Does God Have a Specific Gender? I Discover a New Interpretation (Part 1)
By Bao’en, Brazil
Editor’s Note: When it comes to the question, “Does God have a specific gender?” I believe that many Christians will say, “It is clearly recorded in the Bible that when the Lord Jesus was being baptized, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’ (Matthew 3:17). Also, when the Lord Jesus prayed, He called God in heaven His Father, and surely these words ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ prove that God is male.” Therefore, when we hear someone testifying that the Lord Jesus has returned and that He has incarnated into female form, many brothers and sisters cannot get their heads around it. They believe that the Lord Jesus was clearly male, so how could the second coming of the Lord be as a female? Brother Bao’en of Brazil used to cling to this view too, and it was only when he heard a sermon that he was able to come to a new interpretation on this matter …
Darkness Pervades My Spirit but I Find New Light in Online Gatherings
In spring 2014, I came to Brazil for business. I knew absolutely no one in Brazil, and just as I was feeling lost and helpless, the Lord Jesus’ salvation came to me. In 2017, I found a Chinese church and began to attend gatherings there every week. But after attending these gatherings for a while, I discovered that, besides preaching the way of helping each other and loving each other, the pastor just exhorted people to make donations. My spirit was not being provided for at all and my faith cooled significantly. Despite it being such a large church, therefore, only a dozen or so brothers and sisters would attend each gathering.
One day, one of my good friends on Facebook, Sister Chen, arranged with me to listen together to a sermon, and through attending this sermon I met Brother Xiao from Japan. Brother Xiao was very well-versed in the Bible, and he had an excellent understanding of it. He preached to us of the cause of the church’s desolation, and fellowshiped with us on the way the Lord will come to knock on our doors. He talked about such prophecies as “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7), and “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20), and fellowshiped that the Lord will utter His words and will use His words to knock at the doors to our hearts when He returns in the last days. Brother Xiao also read the parable of the ten virgins to us (see Matthew 25:1–13), and said that when we hear the news that the Lord has returned, then we must go actively seek it, for only those who can recognize God’s voice are the wise virgins. Besides this, Brother Xiao also said that when the Lord Jesus returns in the last days, He will perform a work whereby He will judge and purify man with words, thus precisely fulfilling such prophecies as “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17), and “He that rejects Me, and receives not My words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). The sermon Brother Xiao gave was fresh and illuminating, and I derived much enjoyment from it, and so I listened to him preach for five days straight.
I Hear That the Lord Has Returned but I Am Obstructed by Conceptions, and My Spirit Is Darkened
On the sixth day of our online gathering, Brother Xiao said to us, “Brothers and sisters, the Lord Jesus whom we have longed for for so long has returned as the incarnated Almighty God. God does not repeat His work. The first incarnation was a man, and now God has incarnated as a woman, but whether God incarnates as a man or a woman, His essence is always that of God Himself, and the work He performs is always the work of God Himself….” The moment I heard that God had now incarnated as a woman, I thought: “How could that be? It is clearly recorded in the Bible that, when the Lord Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan, the heavens opened and a voice spoke from heaven saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’ (Matthew 3:17). What’s more, when the Lord Jesus prayed, He called God in heaven His Father. Surely these words ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ refer to God as being male, so how can Brother Xiao say that the Lord has returned in a female incarnation? Moreover, there is no such prophecy in the Bible.” My heart was full of conflict as I thought this, and I wanted to hear no more. On the evening of the day after, Sister Chen asked me to attend another online gathering, but I came up with an excuse to turn her down, and I didn’t attend any more online gatherings.
Seeing that I was no longer attending online gatherings, my brothers and sisters became very worried, and they all sent me messages asking what was wrong and whether I had encountered any difficulty, but I did not respond to any of them. In the more than a month after I ceased all contact with my brothers and sisters, I was left unmoved in my prayers, and I felt darkness and pain in my spirit. In my helpless state, I prayed to the Lord: “O Lord! Have You truly returned? Is Almighty God Your second coming? O Lord! If Almighty God truly be Your second coming, then I ask that You guide me and enlighten me, and move the brothers and sisters to come again to give me fellowship. If Almighty God is not You who has returned, then I ask that You give me guidance….”
I Am Guided by God’s Love and Decide to Investigate
Afterward, the brothers and sisters continued to send me many messages, asking me to rely on God and seek God in all things, and if I had any difficulty to pray to God in earnest. I was moved by the love that came from God, and I thought: “These brothers and sisters and I only know each other because we all believe in God. Even though I’ve been deliberately ignoring them, they are still so loving, and who could be like this without the work of the Holy Spirit? What’s more, if Almighty God truly is the Lord Jesus returned, will I not be abandoned by God if I continue to reject Him and not seek Him?” I thought of the time I had been in contact with my brothers and sisters. The sermons they gave all tallied with the Lord’s words, they were all illuminating and were very beneficial to my life, and I felt clearly the work of the Holy Spirit whenever I attended gatherings with them. The Lord Jesus teaches us: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3), and “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). The Lord Jesus asks that we seek with open hearts, for only people who do that can obtain the enlightenment and guidance of God and be blessed by God. And yet I had avoided my brothers and sisters simply because I couldn’t get my head around this one issue of God’s gender—was I not being too rigid? As I pondered these things, I felt remorse and self-reproach, and I decided to continue to seek and investigate Almighty God’s work of the last days.
God Is the Sovereign of All Things, so Could It Be That His Work Must Be Based in Prophecy?
And so, I continued to listen to sermons online, and I spoke about what was perplexing me. “Brother, you testify that the Lord Jesus has returned and that He has incarnated as a woman. Is there a biblical basis for this?” Brother Xiao said, “Brother, does God’s work need any biblical basis? Can God not work without a biblical basis? God created the heavens and the earth and all things, He destroyed the world with flood and Sodom with fire and so on, but were all these works based on prophecy? We all know perfectly well that they were not. God is the Creator and He works according to His plan to manage the salvation of mankind and according to our needs as corrupt mankind. He is not constrained in the least by any person, event or thing, much less is He restricted by biblical prophecy. God performs His work whether there is a prophecy in the Bible about it or not. In the Age of Law, for example, God inspired Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, and He used Moses to issue His law and commandments and so on, and God did not prophesy these works in advance. In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus expressed the way of ‘Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’ (Matthew 4:17), He performed miracles and He healed the sick and cast out demons, and there was no prophecy about these works in the Bible either. Therefore, it is not necessary either for God being incarnated in the last days as a woman to have been prophesied in advance. God is the Creator, He is the Sovereign of all things, and He has every right to go beyond the Bible to perform His work. In respect to this issue, let’s read God’s words and then we’ll understand it better. Almighty God says, ‘Does doctrine need to be applied to the work of God? And must God work according to the foretelling of prophets? After all, which is greater: God or the Bible? Why must God work according to the Bible? Could it be that God has no right to exceed the Bible? Can God not depart from the Bible and do other work? Why did Jesus and His disciples not keep the Sabbath? If He were to keep the Sabbath and practice according to the commandments of the Old Testament, why did Jesus not keep the Sabbath after He came, but instead washed feet, covered head, broke bread, and drank wine? Is this not all absent from the commandments of the Old Testament? If Jesus honored the Old Testament, why did He break with these doctrines? You should know which came first, God or the Bible! Being the Lord of the Sabbath, could He not also be the Lord of the Bible?’ (‘Concerning the Bible (1)’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“We can understand from the words of Almighty God that God does not follow any rule nor any limitation in His work, for He is the Lord of the Sabbath, the Lord of the Bible and the Lord of all created beings, and that we as corrupt mankind are unqualified to demand that God give us prophecies in advance about any work He might perform. In fact, even when God’s work is preceded by a prophecy, if we persist in clinging to our own conceptions, if we do not have a heart that thirsts for and seeks the truth and we do not investigate God’s work and words, then we will never know God. Take the Pharisees at the time of Jesus, for example. They knew very well that there was a prophecy that said, ‘To us a son is given’ (Isaiah 9:6), so why did they still crucify the Lord Jesus upon the cross? The reason is because the Pharisees were too arrogant and self-righteous, their nature was one that hated the truth and was sick of the truth, and they had no God-fearing heart whatsoever. The Pharisees went by their understanding of the literal meaning of the prophecy and clung tightly to their own notions and imaginings. They believed that the Lord Jesus was not the Messiah and, because He had not been born in a palace to a noble family and because He did not appear tall and strong, that He could not be God Himself, and they therefore frantically resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus. In the end, they crucified the Lord Jesus upon the cross, thus offending God’s disposition and incurring the punishment and imprecation of God. So, were the Pharisees not brought to ruin by their own notions and imaginings? Those disciples who followed the Lord Jesus, however, had not compared the prophetic words of the Old Testament to the words and work of Jesus, but instead had focused on hearing the Lord’s words, and in the work and words of Jesus they recognized that He was indeed the Messiah who had been foretold, and thus they followed the Lord. Therefore, if we want to know God and accept God’s new work, then we must take no thought to whether or not God’s work has any biblical basis to it, but instead what is key is whether or not we can seek the truth with an open heart and focus on hearing the voice of God, for if we can seek and investigate with such a heart as this, then God will enlighten and guide us to welcome the Lord’s return.”
After listening to the words of Almighty God and the brother’s fellowship, I felt my heart stir, and I thought: “Yes! How could God’s work be limited by prophecy? God created the heavens, the earth, and all things, He used Moses to proclaim the commandments and the law, and the Lord Jesus performed miracles, healed the sick and cast out demons, and none of this was prophesied. Even if there were prophecies concerning these things in the Bible, it wouldn’t do for us not to seek the truth. For example, the Old Testament prophesied that the Messiah would come, and yet the Pharisees adhered only to the letter of the prophecy, they clung to their own notions and imaginings and did not accept the Lord Jesus’ work and words. In the end, they crucified the Lord upon the cross, and thus they lost utterly the salvation of God. It seems that our ability to welcome the Lord does not rest on whether or not there is a biblical basis to His coming, but on whether or not we possess a truth-seeking heart.”