42. The religious community began resisting Christ in the flesh in the Age of Grace, so why has Christ always been resisted and condemned by the religious community?
The Answer from God’s Word:
Foolish and ignorant men often regard the normal humanity of Christ as a flaw. No matter how He expresses and reveals the being of His divinity, man is unable to acknowledge that He is Christ. And the more that Christ demonstrates His obedience and humility, the more lightly foolish men regard Christ. There are even those who adopt toward Him an attitude of exclusion and contempt, yet place those “great men” of lofty images upon the table to be worshiped. Man’s resistance to and disobedience of God come from the fact that the substance of the incarnate God submits to the will of God, as well as from the normal humanity of Christ; herein lies the source of man’s resistance to and disobedience of God. If Christ had neither the guise of His humanity nor sought the will of God the Father from the perspective of a created being, but was instead possessed of a super humanity, then there likely would be no disobedience in any man. The reason man is always willing to believe in an invisible God in heaven is because God in heaven has no humanity and He does not have a single quality of a created being. So man always regards Him with the greatest esteem, but holds an attitude of contempt toward Christ.
from “The Substance of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
An invisible and intangible God is loved and welcomed by all. If God is just a Spirit that is invisible to man, it is so easy for man to believe in God. Man can give free rein to his imagination, can choose whatever image he likes as God’s image to please himself and make himself feel happy. In this way, man may do whatever is most pleasing to his own God, and that which this God is most willing to do, without any scruples. What’s more, man believes that no one is more loyal and devout than he toward God, and that all others are Gentile dogs, and disloyal to God. It can be said that this is what is sought by those whose belief in God is vague and based on doctrine; what they seek is all much the same, with little variation. It is merely that the images of God in their imaginations are different, yet their substance is actually the same.
Man is untroubled by his carefree belief in God, and believes in God however he pleases. This is one of the “rights and freedoms of man,” which no one can interfere, for man believes in his own God and not the God of anyone else; it is his own private property, and almost everyone possesses this kind of private property. Man regards this property as a precious treasure, but to God there is nothing more lowly or worthless, for there is no clearer indication of opposition to God than this private property of man. It is because of the work of God incarnate that God becomes a flesh who has a tangible form, and who can be seen and touched by man. He is not a formless Spirit, but a flesh that can be contacted and seen by man. However, most of the Gods people believe in are fleshless deities that are formless, which are also of a free form. In this way, the incarnate God has become the enemy of most of those who believe in God, and those who cannot accept the fact of God’s incarnation have, similarly, become the adversaries of God. Man is possessed of conceptions not because of his way of thinking, or because of his rebelliousness, but because of this private property of man. It is because of this property that most people die, and it is this vague God that cannot be touched, cannot be seen, and does not exist in fact that ruins man’s life. Man’s life is forfeited not by the incarnate God, much less by the God of heaven, but by the God of man’s own imagining.
from “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
All men wish to see the true countenance of Jesus and desire to be with Him. I believe that not one of the brothers or sisters would say that he is unwilling to see or to be with Jesus. Before you have seen Jesus, that is, before you have seen the incarnate God, you will have many thoughts, for example, about Jesus’ appearance, His way of speaking, His way of life, and so on. However, when you really see Him, your thoughts will swiftly change. Why is this? Do you wish to know? While man’s thinking indeed cannot be overlooked, it is much more intolerable for man to alter the substance of Christ. You regard Christ as an immortal, a sage, but none regard Christ as a mortal with divine substance. Therefore, many of those who yearn day and night to see God are actually enemies of God and incompatible with God. Is this not a wrong on the part of man? Even now you still think that your belief and loyalty are such that you deserve to see the countenance of Christ, but I exhort you to equip yourselves with more tangible things! For in the past, present, and future, many of those who come in contact with Christ have failed; they all play the role of the Pharisees. What is the reason for your failure? It is precisely because in your notions there is a lofty, admirable God. But the truth is not as man wishes. Not only is Christ not lofty, but He is particularly small; not only is He a man but an ordinary man; not only can He not ascend to heaven, neither can He move freely on earth. And so people treat Him as an ordinary man; they do as they please when they are with Him, and speak careless words to Him, all the while still waiting for the coming of the “true Christ.” You regard the Christ that has already come as an ordinary man and His word as that of an ordinary man. Therefore, you have not received anything from Christ and have instead completely exposed your ugliness to the light.
Prior to contact with Christ, you may believe that your disposition has been entirely transformed, you may believe that you are a loyal follower of Christ, and you may believe that you are most worthy to receive the blessings of Christ. For you have traveled many roads, done much work, and brought forth much fruit, so you must be a person who receives the crown in the end. Yet there is one truth that you do not know: The corrupt disposition and rebellion and resistance of man are exposed when he sees Christ, and the rebellion and resistance exposed on such occasion are more absolute and complete than on any other. It is because Christ is the Son of man and possesses normal humanity that man neither honors nor respects Him. It is because God lives in the flesh that the rebellion of man is brought to light thoroughly and vividly. So I say that the coming of Christ has unearthed all the rebellion of mankind and has thrown the nature of mankind into sharp relief. This is called “luring a tiger down the mountain” and “luring a wolf out of the cave.”
from “Those Incompatible With Christ Are Surely Opponents of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Do you wish to know the root of why the Pharisees opposed Jesus? Do you wish to know the substance of the Pharisees? They were full of fantasies about the Messiah. What’s more, they believed only that the Messiah would come, yet did not seek the truth of life. And so, even today they still await the Messiah, for they have no knowledge of the way of life, and do not know what the way of truth is. How, say you, could such foolish, stubborn and ignorant people gain God’s blessing? How could they behold the Messiah? They opposed Jesus because they did not know the direction of the Holy Spirit’s work, because they did not know the way of truth spoken by Jesus, and, furthermore, because they did not understand the Messiah. And since they had never seen the Messiah, and had never been in the company of the Messiah, they made the mistake of paying empty tribute to the name of the Messiah while opposing the substance of the Messiah by any means. These Pharisees in substance were stubborn, arrogant, and did not obey the truth. The principle of their belief in God is: No matter how profound Your preaching, no matter how high Your authority, You are not Christ unless You are called the Messiah. Are these views not preposterous and ridiculous? I ask you again: Is it not extremely easy for you to commit the mistakes of the earliest Pharisees, given that you have not the slightest understanding of Jesus? Are you able to discern the way of truth? Can you truly guarantee that you will not oppose Christ? Are you able to follow the work of the Holy Spirit? … Those who did not know the Messiah were all capable of opposing Jesus, of rejecting Jesus, of slandering Him. People who do not understand Jesus are all capable of denying Him, and reviling Him. Moreover, they are capable of seeing the return of Jesus as the deceit of Satan, and more people shall condemn Jesus returning to flesh. Does not all of this make you afraid?
from “When You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus Will Be When God Has Made Anew Heaven and Earth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh