Recently a reporter asked me this question, “Why does the Church of God believe in God in the flesh, while most other churches do not believe in God incarnate?” He added that even though we hold on to the truth and follow the right path with a healthy faith, it may seem odd or abnormal to other people.
The reporter’s question reminded me that the truth of the Bible, which everyone must know, had not been preached enough to people in general, even to Christians. This made me so anxious and frustrated. In actuality, Christianity itself is a religion which acknowledges that God has come in the flesh.
The “Trinity,” which Christians talk about, means that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are one and the same God. In the age of the Father when God worked for the salvation of mankind in the name of Jehovah, He existed mainly in spirit and delivered His will through His prophets. However, 2,000 years ago, God came to this earth with the name of Jesus in the likeness of a human just like one of us and personally preached the gospel for the salvation of mankind. Christianity is a religion that believes in Jesus Christ, God incarnate, isn’t it? The central theme of Christianity is the faith in the fact that God has come in the flesh; Christianity is a religion based upon an absolute belief in the incarnation of God.
If anyone says that God cannot come in the flesh, he is the one who acknowledges himself as a denier of God’s almightiness. Through the previous life of Solomon and Job, the Bible testifies that everyone born on this earth existed as a spirit in the kingdom of God before the creation of the world (Pr 8:22-31; Job 38:1-21). Even children of God, who were created by Him, existed as spirits and were born in the flesh. How much more can God, who is the Creator, come to this earth in the flesh?
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. Heb 2:14-15
The core of the faith which the apostles and forefathers of faith had was the belief that God must come in the flesh. The Apostle John, one of Jesus’ disciples, definitely states that God became flesh and came into the world, in the first part of the Gospel which he wrote.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … The Word (God) became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Jn 1:1-14
The fact that God in heaven has come to this earth in the flesh in order to save mankind—this is the most blessed and gracious news for us, isn’t it? God as Spirit, who should have stayed in heaven, dwelt among His people and led them to the way of life, giving them teachings and helping them distinguish right from wrong. Those who received Him were full of grace and truth. This was the faith of the apostles who were taught directly by Jesus and preached what they were taught.
“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 10:30-33
Jesus also testified to Himself as the same One as God the Father. The above verses clearly show that God, existing as Spirit, took on human flesh and came to this earth in the name of Jesus Christ.
However, the Jews tried to stone Jesus, saying that He blasphemed against God by claiming to be God. In the eyes of most Jews in those days, Jesus didn’t look like God, the Creator of all things, whom they had served. In their eyes, Jesus was merely a carpenter’s son who had a mother named Mary and also had siblings. They regarded God, who came as a man, merely as the founder of a new religion, and rejected Him completely. Those who claimed to believe in God called Him a “heretic” and crucified Him.
God Himself taught us that He would come in the flesh. Contrary to God’s teaching, many people thought, ‘How could a man claim to be God?’ This was the thought of those who were controlled by the spirit of Satan. The Bible says that the spirit that does not acknowledge God can come in the flesh is the spirit of the antichrist, and warns that we must not accept it.
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, . . . We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. 1 Jn 4:1-6
Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. … 2 Jn 1:7-11
The spirit of the antichrist is the spirit that denies Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. The Apostle John, who testified that God became flesh and came to this earth, emphasized: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is from Satan. The Bible distinguishes the Spirit of truth from the spirit of falsehood according to whether or not the spirit acknowledges that God has come in the flesh.
If a religion does not believe in the incarnation of God, it is not a Christian religion. The insistence that denies the Incarnation is not a teaching from God, and those who do not believe in the incarnation of God cannot be said to be children of God. Now, let’s take a look at some testimonies of Paul, known as the “greatest apostle.”
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death . . . Php 2:5-8
Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. Ro 9:5
Apostle Paul repeatedly acknowledged that Christ came in the flesh, so he must have been a person with the spirit from God. He realized that Jesus was the incarnate God, and converted from Judaism to the Church of God (Gal 1:13-14). From that time on, he confidently testified to the saints of the early Church in each region that Jesus Christ was God by nature even though He came to this earth in the flesh and that God came as a man and carried out the ministry of salvation for human beings.
The whole Bible—the Old and New Testaments, written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, consistently explains the incarnation of God. For instance, the prophet Isaiah prophesied that God would come in the flesh, over 700 years before Jesus came to this earth.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isa 9:6
Here, a son refers to Jesus. The above verse says that the Mighty God is born as a child. This means that God has come to this earth in the flesh. Thus, the prophecies of the Old Testament prophets, also clearly testify to the incarnation of God.
We must not commit again the foolishness of not recognizing God even though He is dwelling among us. God prophesied that He would appear a second time to us for our salvation.
Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. Heb 9:27-28
The Bible clearly shows that as Christ took on human flesh to sacrifice Himself as a sin offering at His first coming, so He is to become incarnate in human form at His second coming. If Christ didn’t come in the flesh, the words “first time” or “second time” would not be needed. Spiritually, Jesus is with us always, to the very end of the age (Mt 28:18-20). However, He is also to come in the flesh visible to the human eye. That’s why the Bible says that Christ will appear a second time.
This is the teaching taught by Jesus and the apostles 2,000 years ago, and also the truth preserved by the early Church of God. As the human ideas and philosophies dominated the church during the Dark Ages, the spiritual teachings given by God gradually disappeared. The common notion that God cannot be a man is also an idea influenced by philosophy.
Although time goes by, the truth does not change. Christianity must be based on the teaching that God came in the flesh. It is the same when He comes a second time. There are many prophecies about the second coming of Christ in the Bible. Some prophecies show that God will appear a second time in the flesh as a human just like one of us in order to save mankind, and some show that God will come from Zion, where His appointed feasts are celebrated; and it is also prophesied that God will come as the Spirit and the Bride and give the water of life to human beings (Ro 11:26; Isa 33:20; Mt 24:32-33; Rev 22:17). All the prophecies of the Bible are being fulfilled exactly.
The same thing occurs even today; some people receive God who has come in the flesh, while others reject Him, saying, “How can God become a human being like one of us?” just as it was at His first coming. However, Christianity is a religion that believes in the incarnation of God, not a religion that denies His coming in the flesh. If anyone denies God’s incarnation, he is not a Christian but the one controlled by the spirit of the antichrist. This is what the Bible teaches.
It is not easy to believe in God who has come as a human being. Suppose a young man who is about 30 years old says, “I am God. Believe in me.” Would you easily believe him to be God? Let’s think about the situation at the time of Jesus.
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 11:2-6
Even John the Baptist, who was given the mission to testify to Christ, didn’t have perfect faith in Jesus, and asked Him, “Are you the one who was to come?” God who ate the same foods as me and lived together with me! When people ridiculed Him, He was just ridiculed; when they dragged Him, He was dragged; and when they flogged Him, He was helplessly beaten and whipped. He looked so helpless, even less than any other man. The fact itself that He came in the flesh became a testing and stumbling block to the people. So Jesus said, “Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”
However, to those who believed in the God who came in the flesh, He gave the right to become children of God. Since the grace of salvation is granted only to those who know and recognize God correctly, Jesus clearly testified about Himself and blessed His disciples who recognized Him as God.
“Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Mt 16:13-19
Peter confidently acknowledged Jesus, saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” In Isaiah 9, the one who was to be born as a son was the very Mighty God and the Everlasting Father. Since Jesus took on human flesh, He was called the “Son of God,” but He was God Himself by nature just as the Apostle Paul said. Peter believed this firmly.
Jesus made it clear to Peter that it was revealed to him by God, and gave him the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Jesus said, “On this rock I will build my church.” This shows that the foundation of the church is the faith that recognizes and acknowledges God who has come in the flesh.
Our Church of God is the church which has been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets who believed in the incarnation of God. So, we should take pride in our Church and confidently boast about God who has come in the flesh.
Nowadays, there are numerous people who claim to believe in God, but whoever does not acknowledge that God has come in the flesh cannot be said to be a true Christian. The Jews had the same kind of thought, so finally they were seized by the spirit of the antichrist and crucified the God whom they had believed in, didn’t they?
The apostles strongly emphasized, “the man Christ Jesus” (1 Ti 2:5). The incarnation of God is a Biblical teaching handed down from the early Church. We should hold on to this truth, which Jesus personally taught and the apostles preached.
As people of Zion, let’s have more confidence in the fact that we live in this perfect truth, and preach the good news that Elohim, the Spirit and the Bride, have come to this earth in the flesh to the ends of the earth. I earnestly hope you will all be great gospel workers by helping many people know God correctly and leading them to the way of salvation. Our Elohim who have come in the flesh a second time to bring us salvation and opened our spiritual eyes to recognize God who is dwelling among us! Thank You for giving us such amazing grace and glory!