People expect that God will come with unimaginable glory when He appears on this earth. However, the Bible prophesies that God will come in the most ordinary of ways, so people will not recognize Him and He will be a trap and a snare to them.
Then, how can we recognize God who appears in a totally different way than most people expect? Let’s take some time to understand God’s will for us by studying the history of the Bible.
During the Joseon Dynasty of Korea, there was the Secret Royal Inspector (called Amhaengosa) system. Under the centralized system, a secret royal inspector was dispatched in secret by royal command to travel the countryside to check on local government officials and take appropriate administrative and judicial action to relieve the grievances of the people. In order to detect whether officials were faithfully carrying out the will of the king or they were abusing and plundering the people, the secret royal inspector disguised himself in humble clothes, wearing a crumpled hat, a dirty robe and tattered shoes. His social status was so high that he could ride in a royal carriage, accompanied by many guards. But if he did so, the local officials would recognize him and act hypocritically, and it would be difficult to observe the realities of people’s lives.
In the same way, God came to this earth as a man just like one of us, hiding His splendid glory and power in the flesh. Long time ago, when God spoke from Mount Sinai, the Israelites trembled for fear as they heard the voice of God, and asked Moses to speak to them himself and not have God speak to them. If the Mighty God comes with His glory visible to people, who on earth would disobey Him? Who would not believe in God and who would dare strike Him with his fist, slap Him, and even crucify Him?
God came to this earth in the human form, made lower than angels, hiding all His power and glory, so that He could select His own people. It is God’s counsel. Whoever has true faith should realize the will of God and give ear to the prophecies of the Bible.
“The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, and he will be a sanctuary; but for both houses of Israel he will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare. Many of them will stumble; they will fall and be broken, they will be snared and captured.”Isa 8:13-15
The prophet Isaiah prophesied that God would be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall and would also a trap and a snare for houses of Israel and for the people of Jerusalem, that is, for the people who believe in God. This means that those who claim to believe in God will fail to recognize and receive Him when He comes to this earth.
We must know how God appears so that we can receive Him. Only those who receive God, no matter how He comes, can enter the kingdom of heaven.
So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.”Isa 28:16
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house. . . . For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,” and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.1 Pe 2:4-8
A stone in Zion indicates Jesus. 2,000 years ago, when Jesus came in a humble manner, with nothing in His appearance that people should desire him, He became a stone that caused many people to stumble and fall.
The Bible already prophesied that Jesus would be born as a child through a virgin in Bethlehem. Even though Jesus came just as prophesied, many people did not recognize Him. Since they didn’t believe Him, they stumbled and fell over Him; they did not hesitate to scorn Him and strike Him with their fists. Thus, they dared to do such impious acts before God, uttering blasphemous words against Him.
It was not only Pharisees and the teachers of the law who did not believe in Jesus. Even Jesus’ relatives did not understand what He was doing.
Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”Mk 3:20-21
When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. . .Mt 13:53-57
As even Jesus’ family tried to take custody of Him, the people who opposed Jesus blamed Him all the more, saying that even His relatives did not believe in Him, so He could not be the Savior.
“but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. . . . I and the Father are one.” Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”Jn 10:26-33
Although God Himself testified that He is God, people tried to stone Him, saying that He spoke blasphemy. In their eyes Jesus did not look like God at all. They could not believe that He was God; to them He was merely the son of a carpenter.
This historical event gives an important lesson to us who are living today (Ro 15:4). We, who are to receive the Savior in the age of the Holy Spirit, should realize why all those things that happened 2,000 years ago are recorded in the Bible, so that we may not commit the same error as they did.
From a worldly viewpoint, there were many factors that make it difficult to believe in Jesus as the Savioir; He was caught helplessly by the servants of the high priest, and He just remained silent when He was flogged by the Roman soldiers. If He had punished His opposers right away in a manner that could astonish them all, they would believe He is the Mighty God, but He kept silent until He was crucified on the cross. To those who did not look at Jesus with a prophetic eye, He was merely an ordinary man.
The Bible testifies that Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies even to the moment when He died on the cross. However, those who did not believe the prophecies of the Bible fully came to doubt and fell away, even though they once believed in Him.
. . . When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”Mt 11:1-6
The Bible says that blessed is the man who recognizes Christ correctly and receives Him. According to these words, Peter was blessed, and Mary Magdalene and the centurion were also blessed; Jesus greatly complimented their faith. It is the same now. Only those who do not fall away on account of God Elohim, who have come as the Saviors in this age, can be blessed with eternal life in Zion.
Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, but small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life (Mt 7:13). Now we are walking the road that leads to life, which not all people of the world know and understand. So, the way of faith we walk, believing in the heavenly Father and Mother, is more precious and blessed.
While many people doubted and slandered Jesus, Apostles like Peter regarded Him as a treasure—a precious cornerstone in Zion. Let’s study how the disciples were able to believe in Jesus and follow Him to the end, while the religious leaders in those days didn’t even recognize Him and failed to receive Him.
What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. . . . From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”Jn 6:62-69
Eternal life only belongs to God. The apostles believed that Jesus is God when they heard the words of eternal life that He preached.
We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 Jn 5:9-12
. . . We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.1 Jn 5:18-20
Eternal life is an important link that holds God and His people together. We should not miss this point when we study the Bible. The purpose of studying the Bible is to possess eternal life. When we pursue eternal life, we come to meet God who is the reality of eternal life (Jn 5:39-40).
It was through the truth of eternal life Jesus preached that the disciples were able to believe in Jesus, who came in the humble likeness of a man, as God Himself and follow Him to the end. Mary Magdalene and the centurion also found the divine nature hidden in Jesus through His words of eternal life, and believed in Him as God. Even though Jesus humbled Himself and came to this earth in the flesh, they saw the sign which only God has, so they were able to absolutely believe that Jesus was the Creator who made the heavens and the earth.
God reveals His awesome power and shows more convincing evidence to those who realize His divine nature and believe in Him. However, to those who doubt and insult Him, He only shows things that make them more doubtful, so that they cannot believe in Him. We should understand this counsel of God and realize why God came to the earth as a stone that causes them to stumble and fall.
Today, God Elohim—the Spirit and the Bride—have come to the earth according to the prophecies of the Bible. To those who do not believe, They become a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, but to those who believe, They are precious cornerstones. Even though people of the world stumble and fall over God Elohim because they do not believe in Them, we, the children of Zion, must correctly realize and receive our heavenly Father and Mother who have come to this earth to save us, Their children, with a heartbreaking story of ours in heaven.
As the children of God, let’s boldly proclaim God Elohim to all people around the world, shouting aloud, “Receive God who dwells in Zion,” always thinking of Their saving grace and counsel to us.