Daily Words of God: The Three Stages of Work | Excerpt 33
In this final stage of work, results are achieved through the agency of the word. Through the word, man comes to understand many mysteries and the work that God has done through 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 past generations, 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 understand the disposition of God Himself, as well as the rebelliousness and resistance of man, and he comes to know his own essence. Through these steps of work and through all the words spoken, man comes to know the work of the Spirit, the work God’s incarnate flesh does, and even more, His entire disposition. Your knowledge of God’s work of management over six thousand years was also gained through the word. Was not the knowledge of your former notions and your success in putting them aside also attained through the word? In the previous stage, Jesus worked signs and wonders, but there are no signs and wonders in this stage. Was not your understanding of why God does not reveal signs and wonders 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 told by the prophets could not have achieved this result. The prophets spoke only prophecies, they spoke of what would happen in the future, but not of the work God wished to do at the time. Nor did they speak to guide mankind in their lives, or to bestow truths upon mankind, or to reveal mysteries to them, much less to bestow life. Of the words spoken in this stage, there is prophecy and truth, but mainly these words serve to bestow life upon man. The words at present are unlike the prophecies of the prophets. This is a stage of work for the life of man, to change man’s life disposition, and not for the sake of speaking prophecy. The first stage was the work of Jehovah: His work was to prepare a path for man toon earth. It was the work of commencement to find a place of origin for the work on earth. At that time, Jehovah taught the Israelites to observe the Sabbath, honor their parents, and live peaceably with one another. This was because the people 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 guide mankind in leading their lives. All that Jehovah spoke to them had not previously been known to mankind or been in their possession. At that time, God raised up many prophets to speak prophecies, and they all did so under the guidance of Jehovah. This was simply one item in the work of God. In the first stage, God did not become flesh, and so He instructed all tribes and nations through the prophets. When Jesus worked in His time, He did not speak as much as in the present day. This stage of the work of the word in the last days has never been done before in ages and generations past. Though Isaiah, Daniel and John spoke many prophecies, their prophecies were entirely different from the words spoken now. What they spoke were only prophecies, but the words spoken now are not. If I turned all I speak of now into prophecies, would you be able to understand? Supposing that what I spoke of was about matters after I had gone, how could you then gain understanding? The work of the word was never done in the time of Jesus or in the Age of Law. Perhaps some will say, “Did not Jehovah also speak words in the time of His work? Did Jesus not, in addition to healing sickness, casting out demons, and working signs and wonders, also speak words at that time He was working?” There are differences between the things that are said. What was the essence of the words uttered by Jehovah? He was only guiding mankind to lead their lives on earth, which did not touch on spiritual matters in life. Why is it said that, when Jehovah spoke, it was to instruct the people of all places? The word “instruct” means to tell explicitly and command directly. He did not supply man with life; rather, He simply took man by the hand and taught man how to revere Him, without too much in the way of parables. The work Jehovah did in Israel was not to deal with or discipline man or to deliver judgment and chastisement, it was to guide him. Jehovah commanded Moses to tell His people to gather manna in the wilderness. Every morning before sunrise, they were to gather manna, just enough for them to eat that day. The manna could not be kept until the next day, as it would then become moldy. He did not lecture people or expose their natures, nor did He expose their ideas and thoughts. He did not change people but rather guided them in leading their lives. The people of that time were like children, understanding nothing and capable only of some basic mechanical movements, and so Jehovah only decreed laws to guide the multitudes.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)