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In our daily life, we often hear someone saying, “This person looks like a bad guy,” “This person doesn’t look like a decent man,” “This person looks nice, and he might be easy to get along with.” … We often judge a person to be good or bad with our eyes and imaginations. As a result, we are prejudiced against others and even hurt others because of our actions. But in fact, we do not know about them at all.
Because we live in our own imaginations and conceptions, it is easy for us to define others, comment on people, things, and events around us, and even define the work of God according to our imaginations and conceptions. Just like the earliest Pharisees, they believed that the Lord would be called Messiah when He comes. In fact, when the Lord arrived, He was not called Messiah, but the. Because the Pharisees clung to their own imaginations and conceptions, they did not acknowledge that the Lord Jesus is God and refused Him. Moreover, they believed that the Lord Jesus would be born in a palace with an extraordinary appearance. However, the Lord Jesus was born in a manger and looked ordinary, which made them refuse Him even more. Because they thought that God could not be like this. They also thought the Lord Jesus would not preach outside the temple, and so on. It was their imaginations and conceptions that made them be enemies with God, and ultimately, they nailed the Lord Jesus to the cross, committing a heinous crime, so that the whole of Israel suffered unprecedented destruction.
Today, two thousand years later, every Christian has been looking forward to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was recorded in, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). Facing the return of the Lord Jesus, we need to be cautious and careful and learn from the failure of the Pharisees. We cannot use our imaginations and conceptions to arbitrarily define and judge God’s work, but seek with humility and watch and wait like wise virgins. Only in this way can we receive the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Do Jesus’ last words “It is finished” upon the cross really mean that God’s work was totally finished? Read this article to know its true meaning and master the key points of receiving God’s salvation.
The answer from God’s word: “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. … ………… 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. … 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 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.” from “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh “He becomes flesh because the flesh can also possess authority, and He is capable of carrying out work among man in a practical manner, which is visible and tangible to man. Such work is much more realistic than any work directly done by the Spirit of God who possesses all authority, and its results are apparent as well. This is because His incarnate flesh can speak and do work in a practical way; the outward form of His flesh holds no authority and can be approached by man. His substance carries authority, but His authority is visible to none. When He speaks and works, man is unable to detect the existence of His authority; this is even more favorable to His actual work. And all of such work can achieve results. Even though no man realizes that He holds authority or sees that He cannot be offended or sees His wrath, through His veiled authority and wrath and public speech, He achieves the intended results of His words. In other words, through His tone of voice, sternness of speech, and all the wisdom of His words, man is utterly convinced. In this way, man submits to the word of God incarnate, who seemingly has no authority, thereby attaining His aim of salvation for man. This is another significance of His incarnation: to speak more realistically and allow the reality of His words to have an effect upon man so that they witness the power of the word of God. So this work, if not done through the incarnation, would not achieve the slightest results and would not be able to fully save sinners. If God does not become flesh, He remains the Spirit both invisible and intangible to man. Man is a creature of flesh, and man and God belong to two different worlds and are different in nature. The Spirit of God is incompatible with man of flesh, and no relations can be established between them; moreover, man cannot become a spirit. As such, the Spirit of God must become one of the creatures and do His original work. God can both ascend to the highest place and humble Himself by becoming a man of creation, doing work and living among man, but man cannot ascend to the highest place and become a spirit and much less can he descend to the lowest place. Therefore, God must become flesh to carry out His work. Much as with the first incarnation, only the flesh of God incarnate could redeem man through His crucifixion, whereas it was not possible for the Spirit of God to be crucified as a sin offering for man. God could directly become flesh to serve as a sin offering for man, but man could not directly ascend to heaven to take the sin offering that God had prepared for them. As such, God must journey to and fro between heaven and earth, rather than letting man ascend to heaven to take this salvation, for man had fallen and could not ascend to heaven, much less obtain the sin offering. Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to come among men and personally do the work that simply could not be accomplished by man. Every time that God became flesh, it was absolutely necessary to do so. If any of the stages could have been carried out directly by the Spirit of God, He would not have endured the indignities of being incarnated.” from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh “The best thing about His work in the flesh is that He can leave accurate words and exhortations, and His accurate will for mankind to those who follow Him, so that afterward His followers can more accurately and more concretely pass on all of His work in the flesh and His will for the whole of mankind to those who accept this way. Only the work of God in the flesh among man truly accomplishes the fact of God’s being and living together with man. Only this work fulfills man’s desire to behold the face of God, witness the work of God, and hear the personal word of God. The incarnate God brings to an end the age when only the back of Jehovah appeared to mankind, and also concludes the age of mankind’s belief in the vague God. In particular, the work of the last incarnate God brings all mankind into an age that is more realistic, more practical, and more pleasant. He not only concludes the age of law and doctrine; more importantly, He reveals to mankind a God who is real and normal, who is righteous and holy, who unlocks the work of the management plan and demonstrates the mysteries and destination of mankind, who created mankind and brings to an end the management work, and who has remained hidden for thousands of years. He brings the age of vagueness to a complete end, He concludes the age in which the whole of mankind wished to seek God’s face but was unable to, He ends the age in which the whole of mankind served Satan, and leads the whole of mankind all the way into a completely new era. All this is the outcome of the work of God in the flesh instead of God’s Spirit. When God works in His flesh, those who follow Him no longer seek and grope after those vague and ambiguous things, and cease to guess at the will of the vague God. When God spreads His work in the flesh, those who follow Him shall pass on the work that He has done in the flesh to all denominations and sects, and they shall communicate all of His words to the ears of the whole of mankind. All that is heard by those who receive His gospel shall be the facts of His work, shall be things personally seen and heard by man, and shall be facts and not hearsay. These facts are the evidence with which He spreads the work, and are also the tools that He uses in spreading the work. Without the existence of facts, His gospel would not spread across all countries and to all places; without facts but only with man’s imaginations, He would never be able to do the work of conquering the entire universe. The Spirit is impalpable to man, and invisible to man, and the work of the Spirit is incapable of leaving any further evidence or facts of God’s work for man. Man shall never behold the real face of God, and shall always believe in a vague God that does not exist. Man shall never behold the face of God, nor will man ever hear words personally spoken by God. Man’s imaginings are, after all, empty, and cannot replace the true face of God; the inherent disposition of God, and the work of God Himself cannot be impersonated by man. The invisible God in heaven and His work can only be brought to earth by God incarnate who personally does His work among man. This is the most ideal way in which God appears to man, in which man sees God and comes to know the true face of God, and it cannot be achieved by a non-incarnate God.” from “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Focus on God’s Names: Mystery Series of Jehovah, Jesus and the Almighty: God’s Name—What’s the Name of the Returned Lord Jesus in the Last Days? Through the former two fellowships, many brothers and sisters in the Lord show that never have they known such great significance of God’s names, much less the backgrounds of God’s choice of His names and the desire of God, despite that they have believed in the Lord for years. Moreover, they have never considered that each of God’s names represents one part of the disposition of God and represents the work of God in one age. Thank the Lord! All the glory goes to the Father in heaven! However, brothers and sisters in the Lord are most concerned about whether the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will be called any other name in the last days. That is because we have believed in the Lord for years and have been waiting for the Lord Jesus to take us into the beautiful destination He has prepared for us in accordance with His promise. Now, let’s fellowship about the truth in this aspect. As we all know, God does different works and expresses different dispositions, so He is called different names in different ages. Because the principle of God’s work is never to repeat what He has already completed. This stage of work would be meaningless if He did the same work and was called the same name in different ages. For example, in the Age of Law, God did the work of promulgating laws and commandments and leading the Israelites to live. The Israelites at the time, who abode by the laws and commandments, would receive blessings from God. But if they failed to keep the laws and commandments, they would be cursed by God. In that stage of work, the dispositions God expressed were majesty and wrath, burning and curse. For instance, the priests, who didn’t serve Jehovah God as He required, would be burned by heavenly fire; the common people, who didn’t abide by the Ten Commandments, would be stoned to death. In accordance with God’s work as well as His dispositions expressed in that age, God named Himself “Jehovah.” But at the end of the Age of Law, man was incapable to keep the commandments, with the result that they committed sins continuously. In the end, they even offered crippled or blind oxen, sheep, and doves to God. God did not accept their sacrifices and they could not gain His mercy any longer. Because of such behaviors, they would end up being cursed by God, unable to survive. Therefore, in accordance with the needs of mankind, God was incarnated to do the redemptive work Himself under the name of the Lord Jesus, crucified and becoming man’s sin offering. As long as man prayed to the Lord Jesus, confessed his sins and repented before Him, he would be forgiven of his sins and need not offer oxen, sheep, or doves to God for his sins. Obviously, God’s disposition expressed in the Age of Grace was love and mercy. No matter what sins man committed, man could receive the mercy of the Lord as long as he confessed his sins and repented before Him. Take the licentious woman for example. She was caught and brought before the Lord Jesus, but He did not condemn her but just commanded her not to commit sins from then on. Therefore, in the Age of Grace, God’s name was no longer called Jehovah, but the Savior Lord Jesus who was full of mercy and love. So, if we want to know whether God will be called by any other name in the last days, we firstly need to know what work God will do in the last days. Let’s study several verses in the Bible, “And I saw another angel fly in the middle of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Revelation 14:6-7). “Because he has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has ordained; whereof he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:47-48). From these verses, we see that God will come to judge all nations and all peoples in the last days. But why will He judge all nations and all peoples? While pondering, I think of the church condition at present. Most believers lose the previous faith and love and are unable to sincerely spend for God. More than a few believers chat and sleep at meetings. Believers cannot hold on to the Lord’s way and teachings any longer. Many illegal things keep emerging in the church, such as struggling for fame and fortune, raising jealousy and strife, stealing offerings, etc. They pursue worldly trends, covet the fleshly enjoyment in sins, living in the cycle of sin and repentance. For example, one of my Christian friends called me and said the other day, “I can’t help committing sins at home, either quarreling with my husband or getting annoyed with my children. In the church, I often show jealousy and hatred toward others on account of some trifles. The Bible says, ‘Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:14). How can a person like me see the Lord’s face? Doesn’t that mean I’ve wasted time all these years?” After she poured her heart out, I felt that I lived in sin and could not overcome sin like her. I could do nothing but comfort her with a few words. But when I thought of the scripture, “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26), I did not know what to say at that time. If I told her keeping confessing sins could allow us to be forgiven by the Lord, this was following doctrines and words obviously. But, are there any choices except confessing sins? Seeing the two scriptures and thinking about the conditions of the church as well as the state of believers, I think the Lord will do the work of judgment when He returns in the last days. Maybe man will be purified through God’s work of judgment. If not, God will not allow us who are filled with corruption to enter into His kingdom. And the Bible records the Lord Jesus will return to separate the tares from the wheat, the goats from the sheep, and the wicked servants from the good servants, which is, He will do the work of reaping and winnowing, rewarding the good and punishing the evil and classifying man according to kind. Since He will do the work of judgment, He will judge and purify man with righteous disposition, so that man will be classified according to kind. Then, will God bring a new name when doing a new work? I remember the Revelation records: “Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God: and I will write on him my new name” (Revelation 3:12). “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are your ways, you King of saints” (Revelation 15:3). “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunder, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigns” (Revelation 19:6). According to the records of these verses, when God comes to do His work, He will take a new name and will be called “the Almighty” to reign as King. So, it is highly possible that God will come to do His work under the name of “the Almighty,” namely Almighty God, when He returns to take us in the last days. Through studying the Bible these days, I have realized that no matter what name God takes in each age, each name is brought due to the need of the management work. It is not taken at will, but is of age significance. Regardless of the changes to His names, the works of saving mankind are still done by one God, for the principle of His work is to use the name to change the age. When I get the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, I have great confidence that I can welcome the return of the Lord Jesus. Brothers and sisters in the Lord, concerning the mystery of God’s names, let’s end it here. If you have different points of view, please keep in touch with us. We can call on the Lord for guidance together again to know more truths we neglect before. All the glory and praise be to our Father in heaven! Amen! Recommend: God’s Name-What Does the God’s Name “Jesus” Mean? God’s Name—Do You Know the Origin of Name “Jehovah”?
Shufen was a major co-worker of a church. During the fifteen years of believing in the Lord, she had been actively serving in the church. She thought: Now is the end of the last days. All the prophecies of the Lord’s return have been fulfilled, and even the four blood moons were fulfilled. It seems that the day of the Lord’s return should come. To welcome the Lord’s return, recently she led the brothers and sisters to discuss the way for the Lord to return. Unexpectedly, they split on this matter, and two opinions were formed. They were at a stalemate. Some brothers and sisters said that the Lord would appear publicly with clouds to all people and all nations when He came, as the Bible says, “He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him …” (Revelation 1:7). But, some said that the Lord would come in secret to steal treasures, which was based on the prophecy in Revelation, “I will come on you as a thief …” (Revelation 3:3). And even after several gatherings, they couldn’t reach a definite conclusion. Shufen was at her wits’ end now, and she herself also couldn’t figure out how the Lord would appear to man when He returns. Since both opinions of the brothers and sisters were based on the Bible, it was really hard to judge which of them was right. She was troubled so much that she couldn’t eat or sleep well these days, totally being at a loss what to say to the brothers and sisters about this matter. After dinner, she took out the Bible again, expecting to receive the Lord’s guidance and enlightenment on the truth concerning how the Lord would come in the last days. Her husband, as usual, was sharing and communicating with the brothers and sisters from other countries on Facebook. Suddenly, he called her, “Shufen, Come and see this quickly. Brothers and sisters are discussing the way for the Lord to return.” Hearing this, she immediately laid aside the Bible in her hands, and came up to the computer. A video The Mystery of the Coming of the Son of Man was being shown on Facebook. The brothers’ fellowship in the video was well-founded and attracted her attention all at once. After watching the video, she said with surprise, “Their fellowship is rather reasonable. It’s the enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. They bear witness that the Lord will return in secret as the Son of man through incarnation to do the work of judgment starting from the house of God, make a group of overcomers before the disaster, and then appear to all people and all nations. Their fellowship is totally in line with the Bible!” Her husband nodded his approval, saying, “The Lord Jesus has said: ‘Be you therefore ready also: for the Son of man comes at an hour when you think not’ (Luke 12:40), ‘For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation’ (Luke 17:24-25), ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ (Matthew 25:6), ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me’ (Revelation 3:20), ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame’ (Revelation 16:15). Now all these prophecies have been fulfilled. The Lord Jesus repeatedly said ‘the Son of man’ in the prophecies. Does ‘the Son of man’ not refer to the incarnate Christ? And if the Lord comes back in His spiritual body after resurrection, then ‘But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation’ will be untenable, for only His flesh can suffer and be rejected, and His spiritual body cannot.” Then Shufen said, “So it seems that the Lord is very likely to come in secret as the Son of man through incarnation, and then appear to the public. In this case, it doesn’t contradict the saying ‘he comes with clouds’ prophesied in the Bible. If the Lord comes in this way, it is hidden yet practical. How wise it is! But how can we know Him if the Lord Jesus becomes flesh when He comes?” Her husband replied, “Do you remember the Lord’s prophecies? He said: ‘I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself, but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come’ (John 16:12-13), ‘He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day’ (John 12:48), ‘For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son….’ (John 5:22), ‘And has given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man’ (John 5:27). These scriptures imply that the Lord Jesus will be incarnated as the Son of man to express the truth to do the work of judgment. And ‘the Spirit of truth,’ I think, may refer to the incarnate Christ who will speak words, so those who can hear and recognize the voice of God will behold the return of the Lord. Just as the Lord Jesus said, ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ (Matthew 25:6). So, that all depends on whether we are the wise virgins who can know the voice of God.” “So let’s seek this aspect of the truth from the brothers and sisters who posted the video!” After they spoke out their wish with one voice, they smiled. Shufen’s days of gloom was finally dispelled. Read more: Those Who Recognize God’s Voice Are Wise Virgins