A Selection From the Four Passages of God’s Word on “The Mystery of the Incarnation” (Part Three)
20. All of God’s disposition has been revealed throughout the six-thousand-year management plan. It is not revealed only in the Age of Grace, only in the Age of Law, or even less so, only in this period of the last days. The work done in the last days represents judgment, wrath and chastisement. The work done in the last days cannot replace the work of the Age of Law or that of the Age of Grace. However, the three stages interconnect into one entity and are all the work done by one God. Naturally, the execution of this work is divided into separate ages. The work done in the last days brings everything to a close; that done in the Age of Law is of commencement; and that done in the Age of Grace is of redemption. As for the visions of the work in this entire six-thousand-year management plan, none can gain insight or understanding. Such visions have always remained mysteries. In the last days, only the work of the word is done to usher in the Age of Kingdom but it is not representative of all the ages. The last days are no more than the last days and no more than the Age of Kingdom, which do not represent the Age of Grace or the Age of Law. The last days are merely the time in which all the work in the six-thousand-year management plan is revealed to you. This is the unveiling of the mystery. Such mystery can be unveiled by no man. No matter how great an understanding man has of the Bible, it remains nothing more than words, for man does not understand the substance of the Bible. When man reads the Bible, he may receive some truths, explain some words or scrutinize some famous passages and quotes, but he will never be able to extricate the meaning contained within those words, for all man sees are dead words, not the scenes of the work of Jehovah and Jesus, and man is unable to unravel the mystery of such work. Therefore, the mystery of the six-thousand-year management plan is the greatest mystery, the one most hidden and utterly inconceivable to man. None can directly understand the will of God, unless He Himself explains and opens up to man, otherwise, they will forever remain riddles to man and forever remain sealed mysteries. Never mind those in the religious world; if you were not told today, neither would you be able to understand.
21. The work in the last days is the last stage of the three. It is the work of another new age and does not represent the whole management work. The six-thousand-year management plan is divided into three stages of work. No stage alone can represent the work of the three ages but can only represent one part of a whole. The name Jehovah cannot represent all of the disposition of God. The fact that He carried out work in the Age of Law does not prove that God can only be God under the law. Jehovah set forth laws for man and handed down commandments, asking man to build the temple and altars; the work He did represents only the Age of Law. The work He did does not prove that God is the God who asks man to keep the law, the God in the temple, or the God before the altar. This cannot be said. The work under the law can only represent one age. Therefore, if God did the work in the Age of Law alone, man would define God and say, “God is the God in the temple. To serve God, we must wear priestly robes and enter the temple.” If the work in the Age of Grace had never been carried out and the Age of Law had continued until the present, man would not know that God is also merciful and loving. If the work in the Age of Law had not been done, and only that in the Age of Grace had been done, man would know only that God can redeem man and forgive man’s sins. They would only know that He is holy and innocent, that He can sacrifice Himself and be crucified for man. Man would only know of this and have no understanding of all else. So each age represents one part of God’s disposition. The Age of Law represents some aspects, the Age of Grace some aspects, and then this age some aspects. The disposition of God can only be fully revealed through the combination of all three stages. Only when man recognizes all three stages can man receive it fully. Not one of the three stages can be omitted. You will only see the disposition of God in its entirety once you know these three stages of work. God’s completion of His work in the Age of Law does not prove that He is the God under the law, and completion of His work of redemption does not show that God will forever redeem mankind. These are all conclusions drawn by man. The Age of Grace has come to an end, but you cannot say that God belongs only to the cross and that the cross represents the salvation of God. If you do so, you are defining God. In this stage, God is mainly doing the work of the word, but you cannot say that God has never been merciful to man and that all He has brought is chastisement and judgment. The work in the last days lays bare the work of Jehovah and Jesus and all mysteries not understood by man. This is done to reveal the destination and end of mankind and conclude all work of salvation among mankind. This stage of work in the last days brings everything to a close. All mysteries not understood by man must be unraveled to allow man to gain insight into such and have a clear understanding in their hearts. Only then can man be divided according to their kinds. Only after the six-thousand-year management plan has been completed will man come to understand the disposition of God in its entirety, for His management will then have come to an end.
22. All of the work done throughout the six-thousand-year management plan has only now come to a close. Only after all of this work has been revealed to man and carried out among man will they know all of His disposition and His possessions and being. When the work of this stage has been fully completed, all mysteries not understood by man shall have been revealed, all truths previously not understood shall have been made clear, and mankind shall have been told of its future path and destination. This is all the work that is to be done in this stage.
23. What is asked of man this day is unlike that in the past and even more unlike that asked of man in the Age of Law. And what was asked of man under the law when work was done in Israel? They were asked for no more than to keep the Sabbath and the laws of Jehovah. None were to work on the Sabbath or transgress the laws of Jehovah. But it is not so now. On the Sabbath, man works, gathers and prays as usual, and no restrictions are imposed. Those in the Age of Grace had to be baptized; not only that, they were asked to fast, break bread, drink wine, cover their heads and wash the feet of others for them. Now, these rules have been abolished and greater demands are made of man, for the work of God continuously deepens and the entry of man reaches ever higher. In the past, Jesus laid His hands upon man and prayed, but now that everything has been said, what is the use of the laying on of hands? Words alone can achieve results. When He laid His hands upon man in the past, it was to bless and heal man. This was how the Holy Spirit worked at that time, but it is not so now. Now, the Holy Spirit uses words in His work to achieve results. He has made His words clear to you, and you should just put them into practice. His words are His will and show the work He will do. Through His words, you can understand His will and that which He asks you to attain. You just put His words into practice directly without the need for the laying on of hands. Some may say, “Lay Your hands upon me! Lay Your hands upon me so that I may receive Your blessing and partake of You.” These are all previous outdated practices that are now prohibited, for the age has changed. The Holy Spirit works in accordance with the age, not just at will or according to set rules. The age has changed, and a new age must bring with it new work. This is true of every stage of work, and so His work is never repeated. In the Age of Grace, Jesus did much of that work, such as healing sickness, casting out demons, laying His hands upon man to pray for man, and blessing man. However, to continue to do so would serve no purpose in the present day. The Holy Spirit worked in that way at the time, for it was the Age of Grace, and man was shown enough grace for enjoyment. Man did not have to pay any price and could receive grace as long as he had faith. All were treated very graciously. Now, the age has changed, and the work of God has progressed further; through His chastisement and judgment, the rebelliousness of man and the unclean things within man will be cast away. As it was the stage of redemption, God had to do such work, showing man enough grace for man to enjoy, so that He could redeem man from sin, and through grace forgive man their sins. This stage is done to reveal the iniquities within man through chastisement, judgment, the smiting of words, as well as the discipline and revelation of words, so that they may afterward be saved. This is work more in-depth than redemption. In the Age of Grace, man enjoyed enough grace and has already experienced this grace, and so it is no longer to be enjoyed by man. Such work is now out-of-date and is no longer to be done. Now, man is saved through judgment by the word. After man is judged, chastised and refined, his disposition is thereby changed. Is this not because of the words I have spoken? Each stage of work is done in line with the progress of all mankind and with the age. All work has its significance; it is done for the final salvation, for mankind to have a good destination in the future, and for man to be divided according to their kind in the end.
24. The work in the last days is to speak words. Great changes can be effected in man through the words. The changes now effected in these people on acceptance of these words are much greater than that of people in the Age of Grace on acceptance of those signs and wonders. For, in the Age of Grace, the demons went away from man with the laying on of hands and prayer, but the corrupt dispositions within man still remained. Man was healed of his sickness and forgiven his sins, but the work for just how the corrupt satanic dispositions within man could be cast away was not done in him. Man was only saved and forgiven his sins for his faith, but the sinful nature of man was not taken away and still remained within him. The sins of man were forgiven through God incarnate, but it does not mean that man has no sin within him. The sins of man could be forgiven through the sin offering, but man has been unable to resolve the issue of just how he can no longer sin and how his sinful nature can be cast away completely and be transformed. The sins of man were forgiven because of the work of God’s crucifixion, but man continued to live in the old, corrupt satanic disposition. As such, man must be completely saved from the corrupt satanic disposition so that the sinful nature of man is completely cast away and never again develops, thus allowing the disposition of man to be changed. This requires man to understand the path of growth in life, the way of life, and the way to change his disposition. It also needs man to act in accordance with this path so that the disposition of man can gradually be changed and he can live under the shining of the light, and that he can do all things in accord with the will of God, cast away the corrupt satanic disposition, and break free from Satan’s influence of darkness, thereby emerging fully from sin. Only then will man receive complete salvation. When Jesus was doing His work, man’s knowledge of Him was still vague and unclear. Man always believed that He was the son of David and proclaimed Him to be a great prophet and the benevolent Lord who redeemed man’s sins. Some, based on faith, became healed just by touching the edge of His garment; the blind could see and even the dead could be restored to life. However, man could not discover the corrupt satanic disposition deeply rooted within him and neither did man know how to cast it away. Man received much grace, such as the peace and happiness of the flesh, the blessing of the entire family upon the faith of one, and the healing of sicknesses, and so on. The rest were the good deeds of man and their godly appearance; if man could live based on such, he was considered a good believer. Only such believers could enter heaven after death, which means that they were saved. But, in their lifetime, they did not understand at all the way of life. They merely committed sins, then made confession in a constant cycle without any path toward a changed disposition; such was the condition of man in the Age of Grace. Has man received complete salvation? No! Therefore, after that stage was complete, there is still the work of judgment and chastisement. This stage makes man pure through the word so as to give man a path to follow. This stage would not be fruitful or meaningful if it continued with the casting out of demons, for the sinful nature of man would not be cast away and man would only stop upon the forgiveness of sins. Through the sin offering, man has been forgiven his sins, for the work of the crucifixion has already come to an end and God has prevailed over Satan. But the corrupt disposition of man still remains within them and man can still sin and resist God; God has not gained mankind. That is why in this stage of work God uses the word to reveal the corrupt disposition of man and asks man to practice in accordance with the right path. This stage is more meaningful than the previous one and more fruitful as well, for now it is the word that directly supplies life for man and enables the disposition of man to be completely renewed; it is a stage of work more thorough. Therefore, the incarnation in the last days has completed the significance of God’s incarnation and completely finished God’s management plan for the salvation of man.
25. 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 smote or completely carried away captive by Satan because man is unable to associate with God.
26. The first incarnation was to redeem man from sin through the flesh of Jesus, that is, He saved man from the cross, but the corrupt satanic disposition still remained within man. The second incarnation is no longer to serve as a sin offering but to fully save those who were redeemed from sin. This is done so that those forgiven can be delivered from their sins and be fully made clean, and attain a change in disposition, thereby breaking free of Satan’s influence of darkness and returning before the throne of God. Only in this way can man be fully sanctified. God began the work of salvation in the Age of Grace after the Age of Law had come to an end. It is not until the last days, when God has fully purified mankind by doing the work of judgment and chastisement of man for rebelliousness, will God conclude His work of salvation and enter into rest. Therefore, in the three stages of work, only twice did God become flesh to carry out His work among man Himself. That is because only one in the three stages of work is to lead man in their lives, while the other two are the work of salvation. Only if God becomes flesh can He live alongside man, experience the suffering of the world, and live in an ordinary flesh. Only in this way can He supply man of His creation with the practical word that they need. Man receives full salvation from God because of God incarnate, not directly from their prayers to heaven. For man is fleshly; man is unable to see the Spirit of God and much less able to approach Him. All that man can associate with is God’s incarnate flesh; only through Him can man understand all the words and all the truths, and receive full salvation. The second incarnation is sufficient to get rid of the sins of man and fully purify man. Hence, the second incarnation will bring to a close all the work of God in the flesh and complete the significance of God’s incarnation. Thereafter, the work of God in the flesh will have entirely come to an end. After the second incarnation, He will not again become flesh for His work. For His entire management will have come to an end. In the last days, His incarnation will have fully gained His chosen people, and all man in the last days will have been divided according to their kind. He will no longer do the work of salvation, nor will He return to flesh to carry out any work.
27. In the work of the last days, the word is mightier than the manifestation of signs and wonders, and the authority of the word surpasses that of signs and wonders. The word reveals all the corrupt dispositions in the heart of man. You are unable to recognize them on your own. When they are revealed to you through the word, you will naturally come to the realization; you will not be able to deny them, and you will be utterly convinced. Is this not the authority of the word? This is the result achieved by the present work of the word. Therefore, man cannot be fully saved from his sins by the healing of sickness and casting out of demons and cannot be fully made complete by the manifestation of signs and wonders. The authority to heal and cast out demons only gives man grace, but the flesh of man still belongs to Satan and the corrupt satanic disposition still remains within man. In other words, that which has not been made clean still belongs to sin and filth. Only after man has been made clean through words can he be gained by God and become sanctified. If no more is done than casting out the demons within man and redeeming him, that is only seizing him from the hands of Satan and returning him to God. However, he has not been made clean or changed by God, and he remains corrupt. Within man still exists filth, opposition and rebelliousness; man has only returned to God through redemption, but man has no knowledge of Him and still resists and betrays God. Before man was redeemed, many of Satan’s poisons were already planted within him. After thousands of years of Satan’s corruption, man already has within him a nature that resists God. Therefore, when man has been redeemed, it is nothing more than redemption, where man is bought at a high price, but the poisonous nature within has not been eliminated. Man that is so defiled must undergo a change before being worthy to serve God. Through this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt substance within him, and he will be able to completely change and become clean. Only in this way can man be worthy to return before the throne of God. All the work done this day is so that man can be made clean and be changed; through judgment and chastisement by the word, as well as refinement, man can cast away his corruption and be made pure. Rather than deeming this stage of work to be that of salvation, it would be more apt to say it is the work of purification. In truth, this stage is that of conquest as well as the second stage of salvation. Man is gained by God through judgment and chastisement by the word; through the use of the word to refine, judge and disclose, all of the impurities, notions, motives, and individual hopes within man’s heart are completely revealed. Though man has been redeemed and forgiven of his sins, it is only considered as God not remembering the transgressions of man and not treating man in accordance with man’s transgressions. However, when man lives in the flesh and he has not been set free from sin, he can only continue to sin, endlessly revealing the corrupt satanic disposition. This is the life that man leads, an endless cycle of sin and forgiveness. The majority of men sin in the day only to confess in the evening. As such, even if the sin offering is forever effective for man, it would not be able to save man from sin. Only half the work of salvation has been completed, for man still has corrupt disposition. … it runs deeper than sin, planted by Satan and deeply rooted within man. It is not easy for man to become aware of his sins; man is unable to recognize his own deeply rooted nature. Only through judgment by the word can such effects be achieved. Only thus can man gradually be changed from that point onward.
28. What man has achieved now—the stature of man today, their knowledge, love, loyalty, obedience, as well as their seeing—are the results attained through judgment by the word. That you are able to have loyalty and to remain standing until this day is attained through the word. Now man sees that the work of God incarnate is indeed extraordinary. There is much that cannot be attained by man; they are mysteries and wonders. Therefore, many have submitted. Some have never submitted to any man since the days of their births, yet when they see the words of God this day, they fully submit without noticing they have done so. They do not venture to scrutinize or say anything else; they all have fallen to the word and to the judgment by the word. If the Spirit of God directly spoke to man, they would all submit to the voice, falling down without words of revelation, much like how Paul fell to the ground amid the light as he journeyed to Damascus. If God continued to work in this way, man would never be able to recognize his own corruption through judgment by the word and attain salvation. Only through becoming flesh can He personally deliver His words to the ears of all so that all who have ears can hear His words and receive His work of judgment by the word. Only such is the result achieved by His word, rather than the emergence of the Spirit “frightening man into submission.” Only through such practical and extraordinary work can the old disposition of man, hidden deep within for many years, be fully revealed so that man may recognize it and have it changed. This is the practical work of God incarnate; He speaks and executes judgment in a practical manner to achieve the results of judgment upon man by the word. This is the authority of God incarnate and the significance of God’s incarnation. It is done to make known the authority of God incarnate, the results achieved by the work of the word, and that the Spirit has come in the flesh; He demonstrates His authority through judgment upon man by the word. Although His flesh is the outward form of an ordinary and normal humanity, it is the results that His words achieve that show man He is full of authority, that He is God Himself and that His words are the expression of God Himself. This shows all man that He is God Himself, God Himself who became flesh, and that He can be transgressed against by none. None can surpass His judgment by the word, and no force of darkness can prevail over His authority.
29. He becomes flesh because the flesh can also possess authority, and He is capable of carrying out work among man in a practical manner, which is visible and tangible to man. Such work is much more realistic than any work directly done by the Spirit of God who possesses all authority, and its results are apparent as well. This is because His incarnate flesh can speak and do work in a practical way; the outward form of His flesh holds no authority and can be approached by man. His substance carries authority, but His authority is visible to none. When He speaks and works, man is unable to detect the existence of His authority; this is even more favorable to His actual work. And all of such work can achieve results. Even though no man realizes that He holds authority or sees that He cannot be offended or sees His wrath, through His veiled authority and wrath and public speech, He achieves the intended results of His words. In other words, through His tone of voice, sternness of speech, and all the wisdom of His words, man is utterly convinced. In this way, man submits to the word of God incarnate, who seemingly has no authority, thereby attaining His aim of salvation for man. This is another significance of His incarnation: to speak more realistically and allow the reality of His words to have an effect upon man so that they witness the power of the word of God. So this work, if not done through the incarnation, would not achieve the slightest results and would not be able to fully save sinners. 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 incarnation, 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.
30. In this final stage of work, results are achieved through the word. Through the word, man comes to understand many mysteries and God’s work throughout generations past; through the word, man is enlightened by the Holy Spirit; through the word, man comes to understand the mysteries never before unraveled by generations past, as well as the work of prophets and apostles of times past, and the principles by which they worked; through the word, man also comes to know the disposition of God Himself, as well as the rebelliousness and resistance of man, and comes to know their own substance. Through these steps of work and all words spoken, man comes to know the work of the Spirit, the work of God’s incarnate flesh, and moreover, His entire disposition. Your knowledge of God’s management work over six thousand years was also gained through the word. Was not your knowledge of your former notions and success in putting them aside also attained through the word? In the previous stage, Jesus worked signs and wonders, but it is not so in this stage. Was not your understanding of why He does not do so also achieved through the word? Therefore, the words spoken in this stage surpass the work done by the apostles and prophets of generations past. Even the prophecies made by the prophets could not have achieved such results. The prophets spoke only of prophecies, of what would happen in the future, but not of the work God was to do at the time. They did not speak to lead man in their lives, to bestow truths upon man or to reveal to man mysteries, and much less did they speak to bestow life. Of the words spoken in this stage, there is prophecy and truth, but mainly they serve to bestow life upon man. The words at present are unlike prophecies of the prophets. This is a stage of work not for prophecies but for the life of man, to change the life disposition of man. The first stage was the work of Jehovah to pave a path for man to worship God on earth. It was the work of commencement to find the source of work on earth. At that time, Jehovah taught the Israelites to observe the Sabbath, respect their parents and live peaceably with others. Since men of that time did not understand what constituted man, nor did they understand how to live on earth, it was necessary for Him in the first stage of work to lead men in their lives. All that Jehovah spoke to them had not previously been known to mankind or been in their possession. At that time many prophets were raised up to speak of prophecies, all made under the leadership of Jehovah. This was simply a part of the work. In the first stage, God did not become flesh, so He spoke to all tribes and nations through the prophets. When Jesus did His work at that time, He did not speak as much as in the present day. This work of the word in the last days has never been done in ages and generations past. Though Isaiah, Daniel and John made many prophecies, such prophecies were entirely different from the words spoken now. What they spoke of were only prophecies, but the words now are not. If I turned all I speak of now into prophecies, would you be able to understand? If I spoke of matters for the future, matters after I have gone, how could you gain understanding? The work of the word was never done in the time of Jesus or the Age of Law. Perhaps some may say, “Did not Jehovah speak words as well in the time of His work? In addition to healing sickness, casting out demons and working signs and wonders, did not Jesus also speak words at that time?” There are differences in how words are spoken. What was the substance of the words uttered by Jehovah? He was only leading man in their lives on earth, which was not involved with spiritual matters in life. Why is it said that the words of Jehovah were proclaimed unto all places? The word “proclaimed” refers to giving clear explanations and direct instruction. He did not supply man with life; rather, He simply took man by the hand and taught man how to revere Him. There were no parables. The work of Jehovah in Israel was not to deal with or discipline man or to deliver judgment and chastisement; it was to lead. Jehovah asked Moses to tell His people to gather manna in the wilderness. Every morning before sunrise, they were to gather manna, only enough to be eaten that day. The manna could not be kept until the next day, as it would then become moldy. He did not teach man or reveal their natures, and He did not reveal their ideas and thoughts. He did not change man but led them in their lives. In that time, man was like a child; man understood nothing and could only make basic mechanical movements; therefore, Jehovah only decreed laws to lead the people. If you wish to spread the gospel so that all who seek with a true heart can gain knowledge of the work done this day and be thoroughly convinced, then you must understand the inside story, substance and significance of the work done in each stage. By hearing your fellowship, they can understand the work of Jehovah and the work of Jesus and, moreover, all the work being done this day, as well as the relationship and differences between the three stages of work, so that, after they have listened, they will see that none of the three stages disrupt the others. Indeed, all have been done by the same Spirit. Though They carried out different work in different ages and spoke words that were unalike, the principles by which They worked were one and the same. These are the greatest visions that all people should understand.