God became flesh because the object of His work is not the spirit of Satan, or any incorporeal thing, but man, who is of the flesh and has been corrupted by Satan. It is precisely because the flesh of man has been corrupted that God has made fleshly man the object of His work; moreover, because man is the object of corruption, He has made man the only object of His work throughout all the stages of His salvation work. Man is a mortal being, is of flesh and blood, and God is the only One who can save man. In this way, God must become a flesh that possesses the same attributes as man in order to do His work, so that His work might achieve better effects. God must become flesh to do His work precisely because man is of the flesh, and incapable of overcoming sin or divesting himself of the flesh. Though the substance and identity of God incarnate differ greatly from the substance and identity of man, yet His appearance is identical to that of man, He has the appearance of a normal person, and leads the life of a normal person, and those who see Him can discern no difference to a normal person. This normal appearance and normal humanity are sufficient for Him to do His divine work in normal humanity. His flesh allows Him to do His work in normal humanity, and helps Him do His work among man, and His normal humanity, moreover, helps Him carry out the work of salvation among man. Although His normal humanity has caused much tumult among man, such tumult has not impacted the normal effects of His work. In short, the work of His normal flesh is of supreme benefit to man. Though most people do not accept His normal humanity, His work can still be effective, and these effects are achieved thanks to His normal humanity. Of this there is no doubt. From His work in the flesh, man gains ten times or dozens of times more things than the conceptions that exist among man about His normal humanity, and such conceptions shall all ultimately be swallowed by His work. And the effect that His work has achieved, which is to say, the knowledge that man has toward Him, far outnumbers man’s conceptions about Him. There is no way to imagine or measure the work He does in the flesh, for His flesh is unlike that of any fleshly man; although the outer shell is identical, the substance is not the same. His flesh produces many conceptions among man about God, yet His flesh can also allow man to acquire much knowledge, and can even conquer any man possessed of a similar outer shell. For He is not merely a man, but is God with the outer shell of a man, and none can completely fathom or understand Him. An invisible and intangible God is loved and welcomed by all. If God is just a Spirit that is invisible to man, it is so easy for man to believe in God. Man can give free rein to his imagination, can choose whatever image he likes as God’s image to please himself and make himself feel happy. In this way, man may do whatever his own God most likes and wishes for him to do, without any scruples. What’s more, man believes that no one is more loyal and devout than he toward God, and that all others are Gentile dogs, and disloyal to God. It can be said that this is what is sought by those whose belief in God is vague and based on doctrine; what they seek is all much the same, with little variation. It is merely that the images of God in their imaginations are different, yet their substance is actually the same.
Man is untroubled by his carefree belief in God, and believes in God however he pleases. This is one of the “rights and freedoms of man,” which no one can interfere, for man believes in his own God and not the God of anyone else; it is his own private property, and almost everyone possesses this kind of private property. Man regards this property as a precious treasure, but to God there is nothing more lowly or worthless, for there is no clearer indication of opposition to God than this private property of man. It is because of the work of God incarnate that God becomes a flesh who has a tangible form, and who can be seen and touched by man. He is not a formless Spirit, but a flesh that can be contacted and seen by man. However, most of the Gods people believe in are fleshless deities that are formless, which are also of a free form. In this way, the incarnate God has become the enemy of most of those who believe in God, and those who cannot accept the fact of God’s incarnation have, similarly, become the adversaries of God. Man is possessed of conceptions not because of his way of thinking, or because of his rebelliousness, but because of this private property of man. It is because of this property that most people die, and it is this vague God that cannot be touched, cannot be seen, and does not exist in fact that ruins man’s life. Man’s life is forfeited not by the incarnate God, much less by the God of heaven, but by the God of man’s own imagining. The only reason that the incarnate God has come into the flesh is because of the needs of corrupt man. It is because of the needs of man but not of God, and all His sacrifices and sufferings are for the sake of mankind, and not for the benefit of God Himself. There are no pros and cons or rewards for God; He shall not reap some future harvest, but that which was originally owed to Him. All that He does and sacrifices for mankind is not so that He might gain great rewards, but purely for the sake of mankind. Though God’s work in the flesh involves many unimaginable difficulties, the effects that it ultimately achieves far exceed those of the work done directly by the Spirit. The work of the flesh entails much hardship, and the flesh cannot possess the same great identity as the Spirit, cannot carry out the same supernatural deeds as the Spirit, much less can He possess the same authority as the Spirit. Yet the substance of the work done by this unremarkable flesh is far superior to that of the work done directly by the Spirit, and this flesh Himself is the answer to all of man’s needs. For those to be saved, the use value of the Spirit is far inferior to that of the flesh: The work of the Spirit is able to cover the entire universe, across all mountains, rivers, lakes, and oceans, yet the work of the flesh more effectively relates to every person with whom He has contact. What’s more, God’s flesh with tangible form can better be understood and trusted by man, and can further deepen man’s knowledge of God, and can leave upon man a more profound impression of the actual deeds of God. The work of the Spirit is shrouded in mystery, it is difficult for mortal beings to fathom, and even harder for them to see, and so they can only rely on hollow imaginings. The work of the flesh, however, is normal, and based on reality, and possessed of rich wisdom, and is a fact that can be beheld by the physical eye of man; man can personally experience the wisdom of the work of God, and has no need to employ his bountiful imagination. This is the accuracy and real value of the work of God in the flesh. The Spirit can only do things that are invisible to man and difficult for him to imagine, for example the enlightenment of the Spirit, the moving of the Spirit, and the guidance of the Spirit, but for man who has a mind, these do not provide any clear meaning. They only provide a moving, or a broad meaning, and cannot give an instruction with words. The work of God in the flesh, however, is greatly different: It has accurate guidance of words, has clear will, and has clear required goals. And so man does not need to grope around, or employ his imagination, much less make guesses. This is the clarity of the work in the flesh, and its great difference from the work of the Spirit. The work of the Spirit is only suitable for a limited scope, and cannot replace the work of the flesh. The work of the flesh gives man far more exact and necessary goals and far more real, valuable knowledge than the work of the Spirit. The work that is of greatest value to corrupt man is that which provides accurate words, clear goals to pursue, and which can be seen and touched. Only realistic work and timely guidance are suited to man’s tastes, and only real work can save man from his corrupt and depraved disposition. This can only be achieved by the incarnate God; only the incarnate God can save man from his formerly corrupt and depraved disposition. Although the Spirit is the inherent substance of God, work such as this can only be done by His flesh. If the Spirit worked single-handedly, then it would not be possible for His work to be effective—this is a plain truth. Though most people have become the enemies of God because of this flesh, when He concludes His work, those who are against Him will not only cease to be His enemies, but on the contrary will become His witnesses. They will become the witnesses that have been conquered by Him, witnesses that are compatible with Him and inseparable from Him. He shall cause man to know the importance of His work in the flesh to man, and man shall know the importance of this flesh to the meaning of man’s existence, shall know His real value to the growth of man’s life, and, moreover, shall know that this flesh will become a living fountain of life from which man cannot bear to part. Though the incarnate flesh of God is far from matching God’s identity and position, and seems to man to be incompatible with His actual status, this flesh, who does not possess the true image of God, or the true identity of God, can do the work that God’s Spirit is unable to do directly. Such is the true significance and value of God’s incarnation, and it is this significance and value which man is unable to appreciate and acknowledge. Though all men look up to God’s Spirit and look down on God’s flesh, irrespective of how they view or think, the real significance and value of the flesh far exceed those of the Spirit. Of course, this is only with regard to the corrupt mankind. For everyone who seeks the truth and longs for the appearance of God, the Spirit’s work can only provide moving or revelation, and a sense of wondrousness that it is inexplicable and unimaginable, and a sense that it is great, transcendent, and admirable, yet also unattainable and unobtainable to all. Man and the Spirit of God can only look upon each other from afar, as if there is a great distance between them, and they can never be alike, as if separated by an invisible divide. In fact, this is an illusion given to man by the Spirit, which is because the Spirit and man are not of the same kind, and the Spirit and man shall never coexist in the same world, and because the Spirit possesses nothing of man. So man does not have need of the Spirit, for the Spirit cannot directly do the work most needed by man. The work of the flesh offers man real objectives to pursue, clear words, and a sense that He is real and normal, that He is humble and ordinary. Although man may fear Him, for most people He is easy to relate to: Man can behold His face, and hear His voice, and does not need to look at Him from afar. This flesh feels approachable to man, not distant, or unfathomable, but visible and touchable, for this flesh is in the same world as man.
For all of those who live in the flesh, changing their disposition requires goals to pursue, and knowing God requires witnessing the real deeds and the real face of God. Both can only be achieved by God’s incarnate flesh, and both can only be accomplished by the normal and real flesh. This is why the incarnation is necessary, and why it is needed by all corrupt mankind. Since people are required to know God, the images of the vague and supernatural Gods must be dispelled from their hearts, and since they are required to cast off their corrupt disposition, they must first know their corrupt disposition. If only man does the work so as to dispel the images of the vague Gods from people’s hearts, then he will fail to achieve the proper effect. The images of the vague Gods in people’s hearts cannot be exposed, cast off, or completely expelled by words alone. In doing so, ultimately it would still not be possible to dispel these deep-rooted things from people. Only the practical God and the true image of God can replace these vague and supernatural things to allow people to gradually know them, and only in this way can the due effect be achieved. Man recognizes that the God whom he sought in times past is vague and supernatural. That which can achieve this effect is not the direct leadership of the Spirit, much less the teachings of a certain individual, but the incarnate God. The conceptions of man are laid bare when the incarnate God officially does His work, because the normality and reality of the incarnate God is the antithesis of the vague and supernatural God in man’s imagination. The original conceptions of man can only be revealed through their contrast to the incarnate God. Without the comparison to the incarnate God, the conceptions of man could not be revealed; in other words, without the contrast of reality the vague things could not be revealed. No one is capable of using words to do this work, and no one is capable of articulating this work using words. Only God Himself can do His own work, and no one else can do this work on His behalf. No matter how rich the language of man is, he is incapable of articulating the reality and normality of God. Man can only know God more practically, and can only see Him more clearly, if God personally works among man and completely shows forth His image and His being. This effect cannot be achieved by any fleshly man. Of course, God’s Spirit is also incapable of achieving this effect. God can save corrupt man from the influence of Satan, but this work cannot be directly accomplished by the Spirit of God; rather, it can only be done by the flesh God’s Spirit wears, by God’s incarnate flesh. This flesh is man and also God, is a man possessed of normal humanity and also God possessed of full divinity. And so, even though this flesh is not the Spirit of God, and differs greatly from the Spirit, it is still the incarnate God Himself who saves man, who is the Spirit and also the flesh. No matter what He is called by, ultimately it is still God Himself who saves mankind. For the Spirit of God is indivisible from the flesh, and the work of the flesh is also the work of the Spirit of God; it is just that this work is not done using the identity of the Spirit, but is done using the identity of the flesh. Work that needs to be done directly by the Spirit does not require incarnation, and work that requires the flesh to do cannot be done directly by the Spirit, and can only be done by God incarnate. This is what is required for this work, and is what is required by corrupt mankind. In the three stages of God’s work, only one stage was carried out directly by the Spirit, and the remaining two stages are carried out by the incarnate God, and not directly by the Spirit. The work of the Age of Law done by the Spirit did not involve changing the corrupt disposition of man, and neither did it bear any relation to man’s knowledge of God. The work of God’s flesh in the Age of Grace and the Age of Kingdom, however, involves man’s corrupt disposition and his knowledge of God, and is an important and crucial part of the work of salvation. Therefore, corrupt mankind is more in need of the salvation of the incarnate God, and is more in need of the direct work of the incarnate God. Mankind needs the incarnate God to shepherd him, support him, water him, feed him, judge and chastise him, and he needs more grace and greater redemption from the incarnate God. Only God in the flesh can be the confidant of man, the shepherd of man, the very present help of man, and all of this is the necessity of incarnation today and in times past.
Man has been corrupted by Satan, and he is the highest of all God’s creatures, so man is in need of God’s salvation. The object of God’s salvation is man, not Satan, and that which shall be saved is the flesh of man, and the soul of man, and not the devil. Satan is the object of God’s annihilation, man is the object of God’s salvation, and the flesh of man has been corrupted by Satan, so the first to be saved must be the flesh of man. The flesh of man has been most profoundly corrupted, and it has become something which opposes God, which even openly opposes and denies the existence of God. This corrupt flesh is simply too intractable, and nothing is more difficult to deal with or change than the corrupt disposition of the flesh. Satan comes into the flesh of man to stir up disturbance, and uses the flesh of man to disturb the work of God, and impair the plan of God, and thus man has become Satan, and the enemy of God. For man to be saved, he must first be conquered. It is because of this that God rises to the challenge and comes into the flesh to do the work He intends to do, and do battle with Satan. His aim is the salvation of mankind, who has been corrupted, and the defeat and annihilation of Satan, which rebels against Him. He defeats Satan through His work of conquering man, and simultaneously saves corrupt mankind. Thus, God solves two problems at once. He works in the flesh, and speaks in the flesh, and undertakes all work in the flesh in order to better engage with man, and better conquer man. The last time that God becomes flesh, His work of the last days will be concluded in the flesh. He will classify all men according to kind, conclude His entire management, and also conclude all His work in the flesh. After all His work on earth comes to an end, He will be completely victorious. Working in the flesh, God will have fully conquered mankind, and fully gained mankind. Doesn’t it mean that His entire management will have come to an end? When God concludes His work in the flesh, as He has fully defeated Satan and has been victorious, Satan will have no further opportunity to corrupt man. The work of the first incarnation of God was the redemption and forgiveness of man’s sins. Now it is the work of conquering and fully gaining mankind, so that Satan will no longer have any way to do its work, and will have completely lost, and God will have been completely victorious. This is the work of the flesh, and is the work done by God Himself. The initial work of the three stages of God’s work was done directly by the Spirit, and not by the flesh. The final work of the three stages of God’s work, however, is done by the incarnate God, and not directly by the Spirit. The work of redemption of the intermediary stage was also done by God in the flesh. Throughout the entire management work, the most important work is man’s salvation from the influence of Satan. The key work is the complete conquest of corrupt man, thus restoring the original reverence of God in the heart of conquered man, and allowing him to achieve a normal life, which is to say, the normal life of a creature of God. This work is crucial, and is the core of the management work. In the three stages of the work of salvation, the first stage of the work of the Age of Law was far from the core of the management work; it only had the slight appearance of the work of salvation, and was not the beginning of God’s work of saving man from the domain of Satan. The first stage of work was done directly by the Spirit because, under the law, man only knew to abide by the law, and did not have more truth, and because the work in the Age of Law hardly involved changes in the disposition of man, much less was it concerned with the work of how to save man from the domain of Satan. Thus the Spirit of God completed this supremely simple stage of work that did not concern the corrupt disposition of man. This stage of work bore little relation to the core of the management, and had no great correlation to the official work of the salvation of man, and so it did not require God to become flesh to personally do His work. The work done by the Spirit is implied and unfathomable, and it is fearful and unapproachable to man; the Spirit is not suited to directly doing the work of salvation, and is not suited to directly providing life to man. Most suitable for man is to transform the work of the Spirit into an approach that is close to man, which is to say, what is most suitable for man is for God to become an ordinary, normal person to do His work. This requires God to be incarnated to replace the work of the Spirit, and for man, there is no more suitable way for God to work. Among these three stages of work, two stages are carried out by the flesh, and these two stages are the key phases of the management work. The two incarnations are mutually complementary and perfect each other. The first stage of God’s incarnation laid the foundation for the second stage, and it can be said that the two incarnations of God form one whole, and are not incompatible with each other. These two stages of God’s work are carried out by God in His incarnate identity because they are so important to the entire management work. It could almost be said that, without the work of the two incarnations of God, the entire management work would have ground to a halt, and the work of saving mankind would be nothing but empty talk. Whether or not this work is important is based on the needs of mankind, and the reality of mankind’s depravity, and the severity of Satan’s disobedience and its disturbance of the work. The right one who is up to the task is predicated upon the nature of his work, and the importance of the work. When it comes to the importance of this work, in terms of what method of work to adopt—work done directly by God’s Spirit, or work done by God incarnate, or work done through man—the first to be eliminated is work done through man, and, based on the nature of the work, and the nature of the Spirit’s work versus that of the flesh, it is ultimately decided that work done by the flesh is more beneficial for man than work done directly by the Spirit, and offers more advantages. This is God’s thought at the time to decide whether the work was done by the Spirit or by the flesh. There is a significance and basis to each stage of work. They are not groundless imaginings, nor are they carried out arbitrarily; there is a certain wisdom in them. Such is the truth behind all of God’s work. In particular, there is even more of God’s plan in such a great work as God incarnate personally working among man. And so, God’s wisdom and the entirety of His being are reflected in His every action, thought, and idea in working; this is God’s being that is more concrete and systematic. These subtle thoughts and ideas are difficult for man to imagine, and difficult for man to believe, and, moreover, difficult for man to know. Work done by man is according to general principle, which, for man, is highly satisfactory. Yet compared to the work of God, there is simply too great a disparity; although the deeds of God are great and the work of God is of a magnificent scale, behind them are many minute and precise plans and arrangements that are unimaginable to man. Every stage of His work is not only according to principle, but also contains many things that cannot be articulated by human language, and these are the things that are invisible to man. Regardless of whether it is the work of the Spirit or the work of God incarnate, each contains the plans of His work. He does not work groundlessly, and does not do insignificant work. When the Spirit works directly it is with His goals, and when He becomes man (which is to say, when He transforms His outer shell) to work, it is even more with His purpose. Why else would He change His identity freely? Why else would He freely become a person who is regarded as lowly and is persecuted?
To Be Continued …