Daily Words of God: The Three Stages of Work | Excerpt 14
Each stage of the Holy Spirit’s work simultaneously requires the testimony of man. Each stage of work is a battle between God and Satan, and the object of the battle is Satan, while the one who will be made perfect by this work is man. Whether or not God’s work can bear fruit depends on the manner of man’s testimony to God. This testimony is what God requires of those who follow Him; it is the testimony made before Satan, and also proof of the effects of His work. The entire management of God is divided into three stages, and in each stage, fitting requirements are made of man. Furthermore, as the ages pass and progress, God’s requirements of all mankind become ever higher. Thus, step-by-step, this work of God’s management reaches its climax, until man beholds the fact of the “appearance of the Word in the flesh,” and in this way the requirements of man become even higher, and requirements of man to bear testimony become even higher. The more that man is capable of truly cooperating with God, the more that he glorifies God. Man’s cooperation is the testimony that he is required to bear, and the testimony that he bears is the practice of man. And so, whether or not God’s work can have the due effect, and whether or not there can be true testimony, are inextricably linked to the cooperation and testimony of man. When the work is finished, which is to say, when all of God’s management has reached its end, man will be required to bear higher testimony, and when the work of God reaches its end, the practice and entry of man will reach their zenith. In the past, man was required to comply with the law and the commandments, and was required to be patient and humble. Today, man is required to obey all of God’s arrangements and possess a supreme love of God, and is ultimately required to still love God amid the tribulation. These three stages are requirements that God makes of man, step-by-step, throughout His entire management. Each stage of God’s work goes deeper than the last, and in each stage the requirements of man are more profound than the last, and in this way, God’s entire management gradually takes shape. It is precisely because the requirements of man are ever higher that man’s disposition comes ever closer to the standards required by God, and it is only then that the whole of mankind gradually departs from the influence of Satan until, when God’s work comes to a complete end, the whole of mankind will have been saved from the influence of Satan. When that time comes, the work of God will have reached its end, and man’s cooperation with God in order to achieve changes in his disposition will be no more, and the whole of mankind will live in the light of God, and from then on, there will be no rebelliousness or opposition to God. God will also make no demands of man, and there will be a more harmonious cooperation between man and God, one which will be the life of man and God together, the life that comes after the management of God has been completely concluded, and after man has been fully saved by God from the clutches of Satan. Those who cannot closely follow the footsteps of God are incapable of attaining such a life. They will have lowered themselves into darkness, where they will weep and gnash their teeth; they are people who believe in God but do not follow Him, who believe in God but do not obey all of His work.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Practice