What Is the Incarnation?
Question 1: In all my years of faith, despite knowing that the Lord Jesus is God’s incarnation, I didn’t understand the truth of the incarnation. If the Lord’s appearance in the second coming is similar to how the Lord Jesus was incarnated as the Son of man to do His work, then we’ll be unable to recognize the Lord Jesus, we’ll be unable to greet the Lord’s coming. I believe that the incarnation is a great mystery. Few are able to truly understand the truth of the incarnation. Please commune with us on this issue, what exactly is the incarnation.
Answer: Pertaining to what is God incarnate, and what is the essence of God incarnate, it can be said as the mystery of the truth that we believers of the Lord fail to understand. For thousands of years, despite believers knew that the Lord Jesus was the incarnation of God, no one could understand what God incarnate and His essence are respectively. It was only until the advent of Almighty God in the last days that this mystery of the truth was unfolded to mankind. Let’s read a few passages of Almighty God’s word: “The meaning of incarnation is that God appears in the flesh, and He comes to work among man of His creation in the image of a flesh. So, for God to be incarnated, He must first be flesh, flesh with normal humanity; this, at the very least, must be true. In fact, the implication of God’s incarnation is that God lives and works in the flesh, God in His very essence becomes flesh, becomes a man” (“The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“The incarnate God is called Christ, and Christ is the flesh donned by the Spirit of God. This flesh is unlike any man that is of the flesh. This difference is because Christ is not of flesh and blood but is the incarnation of the Spirit. He has both a normal humanity and a complete divinity. His divinity is not possessed by any man. His normal humanity sustains all His normal activities in the flesh, while His divinity carries out the work of God Himself” (“The Substance of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“The Christ with normal humanity is a flesh in which the Spirit is realized, possessing normal humanity, normal sense, and human thought. ‘Being realized’ means God becoming man, the Spirit becoming flesh; to put it plainly, it is when God Himself inhabits a flesh with normal humanity, and through it expresses His divine work — this is what it means to be realized, or incarnated” (“The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“Because He is a man with the essence of God, He is above any of created humans, above any man who can perform God’s work. And so, among all those with a human shell like His, among all those who possess humanity, only He is the incarnate God Himself — all others are created humans. Though they all have humanity, created humans are nothing but human, while God incarnate is different: In His flesh He not only has humanity but more importantly has divinity. His humanity can be seen in the outer appearance of His flesh and in His everyday life, but His divinity is difficult to perceive. Because His divinity is expressed only when He has humanity, and is not as supernatural as people imagine it to be, it is extremely difficult for people to see. … Since God becomes flesh, His essence is a combination of humanity and divinity. This combination is called God Himself, God Himself on earth” (“The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
From Almighty God’s words we see that the incarnation is God’s Spirit clothed in flesh, that is, God’s Spirit is materialized in the flesh with normal humanity and normal human thinking, and thereby becomes an ordinary and normal person working and speaking among men. This flesh has normal humanity, but also has complete divinity. Though in outward appearance His flesh seems ordinary and normal, He is able to take on God’s work, can express God’s voice, and guide and save humanity. This is because He has complete divinity. Complete divinity means that all that God’s Spirit possesses — the inherent disposition of God, God’s holy and righteous substance, all that God has and is, God’s almightiness and wisdom, and God’s authority and power — these have all been materialized in the flesh. This flesh is Christ, is the practical God who is here on earth to do work and save mankind. From His outward appearance, Christ is an ordinary and normal Son of man, but He is substantively different from us created human beings. Created man has only humanity, he doesn’t have even the slightest trace of divine substance. Christ, however, not only has normal humanity; more importantly, He has complete divinity. So, He has God’s substance, He can represent God entirely, express all truths as God Himself, express God’s disposition and all that God has and is, and endow us with the truth, the way, and the life. No created man is capable of such feats. Christ works and speaks, expresses God’s disposition, and all that God has and is in His flesh. No matter how He expresses God’s word and does God’s work, He always does so within normal humanity. He has a normal flesh, there is nothing supernatural about Him. This proves that God has come into the flesh, He has already become an ordinary human. This ordinary and normal flesh has fulfilled the fact of “The Word Appears in the Flesh.” He is the practical God incarnate. Because Christ has complete divinity, He can represent God, express the truth, and save mankind. Because Christ has complete divinity, He can express God’s word directly, not just relay or pass on God’s word. He can express the truth anytime and anyplace, supplying, watering, and shepherding man, guiding all of mankind. Only because Christ has complete divinity, is it enough to prove that He possesses God’s identity and substance. That’s why we say that He is God’s incarnation, the practical God Himself.
The greatest mystery of the incarnation has little to do with whether God’s flesh is lofty in stature or like that of common man. Rather it has to do with the fact that complete divinity is hidden within this normal flesh. None of us is capable of discovering or seeing this hidden divinity. Just as when the Lord Jesus came to do His work, if no one back then had heard His voice and experienced His word and work, then no one would have recognized that the Lord Jesus is Christ, the Son of God. So God’s incarnation is the best way for Him to descend secretly among us humans. When the Lord Jesus came, none of us could tell from His outward appearance that He was Christ, the incarnate God, and none of us could see the divinity hidden within His humanity. Only after the Lord Jesus had expressed the truth and done the work of redemption of mankind, did some people discover that His word has authority and power, and only then did they begin to follow Him. Only when the Lord Jesus appeared to the people after He resurrected, did mankind realize that He is the incarnate Christ, the appearance of God. If He hadn’t expressed the truth and done His work, no one would have followed Him. If He hadn’t born witness to the fact that He is Christ, the appearance of God, no one would have recognized Him. In man’s notions and imaginations, they believe that if He is really God incarnate, His flesh should have supernatural qualities: He should be superhuman, with a lofty, powerful stature, and a towering presence, He should not only speak with authority and power, but should also perform signs and wonders wherever He goes — this is what God become flesh ought to be like. They think if He is ordinary in outward appearance, like any other common man, and has normal humanity, then He is certainly not God’s incarnation. Let’s recall. When the Lord Jesus was incarnated to speak and do work, no matter how He expressed the truth and God’s voice, the Jewish chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees didn’t recognize Him. When hearing the disciples bearing witness to the Lord Jesus they even said: Is this not Joseph’s son? Is this not a Nazarene? Why would the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees speak this way of Him? Because the Lord Jesus had normal humanity in outward appearance. He was a normal, average person, and He didn’t have a lofty, towering presence, so they didn’t accept Him. Actually, insofar as He is the incarnation, He has to have normal humanity by definition, He has to show us that the flesh God clothes Himself in is an ordinary and normal flesh, He appears like a normal human. If God clothed Himself in the flesh of a superhuman, not of a person with normal humanity, then the whole meaning of the incarnation would be lost. So, Christ must have normal humanity. Only in this way can it be proven that He is the Word become flesh.
Let’s read some other passages of Almighty God’s word: “The significance of incarnation is that an ordinary, normal man performs the work of God Himself; that is, that God performs His divine work in humanity and thereby vanquishes Satan. … If, during His first coming, God had not had the normal humanity before the age of twenty-nine — if as soon as He was born He could work miracles, if as soon as He learned to speak He could speak the language of heaven, if the moment He first set foot upon the earth He could apprehend all worldly matters, discern every person’s thoughts and intentions — then He could not have been called a normal man, and His flesh could not have been called human flesh. If this had been the case with Christ, then the meaning and the essence of God’s incarnation would have been lost. That He possessed normal humanity proves that He was God incarnated in the flesh; the fact that He underwent a normal human growth process further demonstrates that He was a normal flesh; and moreover, His work is sufficient proof that He was God’s Word, God’s Spirit, becoming flesh. God becomes flesh because of the needs of the work; in other words, this stage of work needs to be done in the flesh, done in normal humanity. This is the prerequisite for ‘the Word becoming flesh,’ for ‘the Word appearing in the flesh,’ and is the true story behind God’s two incarnations” (“The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“If from the moment of His birth the incarnate God began His ministry in earnest, performing supernatural signs and wonders, then He would have no corporeal essence. Therefore, His humanity exists for the sake of His corporeal essence; there can be no flesh without humanity, and a person without humanity is not a human being. In this way, the humanity of God’s flesh is an intrinsic property of God’s incarnate flesh. To say that ‘when God becomes flesh He is entirely divine, is not at all human,’ is a blasphemy, because this is an impossible stance to take, one that violates the principle of incarnation. … The humanity of God incarnate exists to maintain the normal divine work in the flesh; His normal human thinking sustains His normal humanity and all His normal corporeal activities. One could say that His normal human thinking exists in order to sustain all the work of God in the flesh. If this flesh did not possess a normal human mind, then God could not work in the flesh, and what He needs to do in the flesh could never be accomplished. … So the incarnate God must possess a normal human mind, must possess normal humanity, because He must perform His work in the humanity with a normal mind. This is the essence of the work of the incarnate God, the very essence of the incarnate God” (“The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
From Almighty God’s words we clearly see that God incarnate must have normal humanity, otherwise, He would not be God’s incarnation. In outward appearance, the incarnate God looks like an ordinary and normal man, and there is nothing supernatural about His humanity. So, if we measure Christ using our conceptions and imaginings, we will never acknowledge or accept Christ. At most we’ll just acknowledge that He is a prophet sent by God, or one whom God uses. If we want to really know Christ, we must study His words and work to see if that which He expresses is God’s own voice, if the words He expresses are manifestations of God’s disposition and all that God has and is, and see if His work and the truth that He expresses can save mankind. Only then can we know, accept, and obey Christ. If we do not seek the truth, do not investigate God’s work, even if we hear Christ’s words and see the facts of Christ’s work, we will still not know Christ. Even if we are with Christ from morning till night, we’ll still treat Him like an ordinary man and will thus resist and condemn Christ. Actually, to acknowledge and accept Christ, all we need to do is recognize God’s voice and acknowledge that He does God’s work. But to know Christ’s divine substance and thereby achieve true obedience to Christ and love the practical God, we must discover the truth within Christ’s words and work, see God’s disposition and all that God has and is, see God’s holy substance, almightiness, and wisdom, see that God is lovely and appreciate His earnest intentions. Only in this way can we truly obey Christ and worship the practical God in our heart.
We believers all know that the way which the Lord Jesus preached, the word He expressed, the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven which He revealed, and the demands which He made of us humans were all the truth, all God’s own voice, and were all manifestations of God’s life disposition and all that He has and is. The miracles He performed — healing the sick, casting out demons, calming the wind and sea, feeding five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish, and raising the dead — were all manifestations of God’s own authority and power, which no created man is possessed of or capable of. Those that sought the truth at the time, like Peter, John, Matthew, and Nathanael, recognized from the Lord Jesus’ word and work that He is the promised Messiah, and so followed Him and received His salvation. Whereas the Jewish Pharisees, despite hearing the Lord Jesus’ sermons and seeing Him perform miracles, still saw Him as just an ordinary person, with no power or stature, and so they dared brazenly resist and condemn Him without the slightest fear. In the end they committed the greatest of sins in nailing the Lord Jesus to the cross. The lesson of the Pharisees calls for deep reflection! This clearly exposes their truth-hating and God-hating antichrist nature, and reveals the foolishness and ignorance of corrupt humankind. At present, the incarnate Almighty God, just like the Lord Jesus, does the work of God Himself within normal humanity. Almighty God expresses all the truths which corrupt humankind requires to be saved, and carries out the work of judgment starting from the house of God in the last days. Not only does He judge and expose the satanic nature of corrupt mankind and the truth of their corruption, He has also revealed all of the mysteries of God’s six-thousand-year management plan of saving mankind, elucidated the path by which mankind can be freed from sin, achieve sanctity, and be saved by God. He has revealed God’s inherent righteous disposition, all that God has and is, and God’s unique power and authority…. Almighty God’s word and work are a complete manifestation of the identity and substance of God Himself. These days, all those that follow Almighty God have heard God’s voice in the word and work of Almighty God, have seen the manifestation of God’s word in the flesh and come before Almighty God’s throne, receiving God’s purification and perfection. Those of the religious world who still deny, resist, and condemn Almighty God have made the same mistake as the Jewish Pharisees, treating Christ of the last days, Almighty God, like any other ordinary person, without bothering to put the slightest effort into seeking and studying all the truths which Almighty God has expressed, thus they nailing God to the cross once again and enraging God’s disposition. As one can see, if we hold on to our conceptions and imaginations, and don’t seek and study the truths which Christ expresses, we will be incapable of recognizing the voice of God expressed by Christ, will be unable to accept and obey Christ’s work, and will never receive God’s salvation in the last days. If we don’t understand the truth of the incarnation, we won’t be able to accept and obey God’s work, we will condemn Christ and resist God, and we will also be likely to receive God’s punishment and curses. So, in our faith, to be saved by God, it is extremely important that we seek the truth and understand the mystery of the incarnation!
Source: Grow in Christ — The Second Coming of Christ