All men wish to see the true countenance of Jesus and desire to be with Him. I believe that not one of the brothers or sisters would say that he is unwilling to see or to be with Jesus. Before you have seen Jesus, that is, before you have seen the incarnate God, you will have many thoughts, for example, about Jesus’ appearance, His way of speaking, His way of life, and so on. However, when you really see Him, your thoughts will swiftly change. Why is this? Do you wish to know? Man’s thinking indeed cannot be overlooked, yet much less will the substance of Christ tolerate changes by man. You regard Christ as an immortal, a sage, but none regard Christ as a mortal with divine substance. Therefore, many of those who yearn day and night to see God are actually enemies of God and incompatible with God. Is this not a wrong on the part of man? Even now you still think that your belief and loyalty are such that you deserve to see the countenance of Christ, but I exhort you to equip yourselves with more tangible things! For in the past, present, and future, many of those who come in contact with Christ have failed and will fail; they all play the role of the Pharisees. What is the reason for your failure? It is precisely because in your notions there is a lofty, admirable God. But the truth is not as man wishes. Not only is Christ not lofty, but He is particularly small; not only is He a man but an ordinary man; not only can He not ascend to heaven, neither can He move freely on earth. And so people treat Him as an ordinary man; they do as they please when they are with Him, and speak to Him at random, all the while still waiting for the coming of the “true Christ.” You regard the Christ that has already come as an ordinary man and His word as that of an ordinary man. Therefore, you have not received anything from Christ and have instead completely exposed your ugliness to the light.
Prior to contact with Christ, you may believe that your disposition has been entirely transformed, you may believe that you are a loyal follower of Christ, and you may believe that you are most worthy to receive the blessings of Christ. For you have traveled many roads, done much work, and brought forth much fruit, so you must be he who receives the crown in the end. Yet there is one truth that you do not know: the corrupt disposition and rebellion and resistance of man are exposed when he sees Christ, and the rebellion and resistance exposed on such occasion are more absolute and complete than on any other. It is because Christ is the Son of man with a normal humanity that man neither honors nor respects Him. It is because God lives in the flesh that the rebellion of man is brought to light thoroughly and vividly. So I say that the coming of Christ has unearthed all the rebellion of mankind and has thrown the nature of mankind into sharp relief. This is called “luring a tiger down the mountain” and “luring a wolf out of the cave.” Can you say that you are loyal to God? Can you say that you show absolute obedience to God? Can you say that you are not rebellious? Some will say: Each time that God creates my surroundings, I always obey and never complain. In addition, I hold no notions about God. Some will say: All the work tasked to me by God, I do to the best of my ability and am never remiss. Then I ask you this: Can you be compatible with Christ when you live alongside Him? And how long will you be compatible with Him? One day? Two days? One hour? Two hours? Your faith is indeed commendable, but you do not have much steadfastness. When you truly live with Christ, your self-rightness and self-importance will be slowly exposed by your words and actions, and so shall your excessive desires and disobedience and discontent be spontaneously revealed. Finally, your arrogance will become ever greater, and when you become as incompatible with Christ as water is with fire, then your nature will be entirely exposed. At that time, your notions can no longer be veiled. Your complaints, too, will spontaneously be “expressed,” and your vile humanity will be entirely exposed. However, you continue to disavow your own rebellion. And you believe that a Christ such as this is not easy to accept and He is overly stringent with man, and you would wholly submit if He were a different, kinder Christ. You believe that there is a cause for your rebellion, that you only rebel against Him when Christ has driven you to a certain point. Never have you realized that you do not regard Christ as God, nor do you have the intention to obey Him. Rather, you stubbornly insist on Christ doing work according to your mind, and upon any work that has not been done so, you believe that He is not God but a man. Are there not many among you who have contended with Him in this way? Whom is it that you believe in? And how do you seek?
You always wish to see Christ, but I exhort you not to exalt yourselves so; everyone may see Christ, but I say none are fit to see Christ. Because the nature of man is filled with evil, arrogance, and rebellion, when you see Christ, your nature will ruin you and condemn you to death. Your association with a brother (or a sister) may not show much about you, but it is not so simple when you associate with Christ. At any time, your conceptions may take root, your arrogance bud, and your rebellion bear figs. How can you with such humanity be fit to associate with Christ? Are you truly able to treat Him as God every moment of every day? Will you truly have the reality of obedience to God? You worship the lofty God within your hearts as Jehovah but regard the visible Christ as a man. Your sense is too inferior and your humanity too lowly! You are unable to forever regard Christ as God; rather, you simply pull Him over and worship Him as God when it strikes your fancy. This is why I say you are not believers of God, but accomplices to those who fight against Christ. Even men who show kindness to others are repaid, yet Christ, who does such work among you, is not loved or repaid by man, nor does He receive man’s obedience. Is this not a most saddening thing?
It may be that in all your years of faith in God, you have never cursed anyone nor committed a bad deed, yet in your association with Christ, you cannot speak the truth, act truthfully, or obey the word of Christ; then I say that you are the most devious and sinister in the world. Maybe you are especially cordial and loyal to your relatives, friends, wife (or husband), sons and daughters, and parents, and never take advantage of others, yet you cannot be compatible and at peace with Christ; then even if you send your all in relief to your neighbors or have taken good care of your father, mother, and household, I still say that you are wicked, and cunning, too. Do not think that you are compatible with Christ if you are compatible with man or perform some good deeds. Do you believe that your kindness can purloin the blessing of Heaven? Do you think that good deeds are a substitute for your obedience? None of you can accept dealing and pruning, and all find it difficult to accept the normal humanity of Christ. Yet you always claim obedience to God. Such faith as yours will bring upon a fitting retribution. Stop indulging in fanciful illusions and wishing to see Christ, for you are too little in stature, such that you are not even worthy to see Him. When you have completely cast away your rebellion and can be at peace with Christ, then God will naturally appear to you. If you go to see God without having undergone pruning or judgment, then you shall definitely become an opponent of God and set for destruction. The nature of man inherently is hostile to God, for all men have been thoroughly corrupted by Satan. Nothing good can come of a corrupt man associating with God. All actions and words of man will surely expose his corruption; and when he associates with God, his rebelliousness will be revealed in all aspects. Man then unknowingly opposes Christ, deceives Christ, and rejects Christ; then will man be in an even more dangerous state. Should it continue, he will become subject to punishment.
Some may believe that since association with God is so dangerous, then it would be wise to give God a wide berth. What, then, can such people receive? Can they be loyal to God? Indeed, association with God is very difficult, but that is entirely because man is corrupted and not because God cannot associate with man. It would be best for you to devote more effort on the truth of knowing the self. Why have you not found favor with God? Why is your disposition abominable to Him? Why are your words loathsome to Him? You praise yourselves for your little loyalty and want reward for your small sacrifice; you look down upon others when you show a bit obedience, and become contemptuous of God upon performing some petty work. You wish for riches and gifts and compliments for receiving God. Your heart aches when you give a coin or two; when you give ten, you wish for blessings and to be distinguished from others. A humanity such as yours is really offensive to speak of or hear. What is praiseworthy of your words and actions? Those who perform their duty and those who do not; those who lead and those who follow; those who receive God and those who do not; those who give and those who do not; those who preach and those who receive the word, and so on; all such men praise themselves. Do you not find this laughable? In surety you know that you believe in God, yet you cannot be compatible with God. In surety you know that you are unworthy, yet you remain boastful. Do you not feel that your sense has become such that you no longer have self-control? How can you with such sense be fit for association with God? Now are you not afraid for yourselves? Your disposition has already become such that you cannot be compatible with God. Is your faith not preposterous? Is your faith not absurd? How will you deal with your future? How will you choose the path to travel down?
from The Word Appears in the Flesh