In What Manner Will the Lord Appear to Man When He Comes Again?
Question: You have told us that the Lordhas returned and He’s been incarnated to do His work. We all know that the was the incarnation of God. Once His work was finished, He was crucified and resurrected, appearing to His disciples, and then ascended into heaven in His spiritual body. It’s just like it says in the , “You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). And so, this has all been confirmed in the biblical scripture. When the Lord comes again, it will be through His resurrected spiritual body that He appears to us. Why would God choose to be in the fleshly form of the Son of man in the last days to perform His judgment? So what is the difference between these two forms, the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus and the Son of man in the flesh?
Most followers of the Lord Jesus do believe that the Lord will reveal Himself in His spiritual body, that is, the spiritual body the Lord appeared in for forty days after His resurrection. We believers are clear about this. This spiritual body of the Lord Jesus, after He was resurrected, has the very same image He had when He became flesh, but the spiritual body is not constrained by the material world, time, or space. It has the ability to appear and disappear at will to mankind’s shock and amazement. Accounts of these times are in Scripture. Before it was time for the Lord Jesus to be crucified, He had been speaking and working within the normal humanity of the flesh. Whether He was expressing the truth, interacting with men, or performing miracles, everyone thought He was normal. And what people actually saw was His flesh truly doing His important work while suffering torment and paying the price. In the end, it was this flesh that was brutally crucified on the cross as the sin offering for mankind, thereby completing God’s redemptive work. This is widely acknowledged as fact.
If His spiritual body had done the work, could the Lord Jesus have held normal conversations with men? Could He have truly suffered the torment and paid the price for our sins? Could a spiritual body have been nailed to the cross? He couldn’t have done these things. If it were His spiritual body doing the work, could we humans interact with Him? Would we reveal our corruption? Would we form notions about Him? Would we dare to rebel and cast judgments on God? That would be impossible! All men are imbued with normal humanity, they are all subject to the constraints of the world, time, and space. And all men have a normal thought process. If man witnessed the work of the spiritual body, then they would be overwhelmed with fright and sent into a great panic. Their very thoughts would become crazed and maniacal. If God were faced with this situation, then salvation would be impossible. So working in the spiritual body is far less effective than working within the confines of a normal humanity. Throughout the ages, God’s chosen people have never experienced the work of God’s spiritual body. It certainly wouldn’t be suitable for God’s spiritual body to express the truth, directly communicate with man, or shepherd the churches.
God’s judgment work which comes in the last days uses the expression of God’s word to purify, save, and perfect mankind, but also its goal is to expose and eliminate human beings, dividing man according to their kinds, rewarding good and punishing evil. If God were to appear in His spiritual body, and all men good or evil were to bow down before Him, then how would He separate the good from the evil? Also, if God were to appear in His spiritual body, then mankind would fall into a panic and chaos start to spread. Then how would God continue His judgment of man in the last days? And if that were to happen, how would God make a group of followers that align with His will before the great disasters? So in the last days, God must take on a human form as the Son of man with normal humanity. This way, He can work and live in the human world and He can express truth to judge and purify mankind all in a practical manner, so that man may be freed from Satan’s influence, receive salvation from God and become of God. The incarnate Lord Jesus worked within His normal humanity in order to achieve mankind’s redemption. The Lord Jesus’ spiritual body only appeared to mankind just to prove that the Lord Jesus was the incarnation of God. This was done so that man’s faith would be strengthened. You see, His spiritual body was for appearing to man and not for doing the work.has to have normal humanity to be able to work amongst man and to achieve the redemption and salvation of mankind. So then if God wants to thoroughly save man through His judgment in the last days, He must become flesh and work in normal humanity to do it effectively. He certainly can’t appear in the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus to do His judgment in the last days. This is something that all believers of the Lord have to become clear on. Only by being incarnated to do His work can God purify and save man!
To gain an even greater understanding of the incarnation, let’s read something from
“Some things about the incarnate God are different from how humans imagine them: They are unseeable, untouchable, mysterious. If He is able to know something without being constrained by space or geography, then that is not the flesh but the spiritual body. After Jesus was nailed to the cross and then resurrected, He could pass through the door, but that was the resurrected Jesus. Jesus before the resurrection could not have passed through a wall; there is no way. He was constrained by space, geography, and time. That is the normal aspect of the flesh.” “Because the one who is judged is man, man who is of the flesh and has been corrupted, and it is not the spirit of Satan that is judged directly, the work of judgment is not carried out in the spiritual world, but among man. No one is more suitable, and qualified, than God in the flesh for the work of judging the corruption of man’s flesh. If judgment were carried out directly by the Spirit of God, then it would not be all-embracing. Furthermore, such work would be difficult for man to accept, for the Spirit is unable to come face-to-face with man, and because of this, the effects would not be immediate, much less would man be able to behold the unoffendable disposition of God more clearly. Satan can only be fully defeated if God in the flesh judges the corruption of mankind. … If this work were done by the Spirit of God, then it would not be victory over Satan. The Spirit is inherently more exalted than mortal beings, and the Spirit of God is inherently holy, and triumphant over the flesh. If the Spirit did this work directly, He would not be able to judge all of man’s disobedience, and could not reveal all of man’s unrighteousness. For the work of judgment is also carried out through man’s conceptions of God, and man has never had any conceptions of the Spirit, and so the Spirit is incapable of better revealing the unrighteousness of man, much less of completely disclosing such unrighteousness. The incarnate God is the enemy of all those who do not know Him. Through judging man’s conceptions and opposition to Him, He discloses all the disobedience of mankind. The effects of His work in the flesh are more apparent than those of the work of the Spirit. And so, the judgment of all mankind is not carried out directly by the Spirit, but is the work of the incarnate God.”
“Only through becoming flesh can He personally deliver His words to the ears of all so that all who have ears can hear His words and receive His work of judgment by the word. Only such is the result achieved by His word, rather than the emergence of the Spirit frightening man into submission. Only through such practical and extraordinary work can the old disposition of man, hidden deep within for many years, be fully revealed so that man may recognize it and have it changed. This is the practical work of God incarnate; He speaks and executes judgment in a practical manner to achieve the results of judgment upon man by the word. This is the authority of God incarnate and the significance of God’s incarnation.”
Almighty God’s word clearly explains the differences between God’s work performed in His spiritual body and as God incarnate. It also reveals the meaning of God’s work while in His incarnation. Despite the fact that the Lord Jesus’ spiritual body can appear to man and come face to face with them, that same spiritual body still seems unapproachable and mysterious, it stirs fear in man’s hearts to keep them at bay. Because the Lord’s spiritual body cannot interact with man normally, and cannot perform His work while living normally amongst men, He thus is incapable of saving all of mankind. However, God incarnate is different. He can interact with mankind in a practical way and He can water and supply man, just as the Lord Jesus could deliver the truth anytime and anywhere while He was still living among men. His disciples would always take the time to sit with Him, listen to His teachings and communicate with Him. They directly received His watering and shepherding. Whatever obstacles they faced, the Lord Jesus would help them find the right solution. They were blessed with the rich supply of life. They found God to be both pleasant and lovely. And thus they could truly love and obey God. It’s only when God chooses to become flesh among men that we have a chance to engage with, experience, and know God. Only at that point can we see God’s wonder, witness His wisdom and His practical salvation with our own eyes. You see, this shows the importance and value of the work of God incarnate. And the spiritual body simply cannot achieve this effect.
Only through returning as the Son of man and working within normal humanity will God be able to practically judge, conquer, and purify man. If the spiritual body of Lord Jesus came to work, He could not achieve nearly the same result. At first, when God becomes the Son of man to begin His judgment and purification of mankind, we humans will treat God as though He was an ordinary human, and that’s because we don’t know the incarnate God. We will form notions about God’s word and work; we’ll treat Christ without respect and disobey Him; we’ll speak in falsehoods, pass judgments on His work, and go so far as to condemn Him. The arrogance, rebelliousness, and resistance of us humans will make itself fully visible in the presence of Christ. It’s just as Almighty God says, “The corrupt disposition and rebellion and resistance of man are exposed when he sees Christ, and the rebellion and resistance exposed on such occasion are more absolute and complete than on any other. It is because Christ is the Son of man and possesses normal humanity that man neither honors nor respects Him. It is because God lives in the flesh that the rebellion of man is brought to light thoroughly and vividly. So I say that the coming of Christ has unearthed all the rebellion of mankind and has thrown the nature of mankind into sharp relief. This is called ‘luring a tiger down the mountain’ and ‘luring a wolf out of the cave.’” God judges, exposes, and deals with mankind according to the actual fact of their resistance. God’s work is practical and reveals man’s true nature. When faced with this evidence, those who can accept the truth will be thoroughly convinced enough to admit their own resistance and that they are rebellious against God. Also, they will come to know God’s holy, righteous, and unoffendable disposition, and they will all be able to accept God’s judgment by word submissively, so that they may be conquered and saved by God’s practical work. Just as Almighty God says, “The incarnate God is the enemy of all those who do not know Him. Through judging man’s conceptions and opposition to Him, He discloses all the disobedience of mankind. The effects of His work in the flesh are more apparent than those of the work of the Spirit. And so, the judgment of all mankind is not carried out directly by the Spirit, but is the work of the incarnate God. God in the flesh can be seen and touched by man, and God in the flesh can completely conquer man. In his relationship with God in the flesh, man progresses from opposition to obedience, from persecution to acceptance, from conception to knowledge, and from rejection to love. These are the effects of the work of the incarnate God. Man is only saved through the acceptance of His judgment, only gradually comes to know Him through the words of His mouth, is conquered by Him during his opposition to Him, and receives the life supply from Him during the acceptance of His chastisement. All of this work is the work of God in the flesh, and not the work of God in His identity as the Spirit.” So mankind will only have themselves thoroughly purified and achieve salvation, if the incarnation of God comes to implement His judgment in the last days.