Supplementary Sermon and Fellowship Extracts
Question 2: Although those who believe in the Lord know that the Lord Jesus was incarnate God, very few people understand the truth of incarnation. When the Lord returns, if He appears just as the Lord Jesus did, becoming the Son of man and working, people will really have no way to recognize the Lord Jesus and welcome His return. So what really is incarnation? What is the essence of incarnation?
Pertaining to what is God incarnate, and what is the essence of God incarnate, it can be said as the mystery of the truth that we believers of the Lord fail to understand. For thousands of years, despite believers knew that the Lord Jesus was the incarnation of God, no one could understand what God incarnate and His essence are respectively. It was only until the advent of Almighty God in the last days that this mystery of the truth was unfolded to mankind.
The incarnation is God’s Spirit clothed in flesh, that is, God’s Spirit is materialized in the flesh with normal humanity and normal human thinking, and thereby becomes an ordinary and normal person working and speaking among men. This flesh has normal humanity, but also has complete divinity. Though in outward appearance His flesh seems ordinary and normal, He is able to take on God’s work, can express God’s voice, and guide and save humanity. This is because He has complete divinity. Complete divinity means that all that God’s Spirit possesses—the inherent disposition of God, God’s holy and righteous substance, all that God has and is, God’s almightiness and wisdom, and God’s authority and power—these have all been materialized in the flesh. This flesh is Christ, is the practical God who is here on earth to do work and save mankind. From His outward appearance, Christ is an ordinary and normal Son of man, but He is substantively different from us created human beings. Created man has only humanity, he doesn’t have even the slightest trace of divine substance. Christ, however, not only has normal humanity; more importantly, He has complete divinity. So, He has God’s substance, He can represent God entirely, express all truths as God Himself, express God’s disposition and all that God has and is, and endow us with the truth, the way, and the life. No created man is capable of such feats. Christ works and speaks, expresses God’s disposition, and all that God has and is in His flesh. No matter how He expresses God’s word and does God’s work, He always does so within normal humanity. He has a normal flesh, there is nothing supernatural about Him. This proves that God has come into the flesh, He has already become an ordinary human. This ordinary and normal flesh has fulfilled the fact of “The Word Appears in the Flesh.” He is the practical God incarnate. Because Christ has complete divinity, He can represent God, express the truth, and save mankind. Because Christ has complete divinity, He can express God’s word directly, not just relay or pass on God’s word. He can express the truth anytime and anyplace, supplying, watering, and shepherding man, guiding all of mankind. Only because Christ has complete divinity, is it enough to prove that He possesses God’s identity and substance. That’s why we say that He is God’s incarnation, the practical God Himself.
The greatest mystery of the incarnation has little to do with whether God’s flesh is lofty in stature or like that of common man. Rather it has to do with the fact that complete divinity is hidden within this normal flesh. None of us is capable of discovering or seeing this hidden divinity. Just as when the Lord Jesus came to do His work, if no one back then had heard His voice and experienced His word and work, then no one would have recognized that the Lord Jesus is Christ, the Son of God. So God’s incarnation is the best way for Him to descend secretly among us humans. When the Lord Jesus came, none of us could tell from His outward appearance that He was Christ, the incarnate God, and none of us could see the divinity hidden within His humanity. Only after the Lord Jesus had expressed the truth and done the work of redemption of mankind, did some people discover that His word has authority and power, and only then did they begin to follow Him. Only when the Lord Jesus appeared to the people after He resurrected, did mankind realize that He is the incarnate Christ, the appearance of God. If He hadn’t expressed the truth and done His work, no one would have followed Him. If He hadn’t born witness to the fact that He is Christ, the appearance of God, no one would have recognized Him. In man’s notions and imaginations, they believe that if He is really God incarnate, His flesh should have supernatural qualities: He should be superhuman, with a lofty, powerful stature, and a towering presence, He should not only speak with authority and power, but should also perform signs and wonders wherever He goes—this is what God become flesh ought to be like. They think if He is ordinary in outward appearance, like any other common man, and has normal humanity, then He is certainly not God’s incarnation. Let’s recall. When the Lord Jesus was incarnated to speak and do work, no matter how He expressed the truth and God’s voice, the Jewish chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees didn’t recognize Him. When hearing the disciples bearing witness to the Lord Jesus they even said: Is this not Joseph’s son? Is this not a Nazarene? Why would the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees speak this way of Him? Because the Lord Jesus had normal humanity in outward appearance. He was a normal, average person, and He didn’t have a lofty, towering presence, so they didn’t accept Him. Actually, insofar as He is the incarnation, He has to have normal humanity by definition, He has to show us that the flesh God clothes Himself in is an ordinary and normal flesh, He appears like a normal human. If God clothed Himself in the flesh of a superhuman, not of a person with normal humanity, then the whole meaning of the incarnation would be lost. So, Christ must have normal humanity. Only in this way can it be proven that He is the Word become flesh.
We clearly see that God incarnate must have normal humanity, otherwise, He would not be God’s incarnation. In outward appearance, the incarnate God looks like an ordinary and normal man, and there is nothing supernatural about His humanity. So, if we measure Christ using our conceptions and imaginings, we will never acknowledge or accept Christ. At most we’ll just acknowledge that He is a prophet sent by God, or one whom God uses. If we want to really know Christ, we must study His words and work to see if that which He expresses is God’s own voice, if the words He expresses are manifestations of God’s disposition and all that God has and is, and see if His work and the truth that He expresses can save mankind. Only then can we know, accept, and obey Christ. If we do not seek the truth, do not investigate God’s work, even if we hear Christ’s words and see the facts of Christ’s work, we will still not know Christ. Even if we are with Christ from morning till night, we’ll still treat Him like an ordinary man and will thus resist and condemn Christ. Actually, to acknowledge and accept Christ, all we need to do is recognize God’s voice and acknowledge that He does God’s work. But to know Christ’s divine substance and thereby achieve true obedience to Christ and love the practical God, we must discover the truth within Christ’s words and work, see God’s disposition and all that God has and is, see God’s holy substance, almightiness, and wisdom, see that God is lovely and appreciate His earnest intentions. Only in this way can we truly obey Christ and worship the practical God in our heart.
We believers all know that the way which the Lord Jesus preached, the word He expressed, the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven which He revealed, and the demands which He made of us humans were all the truth, all God’s own voice, and were all manifestations of God’s life disposition and all that He has and is. The miracles He performed, such as healing the sick, casting out demons, calming the wind and sea, feeding five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish, raising the dead and so on, were all manifestations of God’s own authority and power, which no created man is possessed of or capable of. Those that sought the truth at the time, like Peter, John, Matthew, and Nathanael, recognized from the Lord Jesus’ word and work that He is the promised Messiah, and so followed Him and received His salvation. Whereas the Jewish Pharisees, despite hearing the Lord Jesus’ sermons and seeing Him perform miracles, still saw Him as just an ordinary person, with no power or stature, and so they dared brazenly resist and condemn Him without the slightest fear. In the end they committed the greatest of sins in nailing the Lord Jesus to the cross. The lesson of the Pharisees calls for deep reflection! This clearly exposes their truth-hating and God-hating antichrist nature, and reveals the foolishness and ignorance of corrupt humankind. At present, the incarnate Almighty God, just like the Lord Jesus, does the work of God Himself within normal humanity. Almighty God expresses all the truths which corrupt humankind requires to be saved, and carries out the work of judgment starting from the house of God in the last days. Not only does He judge and expose the satanic nature of corrupt mankind and the truth of their corruption, He has also revealed all of the mysteries of God’s six-thousand-year management plan of saving mankind, elucidated the path by which mankind can be freed from sin, be purified and saved by God. He has revealed God’s inherent righteous disposition, all that God has and is, and God’s unique power and authority…. Almighty God’s word and work are a complete manifestation of the identity and substance of God Himself. These days, all those that follow Almighty God have heard God’s voice in the word and work of Almighty God, have seen the manifestation of God’s word in the flesh and come before Almighty God’s throne, receiving God’s purification and perfection. Those of the religious world who still deny, resist, and condemn Almighty God have made the same mistake as the Jewish Pharisees, treating Christ of the last days, Almighty God, like any other ordinary person, without bothering to put the slightest effort into seeking and studying all the truths which Almighty God has expressed, thus they nailing God to the cross once again and enraging God’s disposition. As one can see, if we hold on to our conceptions and imaginations, and don’t seek and study the truths which Christ expresses, we will be incapable of recognizing the voice of God expressed by Christ, will be unable to accept and obey Christ’s work, and will never receive God’s salvation in the last days. If we don’t understand the truth of the incarnation, we won’t be able to accept and obey God’s work, we will condemn Christ and resist God, and we will also be likely to receive God’s punishment and curses. So, in our faith, to be saved by God, it is extremely important that we seek the truth and understand the mystery of the incarnation!
Excerpted from Classic Questions and Answers on the Gospel of the Kingdom