Work and Entry (6)
Work and entry are inherently practical and refer to God’s work and man’s entry. Man’s complete lack of understanding of God’s true face and God’s work has brought great difficulties to his entry. To this day, many people still do not know the work God accomplishes in the last days or why God endures extreme humiliation to come into flesh and stand with man in weal and woe. Man knows nothing of the goal of God’s work, nor the purpose of God’s plan for the last days. For various reasons, people are always lukewarm and equivocal toward the entry that God demands, which has brought great difficulties to God’s work in the flesh. People seem to have all become obstacles and, to this day, they still have no clear understanding. Therefore I will talk about the work that God does on man, and God’s urgent intention, so that all of you will become God’s loyal servants who, like Job, would rather die than reject God and will endure every humiliation, and who, like Peter, will offer your whole beings to God and become the intimates gained by God in the last days. May all brothers and sisters do everything in their power to offer their whole beings to God’s heavenly will, become holy servants in the house of God, and enjoy the infinite promises bestowed by God, so that God the Father’s heart can soon enjoy peaceful rest. “Accomplish God the Father’s will” should be the motto of all who love God. These words should serve as man’s guide for entry and the compass directing his actions. This is the resolve that man should have. To thoroughly finish God’s work on earth and cooperate with God’s work in the flesh—this is man’s duty. One day, when God’s work is done, man will bid Him farewell on an early return to the Father in heaven. Is this not the responsibility that man should fulfill?
When, in the Age of Grace, God returned to the third heaven, God’s work of redeeming all of mankind had actually already moved into its closing act. All that remained on earth were the cross that Jesus carried, the fine linen that Jesus was wrapped in, and the crown of thorns and scarlet robe that Jesus wore (these were objects the Jews used to mock Him). That is, the work of Jesus’ crucifixion had caused an uproar for a time and then had settled down. From then on, Jesus’ disciples began to carry His work forward, shepherding and watering in the churches everywhere. The content of their work was this: to have all people repent, admit their sins, and be baptized; the apostles all spreading the inside story of Jesus’ crucifixion and what actually happened, everyone not being able to help but fall down before Jesus to admit their sins, and furthermore the apostles spreading everywhere the words Jesus spoke and the laws and commandments He established. From that point began the building of churches in the Age of Grace. What Jesus talked about during that age also focused on man’s life and the heavenly Father’s will. It is only because the ages are different that many of those sayings and practices differ greatly from today’s. But the essence of both is the same. Both are nothing more or less than the work of God’s Spirit in the flesh. That kind of work and those words have continued to this day, and that is why what is still shared in today’s religious churches is that sort of thing and is utterly unchanged. When Jesus’ work concluded, the right track of Jesus Christ was taking hold on earth, but God began plans for another stage of His work, the matter of incarnation in the last days. To man, God’s crucifixion concluded the work of God’s incarnation, redeemed all of mankind, and allowed Him to seize the key to Hades. Everyone thinks God’s work has been fully accomplished. In actuality, to God, only a small part of His work has been accomplished. He has only redeemed mankind; He has not conquered mankind, let alone changed the ugliness of Satan in man. That is why God says, “Although My incarnate flesh went through the pain of death, that was not the whole goal of My incarnation. Jesus is My beloved Son and was nailed to the cross for Me, but He did not fully conclude My work. He only did a portion of it.” Thus God began the second round of plans to continue the work of the incarnation. God’s ultimate intention is to perfect and gain everyone rescued from Satan’s hands, which is why God prepared again to risk dangers to come into flesh. What is called “incarnation” indicates not carrying glory (not carrying glory because God’s work is not yet finished), but appearing in the identity of the beloved Son, and that He is Christ, in whom God is well pleased. That is why this is said to be risking dangers. The flesh is of minuscule power and must exercise great caution, a far cry from the authority of the Father in heaven, and He only fulfills the ministry of the flesh, accomplishing God the Father’s work and commission without getting involved in other work. He only accomplishes one part of the work. This is why God is called “Christ” upon coming to earth. This is the embedded meaning. The reason it is said that the coming is accompanied with temptations is because only one work project is being accomplished. Furthermore, the reason God the Father only calls Him “Christ” and “beloved Son” and has not given Him all the glory is precisely because the incarnate flesh comes to do one work project, not to represent the Father in heaven, but rather to fulfill the beloved Son’s ministry. When the beloved Son completes the entire commission He has accepted onto His shoulders, the Father will give Him full glory along with the identity of Father. One can say that this is the heavenly rule. Because the One who has come into flesh and the Father in heaven are in two different circumstances, the two only gaze toward each other in Spirit, the Father keeping an eye on the beloved Son but the Son unable to see the Father from afar. It is because the function of the flesh is too small and He has the potential of being murdered at any moment, that this coming is said to be accompanied by great danger. This is the equivalent of God once again relinquishing His beloved Son and depositing Him into the tiger’s mouth. It is at risk to life that God deposited Him in the place where Satan is most concentrated. Even in such dire straits, God still handed His beloved Son to the people of a filthy, licentious place for them to “bring up.” This is because it is the only way for God’s work to make total sense and the only way to fulfill all the wishes of God the Father and accomplish the last part of His work among mankind. Jesus only accomplished one stage of God the Father’s work. Because of the barrier of the incarnate flesh and the differences in the work accomplished, Jesus Himself did not know that there would be a second return to flesh. Thus no one who has read historical accounts of Him has ever discovered Jesus prophesying that God wants to incarnate Himself for a second time to finish the entirety of His work in the flesh. Since Jesus did not even know of this matter, the great prophets and exegetes also do not know that God wants to return to flesh, meaning come into flesh again to do the second part of His work in the flesh. Therefore, no one realizes that God hid Himself in flesh starting a long time ago. This is understandable because it was only after Jesus was resurrected and rose to heaven that He accepted this commission, so God’s second incarnation has no root and no basis and is, like rootless water, difficult to grasp. Moreover, it is hard to find references to it even in the highly renowned Bible. Of all of the Bible’s many chapters and verses, not a single sentence or word mentions this matter. But Jesus’ arrival in the world was long prophesied and furthermore was through conception by the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, God still said it was at risk to life. Then what does that say about today? No wonder God says the incarnation this time risks dangers thousands of times greater than those during the Age of Grace. In many places, God has prophesied gaining a group of overcomers in the land of Sinim. It is in the world’s East that overcomers are gained, so the landing spot of God’s second incarnation is without a doubt the land of Sinim, exactly where the great red dragon lies coiled. There God will gain the descendants of the great red dragon so that it is thoroughly defeated and shamed. God wants to awaken these deeply suffering people, to awaken them completely, and to have them walk out of the fog and reject the great red dragon. God wants to awaken them from their dream, have them know the essence of the great red dragon, give all their heart to God, rise up out of the oppression of the dark forces, stand up in the East of the world, and become proof of God’s victory. Only then will God gain glory. For just this reason, God brought the work that came to an end in Israel to the land where the great red dragon lies coiled and, nearly two thousand years after departing, has come again into flesh to continue the work of the Age of Grace. To man’s naked eye, God is launching new work in the flesh. But to God, He is continuing the work of the Age of Grace, only with a time separation of a few thousand years, and only with a change in work location and work project. Although the flesh image that God has taken in today’s work is quite a different person than Jesus, They share the same substance and root, and They are from the same source. Maybe They have many exterior differences, but the inner truths of Their work are completely identical. The ages, after all, are as different as night and day. How can God’s work stay unchanged? Or how can the work interrupt each other?
Jesus took on the appearance of a Jew, conformed to the attire of the Jews, and grew up eating Jewish food. This is His normal human aspect. But today’s incarnate flesh takes the form of the people of Asia and grows up on the food of the nation of the great red dragon. These do not conflict with the goal of God’s incarnation. Rather, they complement each other, more fully completing the true significance of God’s incarnation. Because the incarnate flesh is referred to as “Son of man” or “Christ,” the exterior of today’s Christ cannot be equated with Jesus Christ. After all, the flesh is called “Son of man” and is in the image of flesh. Every stage of God’s work contains considerably deep meaning. The reason Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit is because He was to redeem sinners. He had to be without sin. But only in the end when He was forced to become the likeness of sinful flesh and took on the sins of the sinners did He rescue them off the cursed cross that God used to chastise people. (The cross is God’s tool for cursing and chastising people; mentions of cursing and chastising are specifically about cursing and chastising sinners.) The goal was to have all sinners repent and to use crucifixion to have them admit their sins. That is, for the sake of redeeming all mankind, God incarnated Himself in a flesh that was conceived by the Holy Spirit and took on the sins of all mankind. The commonplace way of describing this is offering a holy flesh in exchange for all sinners, the equivalent of Jesus being a sin offering placed in front of Satan to “beseech” Satan to return to God the entire innocent mankind that it had trampled. Thus to accomplish this stage of redemption work required conception by the Holy Spirit. This was a necessary condition, a “treaty” during the battle between God the Father and Satan. That is why Jesus was given to Satan, and only then did this stage of work conclude. However, God’s redemption work today is already of unprecedented magnificence, and Satan has no reason to make demands, so God’s incarnation does not require conception by the Holy Spirit, for God is inherently holy and innocent. So God incarnate this time is no longer the Jesus of the Age of Grace. But He is still for the sake of God the Father’s will and for the sake of fulfilling God the Father’s wishes. How can this be considered an unreasonable saying? Must God’s incarnation follow a set of rules?
Many people look in the Bible for evidence, wanting to find a prophecy of God’s incarnation. How can man’s broken thinking know that God long ago stopped “working” in the Bible and has “jumped” outside of it to do with gusto the work that He had long planned but had never told man about? People are too lacking in sense. After only a taste of God’s disposition, they casually get up on a tall stage and sit in a high-class “wheelchair” inspecting God’s work, going so far as to start educating God with bombastic, rambling talk. Many an “old man,” wearing reading glasses and stroking his beard, opens up his yellowed “old almanac” (Bible) that he has been reading for a lifetime. Muttering words and eyes seemingly sparkling, he turns now to the Book of Revelation and now to the Book of Daniel, and now to the universally known Book of Isaiah. Staring at a page packed dense with tiny words, he reads in silence, his mind spinning ceaselessly. Suddenly the hand stroking the beard stops and begins pulling at it. Now and then one hears the sound of beard being broken. Such unusual behavior takes one aback. “Why use such force? What is he so mad about?” Back to the old man, his brows are now bristling. The silvered brows have landed like goose feathers precisely two centimeters from this old man’s eyelids, as if by chance and yet so perfectly, as the old man keeps his eyes glued to the mildewed-looking pages. He repeats the above sequence of actions several times, and then he can’t help but jump to his feet and begins chattering as if making small-talk with someone, though the light from his eyes has not left the almanac. Suddenly he covers up the present page and turns to “another world.” His movements are so hurried and frightening, almost taking people by surprise. Presently, the mouse that had come out of its hole and had just started to “feel unfettered” during his silence was so alarmed by his uncharacteristic movements that it ran straight back into the hole, disappearing without a trace. Now the old man’s motionless left hand resumes its up-and-down beard-stroking motion. He moves away from the seat, leaving the book on the desk. Through the slightly ajar door and the open window, the wind comes in, uncaringly blowing the book shut, then open, then shut and open again. There is an inexpressible forlornness about the scene, and except for the sound of the book’s pages being rustled by the wind, everything seems to have fallen silent. He, with hands clasped behind his back, paces the room, now stopping, now starting, shaking his head from time to time, seemingly repeating “Oh! God! Would You really do that?” From time to time he also nods, “O God! Who can fathom Your work? Is it not hard to search for Your footprints? I believe You do not do unreasonable things.” Presently the old man’s brows scrunch together, his eyes squeeze shut, showing an embarrassed look, and also an exceedingly pained expression, as if he wants to slowly deliberate. This is really challenging this “grand old man.” At this late stage in his life, he has “unfortunately” come upon this matter. What can be done about it? I am also at a loss and powerless to do anything. Who made his old almanac grow yellowed? Who made his beard and brows all grow heartlessly like white snow on different places on his face? It is as if his beard represents his background. Yet who knew man could become foolish to this degree, looking for the presence of God in the old almanac? How many sheets of paper can the old almanac have? Can it really record all of God’s deeds? Who dares to guarantee that? Man actually seeks God’s appearance and tries to fulfill God’s will by overly parsing words. Is trying to enter life this way as easy as it sounds? Is this not preposterous, false reasoning? Do you not find this laughable?
1. “Equivocal” indicates that people do not have clear insight into God’s work.
2. “Is of minuscule power and must exercise great caution” indicates that the difficulties of the flesh are too many, and the work done too limited.
3. “Highly renowned” is said mockingly. It refers to how many experts in religious fallacies worship the yellowed “old almanac” as God.
4. “Small-talk” is a metaphor for the ugly face of people when they research into the work of God.
5. “Hurried” refers to the eager, hasty movements of the “old man” as he refers to the Bible.
6. “Overly parsing words” is used to mock the experts in fallacies, who split hairs over the words but don’t seek the truth or know the work of the Holy Spirit.