The Essence of Christ Is Love

One aspect of knowing the essence of Christ is to separate Christ in the flesh from corrupt humanity, to treat and submit to God in the flesh as the practical God. Another aspect is that you must also see God in the flesh practically working, practically expressing the truth, and practically living among humanity. You must see how He purifies and saves humanity, how He is not a prophet, apostle, or giver of prophecies or an insignificant person who was sent by God but is God in the flesh, Christ, and God Himself. Although this flesh is a member of humanity, He is an ordinary person with divine essence. Knowing this divine essence of the flesh is most critical, using facts that you can observe to prove the divine essence of Christ is what you must be able to do at the very least. To know Christ’s divine essence, you must eat and drink God’s words, experience His work, and know His disposition. Knowing the essence of God in the flesh has the effect of enabling people to ascertain that God has indeed become flesh and that this flesh is genuinely God. This is the only way people can establish true faith in God and achieve true submission and true love, and only when this effect is achieved can you prove you have an understanding of God’s essence.

Today, people have no real knowledge of Christ. They read God’s words and admit that it is the truth and the expression of the Holy Spirit while completely disregarding the flesh. They don’t know what the origin of the flesh is or how the flesh and the Spirit relate to one another. Many people believe that the flesh exists to express words, that He is used to speak and work and that this is His ministry. They believe that the flesh expresses words whenever He is moved and His work is done once He finishes, as if He were a messenger. If someone believes this, then what they recognize and believe in isn’t God in the flesh or Christ but is merely someone similar to a prophet. Some people also think, “Christ is a person, and regardless of what the essence of God in the flesh is or what disposition of God He expresses, He cannot fully represent God in heaven or the Creator who rules over the universe and all things. Since He is God in the flesh and God in heaven come to earth, why does He not have any supernatural miracles? Why doesn’t He destroy the great red dragon if He has the authority?” Those who speak these words do not have spiritual understanding. They do not understand what God becoming flesh is, let alone the scope of the management of God’s work in the flesh, who the objects of His salvation are, what He expresses, or what people should know. The essence of God in the flesh is the essence of God, and He can do everything on God’s behalf. He is God Himself, and He can do everything that He wishes to do. However, God becomes flesh this time to do the last stage of work in the scope of His management, and it has nothing to do with ruling over all things or ruling over the nations. It doesn’t involve those things at all. Therefore, what you need to know is what people will encounter and can understand during this stage of work, the essence of this stage of work, what Christ has and is and the expression of His disposition. Is what Christ expresses the essence of God? Is it the disposition of God? Of course it is. But is this everything? I’m telling you now, this is not everything. It is only a small and limited part, only what people can see with the naked eye, what they can come into contact with, and what they can grasp with their minds while God has become flesh. This is not everything, and it is only the work to be done within God’s plan.

How can God in the flesh be explained the most clearly? To put it simply, it means God taking form on earth, it is God’s Spirit clothed in the flesh as a regular person. If God’s Spirit is in the flesh, does He still exist elsewhere? Yes. God rules over the universe and all things, and in the entire universe there is only one God ruling over it. He is almighty, and He has now become flesh and come down to the earth. He is not like people imagine Him, becoming flesh and doing work only on earth and not bothering with it anywhere else. I asked a sister in the past, “Now that God is on earth in the flesh, is there still any God in heaven?” She thought for a minute and said, “There is only one God and now He is on earth, so there is no God in heaven now.” This was wrong again. God rules over the universe and all things and God is Spirit, He is here on earth but still rules over all things in heaven and does His work on earth. I then asked, “Does that mean that the Spirit of God sometimes leaves as well?” She thought a moment and said, “Maybe He has to leave and sometimes the flesh doesn’t know anything. The Spirit leaves when the flesh lives normally, and He comes back when the flesh is to speak. Maybe the Spirit goes about other things while the flesh is asleep but comes back when the flesh wakes up, and speaks and works together with the flesh. If there is no work to be done, the flesh might just be engaging in normal human actions and displaying normal human manifestations.” This is what many people think. There are others who worry, “I don’t know how God’s money is allocated, could it have been given to someone else?” Human minds are really complex. How can people with ill-intentioned minds hope to pursue the truth? In short, neither knowing the essence of God becoming flesh nor knowing His disposition are very easy tasks in knowing God. During God’s work in the flesh, whatever you can experience and encounter is what you should know, and you shouldn’t make wild assumptions about the things you cannot come into contact with. For example, “After God’s flesh departs, in what form will God appear and do His work again? Will He still come to meet us on earth?” Most people today pay attention to these external things, and they do not involve the essence of Christ at all; it is actually useless to understand them. There are some things you do not need to understand, and you will understand them when the time comes that you need to. It is irrelevant whether you understand these things, and they haven’t the slightest impact on people’s faith in God in the flesh, faith in Christ, or following Christ. They also haven’t the slightest impact on people’s pursuit of truth or fulfilling their duty well, and it would not increase any of your faith if you knew them. The prophets showed signs and wonders in the past, and what did people gain? All these achieved was to make people acknowledge God’s existence. Those prophets are not God no matter how many miracles they could do because the prophets did not have the essence of God. God in the flesh is still God without performing miracles because He has God’s essence. That He does not show signs and wonders does not mean that He cannot show them. That His words can accomplish everything is even more almighty than showing signs and wonders; it is an even greater miracle. Pursuing the knowledge of God’s essence and disposition is so important, it is so beneficial to your life entry, and this is the correct path of faith in God.

You should be aware that while God works in the flesh, that is when people can encounter and see the most of what God has and is, His essence, and His disposition. It is the finest opportunity to know God. The knowing of God’s actions and His disposition that people spoke of in the past—that was difficult to achieve because they had no access to Him. When Moses saw Jehovah appear to him back then, he saw only some things that Jehovah did. How much practical knowledge did he have of God? Was it greater than what people know today? Was it more practical than what people know today? Of course not. God revealed many of His works back during His work in Israel. Many people saw Jehovah perform signs and miracles, and some even saw the sight of Jehovah’s back. Many people also saw angels. Yet how many people finally came to know God? Too few! There were practically none who truly knew God. Only the people of the last days can have much knowledge of God when they experience His work while He is in the flesh, because God tells people face-to-face what work He does, what the purpose of His work is, what His will is, what His attitude is toward humanity, what the states and essences of humanity corrupted by Satan are, and so on. Only through these words of exposure can people see that God is indeed this practical and this real, that He indeed has this will for humanity, and that He indeed has this disposition. His works are indeed so marvelous, His wisdom is indeed this profound, and His mercy for humankind is indeed this real. All these words God has spoken bear testimony to His work, His love and disposition, and His doings. We experience these things firsthand by experiencing God’s work. The words God speaks are so practical and so real. People experience that God’s love and tolerance for humanity is endless indeed. God’s desire to save people is manifested in His work and the words He speaks, so that people can taste it in their actual experience. Therefore, knowing the essence of God becoming flesh can only be achieved during the time of God’s work in the flesh, and anything you understand outside of this time is impractical. After God completes His work in the flesh and leaves, His work will not be as practical to you as it is now when you try to experience it. This is because you can see and touch God’s work in the flesh today. God is also constantly doing His work face-to-face with people, and they have personally experienced how He speaks and how He works. Peter’s experience at that time was not as real as yours is today. Peter followed Jesus and experienced what of God was practical and lovely back during His work in Judea, but his stature was small then and what he experienced was superficial. After Jesus left, Peter thought back carefully and savored His words, and he deepened his understanding and received more. Jesus during His work also expressed some of what God has and is, His loving kindness, His mercy, His salvation for humanity, and His infinite tolerance and grace for them. The people who followed Him then were able to experience some of these things, and people who came later were never able to experience them as deeply as people then. Also, when people were moved by the Holy Spirit and prayed to God grasping His will, what they experienced in those days was vague and faint. It was at times hard to grasp precisely, and no one could be sure that their understanding was accurate. Therefore, when Peter was finally arrested and imprisoned, some people even tried to figure out how to get him out. In fact, Jesus’ intention at the time was for Peter to be crucified as his final testimony. His journey had come to an end, and God arranged for him to offer testimony in this way so he would have a good destination. This was the path that Peter took. When Peter came to the end of his path, he still did not understand Jesus’ true intent. He only understood what Jesus meant when He told him. So then, if you want to understand God’s essence, it is the most beneficial to do so while God is in the flesh. You can see, touch, hear, and feel deeply. If you try to experience and look back on how the Holy Spirit works after God’s work in the flesh is finished, your experience will not be as profound, and whatever understanding you gain will be superficial. At that time He will only be able to refine people’s corrupt dispositions. Once refined, people are able to understand a little more of the truth and use the truth they have gained as the foundation for their lives, changing the corrupt disposition within them. But no matter how much you seek to love and know God, you will not really make that much progress. There is a limit to human progress, and it falls far short of the benefits of experiencing God’s work in the flesh and coming to know God. God has expressed much truth while He is in the flesh, and many people see but do not understand and hear but do not know. These are people who do not have spiritual understanding and people who are thoughtless. People lack conscience or reason, and they cannot feel how much God loves and tolerates people. People are so numb that they only gain some understanding and begin to enter onto the right track when God’s work is finished.

What is the essence of Christ? For humans, Christ’s essence is love. For those who follow Him, it is a love that is boundless. If He had no love or mercy, then people would not be able to follow Him up to now. Some people say, “But God is also righteous.” It is true God is righteous, but in terms of His disposition, His righteousness is mainly expressed through His hatred of humanity’s corrupt disposition, His cursing of devils and Satan, and His not allowing anyone to offend His disposition. Does His righteousness contain love then? Well, isn’t His judging and purifying people’s corruption love? To save humanity, God has endured immense humiliation with the utmost patience. Isn’t this love? Therefore, I will be frank with you: In the work God does for humanity while in the flesh, what is most obvious and prominent in His essence is love; it is infinite tolerance. If it were not love and it were like you imagine where God strikes people down whenever He likes or punishes, curses, judges, and chastises whoever He hates, that would be so severe! If He became angry at someone, they would tremble in fear and be unable to stand before Him…. This is just one way that God’s disposition is expressed. His goal in the end is still salvation, and His love runs through all the dispositions He reveals. Think back now, what is it that God reveals the most during His work in the flesh? It is love, it is patience. What is patience? Patience is having mercy because there is love within. God is able to have mercy on people because He has love, and it is all to save people. It is the same as how a married couple who truly love each other overlook one another’s shortcomings and faults. You can endure it when they make you angry, and this is all built on a foundation of love. If it were hate, then you would not have this attitude or reveal these things, and there wouldn’t be this kind of effect. If God had only hate and anger or only judged and chastised without love, then it wouldn’t be the situation you see now, and the lot of you would be in for trouble. Would God still be able to provide you with the truth? As soon as the work of judgment and chastisement were finished, people who did not accept the truth in the slightest would be cursed. Even if they did not die immediately they would become sick, impaired, insane, blind, and be given to be trampled over by evil spirits and filthy demons. They would not be like they are now. So then, you have enjoyed much of God’s love and much of His tolerance, mercy, and lovingkindness. But people think nothing of this, believing, “This is how God should be to people. God also has righteousness and wrath, and we haven’t experienced any less of these!” Have you really experienced them? If you had, you would have already died. Where would humanity be today? God’s hate, wrath, and righteousness are all expressed from a foundation of wanting to bring salvation to this group of people. This disposition also includes God’s love and mercy as well as His great patience. This hate carries a sense of having no other choice, and it includes a boundless concern and hope for humanity! God’s hate is directed at humanity’s corruption and at people’s rebelliousness and sin. It is one-sided and built on a foundation of love. There is only hate because there is love. God’s hate for humanity is different from His hate for Satan because God saves people but not Satan. God’s righteous disposition has always been there. Wrath, righteousness, and judgment have always been there; they were not there only when He directed them at humanity. This was God’s disposition before humans even saw it, and they only knew that God’s righteousness is like this after they learned of it. Actually, whether God displays righteousness, majesty, or wrath, or whether He performs all kinds of work for the salvation of humanity, it is all because of love. Some people say, “So how much love does He bring?” It is not a matter of how much; what He brings is one hundred percent love. If He brought any less, humanity would not be saved. God has dedicated all of His love to humanity. Why did God become flesh? It has been said before that God spares no effort to save humanity, and His becoming flesh includes all of His love. This shows you that humanity’s rebelliousness toward God is extreme, and that humanity is already beyond saving, which is why God had no choice but to become flesh in order to offer Himself up to humanity. God has offered up all of His love. If He did not love humanity, He would not have become flesh. God could have struck thunder from the heavens, unleashing His majesty and wrath directly, and humans would fall to the ground. There would have been no need for God to go through the trouble, pay such a price, or suffer such humiliation in the flesh. This is an obvious example. He would rather suffer pain, humiliation, abandonment, and persecution to save humanity. Even in such a hostile environment, He has still come to save humanity. Is this not the greatest love? If God were nothing but righteous and He were full of boundless hate for humanity, then He would not have become flesh to do His work. He could have waited until humanity had become corrupt to the extreme and then annihilated them all and had it over and done with. It is because God loves humanity and because He has the utmost love for humanity that He became flesh to save these humans that were so extremely corrupt. After going through God’s judgment and chastisement and learning of their natures, many people say, “It’s all over for me. I can never be saved.” Only when you believe you cannot be saved do you become aware that God truly has the utmost patience and love for people! What could people do without God’s love? God still speaks to you even though human nature has become so corrupted. Whenever you ask a question He rushes to answer, fearing that people may not understand or they might go astray or go to extremes. With all this do you still not understand how great God’s love is for humanity?

Many people today are observing, “Why is God in the flesh still lingering on earth now that His work is finished? Could there still be another stage of work? Why not hurry up and do the next stage of work?” There is meaning in this, of course. After God in the flesh has spoken many words, what effect has been achieved in people? People have only heard and remembered His words without achieving entry into many of them, and they have not undergone obvious change. In the state you are now, much of the truth remains obscured, and entering into the reality is simply out of the question. With God having become flesh to perform work and speak so many words, what do you think His purpose is? What is the ultimate effect? If He were to begin the next stage of work now and leave these people to their own devices, the work would be abandoned halfway. God’s work in the flesh must be done in two entire stages to completely save people. Just like in the Age of Grace, Jesus came, and it took thirty-three and a half years from His birth to Him being nailed to the cross and ascending to heaven. This is not a long time according to a normal human lifespan, but it is not a short time for God’s time on earth! Thirty-three and a half years is quite excruciating! God in the flesh had God’s essence and disposition and lived with corrupt humanity for thirty-three and a half years, and it was a painful thing. Whether people treated Him well or not or whether He had a place to lay His head, excluding all of these, even if His body didn’t endure much physical suffering, living together with humans was a painful thing for God because they are not of the same kind! For example, if people lived all day with pigs, it would become terribly aggravating after a while because they are not the same kind. What common language could humans have with pigs? How could people live together with pigs without suffering? Even a husband and wife find it abhorrent to live together if they are not in complete harmony with one another. God’s thirty-three and a half years on earth in the flesh was an extremely painful thing in itself, and no one could understand Him. People even think, “God in the flesh can do and say whatever He wants, and He has so many people following Him. What suffering does He have? He just doesn’t have a place to lay His head and His flesh endures a little pain and suffering. That doesn’t sound very painful!” It is true that these pains are something that humans can bear and endure, and God in the flesh is no exception. He can also endure it, and it is not great suffering for Him. Most of the suffering He endures is living together with a humanity corrupt to the extreme, enduring ridicule, insult, judgment, and condemnation from all kinds of people as well as being pursued by demons and rejection and hostility from the religious world, creating wounds in the soul which no one could make up for. It is a painful thing. He saves corrupt humanity with immense patience, He loves people despite His wounds, and this is deeply painful work. Humanity’s vicious resistance, condemnation and slander, false accusations, persecution, and their pursuit and killing makes God’s flesh do this work at a great risk to Himself. Who could understand Him as He suffers these pains, and who could comfort Him? Human beings have only a little enthusiasm, and they may also complain or treat Him passively and indifferently. How could He not suffer because of this? He feels such great pain in His heart. Could a few material comforts compensate for the harm that humanity caused to God? Do you think that eating and dressing well is happiness? This view is ridiculous! The Lord Jesus did His work on earth and lived for thirty-three and a half years, He was only freed after He was crucified, resurrected from the dead, and appeared among humans for forty days, ending His painful years of living among humanity. But God’s heart was still always in the same pain out of a concern for people’s destination. This pain could not be understood or endured by anyone. The Lord Jesus was crucified to bear the sins of all people so that humanity would have a foundation for salvation. He redeemed humanity from Satan’s hands by His crucifixion, and He only ended His painful existence in this world after He had completed His entire work of redemption. Once all of His work was complete, He did not delay even for a day. He only appeared to people so that everyone would know that God had indeed accomplished the work of redemption for humanity and completed a plan of His in the flesh. He would not have left if any bit of the work was incomplete. In the Age of Grace, Jesus often said, “My time has not yet come.” That His time had not yet come meant that His work had not reached its deadline. That is to say, God’s work in the flesh isn’t just going and walking from place to place, speaking, examining church life, and saying all that needs to be said like people imagine. After God in the flesh has finished His work and said all these things, He must still await the final results and the effects that will be achieved by what He said and see what humanity will look like after attaining salvation. Is this not natural? Would He just abandon this work after paying all of His painstaking price? He has to persist until the end, and only once there are results would He be at ease to proceed to the next step of work. God’s work and His management plan are especially things that only He Himself can do. What humanity and those who follow Him ultimately become, what those who are saved ultimately become, how many people accord with His will, how many people genuinely love Him, how many people truly know Him, how many people dedicate themselves to Him, and how many people truly worship Him—all of these questions must have an outcome. It is not “Once God’s work on earth is complete, He should enjoy Himself. He could live free and easy!” as people imagine. Know this: It is not living free and easy at all, it is excruciating! Some people do not understand and think, “If God has done His work in the flesh and doesn’t speak anymore, does that mean His Spirit is gone?” With that, they begin to doubt God. There are also some who say, “After God completes His work in the flesh and is done speaking, does He absolutely have to wait?” He does. God’s work in the flesh has a certain scope. It is not like people imagine where it is over and done once the work is finished and the Holy Spirit can simply do it. That is not how it is. There are some things that require the flesh to guide and handle personally. No one can take over these things, and this is also the meaning of God’s work in the flesh. Do you understand this? In the past I have said to some people angrily, “Getting along with you is miserable.” Some people would answer, “If You don’t want to be with us, why are You waiting here?” This is God’s love for humanity! Could God endure until now without love? Sometimes He gets angry and speaks harshly, but He does not do any less in His work. He does not miss a single step. He will not refrain from doing the work that should be done and speaking the words that should be said. He does and says all that must be done and spoken. Some people say, “Why is God speaking less now than He did in the past?” Because those steps of the work have been completed, and the final step is to wait. I am only doing the work of guidance, and I have to trouble Myself with everything I can. Why have I always been in bad health in this last phase? This is also something meaningful, you know. It is to bear some of humanity’s illness and pain. God in the flesh may experience some illness and pain, but these all come in stages. The work that doesn’t need to be done is limited by the ailments of the flesh and it cannot be done; the flesh must suffer a little when the time comes. Without many limitations, He would always want to speak with humanity more and offer them more help, because He is doing the work of salvation. What the work of God in the flesh from start to finish has revealed is all God’s love. The essence of His work is love, and He offers up everything and all that He has for humanity.

Winter, 1999

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