Daily Words of God | "The Difference Between the Ministry of God Incarnate and the Duty of Man" | Excerpt 161
In the Age of Grace, Jesus also spoke much and did much work. How was He different from Isaiah? How was He different from Daniel? Was He a prophet? Why do we say 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 and did work. The prophets of the Old Testament made prophecies, and similarly, so could Jesus. Why is this so? The distinction here is based on the nature of the work. In order to discern this matter, you cannot consider the nature of the flesh and you should not consider the depth or superficiality of one’s words. Always you must first consider his work and the effects his work achieves in man. The prophecies spoken by Isaiah at the time did not supply the life of man, and the messages received by those such as Daniel were merely prophecies and not the way of life. If not for the direct revelation of Jehovah, none could have done that work, for it is not possible for mortals. Jesus, too, spoke much, 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 of man within 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. Let us 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, what he himself spoke of was beyond his comprehension. 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 the incarnate God 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. Another condition is that 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 to lead a limited number of men. As for how God was incarnated to be 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 the incarnate God. As such, distinction can only be made upon 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 the incarnate God was mainly to usher in a new age, lead new work, and open up new circumstances, these few conditions alone are sufficient to establish that He is God Himself. This thus differentiates Him from Isaiah, Daniel, and the other great prophets. Isaiah, Daniel, and the others were all of a class of highly educated and cultured men; they were extraordinary men under the leadership of Jehovah. The flesh of God incarnate too was knowledgeable and had no lack of intellect, but His humanity was particularly normal. He was an ordinary man, and the naked eye could not discern any special humanity about Him or detect anything in His humanity unlike that of others. He was not at all supernatural or unique, and He did not possess any higher culture, knowledge, or theory. The life He spoke of and the path He led were not gained through theory, through knowledge, through life experience, or through family upbringing. Rather, they were the direct work of the Spirit and of the incarnate flesh. It is because man has great notions of God, and particularly because these notions are made of too many elements of vagueness and the supernatural that, in the eyes of man, an ordinary God with human weakness, who cannot work signs and wonders, is assuredly not God. Are these not the erroneous notions of man? If the flesh of God incarnate was not a normal man, then how could He be said to have become flesh? To be of the flesh is to be an ordinary, normal man; if He had been a transcendent being, then He would not have been of the flesh. To prove that He is of the flesh, God incarnate needed to possess a normal flesh. This was simply to complete the significance of the incarnation. However, this was not the case for the prophets and sons of man. They were men gifted and used by the Holy Spirit; in the eyes of man, their humanity was particularly great, and they performed many acts that surpassed normal humanity. For this reason, man regarded them as God. Now you all must see through this clearly, for it has been the issue most easily confused by all men in ages past. Additionally, the incarnation is the most mysterious of all things, and God incarnate is the most difficult for man to accept. What I say is conducive to fulfilling your function and your understanding the mystery of the incarnation. This is all related to God’s management, to the vision. Your understanding of this will be more beneficial to gaining knowledge of the vision, that is, the management work. In this way, you will also gain much understanding of the duty that different kinds of men ought to perform. Though these words do not directly show you the way, they are still of great help to your entry, for your lives at present are much lacking in vision, and this will become a significant obstacle preventing your entry. If you have been unable to understand these issues, then there will be no motivation driving your entry. And how can such pursuit enable you to best fulfill your duty?
Excerpted from The Word Appears in the Flesh