How to Discern the True Way and False Ways and Discern the True and False Churches?

The Relevant Words of God Are as Follows:

What are the most basic principles for seeking the true way? You need to see whether this way has the working of the Holy Spirit, and whether there is the truth expressed in these words, whom they testify, and what they can bring to you. To discern whether a way is the true way or a false way, you have to have the common knowledge of several aspects. The most basic common knowledge is to see whether it has the working of the Holy Spirit. This is because the substance of people’s believing in God is actually believing in God’s Spirit. Even though they believe in God’s incarnated flesh, it is because this flesh is the embodiment of God’s Spirit. That is to say, such believing is still believing in the Spirit. The Spirit and the flesh are different, but because this flesh is from the Spirit and is the flesh the Word becomes, what they believe in is still God’s original substance. So, to discern whether a way is the true way, first you need to see whether it has the working of the Holy Spirit, and second you should see whether this way has the truth. The truth means the life disposition of the normal humanity, which is what God required of man when he first created man, that is, all the normal humanity (including human sense, insight, wisdom, and the common sense in conducting oneself). That is, you need to see whether this way leads people into the normal human living, whether the truth expressed in it is required of man according to the reality of the normal humanity, and whether the truth is realistic, practical, and most timely. If it has the truth, it can lead people into the normal and practical experiences, and people will become more and more normal, their human sense will become more and more complete, their physical living and spiritual living will become more and more regulated, and their feelings of pleasure, anger, sorrow, and joy will become more and more normal. This is the second aspect. The third aspect is to see whether people will have more and more knowledge of God and through experiencing such work and truth whether their heart of loving God can be stirred up and they can have a closer and closer relationship with God. By these you will be able to judge whether it is the true way. The most basic is whether this way is realistic and not supernatural and whether it can be man’s life supply. If a way meets these several conditions, it can be concluded that it is the true way. … If a work is the work of the Holy Spirit, it will cause people to become more and more normal, cause their humanity to become more and more normal, and cause them to have more and more knowledge of the corrupt satanic disposition and man’s essence and to become more and more thirsty for the truth. That is, their life can grow more and more and their corrupt disposition can be transformed more and more. This is the original meaning of God’s being man’s life. If a way cannot expose the things of people’s essence or transform their disposition, much less bring them before God or cause them to have a true knowledge of God, and even causes their humanity to become lower and lower and their sense to become more and more abnormal, then it is not the true way. It may be the work of an evil spirit or an old way. In any case, it is not the present work of the Holy Spirit. You have believed in God for so many years, but you simply know nothing about the principles for discerning the true way and false ways and for seeking the true way. Most of you are even indifferent to these things and only follow what others do and say what others say. Are such people ones who seek the true way? How could such people find the true way? If you can grasp these several key points, you will not be deceived under any circumstances.”

from “Only Those Who Know God and God’s Work Are the Ones God Is Satisfied With”
in The Word Appears in the Flesh

All those in the stream of the Holy Spirit have the presence and discipline of the Holy Spirit, while those outside the stream of the Holy Spirit are under the control of satan and do not have the working of the Holy Spirit at all. Those in the stream of the Holy Spirit are the ones who accept God’s new work. They are the ones who cooperate with God’s new work. If anyone in this stream cannot cooperate or practice the truths required by God in this age, he will be disciplined, or worse still, will be deserted by the Holy Spirit. Since they are the ones who accept the new work of the Holy Spirit, they live in the stream of the Holy Spirit and are cared for and kept by the Holy Spirit. Those who are willing to practice the truth have the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; those who are not willing to practice the truth receive the discipline of the Holy Spirit or there is even punishment coming upon them. No matter who they are, as long as they are the ones in the stream of the Holy Spirit, God will, for his name’s sake, be responsible for every one of them who accepts his new work. Those who glorify his name and who are willing to practice his word receive his blessings; those who disobey him and do not practice his word receive his punishments. … Those who do not accept the new work, however, are different. They all are the ones outside the stream of the Holy Spirit and have no discipline or rebuke of the Holy Spirit at all. These people live in the flesh and in the mind all day long. What they practice is doctrines gained through their analyzing and studying according to their mind, not the requirements from the new work of the Holy Spirit, much less cooperation with God. Those who do not accept God’s new work do not have God’s presence at all, much less God’s blessing or keeping. What they hold fast to in words and acts are mostly the requirements from the former work of the Holy Spirit, which are not the truths but doctrines. However, these doctrines and regulations are sufficient to prove that the congregation of these people is only religion, not the chosen people or the objects of God’s work. The congregation of all of them can only be called the aggregate of religion, not church. This fact is unchangeable.”

from “God’s Work and Man’s Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Why do I say that what people in the religious churches practice is old? Because what they practice is divorced from the present work. In the Age of the Grace, what they practice was right, but as the age has turned and the work has changed, their practices have gradually become old and have been cast behind by the new work and the new light. The work of the Holy Spirit has advanced several steps based on the former work, but they still remain in the former stage without any move and still hold on to the old practices and the old light. God’s work will change greatly within three or five years. How much more greatly has it changed over two thousand years? If men have no new light or new practices, it is because they have failed to keep up with the work of the Holy Spirit, and it is their fault. You cannot deny the existence of the new work because those who had the working of the Holy Spirit before are still holding on to the old practices now. The work of the Holy Spirit is always progressing forward, so all the ones in the stream of the Holy Spirit should also advance and change progressively and should not just remain in one stage. Only those who do not know the work of the Holy Spirit will remain in the former work and refuse to accept the new work of the Holy Spirit. Only the disobedient ones cannot receive the work of the Holy Spirit. If men’s practices cannot keep up with the new work of the Holy Spirit, their practices are surely divorced from the present work and are surely contradictory to it. Such old-fogies cannot accomplish God’s will at all, much less become the ones who stand God’s testimony in the end. And the entire management work cannot be ended on such a group of men. If those who once kept Jehovah’s law and those who once suffered for the cross refuse to accept this final stage of work, all that they do will be in vain and futile. … If one remains in one stage, it proves that he has failed to keep up with God’s work and new light, and it does not prove that God’s management plan is unchanged. Those outside the stream of the Holy Spirit always consider theirs to be right. Actually, God’s work on them has long stopped, and they do not at all have the working of the Holy Spirit. God has long transferred his work onto another group of people, and he will accomplish his new work in these people. Because the people in religion refuse to accept his new work but only hold on to the former old work, he rejects them and does his new work on those who accept it. These people are the ones who cooperate with his new work. Only in this way can his management be accomplished. God’s management is going forward all the time, and man’s practice is becoming increasingly higher; God has always been working, and man always has needs. So that these two will advance to their peaks where God and man can be fully associated with each other. This will be a manifestation that the work has been brought to successful completion and will be the ultimate result of the entire management.”

from “God’s Work and Man’s Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The Man’s Fellowship for Reference:

The true way can save man, can transform man, can cause man to be approved by God and enter the path to the real destination. Only this is the true way. If a man has not achieved this result or this goal through believing in a way he thought the true way, it can be said to be a false way, not the true way. Some people ask, ‘How to discern what are positive things and what are negative things?’ Discern them according to God’s word. All that God approves, that God requires mankind to possess, and that God likes man to do are positive things. All that God requires man to reject and forsake and that God condemns are negative things. In measuring positive and negative things, we should judge them according to God’s word like this. God’s word is the touchstone to test whether a thing is true or false, and it is the only criterion. How to judge which way is the true way and which way is a false way? Any way that can bring you the true human life, can enable you to see light, and can enable you to break free from satan’s corruption and power and enable you to receive God’s approval and blessing is the true way. Is it right to explain so? What does God’s judgment and chastisement bring us? It brings us all the truths corrupt mankind must have to be saved, brings us the right way of human life so that we can see the light of human life, and brings us the great and true salvation God predestined at the creation of the world, so that we can change from mankind corrupted by satan who belonged to satan into real mankind truly purified by God who have the truth and have humanity. This is the result achieved completely through God’s judgment and chastisement, that is, through God’s end-time work. Without God’s judgment and chastisement, we could not gain the truth, our corruption could not be solved, and we could never see the light of human life and could never receive God’s approval. So all the blessings we have received today are the results achieved by experiencing and obeying God’s judgment and chastisement. …
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… Some people say, ‘If it is the true way, why are there so few people who have entered? Since it is the true way, it should be that many people believe in it, and all mankind should believe.’ Those who speak such a word do not understand the truth and cannot see through things. The whole mankind has been corrupted to a degree that fewer and fewer people love the truth and more and more people pursue profits. No matter which belief a man is to accept, he first sees whether it is profitable. This determines that those who believe in the true way are certainly few, but there are surely many who believe in false ways and the ways which bring grace and profits. After hearing what I say, you will see clearly the substance of this matter. The way we believe in does not heal people of their sicknesses, does not feed people with bread, does not give people grace, and does not heal the demon-possessed people. If another item—not to die in any disaster—is attached to the way we believe in, all the people in the world would come to believe in it. Now there is no such an item. God has not said this word, ‘All those who believe in the name of Almighty God, I guarantee that you will not die.’ Thus, when preaching the gospel, you dare not say it at will. Others may ask, ‘If I believe in Almighty God, will I be spared from death?’ ‘I do not know.’ ‘As he cannot solve the problem of death, it is useless for me to believe in him.’ They may ask again, ‘If I believe in Almighty God, what can I gain?’ ‘You can gain the truth.’ ‘What is the good of gaining the truth?’ ‘You can be left alive.’ ‘Who has seen? Who can guarantee? What does it mean to gain the truth?’ ‘I do not know.’ ‘I cannot believe then.’ So, we feel it hard to testify Almighty God and preaching the gospel, because people who love the truth are too few, which is a fact. But after accepting Almighty God’s work, the more we believe, the more we feel it is the true way, and the more we believe, the more strength we have. Why is this? This is the result of our understanding the truth. The more one understands the truth, the more he feels this is the true way and is God’s work. The more one understands the truth, the more he feels, ‘Ah, it is so practical that God saves man this way. If I understand the truth, I can really be saved, can really get transformed in my disposition, can really become a true human being, and can really live out a true human life with normal humanity. So, this way is meaningful.’ He feels that gaining the truth is more meaningful, more worthy, and more precious than gaining those profits, receiving healings, and eating bread and being filled. So, with a person who has believed in Almighty God for years, no matter what grace you give him, he does not feel it is precious. When he gains the truth, he feels it is treasure. This shows he has seen the true way. Have you seen any believer in Almighty God run away? One may not pursue the truth, but as long as he hears several years of preaching, is he willing to drop out? No one is willing to drop out. Why is he not willing to drop out? He knows, ‘This is the true way; as long as I make a good effort and perform my duty properly, I will possibly be left alive, and I will have an outcome of not dying. It is very worthy to be spared from death.’ Now people just do not know what criterion they should meet to be spared from death. Once they know this criterion, they will all believe and will have more strength.”

from “The Four Most Basic Lessons One Must Enter Into in Obeying God’s Work”
in Fellowship and Preaching About Life Entering In (6)

If a way is not treated with hostility and opposed by the whole religious world, it is not the true way. Remember, any true way is opposed by most people, even by the world. When the Lord Jesus first came forth to preach and work, wasn’t he opposed by the whole Jewish religion? Every time when God begins to do a new work, it is most difficult for corrupt mankind to accept, because God’s work does not fit man’s notions but counters man’s notions. Man has no understanding ability and cannot directly penetrate the spiritual realm. If the Holy Spirit does not work, no man can accept the true way. If it is said to be God’s work but is not opposed by the religious world and is not opposed or treated with hostility by the world, it proves that this work is false. Why is it that mankind cannot accept the truth? First, man is of flesh and is physical, and a physical thing cannot directly penetrate the spiritual realm. What does ‘cannot directly penetrate the spiritual realm’ mean? It means that you cannot see the spirits, the activities in the spiritual realm, or the activities of various kinds of spirits, and you also cannot see what God is doing and saying. Man is a blind to the spiritual realm. In the physical world, you can see nothing when you close your eyes. What can you see when you open your eyes? The physical world. Can you see which spirit comes and what things he does on man? Can you see what God’s Spirit comes to do and say? You cannot see. You can hear sound sometimes, and you can see God’s words printed in the book. But you do not know when and how God spoke his words. You can hear sound but do not know the origin of the sound, and you can see God’s words printed on paper but do not know what their meanings are. Man cannot directly penetrate the spiritual realm and cannot touch the root of God’s words, so man needs the Holy Spirit’s inspiration and enlightenment and needs the Holy Spirit’s working so as to achieve the result. Second, mankind is too deeply corrupt, and they are filled with all kinds of satanic poisons and all kinds of knowledge. As man measures everything with all kinds of satanic philosophies and knowledge, he can never judge what the truth is. Without the Holy Spirit’s inspiration and enlightenment, man will never understand the truth. So, as far as corrupt mankind’s natural ability is concerned, they cannot directly penetrate the spiritual realm. And man is filled with satanic philosophies and knowledge and cannot distinguish the truth. Therefore, the true way can only be persecuted and be rejected by man. Why is it easy for man to accept satanic philosophies and knowledge? First, they fit man’s notions, and they are in accord with man’s fleshly interests, beneficial to man’s flesh. He feels, ‘If I accept such knowledge, it is beneficial to me; if I accept such knowledge, I can get a promotion; if I accept such knowledge, I can become prosperous; if I accept such knowledge, I can accomplish my purpose; if I have such knowledge, I will be thought highly of by others.’ You see, it is beneficial to man, and this fits man’s notions. … Corrupt mankind has been corrupted to such a stage, and besides, they themselves cannot directly penetrate the spiritual realm; so they are bound to resist God. Therefore, when God’s work comes, it is rejected, opposed, and condemned by mankind; isn’t this a normal phenomenon? If it is not condemned or opposed by the world and mankind, it proves that it is not the truth. If all that God says fits man’s notions, will man condemn it? Will man resist it? Surely not.”

from “The Fellowship and Preaching of the Above About Preaching the Gospel”

Only the churches with the Holy Spirit’s working are God’s churches; only if there are people who truly pursue the truth and obey God’s work will a church have the Holy Spirit’s working. God acknowledges the churches with the Holy Spirit’s working but does not acknowledge the churches without the Holy Spirit’s working. God’s chosen people should see this clearly.
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… A true church is made up of people who truly believe in God and who love the truth and is a gathering of all the people who fear God. Only such can be called the church. … Only the gathering of people whom God predestined and chose and who have the Holy Spirit’s working is the church.”

from “How to Treat and Solve the Chaos Occurring in the Churches” in A Compilation of the Fellowship and Preaching About Church Work and the Church Work Arrangements over the Years (2)

The church is made up of people truly predestined and chosen by God, and it is made up of all the people who love the truth, pursue the truth, and have the Holy Spirit’s working. These people gather together eating and drinking God’s word and living the church life, experiencing God’s work, and performing their duty as a created being, and only such is the church. If there is a disorderly band, who say they truly believe in God, but who do not love the truth or pursue the truth and have no working of the Holy Spirit, and who practice religious rituals and also pray and read God’s word, it is not a church. To put it more exactly, a church without the Holy Spirit’s working is not a church but a religious place, and they are ones who practice religious rituals, not ones who truly obey God and experience God’s work. …
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… The church is the church of people who truly believe in God and pursue the truth, absolutely not the church of the wicked people. The wicked people are not of the church. If a band of people who do not pursue the truth and do not practice the truth at all gather together, is this a church? What is this? It is a religious place, or a disorderly band. A church must be made up of people who truly believe in God and pursue the truth, who gather together to eat and drink God’s word, worship God, perform their duty, and experience God’s work so as to receive the Holy Spirit’s working. Only such is the church. Therefore, to measure a church, first, see what kind of people this group is; second, see whether they have the Holy Spirit’s working. If their meeting has no working of the Holy Spirit, it is not a church. If it is not the gathering of people who pursue the truth, it is not a church. If a church has no person who truly pursues the truth, it has no working of the Holy Spirit at all. If a person who is willing to pursue the truth stays in such a church, can he be saved? He cannot be saved. He should immediately leave the disorderly band and look for the church. If in this church there are three to five people who pursue the truth and the other thirty to fifty people are a disorderly band, then these three to five people who truly believe in God and pursue the truth should gather together. The gathering of these three to five people is also a church, a church with the minimal number of people, but it is pure.”

from “It Is Very Crucial to Understand the Real Meaning of the Church and Do the Work According to the Five Principles of the Church Work in the Final Period” in Fellowship and Preaching About Life Entering In (7)

Many people believe in God but worship the big religious churches and blindly trust in the religious pastors, with the result that they, after believing in God for years, have not understood the truth or entered into reality, but only have gained some religious doctrines and religious rituals and practices, and have not truly known God, and thus have not gained any transformation in their life disposition. It is no wonder that none of those religious leaders and pastors who believe in God all their life and give sermons all their life truly knows God, and they even have no heart of fearing God, and they, like the Pharisees of that time, spare no effort to resist Christ and condemn the true way and entrap and control God’s chosen people for the sake of their position and rice bowl. Outwardly they seem to treasure and care for God’s flock very much, and that is completely for the sake of keeping their rice bowl, just as the merchants treat their customers as God for the sake of earning money and making a fortune. All that the religious world does is the manifestation of resisting God and is religious rituals, without any reality of the truth, much less with the working of the Holy Spirit. Thus it can be seen that the one the religious world worships is not the true God but the vague, imaginary god, and what they preach is religious doctrines and Bible letters and knowledge, without any inspiration and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. So, the religious world simply cannot bring people before God or bring them into the right track of believing in God, much less bring them into the reality of the truth so that they can be saved. The leaders and pastors in the religious world are not ones who are perfected and built up by the Holy Spirit in experiencing God’s work, but they become leaders and pastors after receiving diplomas from seminaries. They do not have the working and confirmation of the Holy Spirit at all and do not have any true knowledge of God; their mouths are full of theological knowledge and theories, and they simply have no practical experiences. Such people simply have no qualification to be used by God. So how could they bring people before God? They put on high airs with their graduation from seminaries and try hard to show off their Bible knowledge, considering themselves unexcelled in the world, so they are condemned and loathed by God and lose the working of the Holy Spirit; this is beyond doubt. Why the religious world has become Christ’s sworn enemy is really worth thinking deeply about. In the Age of the Grace, the Jewish religion crucified Jesus Christ. What does that show? In the Age of the Kingdom in the end time, the religious world joins hands to desperately resist and judge God’s end-time work and deny and reject the Christ incarnated in the end time; and they fabricate all kinds of rumors to attack, slander, and blaspheme the incarnated God and the church of God, having already crucified again the end-time Christ, the returned Jesus. This is sufficient to prove that the religious world has already degenerated into a satanic force that resists God and rebels against God, and it is absolutely not ruled by God, much less by the truth, but ruled completely by corrupt mankind, even more by antichrists.

Believing in God in such a religious place of satan which is ruled and controlled by devils and antichrists, one can only understand religious doctrines and can only observe religious rituals and regulations, but can never understand the truth or experience God’s work and absolutely cannot be saved. This is absolutely true. This is because in the religious places there is simply no working of the Holy Spirit, and they are places loathed, hated, condemned, and cursed by God. God has never acknowledged religion, much less approved of religion. From the age of Jesus, the religious world has been condemned by God. So, to believe in God, one must find the place where there is the working of the Holy Spirit. Only a place with the working of the Holy Spirit is a real church. Only in a real church can one hear God’s voice and find the footsteps of God’s working. This is the way of seeking God.”

from “What Results Can Be Achieved by Truly Understanding the Truth” in A Compilation of the Fellowship and Preaching About Church Work and the Church Work Arrangements over the Years (1)

 

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