Is the Viewpoint “God Became Man So That Man Might Become God” Right?
Dear Sister Xiuli,
How is everything going? After we explored the topic “God became man that man might become God” last time, I was confused about whether man could really become God. So I brought my confusion before the Lord and kept praying and seeking for His enlightenment. Thank the Lord for His guidance. At a co-workers meeting, through discussing with my co-workers, I gained great light, which I am eager to share with you. That’s why I am writing this letter.
Here is the thing: At a meeting, Co-worker Liu happened to bring up the question I was confused about. He said, “Co-workers, we have believed in the Lord in the Local Church for a long time. And we’ve held tight to the view ‘God became man that man might become God’ as our highest vision. All of us who belong to the Local Church have tried to live to be God and Christ. We want to reign side by side with God. But having pursued in this way for many years, we have nothing to show for it. We’re not transformed at all. We’ve become arrogant. We’re more self-conceited than ever. So I have some doubts. Does pursuing this path really accord with God’s will?”
The moment he finished his words, Co-worker Wang blurted out confidently, “Brother Liu, ‘God became man that man might become God’ is our highest vision given to us by Brother Lin. How can you doubt it? If we follow the path he showed us, we can become God and Christ. There’s nothing for us to doubt!”
At that time, Co-worker Zheng sitting beside me said doubtfully, “I’d like to say that I’ve given this a lot of thought. I thought if this vision comes from God, we should have the confirmation from the Holy Spirit’s work. But in our experience, we never feel the confirmation from the Holy Spirit. What’s more, this is important, in which case, it should be in the Bible. It should be confirmed by the Lord and the Holy Spirit. But there’s nothing about it in the Bible. You see, how can we not have doubts then?”
Hearing this, I chimed in, “Yes. If it’s the work of the Holy Spirit, then we should’ve seen some change and some progress after so long. But there’s been no growth. Instead we are arrogant, quite conceited. We consider ourselves spiritual, the son of God, the manifestation of God. Instead of being obedient to Him, we expect others to obey us and treat us as God. Our disposition is more like the archangel. I remember the Bible says, ‘How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit’ (Isa 14:12-15). We all know that Satan desired to be God and wanted to be His equal, but in the end was struck down by God into midair. Today we also pursue to become God—how are we any different from the archangel? So, I really doubt this idea.”
After hearing my words, Co-worker Guo said in a serious tone: “Honestly, when I first heard this view from Brother Lin, I wondered how can man be God. Later, he fellowshiped that God is a life-bestowing God. He bestows His life disposition upon man, so we can become God. It seemed to make sense, but after so many years, we’ve seen no one who’s truly lived out God’s life disposition. Even Brother Lin himself didn’t succeed in living out God's life disposition. So I’m convinced now that this viewpoint isn’t from God. It came from man. We created it, and it’s our imagination. Afterward, I kept seeking and praying to the Lord. Thanks to the Lord’s enlightenment, I came to understand that God created man and man is man in substance. After man’s corruption, God started His management work of saving man. God would finally make us ones who are after His heart, obey and worship Him. Finally He will bring us into His kingdom to be His people. His will isn’t to make us corrupt mankind become God. And so from this, we can see that the idea espoused by our church ‘God became man that man might become God’ runs completely counter to God’s will.”
Hearing this, Co-worker Wang was not convinced and said, “Brother Guo, ‘God became man that man might become God’ is the highest vision in Brother Lin’s preachings. It‘s true God created man. His plan is obvious. He wanted man to become God. And as man didn't have God’s life disposition, it was easy for Satan to tempt him. God saving us is to dispense His life disposition into us. Tell me then, if we have God’s life disposition, don’t we then become God? Is there anything wrong?”
At that time Co-worker Zheng immediately retorted, “We always say ‘God became man that man might become God,’ but does this idea actually accord with God’s will? Did God ever say anything like this? Actually when God created man He said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth’ (Gen 1:26). God’s words tell us clearly what God created is man, living man with a spirit, who is a created being. And man is created to rule over all living things on the earth to glorify and manifest God. I think we need to focus more on God’s word. When creating man, God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’ God never says that He made God, much less that He created man in order to make him God.”
When I heard what Co-worker Zheng fellowshiped, it suddenly dawned on me that God’s purpose in creating us humans was for us to have dominion over all things on earth, and to glorify Him and manifest Him in all things, not for us to pursue to be God. For so long we have been pursuing a wrong path. We are so ignorant.
Then Co-worker Guo added, “Brother Wang said ‘God saving us is to dispense His life disposition into us. If we have God’s life disposition, we will then become God.’ But I don’t think it conforms to God’s will of saving mankind. We all know that God is the truth, the way, and the life. God is the self-existing and ever-existing One. Even if we can understand some truths and have some changes in our dispositions during His work, what we understand is just a drop in the ocean and what we live out is just a little bit of God’s image. How could we be comparable to God and even become God? And look at the people who were approved by God throughout the ages. Did any one of them become God? None of them did. Saints such as Abraham and Job and Peter, all bore a resounding witness. They all gained God’s approval. And yet, God never claimed that they were God as well. He only says they are the one of the greatest faith, the one perfected, and the one loving God. They were examples. Furthermore, God has never said that man can become God by believing. The Bible tells us that the archangel wanted to be equal to God. So God became offended, and then, He struck it into midair. So I think the words that ‘God became man that man might become God’ is false, illogical. It’s our own misinterpretation out of Satan. We need to see this fact clearly. Since we believe in the Lord, we should believe in His word. If an idea is not based on the Lord’s word, we shouldn’t blindly believe it regardless of how it conforms to our imaginations. Instead, we should earnestly seek God’s will.”
Afterward, in order to further clarify this issue, Co-worker Guo gave an example. He said, “If we live out a bit of God’s image through our experiencing God’s work, we still won’t become God. Here’s an example. It’s not exactly the same, but it still may help. So there’s a son and a father. The son and the father look a lot alike. But their characters are different, very different, and their personalities. Even though they’re related, it’s impossible that they have the same attribute. The paths they walk aren’t the same either. And sometimes, a man can be good but his son not as much. They may look alike, tied by blood, but they’re not the same. In some families, the father resists God while the son obeys Him and believes. That’s proof that looking like someone and sharing a bloodline doesn’t mean you have the same attribute. So then, even if we manage to live out a little of God’s image, it doesn’t mean that we have the substance of His life. Man can never become God. That much is clear.”
Thank the Lord! The confusion which had puzzled me for a long time was finally resolved, and I gained so much from that meeting. Sister Xiuli, you can’t imagine how happy I was at that time. Now I’ve written down in this letter all that I gained and I hope this can give you some benefit. If you have any different ideas, you can write to me and we can communicate together. May all the glory be to the Lord, who provides us with everything!