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Classic Words of Almighty God on the Gospel of the Kingdom

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III. On the Truth of the Incarnation

1. God’s saving of man is not done directly through the means of the Spirit or as the Spirit, for His Spirit can neither be touched nor seen by man, and cannot be approached by man. If He tried to save man directly in the manner of the Spirit, man would be unable to receive His salvation. And if not for God putting on the outward form of a created man, they would be unable to receive this salvation. For man can in no way approach Him, much like how none could go near the cloud of Jehovah. Only by becoming a man of creation, that is, putting His word into the flesh He will become, can He personally work the word into all who follow Him. Only then can man hear for himself His word, see His word, and receive His word, then through this be fully saved. If God did not become flesh, no fleshly man would receive such great salvation, nor would a single man be saved. If the Spirit of God worked directly among man, man would be smitten or completely carried away captive by Satan because man is unable to associate with God.

from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

2. If God does not become flesh, He remains the Spirit both invisible and intangible to man. Man is a creature of flesh, and man and God belong to two different worlds and are different in nature. The Spirit of God is incompatible with man of flesh, and no relations can be established between them; moreover, man cannot become a spirit. As such, the Spirit of God must become one of the creatures and do His original work. God can both ascend to the highest place and humble Himself by becoming a man of creation, doing work and living among man, but man cannot ascend to the highest place and become a spirit and much less can he descend to the lowest place. Therefore, God must become flesh to carry out His work. Much as with the first incarnation, only the flesh of God incarnate could redeem man through His crucifixion, whereas it was not possible for the Spirit of God to be crucified as a sin offering for man. God could directly become flesh to serve as a sin offering for man, but man could not directly ascend to heaven to take the sin offering that God had prepared for them. As such, God must journey to and fro between heaven and earth, rather than letting man ascend to heaven to take this salvation, for man had fallen and could not ascend to heaven, much less obtain the sin offering. Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to come among men and personally do the work that simply could not be accomplished by man. Every time that God became flesh, it was absolutely necessary to do so. If any of the stages could have been carried out directly by the Spirit of God, He would not have endured the indignities of being incarnated.

from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

3. So if this work were done by the Spirit—if God did not become flesh, and instead the Spirit spoke directly through thunder so that man had no way to have contact with Him, would man know His disposition? If only the Spirit did the work, then man would have no way of knowing His disposition. People can only behold God’s disposition with their own eyes when He becomes flesh, when the Word appears in the flesh, and He expresses His entire disposition through the flesh. God truly lives among man. He is tangible; man can truly engage with His disposition and what He has and is; only in this way can man truly know Him.

from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

4. The best thing about His work in the flesh is that He can leave accurate words and exhortations, and His accurate will for mankind to those who follow Him, so that afterward His followers can more accurately and more concretely pass on all of His work in the flesh and His will for the whole of mankind to those who accept this way. Only the work of God in the flesh among man truly accomplishes the fact of God’s being and living together with man. Only this work fulfills man’s desire to behold the face of God, witness the work of God, and hear the personal word of God. 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. When God works in His flesh, those who follow Him no longer seek and grope after those vague and ambiguous things, and cease to guess at the will of the vague God. When God spreads His work in the flesh, those who follow Him shall pass on the work that He has done in the flesh to all denominations and sects, and they shall communicate all of His words to the ears of the whole of mankind. All that is heard by those who receive His gospel shall be the facts of His work, shall be things personally seen and heard by man, and shall be facts and not hearsay. These facts are the evidence with which He spreads the work, and are also the tools that He uses in spreading the work. Without the existence of facts, His gospel would not spread across all countries and to all places; without facts but only with man’s imaginations, He would never be able to do the work of conquering the entire universe. The Spirit is impalpable to man, and invisible to man, and the work of the Spirit is incapable of leaving any further evidence or facts of God’s work for man. Man shall never behold the real face of God, and shall always believe in a vague God that does not exist. Man shall never behold the face of God, nor will man ever hear words personally spoken by God. 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. God having carried out His work to this stage, His work has already achieved the optimal effect, and has been a complete success. 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

5. Man receives full salvation from God because of God incarnate, not directly from their prayers to heaven. For man is fleshly; man is unable to see the Spirit of God and much less able to approach Him. All that man can associate with is God’s incarnate flesh; only through Him can man understand all the words and all the truths, and receive full salvation. The second incarnation is sufficient to get rid of the sins of man and fully purify man. Hence, the second incarnation will bring to a close all the work of God in the flesh and complete the significance of God’s incarnation. Thereafter, the work of God in the flesh will have entirely come to an end. After the second incarnation, He will not again become flesh for His work. For His entire management will have come to an end. In the last days, His incarnation will have fully gained His chosen people, and all man in the last days will have been divided according to their kind. He will no longer do the work of salvation, nor will He return to flesh to carry out any work.

from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

6. For those to be saved, the use value of the Spirit is far inferior to that of the flesh: The work of the Spirit is able to cover the entire universe, across all mountains, rivers, lakes, and oceans, yet the work of the flesh more effectively relates to every person with whom He has contact. What’s more, God’s flesh with tangible form can better be understood and trusted by man, and can further deepen man’s knowledge of God, and can leave upon man a more profound impression of the actual deeds of God. The work of the Spirit is shrouded in mystery, it is difficult for mortal beings to fathom, and even harder for them to see, and so they can only rely on hollow imaginings. The work of the flesh, however, is normal, and based on reality, and possessed of rich wisdom, and is a fact that can be beheld by the physical eye of man; man can personally experience the wisdom of the work of God, and has no need to employ his bountiful imagination. This is the accuracy and real value of the work of God in the flesh. The Spirit can only do things that are invisible to man and difficult for him to imagine, for example the enlightenment of the Spirit, the moving of the Spirit, and the guidance of the Spirit, but for man who has a mind, these do not provide any clear meaning. They only provide a moving, or a broad meaning, and cannot give an instruction with words. The work of God in the flesh, however, is greatly different: It has accurate guidance of words, has clear will, and has clear required goals. And so man does not need to grope around, or employ his imagination, much less make guesses. This is the clarity of the work in the flesh, and its great difference from the work of the Spirit. The work of the Spirit is only suitable for a limited scope, and cannot replace the work of the flesh. The work of the flesh gives man far more exact and necessary goals and far more real, valuable knowledge than the work of the Spirit. The work that is of greatest value to corrupt man is that which provides accurate words, clear goals to pursue, and which can be seen and touched. Only realistic work and timely guidance are suited to man’s tastes, and only real work can save man from his corrupt and depraved disposition. This can only be achieved by the incarnate God; only the incarnate God can save man from his formerly corrupt and depraved disposition.

from “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

7. He becomes flesh because the flesh can also possess authority, and He is capable of carrying out work among man in a practical manner, which is visible and tangible to man. Such work is much more realistic than any work directly done by the Spirit of God who possesses all authority, and its results are apparent as well. This is because His incarnate flesh can speak and do work in a practical way; the outward form of His flesh holds no authority and can be approached by man. His substance carries authority, but His authority is visible to none. When He speaks and works, man is unable to detect the existence of His authority; this is even more favorable to His actual work.

from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

8. God became flesh because the object of His work is not the spirit of Satan, or any incorporeal thing, but man, who is of the flesh and has been corrupted by Satan. It is precisely because the flesh of man has been corrupted that God has made fleshly man the object of His work; moreover, because man is the object of corruption, He has made man the only object of His work throughout all the stages of His salvation work. Man is a mortal being, is of flesh and blood, and God is the only One who can save man. In this way, God must become a flesh that possesses the same attributes as man in order to do His work, so that His work might achieve better effects. God must become flesh to do His work precisely because man is of the flesh, and incapable of overcoming sin or divesting himself of the flesh.

from “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

9. Man has been corrupted by Satan, and he is the highest of all God’s creatures, so man is in need of God’s salvation. The object of God’s salvation is man, not Satan, and that which shall be saved is the flesh of man, and the soul of man, and not the devil. Satan is the object of God’s annihilation, man is the object of God’s salvation, and the flesh of man has been corrupted by Satan, so the first to be saved must be the flesh of man. The flesh of man has been most profoundly corrupted, and it has become something which opposes God, which even openly opposes and denies the existence of God. This corrupt flesh is simply too intractable, and nothing is more difficult to deal with or change than the corrupt disposition of the flesh. Satan comes into the flesh of man to stir up disturbance, and uses the flesh of man to disturb the work of God, and impair the plan of God, and thus man has become Satan, and the enemy of God. For man to be saved, he must first be conquered. It is because of this that God rises to the challenge and comes into the flesh to do the work He intends to do, and do battle with Satan. His aim is the salvation of mankind, who has been corrupted, and the defeat and annihilation of Satan, which rebels against Him. He defeats Satan through His work of conquering man, and simultaneously saves corrupt mankind. Thus, God solves two problems at once.

from “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

10. The flesh of man has been corrupted by Satan, and most deeply blinded, and profoundly harmed. The most fundamental reason why God works personally in the flesh is because the object of His salvation is man, who is of the flesh, and because Satan also uses the flesh of man to disturb the work of God. The battle with Satan is actually the work of conquering man, and at the same time, man is also the object of God’s salvation. In this way, the work of God incarnate is essential. Satan corrupted the flesh of man, and man became the embodiment of Satan, and became the object to be defeated by God. In this way, the work of doing battle with Satan and saving mankind occurs on earth, and God must become human in order to do battle with Satan. This is work of the utmost practicality. When God is working in the flesh, He is actually doing battle with Satan in the flesh. When He works in the flesh, He is doing His work in the spiritual realm, and makes the whole of His work in the spiritual realm real on earth. The one who is conquered is man, who is disobedient to Him, the one who is defeated is the embodiment of Satan (of course, this is also man), who is in enmity of Him, and the one who is ultimately saved is also man. In this way, it is even more necessary for Him to become a man who has the outer shell of a creature, so that He is able to do real battle with Satan, conquering man, who is disobedient to Him and possessed of the same outer shell as Him, and saving man, who is of the same outer shell as Him and has been harmed by Satan. His enemy is man, the object of His conquest is man, and the object of His salvation is man, who was created by Him. So He must become man, and in this way, His work becomes much easier. He is able to defeat Satan and conquer mankind, and, moreover, is able to save mankind.

from “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

11. 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.

from “The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

12. Because the one who is judged is man, man who is of the flesh and has been corrupted, and it is not the spirit of Satan that is judged directly, the work of judgment is not carried out in the spiritual world, but among man. No one is more suitable, and qualified, than God in the flesh for the work of judging the corruption of man’s flesh. If judgment were carried out directly by the Spirit of God, then it would not be all-embracing. Furthermore, such work would be difficult for man to accept, for the Spirit is unable to come face-to-face with man, and because of this, the effects would not be immediate, much less would man be able to behold the unoffendable disposition of God more clearly. Satan can only be fully defeated if God in the flesh judges the corruption of mankind. … If this work were done by the Spirit of God, then it would not be victory over Satan. The Spirit is inherently more exalted than mortal beings, and the Spirit of God is inherently holy, and triumphant over the flesh. If the Spirit did this work directly, He would not be able to judge all of man’s disobedience, and could not reveal all of man’s unrighteousness. For the work of judgment is also carried out through man’s conceptions of God, and man has never had any conceptions of the Spirit, and so the Spirit is incapable of better revealing the unrighteousness of man, much less of completely disclosing such unrighteousness. The incarnate God is the enemy of all those who do not know Him. Through judging man’s conceptions and opposition to Him, He discloses all the disobedience of mankind. The effects of His work in the flesh are more apparent than those of the work of the Spirit. And so, the judgment of all mankind is not carried out directly by the Spirit, but is the work of the incarnate God. God in the flesh can be seen and touched by man, and God in the flesh can completely conquer man.

from “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

13. If the Spirit of God directly spoke to man, they would all submit to the voice, falling down without words of revelation, much like how Paul fell to the ground amid the light as he journeyed to Damascus. If God continued to work in this way, man would never be able to know his own corruption through judgment by the word and attain salvation. Only through becoming flesh can He personally deliver His words to the ears of all so that all who have ears can hear His words and receive His work of judgment by the word. Only such is the result achieved by His word, rather than the emergence of the Spirit frightening man into submission. Only through such practical and extraordinary work can the old disposition of man, hidden deep within for many years, be fully revealed so that man may recognize it and have it changed. This is the practical work of God incarnate; He speaks and executes judgment in a practical manner to achieve the results of judgment upon man by the word. This is the authority of God incarnate and the significance of God’s incarnation. It is done to make known the authority of God incarnate, the results achieved by the work of the word, and that the Spirit has come in the flesh; He demonstrates His authority through judgment upon man by the word. Although His flesh is the outward form of an ordinary and normal humanity, it is the results that His words achieve that show man He is full of authority, that He is God Himself and that His words are the expression of God Himself.

from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

14. 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

15. The conceptions of man are laid bare when the incarnate God officially does His work, because the normality and reality of the incarnate God is the antithesis of the vague and supernatural God in man’s imagination. The original conceptions of man can only be revealed through their contrast to the incarnate God. Without the comparison to the incarnate God, the conceptions of man could not be revealed; in other words, without the contrast of reality the vague things could not be revealed. No one is capable of using words to do this work, and no one is capable of articulating this work using words. 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. Of course, God’s Spirit is also incapable of achieving this effect. God can save corrupt man from the influence of Satan, but this work cannot be directly accomplished by the Spirit of God; rather, it can only be done by the flesh God’s Spirit wears, by God’s incarnate flesh. This flesh is man and also God, is a man possessed of normal humanity and also God possessed of full divinity. And so, even though this flesh is not the Spirit of God, and differs greatly from the Spirit, it is still the incarnate God Himself who saves man, who is the Spirit and also the flesh. No matter what He is called by, ultimately it is still God Himself who saves mankind. For the Spirit of God is indivisible from the flesh, and the work of the flesh is also the work of the Spirit of God; it is just that this work is not done using the identity of the Spirit, but is done using the identity of the flesh. Work that needs to be done directly by the Spirit does not require incarnation, and work that requires the flesh to do cannot be done directly by the Spirit, and can only be done by God incarnate. This is what is required for this work, and is what is required by corrupt mankind.

from “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

16. The only reason that the incarnate God has come into the flesh is because of the needs of corrupt man. It is because of the needs of man but not of God, and all His sacrifices and sufferings are for the sake of mankind, and not for the benefit of God Himself. There are no pros and cons or rewards for God; He shall not reap some future harvest, but that which was originally owed to Him. All that He does and sacrifices for mankind is not so that He might gain great rewards, but purely for the sake of mankind. Though God’s work in the flesh involves many unimaginable difficulties, the effects that it ultimately achieves far exceed those of the work done directly by the Spirit. The work of the flesh entails much hardship, and the flesh cannot possess the same great identity as the Spirit, cannot carry out the same supernatural deeds as the Spirit, much less can He possess the same authority as the Spirit. Yet the substance of the work done by this unremarkable flesh is far superior to that of the work done directly by the Spirit, and this flesh Himself is the answer to all of man’s needs.

from “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

17. The reason this flesh can do the work that man cannot do is because His inward substance is unlike that of any man, and the reason He can save man is because His identity is different from that of any man. This flesh is so important to mankind because He is man and even more God, because He can do the work that no ordinary man of flesh can do, and because He can save corrupt man, who lives together with Him on earth. Though He is identical to man, the incarnate God is more important to mankind than any person of value, for He can do the work that cannot be done by the Spirit of God, is more able than the Spirit of God to bear testimony to God Himself, and is more able than the Spirit of God to fully gain mankind. As a result, although this flesh is normal and ordinary, His contribution to mankind and His significance to the existence of mankind make Him highly precious, and the real value and significance of this flesh is immeasurable to any man. Although this flesh cannot directly destroy Satan, He can use His work to conquer mankind and defeat Satan, and make Satan fully submit to His dominion. It is because God is incarnated that He can defeat Satan and is able to save mankind. He does not directly destroy Satan, but becomes flesh to do the work to conquer mankind, who has been corrupted by Satan. In this way, He is better able to bear testimony to Himself among the creatures, and is better able to save corrupted man. God incarnate’s defeat of Satan bears greater testimony, and is more persuasive, than the direct destruction of Satan by the Spirit of God. God in the flesh is better able to help man know the Creator, and is better able to bear testimony to Himself among the creatures.

from “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

18. 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.

from “You Should Know That the Practical God Is God Himself” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

19. Only when God humbles Himself to a certain point, which is to say, only when God becomes flesh, can man be His intimate and confidant. God is of the Spirit: How is man qualified to be the intimate of this Spirit, who is so exalted and unfathomable? Only when the Spirit of God descends into the flesh, and becomes a creature with the same exterior as man, can man understand His will and actually be gained by Him. He speaks and works in the flesh, shares in the joys, sorrows, and tribulations of man, lives in the same world as man, protects man, and guides him, and through this He cleanses man, and allows man to gain His salvation and His blessing. Having gained these things, man truly understands God’s will, and only then can he be an intimate of God. Only this is practical. If God were invisible and intangible to man, how could man be His intimate? Is this not empty doctrine?

from “Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

20. In one regard, the incarnation of God during the last days removes the place held by the vague God in the conceptions of man, so that there is no longer the image of the vague God in man’s heart. Through His actual words and actual work, His movement across all lands, and the exceptionally real and normal work that He does among man, He causes man to know the reality of God, and removes the place of the vague God in man's heart. In another regard, God uses the words spoken by His flesh to make man complete, and accomplish all things. This is the work that God will accomplish during the last days.

from “Knowing God’s Work Today” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

21. 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.

from “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

22. God becomes flesh only to complete the work of the flesh, not simply to allow all men to see Him. Rather, He lets His work affirm His identity, and allows what He reveals to attest to His substance. His substance is not baseless; His identity was not seized by His hand; it is determined by His work and His substance. Though He has the substance of God Himself and is capable of doing the work of God Himself, He is still, after all, flesh unlike the Spirit. He is not God with the qualities of the Spirit; He is God with the shell of flesh.

from “The Substance of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

23. God becomes flesh not with the intention of letting man come to know His flesh, or to allow man to distinguish the differences between the flesh of God incarnate and that of man; God does not become flesh to train man’s ability of discernment, much less with the intention for man to worship the incarnate flesh of God, from which He will receive great glory. None of this is the original will of God to become flesh. And God does not become flesh to condemn man, to intentionally reveal man, or to make things difficult for man. None of this is the original will of God. Every time God becomes flesh, it is work that is unavoidable. It is for His greater work and His greater management that He does so, and not for the reasons that man imagines. God comes unto earth only as required by His work, and always as necessary. He does not come unto earth with the intention to wander, 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 was only to allow man to have a look at Him and open their eyes, then He would, with absolute certainty, never come among men so frivolously. He comes unto earth for His management and His greater work, and for Him to be able to obtain more men. He comes to represent the age and to defeat Satan, and it is within a flesh that He comes to defeat Satan. Moreover, He comes to lead all mankind in their lives. All of this concerns His management, and is work that concerns all the universe. If God became flesh merely to allow man to come to know His flesh and to open the eyes of man, 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 great 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 the important matter that concerns God’s management, and is the significance of a stage of work carried out by God come to earth.

from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

24. You are all aware that God becomes flesh expressly for the purpose of ushering in a new age, and, of course, when He ushers in a new age, He has concluded the former age at the same time. God is the Beginning and the End; it is He Himself who sets His work in motion and so it must be He Himself who concludes the former age. That is the proof that He defeats Satan and conquers the world. Each time He Himself works among man, it is the beginning of a new battle. Without the beginning of new work, there would naturally be no conclusion of the old. And no conclusion of the old is proof that the battle with Satan has yet to come to a close. Only if God Himself comes and carries out new work among man can man fully break free of the domain of Satan and gain a new life and new beginning. Otherwise, man shall forever live in the old age and forever live under the old influence of Satan. … The work of God is done by God Himself. It is He who sets His work in motion, and also He who concludes it. It is He who plans the work, and also He who manages it, and even more, it is He who brings the work to fruition. It is as stated in the Bible, “I am the Beginning and the End; I am the Sower and the Reaper.” All that is related to the work of His management is done by Himself. He is the Ruler of the six-thousand-year management plan; none can do His work in His stead or bring His work to a close, for it is He who is in control of all. Since He created the world, He will lead the entire world to live in His light, and He will conclude the entire age to bring all of His plan to fruition!

from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

25. The work done by the Spirit is implied and unfathomable, and it is fearful and unapproachable to man; the Spirit is not suited to directly doing the work of salvation, and is not suited to directly providing life to man. Most suitable for man is to transform the work of the Spirit into an approach that is close to man, which is to say, what is most suitable for man is for God to become an ordinary, normal person to do His work. This requires God to be incarnated to replace the work of the Spirit, and for man, there is no more suitable way for God to work. Among these three stages of work, two stages are carried out by the flesh, and these two stages are the key phases of the management work. The two incarnations are mutually complementary and perfect each other. The first stage of God’s incarnation laid the foundation for the second stage, and it can be said that the two incarnations of God form one whole, and are not incompatible with each other. These two stages of God’s work are carried out by God in His incarnate identity because they are so important to the entire management work. It could almost be said that, without the work of the two incarnations of God, the entire management work would have ground to a halt, and the work of saving mankind would be nothing but empty talk. Whether or not this work is important is based on the needs of mankind, and the reality of mankind’s depravity, and the severity of Satan’s disobedience and its disturbance of the work. The right one who is up to the task is predicated upon the nature of his work, and the importance of the work. When it comes to the importance of this work, in terms of what method of work to adopt—work done directly by the Spirit, or work done by God incarnate, or work done through man—the first to be eliminated is work done through man, and, based on the nature of the work, and the nature of the Spirit’s work versus that of the flesh, it is ultimately decided that work done by the flesh is more beneficial for man than work done directly by the Spirit, and offers more advantages. This is God’s thought at the time to decide whether the work was done by the Spirit or by the flesh. There is a significance and basis to each stage of work. They are not groundless imaginings, nor are they carried out arbitrarily; there is a certain wisdom in them. Such is the truth behind all of God’s work. In particular, there is even more of God’s plan in such a great work as God incarnate personally working among man. And so, God’s wisdom and the entirety of His being are reflected in His every action, thought, and idea in working; this is God’s being that is more concrete and systematic. These subtle thoughts and ideas are difficult for man to imagine, and difficult for man to believe, and, moreover, difficult for man to know.

from “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

26. In the three stages of God’s work, only one stage was carried out directly by the Spirit, and the remaining two stages are carried out by the incarnate God, and not directly by the Spirit. The work of the law done by the Spirit did not involve changing the corrupt disposition of man, and neither did it bear any relation to man’s knowledge of God. The work of God’s flesh in the Age of Grace and the Age of Kingdom, however, involves man’s corrupt disposition and his knowledge of God, and is an important and crucial part of the work of salvation. Therefore, corrupt mankind is more in need of the salvation of the incarnate God, and is more in need of the direct work of the incarnate God. Mankind needs the incarnate God to shepherd him, support him, water him, feed him, judge and chastise him, and he needs more grace and greater redemption from the incarnate God. Only God in the flesh can be the confidant of man, the shepherd of man, the very present help of man, and all of this is the necessity of incarnation today and in times past.

from “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

27. In his relationship with God in the flesh, man progresses from opposition to obedience, from persecution to acceptance, from conception to knowledge, and from rejection to love. These are the effects of the work of the incarnate God. Man is only saved through the acceptance of His judgment, only gradually comes to know Him through the words of His mouth, is conquered by Him during his opposition to Him, and receives the life supply from Him during the acceptance of His chastisement. All of this work is the work of God in the flesh, and not the work of God in His identity as the Spirit. The work done by God incarnate is the greatest work, and the most profound work, and the crucial part of the three stages of God’s work are the two stages of the work of incarnation.

from “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

28. To study such a thing is not difficult, but requires each of us to know this truth: He who is God’s incarnation shall hold the substance of God, and He who is God’s incarnation shall hold the expression of God. Since God becomes flesh, He shall bring forth the work He must do, and since God becomes flesh, He shall express what He is, and shall be able to bring the truth to man, bestow life upon man, and show man the way. Flesh that does not contain the substance of God is surely not the incarnate God; of this there is no doubt. To investigate whether it is God’s incarnate flesh, man must determine this from the disposition He expresses and the words He speaks. Which is to say, whether or not it is God’s incarnate flesh, and whether or not it is the true way, must be judged from His substance. And so, in determining[b] whether it is the flesh of God incarnate, the key is to pay attention to His substance (His work, His words, His disposition, and many more), rather than external appearance. If man sees only His external appearance, and overlooks His substance, then that shows the ignorance and naivety of man.

from Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh

29. God become flesh is called Christ, and so the Christ that can give people the truth is called God. There is nothing excessive about this, for He possesses the substance of God, and possesses God’s disposition, and wisdom in His work, that are unattainable by man. Those who call themselves Christ, yet cannot do the work of God, are frauds. Christ is not merely the manifestation of God on earth, but instead, the particular flesh assumed by God as He carries out and completes His work among man. This flesh is not one that can be replaced by just any man, but one that can adequately bear God’s work on earth, and express the disposition of God, and well represent God, and provide man with life. Sooner or later, those fake Christs will all fall, for although they claim to be Christ, they possess none of the substance of Christ. And so I say that the authenticity of Christ cannot be defined by man, but is answered and decided by God Himself. In this way, if you truly wish to seek the way of life, you must first acknowledge it is by coming to earth that He bestows the way of life unto man, and you must acknowledge it is during the last days that He comes to earth to bestow the way of life unto man. This is not the past; it is happening today.

from “Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

30. The incarnate God is called Christ, and Christ is the flesh donned by the Spirit of God. This flesh is unlike any man that is of the flesh. This difference is because Christ is not of flesh and blood but is the incarnation of the Spirit. He has both a normal humanity and a complete divinity. His divinity is not possessed by any man. His normal humanity sustains all His normal activities in the flesh, while His divinity carries out the work of God Himself. Be it His humanity or divinity, both submit to the will of the heavenly Father. The substance of Christ is the Spirit, that is, the divinity. Therefore, His substance is that of God Himself; this substance will not interrupt His own work, and He could not possibly do anything that destroys His own work, nor would He ever utter any words that go against His own will.

from “The Substance of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

31. Although the appearance of God incarnate is exactly the same as a human, He learns human knowledge and speaks human language, and sometimes He even expresses His ideas through mankind’s means or expressions, the way He sees humans, the essence of things, and the way corrupt people see mankind and the essence of things are absolutely not the same. His perspective and the height at which He stands is something unattainable for a corrupt person. This is because God is truth, the flesh that He wears also possesses the essence of God, and His thoughts and that which is expressed by His humanity are also the truth. For corrupt people, what He expresses in the flesh are provisions of the truth, and of life. These provisions are not just for one person, but for all of mankind.

from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

32. There are some who are possessed by evil spirits and persistently cry out, “I am God!” Yet in the end, they cannot remain standing, for they act on behalf of the wrong being. They represent Satan and the Holy Spirit pays them no attention. However highly you exalt yourself or however strongly you cry out, you are still a created being and one that belongs to Satan. I never cry out, “I am God, I am the beloved Son of God!” But the work I do is God’s work. Need I shout? There is no need for exaltation. God does His work Himself and does not need for man to accord Him a status or honorific title, and His work is sufficient to represent His identity and status. … You cannot bring forth new paths or represent the Spirit. You cannot express the work of the Spirit or the words that He speaks. You cannot do the work of God Himself or that of the Spirit. You cannot express the wisdom, wonder, and unfathomableness of God, or all the disposition by which God chastises man. So your repeated claims to be God do not matter; you have only the name and none of the substance. God Himself has come, but none recognize Him, yet He continues on in His work and does so in representation of the Spirit. Whether you call Him man or God, the Lord or Christ, or call Her sister, it is all right. But the work He does is that of the Spirit and represents the work of God Himself. He does not care about the name by which man calls Him. Can that name determine His work? Regardless of what you call Him, from the perspective of God, He is the incarnate flesh of the Spirit of God; He represents the Spirit and is approved by Him. You cannot make way for a new age, and you cannot bring the old to an end and cannot usher in a new age or do new work. Therefore, you cannot be called God!

from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

33. The meaning of incarnation is that God appears in the flesh, and He comes to work among man of His creation in the image of a flesh. So, for God to be incarnated, He must first be flesh, flesh with normal humanity; this, at the very least, must be true. In fact, the implication of God’s incarnation is that God lives and works in the flesh, God in His very essence becomes flesh, becomes a man.

from “The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

34. The Christ with normal humanity is a flesh in which the Spirit is realized, possessing normal humanity, normal sense, and human thought. “Being realized” means God becoming man, the Spirit becoming flesh; to put it plainly, it is when God Himself inhabits a flesh with normal humanity, and through it expresses His divine work—this is what it means to be realized, or incarnated.

from “The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

35. Because He is a man with the essence of God, He is above any of created humans, above any man who can perform God’s work. And so, among all those with a human shell like His, among all those who possess humanity, only He is the incarnate God Himself—all others are created humans. Though they all have humanity, created humans are nothing but human, while God incarnate is different: In His flesh He not only has humanity but more importantly has divinity.

from “The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

36. 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

37. 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

38. This time, God comes to do work not in a spiritual body but in a very ordinary one. Not only is it the body of God’s second incarnation, but also the body in which God returns. It is a very ordinary flesh. In Him, you cannot see anything that is different from others, but you can receive from Him the truths you have never heard before. This insignificant flesh is the embodiment of all the words of truth from God, that which undertakes God’s work in the last days, and an expression of the whole of God’s disposition for man to come to know. Did you not desire greatly to see the God in heaven? Did you not desire greatly to understand the God in heaven? Did you not desire greatly to see the destination of mankind? He will tell you all these secrets that no man has been able to tell you, and He will even tell you of the truths that you do not understand. He is your gate into the kingdom, and your guide into the new age. Such an ordinary flesh holds many unfathomable mysteries. His deeds may be inscrutable to you, but the goal of all the work He does is sufficient for you to see that He is not a simple flesh as man believes. For He represents the will of God as well as the care shown by God toward mankind in the last days. Though you cannot hear the words He speaks that seem to shake the heavens and earth or see His eyes like blazing flames, and though you cannot feel the discipline of His iron rod, you can hear from His words the fury of God and know that God shows compassion for mankind; you can see the righteous disposition of God and His wisdom, and moreover, realize the concern and care that God has for all mankind. The work of God in the last days is to allow man to see the God in heaven live among men on earth, and to enable man to come to know, obey, revere, and love God. This is why He has returned to flesh for a second time. Though what man sees this day is a God that is the same as man, a God with a nose and two eyes, and an unremarkable God, in the end God will show you that without the existence of this man, the heaven and earth will undergo a tremendous change; without the existence of this man, the heaven will grow dim, the earth will become chaos, and all mankind will live in famine and plagues. He will show you that without the salvation of God incarnate in the last days, then God would have long ago destroyed all mankind in hell; without the existence of this flesh, then you would forever be chief of sinners and corpses evermore. You should know that without the existence of this flesh, all mankind would face an inevitable calamity and find it difficult to escape God’s more severe punishment of mankind in the last days. Without the birth of this ordinary flesh, you would all be in a state where neither life nor death will come no matter how you seek it; without the existence of this flesh, then this day you would not be able to receive the truth and come before the throne of God. Rather, you would be punished by God because of your grievous sins. Do you know? If not for the return of God to the flesh, none would have a chance at salvation; and if not for the coming of this flesh, God would have long ago ended the age of old. As such, can you still reject the second incarnation of God? Since you can so greatly profit from this ordinary man, then why would you not accept Him readily?

from “Do You Know? God Has Done a Great Thing Among Men” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

39. All of God’s work in the last days is done through this ordinary man. He will bestow everything unto you, and further, He can decide everything about you. Can such a man be as you believe: a man so simple as to be unworthy of mention? Is His truth not enough to utterly convince you? Is witness of His deeds not enough to utterly convince you? Or is it that the path He leads you on is not worthy for you to follow? What is it that causes you to feel an aversion to Him and to cast Him away and shirk from Him? It is He who expresses the truth, it is He who supplies the truth, and it is He who enables you to have a path to travel. Could it be that you still cannot find the traces of God’s work within these truths? Without the work of Jesus, mankind could not have come down from the cross, but without the incarnation this day, those who come down from the cross could never be commended by God or enter into the new age. Without the coming of this ordinary man, then you would never have the opportunity or be eligible to see the true countenance of God, for you are all ones that should have long ago been destroyed. Because of the coming of the second incarnation of God, God has forgiven you and shown you mercy. Regardless, the words I must leave you with in the end are still these: This ordinary man, who is God incarnate, is of vital importance to you. This is the great thing that God has already done among men.

from “Do You Know? God Has Done a Great Thing Among Men” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Footnotes:

a. The original text omits “the work of.”

b. The original text reads “as for.”

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