Question 7: God used Moses to do the work of the Age of Law, so why doesn’t God use people to do His work of judgment in the last days, but instead He must needs become flesh to do it Himself?
Why it is that God must become flesh to do the work of judgment in the last days is a question with which many who thirst for truth and search for God’s appearance are chiefly concerned. It is also a question that relates to whether we can be raptured into the kingdom of heaven. So, it is very important to understand this aspect of the truth. Why is it that God has to incarnate Himself to do His work of judgment in the last days instead of using man to do His work? This is determined by the nature of the work of judgment. Because the work of judgment is God’s expression of the truth and expression of His righteous disposition to conquer, purify, and save mankind. Let’s read a passage from Almighty God’s word.
“The work of judgment is God’s own work, so it should naturally be done by God Himself; it cannot be done by man in His stead. Because judgment is the conquering of the human race through the truth, it is unquestionable that God still appears as the incarnate image to do this work among men. That is to say, in the last days, Christ shall use the truth to teach men around the earth and make all truths known to them. This is God’s work of judgment” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, expose the essence of man, and dissect his words and deeds. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out the normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, those words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan and an enemy force against God. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with just a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes it over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth that man does not possess at all. Only methods of this kind are deemed judgment; only through judgment of this kind can man be subdued and thoroughly convinced into submission to God, and moreover gain true knowledge of God. What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his own rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that are incomprehensible to him. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt substance and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the substance of this work is actually the work of opening up the truth, the way, and the life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
From Almighty God’s words we see that God’s work of judgment in the last days consists of expressing many aspects of the truth, expressing God’s disposition, all that God has and is, revealing all the mysteries, judging man’s God-resisting and God-betraying satanic nature, exposing and dissecting corrupt man’s speech and behavior, and revealing God’s holy and righteous substance and unoffendable disposition to all of mankind. When God’s chosen undergo the judgment by God’s words, it is as if they are face to face with God, being exposed and judged by Him. When God judges man, He must allow us to see the manifestation of His righteous disposition, as if seeing God’s holy substance, as if seeing the great light cast down from the heavens, and to see God’s word is like a sharp double-edged sword thrusting into our heart and spirit, causing us to endure unspeakable torment. Only in this way can we come to recognize our own corrupt substance and the truth of our corruption, feel deep humiliation, hide our face in shame, and prostrate ourselves before God in true repentance, and then we will be able to accept the truth and live according to God’s word, thoroughly rid ourselves of Satan’s influence, and be saved and perfected by God. Such work as the judgment, purification, and salvation of man can only be done by God incarnate personally.
Having experienced the judgment by Almighty God’s word, we have all felt how God’s holiness and righteous disposition are unoffendable by men. Every letter of God’s word is invested with majesty and wrath, each word strikes to the core of our hearts, thoroughly exposing our God-resisting and God-betraying satanic nature, as well as the elements of corrupt disposition buried so deep within our hearts that even we ourselves cannot see them, allowing us to recognize how our nature and substance is full of arrogance, self-righteousness, selfishness, and treachery, how we live according to these things, like living devils roaming the earth, possessing not even the slightest bit of humanity. God finds this abhorrent and detestable. We feel humiliated and wracked with regret. We see our own baseness and evil and know we don’t deserve to live before God, so we prostrate on the ground, willing to receive God’s salvation. In experiencing the judgment by Almighty God’s word, we truly witness the appearance of God. We see that God’s holiness is undefilable and His righteousness is unoffendable. We recognize the earnest intentions and true love with which God endeavors to save mankind and see the truth and substance of our corruption at the hands of Satan. Thus, in our hearts, we begin to feel reverence for God and happily accept the truth and obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements. In this way, our corrupt disposition is gradually cleansed. The changes we have attained today are a result of God’s incarnation to do the work of judgment. So, only when God’s incarnation expresses the truth, expresses God’s righteous disposition and all that He has and is to carry out the work of judgment, only then do we see the appearance of the true light, the appearance of God, and begin to have true knowledge of God. Only in this way can we be purified and saved. Apart from Christ, no man can do the work of judgment in the last days. Let’s read some passages of Almighty God’s word.
Almighty God says, “No one is more suitable, and qualified, than God in the flesh for the work of judging the corruption of man’s flesh. … Satan can only be fully defeated if God in the flesh judges the corruption of mankind. Being the same as man possessed of normal humanity, God in the flesh can directly judge the unrighteousness of man; this is the mark of His innate holiness, and of His extraordinariness. Only God is qualified to, and in the position to judge man, for He is possessed of the truth, and righteousness, and so He is able to judge man. Those who are without the truth and righteousness are not fit to judge others” (“Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“It is because of these judgments that you have been able to see that God is the righteous God, that God is the holy God. It is because of His holiness and righteousness that He has judged you and visited His wrath upon you. Because He can reveal His righteous disposition when seeing mankind’s rebelliousness, and because He can reveal His holiness when seeing mankind’s filth, this is enough to show that He is God Himself who is holy and without taint, but also lives in a land of filth. If He were a man who sullies himself along with others and if He did not have any elements of holiness or a righteous disposition, He would not be qualified to judge mankind’s unrighteousness or to be the judge of mankind. If man were to judge man, wouldn’t it be like slapping their own face? How could someone have the right to judge the same kind of person, who is just as filthy as they are? The only One who can judge all of filthy mankind is the holy God Himself, and how could man judge man’s sins? How could man be capable of seeing man’s sins, and how could they be qualified to condemn man? If God didn’t have the right to judge man’s sins, then how could He be the righteous God Himself? When people’s corrupt dispositions are revealed, He speaks out to judge them, and only then can they see that He is holy” (“How the Second Step of the Work of Conquering Bears Fruit” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
From Almighty God’s word we clearly see that God’s work of judgment in the last days must be done through expressing truth, God’s righteous disposition, and God’s almightiness and wisdom to conquer, purify, and perfect man. God appears Himself to do this work of judgment in the last days. This work marks the beginning of one age and the end of another. This work must be done by God’s incarnation, no man can do this work in His stead. Why is it that many believe that God should use men to do all His work, instead of being incarnated to do the work Himself? This is unbelievable! Does mankind really welcome God’s coming? Why is it that there are always so many people wishing that God will use men to do His work? This is because men do work in accordance with their conceptions, they do things just how people think they ought to be done. So, most people easily worship man, hold man up on a pedestal and follow man. However, God’s way of working is never in keeping with man’s conceptions and imagination, He doesn’t do things as man thinks they ought to be done. So we have difficulty being compatible with God. God’s substance is the truth, the way, and the life. God’s disposition is holy, righteous and unoffendable. Corrupt man, however, has been thoroughly corrupted by Satan, and is full of satanic disposition; they have a hard time being compatible with God. So, we find it difficult to accept the work of God’s incarnation and are unwilling to study and observe, instead worshiping man and putting blind faith in his work, accepting and following it, as if it were God’s work. What is the problem here? You could say, mankind doesn’t have the slightest clue what it means to believe in God and experience His work, so, God’s work in the last days must be done through the expression of the truth by the incarnation to resolve all of corrupt mankind’s problems. As for some people’s question as to why God doesn’t use man to do His work of judgment in the last days, does this still require an answer? Man’s substance is man, man does not possess divine substance, so man is incapable of expressing the truth, expressing God’s disposition, all that God has and is, and cannot do the work of salvation of mankind. Not to mention, we humans have all been corrupted by Satan and have a sinful nature, so what qualification do we have to judge other men? Since filthy and corrupt man is incapable of purifying and saving himself, how does he expect to purify and save others? Corrupt man would only meet with disgrace because others were unwilling to accept their judgment. Only God is righteous and holy, and only God is the truth, the way, and the life. So, God’s work of judgment in the last days must be performed by His incarnation. No man is capable of such work, this is fact. Could we still not understand this?
Now why did God use man to do His work in the Age of Law? This is because the work of the Age of Law and that of the judgment of the last days are of a different nature. In the Age of Law, men were the newborn human race, they had been only minimally corrupted by Satan. Jehovah God’s work consisted mainly in promulgating laws and commandments to provide a guideline for early man as to how to live on earth. This stage of work was not aimed at changing man’s disposition, it did not require expressing more truth. God merely needed to use man to convey the laws He had established to the Israelites, so that the Israelites would know how to abide by the laws, worship Jehovah God, and live a normal life on earth. Having done so, that stage of the work was thus completed. So, God could use Moses to complete the work of the Age of Law, He didn’t need to be incarnated to carry out the work personally. By contrast, God’s work of judgment in the last days is aimed at saving mankind, who have been profoundly corrupted by Satan. Releasing a few passages of God’s word and promulgating a few laws just won’t suffice in this case. A large amount of truth must be expressed. God’s inherent disposition, all that God has and is must be expressed completely, the truth, the way, and the life must be opened up for mankind, just as if God were to reveal Himself face-to-face with mankind, allowing them to understand the truth and know God, and in so doing, He thoroughly purifies, saves and perfects mankind. God must do this Himself personally through incarnation, no man can do this work in His stead. God can use prophets to release a few passages of His word, but God does not allow the prophets to express God’s inherent disposition, all that God has and is, or express the entirety of the truth, because corrupt mankind is not worthy of doing so. If God used man to express the entirety of His disposition and truth, he would be likely to humiliate God, because man has a corrupt disposition, he is liable to betray his own conceptions and illusions, there must be impurities in his work, which could easily humiliate God and influence the overall effectiveness of God’s work. Also, we are apt to take all that man has and is for all that God has and is, taking man’s impurities in his work for truth. This leads to a misunderstanding and humiliation of God. Also, if God were to use man to express the entirety of His disposition and truth, because of man’s impurities, we would be unwilling to accept and may even resist. Satan would then find fault and make accusations, fanning the flame of our discontent with God, fomenting revolts, and instigating us to establish our own independent kingdom. This is the end result of man doing God’s work. Especially, in the case of God’s salvation of profoundly corrupted man in the last days, men do not easily accept and obey the work of God’s incarnation. So if God used humans to do this work, men would be much less likely to accept and obey. Are these not the plain facts? Look at the elders and pastors of the religious world, is their resistance and condemnation of the work of God’s incarnation any different from the way the Jewish chief priests and Pharisees resisted the Lord Jesus before? God’s salvation of corrupt mankind is no easy task. We must understand how God thinks!
On the one hand, God incarnate’s work of judgment in the last days is to judge, purify and save mankind, on the other hand, and more importantly, God does His work through expression of the truth and expression of God’s disposition and all that He has and is to allow all of mankind to truly know and understand God, and see the appearance of God in the flesh. Let’s read some passages of Almighty God’s word.
“For all of those who live in the flesh, changing their disposition requires goals to pursue, and knowing God requires witnessing the real deeds and the real face of God. Both can only be achieved by God’s incarnate flesh, and both can only be accomplished by the normal and real flesh. This is why the incarnation is necessary, and why it is needed by all corrupt mankind. Since people are required to know God, the images of the vague and supernatural Gods must be dispelled from their hearts, and since they are required to cast off their corrupt disposition, they must first know their corrupt disposition. If only man does the work so as to dispel the images of the vague Gods from people’s hearts, then he will fail to achieve the proper effect. The images of the vague Gods in people’s hearts cannot be exposed, cast off, or completely expelled by words alone. In doing so, ultimately it would still not be possible to dispel these deep-rooted things from people. Only the practical God and the true image of God can replace these vague and supernatural things to allow people to gradually know them, and only in this way can the due effect be achieved. … Only God Himself can do His own work, and no one else can do this work on His behalf. No matter how rich the language of man is, he is incapable of articulating the reality and normality of God. Man can only know God more practically, and can only see Him more clearly, if God personally works among man and completely shows forth His image and His being. This effect cannot be achieved by any fleshly man” (“Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“Man’s imaginings are, after all, empty, and cannot replace the true face of God; the inherent disposition of God, and the work of God Himself cannot be impersonated by man. The invisible God in heaven and His work can only be brought to earth by God incarnate who personally does His work among man. This is the most ideal way in which God appears to man, in which man sees God and comes to know the true face of God, and it cannot be achieved by a non-incarnate God” (“Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“God’s arrival in the flesh is primarily to enable people to see the real deeds of God, to materialize the formless Spirit in the flesh, and allow people to see and touch Him. In this way, those who are made complete by Him will live Him out, they will be gained by Him, and after His heart. If God only spoke in heaven, and did not actually come on earth, then people would still be incapable of knowing God, they would only be able to preach God’s deeds using empty theory, and would not have God’s words as reality. God has come on earth primarily to act as an exemplar and a model for those who are to be gained by God; only in this way can people actually know God, and touch God, and see Him, and only then can they truly be gained by God” (“You Should Know That the Practical God Is God Himself” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“The incarnate God brings to an end the age when only the back of Jehovah appeared to mankind, and also concludes the age of mankind’s belief in the vague God. In particular, the work of the last incarnate God brings all mankind into an age that is more realistic, more practical, and more pleasant. He not only concludes the age of law and doctrine; more importantly, He reveals to mankind a God who is real and normal, who is righteous and holy, who unlocks the work of the management plan and demonstrates the mysteries and destination of mankind, who created mankind and brings to an end the management work, and who has remained hidden for thousands of years. He brings the age of vagueness to a complete end, He concludes the age in which the whole of mankind wished to seek God’s face but was unable to, He ends the age in which the whole of mankind served Satan, and leads the whole of mankind all the way into a completely new era. All this is the outcome of the work of God in the flesh instead of God’s Spirit” (“Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
God’s work of judgment in the last days through incarnation is truly meaningful. God has been incarnated on earth in the last days, living amongst men and proclaiming His word to humankind, expressing His own disposition and all that He has and is to the masses. Who God loves and who God detests, toward whom God’s fury is directed, whom He punishes, His emotional state, His demands of men, His intention for men, man’s ideal outlook on life, values, etc., He informs us of all these things, allowing us to have clear goals in life so that we needn’t cast about aimlessly in vague religious pursuit. The appearance of God’s incarnation has thoroughly concluded the age when “only the back of Jehovah appeared to mankind,” and has concluded the age of man’s belief in the vague God. All those who have gone through Almighty God’s word and work in the last days have a common experience: Even though we have undergone God’s judgment and chastisement, have endured all manner of trials and refinements, and have been profoundly tormented by the brutal, savage pursuit and persecution of the great red dragon, we have seen God’s righteous disposition come upon us, we have seen God’s majesty and wrath and His almightiness and wisdom, we have seen the manifestation of all that God has and is, just as if we were seeing God Himself. Though we haven’t seen God’s spiritual body, God’s inherent disposition, His almightiness and wisdom, and all that He has and is, have been revealed to us in full, as if God had come before us, face-to-face, allowing us to truly know God and have a heart that fears God so that we may obey whatever plans God has for us until death. We all feel that in God’s word and work we see and know God in a practical and real way, and have thoroughly cast off all conceptions and illusions and become ones truly knowing God. Before, we thought of God’s disposition as loving and compassionate, believing God would continually pardon and forgive the sins of man. But after having gone through the judgment of Almighty God’s word, we have come to truly understand that God’s disposition is not only compassionate and loving, it is also righteous, majestic, and wrathful. Anyone who offends His disposition will be punished. Thus, we can revere God, accept the truth and live by God’s word. Through experiencing Almighty God’s work of judgment in the last days, we have all really and practically come to understand that God’s disposition is holy, righteous, and unoffendable, have experienced God’s compassion and love, truly come to appreciate God’s almightiness and wisdom, recognized how God humbly hides Himself, and come to know His earnest intentions and many lovable qualities: His emotional state, His faithfulness, His beauty and goodness, His authority, sovereignty, His scrutiny of everything, etc. All that God has and is has appeared before us, as if seeing God Himself, allowing us to know God face-to-face. We no longer believe in and follow God based upon our conceptions and illusions, but feel true reverence and adoration for God, and truly obey and rely upon God. We have really recognized that if God hadn’t been personally incarnated in the flesh to express the truth and do the work of judgment, we never would know God, and would be incapable of ridding ourselves of sin and attaining sanctity. So no matter how you look at it, God’s work of judgment in the last days must be done by God incarnate Himself, no one can stand in His stead. Given man’s conceptions and illusions, if God were to use man to do the work of judgment in the last days, He wouldn’t be able to achieve the desired effect.
from Classic Questions and Answers on the Gospel of the Kingdom
“The work of judgment is God’s own work, so it should naturally be done by God Himself; it cannot be done by man in His stead.” The word of God is spoken very clearly. The work of judgment is God’s own work, it is work that God must carry out among mankind, it is work that must be personally carried out by God Himself, it is work that no man is able to do in His stead. No man can do it in His stead. None of mankind can replace God and do this work in His stead. Why can no one replace Him? Some people might say: “Was God’s work not carried out by using Moses during the Age of Law? Then how come God cannot use people to carry out the work of judgment?” Is there some mystery here? In the Age of Law God issued forth laws and commandments to the Israelites, which work could be carried out by using man, but man cannot replace God and carry out the work of judgment in the last days, why is that? There is a mystery here. What is this mystery all about? We must continue reading along and see what God says about it. “Because judgment is the conquering of the human race through the truth, it is unquestionable that God still appears as the incarnate image to do this work among men.” How do we decipher these words of God? God has made known the definition of the work of judgment, and what is the nature of the work of judgment? How is this explained in the word of God? “Because judgment is the conquering of the human race through the truth.” How can we decipher these words? What exactly is judgment? Based on the word of God we can understand it as follows: God’s work of judgment is done through the conquering of man through the truth. “The conquering of the human race through the truth,” we must carefully think these words over. Why is man not able to do the work of judgment? (Man does not possess the truth.) (Man cannot express the truth.) It is totally okay to understand and accept things in this way. Man does not have the truth and does not possess the truth. Man does not possess the truth, so man cannot carry out the work of judgment. Some people say: “God is able to make use of prophets to issue forth the word of God, so if God made use of prophets to issue forth the word of God in order to carry out the work of judgment, would that be okay?” Would that be okay? (No.) How come? (Prophets are people too.) It’s true that prophets are also people, but prophets are able to convey the word of God, so if God uses prophets to convey the word of God in order to carry out the work of judgment, would that be okay? (No.) Why is that? Prophets conveying the word of God and God issuing forth the truth anytime and anywhere Himself will bring about different results, because prophets are not themselves the truth. What consequences will there be when someone who is not the truth conveys the word of God? Christ, when carrying out the work of judgment through His capacity as God, may issue forth the truth anytime and anywhere, reveal all that God has and is, and make known the disposition of God. So, what is the difference between these results and the results that are brought about when a prophet, who is not himself the truth and who is not able to reveal all that God has and is anytime and anywhere, conveys the word of God? If this is something you can understand thoroughly, then you have a true understanding of the words, “The work of judgment is God’s own work, so it should naturally be done by God Himself; it cannot be done by man in His stead.” “It cannot be done by man in His stead.” What does this include? It won’t do if God uses people or prophets to convey the word of God. But why won’t it do if God uses people to convey the word of God? Why will this not achieve the result that is achieved when God carries out the work Himself? If you are able to understand this thoroughly, then you will be able to accept the words that “it cannot be done by man in His stead.” It means that it is inappropriate for God to use man for this kind of work, the results will not be able to be achieved.
Would it be okay for God to use prophets to convey the word of God in order to carry out the work of judgment? (No.) Why not? What results will not be able to be achieved if the work is done in this way? Can you see it? If prophets are used to convey the word of God, the result that will be achieved is that people will only be able to have a little bit of understanding of the words being conveyed. But as for understanding the disposition of God, all that God has and is, and the truth issued forth by God, regardless of how great an effort man exerts, it will be very difficult to achieve the best result. Isn’t that so? (Yes.) Why can’t the best result be achieved? In essence, prophets themselves are human. Since they are human by nature, could they reveal all that God has and is? (No.) There’s absolutely no way this could be revealed. … Based on this point, we can see that prophets, regardless of how they convey the word of God, will not be able to reveal the disposition of God, nor will they be able to reveal all that God has and is, for prophets are human by nature, they are not divine. Christ has a divine substance, and in carrying out the work of judgment He can issue forth the truth anytime and anywhere, He can reveal all that God has and is. In Christ, man is able to witness the disposition of God, and witness all that God has and is, and witness the almightiness and wisdom of God. For the man used by God, no matter how much we come to understand the word of God through him, ultimately we will still never be able to come to an understanding of God, and what we are able to attain will be very, very limited! Now you should be able to see this clearly! (Yes.) So now when God says, “The work of judgment is God’s own work, so it should naturally be done by God Himself; it cannot be done by man in His stead,” we should be able to understand the meaning of these words, right? (Yes.) However, people in the religious world are unable to comprehend the meaning of these words, they do not understand them. They believe that since God was able to use Moses to carry out His work in the Age of Law, then God should be able to use man to carry out the work of judgment in the last days. But isn’t this very far away from the intention of God? Now we can recognize this point. This is the grace of God. People in the religious world cannot recognize this, for they have no experience of God’s work in the last days. How many truths they must fail to understand! They lack an understanding of many truths. By comparison we have obtained much, much more. In the book The Word Appears in the Flesh everything that is expressed is the truth. It contains truths that have not yet been obtained through the several stages of God’s work that mankind has gone through since the creation of the world, truths that up to now have not been understood. But today, since we are experiencing the work of God in the last days, we have obtained these truths. Is this not the grace of God? Is this not the profound love of God?
from Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (Series 137)