2 Principles for Discerning Between the True Christ and False Ones
One may ask: In the Bible, we saw the Lord Jesus say, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:4–5). “Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Why if they shall say to you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:23–27). The Lord Jesus clearly tells us that false Christs will appear in the last days to deceive man. We believe that we won’t be deceived as long as we hold on to the name of the Lord Jesus. We won’t accept any news preaching the Lord has returned unless He is called the Lord Jesus. Because false Christs will come in the name of the Lord, saying they are here or there and displaying signs to deceive many people. So, we believe this is the right implementation. Since Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus as you said, would you please fellowship about how to discern the true Christ from false ones in order not to be deceived?
The answers are as follows:
If we want to discern the true Christ from false ones today, we should first do according to the prophecy of the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus reveals two obvious characteristics of false Christs deceiving people. Let’s discern according to them in the following:
First, the Lord Jesus says, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24).
About the verse the Lord Jesus says, all the Lord’s believers think: False Christs will show signs and wonders to deceive man, so we dare not listen to any news preaching the Lord has returned. Just think: Is this view right? Since the Lord Jesus says He will come, He will surely come. But His arrival will be accompanied by false Christs. This is just like the relationship between authentic money and counterfeit money, by which man will be deceived. Since Christ of the last days, Almighty God, started to speak and work in the China mainland, various false Christs, who pretend to be the returned Lord Jesus, have emerged in varied places. They heal, drive out demons and show a few small miracles to deceive man. However, they cannot imitate the Lord Jesus to show the great miracles, such as raising the dead, calming the wind and waves, feeding 5000 people with five loaves and two fish, and so on. False Christs can only follow on the heels of God and imitate the work that God has done, while Christ does the work of concluding the old age and starting a new one, the new work God has never done before. Take, for example, the Jesus Christ who came to conclude the Age of Law and usher in the Age of Grace, doing the work of redemption upon the work of the Age of Law. Christ in the last days, Almighty God has come and done the work of judging and purifying man with His word in the Age of Kingdom, which is built upon the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ redemptive work. False Christs are incapable of doing God’s work like those. Therefore, in the last days, those who claim themselves to be Christ but cannot usher in a new age and conclude the old, only copying what the Lord Jesus did or relying on signs and miracles to deceive man, turn out to be false Christs with certainty. This is unquestionably true.
From this, we see that the returned Lord Jesus will not repeat the work of performing wonders, healing the sick and casting out demons that He has done, because God does not do insignificant work and God never repeats His work. If God still displays great signs and wonders as He returns, then it will be of no significance that the Lord Jesus prophesies this characteristic of false Christs of the last days. Can God’s work be contradictory? Can God interrupt His prophecy? What’s the work of the true Christ?
Next, let’s see what Almighty God says about it. Almighty God says, “In the notions of man, God must always display signs and wonders, must always heal the sick and cast out demons, and must always be just like Jesus. Yet this time, God is not like that at all. If, during the last days, God still displayed signs and wonders, and still cast out demons and healed the sick — if He did exactly the same as Jesus — then God would be repeating the same work, and the work of Jesus would have no significance or value. Thus, God carries out one stage of work in every age. Once each stage of His work has been completed, it is soon imitated by evil spirits, and after Satan begins to follow on the heels of God, God changes to a different method. Once God has completed a stage of His work, it is imitated by evil spirits. You must be clear about this.”“The God of today does not display signs and wonders, nor does He heal the sick and cast out demons. When Jesus came, the work He did represented one part of God, but this time God has come to do the stage of work that is due, for God does not repeat the same work; He is the God that is always new and never old, and so all that you see today is the words and work of the practical God” (“Knowing God’s Work Today” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
From the words of Almighty God, we can see that Christ of the last days, Almighty God, doesn’t come to perform signs and wonders, but to do the work of word and fulfill the fact of “the Word appearing in the flesh.” He does not repeat the work of the Age of Grace, but expresses the word to judge, purify, and perfect man. However, false Christs are the exact opposite. They have no truth, nor can they express the truth. Thus, they deceive man only by imitating the work Christ did in the past and performing some simple signs and wonders. Therefore, entrapping and deceiving people by the means of signs and wonders in the last days is the manifestation of false Christs and false prophets. We need to see this clearly.
So, let’s look at the second characteristic of false Christs:
The Lord Jesus says, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:4–5). In these two verses, the Lord Jesus told us another characteristic of false Christs — they all have arrogant and self-important dispositions, and like to show themselves off and proclaim themselves to be Christ in front of people so as to make people worship them as God. Every time God comes among man and is incarnated only for the sake of expressing the truth, ushering a new age and starting a new work, rather than showing off Himself so as to accept man’s worship or obedience. He conquers and perfects man through expressing the truth. The true Christ makes man to accept His truth as well as the provision of spiritual life. Thus, the aim and effect of God’s salvation for man is attained. So we should have a proper attitude toward the verses said by Jesus. Today, Christ of the last days, Almighty God, primarily expresses words to save man. As for the truth in this aspect, let’s look at what Almighty God speaks about it.
Almighty God says, “Even though Christ represents God Himself in the flesh and carries out in person the work that God Himself ought to do, He does not deny the existence of God in heaven, nor does He feverishly proclaim His own deeds. Rather, He remains hidden, humbly, within His flesh. Apart from Christ, those who falsely claim to be Christ do not possess His qualities. When juxtaposed against the arrogant and self-exalting disposition of those false Christs, it becomes apparent what manner of flesh is truly Christ. The falser they are, the more such false Christs flaunt themselves, and the more capable they are of working signs and wonders to deceive man. False Christs do not have the qualities of God; Christ is not tainted by any element belonging to false Christs. God becomes flesh only to complete the work of the flesh, not to merely allow men to see Him. Rather, He lets His work affirm His identity, and lets that which He reveals attest to His essence. His essence is not baseless; His identity was not seized by His hand; it is determined by His work and His essence” (“The Essence of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “There are some who are possessed by evil spirits and cry out vociferously, ‘I am God!’ … I never cry out, ‘I am God, I am the beloved Son of God!’ But the work I do is God’s work. Need I shout? There is no need for exaltation. God does His own work Himself and does not need man to accord Him a status or give Him an honorific title: His work represents His identity and status” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
God’s words tell us that God who returns to flesh doesn’t proclaim His own deeds everywhere but instead does His own work humbly hidden in the flesh. Only false Christs who are possessed by evil spirits always exalt and show off themselves, professing to be God to deceive those who are muddle-headed and make no distinctions. No matter how they cry, they still represent Satan. The Holy Spirit pays no attention to them, because they neither have Christ’s qualities nor possess the divine substance. False Christs are evil spirits in substance, who deceive, abuse and devour man. God comes to do His work Himself and does not need for man to accord Him a status or honorific title, and His work is sufficient to represent His identity and status. The substance of God is the truth, the way and the life. Just as the Lord Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). In the last days, God has returned to flesh to express the truth, to judge and chastise corrupt mankind for the purpose of transforming, purifying, saving and perfecting man. Besides, brothers and sisters preaching the gospel of the last days, only tell man that God has returned in flesh and has come to the world of man to express the truth, asking them to investigate the true way, hear the voice of God, accept the utterance of the Holy Spirit and follow the footsteps of the Lamb. The Lord Jesus has prophesied the characteristics of false Christs deceiving man so clearly. Why do people not conduct an on-the-spot investigation but believe the hearsay and rumors parroted by others, strongly condemning and rejecting the return of Christ of the last days? The Jewish people in former times, in accompany with their religious leaders: the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees, nailed the Lord Jesus to the cross because of believing their rumors. Today in the last days, if people in the religious world listen to the pastors and elders’ erroneous understanding of the verses and believe their rumors and slander against Christ of the last days, won’t they re-crucify the returned Christ of the last days? Isn’t it worthy of man’s deep thought?
Next, let’s have a look at what Christ is and what the substance of Christ is.
Almighty 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” (“The Essence of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “God become flesh is called Christ, and so the Christ that can give people the truth is called God. There is nothing excessive about this, for He possesses the essence of God, and possesses God’s disposition, and wisdom in His work, that are unattainable by man. Those who call themselves Christ, yet cannot do the work of God, are frauds. … Sooner or later, those who impersonate Christ will all fall, for although they claim to be Christ, they possess none of the essence of Christ. And so I say that the authenticity of Christ cannot be defined by man, but is answered and decided by God Himself” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “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” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh).
We can learn from the words expressed by Almighty God that Christ is the flesh donned by the Spirit of God. His flesh, however, is different from any man of the flesh. That is because Christ is the realization of God’s Spirit and is the embodiment of the truth. Thus, only Christ is capable of doing the work of God Himself, expressing the truth to do the work of saving mankind. Nowadays, Almighty God has expressed millions of words of truth and done the work of judging and purifying man in the last days. His words have already been made public on the internet for the entire mankind to seek and investigate. While those false Christs who call themselves Christ cannot express the truth, nor can they carry out the work of God Himself, much less dare they express something on the internet for people in the world to discern and investigate. What they can do is only to deceive man by some contemptible means in the dark corners. Therefore, regardless of how false Christs claim themselves to be God, it is useless and they will fall sooner or later, for they possess none of the substance of God. In a word, we can discern the true Christ from false ones in accordance with the above three aspects, so that we can’t be deceived by them.
From: Grow in Christ
» Extended Reading:
The Clever Way to Distinguish Between the True Christ and False Christs
By Zhengdao, Germany