5. The Two Incarnations Complete the Significance of the Incarnation.
Relevant Words of God:
The significance of incarnation is that an ordinary, normal man performs the work of God Himself; that is, that God performs His divine work in humanity and thereby vanquishes Satan. Incarnation means that God’s Spirit becomes a flesh, that is, God becomes flesh; the work that He does in the flesh is the work of the Spirit, which is realized in the flesh, expressed by the flesh. No one except God’s flesh can fulfill the ministry of the incarnate God; that is, only God’s incarnate flesh, this normal humanity — and no one else — can express the divine work. If, during His first coming, God had not had the normal humanity before the age of twenty-nine — if as soon as He was born He could work miracles, if as soon as He learned to speak He could speak the language of heaven, if the moment He first set foot upon the earth He could apprehend all worldly matters, discern every person’s thoughts and intentions — then He could not have been called a normal man, and His flesh could not have been called human flesh. If this had been the case with Christ, then the meaning and the essence of God’s incarnation would have been lost. That He possessed normal humanity proves that He was God incarnated in the flesh;
the fact that He underwent a normal human growth process further demonstrates that He was a normal flesh; and moreover, His work is sufficient proof that He was God’s Word, God’s Spirit, becoming flesh. God becomes flesh because of the needs of the work; in other words, this stage of work needs to be done in the flesh, done in normal humanity. This is the prerequisite for “the Word becoming flesh,” for “the Word appearing in the flesh,” and is the true story behind God’s two incarnations.
from “The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God becomes flesh not with the intention of allowing man to know His flesh, or to allow man to distinguish the differences between the flesh of God incarnate and that of man; nor does God become flesh to train man’s ability of discernment, and still less does He do so with the intention of allowing man to worship the incarnate flesh of God, thereby winning great glorification. None of these things is the original intention of God in becoming flesh. Nor does God become flesh in order to condemn man, nor deliberately to reveal man, nor to make things difficult for him. None of these things is the original intention of God. Every time God becomes flesh, it is a form of work that is unavoidable. It is for the sake of His greater work and His greater management that He acts as He does, and not for the reasons that man imagines. God comes unto earth only as His work requires, and only as necessary. He does not come unto earth with the intention of wandering around on earth, but to carry out the work that He ought to do. Why else would He assume such a heavy burden and take such great risks to carry out this work? God becomes flesh only when He has to, and always with unique significance. If it were only for the sake of allowing men to have a look at Him and to open up their horizons, then He would, with absolute certainty, never come among men so lightly. He comes unto earth for the sake of His management and His greater work, and in order that He might obtain more men. He comes to represent the age, He comes to defeat Satan, and in order to defeat Satan He puts on the flesh. Even more, He comes in order to guide the entire human race in living their lives. All of this concerns His management, and it concerns the work of the whole universe. If God became flesh merely to allow men to come to know His flesh and to open up men’s eyes, then why would He not travel to every nation? Is this not a matter of exceeding ease? But He did not do so, instead choosing a suitable place in which to settle and begin the work that He ought to do. Just this flesh alone is of considerable significance. He represents an entire age, and also carries out the work of an entire age; He both brings the former age to an end and ushers in the new. All of this is an important matter that concerns God’s management, and it is the significance of one stage of work that God comes to earth to carry out.
from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
It is through the incarnation of God that man receives full salvation from God, and not directly from heaven in answer to his prayers. For, man being of the flesh, he has no way of seeing the Spirit of God, much less of approaching His Spirit. All that man can come into contact with is God’s incarnate flesh, and only by means of this is man able to grasp all the words and all the truths and receive full salvation. The second incarnation will be sufficient to purge away the sins of man and to fully purify him. Hence, with the second incarnation, the entirety of God’s work in the flesh will be brought to a close and the significance of God’s incarnation be made complete. Thenceforth, the work of God in the flesh will have entirely come to an end. After the second incarnation, He will not become flesh a third time for His work. For His entire management will have come to an end. The incarnation of the last days will have fully gained His chosen people, and humanity in the last days will all have been divided according to their kind. He will no longer do the work of salvation, nor will He return to the flesh to carry out any work.
from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The first incarnate God did not complete the work of incarnation; He only completed the first step of the work that it was necessary for God to do in the flesh. So, in order to finish the work of incarnation, God has returned into the flesh once again, living out all the normality and reality of the flesh, that is, making God’s Word manifest in an entirely normal and ordinary flesh, thereby concluding the work that He left undone in the flesh. The second incarnate flesh is in essence similar to the first, but is even more real, even more normal than the first. As a consequence, the suffering the second incarnate flesh endures is greater than that of the first, but this suffering is a result of His ministry in the flesh, which is different from the suffering of corrupted man. It also stems from the normality and reality of His flesh. Because He performs His ministry in utterly normal and real flesh, the flesh must endure a great deal of hardship. The more normal and real this flesh is, the more He will suffer in the performance of His ministry. God works in a very common flesh, one that is not supernatural at all. Because His flesh is normal and must also shoulder the work of saving man, He suffers in even greater measure than a supernatural flesh would — all this suffering stems from the reality and normality of His flesh. From the suffering that the two incarnate fleshes have undergone while performing Their ministries, one can see the essence of the incarnate flesh. The more normal the flesh, the greater hardship He must endure while undertaking the work; the more real the flesh is that undertakes the work, the harsher are the notions that people get, and the more dangers are likely to befall Him. And yet, the more real the flesh is, and the more the flesh possesses the needs and complete sense of a normal human being, the more capable He is of taking on God’s work in the flesh. It was Jesus’ flesh that was nailed to the cross, His flesh that He gave up as a sin offering; it was by means of a flesh with normal humanity that He defeated Satan and completely saved man from the cross. And it is as a complete flesh that the second incarnate God performs the conquering work and defeats Satan. Only a flesh that is completely normal and real can perform the conquering work in its entirety and make a forceful testimony. That is to say, the work of[a] conquering man is made effective through the reality and normality of God in the flesh, not through supernatural miracles and revelations. The ministry of this incarnate God is to speak, and thereby to conquer and perfect man; in other words, the work of the Spirit realized in the flesh, the flesh’s duty, is to speak and thereby conquer, reveal, perfect, and eliminate man completely. And so, it is in the conquering work that God’s work in the flesh will be accomplished in full. The initial redemptive work was only the beginning of the work of incarnation; the flesh who does the conquering work will complete the entire work of incarnation. In gender, one is male and the other female; in this the meaning of God’s incarnation has been completed. It dispels man’s misconceptions of God: God can become both male and female, and the incarnate God is in essence genderless. God made both man and woman, and He does not differentiate between the genders. In this stage of the work God does not perform signs and wonders, so that the work will achieve its results by means of words. Moreover, this time the work of God incarnate is not to heal the sick and cast out demons, but to conquer man by speaking, which is to say that the native ability possessed by this incarnate flesh of God is to speak words and to conquer man, not to heal the sick and cast out demons. His work in normal humanity is not to perform miracles, not to heal the sick and cast out demons, but to speak, and so the second incarnate flesh seems to people much more normal than the first. People see that God’s incarnation is no lie; but this incarnate God is different from Jesus incarnate, and though They are both God incarnate, They are not completely the same. Jesus possessed normal humanity, ordinary humanity, but He was accompanied by many signs and wonders. In this incarnate God, human eyes will see no signs or wonders, neither healing the sick nor driving out demons, nor walking on the sea, nor fasting for forty days…. He does not do the same work that Jesus did, not because His flesh is in essence any different from Jesus’, but because it is not His ministry to heal the sick and cast out demons. He does not tear down His own work, does not disturb His own work. Since He conquers man through His real words, there is no need to subdue him with miracles, and so this stage is to complete the work of incarnation. The incarnate God you see today is completely a flesh, and there is nothing supernatural about Him. He gets sick as others do, needs food and clothing just as others do, being completely a flesh. If this time around, God incarnate performed supernatural signs and wonders, if He healed the sick, cast out demons, or could kill with one word, how could the conquering work be carried out? How could the work be spread among the Gentile nations? Healing the sick and casting out demons was the work of the Age of Grace, the first step in the redemptive work, and now that God has saved man from the cross, He no longer performs that work. 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. And so the work of God’s second incarnation is different from the work of the first. In the last days, God realizes the conquering work in an ordinary, normal flesh; He does not heal the sick, will not be crucified for man, but simply speaks words in the flesh, conquers man in the flesh. Only such flesh is God’s incarnate flesh; only such flesh can complete God’s work in the flesh.
from “The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Why do I say that the meaning of incarnation was not completed in Jesus’ work? Because the Word did not entirely become flesh. What Jesus did was only one part of God’s work in the flesh; He only did the redemptive work and did not do the work of completely gaining man. For this reason God has become flesh once again in the last days. This stage of the work is also done in an ordinary flesh, done by an utterly normal human being, one whose humanity is not in the least bit transcendent. In other words, God has become a complete human being, and it is a person whose identity is that of God, a complete human being, a complete flesh, who is performing the work. To the human eye, He is just a flesh who is not transcendent at all, a very ordinary person who can speak the language of heaven, who shows no miraculous signs, works no miracles, much less exposes the inside truth about religion in great meeting halls. The work of the second incarnate flesh seems to people utterly unlike that of the first, so much so that the two seem to have nothing in common, and nothing of the first’s work can be seen this time. Though the work of the second incarnate flesh is different from that of the first, that does not prove that Their source is not one and the same. Whether Their source is the same depends on the nature of the work done by the fleshes and not on Their outer shells. During the three stages of His work, God has been incarnated twice, and both times the work of God incarnate inaugurates a new age, ushers in a new work; the incarnations complement each other. It is impossible for human eyes to tell that the two fleshes actually come from the same source. Needless to say, it is beyond the capacity of the human eye or of the human mind. But in Their essence They are the same, for Their work originates from the same Spirit. Whether the two incarnate fleshes arise from the same source cannot be judged by the era and the place in which They were born, or other such factors, but by the divine work expressed by Them. The second incarnate flesh does not perform any of the work that Jesus did, for God’s work does not adhere to convention, but each time it opens up a new path. The second incarnate flesh does not aim to deepen or solidify the impression of the first flesh in people’s minds, but to complement it and to perfect it, to deepen man’s knowledge of God, to break all the rules that exist in people’s hearts, and to wipe out the fallacious images of God in their hearts. It can be said that no individual stage of God’s own work can give man a complete knowledge of Him; each gives only a part, not the whole. Though God has expressed His disposition in full, because of man’s limited faculties of understanding, his knowledge of God still remains incomplete. It is impossible, using human language, to convey the entirety of God’s disposition; how much less can a single stage of His work fully express God? He works in the flesh under the cover of His normal humanity, and one can only know Him by the expressions of His divinity, not by His bodily shell. God comes into the flesh to allow man to know Him by means of His various work, and no two stages of His work are alike. Only in this way can man have a full knowledge of God’s work in the flesh, not confined to one single facet. Though the work of the two incarnate fleshes is different, the essence of the fleshes, and the source of Their work, are identical; it is just that They exist to perform two different stages of the work, and arise in two different ages. No matter what, God’s incarnate fleshes share the same essence and the same origin — this is a truth no one can deny.
from “The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Jesus did a stage of work which only fulfilled the substance of “the Word was with God”: The truth of God was with God, and the Spirit of God was with the flesh and was inseparable from Him, that is, the flesh of God incarnate was with the Spirit of God, which is greater proof that Jesus incarnate was the first incarnation of God. This stage of work fulfilled the inner meaning of “the Word becomes flesh,” lent deeper meaning to “the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” and allows you to firmly believe the words that “In the beginning was the Word.” Which is to say, at the time of creation God was possessed of words, His words were with Him and inseparable from Him, and the final age makes even clearer the power and authority of His words, and allows man to see all of His words — to hear all of His words. Such is the work of the final age. … Because this is the work of the second incarnation — and the last time that God becomes flesh — it fully completes the significance of the incarnation, thoroughly carries out and issues forth all of God’s work in the flesh, and brings to an end the era of God’s being in the flesh.
from “Practice (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The personal work of God in the flesh has already completed ninety percent of the work of God’s entire management. This flesh has provided a better beginning to all of His work, and a summary for all of His work, and has promulgated all of His work, and made the last thorough replenishment to all of this work. Henceforth, there will not be another incarnate God to do the fourth stage of God’s work, and there will be no more wondrous work of the third incarnation of God.
from “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
(Selected Passage of God’s Word)
The Two Incarnations Complete the Significance of the Incarnation
Each stage of work done by God has its own practical significance. Back then, when Jesus came, He was male, but this time He is female. From this, you can see that God created both male and female for the sake of His work, and with Him there is no distinction of gender. When His Spirit comes, He can take on any kind of flesh at will and that flesh can represent Him. Whether male or female, it can represent God as long as it is His incarnate flesh. If Jesus had appeared as a female when He came, in other words, if an infant girl, and not a boy, had been conceived by the Holy Spirit, that stage of work would have been completed all the same. If such had been the case, then the present stage of work would have to be completed by a male instead, but the work would be completed all the same. The work done in either stage is equally significant; neither stage of work is repeated nor conflicts with the other. At the time, Jesus in doing His work was called the only Son, and “Son” implies the male gender. Then why is the only Son not mentioned in this stage? This is because the requirements of the work have necessitated a change in gender different from that of Jesus. With God there is no distinction of gender. He does His work as He wishes and in doing His work He is not subject to any restrictions, but is especially free. However, every stage of work has its own practical significance. God became flesh twice, and it goes without saying that His incarnation in the last days is the last time. He has come to reveal all His deeds. If in this stage He did not become flesh in order personally to do work for man to witness, man would forever hold on to the notion that God is only male, not female. Before this, all humanity believed that God could only be male and that a female could not be called God, for all humanity regarded man as having authority over woman. They believed that no woman could take on authority, but only man. What is more, they even said that man was the head of woman and that woman must obey man and could not surpass him. In the past, when it was said that man was woman’s head, this was directed at Adam and Eve who had been beguiled by the serpent, and not at man and woman as they had been created by Jehovah in the beginning. Of course, a woman must obey and love her husband, just as a husband must learn to feed and support his family. These are the laws and decrees set forth by Jehovah that mankind must abide by in their lives on earth. Jehovah said to woman, “Your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you.” He spoke thus only so that mankind (that is, both man and woman) might live normal lives under the dominion of Jehovah, and only so that the lives of mankind might have a structure and not fall out of their proper order. Therefore, Jehovah made appropriate rules for how man and woman should act, but this was only with regard to all the created beings living on the earth and bore no relation to God’s incarnate flesh. How could God be the same as His creation? His words were directed only toward the mankind of His creation; it was in order for mankind to live normal lives that He established rules for man and woman. In the beginning, when Jehovah created mankind, He made two kinds of human being, both male and female; and so His incarnate flesh was also differentiated into either male or female. He did not decide upon His work on the basis of the words He spoke to Adam and Eve. The two times He became flesh were determined entirely according to His thinking at the time He first created mankind, that is, He completed the work of His two incarnations based on the male and the female before they had been corrupted. If humanity took the words spoken by Jehovah to Adam and Eve who had been beguiled by the serpent and applied them to the work of God’s incarnation, would not Jesus also have to love His wife as He ought? This way, would God still be God? And this being so, would He still be able to complete His work? If it be wrong for God’s incarnate flesh to be female, then would it not also have been an error of the greatest magnitude for God to have created woman? If man still believes that it would be wrong for God to be incarnated as female, then would not Jesus, who did not get married and was therefore unable to love His wife, be as much in error as the present incarnation? Since you use the words spoken to Eve by Jehovah to measure the truth of God’s incarnation of the present day, then you must use Jehovah’s words to Adam to judge the Lord Jesus who became flesh in the Age of Grace. Are these two not the same? Since you take the measure of the Lord Jesus according to the male who had not been beguiled by the serpent, then you may not judge the truth of today’s incarnation according to the female who had been beguiled by the serpent. This would be unfair! If you made such a judgment, it would prove that you have taken leave of your senses. When Jehovah twice became flesh, the gender of His flesh was related to the male and the female who had not been beguiled by the serpent; it was in accordance with the male and the female who had not been beguiled by the serpent that He twice became flesh. Do not think that the maleness of Jesus was the same as that of Adam who was beguiled by the serpent. He and he are completely unrelated, and the two are males of different natures. Surely it cannot be that the maleness of Jesus proves He is only the head of all women but not of all men? Is He not the King of all the Jews (including both men and women)? He is God Himself, not just the head of woman but the head of man as well. He is the Lord of all creatures and the head of all creatures. How could you determine the maleness of Jesus to be the symbol of the head of woman? Would this not be blasphemy? Jesus is a male who has not been corrupted. He is God; He is Christ; He is the Lord. How could He be a male like Adam who was corrupted? Jesus is the flesh worn by the most holy Spirit of God. How could you say He is a God who possesses the maleness of Adam? In that case, would not all of God’s work have been wrong? Would Jehovah have been able to incorporate within Jesus the maleness of Adam who was beguiled? Is not the incarnation of the present time another instance of the work of God incarnate who is different in gender from Jesus but like Him in nature? Do you still dare say that God incarnate could not be female, because woman was the first to be beguiled by the serpent? Do you still dare say that, as woman is the most unclean and the source of the corruption of mankind, God could not possibly become flesh as a female? Do you dare to persist in saying that “woman shall always obey man and may never manifest or directly represent God”? You did not understand in the past, but can you now go on blaspheming the work of God, especially the incarnate flesh of God? If you are unable to see this with complete clarity, best mind your tongue, lest your foolishness and ignorance be revealed and your ugliness exposed. Do not think that you understand everything. I tell you that all you have seen and experienced is insufficient for you to understand even the thousandth part of My management plan. So why then do you act so haughty? The mere bit of talent and the minimal knowledge you have are insufficient for Jesus to use in even one second of His work! How much experience do you actually have? What you have seen and all that you have heard in your lifetime and what you have imagined are less than the work I do in a moment! You had best not nitpick and find fault. No matter how arrogant you may be, you are just a creature that’s less than an ant! All that you hold within your belly is less than what an ant carries within his! Do not think, just because you have gained some experience and seniority, that this entitles you to gesticulating wildly and talking big. Are not your experience and your seniority the product of the words I have uttered? Do you believe that you purchased them through your own labor and toil? Today, you see that I have become flesh, and on this account alone you are filled with such rich concepts, and have gleaned countless notions from them. If not for My incarnation, even if you were possessed of extraordinary talents, you would not have so many concepts; and isn’t it from these that your notions come? If Jesus had not become flesh that first time, would you even know of the incarnation? Is it not because the first incarnation gave you knowledge that you have the impudence to try to judge the second incarnation? Why, instead of being an obedient follower, are you subjecting it to study? When you have entered into this stream and come before the incarnate God, would He allow you to make a study of this? It is fine for you to study your own family history, but if you try to study the “family history” of God, would the God of today allow you to conduct such a study? Are you not blind? Do you not bring contempt upon yourself?
If only the work of Jesus had been done without being complemented by work in this stage of the last days, then man would forever hold onto the notion that Jesus alone is the only Son of God, that is, that God has only one son, and that anyone who comes thereafter by another name would not be the only Son of God, much less God Himself. Man has the notion that anyone who serves as a sin offering or who assumes power in God’s behalf and redeems all mankind, is the only Son of God. There are some who believe that as long as the One who comes is a male, He may be deemed the only Son of God and God’s representative, and there are even those who say that Jesus is the Son of Jehovah, His only Son. Is this not a seriously overblown notion of man? If this stage of work were not done in the final age, then the whole of mankind would be veiled under a dark shadow when it comes to God. If this were the case, man would think himself higher than woman, and women would never be able to hold their heads up, and then not even a single woman would be able to be saved. People always believe that God is male, and moreover that He has always despised woman and would not grant her salvation. If this were the case, would it not be true that all women, who were created by Jehovah and who have also been corrupted, would never have the opportunity to be saved? Then would it not have been pointless for Jehovah to have created woman, that is, to have created Eve? And would not woman perish for eternity? For this reason, the stage of work in the last days is to be undertaken in order to save the whole of mankind, not just woman, but all of mankind. This work that is done for the sake of all mankind is not done just for the sake of woman. If any think otherwise, then the more fools they are!
The work being done at present has pushed forward the work of the Age of Grace; that is, the work under the entire six-thousand-year management plan has moved forward. Though the Age of Grace has ended, God’s work has made progress. Why do I say time and again that this stage of work builds upon the Age of Grace and the Age of Law? This means that the work of this day is a continuation of the work done in the Age of Grace and an advance over that done in the Age of Law. The three stages are tightly interconnected and each link in the chain is closely tied to the next. Why do I also say that this stage of work builds on that done by Jesus? Supposing that this stage did not build on the work done by Jesus, He would have to be crucified again in this stage, and the redemptive work of the previous stage would have to be done all over again. This would be meaningless. And so it is not that the work is completely finished, but that the age has moved forward and the level of the work has been raised even higher than before. It may be said that this stage of work is built on the foundation of the Age of Law and on the rock of Jesus’ work. The work is built stage by stage, and this stage is not a new beginning. Only the combination of the three stages of work may be deemed the six-thousand-year management plan. The work at this stage is done on the foundation of the work of the Age of Grace. If these two stages of work were unrelated, then why is the crucifixion not repeated in this stage? Why do I not bear the sins of man? I do not come through conception by the Holy Spirit, nor do I bear the sins of man through crucifixion; rather, I am here to chastise man directly. If My chastisement of man and My coming now not by the conception of the Holy Spirit did not follow the crucifixion, then I would not be qualified to chastise man. It is precisely because I am one with Jesus that I come directly to chastise and judge man. The work at this stage is built entirely on the work in the preceding stage. That is why only work of this kind can bring man, step by step, into salvation. Jesus and I come from one Spirit. Even though We are unrelated in Our fleshes, Our Spirits are one; even though the content of what We do and the work that We take on are not the same, We are alike in essence; Our fleshes take different forms, but this is due to the change in era and the differing requirements of Our work; Our ministries are not alike, so the work We bring forth and the disposition We reveal to man are also different. That is why what man sees and understands this day is unlike that of the past; this is so because of the change in era. For all that They are different in the gender and the form of Their fleshes, and that They were not born of the same family, still less in the same time period, Their Spirits are nonetheless one. For all that Their fleshes share neither blood nor physical kinship of any kind, it cannot be denied that They are the incarnation of God in two different time periods. That They are the incarnate fleshes of God is an irrefutable truth, even though They are not of the same bloodline and do not share a common human language (one was a male who spoke the language of the Jews and the other a female who exclusively speaks Chinese). It is for these reasons that They have lived in different countries to do the work that it behooves each one to do, and in different time periods too. Despite the fact that They are the same Spirit, possessed of the same essence, there are no absolute similarities at all between the outward shells of Their fleshes. All They share is the same humanity, but as far as external appearance of Their fleshes and the circumstances of Their birth are concerned, They are not alike. These things have no impact on Their respective work or on the knowledge that man has of Them, for, in the final analysis, They are the same Spirit and none can separate Them. Even though They are not related by blood, Their entire beings are in the charge of Their Spirits, which allocates to Them different work in different time periods, and Their fleshes to different bloodlines. Similarly, the Spirit of Jehovah is not the father of the Spirit of Jesus, and the Spirit of Jesus is not the son of the Spirit of Jehovah: They are one and the same Spirit. Just like the incarnate God of today and Jesus. Though They are not related by blood, They are one; this is because Their Spirits are one. God can do the work of mercy and lovingkindness, as well as that of the righteous judgment and of chastisement of man, and that of calling down curses on man; and in the end, He can do the work of destroying the world and punishing the wicked. Does He not do all of this Himself? Is this not the omnipotence of God? He was able both to promulgate laws for man and to issue him commandments, and He was also able to lead the early Israelites to live their lives on earth and to guide them to build the temple and altars, holding all the Israelites under His dominion. Relying on His authority, He lived on earth with the people of Israel for two thousand years. The Israelites dared not rebel against Him; all revered Jehovah and observed His commandments. This was the work that was done relying on His authority and His omnipotence. Then, during the Age of Grace, Jesus came to redeem the whole of fallen mankind (and not only the Israelites). He showed mercy and lovingkindness to man. The Jesus that man saw in the Age of Grace was filled with lovingkindness and was always loving toward man, for He had come to save humanity from sin. He was able to forgive men their sins until His crucifixion completely redeemed mankind from sin. During this period, God appeared before man with mercy and lovingkindness; that is, He became a sin offering for man and was crucified for the sins of man so that they might forever be forgiven. He was merciful, compassionate, enduring, and loving. And all those who followed Jesus in the Age of Grace likewise sought to be enduring and loving in all things. They were long-suffering, and never fought back even when beaten, cursed, or stoned. But during the final stage this can no longer be so. Similarly, even though Their Spirits were one, the work of Jesus and Jehovah was not entirely alike. Jehovah’s work was not to bring the age to an end but to guide it, ushering in mankind’s life on earth. However, the work now in hand is to conquer those in the Gentile nations who have been deeply corrupted, and to lead not just the family of China, but the entire universe. It may appear to you that this work is being done only in China, but in fact it has already begun to expand abroad. Why is it that foreigners are, time and again, seeking the true way? That is because the Spirit has already set to work, and the words that are being spoken now are directed toward people throughout the universe. With this, half of the work is already under way. From the creation of the world down to the present, the Spirit of God has set this great work in motion, and has moreover done different work in different ages and in different nations. The people of each age see a different disposition of His, which is naturally revealed through the different work that He does. He is God, filled with mercy and lovingkindness; He is the sin offering for man and man’s shepherd; but He is also man’s judgment, chastisement, and curse. He could lead man to live on earth for two thousand years, and He could also redeem the corrupted mankind from sin. Today, He is also able to conquer mankind, who do not know Him, and prostrate them under His dominion, so that all submit to Him fully. In the end, He will burn away all that is unclean and unrighteous within men throughout the universe, to show them that He is not only a merciful and loving God, not only a God of wisdom and wonders, not only a holy God, but, even more, a God who judges man. To the evil ones among mankind, He is burning, judgment, and punishment; to those who are to be perfected, He is tribulation, refinement, and trial, as well as comfort, sustenance, provision of words, dealing, and pruning. And to those who are eliminated, He is punishment and also retribution. Tell Me, is God not almighty? He is capable of any and all work, not just the crucifixion as you imagined. You think too lowly of God! Do you believe that all He can do is redeem the whole of mankind through His crucifixion and that’s it? And after that, you will follow Him up to heaven to eat of the fruit from the tree of life and drink from the river of life? … Could it be that simple? Tell Me, what have you accomplished? Do you have the life of Jesus? You were indeed redeemed by Him, but the crucifixion was the work of Jesus Himself. What duty have you fulfilled as a man? You have only outward piety but you do not understand His way. Is that how you manifest Him? If you have not attained the life of God or seen the entirety of His righteous disposition, then you cannot claim to be one that has life, and you are not worthy to pass through the gate of the kingdom of heaven.
Not only is God a Spirit, He can also become flesh; He is, moreover, a body of glory. Jesus, though you have not seen Him, was witnessed by the Israelites, that is, the Jews at the time. He was at first a fleshly body, but after He was crucified, He became the body of glory. He is the all-encompassing Spirit and can do work in every place. He can be Jehovah, or Jesus, or Messiah; in the end, He can also become Almighty God. He is righteousness, judgment, and chastisement; He is curse and wrath; but He is also mercy and lovingkindness. All the work He has done is capable of representing Him. What manner of God do you say He is? You just won’t be able to explain. All you can say is: “As for what manner of God He is, I’m unable to explain.” Do not draw the conclusion that God is forever a God of mercy and lovingkindness, just because He did the work of redemption in one stage. Can you be certain that He is only a merciful and loving God? If He is a merciful and loving God, why will He bring the age to an end in the last days? Why will He send down so many disasters? If it is as you think, that He is merciful and loving toward man to the very end, even to the final age, then why is He going to send down disasters from the heavens? If He loves man as Himself and as His only Son, then why is He going to send down plagues and hailstones from the heavens? Why does He allow man to suffer from famine and pestilence? Why does He allow man to suffer these disasters? As for what manner of God He is, no one among you dares to say, and none is able to explain. Can you be certain that He is the Spirit? Do you dare say that He is no other than the flesh of Jesus? And do you dare say that He is a God who will forever be crucified for man’s sake?
from The Word Appears in the Flesh
a. The original text omits “the work of.”