A Selection From the Four Passages of God’s Word on “The Mystery of the Incarnation”

1. In the Age of Grace, John paved the way for Jesus. He could not do the work of God Himself and merely fulfilled the duty of man. Though John was the forerunner of the Lord, he could not represent God; he was only a man used by the Holy Spirit. Following the baptism of Jesus, “the Holy Spirit descended upon Him like a dove.” He then began His work, that is, He began to perform the ministry of Christ. That is why He assumed the identity of God, for He came from God. No matter the manner of His faith before this—perhaps sometimes it was weak, or sometimes it was strong—that was all His normal human life before He performed His ministry. After He was baptized (anointed), He immediately had the power and the glory of God with Him, and thus began to perform His ministry. He could work signs and wonders, perform miracles, He had power and authority, as He worked directly on behalf of God Himself; He did the work of the Spirit in His stead and expressed the voice of the Spirit; therefore He was God Himself. This is indisputable. John was used by the Holy Spirit. He could not represent God, and it was not possible for him to represent God. If he had wished to do so, the Holy Spirit would not have allowed it, for he could not do the work that God Himself intended to accomplish. Perhaps there was much in him that was of man’s will or deviation; under no circumstances could he directly represent God. His mistakes and erroneousness represented only himself, but his work was representative of the Holy Spirit. Yet, you cannot say that all of him represented God. Could his deviation and erroneousness represent God as well? To be erroneous in representing man is normal, but if he had deviation in representing God, then would that not be a dishonor to God? Would that not be blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit does not allow man to stand in God’s place at will, even if he is exalted by others. If he is not God, then he would be unable to remain standing in the end. The Holy Spirit does not allow man to represent God as man pleases! For instance, the Holy Spirit bore witness to John and also revealed him to be the one to pave the way for Jesus, but the work done in him by the Holy Spirit was well measured. All that was asked of John was to be the way-paver for Jesus, to prepare the way for Him. That is to say, the Holy Spirit only upheld his work in paving the way and allowed him only to do such work, no other. John represented Elijah, the prophet who paved the way. This was upheld by the Holy Spirit; as long as his work was to pave the way, the Holy Spirit upheld it. However, if he had laid claim to be God Himself and come to finish the work of redemption, the Holy Spirit must discipline him. However great the work of John, and be it upheld by the Holy Spirit, his work remained within boundaries. It is indeed true that his work was upheld by the Holy Spirit, but the power given him at the time was limited to his paving the way. He could not, at all, do any other work, for he was only John who paved the way, and not Jesus. Therefore, the testimony of the Holy Spirit is key, but the work man is permitted to do by the Holy Spirit is even more crucial.

from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

2. There are some who are possessed by evil spirits and persistently cry out, “I am God!” Yet in the end, they cannot remain standing, for they act on behalf of the wrong being. They represent Satan and the Holy Spirit pays them no attention. However highly you exalt yourself or however strongly you cry out, you are still a created being and one that belongs to Satan. I never cry out, I am God, I am the beloved Son of God! But the work I do is God’s work. Need I shout? There is no need for exaltation. God does His work Himself and does not need for man to accord Him a status or honorific title, and His work is sufficient to represent His identity and status. Prior to His baptism, was not Jesus God Himself? Was He not the incarnate flesh of God? Surely it cannot be said that He became the only Son of God only after He was testified to? Was there not a man by the name of Jesus long before He began His work? You cannot bring forth new paths or represent the Spirit. You cannot express the work of the Spirit or the words that He speaks. You cannot do the work of God Himself or that of the Spirit. You cannot express the wisdom, wonder, and unfathomableness of God, or all the disposition by which God chastises man. So your repeated claims to be God do not matter; you have only the name and none of the substance. God Himself has come, but none recognize Him, yet He continues on in His work and does so in representation of the Spirit. Whether you call Him man or God, the Lord or Christ, or call Her sister, it is all right. But the work He does is that of the Spirit and represents the work of God Himself. He does not care about the name by which man calls Him. Can that name determine His work? Regardless of what you call Him, from the perspective of God, He is the incarnate flesh of the Spirit of God; He represents the Spirit and is approved by Him. You cannot make way for a new age, and you cannot bring the old to an end and cannot usher in a new age or do new work. Therefore, you cannot be called God!

from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

3. Even a man who is used by the Holy Spirit cannot represent God Himself. And not only can this man not represent God, but his work cannot directly represent God. That is to say, the experience of man cannot be placed directly within the management of God, and it cannot represent the management of God. All the work that God Himself does is the work He intends to do in His own management plan and relates to the great management. The work done by man (man used by the Holy Spirit) supplies his individual experience. He finds a new path of experience from that walked by those before him and leads his brothers and sisters under guidance of the Holy Spirit. What these men supply is their individual experience or spiritual writings of spiritual men. Though they are used by the Holy Spirit, the work of such men is unrelated to the great management work in the six-thousand-year plan. They are merely raised up by the Holy Spirit in different periods to lead people in the stream of the Holy Spirit until they have fulfilled their function or their lives come to an end. The work they do is only to prepare an appropriate way for God Himself or to continue one item in the management of God Himself on earth. Such men are unable to do the greater work in His management, and they cannot open up new ways out, much less conclude all the work of God from the former age. Therefore, the work they do represents only a created being performing his function and cannot represent God Himself performing His ministry. This is because the work they do is unlike that done by God Himself. The work of ushering in a new age cannot be done by man in God’s place. It cannot be done by any other than God Himself. All the work done by man is performing his duty as one of creation and is done when moved or enlightened by the Holy Spirit. The guidance that such men provide is how to practice in man’s daily life and how man should act in harmony with the will of God. The work of man neither involves the management of God nor represents the work of the Spirit. … Therefore, since the work of the men used by the Holy Spirit is unlike the work done by God Himself, their identities and who they act on behalf of are likewise different. This is because the work the Holy Spirit intends to do is different, thereby according different identity and status to all those who work. The men used by the Holy Spirit may also do some work that is new and may also eliminate some work done in the former age, but their work cannot express the disposition and will of God in the new age. They work only to take away the work of the former age, not to do the new work to directly represent the disposition of God Himself. Thus, no matter how many outdated practices they abolish or new practices they introduce, they still represent man and created beings. When God Himself carries out work, however, He does not openly declare abolishment of practices of the old age or directly declare the commencement of a new age. He is direct and straightforward in His work. He is forthright in performing the work He intends; that is, He directly expresses the work He brought about, directly does His work as originally intended, expressing His being and disposition. As man sees it, His disposition and so too His work are unlike those in ages past. However, from the perspective of God Himself, this is merely a continuation and further development of His work. When God Himself works, He expresses His word and directly brings the new work. In contrast, when man works, it is through deliberation and study, or it is the development of knowledge and systematization of practice built upon the foundation of others’ work. That is to say, the essence of the work done by man is to keep to convention and to “walk old paths in new shoes.” This means that even the path walked by the men used by the Holy Spirit is built upon that opened up by God Himself. So man is after all man, and God is God.

from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

4. John was born by promise, and his name given by the angel. At the time, some wanted to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke out, saying, “This child cannot be called by that name. He should be called John.” This was all directed by the Holy Spirit. Then why was John not called God? The name of Jesus was also by the direction of the Holy Spirit, and He was born of the Holy Spirit, and by the promise of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was God, Christ, and the Son of man. The work of John was great as well, but why was he not called God? Exactly what was the difference between the work done by Jesus and that done by John? Was the only reason that John was the one who paved the way for Jesus? Or because it had been predestined by God? Though John also said, “Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” and preached too the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, his work was not in-depth and constituted merely a beginning. In contrast, Jesus ushered in a new age and brought the old to an end, but He also fulfilled the law of the Old Testament. The work He did was greater than that of John, and He did this stage of work to redeem all mankind. John simply prepared the way. Though his work was great, his words many, and those disciples who followed him numerous, his work did no more than bring to man a new beginning. Never did man receive from him life, the way, or deeper truths, and neither did they gain through him an understanding of the will of God. John was a great prophet (Elijah) who pioneered new ground for Jesus’ work and prepared the chosen; he was the forerunner for the Age of Grace. Such matters cannot be discerned simply by observing their normal human appearances. Especially, John did quite great work; moreover, he was born by the promise of the Holy Spirit, and his work was upheld by the Holy Spirit. As such, distinguishing between their respective identities can be done only through their work, for a man’s outward appearance is not telling of his substance, and man is unable to ascertain the true testimony of the Holy Spirit. The work done by John and that done by Jesus were not alike and of different natures. It is this that should determine whether or not he is God. The work of Jesus was to begin, continue, conclude, and accomplish. Each of these steps was carried out by Jesus, whereas the work of John was no more than that of a beginning. In the beginning, Jesus spread the gospel and preached the way of repentance, then went on to baptize man, heal sickness, and cast out demons. In the end, He redeemed mankind from sin and completed His work for the entire age. He preached to man and spread the gospel of the kingdom of heaven in all places. This was the same with John, with the difference being that Jesus ushered in a new age and brought the Age of Grace to man. From His mouth came the word on what man should practice and the way that man should follow in the Age of Grace, and in the end, He finished the work of redemption. Such work could never be carried out by John. And so, it was Jesus who did the work of God Himself, and it is He who is God Himself and directly represents God.

from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

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