By Xiaomin, New Zealand
When you hear someone bear witness that the Lord has returned, are you ever concerned, afraid of being misled by a false Christ, so you don’t seek or investigate it?
On the other hand, have you ever thought about the fact that although the Lord Jesus did prophesy that false Christs would rise up to mislead people in the last days, He also clearly told us that He would come again, that we must be ready at all times? If we’re constantly on our guard, wouldn’t it be so easy to just close the door on the Lord?
In fact, being passive and on our guard in the matter of welcoming the Lord is no solution at all. What’s key is knowing the essence of Christ so that we can welcome the Lord without being taken in by any false Christs. So then, do you know how to recognize the essence of Christ? Let’s fellowship on this aspect of the truth together.
There are a couple of passages of God’s words that deal with knowing the essence of Christ. God says, “The incarnate God is called Christ, and Christ is the flesh donned by the Spirit of God. This flesh is unlike any man that is of the flesh. This difference is because Christ is not of flesh and blood; He is the incarnation of the Spirit. He has both a normal humanity and a complete divinity. His divinity is not possessed by any man. His normal humanity sustains all His normal activities in the flesh, while His divinity carries out the work of God Himself. Be it His humanity or divinity, both submit to the will of the heavenly Father. The substance of Christ is the Spirit, that is, the divinity. Therefore, His substance is that of God Himself; this substance will not interrupt His own work, and He could not possibly do anything that destroys His own work, nor would He ever utter any words that go against His own will.”
“He who is God incarnate shall possess the essence of God, and He who is God incarnate shall possess the expression of God. Since God becomes flesh, He shall bring forth the work He intends to 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 him, and point the way for him. Flesh that does not have the essence of God is decidedly not the incarnate God; of this there is no doubt. If man intends to inquire into whether it is God’s incarnate flesh, then he must corroborate this from the disposition He expresses and the words He speaks. Which is to say, to corroborate whether or not it is God’s incarnate flesh, and whether or not it is the true way, one must discriminate on the basis of His essence. And so, in determining whether it is the flesh of God incarnate, the key lies in His essence (His work, His utterances, His disposition, and many other aspects), rather than external appearance. If man scrutinizes only His external appearance, and as a result overlooks His essence, this shows that man is benighted and ignorant.”
I realized from God’s words that Christ is God incarnate Himself, that He is the Spirit of God clothed in flesh, in the form of an average, normal human being. Christ lives among us, human beings, in a practical way; He eats, clothes Himself, and lives as a regular person. He has the routines of a normal person and grows up just like anyone. From the outside, there is nothing to set Him apart from anyone else. However, Christ possesses a divine essence—He is the embodiment of the truth. God’s disposition, what God has and is, and God’s almightiness and wisdom are all realized within that fleshly form. This is how Christ can open up a new age and end the old age; this is how Christ can express the truth to water and give sustenance to mankind at any place and any time. Only Christ can express the truth to do the work of redeeming and saving mankind, and this is something that no false Christ can emulate. This is why we must be absolutely certain in discerning between the true Christ and false Christs that no matter how common, how insignificant His flesh may seem, as long as He expresses the truth and provides sustenance for people’s lives, He is Christ. He is the appearance of God. All those who cannot express the truth are false Christs without a doubt. If we hold fast to this principle, we need not fear being misled.
It’s just like when the Lord Jesus came in the flesh to work. Even though He looked like a regular person from the outside, He brought an end to the Age of Law and opened up the Age of Grace; He brought the way of repentance to mankind; He expressed the dispositions of love and mercy; and He did the work of being crucified to redeem all of humanity. The Lord Jesus lived among people in a practical way. He was able to express the truth anywhere, at any time, guiding people to be forgiving and tolerant, to forgive others seventy times seven times, to love others as themselves, and more. After accepting the truths expressed by the Lord, they knew how to confess to the Lord, how to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth, and how to get along with others. This is just the beginning. Everyone gained sustenance in their lives. As long as people could practice the Lord Jesus’ teachings, they could gain blessings from God, find peace and joy in their souls, and they could develop a much closer relationship with God. The truths expressed by the Lord Jesus weren’t available in the Age of Law, and these truths gave the people of the Age of Grace a new path for practice. By putting these truths into practice and entering into them, people could gain new life. This is how we know that the Lord Jesus was the truth, the way, and the life, that He was Christ and the Redeemer of mankind.
Now, only The Church of Almighty God openly bears witness that the Lord Jesus has returned, that He is Christ of the last days—Almighty God. God has come this time to conclude the Age of Grace and begin the Age of Kingdom, doing the work of judgment beginning with the house of God on the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption. God’s work of judgment in the last days is centered around expressing the truth, expressing words to judge mankind. He judges and exposes mankind’s satanic nature of opposing and betraying God, and the truth of man’s corruption by Satan. This entirely reveals God’s holy, righteous disposition that will tolerate no offense; God shares all truths with corrupt mankind so they can be cleansed and fully saved. These truths include the mysteries of God’s three stages of work, the mysteries of the incarnations, how God saves mankind, how Satan corrupts mankind, how God does the work of judgment in the last days, how people can submit to and satisfy God, and how to fear God and shun evil. These truths also reveal what “Christ” means, who can enter the kingdom of heaven, who will be eliminated, what each kind of person’s outcome and destination will be, and more. Almighty God’s work perfectly fulfills the prophecies of the Lord Jesus. “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come” (John 16:12–13). “He that rejects Me, and receives not My words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). And in 1 Peter 4:17 it is written: “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.” By going through the judgment and chastisement of Almighty God’s words, we not only come to understand truths we’ve never understood in our faith before, but we also gain some understanding of the truth of our corruption by Satan, of the root of our sin, and of God’s righteous disposition. We’re able to truly hate ourselves from within, and we’re willing to forsake ourselves, to put God’s words into practice. Our corrupt dispositions then gradually change; we gain some submission and reverence for God and live out a bit of a human likeness. All brothers and sisters who experience God’s work of the last days can truly verify that the truths expressed by Almighty God really can purify and transform people. They can save us from the forces of Satan. If this weren’t God Himself, who else could know God’s 6,000-year management plan? Who else could expose the root of mankind’s sin? Who else could save mankind from the bonds of sin? Only Christ can bring an end to an old age and open up a new age; only Christ can express the truth to conquer, purify, and transform people. Thus, it is evident that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned—He is Christ of the last days, He is the appearance of God in the flesh.
However, a false Christ is the embodiment of an evil spirit. No matter what kinds of signs or wonders it may be able to display or however it may bear witness that it is Christ, it can never possess the essence of God. It cannot express all truths to judge and save mankind; it cannot do God’s work of judgment in the last days; it cannot expose mankind’s satanic dispositions; and it cannot point people toward the path of dispositional change. In particularly, it cannot begin a new age or end an old age. No matter how it may proclaim itself as Christ, it is false, and mankind does not have the final say in what is true and what is false. It is just as Almighty God says: “Christ is not merely the manifestation of God on earth, but also the particular flesh assumed by God as He carries out and completes His work among man. This flesh cannot be supplanted by just any man, but is a flesh that can adequately bear God’s work on earth, and express the disposition of God, and well represent God, and provide man with life. Sooner or later, those who impersonate Christ will all fall, for although they claim to be Christ, they possess none of the substance of Christ. And so I say that the authenticity of Christ cannot be defined by man, but is answered and decided by God Himself.” The essence of Christ and the essence of false Christs could not be more different. As long as we recognize that Christ is the embodiment of the truth, that He who can express the truth, point the path for people, and provide people with new life is Christ, we need not fear being misled by a false Christ.
Almighty God’s words have now been recorded in a book: The Word Appears in the Flesh. This book has been translated into many languages, openly bearing witness to God’s appearance and work to all of humanity. The Lord Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). If we want to be sure if Almighty God is Christ of the last days, we can read more of Almighty God’s words, see if the words He expresses are the truth and if they are the voice of God. That way we can be the wise virgins who are able to welcome the Lord. But if we refuse to seek and investigate the true way out of fear of being misled by a false Christ, when God’s work comes to a close, we will find we’ve fallen into the great disasters, weeping and gnashing our teeth.
Editor’s Note: I’m sure we’ve all learned something about who Christ is and how to recognize His essence after reading this article. If you’d like to learn more about truths to discern between the true Christ and false Christs, please watch these skits, The True Cannot Be False and Starving for Fear of Choking. You can also click on one of the buttons below to get in touch with us. We’d love to continue exploring these questions with you.
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