Does God Have a Specific Gender? I Discover a New Interpretation (Part 2)
By Bao’en, Brazil
The Mystery of “the Father and the Son” Is Finally Revealed
Although I had come to understand this truth, I still wasn’t entirely clear on why God had incarnated as a woman in the last days, and so I asked, “Brother, it is recorded in Matthew chapter 3 verse 17 that, when the Lord Jesus was baptized, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ Also, when the Lord Jesus prayed, He called God in heaven His Father. The gender of ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ is male, and so this proves that God is male. So how can the Lord Jesus return as a female? I don’t understand this issue, so I wondered if you could fellowship with me about this?”
After listening to me speak, the brother said patiently, “We determine that God is male based on these few verses from the Bible, but is this not an arbitrary assertion? Is this a correct deduction to make? Has God ever said such a thing in the Bible? Has the Holy Spirit? This is an issue which many people, in fact, do not thoroughly understand, but we’ll understand it once we have read the words of Almighty God. God says, ‘When Jesus called God in heaven by the name of Father as He prayed, this was done only from the perspective of a created man, only because the Spirit of God had put on an ordinary and normal flesh and had the exterior cover of a created being. Even if within Him was the Spirit of God, His exterior appearance was still that of a normal man; in other words, He had become the “Son of man” of which all men, including Jesus Himself, spoke. Given that He is called the Son of man, He is a person (whether man or woman, in any case one with the exterior shell of a human being) born into a normal family of ordinary people. Therefore, Jesus calling God in heaven by the name of Father was the same as how you at first called Him Father; He did so from the perspective of a created man’ (‘Does the Trinity Exist?’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘There are still those who say, “Did not God expressly state that Jesus was His beloved Son?” Jesus is the beloved Son of God, in whom He is well pleased—this was certainly spoken by God Himself. That was God bearing witness to Himself, but merely from a different perspective, that of the Spirit in heaven bearing witness to His own incarnation. Jesus is His incarnation, not His Son in heaven. Do you understand? Do not the words of Jesus, “I am in the Father, and the Father in Me,” indicate that They are one Spirit? And is it not because of the incarnation that They were separated between heaven and earth? In reality, They are still one; no matter what, it is simply God bearing witness to Himself’ (‘Does the Trinity Exist?’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“From God’s words, we can see that the Lord Jesus called God in heaven His Father because the Lord Jesus was God incarnate, and because He appeared from the outside to be just the same as an ordinary person, and therefore He addressed God from the perspective of a created man; this also embodied the humility and obedience of God in the flesh. God in heaven called the Lord Jesus His ‘beloved Son,’ which was God testifying to the Lord Jesus being the incarnation of God from the perspective of the Spirit. Because this was God’s first time appearing and working in the world in the flesh, no one knew Christ and they all treated the Lord Jesus as though He were just an ordinary man. God forgave man for their small statures and, in order to make people understand clearly that the Lord Jesus had come from God and to make them better able to accept the Lord Jesus’ guidance, He testified that the Lord Jesus was His beloved Son. This did not mean, however, that the Lord Jesus was the Son of God, and it did not refer to the gender of God. We cannot, therefore, delimit God as male based on the facts that the Lord Jesus called God in heaven His Father in His prayers, or that God in heaven called the Lord Jesus His beloved Son. It says clearly in the Bible that ‘So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them’ (Genesis 1:27). God made both men and women in His image, so if we delimit God as male, how then do we explain how God made women? God is, in fact, Spirit, and there has never been any distinction of gender with Him. The incarnation of God is the Spirit of God clothing Himself in flesh and becoming a normal, ordinary person. The Lord Jesus was male, and this time God has incarnated as female; the words ‘male’ and ‘female’ are spoken only in reference to the flesh which God clothes Himself in, and are not spoken in reference to the Spirit of God. And yet we do not understand this mystery, but instead we define God as being male by relying on our own imaginings—are we not blaspheming against God by doing this?” I nodded silently and thought to myself: “So it turns out that the words ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ do not refer to God’s gender but are just ways God addresses His flesh and His Spirit from different perspectives. It looks as though, if we take God’s words at face value, then we really won’t be able to understand them, and we must seek God’s will in all earnestness.”
Upon Understanding the Significance of the Lord’s Return in Female Form, I Feel Much Guilt
Brother Xiao then continued, saying, “God is supreme, He is great, and He is wondrous and unfathomable. When we rely on our own notions and imaginings to delimit God, we rebel against and defy God! By taking the form of a woman as His incarnation in the last days, God launches a tremendous counterattack against our conceptions, thereby remedying our fallacious understanding of the gender of God incarnate. We’ll understand this better after we’ve read another passage of God’s words. Almighty God says, ‘Each stage of work done by God has its own practical significance. Back then, when Jesus came, He was male, and when God comes this time, He is female. From this, you can see that God created both male and female for the sake of His work, and with Him there is no distinction of gender. When His Spirit comes, He can take on any flesh He pleases, and that flesh can represent Him; whether male or female, it can represent God as long as it is His incarnate flesh. If Jesus had appeared as a female when He came, in other words, if an infant girl, and not a boy, had been conceived by the Holy Spirit, that stage of work would have been completed all the same. If that had been the case, then the present stage of work would have to be completed by a male instead, but the work would be completed all the same. The work done in either stage is equally significant; neither stage of work is repeated, nor does it conflict with the other. … With God there is no distinction of gender. He does His work as He wishes, and in doing His work He is not subject to any restrictions, but is especially free. Yet every stage of work has its own practical significance. God became flesh twice, and it is self-evident that His incarnation during the last days is the final time. He has come to make known all His deeds. If in this stage He did not become flesh in order personally to do work for man to witness, man would forever cling to the notion that God is only male, not female’ (‘The Two Incarnations Complete the Significance of the Incarnation’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“God’s words are very clear: God is Spirit and with Him there is no distinction of gender. The reason why God took different genders in His two incarnations is based on the needs of His work, and it was done to better save mankind. Whether God incarnates as a man or a woman, however, it is always the physical realization of the Spirit of God, it is Christ, and the work He performs is always the work of God. When the Lord Jesus came and appeared and worked in the world in male form, for example, He brought the Age of Law to a close and began the Age of Grace, He expressed the truth of mankind’s redemption and revealed God’s disposition of mercy and lovingkindness. The Lord Jesus also performed many miracles, such as feeding the five thousand with five loaves and two fish, calming the winds and the sea with a word, and bringing the dead back to life until, in the end, the Lord Jesus was crucified upon the cross, thus redeeming mankind from the clutches of Satan. We can see that all the things the Lord Jesus did were entirely divine work and that He was God Himself. Similarly, Christ of the last days—Almighty God—has appeared to perform His work in female form. From the outside, God’s incarnation appears normal and ordinary, and yet Almighty God has brought the Age of Grace to an end and has begun the Age of Kingdom, and He expresses His words and has uncovered all truths and mysteries, such as the mystery of God incarnate appearing to perform His work, the mystery of God’s three stages of work, the mystery of God’s name, the inside story and actual truth about the Bible, and the end and destination for mankind, and so on. Almighty God also expresses His disposition of righteousness and majesty, and He uses His words to judge our sins, to expose our corruption and injustice, to show us the path to attain salvation and be purified, and to finally lead us into our beautiful destination. Only the incarnate God can perform this work—not one amongst corrupt mankind can do it—and from the work performed by Almighty God, we can be absolutely certain that Almighty God is indeed God Himself.
“Moreover, God has incarnated as a woman in the last days in order to dispel our prejudiced understanding of God’s gender, and so that we come to recognize that the incarnation of God can be both male and female. God is not just the God of men, but is the God of women also; God does not just save men, but saves women also. By understanding this, we will no longer delimit God by relying on our own notions and imaginings. We can truly see from this that God incarnating as a woman in the last days is indeed so meaningful!”
By listening to the words of Almighty God and the fellowships given by Brother Xiao, I came to understand that God is Spirit and that, with Him, there is no distinction of gender. Only because of the needs of His work does He clothe Himself in flesh to perform His work. Whether God incarnates as a man or a woman, however, in essence it is always the Spirit of God performing the work of God Himself. I thought about how I had not known Christ and about how I had delimited God by relying on my own imaginings. When I heard that the Lord Jesus had returned and had appeared to perform His work in female form, conceptions arose in my heart, and I refused to seek or investigate God’s words and work—I really had been so blind! And so, I came before God to pray: “O God! I have delimited You and resisted You by relying on my notions and imaginings, but through the brothers and sisters reading Your words to me and patiently giving me fellowship, You have enabled me to understand the truth and to relinquish my conceptions, and You have led me back into Your presence. O God! I give thanks to You!”
My Conceptions Are Dispelled and I Keep Pace With the Footsteps of the Lamb
Later, Brother Xiao gave me fellowship on such truths as the inside story and aims of God’s three stages of work, the mystery of God’s name, the mystery of God’s incarnation appearing to perform His work, and so on. After listening to his fellowship, I became even more certain that Almighty God is the truth, the way and the life, and that Almighty God is indeed the Lord Jesus returned! At the same time, by reflecting on my attitude toward God’s work of the last days, I truly came to see that I had been no different from the Pharisees. I had clung blindly to my notions and imaginings, I had not accepted nor sought the truths God expresses, and I had rebelled against and defied God. I felt so guilty and remorseful.
After I accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days, I began to actively attend gatherings and, through interacting with my brothers and sisters, I saw that they were so warm and loving in their treatment of other people and that they fellowshiped the truth in such an illuminating way—The Church of Almighty God was like a big, warm family. I came to profoundly appreciate that my being able to receive God’s salvation in the last days was entirely due to God’s great love for me. The Lord Jesus said, “Seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7), and I came to understand the real meaning of these words: At the critical time of welcoming the coming of the Lord, it is so important to have a heart that both thirsts for and seeks the truth.
Thanks be to God for allowing me to receive His salvation in the last days in this foreign country—this is my blessing. From now on, I will read God’s words more, fellowship with my brothers and sisters more, arm myself more with the truth and perform my duty well in order to repay God’s love.