Since the existence of God’s management, He has always been fully dedicated to carrying out His work. Despite veiling His person from them, He has always been by man’s side, doing work on them, expressing His disposition, guiding all of humanity with His essence, and doing His work on every single person through His might, His wisdom, and His authority, thus bringing the Age of Law, the Age of Grace, and now the Age of Kingdom into being. Though God conceals His person from man, His disposition, His being and possessions, and His will toward mankind, are unreservedly revealed to man for man to see and to experience. In other words, though human beings cannot see or touch God, the disposition and essence of God that humanity has been in contact with are absolutely expressions of God Himself. Isn’t that the truth? Regardless of in what method or from what angle God does His work, He always treats people to His true identity, doing what He is supposed to do and saying what He is supposed to say. No matter what position God speaks from—He could be standing in the third heaven, or standing in the flesh, or even as an ordinary person—He always speaks to man with all His heart and all His mind, without any deception or concealment. When He carries out His work, God expresses His word and His disposition, and expresses what He has and is, without any reservation whatsoever. He guides mankind with His life and His being and possessions. This is how man lived through the Age of Law—the cradle era of humanity—under the guidance of the unseeable and untouchable God.
God became flesh for the first time after the Age of Law, an incarnation that lasted thirty-three and a half years. For a human being, is thirty-three and a half years a long time? (Not long.) Since the lifespan of a human being is usually much longer than thirty-something years, this is not a very long time for man. But for God incarnate, these thirty-three and a half years is very long. He became a person—an ordinary person who bore God’s work and commission. This meant that He had to take on work an ordinary person cannot handle, while also endure suffering that ordinary people cannot withstand. The amount of suffering endured by the Lord Jesus during the Age of Grace, from the start of His work to when He was nailed to the cross, may not be something the people of today could have witnessed in person, but can you at least appreciate a bit of it through the stories in the Bible? Irrespective of how many details there are in these recorded facts, all in all, God’s work during this period was full of hardship and suffering. For a corrupted human, thirty-three and a half years is not a long time; a little suffering is no big deal. But for the holy, unblemished God, who has to bear all of mankind’s sins, and eat, sleep, and live with sinners, this pain is too great. He is the Creator, the Master of all things and the Ruler of everything, yet when He came to the world He had to endure the oppression and cruelty of corrupted humans. In order to complete His work and rescue humanity from misery, He had to be condemned by man, and bear the sins of all mankind. The extent of the suffering He went through cannot possibly be fathomed or appreciated by ordinary people. What does this suffering represent? It represents God’s devotion to humankind. It stands for the humiliation He suffered and the price He paid for man’s salvation, to redeem their sins, and to complete this stage of His work. It also means man would be redeemed from the cross by God. This is a price paid in blood, in life, a price created beings cannot afford. It is because He has God’s essence and is equipped with what God has and is that He can bear this kind of suffering and this type of work. This is something no created being can do in His stead. This is the work of God during the Age of Grace and a revelation of His disposition. Does this reveal anything about what God has and is? Is it worth mankind getting to know?
In this age, though man did not see God’s person, they received God’s sin offering and were redeemed from the cross by God. Mankind may not be unfamiliar with the work God did during the Age of Grace, but is anyone familiar with the disposition and will expressed by God during this period? Man merely knows about details of God’s work during different ages through various channels, or knows of stories related to God that took place at the same time God was carrying out His work. These details and stories are at most just some information or legends about God, and have nothing to do with God’s disposition and essence. So no matter how many stories people know about God, it doesn’t mean that they have a deep understanding and knowledge of God’s disposition or His essence. Like it was in the Age of Law, though people from the Age of Grace had experienced an up-close and intimate contact with God in the flesh, their knowledge of God’s disposition and God’s essence was virtually non-existent.
In the Age of Kingdom, God became flesh again, in the same way He did the first time. During this period of work, God still unreservedly expresses His word, does the work He should be doing, and expresses what He has and is. At the same time, He continues to endure and tolerate man’s disobedience and ignorance. Doesn’t God continuously reveal His disposition and express His will during this period of work too? Therefore, from the creation of man until now, God’s disposition, His being and possessions, and His will, have always been open to every person. God has never deliberately hidden His essence, His disposition, or His will. It’s just that mankind doesn’t care about what God is doing, what His will is—that’s why man’s understanding of God is so pitiful. In other words, while God conceals His person, He is also standing by mankind at every moment, openly projecting His will, disposition, and essence at all times. In a sense, God’s person is also open to people, but due to man’s blindness and disobedience, they are always unable to see God’s appearance. So if that is the case, then shouldn’t understanding God’s disposition and God Himself be easy for everyone? That is a very difficult question to answer, right? You can say it’s easy, but while some people seek to know God, they can’t really get to know Him or get a clear understanding of Him—it’s always hazy and vague. But if you say it’s not easy, that’s not correct either. Having been the subject of God’s work for so long, everyone should, through their experiences, have had genuine dealings with God. They should at least have sensed God to some extent in their hearts or previously collided with God on a spiritual level, and so they should at least have some emotional awareness of God’s disposition or gained some understanding of Him. From the time man began to follow God until now, mankind has received far too much, but due to all sorts of reasons—man’s poor caliber, ignorance, rebelliousness, and various intentions—mankind has also lost too much of it. Has God not already given mankind enough? Though God hides His person from humans, He supplies them with what He has and is, and even His life; humanity’s knowledge of God should not only be what it is now. That is why I think it is necessary to further fellowship with you about the topic of God’s work, God’s disposition, and God Himself. The purpose is so that the thousands of years of care and thought God has poured into man does not end up in vain, and so that mankind can genuinely understand and appreciate God’s will toward them. It is so people can move forward onto a new step in their knowledge of God. It will also return God to His rightful place in people’s hearts, that is, to do Him justice.
Excerpted from The Word Appears in the Flesh