Question 5: I still don’t understand. Does Christ have the image of God? God has us emulate Christ, and in the end if we can live out Christ, wouldn’t we have the image of God? Then wouldn’t we become God?
Answer: You say that by emulating Christ, one can ultimately live out Christ and become God. Then we should first understand what the essence of Christ is before we can determine whether one can live out Christ. Let’s first look at the word of Almighty God.
Almighty God’s says: “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 substance of Christ is the Spirit, that is, the divinity. Therefore, His substance is that of God Himself…” (“The Substance of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“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 substance 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” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Christ is God’s Spirit realized in the flesh, so the essence of Christ is divinity. Here we must understand that the realization of God’s Spirit in the flesh means the appearance of God in the flesh. The Spirit of God is the Holy Spirit, which is God Himself. God’s essence of life, the disposition of God, God’s possessions and being are all actualized in the flesh. Thus, the life of Christ, the disposition of Christ, and the possessions and being of Christ have come from the actualization of God’s Spirit. Therefore, Christ is the incarnate God Himself. Who can fathom God’s life? The life of God is realized in Christ, so that no matter how man pursues the truth, he can never live out the essence of Christ’s life because Christ is the incarnate God. Man is not God incarnate; he does not have the divine essence at all. How can he live out Christ? This is absolutely impossible. Someone says he wants to emulate Christ and live out Christ. That is because he does not know the essence of Christ and says such arrogant words. Therefore, the statement “live out Christ” is not valid. Christ is the embodiment of the truth. The abundance of Christ is infinite. However, the truth expressed by Christ is finite. It is a very small part of the truth which is expressed according to man’s stature and what man can attain. Compared to the essence of Christ’s life, these truths are like a drop in the ocean. Even if man can live out a little bit of the reality of truth, possess a little bit of the image of Christ, this does not count as really living out Christ. Living out the essence of the life of Christ can never be attained by man. However man pursues the truth, what he can attain is limited. We are always infants before God, so man can never say that when he is alive, he is Christ. The statement “Man can become God if he can live out Christ” is not valid at all! Paul said that he was Christ when he was alive. This was too arrogant and senseless. It was simply inconsistent with the truth. Some people would like to emulate Christ. One cannot say this is wrong. To emulate Christ, one should emulate Christ’s absolute obedience to God, true love for God, carrying out of God’s will, and faithfulness to God unto death. This is praised by God. But no matter how we emulate, it is true that we can never live out Christ, because the essence of Christ’s life is that of God incarnate, it’s not from experience. So one can never live out Christ.
Excerpted from the movie screenplay of Rapture in Peril