Question 4: You say that the Lord Jesus has returned, so why haven’t we seen Him? Seeing is believing. If we haven’t seen Him, then that must mean He hasn’t returned yet; I will believe it when I see Him. You say that the Lord Jesus has returned, so where is He now? What work is He doing? What words has the Lord spoken? I will believe it when you testify clearly to these things.
“The Lord Jesus has returned to the flesh”: this good news has already spread across the Chinese mainland. The name of Christ of the last days Almighty God has spread to every home in China, reached every household. Everybody knows. Now it spreads around the world, openly testifying that Almighty God is the second coming of the Savior, the one true God appearing to men. The truth that is issued by Almighty God faces the searching examination of all of humanity. This has become an open fact! But some brothers and sisters, since they have not seen God incarnate with their own eyes, still hesitate. They say, “If we haven’t seen Him then the Lord has not come back. If I could see Him I would believe.” People who can maintain such a viewpoint, such a perspective, mainly do not have a clear path toward knowing God incarnate, and do not know how they should search for the appearance of God, how to follow God’s footsteps. It does not hurt to recall why we first started believing in the Lord Jesus. Can it be we believed because we saw the flesh of the Lord Jesus with our own eyes? Of course not! We all believed in Him for the grace He bestowed and the work of being crucified for our redemption and the words that He uttered. Let us look at those people who saw the Lord Jesus in the flesh at the time He was working in person. Did they believe in Him by really recognizing that the Lord Jesus was the coming Messiah, the appearance of God, or by just seeing the Lord Jesus? At that time when the Lord Jesus was with the twelve disciples, He asked the disciples: “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” Some said John the Baptist, some said Elijah, some said Jeremiah or one of the prophets. The Lord Jesus then asked: “But whom say you that I am?” Simon Peter answered: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (see Mat 16:13-16). Here we see, people of that time saw the Lord Jesus or interacted with Him, the twelve disciples were even with Him day and night, but only Peter recognized the identity of the Lord Jesus under the direction of the Father (see Mat 16:17), other people seeing the Lord Jesus with their own eyes did not recognize He was God incarnate Himself. Disciple Judas, who had followed the Lord Jesus for years, actually sold out the Lord Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. If he had known the Lord Jesus was the Messiah, would he have dared to do this? And the chief priests, the scribes, the Pharisees, didn’t they also see the Savior Jesus? But did they recognize that the Lord Jesus was the Messiah? The facts that they beat and cursed the Lord Jesus, humiliated, resisted, and condemned the Lord Jesus, ultimately nailing Him to the cross, totally prove that although they often saw the Lord Jesus, they still did not recognize that the Lord Jesus was God. From this we see, people know God not from seeing the face of God incarnate. The image of God incarnate is not the path for men to know God. The key to knowing God is to know God’s essence, meaning to know God’s work, words, and disposition. That is to say, whether a person can believe in God, follow God, depends not on whether he has seen God incarnate, or how he understands God’s incarnate image, but it depends on whether a person has a heart that seeks God, whether he has a heart that fears and obeys God. If a person has a seeking, obedient heart, he must be able to know God through His work and words. For the work that God does cannot be done by man, and the words that God speaks cannot be spoken by man. From the first time God became flesh—we see that the appearance of the Lord Jesus was no different from that of common men. But His work of crucifixion no man could do for Him, and all the words that He said could not be spoken by any man. So, in knowing God we should not overlook God’s work and words, and especially should not examine God’s incarnate image as the path to knowing God. Almighty God says: “God being the greatest in all the universe, both above and below, could He fully explain Himself using the image of a flesh? God puts on this flesh in order to do one stage of His work. There is no significance in particular in this image of the flesh…. His appearance in the flesh bears no relation to His management, being merely for the sake of His work at the time. Yet it is impossible for God incarnate to have no particular appearance, and so He chooses the appropriate family to determine His appearance. If the appearance of God were to have representative significance, then all those who possess facial features similar to His would also represent God. Wouldn’t that be an egregious mistake?” (“The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From Almighty God’s words, we know that the image of God’s flesh is unremarkable. It has no representative meaning. Of course it is even less capable of indicating God’s essence, so we cannot know God’s identity by judging from His image in the flesh. In sum, our belief that “We haven’t seen Him so the Lord has not come back; if I could see Him then I would believe” is a mistaken point of view. It does not conform to the truth, and does not conform to objective fact.
Let us remember, at the time when the Lord Jesus was at work on the earth, how Peter recognized Him. Simon Peter said: “Lord, to whom shall we go? you have the words of eternal life” (Jhn 6:68). Herein we see, Peter did not believe in the Lord Jesus from seeing the Lord Jesus’ outward appearance, but from His work and words he saw that the Lord Jesus had the essence of God, that is “you have the words of eternal life,” and thus knew that the Lord Jesus was the Christ. Just like the woman of Samaria, who too by recognizing the words from the Lord Jesus’ mouth knew He was the coming Messiah. When first she saw the Lord Jesus she thought He was a common Jew. But when she heard the Lord Jesus say “For you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband” (Jhn 4:18), she concluded from His speech that the Lord Jesus was the coming Messiah and believed in Him, for she knew that only God examines the innermost heart of man, only God can know man’s innermost secrets. Also many people from the Lord Jesus’ acts of healing and exorcism, His working miracles and wonders, knew He was of God. See, all those who believed in and followed the Lord Jesus, did not follow based on His outward appearance. From His work and words they knew the Lord Jesus was the Messiah. Likewise, we today must not judge outward appearance to know Christ of the last days, but should confirm Him from His words and work. He is the incarnation of God, and so necessarily possesses God’s essence. The Bible says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jhn 1:1). The Word (God’s word) is God. Today, from the words spoken by Almighty God, we can recognize He is the second coming of the Lord Jesus we have expected, Christ of the last days. Because the word of Almighty God has revealed the heavenly mysteries that men could not reveal, has unrolled the scroll recorded in the Book of Revelation. More importantly, the words of Almighty God have judged the sins of all humanity, bringing to man the truth, the way, and the life. Almighty God says: “The words of God incarnate initiate a new age, guide the whole of mankind, reveal mysteries, and show man the direction ahead in a new age.” “When Jesus came into the world of man, He brought the Age of Grace and ended the Age of Law. During the last days, God once more became flesh, and when He became flesh this time, He ended the Age of Grace and brought the Age of Kingdom. All those who accept the second incarnation of God will be led into the Age of Kingdom, and be able to personally accept the guidance of God. Though Jesus did much work among man, He only completed the redemption of all mankind and became man’s sin offering, and did not rid man of all his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to take on the sins of man as the sin offering, but also required God to do greater work to completely rid man of his disposition, which has been corrupted by Satan. And so, after man was forgiven his sins, God has returned to flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment, and this work has brought man into a higher realm. All those who submit under His dominion shall enjoy higher truth and receive greater blessings. They shall truly live in the light, and shall gain the truth, the way, and the life” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh).
From the words of Almighty God we can see, God became flesh on earth to end the old age, open a new age, take humanity into a higher realm, and bring man greater blessings. Just as when the Lord Jesus came He ended the Age of Law and brought the Age of Grace, becoming man’s sin offering, bringing them out of the dangerous situation of being condemned by the law; so today, God’s second incarnation has ended the Age of Grace, has brought the Age of Kingdom, and on the basis of the work of redemption has undertaken a stage of the work of words, which means the work of expressing words to judge and cleanse man, to make us who are redeemed by the Lord Jesus clean, to bring us to a beautiful destination. We need only look to the words expressed by Almighty God, examine His work, to confirm He is the Christ returning in the last days. Almighty God uses words to reveal our corrupt nature, analyze our words and behavior, let us know our own nature, see our own filth, unrighteousness. In our actual experience, God’s word leads us to use the practice of the truth to replace previous corruption and disobedience, so that our disposition progressively changes. The truth of God’s word gradually works inside us and becomes our life, we daily are changed, cleansed by God. Such words, such work have opened for us a brand-new age, freeing us from the cyclical old life of “sinning and confessing, confessing and sinning” in the Age of Grace, giving us a way of practice in the new age, allowing us to gain a higher truth and enter a newer state. The word of God also reveals to us mysteries hidden for thousands of years, such as the mystery of God’s six-thousand-year management plan, what’s behind the three stages of work, how humanity has developed until today, how Satan corrupts man, what man’s beautiful destination is like, and so on; also the mysteries in Revelation that are endlessly debated, like what is the lake of fire and brimstone, what is the bottomless pit, what the seven thunders, the seven bowls, the seven plagues are, and so on. Only God can do this work of ending the old age and opening a new age! Only God can give us direction in a new age, give us the truth, the way, and the life! Only God can reveal the mysteries! We need only to seek, examine, and we are sure to recognize from the work and words of Almighty God that Almighty God is Christ of the last days, is the returned Lord Jesus!
from Questions and Answers on the Testimony of the Kingdom Gospel
The appearance and work of God for the last days are the same as the Lord Jesus has prophesied, which are divided into secret arrival and public arrival. Secret arrival refers to God being incarnated as the Son of man, into the midst of men, to express His voice and His words, do His work for the last days, and this is secret arrival. As for public arrival, the Lord shall publicly arrive on the clouds, that is, the Lord shall arrive with tens of thousands of saints, such that all the nations and all the people may see. When we are bearing witness to God’s work of judgment for the last days, many people have doubts: “You say that God has appeared and He has worked, how come we have not seen Him? When did God express His voice? How did God express His voice? Did anyone record what God has said when He was saying them? Or did God bring those words directly to us? Why did God express His voice among you? How come we didn’t hear His voice? How come we did not see?” Are these questions good? These questions are quite good. … God appeared in China in the East, He expresses His voice and works in the image of the incarnate Son of man, and there was nothing supernatural. God wears an ordinary flesh, His appearance is that of an ordinary person, and He expresses His voice and works amongst us. Is there anything supernatural about all this? There is nothing supernatural. Someone then says: “If this is not even a little bit supernatural, then is He God or not? If God is appearing and working, then His appearance and work should be supernatural.” Let me ask you, was the Lord Jesus supernatural when He worked? When He was speaking with Peter, were others able to see? Could people that were somewhere else see? When He was demonstrating signs and wonders in one place, could those from other places see? (No.) Why were they not able to? Because the Lord Jesus was God incarnate as the Son of man, and His work and His words were not supernatural; apart from His demonstrations of signs and wonders, there was nothing supernatural. Therefore, no one from other places was able to hear His words and see His work, while only those by His side were able to see, were able to hear, and were able to experience them. This is the real and normal aspect of God’s work. Do you understand now? Therefore, other religions, other churches, and other sects do not know of the work that God has wrought at The Church of Almighty God in China. Why do they not know? God does not work in supernatural ways. Only those amongst whom He has performed His work are able to see, are able to hear; those amongst whom He has not performed His work are not able to hear. When the Lord Jesus performed His work amongst the Jewish people, were we, the Chinese people, able to see, to hear? Were the British and the Americans in the West able to see and hear? (No.) Then why were the Westerners and the Oriental Chinese finally able to accept the work of the Lord Jesus? That is because there was someone who bore witness, there was someone who spread the gospel to us, as well as gave to us this Bible that recorded the Lord Jesus’ words and the Lord Jesus’ work. When we prayed to the Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit should perform His work, and the Holy Spirit should be with us, and bless us with grace, thereby we believed that the Lord Jesus is God and the Savior. Is this not how we came to believe? This is how we came to believe. The Westerners say that “God appeared and worked in China, how come we didn’t know? How come we were unable to see and hear?” Could this question be explained?
Has God prophesied the work of the last days in the Bible? Yes. The Lord Jesus said this: “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” (Mat 24:27). “The lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west,” what does this mean? It means God’s work of the last days is like lightning, coming out of the East, and after this lightning has come out from the East, it immediately shines even to the West, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. What does “so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” mean? Just like lightning, He is working in the East, allowing the Easterners to see the appearance of the great light first, to see the appearance of the true light, to see the appearance of God, and then immediately this great light shall shine to the West like lightning. That is, after the words of Almighty God have come out of the East, they were published online, thereby they were spread to the West. When were the words of Almighty God published online? It was published online, at the latest, by 2007, or earlier in 2005. It might have been 2010 when those words were translated into English. The words of God have been spread online for so many years, yet how many people from the religious community have investigated them online? Not many, very few investigated them online. God’s way and the words expressed by God have long been online. People can see today that the words of Almighty God are online, yet why do those so-called devout people who believe in the Lord Jesus not investigate them? Tell me, what is the issue here? God’s way has already been witnessed to all people from all nations. If man still does not investigate them, thereby suffering perdition and being annihilated, whose responsibility would that be? Whose mistake is this? Is this the mistake of God or that of man? (It belongs to man.) Why do we say that this mistake belongs to man? Because the Lord Jesus has said long ago, “Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord does come” (Mat 24:42), “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Mat 25:6), “My sheep hear my voice” (Jhn 10:27). The Lord Jesus has also said such things many times: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Mat 7:7; Luk 11:9). Aren’t there such words in the Bible? “Seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.” This is God’s promise, and the Lord Jesus has said things of this nature many times. According to the words of the Lord Jesus, if man never sought God, and never investigated when he has heard that someone bears witness to God’s coming, and instead he blindly condemned them, saying things such as “All those that bear witness to God’s coming are heresies, they are all evil cults,” then such people, when they have not accepted God’s work even until the end, should be caught in catastrophes and annihilated by the punishments that they suffer. Who should be blamed? Many people from the religious community are suspicious regarding this matter. What are they suspicious of? “Why does God not appear to us? Why is God hiding from us? Why does He not let us know?” Has God ever said “When I secretly arrive to perform work, I shall appear and give revelations to all people”? What did God say? “If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come on you” (Rev 3:3). This has been said in Revelation. Therefore, regarding God’s work for the last days, if we, those who believe in the Lord, should hear that someone has witnessed that “The Groom has arrived, the Lord has returned,” yet we do not actively investigate, and we are caught in catastrophes and are annihilated by the punishments that we suffer, we shall not blame God. We should look for the problems from within ourselves, to see in what ways we have not done enough. This is only fair. Looking back, if no one had witnessed to the Lord Jesus for you, how were you able to receive the Lord? Did the Lord Jesus come to you? Did the Lord appear to you? The belief in the way comes from hearing the way, while hearing the way comes from the words of God. Now someone has witnessed this gospel and the fact that God has arrived to perform work to you, and this is God’s love, this is God’s mercy and concern to you, should you not accept them thus? A devout man should accept them thus. Therefore, do not be arrogant in front of God, do not think too highly of yourself, do not only think “God must first give revelations to me when He arrives. If He should arrive and does not reveal it to me, then He is not God, and I shall not recognize Him.” Are there such men? Yes, there are. And what kind of men are these? What mistakes have they made? I have met quite a few like this when I was spreading the gospel, and they would say: “God should reveal it to me when He arrives. He should first reveal it to me, or else I shall not recognize that He is God.” To this, I said: “Are you certain that God must reveal it to you when He arrives? What basis do you have for this? Did the Lord tell you ‘I shall first reveal it to you when I arrive’? Has He said such words to you? You think that you are above everyone else in the world, that you are the most important, that you love God the most? Are you above everyone else? Are you someone specially created by God?” Can such people be easily saved? (No, they cannot.) Why does God have to perform the work of judgment in the last days? That is because the corrupt mankind is not fit to see God. All of corrupt mankind has Satan’s disposition; they are particularly arrogant and conceited, they all have too extravagant a desire for God. They all place themselves above all else, only slightly below the heavens, and far above man, as if they are the favored by the Heaven. With such corrupt disposition of man, if he has not received God’s judgment and chastisement, is he fit to see God?
from Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (Series 132)
You’ll see that there are many people, including religious figures, who say: “If God has come, why didn’t I see Him? Because I didn’t see Him that proves that God hasn’t come.” How does that sound to you? It sounds ridiculous and absurd. Can you see Him? If you saw God’s real person you would be dead! So, how does God come? He incarnates Himself in the form of the Son of man, who speaks to save mankind. Would you be able to recognize God incarnate if you saw Him? Would you be able to? (No.) You wouldn’t. When He came as the Lord Jesus, many people saw the Lord Jesus. But how many of them recognized Him as Christ, the Son of God? Only one person: Peter, and that’s because the Holy Spirit enlightened him. What does this prove? It proves that corrupt mankind has no chance of seeing the spiritual body of God while they still have physical bodies. If you should see God’s spiritual body you would be dead, so don’t think you’re ever going to see it. For corrupt mankind to see God, what are they able to see? If they can hear the voice of God that’s already quite a favor for them, right? (Yes.) When God worked in the Age of Law how many people could hear God’s voice? Was there even a handful who could hear His voice? No, not even a handful. We know that Job heard God’s voice, but did he see His face? No, he just heard Jehovah God speaking to him from within a whirlwind, so can we say that hearing God’s voice is equivalent to meeting Him? (Yes, we can.) Moses heard God calling him, but did he see God’s face? (No, he didn’t.) Moses later saw the back of God, but not His face. So if you hear someone say: “Some people bear witness to God’s coming. They say that God has come, but how come I haven’t seen Him? How come it hasn’t been on national TV or radio?” What about this kind of talk? It’s very childish! Who saw the coming of the Lord Jesus? The Jews. Those who, in the word of the Lord Jesus, heard the voice of God and heard authority and power followed Him. But in the end, how many really believed in the Lord Jesus, really followed Him? Very few, among mankind. So when God incarnate comes during the last days as an ordinary person, we don’t have to see the face of this person in order to see God’s face. Instead, when we hear His voice and see the truths that He expresses, we should accept them, obey them, and put them into practice. People who do this will gain the truth and life, and will obtain God’s salvation. Those people who say: “I’ve got to see Christ’s face before I’ll accept Him,” are they making sense? (No, they’re not.) Can the incarnate image of God represent God’s spiritual body? Can the image of the Lord Jesus represent the true image of God? (No.) It can’t. So the image that the incarnate flesh takes is temporary, and it only reassures people that He is just a normal, ordinary person. For man to accept God incarnate, the most important thing is to listen to His words and accept all of the truths that He expresses. This is the way to get God’s love and salvation! If you don’t listen to His words and accept all of the truths that He expresses then you will have no relationship with God, you will never gain God’s commendation, right? (Right.) So the truths that God expresses during the last days are truths that can purify and save people, and as such they are the most crucial truths. People who don’t accept them and put them into practice will certainly never gain God’s salvation.
from The Fellowship From the Above