Question 1: “God became man that man may become God” is the supreme vision of Brother Lin’s preachings! Even though what God created in the beginning was man, God’s purpose in creating man was to get them to become God. At first, because mankind lacked God’s life disposition, Satan was able to trick them into sinning. God’s purpose in saving mankind is to dispense His life disposition into us. Won’t we become God once we have acquired God’s life disposition?! How could there be anything wrong here?
Answer: The members of your church say “God became man that man may become God.” By saying that, what you really mean is that God was incarnated as man in order to make man become God. According to this idea, God’s purpose in creating man was to make them become God. But does this idea actually accord with God’s will? We should examine this in light of God’s words. During the creation of the world in Genesis, God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen 1: 26-27). Today, Almighty God also says: “In the beginning, I created mankind; that is, I created mankind’s ancestor, Adam. He was endowed with form and image, brimming with vigor, brimming with vitality, and was, furthermore, in the company of My glory. That was the glorious day when I created man. After that, Eve was produced from the body of Adam, and she too was the ancestor of man, and so the people that I created were filled with My breath and brimming with My glory. Adam was originally born from My hand and was the representation of My image. Thus the original meaning of ‘Adam’ was a being created by Me, imbued with My vital energy, imbued with My glory, having form and image, having spirit and breath. He was the only created being, possessed of a spirit, who was capable of representing Me, of bearing My image, and receiving My breath. In the beginning, Eve was the second human endowed with breath whose creation I had ordained, so the original meaning of ‘Eve’ was a created being who would continue My glory, filled with My vitality and furthermore endowed with My glory. Eve came from Adam, so she also bore My image, for she was the second human to be created in My image. The original meaning of ‘Eve’ was a living human, with spirit, flesh, and bone, My second testimony as well as My second image among mankind. They were mankind’s ancestors, man’s pure and precious treasure, and, from the first, living beings endowed with spirit” (“What It Means to Be a Real Person” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words here tell us clearly what God created in the beginning is man, a living man with a spirit, a being that God created. God's purpose in creating man was for man to have dominion over all things on earth, and to glorify God and manifest God. We need to pay particular attention to God's word here. When creating man, God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Gen 1:26). God has never said that He made God, much less that He created man in order to make them become God. So if someone interprets God’s word and reads this as “creating God” instead of “creating man,” what’s wrong with this? Isn’t he misinterpreting God’s word and distorting the facts? Could it be that he has an ulterior motive for saying such things? We all know God is the Creator and men are merely His creations. Man and God are completely different in substance. Just as Almighty God says, “God is God, and man is man. God has the essence of God, and man has the essence of man” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words are the absolute truth. Moreover, God is completely faithful by disposition. He does not lie. He does not deceive. So, God’s words are precise and faultless. They are the eternal truth. God said that He made man in His image. Therefore, what He made was man. So why do some people say He was making God? This sounds like the voice of the archangel, because the archangel always desires to be on an equal footing with God, to become God Himself. It is through misinterpretation of God’s word that Satan deceives and corrupts mankind. This is how Satan gets man to follow it. And so, we can be sure that taking God’s words, taking “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” and twisting them to become “God creating God,” this is a serious resistance to God, blasphemes God, and gravely offends God’s disposition. When someone misinterprets God’s word wantonly and distorts the facts, this is a serious problem. It’s not just a simple problem of misinterpretation, because if it comes from Satan, it creates a very serious problem. So when you say “God became man that man may become God,” this is absolutely absurd. This is a figment of man's imagination and notion, and originates from Satan. We need to see this clearly. If we do not repent and continue to uphold this idea the consequences would be unimaginable.
What should we believers pursue? We need to understand God’s will. What does God hope to achieve through the redemption and salvation of mankind? That is, what kind of man does God want to make in the end? What it comes down to is a vision for our belief in God, and the truth of God’s work. When we choose our path as a believer in God, we must take His word as our guide. We must never, ever be deceived into following man or step onto any path that opposes God. We need to understand that because man has been corrupted by Satan, he has lost the glory of God and His testimony. All that man lives out is corrupt satanic disposition. He has no human likeness at all. Man has become the devil, and just like the devil, mankind disobeys, denies, resists, and even betrays God. This is fact. God, in order to save mankind, was incarnated in the Age of Grace to be man's sin offering and redeem them. Now in the final age, the Age of Kingdom, God has been incarnated once more to do the work of judgment in the last days, and express all of the truths that will purify and save mankind. He leads us to gain the truth, cast away our corruptions, live out a meaningful life and the image of those who love God, so we may enter into rest. This is God’s supreme goal in His salvation of mankind. Let's take a look at Almighty God's word.
Almighty God says, “God created humanity and placed them upon earth, whom He has led to the present day. He then saved humanity and served as a sin offering for humanity. At the end He still must conquer humanity, save humanity entirely and restore them to their original likeness. This is the work that He has been engaged in from the beginning to the end—restoring man to his original image and to his original likeness” (“God and man will enter into rest together” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“When the three stages of work come to an end, there will be made a group of those who bear testimony to God, a group of those who know God. These people will all know God and will be able to put the truth into practice. They will possess humanity and sense, and will all know the three stages of God’s work of salvation. This is the work that will be accomplished at the end, and these people are the crystallization of the work of 6,000 years of management, and are the most powerful testimony to the ultimate defeat of Satan. Those who can bear testimony to God will be able to receive God’s promise and blessing, and will be the group that remains at the very end, which possesses the authority of God and bears testimony to God” (“Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“After experiencing to a certain point, a person’s life views, significance of existence, and foundation of existence will completely transform. That is, you will be born again, and become a completely different person. This is incredible! This is a big transformation; it is a transformation that turns everything upside down. You will feel that fame, profit, position, wealth, pleasures, and glory of the world don’t matter and that you are able to effortlessly let go of them. This is a person in the likeness of a human being. Those who are ultimately made complete will be a group like this. They will live for truth, for God, and for righteousness. This is the likeness of a person” (“Understanding Commonalities and Differences in Human Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks).
“Throughout the entire management work, the most important work is man’s salvation from the influence of Satan. The key work is the complete conquest of corrupt man, thus restoring the original reverence of God in the heart of conquered man, and allowing him to achieve a normal life, which is to say, the normal life of a creature of God. This work is crucial, and is the core of the management work” (“Corrupt Mankind Needs Salvation by the Incarnate God Most of All” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
According to Almighty God’s words, we can be sure that God’s goal for His three-stage management work for mankind is to make a group of people who understand, obey, and testify to God. God took on a human form twice to save man completely from the influence of Satan, in order to make them holy and live in harmony with God's will. God’s word has already explained this thoroughly. It's easy to understand. Therefore, God's work is obviously not done in order to make man become God. Ever since God began to manage man, all the way up until the last days, the saints that God praised and blessed were those who aligned with God’s will, such as Abraham, Job, and Peter. They all have God’s word, His praise and blessing, as proof of this. These men were lavished with praise and emulated by the saints throughout the ages. It’s safe to say that they are in the kingdom of heaven. But did God ever say that they became God? God has never said anything like that. He only said that Abraham was the most faithful of all, that Job was a perfect man who revered God and shunned evil, and that Peter knew and understood God. Clearly, God’s ultimate goal for His salvation of mankind are men like these. That is to say, God will make a man into the same kind of man as Abraham or Job, and the perfected men will understand God, just like Peter. God said this clearly in the Bible. No one can deny it. God’s revealed His will to us here very clearly. In His management plan, God will ultimately make complete those that He praises and blesses; in the end, these are the men that God will gain. So, we should follow God based on His requirements, and take Abraham, Job and Peter as our models, we should do all that we can to pursue the truth and obey God’s work, and then we will be able to attain God’s perfection. This is the path we believers should take. The facts show that God didn’t create man to make man into God. In the Age of Law, Jehovah God never said anything about making man into God, and neither did the Lord Jesus in the Age of Grace. Today in the Age of Kingdom, Almighty God has put things more clearly. He has never said that He will make man into God. Therefore, we can say with certainty that the words “God became man that man may become God” definitely aren’t from God, but are human notions, a figment of man’s imagination, and originate from Satan. God’s disposition shall not be offended. Satan wanted to be God and stand equal to God. Satan offended God’s disposition, and God struck Satan down and into the air. So if we persist in our pursuit to become God, doesn’t this desire originate from Satan? Is it not the archangel’s notion? Isn’t this our ambition and greed?
Excerpted from the movie screenplay of Rapture In Peril