5. The Notion of the Religious World That: “The God That The Church of Almighty God Believes in Is a Regular Human Being”
Pastors and elders in the religious world spread a rumor that The Church of Almighty God believes in a regular human being, not God.
Words From the Bible
“Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known Me, Philip? he that has seen Me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father? Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? the words that I speak to you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwells in Me, He does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake” (John 14:9–11).
“I and My Father are one” (John 10:30).
“For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in His day. But first must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation” (Luke 17:24–25).
“I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:12–13).
“He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7).
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears My voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).
Words of Almighty God of the Last Days
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
He who is God incarnate shall possess the essence of God, and He who is God incarnate shall possess the expression of God. Since God becomes flesh, He shall bring forth the work He intends to do, and since God becomes flesh, He shall express what He is, and shall be able to bring the truth to man, bestow life upon him, and point the way for him. Flesh that does not have the essence of God is decidedly not the incarnate God; of this there is no doubt. If man intends to inquire into whether it is God’s incarnate flesh, then he must corroborate this from the disposition He expresses and the words He speaks. Which is to say, to corroborate whether or not it is God’s incarnate flesh, and whether or not it is the true way, one must discriminate on the basis of His essence. And so, in determining whether it is the flesh of God incarnate, the key lies in His essence (His work, His utterances, His disposition, and many other aspects), rather than external appearance. If man scrutinizes only His external appearance, and as a result overlooks His essence, this shows that man is benighted and ignorant. External appearance cannot determine essence; what’s more, the work of God can never conform to the notions of man. Did not Jesus’ outward appearance run counter to the notions of man? Were not His countenance and dress unable to provide any clues as to His true identity? Did not the earliest Pharisees oppose Jesus precisely because they merely looked at His external appearance, and did not take to heart the words in His mouth? It is My hope that each and every brother and sister who seeks the appearance of God will not repeat the tragedy of history. You must not become the Pharisees of modern times and nail God to the cross again. You should carefully consider how to welcome the return of God, and you should have a clear mind regarding how to be someone who submits to the truth. This is the responsibility of everyone who is waiting for Jesus to return riding upon a cloud. We should rub our spiritual eyes to make them clear, and not become mired in words of exaggerated fantasy. We should think about the practical work of God, and take a look at the practical aspect of God. Do not get carried away or lose yourselves in daydreams, always longing for the day when the Lord Jesus, riding upon a cloud, suddenly descends among you, and takes you who have never known or seen Him, and who do not know how to do His will. It is better to think upon more practical matters!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Preface
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. If, during His first coming, God had not possessed normal humanity before the age of twenty-nine—if as soon as He was born He could work miracles, if as soon as He learned to speak He could speak the language of heaven, if the moment He first set foot upon the earth He could apprehend all worldly matters, discern every person’s thoughts and intentions—such a person could not have been called a normal man, and such flesh could not have been called human flesh. If this were the case with Christ, then the meaning and the essence of God’s incarnation would be lost. That He possesses normal humanity proves that He is God incarnated in the flesh; the fact that He undergoes a normal human growth process further demonstrates that He is a normal flesh; moreover, His work is sufficient proof that He is God’s Word, God’s Spirit, become flesh. God becomes flesh because of the needs of His work; in other words, this stage of work must be done in the flesh, it must be performed in normal humanity. This is the prerequisite for “the Word become flesh,” for “the Word’s appearance in the flesh,” and it is the true story behind God’s two incarnations.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God
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
You must know how to differentiate God’s work from the work of man. What can you see in the work of man? There are many elements of man’s experience in his work; what man expresses is what he is. God’s own work also expresses what He is, but His being is different from man’s. Man’s being represents man’s experience and life (what man experiences or encounters in his life, or the philosophies for living he has), and people living in different environments express different beings. Whether you have experiences of society and how you actually live in your family and experience within it can be seen in what you express, whereas you cannot see in the work of God incarnate whether He has social experiences. He is well aware of the substance of man and can reveal all kinds of practices pertaining to all kinds of people. He is even better at revealing the corrupt dispositions and the rebellious behavior of humans. He does not live among worldly people, but He is aware of the nature of mortals and all the corruptions of worldly people. This is His being. Though He does not deal with the world, He knows the rules of dealing with the world, because He understands human nature fully. He knows about the Spirit’s work that man’s eyes cannot see and man’s ears cannot hear, both of today and of the past. This includes wisdom that is not a philosophy for living and wonders that are hard for people to fathom. This is His being, open to people and also hidden from people. What He expresses is not the being of an extraordinary person, but the inherent attributes and being of the Spirit. He does not travel the world but knows everything of it. He contacts the “anthropoids” who have no knowledge or insight, but He expresses words that are higher than knowledge and above great men. He lives within a group of obtuse and numb people who are without humanity and who do not understand the conventions and life of humanity, but He can ask mankind to live out normal humanity, at the same time revealing the base and low humanity of mankind. All this is His being, higher than the being of any flesh-and-blood person. For Him, it is unnecessary to experience a complicated, cumbersome, and sordid social life to do the work He needs to do and reveal the substance of corrupt mankind thoroughly. A sordid social life does not edify His flesh. His work and words only reveal man’s disobedience and do not provide man with experience and lessons for dealing with the world. He does not need to investigate society or man’s family when He supplies man with life. Exposing and judging man is not an expression of the experiences of His flesh; it is His revelation of man’s unrighteousness after having known man’s disobedience for a long time and abhorring mankind’s corruption. The work He does is all meant to reveal His disposition to man and to express His being. Only He can do this work; it is not something a flesh-and-blood person could achieve. From His work, man cannot tell what kind of person He is. Man is also unable to classify Him as a created person on the basis of His work. His being also makes Him unclassifiable as a created person. Man can only consider Him a non-human, but does not know in which category to put Him, so man is forced to list Him in the category of God. It is not unreasonable for man to do so, for God has done much work among people that man is unable to do.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Work
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.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Essence of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father
This time around, God comes to do work not in a spiritual body, but in a very ordinary one. Moreover, not only is it the body of God’s second incarnation, it is also the body through which God returns to the flesh. It is a very ordinary flesh. You cannot see anything that makes Him stand out from others, but you can gain from Him previously unheard-of truths. This insignificant flesh is what embodies all the words of truth from God, undertakes God’s work in the last days, and expresses the whole of God’s disposition for man to understand. Do you not desire greatly to see the God in heaven? Do you not desire greatly to understand the God in heaven? Do you not desire greatly to see the destination of mankind? He will tell you all these secrets—secrets that no man has been able to tell you, and He will also tell you of the truths that you do not understand. He is your gate into the kingdom, and your guide into the new age. Such an ordinary flesh holds many unfathomable mysteries. His deeds may be inscrutable to you, but the entire goal of the work He does is sufficient enough to allow you to see that He is not, as people believe, a simple flesh. For He represents the will of God and the care shown by God toward mankind in the last days. Though you cannot hear His words seeming to shake the heavens and earth, though you cannot see His eyes as a flame of fire, and though you cannot receive the discipline of His iron rod, nevertheless you can hear from His words that God is wrathful and know that God is showing compassion for mankind; you can see the righteous disposition of God and His wisdom, and, moreover, realize God’s solicitude for all mankind. The work of God in the last days is to allow man to see the God in heaven living among men on earth, and to enable man to know, obey, fear, and love God. This is why He has returned to the flesh for a second time. Though what man sees this day is a God that is the same as man, a God with a nose and two eyes, and an unremarkable God, in the end, God will show you that if this man did not exist, heaven and earth would undergo a tremendous change; if this man did not exist, the heavens would grow dim, the earth would be plunged into chaos, and all mankind would live amid famine and plagues. He will show you that if God incarnate did not come to save you in the last days, then God would have long ago destroyed all mankind in hell; if this flesh did not exist, then you would forever be arch-sinners, and you would be corpses evermore. You should know that if this flesh did not exist, all mankind would face an ineluctable calamity and find it impossible to escape the even more severe punishment that God metes out to mankind in the last days. Had this ordinary flesh not been born, you would all be in a state where you beg for life without being able to live and pray for death without being able to die; if this flesh did not exist, then you would not be able to gain the truth and come before the throne of God today, but rather, you would be punished by God because of your grievous sins. Did you know that were it not for the return of God to the flesh, none would have a chance at salvation; and were it not for the coming of this flesh, God would have long ago put an end to the age of old? This being so, are you still able to reject the second incarnation of God? Since you can derive so many benefits from this ordinary man, why would you not gladly accept Him?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Did You Know? God Has Done a Great Thing Among Men
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