Daily Words of God: Knowing God's Work | Excerpt 216
The work of God’s management began at the creation of the world, and man is at the core of this work. God’s creation of all things, it can be said, is for the sake of man. Because the work of His management stretches over thousands of years, and is not carried out in the space of mere minutes or seconds, or a blink of an eye, or over one or two years, He had to create more things necessary for the survival of man, such as the sun, moon, all sorts of living creatures, and food and a living environment for mankind. This was the start of God’s management.
After that, God handed mankind over to Satan, man lived under the domain of Satan, and this gradually led to God’s work of the first age: the story of the Age of Law…. During several thousand years of the Age of Law, mankind became accustomed to the guidance of the Age of Law, and they began to take it lightly, and gradually left the care of God. And so, at the same time as sticking to the law, they also worshiped idols and committed evil acts. They were without the protection of Jehovah, and merely lived their lives before the altar in the temple. In fact, the work of God had left them long ago, and even though the Israelites still stuck to the law, and spoke the name of Jehovah, and even proudly believed that only they were the people of Jehovah and were the chosen ones of Jehovah, the glory of God quietly abandoned them …
When God does His work, He always quietly leaves one place while softly carrying out the new work He begins in another place. This seems incredible to people, who are benumbed. People have always treasured the old and regarded new, unfamiliar things with enmity, or seen them as a nuisance. And so, whatever new work God does, from the start to the very end, man is the last to know of it among all things.
As has always been the case, after the work of Jehovah in the Age of Law, God began His new work of the second stage: assuming the flesh, being incarnated as man for ten, twenty years, and speaking and doing His work among believers. Yet without exception, no one knew, and only a small number of people acknowledged that He was God become flesh after the Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross and resurrected. … As soon as the second stage of God’s work was completed—after the crucifixion—God’s work of recovering man from sin (which is to say, recovering man from the hands of Satan) was accomplished. And so, from that moment onward, mankind had only to accept the Lord Jesus as the Savior for his sins to be forgiven. Nominally speaking, the sins of man were no longer a barrier to his achieving salvation and coming before God and were no longer the leverage by which Satan accused man. That is because God Himself had done real work, had become in the likeness and foretaste of sinful flesh, and God Himself was the sin offering. In this way, man descended from the cross, being redeemed and saved thanks to the flesh of God, the likeness of this sinful flesh. And so, after being taken captive by Satan, man came one step closer to accepting salvation before God. Of course, this stage of work was the management of God that was one step on from the Age of Law, and of a deeper level than the Age of Law.
Such is the management of God: to hand mankind over to Satan—a mankind that doesn’t know what God is, what the Creator is, how to worship God, and why it is necessary to submit to God—and give free rein to the corruption of Satan. Step by step, God then recovers man from the hands of Satan, until man fully worships God and rejects Satan. This is the management of God. All this sounds like a mythical story; and it seems perplexing. People feel that it is like a mythical story, and that is because they have no inkling of how much has happened to man over the last several thousand years, much less do they know how many stories have occurred in the expanse of this universe. And furthermore, that is because they cannot appreciate the more astonishing, more fear-inducing world that exists beyond the material world, but which their mortal eyes prevent them from seeing. It feels incomprehensible to man, and that is because man has no understanding of the significance of God’s salvation of mankind and the significance of the work of God’s management, and does not comprehend how God ultimately wishes mankind to be. Is it a mankind akin to Adam and Eve, uncorrupted by Satan? No! The management of God is in order to gain a group of people who worship God and submit to Him. This mankind has been corrupted by Satan, but no longer sees Satan as his father; he recognizes the ugly face of Satan, and rejects it, and comes before God to accept His judgment and chastisement. He knows what is ugly, and how it contrasts with that which is holy, and he recognizes the greatness of God and the evil of Satan. A mankind such as this will no longer work for Satan, or worship Satan, or enshrine Satan. That’s because they are a group of people that have truly been gained by God. This is the significance of God’s managing mankind. During the work of God’s management of this time, mankind is the object of Satan’s corruption, and at the same time is the object of God’s salvation, as well as the product God and Satan fight for. At the same time as conducting His work, God gradually recovers man from the hands of Satan, and so man comes ever closer to God …
And then came the Age of Kingdom, which is a more practical stage of work and yet is also the hardest for man to accept. That is because the closer that man comes to God, the nearer God’s rod approaches man, and the more clearly God’s face appears before man. Following the redemption of mankind, man officially returns to the family of God. Man thought that now was the time for enjoyment, yet he is subjected to a full-frontal assault by God the likes of which has not been foreseen by anyone. As it turns out, this is a baptism that the people of God have to “enjoy.” Under such treatment, people have no choice but to stop and think to themselves, I am the lamb, lost for many years, that God spent so much to buy back, so why does God treat me like this? Is it God’s way of laughing at me, and revealing me? … After years have passed, man has become weather-beaten, having experienced the hardship of refinement and chastisement. Although man has lost the “glory” and “romance” of times past, he has unconsciously come to understand the truth of being a man, and has come to appreciate God’s years of devotion to saving mankind. Man slowly begins to loathe his own barbarousness. He begins to hate how feral he is, and all the misunderstandings toward God, and the unreasonable demands he has made of Him. Time cannot be reversed; past events become the regretful memories of man, and the words and love of God become the driving force in man’s new life. Man’s wounds heal day by day, his strength returns, and he stands up and looks upon the face of the Almighty … only to discover that He has always been at my side, and that His smile and His beautiful countenance are still so stirring. His heart still holds concern for the mankind He created, and His hands are still as warm and powerful as they were at the beginning. It is as if man returned to the Garden of Eden, yet this time man no longer listens to the enticements of the serpent, no longer turns away from the face of Jehovah. Man kneels before God, looks up at God’s smiling face, and offers his most precious sacrifice—Oh! My Lord, my God!
The love and compassion of God permeates each and every detail of His management work, and regardless of whether people are able to understand God’s good intentions, He is still tirelessly doing the work that He intends to accomplish. Irrespective of how much people understand of the management of God, the benefits and assistance of the work done by God can be appreciated by everyone. Perhaps, today, you have not felt any of the love or life provided by God, but as long as you do not abandon God, and do not give up on your determination to seek the truth, then there will always be a day when God’s smile will be revealed to you. For the aim of the work of God’s management is to recover the mankind who is under the domain of Satan, not to abandon the mankind who has been corrupted by Satan and opposes God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Appendix 3: Man Can Only Be Saved Amidst God’s Management
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