How to Distinguish the True Christ From the False Ones
In gatherings, the pastors often read this piece of scripture, “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” (Matthew 24:23–24). Besides, they exhorted us, “The last days have come. By reason of having no discernment, many people have been deceived by false Christs. You don’t understand the Bible and are immature in stature. So don’t go to outsiders for messages lightly, lest you be deceived by false Christs and miss the Lord’s salvation.” In my mind, I thought that the pastors knew a lot and all they said was right. Moreover, it was the Lord Jesus’ warning for us. From then on, I always held the view that any preaching that said the Lord has come was false and unreliable.
In the church, somehow, many brothers and sisters who truly believed in the Lord didn’t attend meetings gradually, most of whom are of good caliber. Seeing this, I felt somewhat anxious within myself. Not until I went to help and support them did I know that many of them had turned to believe in the Eastern Lightning, which rather astonished me: The pastors and elders have all along emphasized that false Christs will appear during the last days and told us not to go to outsiders for messages. As a preacher, I’ve done everything I can, but why doesn’t it work? And further, they are astute people, yet why did they leave the church to believe in the Eastern Lightning?
I never thought Sister Wang who had studied theology also had put her faith in the Eastern Lightning. Actually, she was a Christian who sincerely believed in the Lord, as well as one of the preachers I liked best. In the past, in order to defend the way of the Lord, she would rather bear her unbelieving husband’s abandonment and still follow the Lord. I was always moved by her faith in the Lord. However, what I couldn’t quite figure was why she, who sought ardently and understood the Bible, could believe in the Eastern Lightning as well. Then, so as to make her turn around, I usually prayed for her.
One day, on the way home, I mulled over in my heart: I may as well come to Sister Wang to see what this is about. While pondering this, I looked up and saw Sister Wang heading in my direction. At that time, I kept thanking the Lord for His arrangement. Holding her gladly, I asked eagerly, “Sister, nowadays there are so many people who preach that the Lord Jesus has come back and carried out new work. I heard that you had believed in the Eastern Lightning. So I often pray for you and ask the Lord to protect you from taking the wrong path.” Then, she smiled and said, “Sister, at first I was likewise afraid that my beliefs would be mistaken, so I refused God’s salvation of the last days again and again. However, later I read the words expressed by Almighty God and I saw that Almighty God’s words are full of authority and power. Thereupon I was sure that this was God’s voice. Later, I preached the words of Almighty God to the brothers and sisters in the church. Some of them also felt that Almighty God’s words are the truth, and ever so practical. They were all moved by Almighty God’s words. After knowing this, however, the pastors and elders did their utmost to prevent and obstruct me from believing in Almighty God. Furthermore, they sealed off the church, blocked brothers and sisters from following the new work of God and ultimately expelled me from the church.”
Hearing this, I felt somewhat astonished, thinking: Sister Wang isn’t a muddled person. She could investigate the way of the Eastern lightning, and even preached Almighty God’s words in the church; moreover, brothers and sisters all thought these words are the truth and they were willing to listen after hearing them. It seems that Almighty God’s words are extraordinary, but … I still exhorted her, “Sister, from what you say, it seems that Almighty God’s words are pretty good. However, in regard to the matter of welcoming the Lord, you’d better treat it with caution.” “Well,” said Sister Wang, smiling, “It’s getting late. How about I come to you tomorrow and we have a talk?” For the sake of saving face, I promised reluctantly.
The next afternoon, she came to me with a piece of newspaper published in Hong Kong and a book of God’s words. She showed the newspaper to me, saying: “God’s words have been published in the newspaper, and spread to overseas countries. This is great news for those who yearn for the Lord’s coming. Take a look at this.” When seeing the title “The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud,’” I felt a bit shocked: Has the Lord really returned? Is this truly the Lord’s word? But the pastors said that any preaching that said the Lord has returned was false, and enjoined us not to trust it. So, should I read it? At that moment, the pastors’ exhortation for us to guard against false Christs recurred to me. Thus, I said, “Sister, the Lord Jesus once said, ‘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’ (Matthew 24:23–24). How can you so easily accept other ways? You might as well take these things back!”
Putting the newspaper aside, Sister Wang said with a slight smile, “Sister, we shouldn’t understand from the literal meaning of the scriptures. In fact, the Lord Jesus is to tell us: In the last days, the Lord will return in the identity of Christ, that is, He will return in the means of incarnation. But at the same time, there will be false Christs who show signs and wonders to deceive man. So we must know their manifestation and guard against being deceived by them. The Lord’s intention of saying this is not to let us blindly ignore the Lord’s return due to guarding against the deception of false Christs.
Particularly the Lord Jesus said, ‘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). These words are to tell us that false Christs and false prophets mainly rely on imitating God’s work and performing signs and wonders to deceive man. This is the most important principle of discerning false Christs told by the Lord Jesus. Consequently, when it comes to the Lord’s arrival, we should focus on hearing God’s voice and learn to discern the manifestation of false Christs’ deceiving man. As long as we can discern the true Christ from the false ones, we naturally won’t be deceived by false Christs and won’t miss the chance to welcome the Lord’s arrival. Sister, the Lord Jesus also said, ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ (Matthew 25:6). Nowadays we hear that someone preaches the gospel of the Lord’s return, yet we still hold onto our own conceptions and don’t go out to meet Him. Aren’t we foolish virgins? As believers in God, we all long for the Lord to come back soon. Now some people preach that the Lord has returned; we should investigate it actively. Only thus can we gain the Lord’s salvation, since it was prophesied in the Book of Revelation, ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.’”
After hearing her fellowship, I felt rather shocked inside: Turns out that the Lord Jesus’s intention of saying this is to tell us that the false Christs deceive man primarily by showing signs and wonders, which is their manifestation, rather than tell us that any preaching that says the Lord has come is false. Alas! How could I be so confused? Having read this verse for many times, I still didn’t gain the light. Her fellowship is in line with the truth. Afterward, she fellowshiped more to me and I considered her words reasonable. Nevertheless, it was a great matter to welcome the Lord, so I told her that I needed to pray and search.
After she left, I remembered what she fellowshiped in my mind, and thought: The manifestations of false Christs she fellowshiped just now is in line with the Lord Jesus’ words. The false Christs can’t bring life to us but can only perform some signs to deceive man. Her words are right. Yet is what she preaches exactly the Lord’s return? In case the Lord has really come back, yet I don’t investigate but blindly avoid it, won’t I refuse the Lord? Won’t I become the foolish virgin? As a true believer in the Lord, she was about to be ordained as a pastor before; however, she would rather abandon the title of pastor and still accept the Eastern Lightning. It seems that the Eastern Lightning has the truth to be sought. I should investigate it seriously next time she visits. Then I knelt down, prayed to the Lord and asked Him to give me discerning ability.
The next day, Sister Wang with Sister Liu came to my house. When we fellowshiped, I said openly, “Yesterday, after hearing Sister Wang’s fellowship, I thought what she said made sense. Today I’d like to listen to your fellowship about how to distinguish the true Christ and false Christs.”
Seeing my willingness to seek, they became very happy. Then, Sister Liu said, “Thank God. The wise virgins can hear God’s voice. Let’s first read some passages of God’s words. Almighty God says, ‘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 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. If man sees only His external appearance, and overlooks His substance, then that shows the ignorance and naivety of man’ (Preface).
‘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 substance 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. Christ is not merely the manifestation of God on earth, but instead, the particular flesh assumed by God as He carries out and completes His work among man. This flesh is not one that can be replaced by just any man, but one 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 fake Christs 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’” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life”).
Then, Sister Liu went on to fellowship, “From Almighty God’s words, we can understand that if we are to discern the true Christ from the false ones, we must first know the substance of Christ. Christ means God’s Spirit is substantiated in the flesh; that is, the God in heaven becomes a flesh as the Son of man to work on earth and save man. Christ possesses a divine essence. God’s almightiness and wisdom, His disposition, and His possessions and being that God’s Spirit possesses have all been materialized in Christ. Christ is the truth, the way, and the life. He is worthy of our dependence and trust. The Lord Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). When working on earth, the Lord Jesus expressed the truth anytime and anyplace to supply and lead man, which brought people at that time more paths of practice. For instance, He taught man to love his neighbor as himself, forgive others seventy times seven times, etc. From the work done by Him and His words, we can see that the Lord Jesus appeared to man primarily with His loving and merciful disposition at that time. Also, Almighty God says, ‘Now I live on earth, and live among men. All men are experiencing My work and watching My utterances, and along with this I bestow all the truths upon each of My followers so that they may receive life from Me and thus obtain a path that they can tread. For I am God, Giver of life’(“Many Are Called, but Few Are Chosen”). Nowadays Almighty God has come and opened the scroll. On the base of the Lord Jesus’s work, Almighty God expresses various truths that we need in the growth of our life, like how to worship and obey God and how to do our duty as a created being. Besides, He reveals the mysteries of His incarnation and His name, what dispositional change is, and so on, and brings us more ways of practice. He expresses the disposition that is primarily righteous and does the work of judgment starting from the house of God. Therefore, Almighty God and the Lord Jesus are the incarnate Christ and God Himself.
Rather, the substance of false Chirsts is the evil spirits and the deceivers of people. Most false Christs are possessed by evil spirits, and even if they are not, they are extremely arrogant and unreasonable demons. That is why they fake Christs. Faking Christ is committing the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and will surely be cursed. False Christs are incapable of expressing any truth; all they say are lies and fallacies, which can only deceive those people who are foolish and without discernment. Additionally, people who follow them will increasingly lose their conscience and reason, and get more arrogant and evil. In the end, they will be destroyed by God because of their resistance to God. All truths expressed by Almighty God, Christ of the last days, have been posted on the Internet, openly facing all mankind. All those who truly believe in God and love the truth are all seeking and investigating the true way, one by one returning before Almighty God’s throne to accept the judgment, purifying and perfecting of God’s words. This is a recognized fact.
Furthermore, another aspect of distinguishing the true Christ and false Christs is that God never does the same work. That’s because God is always new and never old. The word of Almighty God says, ‘If in the last days a “God” the same as Jesus appeared, one who healed the sick, cast out demons, and was crucified for man, that “God,” though identical to the description of God in the Bible and easy for man to accept, would not, in its essence, be the flesh worn by the Spirit of God, but by an evil spirit. For it is the principle of God’s work never to repeat what He has already completed’ (“The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God”).
‘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 these things’(“Knowing God’s Work Today”).
Christ comes to earth so as to complete God’s commission. He can end the old age and open a new age. Just like at the end of the Age of Law, people of that time committed sins and were not able to keep the law, facing the risk of being punished to death by the law. Then the Lord Jesus came personally to earth and bestowed upon us humans bountiful graces. At last, He was nailed to the cross for redeeming us humans, ending the Age of Law and bringing the Age of Grace. In the last days, Almighty God has come, He has ushered in the Age of Kingdom, and brought the Age of Grace to an end. Based upon the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption, He carries out His work of judging and purifying man, bestows on us all the truths we required to be saved, resolves our corrupt disposition and sinful nature, and thoroughly saves us from Satan’s influence to gain us. This way, God’s management plan to save mankind will come to a complete end. Sister, if we understand the truth of discerning the true Christ from the false ones, then we will never refuse to hear the voice of God or welcome the appearance of God for fear of being deceived by false Christs.”
After I heard the sister’s fellowship, my heart brightened up. I finally understood the truth about how to discern the true Christ from the false ones. And I knew that in the face of the Lord’s return, we shouldn’t refuse to hear God’s voice just for fear of being deceived by false Christs; reversely, we should humbly seek out and investigate it when hearing someone testify that the Lord has returned. Only by doing so can we welcome the return of the Lord. Over these years, I always believed the words of the pastors and elders to refuse the new work of God time after time. How foolish I was! Then I said to them, “I see what you mean. It turns out that false Christs can only perform some signs and wonders to deceive man; they are completely unable to express the truth to purify man, much less do they possess the substance of Christ. No matter how they perform signs and wonders, they won’t redeem us from sin. Contrarily, Christ can express the truth and bestow upon us a new life. Almighty God’s word is indeed the truth and God’s voice. Although having believed in God for ten years, I never knew what Christ is, much less the difference between the true Christ and false ones. The pastors and elders never gave sermons about this either, but only urged us to refuse and guard against false Christs blindly. Owing to being deceived by the pastors’ and elders’ words, I always lived within the conception and imagining that any preaching that said the Lord has come was false, nearly missing the opportunity to welcome the Lord. Thank God for His mercy on me. Through hearing the brothers’ and sisters’ fellowships and testimonies many times, I could have the fortune to be raptured up before God.”
Hearing my words, Sister Wang and Sister Liu gladly looked at each other, saying unceasingly, “Thank God! Thank God!”
After a period of reading Almighty God’s words and listening to brothers’ and sisters’ fellowship and testimony, I confirmed that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus, and then I formally partook in church life, enjoying the pleasure of the Holy Spirit’s work. From Almighty God’s words, I have obtained life nourishment and enjoy the rich banquet every day. All the glory be to Almighty God!
From: Grow in Christ
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