What is the difference between the work of God incarnate and the work of the Spirit?
Bible Verse(s) for Reference:
“And he said, I beseech you, show me your glory. And he said, … You can not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live” (Exodus 33:18-20).
“And the LORD came down on mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up. And the LORD said to Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through to the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish” (Exo 19:20-21).
“And all the people saw the thunder, and the lightning, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said to Moses, Speak you with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die” (Exo 20:18-19).
Relevant Words of God:
God’s saving of man is not done directly through the means of the Spirit or as the Spirit, for His Spirit can neither be touched nor seen by man, and cannot be approached by man. If He tried to save man directly in the manner of the Spirit, man would be unable to receive His salvation. And if not for God putting on the outward form of a created man, they would be unable to receive this salvation. For man can in no way approach Him, much like how none could go near the cloud of Jehovah. Only by becoming a man of creation, that is, putting His word into the flesh He will become, can He personally work the word into all who follow Him. Only then can man hear for himself His word, see His word, and receive His word, then through this be fully saved. If God did not become flesh, no fleshly man would receive such great salvation, nor would a single man be saved. If the Spirit of God worked directly among man, man would be smitten or completely carried away captive by Satan because man is unable to associate with God.
from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)”
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 , 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)”
So if this work is done by the Spirit—if God does not become flesh, and instead the Spirit speaks directly through thunder, so that man has no contact with Him, would man know His disposition? If only the Spirit does the work, then man would have no way of knowing His disposition. People can only behold God’s disposition with their own eyes when He becomes flesh, and reveals His words in the flesh, and expresses His entire disposition through the flesh. God truly lives among man. He is tangible; man can truly engage with His disposition and what He has and is; only in this way can man truly know Him.
from “The Vision of (3)”
Though God’s work in the flesh involves many unimaginable difficulties, the effects that it ultimately achieves far exceed those of the work done directly by the Spirit. The work of the flesh entails much hardship, and the flesh cannot possess the same great identity as the Spirit, cannot carry out the same supernatural deeds as the Spirit, much less can He possess the same authority as the Spirit. Yet the substance of the work done by this unremarkable flesh is far superior to that of the work done directly by the Spirit, and this flesh Himself is the answer to all of man’s needs. For those to be saved, the use value of the Spirit is far inferior to that of the flesh: The work of the Spirit is able to cover the entire universe, across all mountains, rivers, lakes, and oceans, yet the work of the flesh more effectively relates to every person with whom He has contact. What’s more, God’s flesh with tangible form can better be understood and trusted by man, and can further deepen man’s knowledge of God, and can leave upon man a more profound impression of the actual deeds of God. The work of the Spirit is shrouded in mystery, it is difficult for mortal beings to fathom, and even harder for them to see, and so they can only rely on hollow imaginings. The work of the flesh, however, is normal, and based on reality, and possessed of rich wisdom, and is a fact that can be beheld by the physical eye of man; man can personally experience the wisdom of the work of God, and has no need to employ his bountiful imagination. This is the accuracy and real value of the work of God in the flesh. The Spirit can only do things that are invisible to man and difficult for him to imagine, for example the enlightenment of the Spirit, the moving of the Spirit, and the guidance of the Spirit, but for man who has a mind, these do not provide any clear meaning. They only provide a moving, or a broad meaning, and cannot give an instruction with words. The work of God in the flesh, however, is greatly different: It has accurate guidance of words, has clear will, and has clear required goals. And so man does not need to grope around, or employ his imagination, much less make guesses. This is the clarity of the work in the flesh, and its great difference from the work of the Spirit. The work of the Spirit is only suitable for a limited scope, and cannot replace the work of the flesh. The work of the flesh gives man far more exact and necessary goals and far more real, valuable knowledge than the work of the Spirit. The work that is of greatest value to corrupt man is that which provides accurate words, clear goals to pursue, and which can be seen and touched. Only realistic work and timely guidance are suited to man’s tastes, and only real work can save man from his corrupt and depraved disposition. This can only be achieved by the incarnate God; only the incarnate God can save man from his formerly corrupt and depraved disposition. Although the Spirit is the inherent substance of God, work such as this can only be done by His flesh. If the Spirit worked single-handedly, then it would not be possible for His work to be effective—this is a plain truth.
from “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the of God Become Flesh”
For everyone who seeks the truth and longs for the appearance of God, the Spirit’s work can only provide moving or , and a sense of wondrousness that it is inexplicable and unimaginable, and a sense that it is great, transcendent, and admirable, yet also unattainable and unobtainable to all. Man and the Spirit of God can only look upon each other from afar, as if there is a great distance between them, and they can never be alike, as if separated by an invisible divide. In fact, this is an illusion given to man by the Spirit, which is because the Spirit and man are not of the same kind, and the Spirit and man shall never coexist in the same world, and because the Spirit possesses nothing of man. So man does not have need of the Spirit, for the Spirit cannot directly do the work most needed by man. The work of the flesh offers man real objectives to pursue, clear words, and a sense that He is real and normal, that He is humble and ordinary. Although man may fear Him, for most people He is easy to relate to: Man can behold His face, and hear His voice, and does not need to look at Him from afar. This flesh feels approachable to man, not distant, or unfathomable, but visible and touchable, for this flesh is in the same world as man.
from “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh”
When God had not become flesh, people did not understand much of what He said because it came out of complete divinity. The perspective and context of what He said was invisible and unreachable to ; it was expressed from a spiritual realm that people could not see. For people who lived in the flesh, they could not pass through the spiritual realm. But after God became flesh, He spoke to mankind from the perspective of humanity, and this dialogue came out of and surpassed the scope of the spiritual realm. He could express His divine disposition, will, and attitude, through things humans could imagine and things they saw and encountered in their lives, and using methods that humans could accept, in a language they could understand, and knowledge they could grasp, to allow mankind to understand and to , to comprehend His meaning and His required standards within the scope of their capacity, to the degree that they were able. This was the method and principle of God’s work in humanity. Even though God’s ways and His principles of working in the flesh were mostly achieved by or through humanity, it truly did achieve results that could not be achieved by working directly in divinity.
from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III”
This was the advantage of God becoming flesh: He could take advantage of mankind’s knowledge and use human language to speak to people, to express His will. He explained or “translated” to man His profound, divine language that people struggled to understand in human language, in a human way. This helped people understand His will and know what He wanted to do. He could also have conversations with people from the human perspective, using human language, and communicate with people in a way they understood. He could even speak and work using human language and knowledge so that people could feel God’s kindness and closeness, so that they could see His heart.
from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III”