For so many years God’s Spirit has been searchingly working on earth. Over the ages God has used so many people to do His work. Yet God’s Spirit still has no suitable resting place. So God moves through different people doing His work and largely He uses people to do it. That is, in all these many years, God’s work has never stopped. It keeps being carried forward in man, continuously to this day. Though God has said so much and done so much, man still does not know God, all because God has never appeared to man and He is formless. So God has to accomplish this work—having all men know the practical significance of the practical God. For this purpose, God must show His Spirit tangibly to people and work in their midst. Only when God’s Spirit assumes physical form, takes on flesh and bones, and visibly walks among people, accompanying them in their lives, sometimes showing and sometimes hiding Himself, are people able to more deeply understand Him. If God always remained in the flesh, He would not be able to fully complete His work. After working in the flesh for a period of time, doing the ministry that needs to be done in the flesh, God must depart the flesh and work in the spiritual realm in the image of the flesh just as Jesus did so after working for a period of time in normal humanity and completing all the work that He needed to complete. You may remember this from The Way … (5): “I remember My Father saying to Me, ‘On earth, only carry out My will and complete My commission. Nothing else is of Your concern.’” What do you see in this passage? When God comes to the earth, He only does the work of divinity. This is the heavenly Spirit’s commission to the incarnate God. He comes only to go everywhere and speak, to utter His voice in different methods and from different perspectives. He primarily holds supplying man and teaching man as His goals and working principle. He does not concern Himself with such things as interpersonal relationships or the details of people’s lives. His main ministry is to speak for the Spirit. When God’s Spirit appears in the flesh tangibly, He only provides for man’s life and releases the truth. He does not get involved in man’s affairs, that is, He does not participate in the work of humanity. Humans cannot do divine work, and God does not participate in human work. In all the years of God working on this earth, He has always used people to do His work. But these people cannot be considered God incarnate; they can only be considered people used by God. But the God of today can speak directly from the perspective of divinity, send forth the Spirit’s voice, and work on behalf of the Spirit. All those people whom God has used over the ages similarly have God’s Spirit working through their bodies, so why can’t they be called God? Today’s God is God’s Spirit working directly in the flesh, and Jesus was also God’s Spirit working in the flesh. These latter two are called God. So what’s the difference? Throughout time, the people whom God has used all have normal thought and reason. They all know how to conduct themselves and handle life’s affairs. They hold normal human ideology and have all the things normal people should have. Most of them have exceptional talent and innate intelligence. In working through these people, God’s Spirit harnesses their talents, which are their God-given gifts. It is God’s Spirit that brings their talents into play, using their strengths to serve God. However, God’s essence is ideology-free and thought-free. It does not incorporate human ideas and even lacks what humans normally have. That is, God does not even comprehend the principles of human conduct. This is how it is when today’s God comes to the earth. He works and speaks without incorporating human ideas or human thought, but directly reveals the original meaning of the Spirit and directly works on behalf of God. This means the Spirit comes forth to work, which brings in not even a bit of man’s ideas. That is, the incarnate God embodies divinity directly, is without human thought or ideology, and has no understanding of the principles of human conduct. If there were only divine work (meaning if it were only God Himself doing the work), God’s work could not be carried out on earth. So when God comes to earth, He has to have a few people He uses to work in humanity in conjunction with His work in divinity. In other words, He uses human work to support His divine work. Otherwise, man would be unable to come into direct contact with the divine work. This is how it was with Jesus and His disciples. During His life Jesus abolished the old laws and established new commandments. He also spoke a lot. All this was done in divinity. The others, such as Peter, Paul, and John, all rested their subsequent work on Jesus’ words as its foundation. That is, God was doing launch work at that age, ushering in the Age of Grace. He brought in a new era, abolishing the old, and made the words “God is the Beginning and the End” come true. In other words, man must do human work on the foundation of divine work. After Jesus said everything He needed to say and finished His work on earth, He departed man. And people after Him worked according to the principles in His words and practiced according to the truths He spoke. These were all people working for Jesus. If it were Jesus alone doing the work, no matter how much He talked, people still would not be able to come into contact with His word, because He worked in divinity and could only speak divine speech. It was impossible for Him to explain things to the point where normal people could understand His word. So He had to have the apostles and prophets who came after Him supplement His work. This is the principle of how God incarnate works—using the incarnate flesh to speak and act so as to complete the work of divinity, and then using a few or more people after God’s own heart to supplement God’s work. That is, God uses people after His heart to shepherd and water in humanity so that every person can receive the truth.
If God only comes into the flesh and does the work of divinity without additionally having a few people after God’s heart cooperating with Him, then man would be unable to understand and unable to be in contact with God. God has to use normal people after His heart to complete this work, to look after and shepherd churches, so that man’s thinking and man’s brain are able to imagine God’s work. In other words, God uses a few people after His heart to “translate” His work in divinity, to reveal it, that is, to transform divine language into human language, so that people can all comprehend it, all understand it. If God did not do so, no one would understand God’s divine language, because the number of such people after God’s heart is, after all, small, and man’s ability to comprehend is weak. That is why God chooses this method when working through the incarnation. If there were only divine work, man would be unable to know or be in contact with God because man does not understand God’s language. Man is able to understand this language only through the use of people after God’s heart to clarify His words. However, if there were only such people working in humanity, it would only be able to maintain man’s normal life; it would not be able to transform man’s disposition. God’s work would not be able to have a new start; there would only be the same old songs, the same old platitudes. It is only via the incarnate God saying all that needs to be said and doing all that needs to be done at the flesh level, and people after Him working and experiencing according to His words, that their life disposition is able to change and they are able to flow with the times. He who works in divinity represents God, while those who work in humanity are people used by God. That is, the incarnate God is substantively different from the people used by God. The incarnate God can do the work of divinity, but the people used by God cannot. At the beginning of each age, God’s Spirit speaks personally to launch the new era and bring man to a new beginning. When He finishes His speaking, it signifies that God’s work in divinity is done. Thereafter, people all follow the lead of those used by God to enter life experience. Similarly, in this stage God brings man into the new age and gives everyone a new start. With this, God’s work in the flesh concludes.
God comes to the earth not to perfect His normal humanity. He comes not to do the work of normal humanity, but only to do the work of divinity within normal humanity. What God considers normal humanity is not what man imagines. Man defines “normal humanity” as having a wife, or a husband, sons and daughters. To man,[a] these things mean one is a normal person. But God does not see it this way. He sees normal humanity as having the normal human thoughts and lives and being born of normal people. But His normalcy does not include having a wife, or a husband, and children the way man understands normalcy. That is, to man, the normal humanity that God speaks of is what man would consider the absence of humanity, almost lacking in feeling and seemingly devoid of fleshly needs, just like Jesus, who had only the exterior of a normal person and took on the appearance of a normal person, but in essence did not completely possess what a normal person possesses. From this we can see that the incarnate God’s substance does not encompass the entirety of normal humanity, but only a portion of the things that people should have, to sustain the rules of normal human living and normal human intellect. But these things have nothing to do with what man considers normal humanity. They are what God incarnate should have. Some people say, however, that God incarnate can be said to possess normal humanity only if He has a wife, sons and daughters, a family. Without these things, they say, He is not a normal person. I ask you then, does God have a wife? Is it possible for God to have a husband? Can God have children? Are these not fallacies? However, the incarnate God cannot spring from cracks between rocks or fall down from the sky. He can only be born to a normal human family. That is why He has parents and sisters. These are the things that the normal humanity of the incarnate God must have. This was the case with Jesus. Jesus had a father and mother, sisters and brothers. This was all normal. But if He had a wife and sons and daughters, then His would not have been the normal humanity that God wanted in the God incarnate. If so, He would not have been able to represent divinity in His work. It was because He did not have a wife or children but was born of normal people into a normal family that He was able to do the work of divinity. To clarify, what God considers a normal person is a person born into a normal family. Only such a person is qualified to do divine work. If, on the other hand, the person had a wife, children, or a husband, that person would not be able to do divine work because he would possess only the normal humanity that humans require but not the normal humanity that God requires. God’s thoughts and people’s understandings are often hugely different and leagues apart. Much of this stage of God’s work fights against and vastly differs from people’s notions. One can say that this stage of God’s work is all done by divinity hands-on, with humanity playing a supporting role. Because God comes to the earth to perform His work Himself rather than letting man do it, He incarnates Himself in the flesh (in the body of an incomplete, normal person) to do His work. He uses this incarnation to present mankind with a new age, to tell mankind of the next step in His work, so they can practice according to the path described by His word. With that, God concludes His work in the flesh. He needs to depart mankind, no longer residing in the flesh of normal humanity, but rather moving away from man to do another part of His work. He then uses men after His own heart to continue His work on earth among this group of people, but in humanity.
The incarnate God cannot stay with man forever because God has a lot more other work to do. He cannot be bound to flesh; He has to shed the flesh to do the work He needs to do, though He does that work in the image of the flesh. When God comes to the earth, He does not wait until He has reached the form that a normal person reaches over a lifetime before dying and leaving. No matter how old His flesh is, when His work is finished, He goes and leaves man. He has no age, He does not count His days according to the age of man. Instead He ends His life in the flesh according to the step of His work. Some people may feel that God, who comes into the flesh, must develop to a certain stage, become an adult, reach old age, and leave only when that body fails. This is man’s imagination; God does not work like that. He comes into the flesh only to do the work He is supposed to do, not to live man’s life of being born to parents, growing up, forming a family and starting a career, having children, or experiencing life’s ups and downs—all the activities of normal life. God coming to earth is God’s Spirit being brought to the flesh, coming into the flesh, but God does not live a normal human life. He only comes to accomplish one part in His management plan. After that He will leave mankind. When He comes into the flesh, God’s Spirit does not perfect the normal humanity of the flesh. Rather, at a God-predetermined time, the divinity does direct work. Then, after doing all that He needs to do and fully completing His ministry, the work of God’s Spirit in this stage is done, at which time the incarnate God’s life ends, regardless of whether His flesh has reached death age. That is, what stage of life the flesh reaches, how long it lives on earth, all depend on the work of the Spirit. It has nothing to do with what man considers to be normal humanity. Take Jesus as an example. He lived in the flesh for thirty-three and a half years. In terms of the life span of a human body, He should not have died at that age and should not have left. But God’s Spirit did not care about all that. When His work was finished, the body was taken away, disappearing with the Spirit. This is the principle how God works in the flesh. So, strictly speaking, God incarnate is without normal humanity. Again, He comes to the earth not to live a normal human life. He does not first establish a normal human life and then begin working. Rather, as long as He is born into a normal human family, He is able to do divine work. He does not pull in even a bit of man’s ideas; He is not fleshly, and He certainly does not adopt the ways of society or get involved in man’s thoughts or notions, much less connect with man’s philosophies of human conduct. This is the work that God incarnate wants to do and the practical significance of His incarnation. God comes into the flesh primarily to do a stage of the work that needs to be done in the flesh. He undertakes no other trivial processes, and He does not experience normal man’s experiences. The work that God’s incarnate flesh needs to do does not include normal human experiences. So, God comes into the flesh just to accomplish the work He needs to accomplish in the flesh. The rest has nothing to do with Him. He does not go through those trivial processes. Once His work is done, the significance of His incarnation ends. Finishing this stage means the work that He needs to do in the flesh has concluded, the ministry of His flesh has completed. But He cannot keep working in the flesh indefinitely. He has to go to another place to work, a place outside of the flesh. Only in this way can He fully accomplish and better expand His work. God works according to His original plan. He knows what He needs to do and what He has concluded like the palm of His hand. God leads every individual on a path that He has already predetermined. No one can escape this. Only those who follow the guidance of God’s Spirit will be able to enter into rest. It may be that in later work, it is not God leading man by speaking in the flesh, but a tangible Spirit leading man’s life. Only then would man be able to concretely touch God, see God, and more fully enter into the reality God requires, so as to be perfected by the practical God. This is the work that God wants to accomplish, what He has long planned. From this, you should all see the path you should take!
a. The original text omits “To man.”