d. The essential differences between the incarnate God and those who are used by God
Words of Almighty God of the Last Days
The “incarnation” is God’s appearance in the flesh; God works among created mankind in the image of the flesh. So for God to be incarnated, He must first be flesh, flesh with normal humanity; this is the most basic prerequisite. In fact, the implication of God’s incarnation is that God lives and works in the flesh, that God in His very essence becomes flesh, becomes a man. … Because He is a man with the essence of God, He is above all 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 have nothing but humanity, while God incarnate is different: In His flesh He not only has humanity but, more importantly, divinity. His humanity can be seen in the outer appearance of His flesh and in His everyday life, but His divinity is difficult to perceive. Because His divinity is expressed only when He has humanity, and is not as supernatural as people imagine it to be, it is extremely difficult for people to see. Even today, people have the utmost difficulty fathoming the true essence of the incarnate God. Even after I have spoken about it at such length, I expect it is still a mystery to most of you. In fact, this issue is very simple: Since God becomes flesh, His essence is a combination of humanity and divinity. This combination is called God Himself, God Himself on earth.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God
When God comes to the earth, He does only His work within divinity, which is what the heavenly Spirit has entrusted to the incarnate God. When He comes, He but speaks across the land, to give voice to His utterances by different means and from different perspectives. He chiefly takes supplying man and teaching man as His goals and working principle, and does not concern Himself with such things as interpersonal relationships or the details of people’s lives. His main ministry is to speak for the Spirit. That is, when God’s Spirit appears tangibly in the flesh, He only provides for man’s life and releases the truth. He does not involve Himself in man’s work, which is to say, He does not partake in the work of humanity. Humans cannot do divine work, and God does not partake in human work. In all the years since God came to this earth to perform His work, He has always done it through people. These people, however, cannot be considered God incarnate—only those who are used by God. The God of today, meanwhile, can speak directly from the perspective of divinity, sending forth the Spirit’s voice and working on behalf of the Spirit. All those whom God has used throughout the ages are, likewise, instances of God’s Spirit working within a fleshly body—so why can’t they be called God? But today’s God is also God’s Spirit working directly in the flesh, and Jesus too was God’s Spirit working in the flesh; both of Them are called God. So what’s the difference? The people that God has used throughout the ages have all been capable of normal thought and reason. They have all understood the principles of human conduct. They have had normal human ideas, and have been possessed of all the things that normal people should possess. Most of them have had exceptional talent and innate intelligence. In working upon these people, God’s Spirit harnesses their talents, which are their God-given gifts. God’s Spirit brings their talents into play, using their strengths in God’s service. Yet the essence of God is without ideas or thought, unadulterated with human intentions, and even lacks what normal humans possess. Which is to say, He is not even conversant with the principles of human conduct. This is how it is when today’s God comes to the earth. His work and His words are unadulterated with human intentions or human thought, but they are a direct manifestation of the intentions of the Spirit, and He works directly on God’s behalf. This means that the Spirit directly speaks, that is, the divinity directly does the work, without mixing in even one bit of man’s intentions. In other words, the incarnate God embodies divinity directly, is without human thought or ideas, and has no understanding of the principles of human conduct. If only divinity were at work (meaning if only God Himself were at work), there would be no way for God’s work to be carried out on earth. So when God comes to earth, He must have a small number of people He uses to work within humanity in conjunction with the work that God does in divinity. In other words, He uses human work to uphold His divine work. If not, there would be no way for man to directly engage with the divine work. This is how it was with Jesus and His disciples. During His time in the world, Jesus abolished the old laws and established new commandments. He also spoke many words. All this work was done in divinity. The others, such as Peter, Paul, and John, all rested their subsequent work on the foundation of Jesus’ words. Which is to say, God launched His work in that age, ushering in the beginning of the Age of Grace; that is, He ushered in a new era, abolishing the old, and also fulfilling the words, “God is the Beginning and the End.” In other words, man must perform human work upon the foundation of divine work. Once Jesus had said all He needed to say and finished His work on earth, He left man. After this, all people, in working, did so according to the principles expressed in His words, and practiced according to the truths of which He spoke. All of these people worked for Jesus. If it had been Jesus alone doing the work, no matter how many words He spoke, people would have had no means of engaging with His words, because He was working in divinity and could only speak words of divinity, and He could not have explained things to the point where normal people could understand His words. And so He had to have the apostles and prophets who came after Him supplement His work. This is the principle of how God incarnate does His work—using the incarnate flesh to speak and to work so as to complete the work of divinity, and then using a few, or perhaps more, people after God’s own heart to supplement His work. That is, God uses people after His heart to do the work of shepherding and watering in humanity so that God’s chosen people may enter the truth reality.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Essential Difference Between the Incarnate God and the People Used by God
If, when He came to the flesh, God only did the work of divinity, and there were no people after His heart to work in concert with Him, then man would be incapable of understanding God’s will or engaging with God. God must use normal people who are after His heart to complete this work, to watch over and shepherd the churches, so that the level that man’s cognitive processes, his brain, are capable of imagining can be achieved. In other words, God uses a small number of people who are after His heart to “translate” the work that He does within His divinity, so that it can be opened up—to transform divine language into human language, so that people can comprehend and understand it. If God did not do so, no one would understand God’s divine language, because the people after God’s heart are, after all, a small minority, and man’s comprehension ability is weak. That is why God chooses this method only when working in the incarnate flesh. If there were only divine work, there would be no way for man to know or engage with God, because man does not understand God’s language. Man is able to understand this language only through the agency of the people after God’s heart, who clarify His words. However, if there were only such people working within humanity, that could only maintain man’s normal life; it could not transform man’s disposition. God’s work could not have a new starting point; there would only be the same old songs, the same old platitudes. Only through the agency of the incarnate God, who says all that needs to be said and does all that needs to be done during the period of His incarnation, after which people work and experience according to His words, only thus will their life disposition be able to change, and only thus will they be able to flow with the times. He who works within divinity represents God, while those who work within humanity are people used by God. Which is to say, the incarnate God is essentially different from the people used by God. The incarnate God is able to do the work of divinity, whereas the people used by God are not. At the beginning of each age, God’s Spirit speaks personally and launches the new era to bring man into a new beginning. When He has finished speaking, this signifies that God’s work within His divinity is done. Thereafter, people all follow the lead of those used by God to enter into their life experience.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Essential Difference Between the Incarnate God and the People Used by God
Some people will ask, “What is the difference between the work done by God incarnate and that of the prophets and apostles of times past? David was also called the Lord, and so too was Jesus; although the work they did was different, they were called the same thing. Tell me, why were their identities not the same? What John witnessed was a vision, one that also came from the Holy Spirit, and he was able to say the words that the Holy Spirit intended to say; why was the identity of John different from that of Jesus?” The words spoken by Jesus were able to fully represent God, and they fully represented the work of God. What John saw was a vision, and he was incapable of completely representing the work of God. Why is it that John, Peter, and Paul spoke many words, as Jesus did, and yet they did not have the same identity as Jesus? It is chiefly because the work they did was different. Jesus represented the Spirit of God and was the Spirit of God working directly. He did the work of the new age, the work that no one had done before. He opened up a new way, He represented Jehovah, and He represented God Himself, whereas with Peter, Paul, and David, regardless of what they were called, they only represented the identity of a creature of God, and were sent by Jesus or Jehovah. So no matter how much work they did, no matter how great the miracles they performed, they were still just creatures of God, and incapable of representing the Spirit of God. They worked in the name of God or worked after being sent by God; furthermore, they worked in the ages begun by Jesus or Jehovah, and they did no other work. They were, after all, merely creatures of God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Concerning Appellations and Identity
In the Age of Grace, Jesus also spoke many words and did much work. How was He different from Isaiah? How was He different from Daniel? Was He a prophet? Why is it said that He is Christ? What are the differences between them? They were all men who spoke words, and their words appeared more or less the same to man. They all spoke words and did work. The prophets of the Old Testament spoke prophecies, and similarly, so could Jesus. Why is this so? The distinction here is based on the nature of the work. To discern this matter, you must not consider the nature of the flesh, nor should you consider the depth or superficiality of their words. Always you must first consider their work and the effects their work achieves in man. The prophecies spoken by the prophets at the time did not supply the life of man, and the inspirations received by those such as Isaiah and Daniel were merely prophecies, and not the way of life. If not for the direct revelation of Jehovah, none could have done that work, which is not possible for mortals. Jesus, too, spoke many words, but such words were the way of life from which man could find a path to practice. That is to say, first, He could supply the life of man, for Jesus is life; second, He could reverse the deviations of man; third, His work could succeed that of Jehovah in order to carry on the age; fourth, He could grasp the needs within man and understand what man lacks; fifth, He could usher in a new age and conclude the old. That is why He is called God and Christ; not only is He different from Isaiah but also from all other prophets. Take Isaiah as a comparison for the work of the prophets. First, he could not supply the life of man; second, he could not usher in a new age. He was working under the leadership of Jehovah and not to usher in a new age. Third, the words he spoke were beyond him. He was receiving revelations directly from the Spirit of God, and others would not understand, even having listened to them. These few things alone are sufficient to prove that his words were no more than prophecies, no more than an aspect of work done in Jehovah’s stead. He could not, however, completely represent Jehovah. He was Jehovah’s servant, an instrument in Jehovah’s work. He was only doing work within the Age of Law and within the scope of the work of Jehovah; he did not work beyond the Age of Law. On the contrary, the work of Jesus differed. He surpassed the scope of Jehovah’s work; He worked as God incarnate and underwent crucifixion in order to redeem all mankind. That is to say, He carried out new work outside of the work done by Jehovah. This was the ushering in of a new age. In addition, He was able to speak of that which man could not achieve. His work was work within the management of God and involved the whole of mankind. He did not work in just a few men, nor was His work meant to lead a limited number of men. As for how God was incarnated as a man, how the Spirit gave revelations at that time, and how the Spirit descended upon a man to do work—these are matters that man cannot see or touch. It is utterly impossible for these truths to serve as proof that He is God incarnate. As such, distinction can only be made among the words and work of God, which are tangible to man. Only this is real. This is because matters of the Spirit are not visible to you and are known clearly only by God Himself, and not even God’s incarnate flesh knows all; you can only verify whether He is God from the work He has done. From His work, it can be seen that, first, He is able to open up a new age; second, He is able to supply the life of man and show man the way to follow. This is sufficient to establish that He is God Himself. At the very least, the work He does can fully represent the Spirit of God, and from such work it can be seen that the Spirit of God is within Him. As the work done by God incarnate was mainly to usher in a new age, lead new work, and open up a new realm, these alone are sufficient to establish that He is God Himself. This thus differentiates Him from Isaiah, Daniel, and the other great prophets.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Difference Between the Ministry of God Incarnate and the Duty of Man
The word of God cannot be made out to be the word of man, and still less can one make the word of man to be the word of God. A man used by God is not the incarnate God, and the incarnate God is not a man used by God. In this, there is an essential difference. Perhaps, after reading these words, you do not acknowledge them to be the words of God, but only as the enlightenment that man has gained. In that case, you are blinded by ignorance. How can the words of God be the same as the enlightenment that man has gained? The words of God incarnate open up a new age, guide all of mankind, reveal mysteries, and show man the direction he is to take in the new age. The enlightenment obtained by man is but simple instructions for practice or knowledge. It cannot guide all of mankind into a new age or reveal the mysteries of God Himself. When all is said and done, God is God, and man is man. God has the essence of God, and man has the essence of man. If man views the words spoken by God as simple enlightenment by the Holy Spirit, and takes the words of the apostles and prophets as words personally spoken by God, that would be man’s mistake.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Preface
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