appearance of God. What a grave mistake! The appearance of God cannot be reconciled with man’s notions, still less can God appear at the behest of man. God makes His own choices and His own plans when He does His work; moreover, He has His own objectives and His own methods. Whatever work He does, He has no need to discuss it with man or seek his advice, much less to notify each and every person of His work. This is the disposition of God, which should, moreover, be recognized by everyone. If you desire to witness the appearance of God, to follow God’s footsteps, then you must first walk away from your own notions. You must not demand that God do this or that, much less should you place Him within your own confines and limit Him to your own notions. Instead, you should ask how you are to seek God’s footprints, how you are to accept God’s appearance, and how you are to submit to the new work of God: This is what man should do. Since man is not the truth, and is not possessed of the truth, he should seek, accept, and obey.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Appendix 1: The Appearance of God Has Ushered in a New Age
“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 words in the last days, and such words are those 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 God incarnate today. There are many absurd people who believe that since it is the Holy Spirit talking, His voice should speak from the heavens for people to hear. Anyone 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; even in the Age of Law, Jehovah did not speak directly to the people. 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; otherwise, His work would not be able to accomplish its goals. Those who deny God incarnate 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 amid a vague and abstract faith. Such people shall never receive the work of the Holy Spirit. Those who ask only for the Holy Spirit to speak and carry out His work directly, and do not accept the words or work of God incarnate, shall never be able to step into the new age or be brought complete salvation by God!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How Can Man Who Has Delimited God in His Notions Receive the Revelations of God?
All who are able to obey the present utterances of the Holy Spirit are blessed. It does not matter how they used to be, or how the Holy Spirit used to work within them—those who have gained the latest work of God are the most blessed, and those who are unable to follow the latest work today are eliminated. God wants those who are able to accept the new light, and He wants those who accept and know His latest work. Why is it said that you must be a chaste virgin? A chaste virgin is able to seek the work of the Holy Spirit and understand the new things, and moreover, able to put aside old notions, and obey the work of God today. This group of people, who accept the newest work of today, were predestined by God before the ages, and are the most blessed of people. You hear the voice of God directly, and behold the appearance of God, and so, throughout heaven and earth, and throughout the ages, none have been more blessed than you, this group of people.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Know God’s Newest Work and Follow His Footsteps