1. What Is the Incarnation? What Is the Substance of the Incarnation?
Relevant Words of God:
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. His incarnate life and work can be divided into two stages. First is the life He lives before performing His ministry. He lives in an ordinary human family, in utterly normal humanity, obeying the normal morals and laws of human life, with normal human needs (food, clothing, sleep, shelter), normal human weaknesses, and normal human emotions. In other words, during this first stage He lives in non-divine, completely normal humanity, engaging in all the normal human activities. The second stage is the life He lives after beginning to perform His ministry. He still dwells in the ordinary humanity with a normal human shell, showing no outward sign of the supernatural. Yet He lives purely for the sake of His ministry, and during this time His normal humanity exists entirely in order to sustain the normal work of His divinity, for by then His normal humanity has matured to the point of being able to perform His ministry. So, the second stage of His life is to perform His ministry in His normal humanity, when it is a life both of normal humanity and complete divinity. The reason why, during the first stage of His life, He lives in completely ordinary humanity is that His humanity is not yet able to maintain the entirety of the divine work, is not yet mature; only after His humanity grows mature, becomes capable of shouldering His ministry, can He set about performing the ministry that He ought to perform. Since He, as flesh, needs to grow and mature, the first stage of His life is that of normal humanity—while in the second stage, because His humanity is capable of undertaking His work and performing His ministry, the life the incarnate God lives during His ministry is one of both humanity and complete divinity. If, from the moment of His birth, the incarnate God began His ministry in earnest, performing supernatural signs and wonders, then He would have no corporeal essence. Therefore, His humanity exists for the sake of His corporeal essence; there can be no flesh without humanity, and a person without humanity is not a human being. In this way, the humanity of God’s flesh is an intrinsic property of God’s incarnate flesh. To say that “when God becomes flesh He is entirely divine, and not at all human,” is blasphemy, for this statement simply does not exist, and violates the principle of incarnation. Even after He begins to perform His ministry, He still lives in His divinity with a human outer shell when He does His work; it is just that at the time, His humanity serves the sole purpose of allowing His divinity to perform the work in the normal flesh. So the agent of the work is the divinity inhabiting His humanity. His divinity, not His humanity, is at work, yet this divinity is hidden within His humanity; in essence, His work is done by His complete divinity, not by His humanity. But the performer of the work is His flesh. One could say that He is a man and also is God, for God becomes a God living in the flesh, with a human shell and a human essence but also the essence of God. 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
The life that Jesus lived on earth was a normal life of the flesh. He lived in the normal humanity of His flesh. His authority—to do His work and speak His word, or to heal the sick and cast out demons, to do such extraordinary things—did not manifest itself, for the most part, until He began His ministry. His life before age twenty-nine, before He performed His ministry, was proof enough that He was just a normal fleshly body. Because of this, and because He had not yet begun to perform His ministry, people saw nothing divine in Him, saw nothing more than a normal human being, an ordinary man—just as at that time, some people believed Him to be Joseph’s son. People thought that He was the son of an ordinary man, they had no way of telling that He was God’s incarnate flesh; even when, in the course of performing His ministry, He performed many miracles, most people still said that He was Joseph’s son, for He was Christ with the outer shell of normal humanity. His normal humanity and His work both existed in order to fulfill the significance of the first incarnation, to prove that God had entirely come into the flesh, that He had become an utterly ordinary man. His normal humanity before He began His work was proof that He was an ordinary flesh; and that He worked afterward also proved that He was an ordinary flesh, for He performed signs and wonders, healed the sick and cast out demons in the flesh with normal humanity. The reason that He could work miracles was that His flesh bore the authority of God, was the flesh in which God’s Spirit was clothed. He possessed this authority because of the Spirit of God, and it did not mean that He was not a flesh. Healing the sick and casting out demons was the work that He needed to perform in His ministry, it was an expression of His divinity hidden in His humanity, and no matter what signs He showed or how He demonstrated His authority, He still lived in normal humanity and was still a normal flesh. Up to the point that He was resurrected after dying upon the cross, He dwelt within normal flesh. Bestowing grace, healing the sick, and casting out demons were all part of His ministry, they were all work He performed in His normal flesh. Before He went to the cross, He never departed from His normal human flesh, regardless of what He was doing. He was God Himself, doing God’s own work, yet because He was the incarnate flesh of God, He ate food and wore clothing, had normal human needs, had normal human reason, and a normal human mind. All of this was proof that He was a normal man, which proved that God’s incarnate flesh was a flesh with normal humanity, and not supernatural. His job was to complete the work of God’s first incarnation, to fulfill the ministry that the first incarnation ought to perform. 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 the flesh does 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.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God
The humanity of God incarnate exists to maintain the normal divine work in the flesh; His normal human thinking sustains His normal humanity and all His normal corporeal activities. One could say that His normal human thinking exists in order to sustain all the work of God in the flesh. If this flesh did not possess a normal human mind, then God could not work in the flesh, and what He needs to do in the flesh could never be accomplished. Though the incarnate God possesses a normal human mind, His work is not adulterated by human thought; He undertakes the work in the humanity with a normal mind, under the precondition of possessing the humanity with a mind, not by the exercise of normal human thought. No matter how lofty the thoughts of His flesh are, His work is not tainted by logic or thinking. In other words, His work is not conceived by the mind of His flesh, but is a direct expression of the divine work in His humanity. All of His work is the ministry He must fulfill, and none of it is conceived by His brain. For example, healing the sick, casting out demons, and the crucifixion were not products of His human mind, and could not have been achieved by any man with a human mind. Likewise, today’s work of conquest is a ministry that must be performed by the incarnate God, but it is not the work of a human will, it is the work His divinity should do, work of which no fleshly human is capable. So the incarnate God must possess a normal human mind, must possess normal humanity, because He must perform His work in the humanity with a normal mind. This is the essence of the work of the incarnate God, the very essence of the incarnate God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God
Before Jesus performed the work, He merely lived in His normal humanity. No one could tell that He was God, no one found out that He was the incarnate God; people just knew Him as a completely ordinary man. His utterly ordinary, normal humanity was proof that God was incarnated in the flesh, and that the Age of Grace was the age of the work of the incarnate God, not the age of the Spirit’s work. It was proof that the Spirit of God was realized completely in the flesh, that in the age of God’s incarnation His flesh would perform all the work of the Spirit. The Christ with normal humanity is a flesh in which the Spirit is realized, and is possessed of normal humanity, normal sense, and human thought. “Being realized” means God becoming man, the Spirit becoming flesh; to put it more 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.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God
In the period of time that the Lord Jesus was working, people could see that God had many human expressions. For example, He could dance, He could attend weddings, He could commune with people, speak with them, and discuss things with them. In addition to that, the Lord Jesus also completed a lot of work that represented His divinity, and of course all of this work was an expression and a revelation of God’s disposition. During this time, when God’s divinity was realized in ordinary flesh in a way that people could see and touch, they no longer felt that He was flickering in and out of perception or that they could not get close to Him. On the contrary, they could try to grasp the will of God or understand His divinity through every movement, through the words, and through the work of the Son of man. The incarnate Son of man expressed God’s divinity through His humanity and conveyed the will of God to mankind. And through His expression of God’s will and disposition, He also revealed to people the God that cannot be seen or touched who dwells in the spiritual realm. What people saw was God Himself in tangible form, made of flesh and blood. So the incarnate Son of man made things such as the identity of God Himself, God’s status, image, disposition, and what He has and is, concrete and humanized. Even though the external appearance of the Son of man had some limitations regarding the image of God, His essence and what He has and is were entirely able to represent the identity and status of God Himself—there were merely some differences in the form of expression. We cannot deny that the Son of man represented the identity and status of God Himself, both in the form of His humanity and in His divinity. During this time, however, God worked through the flesh, spoke from the perspective of the flesh, and stood before mankind with the identity and status of the Son of man, and this gave people the opportunity to encounter and experience the true words and work of God among mankind. It also allowed people insight into His divinity and His greatness in the midst of humility, as well as to gain a preliminary understanding and definition of the authenticity and reality of God. Even though the work completed by the Lord Jesus, His ways of working, and the perspective from which He spoke differed from God’s real person in the spiritual realm, everything about Him truly represented God Himself, whom mankind had never seen before—this cannot be denied! That is to say, no matter in what form God appears, no matter from which perspective He speaks, or in what image He faces mankind, God represents nothing but Himself. He can represent neither any one human, nor any of corrupted mankind. God is God Himself, and this cannot be denied.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III
Although the outward appearance of God incarnate is exactly the same as a human, and although He learns human knowledge and speaks human language, and sometimes even expresses His ideas through mankind’s own methods or ways of speaking, nevertheless, the way He sees humans and sees the essence of things is absolutely not the same as the way corrupt people see mankind and the essence of things. His perspective and the elevation at which He stands is something unattainable for a corrupt person. This is because God is truth, because 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. In any corrupt person’s heart, there are only those few people who are associated with them. They care and are concerned only for this handful of people. When disaster is on the horizon, they first think of their own children, spouse, or parents. At most, a more compassionate person would spare some thought for some relative or good friend, but do the thoughts of even such a compassionate person extend further than that? No, never! Because humans are, after all, humans, and they can only look at everything from the elevation and perspective of a human being. However, God incarnate is entirely different from a corrupt human. No matter how ordinary, how normal, how lowly God’s incarnate flesh is, or even with what contempt people look down on Him, His thoughts and His attitude toward mankind are things that no man could possess, that no man could imitate. He will always observe mankind from the perspective of divinity, from the elevation of His position as the Creator. He will always see mankind through the essence and the mindset of God. He absolutely cannot see mankind from the lowly elevation of an average person, or from the perspective of a corrupt person. When people look at mankind, they do so with human vision, and they use things such as human knowledge and human rules and theories as their measure. This is within the scope of what people can see with their eyes and the scope that is achievable by corrupt people. When God looks at mankind, He looks with divine vision, and He uses His essence and what He has and is as a measure. This scope includes things that people cannot see, and this is where God incarnate and corrupt humans are entirely different. This difference is determined by humans’ and God’s different essences—it is these different essences that determine their identities and positions as well as the perspective and elevation from which they see things.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III
The flesh worn by the Spirit of God is God’s own flesh. The Spirit of God is supreme; He is almighty, holy, and righteous. Likewise, His flesh is also supreme, almighty, holy, and righteous. Such a flesh can only do that which is righteous and beneficial to mankind, that which is holy, glorious, and mighty; He is incapable of doing anything that violates the truth, that violates morality and justice, and much less is He capable of anything that would betray God’s Spirit. The Spirit of God is holy, and thus His flesh is incorruptible by Satan; His flesh is of a different essence than the flesh of man. For it is man, not God, who is corrupted by Satan; Satan could not possibly corrupt the flesh of God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. A Very Serious Problem: Betrayal (2)
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 essence 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 also the particular flesh assumed by God as He carries out and completes His work among man. This flesh cannot be supplanted by just any man, but is a flesh 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 who impersonate Christ will all fall, for although they claim to be Christ, they possess none of the essence of Christ. And so I say that the authenticity of Christ cannot be defined by man, but is answered and decided by God Himself.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life
The Essence of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father
(A Selected Chapter of God’s Word)
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; He 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 essence of Christ is the Spirit, that is, the divinity. Therefore, His essence is that of God Himself; this essence 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. Therefore, the incarnate God would absolutely never do any work that interrupts His own management. This is what all people should understand. The essence of the work of the Holy Spirit is to save man, and is for the sake of God’s own management. Similarly, the work of Christ is also to save man, and is for the sake of God’s will. Given that God becomes flesh, He realizes His essence within His flesh, such that His flesh is sufficient to undertake His work. Therefore, all the work of God’s Spirit is replaced by the work of Christ during the time of incarnation, and at the core of all work throughout the time of incarnation is the work of Christ. It cannot be commingled with work from any other age. And since God becomes flesh, He works in the identity of His flesh; since He comes in the flesh, He then finishes in the flesh the work that He ought to do. Be it the Spirit of God or be it Christ, both are God Himself, and He does the work that He ought to do and performs the ministry that He ought to perform.
The very essence of God itself wields authority, but He is able to fully submit to the authority that comes from Him. Be it the work of the Spirit or the work of the flesh, neither conflicts with the other. The Spirit of God is the authority over all creation. The flesh with the essence of God is also possessed of authority, but God in the flesh can do all the work that obeys the will of the heavenly Father. This cannot be attained or conceived by any one person. God Himself is authority, but His flesh can submit to His authority. This is what is implied when it is said that “Christ obeys the will of God the Father.” God is a Spirit and can do the work of salvation, as can God become man. At any rate, God Himself does His own work; He neither interrupts nor interferes, much less does He carry out work that contradicts itself, for the essence of the work done by the Spirit and the flesh is alike. Be it the Spirit or the flesh, both work to fulfill one will and to manage the same work. Though the Spirit and the flesh have two disparate qualities, their essences are the same; both have the essence of God Himself, and the identity of God Himself. God Himself possesses no elements of disobedience; His essence is good. He is the expression of all beauty and goodness, as well as all love. Even in the flesh, God does not do anything that disobeys God the Father. Even at the expense of sacrificing His life, He would be wholeheartedly willing to do so, and He would make no other choice. God possesses no elements of self-righteousness or self-importance, or those of conceit and arrogance; He possesses no elements of crookedness. Everything that disobeys God comes from Satan; Satan is the source of all ugliness and wickedness. The reason that man has qualities similar to those of Satan is because man has been corrupted and processed by Satan. Christ has not been corrupted by Satan, hence He possesses only the characteristics of God, and none of the characteristics of Satan. No matter how arduous the work or weak the flesh, God, while He lives in the flesh, will never do anything that interrupts the work of God Himself, much less forsake the will of God the Father in disobedience. He would rather suffer pains of the flesh than betray the will of God the Father; it is just as Jesus said in prayer, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as You will.” People make their own choices, but Christ does not. Though He has the identity of God Himself, He still seeks the will of God the Father, and fulfills what is entrusted to Him by God the Father, from the perspective of the flesh. This is something that man cannot attain to. That which comes from Satan cannot have the essence of God; it can only have one that disobeys and resists God. It cannot fully obey God, much less willingly obey the will of God. All men apart from Christ may do that which resists God, and not a single man can directly undertake the work entrusted by God; not one is able to regard the management of God as their own duty to perform. The essence of Christ is submission to the will of God the Father; disobedience against God is the characteristic of Satan. These two qualities are incompatible, and any who has the qualities of Satan cannot be called Christ. The reason that man cannot do the work of God in His stead is because man does not have any of the essence of God. Man works for God for the sake of man’s personal interests and future prospects, but Christ works to do the will of God the Father.
The humanity of Christ is governed by His divinity. Though He is in the flesh, His humanity is not entirely like that of a man of the flesh. He has His own unique character, and this too is governed by His divinity. His divinity has no weakness; the weakness of Christ refers to that of His humanity. To a certain degree, this weakness constrains His divinity, but such limits are within a certain scope and time, and are not boundless. When it comes time to carry out the work of His divinity, it is done regardless of His humanity. The humanity of Christ is directed entirely by His divinity. Aside from the normal life of His humanity, all other actions of His humanity are influenced, affected, and directed by His divinity. Though Christ has a humanity, it does not disrupt the work of His divinity, and this is precisely because the humanity of Christ is directed by His divinity; though His humanity is not mature in how it conducts itself with others, it does not affect the normal work of His divinity. When I say that His humanity has not been corrupted, I mean that the humanity of Christ can be directly commanded by His divinity, and that He is possessed of a higher sense than that of the ordinary man. His humanity is most suited to being directed by the divinity in His work; His humanity is most able to express the work of the divinity, and most able to submit to such work. As God works in the flesh, He never loses sight of the duty that a man in the flesh ought to fulfill; He is able to worship God in heaven with a true heart. He has the essence of God, and His identity is that of God Himself. It is only that He has come to earth and become a created being, with the exterior shell of a created being and, now possessed of a humanity that He did not have before. He is able to worship God in heaven; this is the being of God Himself and is inimitable to man. His identity is God Himself. It is from the perspective of the flesh that He worships God; therefore, the words “Christ worships God in heaven” are not wrong. What He asks of man is precisely His own being; He has already achieved all that He asks of man prior to asking such of them. He would never make demands of others while He Himself is free from them, for this all constitutes His being. Regardless of how He carries out His work, He would not act in a manner that disobeys God. No matter what He asks of man, no demand exceeds that which is attainable by man. All that He does is that which does the will of God and is for the sake of His management. The divinity of Christ is above all men; therefore, He is the highest authority of all created beings. This authority is His divinity, that is, the disposition and being of God Himself, which determines His identity. Therefore, no matter how normal His humanity, it is undeniable that He has the identity of God Himself; no matter from which standpoint He speaks and howsoever He obeys the will of God, it cannot be said that He is not God Himself. Foolish and ignorant men often regard the normal humanity of Christ as a flaw. No matter how He expresses and reveals the being of His divinity, man is unable to acknowledge that He is Christ. And the more that Christ demonstrates His obedience and humility, the more lightly foolish men regard Christ. There are even those who adopt toward Him an attitude of exclusion and contempt, yet place those “great men” of lofty images upon the table to be worshiped. Man’s resistance to and disobedience of God come from the fact that the essence of the incarnate God submits to the will of God, as well as from the normal humanity of Christ; this is the source of man’s resistance to and disobedience of God. If Christ had neither the guise of His humanity nor sought the will of God the Father from the perspective of a created being, but was instead possessed of a super humanity, then there would most likely be no disobedience among man. The reason man is always willing to believe in an invisible God in heaven is because God in heaven has no humanity, nor does He possess even a single quality of a created being. Therefore, man always regards Him with the greatest esteem, but holds an attitude of contempt toward Christ.
Though Christ on earth is able to work on behalf of God Himself, He does not come with the intention of showing all men His image in the flesh. He does not come so that all men see Him; He comes to allow man to be led by His hand, and man thereby enters into the new age. The function of Christ’s flesh is for the work of God Himself, that is, for the work of God in the flesh, and not to enable man to fully understand the essence of His flesh. No matter how He works, nothing He does goes beyond that which is attainable by the flesh. No matter how He works, He does so in the flesh with a normal humanity, and does not fully reveal to man the true countenance of God. Additionally, His work in the flesh is never as supernatural or inestimable as man conceives. Even though Christ represents God Himself in the flesh and carries out in person the work that God Himself ought to do, He does not deny the existence of God in heaven, nor does He feverishly proclaim His own deeds. Rather, He remains hidden, humbly, within His flesh. Apart from Christ, those who falsely claim to be Christ do not possess His qualities. When juxtaposed against the arrogant and self-exalting disposition of those false Christs, it becomes apparent what manner of flesh is truly Christ. The falser they are, the more such false Christs flaunt themselves, and the more capable they are of working signs and wonders to deceive man. False Christs do not have the qualities of God; Christ is not tainted by any element belonging to false Christs. God becomes flesh only to complete the work of the flesh, not to merely allow men to see Him. Rather, He lets His work affirm His identity, and lets that which He reveals attest to His essence. His essence is not baseless; His identity was not seized by His hand; it is determined by His work and His essence. Though He has the essence 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 a shell of flesh. Therefore, no matter how normal and how weak He is, and howsoever He seeks the will of God the Father, His divinity is undeniable. Within the incarnate God exists not only a normal humanity and its weaknesses; there also exists the wonderfulness and unfathomableness of His divinity, as well as all His deeds in the flesh. Therefore, both humanity and divinity exist within Christ, both actually and practically. This is not in the least something empty or supernatural. He comes to earth with the primary objective of carrying out work; it is imperative to be possessed of a normal humanity to carry out work on earth; otherwise, however great the power of His divinity, its original function cannot be put to good use. Though His humanity is of great importance, it is not His essence. His essence is the divinity; therefore, the moment He begins to perform His ministry on earth is the moment He begins to express the being of His divinity. His humanity exists solely to sustain the normal life of His flesh so that His divinity can carry out work as normal in the flesh; it is the divinity that directs His work entirely. When He completes His work, He will have fulfilled His ministry. What man ought to know is the entirety of His work, and it is through His work that He enables man to know Him. Over the course of His work, He quite fully expresses the being of His divinity, which is not a disposition tainted by humanity, or a being tainted by thought and human behavior. When the time comes when all His ministry has come to an end, He will have already perfectly and fully expressed the disposition that He ought to express. His work is not guided by the instructions of any man; the expression of His disposition is also quite free, and is not controlled by the mind or processed by thought, but revealed naturally. This is something no man can achieve. Even if the surroundings are harsh or the conditions unfavorable, He is able to express His disposition at the appropriate time. One who is Christ expresses the being of Christ, while those who are not do not possess the disposition of Christ. Therefore, even if all resist Him or have notions of Him, none can deny on the basis of man’s notions that the disposition expressed by Christ is that of God. All those who pursue Christ with a true heart or seek God with intent will admit that He is Christ based on the expression of His divinity. They would never deny Christ on the basis of any aspect of Him that does not conform to man’s notions. Though man is very foolish, all know exactly what is the will of man and what originates from God. It is merely that many people deliberately resist Christ as a result of their intentions. If not for this, then not a single man would have reason to deny the existence of Christ, for the divinity expressed by Christ does indeed exist, and His work can be witnessed by the naked eye.
The work and expression of Christ determines His essence. He is able to complete with a true heart that which has been entrusted to Him. He is able to worship God in heaven with a true heart, and with a true heart seek the will of God the Father. This is all determined by His essence. And so too is His natural revelation determined by His essence; the reason I call this His “natural revelation” is because His expression is not an imitation, or the result of education by man, or the result of many years of cultivation by man. He did not learn it or adorn Himself with it; rather, it is inherent within Him. Man may deny His work, His expression, His humanity, and the entire life of His normal humanity, but none can deny that He worships God in heaven with a true heart; none can deny that He has come to fulfill the will of the heavenly Father, and none can deny the sincerity with which He seeks God the Father. Though His image is not pleasing to the senses, His discourse not possessed of an extraordinary air, and His work not as earth-shattering or heaven-shaking as man imagines, He is indeed Christ, who fulfills the will of the heavenly Father with a true heart, completely submits to the heavenly Father, and is obedient to the death. This is because His essence is the essence of Christ. This truth is hard for man to believe, but it is a fact. When the ministry of Christ has been completely fulfilled, man will be able to see from His work that His disposition and His being represent the disposition and being of God in heaven. At that time, the summation of all His work can affirm that He is indeed the flesh which the Word becomes, and not alike that of a flesh and blood man. Every step of Christ’s work on earth has its representative significance, but man who experiences the actual work of each step is unable to grasp the significance of His work. This is especially so for the several steps of work carried out by God in His second incarnation. Most of those who have only heard or seen Christ’s words yet who have never seen Him have no notions of His work; those who have seen Christ and heard His words, as well as experienced His work, find it difficult to accept His work. Is this not because the appearance and the normal humanity of Christ are not to the taste of man? Those who accept His work after Christ has gone away will not have such difficulties, for they merely accept His work and do not come into contact with Christ’s normal humanity. Man is unable to drop his notions of God and instead scrutinizes Him intensely; this is due to the fact that man focuses only on His appearance and is unable to recognize His essence based on His work and His words. If man shuts his eyes to the appearance of Christ or avoids discussing the humanity of Christ, and speaks only of His divinity, whose work and words are unattainable by any man, then the notions of man will decrease by half, even to the extent that all man’s difficulties will be resolved. During the work of the incarnate God, man cannot tolerate Him and is full of numerous notions about Him, and instances of resistance and disobedience are common. Man cannot tolerate the existence of God, show leniency to the humility and hiddenness of Christ, or forgive the essence of Christ that obeys the heavenly Father. Therefore, He cannot stay with man for eternity after He finishes His work, for man is unwilling to allow Him to live alongside them. If man cannot show leniency to Him during His period of work, then how could they possibly tolerate Him living alongside them after He has fulfilled His ministry, as He watches them gradually experience His words? Would not many then fall because of Him? Man only allows Him to work on earth; this is the greatest extent of man’s lenience. If not for His work, man would have banished Him from the earth long ago, so how much less would they show leniency once His work is completed? Then would man not put Him to death and torture Him to death? If He were not called Christ, then He could not possibly work among mankind; if He did not work with the identity of God Himself, and instead worked only as a normal man, then man would not tolerate His uttering a single sentence, much less tolerate the slightest bit of His work. So He can only carry this identity with Him in His work. In this way, His work is more powerful than if He had not done so, for men are all willing to obey standing and great identity. If He did not carry the identity of God Himself as He worked or appear as God Himself, then He would not have the opportunity to do work at all. Despite the fact that He has the essence of God and the being of Christ, man would not ease up and allow Him to carry out work with ease among mankind. He carries the identity of God Himself in His work; though such work is dozens of times more powerful than that done without such identity, man is still not fully obedient to Him, for man submits only to His standing and not His essence. If so, when perhaps one day Christ steps down from His post, could man allow Him to remain alive for even one day? God is willing to live on earth with man so that He may see the effects that the work by His hand will bring about in the years to follow. However, man is unable to tolerate His presence for even one day, so He could only give up. It is already the greatest extent of man’s lenience and grace to allow God to do among man the work that He ought to do and to fulfill His ministry. Though those who have been personally conquered by Him show Him such grace, they still only permit Him to stay on until His work has finished, and not one moment more. If this is so, what of those He has not conquered? Is not the reason that man treats the incarnate God in this way because He is Christ with the shell of a normal human? If He had only the divinity and not a normal humanity, then would not the difficulties of man be resolved with the greatest of ease? Man begrudgingly acknowledges His divinity and shows no interest in His shell of an ordinary man, despite the fact that His essence is exactly that of Christ which submits to the will of the heavenly Father. As such, He could only cancel His work of being among man to share with them both joys and sorrows, for man could no longer tolerate His existence.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God.