Daily Words of God | "The Vision of God's Work (1)" | Excerpt 288
At the time, part of Jesus’ work was in accordance with the Old Testament, as well as with the laws of Moses and the words of Jehovah during the Age of Law. All these things, Jesus used to do part of His work. He preached to the people and taught them in the synagogues, and He employed the predictions of the prophets in the Old Testament to rebuke the Pharisees that were in enmity with Him, and used the words from the Scriptures to reveal their disobedience and thus condemn them. For they despised what Jesus had done; in particular, much of Jesus’ work was not done according to the laws in the Scriptures, and, furthermore, what He taught was higher than their own words, and even higher than that which had been foretold by the prophets in the Scriptures. The work of Jesus was only for the sake of man’s redemption and for the crucifixion, and so there was no need for Him to say more words in order to conquer any man. Much of what He taught man was drawn from the words of the Scriptures, and even if His work did not exceed the Scriptures, still He was able to accomplish the work of the crucifixion. His was not the work of the word, nor work done for the sake of conquering mankind, but work done in order to redeem mankind. He only acted as the sin offering for mankind, and did not act as the source of the word for mankind. He did not do the work of the Gentiles, which was the work of conquering man, but the work of the crucifixion, work that was done among those who believed there was a God. Even though His work was carried out upon the foundation of the Scriptures, and even though He used that which had been foretold by the old prophets to condemn the Pharisees, this was sufficient to complete the work of the crucifixion. If the work of today were still carried out upon the foundation of the predictions of the old prophets in the Scriptures, then it would be impossible to conquer you, for the Old Testament contains no record of the disobedience and sins of you Chinese people, and there is no history of your sins. So, if this work still lingered in the Bible, you would never yield. The Bible records only a limited history of the Israelites, one which is incapable of establishing whether you are evil or good, or of judging you. Imagine that I were to judge you according to the history of the Israelites—would you still follow Me as you do today? Do you know how difficult you are? If no words were spoken during this stage, then it would be impossible to complete the work of conquest. Because I have not come to be nailed to the cross, I must speak words that are separate from the Bible, so that you may be conquered. The work done by Jesus was merely a stage higher than the Old Testament; it was used to begin an age, and to lead that age. Why did He say, “I have not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill the law”? Yet in His work there was much that differed from the laws practiced and the commandments followed by the Israelites of the Old Testament, for He did not come to obey the law, but to fulfill it. The process of fulfilling it included many practical things: His work was more practical and real, and, furthermore, it was more alive, and was not blind adherence to rules. Did the Israelites not keep the Sabbath? When Jesus came, He did not observe the Sabbath, for He said that the Son of man was the Lord of the Sabbath, and when the Lord of the Sabbath arrived, He would do as He wished. He had come to fulfill the laws of the Old Testament and to change the laws. All that is done today is based upon the present, yet it still rests upon the foundation of the work of Jehovah in the Age of Law, and it does not transgress this scope. To watch your tongue, and not commit adultery, for example—are these not the laws of the Old Testament? Today, what is required of you is not only limited to the Ten Commandments, but consists of commandments and laws of a higher order than those that came before. Yet this does not mean that what came before has been abolished, for each stage of God’s work is carried out upon the foundation of the stage that came before. As for that which Jehovah introduced to Israel, such as requiring people to offer up sacrifices, honor their parents, not to worship idols, not to assault or curse others, not to commit adultery, not to smoke or drink, and not to eat dead things or drink blood—does this not form the foundation for your practice even today? It is upon the foundation of the past that the work has been carried out up until today. Though the laws of the past are no longer mentioned and new demands have been made of you, these laws, far from being abolished, have instead been elevated to higher status. To say that they have been abolished means that the previous age is outdated, whereas there are some commandments that you must honor for all eternity. The commandments of the past have already been put into practice, have already become the being of man, and there is no need to place special emphasis on such commandments as “Do not smoke,” and “Do not drink,” and so on. Upon this foundation, new commandments are laid down according to your needs today, according to your stature, and according to the work of today. Decreeing commandments for the new age does not mean abolishing the commandments of the old age, but lifting them higher upon this foundation, to make the actions of man more complete, and more in line with reality. If, today, you were only required to follow the commandments and abide by the laws of the Old Testament in the same way as the Israelites, and if you were even required to memorize the laws laid down by Jehovah, there would be no possibility that you could change. If you were only to abide by those few limited commandments or memorize innumerable laws, your old nature would remain deeply embedded, and there would be no way to uproot it. Thus you would become increasingly depraved, and not one of you would become obedient. This is to say that a few simple commandments or countless laws are incapable of helping you know the deeds of Jehovah. You are not the same as the Israelites: By following the laws and memorizing the commandments, they were able to witness the deeds of Jehovah and give their devotion to Him alone. But you are unable to achieve this, and a few commandments of the Old Testament age are not only incapable of making you give over your heart, or of protecting you, but will instead make you lax, and will make you fall down into Hades. For My work is the work of conquest, and it is aimed at your disobedience and your old nature. The kind words of Jehovah and Jesus fall far short of the severe words of judgment today. Without such severe words, it would be impossible to conquer you “experts,” who have been disobedient for thousands of years. The laws of the Old Testament lost their power on you long ago, and the judgment of today is far more formidable than the old laws. What is most suitable for you is judgment, and not the trifling restrictions of laws, for you are not the mankind of the very beginning, but a mankind that has been corrupt for thousands of years. What man must achieve now is in line with the real state of man today, according to the caliber and actual stature of present-day man, and it does not require that you follow rules. This is so that changes may be achieved in your old nature, and in order that you may cast aside your notions.
Excerpted from The Word Appears in the Flesh