11. To study the true way, only listen to the voice of God; absolutely do not believe the rumors of Satan
Bible Verses for Reference:
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27).
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Roman 10:17).
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).
“Fools die for want of wisdom” (Proverb 10:21).
Relevant Words of God:
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 that “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!
from “The Appearance of God Has Ushered in a New Age” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
To study such a thing is not difficult, but requires each of us to know this truth: 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. To investigate whether it is God’s incarnate flesh, man must determine this from the disposition He expresses and the words He speaks. Which is to say, whether or not it is God’s incarnate flesh, and whether or not it is the true way, must be judged from His substance. And so, in determining[a] whether it is the flesh of God incarnate, the key is to pay attention to His substance (His work, His words, His disposition, and many more), rather than external appearance.
from Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh
Those who do not understand the truth always follow others: If people say that this is the work of the Holy Spirit, then you, too, say it is the work of the Holy Spirit; if people say it is the work of an evil spirit, then you, too, become doubtful, or also say it is the work of an evil spirit. You always parrot the words of others, and are incapable of distinguishing anything by yourself, nor are you able to think for yourself. This is someone without a position, who is unable to differentiate—such a person is a worthless wretch! You always repeat the words of others: Today it is said that this is the work of the Holy Spirit, but chances are one day someone will say it isn’t the work of the Holy Spirit, and nothing but the deeds of man—yet you can’t discern this, and when you witness it said by others, you say the same thing. It is actually the work of the Holy Spirit, but you say it is the work of man; have you not become one of those who blaspheme against the work of the Holy Spirit? In this, have you not opposed God because you cannot differentiate? Who knows, maybe one day some nitwit will appear who says that “this is the work of an evil spirit,” and when you hear these words you’ll be at a loss, and once again bound up by the words of others. Every time someone stirs up disturbance you’re incapable of standing by your position, and this is all because you do not possess the truth. Believing in God and pursuing the knowledge of God is no simple matter. They cannot be achieved simply by gathering together and listening to preaching, and you cannot be perfected by passion alone. You must experience, and know, and be principled in your actions, and gain the work of the Holy Spirit. When you have undergone experiences, you will be able to differentiate many things—you will be able to distinguish between good and evil, between righteousness and wickedness, between what is of flesh and blood and what is of the truth. You should be able to distinguish between all these things, and in so doing, no matter the circumstances, you will never be lost. Only this is your real stature.
Knowing the work of God is no simple matter. You should have standards and an objective in your pursuit, you should know how to seek the true way, and how to measure whether or not it is the true way, and whether or not it is the work of God. What is the most basic principle in seeking the true way? You have to look at whether or not there is the work of the Holy Spirit in this way, whether or not these words are the expression of the truth, who is testified to, and what it can bring you. Distinguishing between the true way and the false way requires several aspects of basic knowledge, the most fundamental of which is to tell whether or not there is the work of the Holy Spirit. For the substance of man’s belief in God is the belief in the Spirit of God, and even his belief in God incarnate is because this flesh is the embodiment of the Spirit of God, which means that such belief is still the belief in the Spirit. There are differences between the Spirit and the flesh, but because this flesh comes from the Spirit, and is the Word become flesh, thus what man believes in is still the inherent substance of God. And so, in distinguishing whether or not it is the true way, above all you must look at whether or not there is the work of the Holy Spirit, after which you must look at whether or not there is the truth in this way. This truth is the life disposition of normal humanity, which is to say, that which was required of man when God created him in the beginning, namely, all of normal humanity (including human sense, insight, wisdom, and the basic knowledge of being man). That is, you need to look at whether or not this way can take man into a life of normal humanity, whether or not the truth that is spoken of is required according to the reality of normal humanity, whether or not this truth is practical and real, and whether or not it is most timely. If there is truth, then it is able to take man into normal and real experiences; man, furthermore, becomes ever more normal, man’s human sense becomes ever more complete, man’s life in the flesh and the spiritual life become ever more orderly, and man’s emotions become ever more normal. This is the second principle. There is one other principle, which is whether or not man has an increasing knowledge of God, whether or not experiencing such work and truth can inspire a love of God in him, and bring him ever closer to God. In this can be measured whether or not it is the true way. Most fundamental is whether this way is realistic rather than supernatural, and whether or not it is able to provide the life of man. If it conforms to these principles, the conclusion can be drawn that this way is the true way. I say these words not to make you accept other ways in your future experiences, nor as a prediction that there will be the work of another new age in the future. I say them so that you may be certain that the way of today is the true way, so that you will not only be half-sure in your belief toward the work of today and unable to gain insight into it. There are even many who, despite being certain, still follow in confusion; such certainty has no principle to it, and they must be eliminated sooner or later. Even those who are especially ardent in their following are three parts sure and five parts unsure, which shows that they have no foundation. Because your caliber is too poor and your foundation is too shallow, you have no understanding of differentiation. God does not repeat His work, He does not do work that is not realistic, He does not make excessive requirements of man, and He does not do work that is beyond the sense of man. All the work He does is within the scope of man’s normal sense, and does not exceed the sense of normal humanity, and His work is according to man’s normal requirements. If it is the work of the Holy Spirit, man becomes ever more normal, and his humanity becomes ever more normal. Man has an increasing knowledge of his satanic corrupt disposition, and of the essence of man, and he has an ever greater longing for the truth. That is to say, the life of man grows and grows, and the corrupt disposition of man becomes capable of more and more changes—all of which is the meaning of God becoming the life of man. If a way is incapable of revealing those things that are the essence of man, is incapable of changing the disposition of man, and, moreover, is incapable of bringing him before God or giving him a true understanding of God, and even causes his humanity to become ever more lowly and his sense ever more abnormal, then this way must not be the true way, and it may be the work of an evil spirit, or the old way. In short, it cannot be the present work of the Holy Spirit. You have believed in God for all these years, yet you have no inkling of the principles for differentiating between the true way and the false way or for seeking the true way. Most people aren’t even interested in these matters; they merely go where the majority go, and repeat what the majority say. How is this someone who seeks the true way? And how can such people find the true way? If you grasp these several key principles, then whatever happens you will not be deceived.
from “Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Sermon and Fellowship Excerpts for Reference:
In examining the true way, examining God’s appearance and work, why do you believe the words of Satan the devil? This is a problem. When you examine the work of God, you need to examine His utterances and see if these words of God are the voice of God, if they are the truth and the work of God. Then look at whether the Holy Spirit’s work is in The Church of Almighty God. What have these people achieved after many years of faith? Do they have any knowledge of God? Have there been any changes in their life disposition? Have the toxins of Satan been cleansed? You need to examine these things. You don’t examine the words of Almighty God, don’t examine whose words God’s chosen people of The Church of Almighty God eat and drink or whose work they are experiencing—why do you go to the great red dragon and believe Satan the devil’s words? Why do you believe the words of the religious pastors and elders? What kinds of creatures are they? They are wolves disguised in sheep’s clothing; they are hypocritical antichrists; they are wicked servants; they are demons that devour human souls. Why can’t you see through into their essence? This is the greatest ignorance and foolishness of human beings.
To examine the true way, one must read the words of Almighty God. Only after that will you know whether what Almighty God expresses is the truth, and whether it is the voice of God. If you confirm that it is the truth and the voice of God, then you can be certain it is God’s appearance and work. If you are certain about that, when Satan once again says negative, contrary things, will you still believe them? Who is it that you really believe in? Do you believe that the word of God is the truth, or that the word of Satan is the truth? This is the choice that man faces. What would be the choice of a person who truly possesses reason? The word of God is the truth. Can the great red dragon express the truth? It can’t express the truth—it can only talk nonsense, create rumors, and tell lies. It can only deceive you and keep you away from the true way. Why do you believe it? When people make a choice, they should first and foremost choose the truth. I will accept whoever possesses the truth. I will accept whoever can express the truth to save me, cleanse me and perfect me. If you cannot express the truth to cleanse me, if you cannot save me, then everything you say is nonsense and I won’t listen to a word of it. Listening to you is of no use. Isn’t that the case?
from Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life, Volume 142
When some people investigate the true way they base it on the rumors of the Chinese Communist Party. They say: “This cannot possibly be the true way. Look at the leader—he is hunted by the police and he took the church’s money and ran. Isn’t he just the same as a non-believer? How could this be the true way?” That kind of person doesn’t believe in God after hearing His voice. They want to look into what the church and the leader are like. “If this leader is approved of by the government and has international renown, if he makes a name for himself and is not condemned by the government or the religious community, then we can accept this. If he is condemned by the government and the religious community, then he must be a villain. So, no matter how wonderful God’s word is, we will not accept it.” Is this looking into the true way? This is the logic of a fool. It is Satan’s logic. If you research the true way, then you must seek out whether the words spoken by God incarnate really are the voice of God, whether they are the truth and whether or not they are the work of God. This is what you should be investigating. If these words are the truth, if they are the voice of God, and they are God’s work of the last days, then despite what Satan may tell us, we must believe in it because God is the truth, and Satan’s mouth is filled with lies. God’s words are the truth, His words are His work, and God is righteous and holy. God’s work can never, ever be wrong. Any person can be wrong, but God can never be wrong. Any person can lie, they can cheat and trick others, but God does not lie; God is holy and righteous and He is the truth. Some people do not investigate God’s words but just look at the religious community’s critiques of The Church of Almighty God and the leader of the Church. But do the words of those in the religious world represent God’s words? If you do not believe this person, that’s fine, but you always have to believe God, don’t you? If you do not read God’s words but always take Satan at its word, then is it not Satan whom you trust? Do you really believe that Satan’s words are truth? If you do, there are problems with your faith; you actively believe Satan’s words. There are also some who, when looking into the true way, look specifically to statements on famous websites from the secular world. They say, “What they’re saying on those websites has to be right!” But, really, what are those websites? Aren’t they of this world, too? Aren’t those words written by corrupt human beings? Are they not part of Satan’s evil power? Do they contain truth? They do not serve God, they certainly do not worship God and they are not groups that God gives testimony for. Why on earth would you believe them? They lie through their teeth and spread falsehoods. They disseminate whatever rumors or lies satanic governments may create. Doesn’t that make them organizations that spread lies? They pass on whatever rumors the Chinese Communist government creates, whatever attempts they make to discredit The Church of Almighty God. So, aren’t they tools for Satan to spread its lies? Aren’t they tools for Satan to deceive man? Why do people believe those things of Satan when researching the true way? Are they sick in the head? Do they believe that the world is righteous and fair? If the government or religious community makes comments and claims as to which is the true way and which is the true God, then they just believe in it. If the government or religious community says something isn’t the true way, or says that some God is not real, then they don’t believe in it. Who do these people believe in? They believe in the government, they believe in the words of the religious community, and the words of religious pastors and elders. Is someone like that a true believer? They do not believe in God, they do not trust in God, they do not believe that God is real, and they do not admit that God is the truth. They particularly do not know the truth. Therefore, when someone like that looks into the true way, they are paralyzed the moment they hear Satan’s lies and rumors. Is this an intelligent person? They are confused! There is just one principle for my belief in God: If someone is God, if He can express the truth and save humanity, then I will believe in Him and my faith will be unwavering. And don’t we believe in God in order to receive the truth? Only by gaining the truth can you gain God. If you do not obtain the truth then your faith is a failure, it is useless, and you cannot gain God.
No matter what God does, you are not qualified to condemn Him, right? Amongst the religious community and the non-believers there are those who say that the Lord Jesus had a wife and children. There are also those who do not believe the fact of conception by the Holy Spirit. They do not believe in the testimony of Mary, nor do they believe the Lord Jesus’ words or that He came from God. Instead, they believe in the words of the devil and science. As a result, they condemn and resist the Lord Jesus. We do not care whether or not the Lord Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. “If He can express the truth, then I will follow Him. If He gives testimony that He comes from God, then I will believe in Him. I will not listen to the words of others for they should not be heeded.” The words of corrupt humanity are the words of Satan; they are all lies. If something is not the truth, then it is a lie, regardless of whether it is correct. Sometimes reality is a lie; sometimes it is not truth and does not represent truth. If the Lord Jesus really had a wife and children, would you still believe in Him? (Yes.) Why would you still believe in Him if He had a wife and children? Some say, “If the Lord Jesus had a wife and children then He would not be the Lord, so I wouldn’t believe in Him. If He did not have a wife and children, then I believe He is the Lord, that He is Christ. But if He really did have a wife and children, then I would no longer believe in Him.” This is the opinion held by some. But what is your view? Some say that the Lord Jesus is God incarnate, that He possessed normal humanity, and even if He had a wife, He is still Christ. And if He did not have a wife, then He is still Christ. Whether or not He had a wife or child is not in conflict with His essence as Christ—that is immutable. Among those who hear someone say that the Lord Jesus had a wife and children, some will continue to believe and some will not. Why is it that some no longer believe? It’s because of their notions. They start to question whether the Lord Jesus’ essence as Christ was real or false, because they think that Christ could not have had a wife or child, and that if He had, then His essence as Christ would have changed, and it would have been false. This is how such a person makes assertions about Christ’s essence. What does Christ’s essence have to do with Him having a wife and children? It has nothing to do with it. So, on hearing rumors or negative publicity saying this and that, one who has true knowledge of the Lord Jesus will not be influenced by it. Their faith in Him will be unwavering. They will obey and follow Him. However, those who do not understand the essence of the Lord Jesus will develop notions and they will be likely to pull back or even betray Him.
Having faith is really difficult for people right now. They hear and believe the rumors and the slander. God has spoken so many words and expressed so much truth, but they don’t believe a word of it. But Satan’s rumors are what they can accept in their hearts, and they stay with them for many years. What is the problem here? Doesn’t preferring to believe Satan’s rumors over God’s expression of the truth show the essence of corrupt humanity’s hatred for the truth? It goes without saying that these rumors are false. Even if they were entirely true, if I told you they were all true, who among you would still believe in God? Quite a few brothers and sisters could keep believing in God—that would be no simple matter. Those rumors are clearly false, yet some people still wonder whether they are true or not. Regardless of whether they are true or not, we still believe in God. What kind of faith is this? Is this true faith? This is true faith, is it not? This kind of faith means a person is truly obedient to God and truly follows Him. “I don’t care what God does. If, before my very eyes, He does something which does not adhere to my notions, then I will dispense with my notions, for He is God. Whatever God does that is not in line with my notions is still truth, and still holds meaning.” Isn’t this level of acceptance impressive? What kind of faith do you need to achieve that? “Even if all the rumors were true, I would still believe in God. There’s no need to speak of those things. If God were to do something that is most incompatible with man’s notions, I would still believe He is God.” So why do you still have faith? “Because God is the truth and because corrupt humanity cannot fathom anything. Whatever God does, I will not question it. I do not trust my own feelings or notions. I simply acknowledge that He is God, and whatever He does, He is God.” This is true faith. I dare say that someone who truly possesses this kind of faith is one who is nearly perfected. They have already obtained the truth and they have an understanding of God. They do not believe in their own personal notions and feelings.
What fruit can pursuing the truth ultimately bear? Some say it is understanding God. Then, what is the manifestation of understanding God? It is having no notions about God, no matter what He does. If God said, “I will strike that person down right in front of you,” they would have no notions about this. If He said, “I will curse someone in front of you, I will curse him that he is the devil Satan,” they would have no notions. If God then asked, “Do you still believe in Me?” they would answer, “I believe! You are God, and God is God into eternity.” This level of faith is adequate. They are of one accord with God and do not resist Him in the slightest; they will never resist Him again. They have complete certainty in Him. Can this type of person still have notions about God? (They cannot.) If a new believer shows you some negative material, saying, “Look at this, is this true?” such a person will respond, “Even if all this information were correct, even if it were true, I would still believe in God! God is so lovely, He is the One to be trusted, and only He is the true God. If it weren’t for this kind of thing, I would question whether or not He is God. It would be strange if corrupt humanity, with all its evil, was not resisting God and condemning Him! When the Lord Jesus came into this world through the conception by the Holy Spirit, many people stood up to resist Him. The entire Jewish faith stood up and condemned the Lord Jesus; they sullied His name. Now in the last days, corrupt humanity’s evil has reached its peak; it would be very odd if no one condemned God’s appearance, if no one spread negative propaganda about Him! So, when God of the last days appears, rumors, lies and falsehoods must surely abound. Amongst the endless flood of lies, I discovered God’s voice and I clung to it with all my might. I believe in Him and I follow Him. My belief in Him is firm—He is my Savior.” Who currently has this kind of faith? Some have. They do not have notions about God. They say, “Whether You married or not, You are still God. Whether You had a wife or children, You are still Christ. However many disasters You rain down, You are still God. If You destroy the world, I will still praise You, for this would allow me to see Your righteousness.” If God arrived and corrupt humanity did not condemn Him, if there were no rumors about Him, then that would be strange, wouldn’t it? … So, if those who study the true way are not principled and lack the truth, then they will always see the negative propaganda rather than how God’s work saves man. They will not see the truths expressed through God’s words, but will merely examine whether or not the lies, falsehoods, and rumors of man are true. Even if they are true, then what of it? If they are untrue, then what of it? Is this how one should search for the true way? Is this the path of studying the true way? What use is it to always take people’s lies into account? Can the truth come from the mouths of humans? Will living water flow from them? Isn’t all that spurts forth from people’s mouths lies? But what are lies? The falsehood that people speak, the dishonesty, the deception—these are all lies. So why do you believe the lies people tell? Why don’t you believe the truths God has expressed? It shows that at heart, you are lacking integrity and unjust. If you could see that these words have been expressed by God incarnate, that this is the work of God in the last days and entirely the truth, then why would you still believe the lies of corrupt man? As for corrupt humanity, from governments all over the world to civil society organizations, to the thinkers, philosophers and politicians, do any of them have even a modicum of truth? Aren’t they all just part of corrupt humanity? Their words are merely the words of man. Not a word of theirs adheres to the truth. You, a corrupt human, criticize the work of God; are you qualified to do so?
from Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life, Volume 138
The best way to fight back against Satan’s tricks is to understand the truth and to know God. Anything other than this can only provide temporary comfort. Even if you do not fall down at the time, it does not count as standing witness. So, you have to understand the truth and know God. You must also have a God-fearing heart. We cannot judge the things we cannot understand, but have to see where these words come from. Nothing good comes from Satan’s mouth. What is Satan’s mouth? It is the door to the netherworld—it is the door to hell. Any evil, ugly thing can come out of it. Do not accept or believe anything that comes from Satan’s mouth. It is all false, it is all deceit, lies and deception. There are no true words in Satan’s mouth; there are no truth or facts. It is all false. You can’t go wrong with this in mind. Satan is best at distorting the truth and even if there is something that is a fact, after Satan distorts it, it sours. For example, there is something that is positive with God, something that God commends, but once it reaches Satan’s mouth, as soon as it’s reprocessed it will become a negative and ugly thing. There are many positive things that, once they get to Satan, are guaranteed to become negative and ugly. Satan, that vile thing, really knows how to rework things; it can make black look white and white look black and twist the truth. This is how the things of Satan are able to deceive people. All that comes from God and is uttered by God is positive, but through Satan’s reprocessing, once they go into Satan and are poisoned, they become negative things. When people hear them again they find that they have soured. This is a fact. This is how Satan is so able to deceive people. Satan reprocesses and disseminates those negative things and then they become positive once again. Tell me—was the Long March of nearly 8,000 miles a positive thing or a negative thing? It was a negative thing. It is that group of reactionary forces being hunted by the Kuomintang Army so much so that they were in a terrible plight and were fleeing helter-skelter. They had no choice but to go on their Long March that was almost 8,000 miles long. As a result, once they publicized this it became a positive thing. After that, there were a number of angry youths who stood up, holding banners to go on the Long March. Isn’t that totally senseless? All things in the history of the great red dragon are negative. They are all reactionary things that work against the people and just causes; through their reprocessing, they all become revolutionary matters and positive things. So, everything that they disseminate is a fabrication, a lie; it is all a distortion and deception. Tell me, can the great red dragon distort the facts? Their entire history is full of lies and deceit. There is not a single thing that has not undergone reprocessing. Can any true words come out from their mouths? What sort of things are the mouths of the great red dragon and those of the religious world? They are the doorways to hell and the netherworld. All kinds of lies come from them; everything is a distortion of the truth. As soon as any positive, beautiful things reach them, they turn them into negative, dirty things. Those people really are evil. Positive things will be praised far and wide later, but when they get to them, they are turned into negative things. They are such evil beasts! These things that are clearly positive are turned into negative things once they reach them. Clearly, much of what they do is negative, and through their propaganda their actions are disguised as positive. These are Satan’s tactics. If people cannot see through them they will be duped by Satan and will inevitably be entrapped and ruined by Satan. Do you currently believe in God or in Satan? If you believe in God, that is right. All that comes from God is positive and that which comes from Satan is negative. The things those people say are positive are actually all negative, and the things they say are negative are all positive. Now you understand, right? The more they resist and condemn something, the more we must support and praise it. The more they praise and support something, the more we must oppose and condemn it. This is right. This is guaranteed to be right; it cannot go wrong.
from “Only People Who Stand Witness Have the Reality of the Truth” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life IX
a. The original text reads “as for.”