The Mystery of the Incarnation (3)
When God carries out His work, He comes not to engage in any building or movements, but to fulfill His ministry. Each time He becomes flesh, it is only to accomplish a stage of work and open up a new age. Now the Age of Kingdom has arrived, and the training for the kingdom. This stage of work is not the work of man, it is not to work man to a particular degree; it is only to complete a portion of God’s work. What He does is not the work of man, it is not to achieve a certain result in working man before leaving earth; it is to fulfill His ministry and finish the work that He ought, which is to make proper arrangements for His work on earth, and thereby become glorified. The work of the incarnate God is unlike that of the men used by the Holy Spirit. When God comes to do His work on earth, He is only concerned with the fulfillment of His ministry. As for all other matters unrelated to His ministry, He takes almost no part, even to the extent of turning a blind eye. He simply carries out the work that He ought to do, and least of all is He concerned about the work that man ought to do. The work He does is solely that which pertains to the age He is in and to the ministry that He ought to fulfill, as if all other matters lie outside His purview. He does not furnish Himself with more basic knowledge about living as a man, nor does He learn more social skills, nor equip Himself with anything else that man understands. All that man ought to possess concerns Him not at all and He simply does the work that is His duty. And so, as man sees it, the incarnate God is deficient in so much that He even pays no heed to many of the things that man ought to have, and has moreover no understanding of such matters. Such things as common knowledge about life, as well as the principles governing personal conduct and interaction with others, appear to bear no relation to Him. But you simply cannot sense from the incarnate God the slightest hint of abnormality. That is to say, His humanity only maintains His life as an ordinary man and the normal reasoning of His brain, giving Him the ability to discern between right and wrong. However, He is not furnished with anything else, all of which is what men (created beings) alone should possess. God becomes flesh only to fulfill His own ministry. His work is directed at an entire age, not at any one person or place but at the entire universe. This is the direction of His work and the principle by which He works. No one can alter this, and man has no way of becoming involved in it. Each time God becomes flesh, He brings with Him the work of that age, and has no intention of living alongside man for twenty, thirty, forty, or even seventy or eighty years in order that he may better understand and gain insight into Him. There is no need for that! To do so would in no way deepen the knowledge man has of God’s inherent disposition; instead, it would only add to his notions and cause his notions and thoughts to become fossilized. And so it behooves you all to understand exactly what is the work of the incarnate God. Surely you cannot fail to have understood the words I spoke unto you: “It was not to experience the life of an ordinary man that I have come”? Have you forgotten the words: “God comes to earth not to live the life of an ordinary man”? You do not understand God’s purpose in becoming flesh, nor do you know the meaning of “How could God come to earth with the intent of experiencing the life of a created being?” God comes to earth solely to complete His work, and so His work on earth is short-lived. He comes to earth not with the intent of causing the Spirit of God to cultivate His fleshly body into a superior man who will lead the church. When God comes to earth, it is the Word becoming flesh; man, however, does not know of His work and forcibly attributes things to Him. But you should all realize that God is the “Word become flesh,” not a fleshly body that has been cultivated by the Spirit of God to assume the role of God for the moment. God Himself is not the product of cultivation, but is the Word become flesh, and today He officially carries out His work among you all. You all know, and acknowledge, that the incarnation of God is a factual truth, yet you pretend an understanding that is beyond your capacity to exercise. From the work of the incarnate God to the significance and substance of His incarnation, you are unable to grasp these in the least and only follow others in glibly reciting words from memory. Do you believe the incarnate God to be as you imagine?
God becomes flesh solely to lead the age and set in motion new work. It is necessary for you to understand this point. This is much different from the function of man, and the two cannot be mentioned in the same breath. Man needs to be cultivated and perfected over a long period before he can be used to carry out work, and the kind of humanity that is needed is of an especially high order. Not only must man be able to sustain his normal human power of reasoning, but he must further understand many of the principles and rules governing his conduct in relation to others, and he must moreover commit to studying even more about the wisdom and ethical knowledge of man. This is what man should be furnished with. However, this is not so for God become flesh, for His work neither represents man nor is the work of man; it is, rather, a direct expression of His being and a direct implementation of the work that He ought to do. (Naturally, His work is carried out at the appropriate time, and not casually and at random, and is begun when it is time to fulfill His ministry.) He does not take part in the life of man or the work of man, that is, His humanity is not furnished with any of these (although this does not affect His work). He only fulfills His ministry when it is time for Him to do so; whatever His status, He simply forges ahead with the work that He ought to do. Whatever man knows of Him and whatever man’s opinion of Him, His work is wholly unaffected. For example, when Jesus carried out His work, no one knew exactly who He was, but He simply forged ahead in His work. None of this hindered Him in carrying out the work that He ought. Therefore, He did not at first confess or proclaim His own identity, and merely had man follow Him. Naturally this was not only the humility of God; it was also the way in which God worked in the flesh. He could only work in this way, for man had no way of recognizing Him by the naked eye. And even if man had recognized Him, he would not have been able to help in His work. Furthermore, He did not become flesh in order to have man come to know His flesh; it was to carry out work and fulfill His ministry. For this reason, He placed no importance on making His identity public. When He had completed all the work that He ought to do, His entire identity and status naturally became clear to man. God become flesh keeps silent and never makes any proclamations. He pays mind neither to man nor to how man is getting along in following Him, but simply forges ahead in fulfilling His ministry and carrying out the work that He ought. No one is able to stand in the way of His work. When the time comes for Him to conclude His work, it will without fail be concluded and brought to an end, and no one is able to dictate otherwise. Only after He departs from man on completing His work will man understand the work that He does, though still not entirely clearly. And it will take a long time for man to fully understand the intent with which He first carried out His work. In other words, the work of the age of the incarnate God is divided into two parts. One part consists of the work that the incarnate flesh of God Himself does and the words that the incarnate flesh of God Himself speaks. Once the ministry of His flesh is completely fulfilled, the other part of the work remains to be carried out by those who are used by the Holy Spirit. It is at this time that man should fulfill his function, for God has already opened up the way, and it needs to be walked by man himself. That is to say, God become flesh carries out one part of the work, and then the Holy Spirit as well as those used by the Holy Spirit will succeed to this work. Therefore, man should know what is the work primarily to be carried out by God become flesh at this stage, and he must understand exactly what is the significance of God becoming flesh and what is the work that He ought to do, rather making demands of God according to the demands made upon man. Herein lie man’s mistake, his notion, and even more, his disobedience.
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. When Jesus came to earth, He only spoke some words and carried out some work; He did not concern Himself with the life of man, and departed as soon as He had completed His work. Today, when I have finished speaking and passing on My words to you, and when you have all understood, this step in My work will have concluded, no matter how your life will be. There must in future be some people to continue this step in My work and to continue to work on earth in accordance with these words; at that time, man’s work and man’s construction will begin. But, at present, God only does His work in order to fulfill His ministry and complete one step of His work. God works in a manner unlike that of man. Man likes congregations and forums, and places importance on ceremony, whereas what God detests the most is precisely congregations and meetings of man. God converses and speaks with man informally; this is the work of God, which is exceptionally liberated and also sets you free. However, I utterly detest congregating with you, and I am unable to become accustomed to a life so regimented as yours. I detest rules the most; they put constraints on man to the point of making him afraid to make a move, afraid to speak, and afraid to sing, his eyes staring straight ahead at you. I utterly detest your manner of congregating and I utterly detest large congregations. I simply refuse to congregate with you in this way, for this manner of living makes one feel shackled and you observe too much ceremony and too many rules. If you were allowed to lead men you would lead them all into the domain of rules, and men would have no way of casting aside the rules under your leadership; instead the atmosphere of religion would only become ever more intense, and the practices of man would only keep proliferating. Some men keep on preaching and speaking when they congregate and never feel weary, and some can go on preaching for a dozen days without stopping. These are all considered large congregations and the meetings of man; they have nothing to do with a life of eating and drinking, of enjoyment, or of the spirit being set free. These are all meetings! Your co-worker meetings, as well as congregations large and small, are all abhorrent to Me, and I have never felt any interest in them. This is the principle by which I work: I am not willing to preach during congregations, nor do I wish to proclaim anything in a big public assembly, and even less to convene you all for a few days of a special conference. I do not find it agreeable that you should all sit, prim and proper, at a gathering; I loathe seeing you live within the confines of any given ceremony, and even more, I refuse to take part in such a ceremony of yours. The more you do this, the more abhorrent I find it. I have not the slightest interest in these ceremonies and rules of yours; no matter how good a job you make of it, I find them all abhorrent. It is not that your arrangements are unsuitable or that you are too low; it is that I detest your manner of living and, even more, I am unable to become accustomed to it. You do not understand in the least the work I wish to do. Back then, when Jesus carried out His work in a certain place and there finished preaching a sermon, He would lead His disciples and leave the city; leading His disciples, He entered into discussion with them, away from the multitude. He often worked in such a manner. Going away from the multitude, He led a few beloved disciples up into the mountains, speaking with them about the ways that it behooved them to understand. His work among the multitude was few and far between. In accordance with what you ask of Him, God become flesh should not have the life of an ordinary man; He must carry out His work, and, whether He is sitting, standing, or walking, He must speak. He must work at all times and can never cease in His “revolutions,” otherwise He would be neglecting His duties. Are these demands of man appropriate to human sense? Where is your integrity? Do you not ask too much? Do I need you to examine Me as I work? Do I need you to supervise as I fulfill My ministry? I know well what work I ought to do and when I ought to do it; there is no need for others to intervene. It may perhaps seem to you as if I have not done much, but by then My work is to an end. Take for instance the words of Jesus in the Four Gospels: Were they not limited as well? At that time, when Jesus entered the synagogue and preached a sermon, He was finished within a few minutes at the most, and when He was done speaking, He led His disciples onto the boat and departed without any explanation. At the very most, those within the synagogue discussed this amongst themselves, but the matter no longer had anything to do with Jesus. God does only the work that He ought to do, and nothing over and above this. Now, many want Me to speak more and talk more, at least several hours a day. As you see it, God ceases to be God unless He speaks, and only He who speaks is God. You are all blind! All brutes! All ignorant things that have no sense! You have too many notions! Your demands go too far! You are inhuman! You do not understand in the least what is meant by God! You believe that all speakers and orators are God, that any who is willing to supply you with words is your father. Tell Me, do all of you, with your well-formed features and uncommon appearance, still have even the slightest bit of sense? Do you yet know the heavensun! Each of you is like a greedy and corrupt official, so how can you see sense? How can you discriminate between right and wrong? I have bestowed much upon you, but how many among you have placed value on it? Who is fully in possession of it? You do not know who it is that opened the way along which you walk this day, so you continue to make demands of Me, making of Me these ridiculous and absurd demands. Are you not crimson with embarrassment? Have I not spoken enough? Have I not done enough? Who among you can truly cherish My words as a treasure? You flatter Me in My presence, but lie and cheat when you are not! Your actions are too despicable, and they revolt Me! I know that you ask Me to speak and work for no other reason than to feast your eyes and broaden your horizons, not for the sake of transforming your lives. How much have I already spoken to you? Your lives should have changed long ago, so why then have you kept relapsing into your old state until now? Could it be that My words have been robbed from you and you did not receive them? To tell the truth, I do not wish to say any more to degenerates like you—it would be in vain! I do not wish to do so much futile work! You only wish to broaden your horizons or to feast your eyes, and not to gain life! You are all deceiving yourselves! I ask you, how much of what I have spoken to you face-to-face have you put into practice? All you do is play tricks to deceive others! I detest those among you who enjoy looking on as spectators, and I find your curiosity deeply abhorrent. If you are not here to seek the true way or thirst for the truth, then you are the objects of My detestation! I know that you listen to Me speak solely to satisfy your curiosity or to fulfill one or another of your greedy desires. You have no thought of seeking the existence of truth, or of exploring the right track for entering into life; these demands simply do not exist among you. All you do is treat God like a plaything that you study and admire. You have too little passion for seeking life, but plenty of desire to be curious! Explaining the way of life to such people is tantamount to talking to thin air; I may as well not speak at all! Let Me tell you! If you are merely looking to fill the void within your heart, then you had best not come to Me! You ought to place importance on your lives! Do not fool yourselves! You had best not take your curiosity as the basis for your pursuit of life, or use it as a pretext for asking Me to speak to you. These are all tricks at which you are highly adept! I ask you again: How much of what I ask you to enter into have you actually entered into? Have you grasped all that I have spoken to you? Have you managed to put into practice all that I have spoken to you?
The work of every age is initiated by God Himself, but you should know that, whatever the way in which God works, He does not come to start a movement, or to hold special conferences, or to establish any sort of organization in your behalf. He comes solely to carry out the work that He ought to do. His work does not suffer the constraint of any man. He does His work however He wishes; no matter what man thinks or knows of it, He is concerned only with carrying out His work. From the creation of the world to the present, there have already been three stages of work; from Jehovah to Jesus, and from the Age of Law to the Age of Grace, God has never convened a special conference for man, nor has He ever assembled all mankind together in order to convene a special global working conference and thereby extend the domain of His work. All He does is to carry out the initial work of an entire age at an appropriate time and in an appropriate place, thereby ushering in the age and leading the human race to live their lives. Special conferences are the congregations of man; assembling people together to celebrate holidays is the work of man. God does not observe holidays and, moreover, finds them abhorrent; He does not convene special conferences and furthermore finds them abhorrent. Now you should understand exactly what is the work that is done by the incarnate God.