VI. The Relationship Between the Work of the Age of Grace and That of the Age of Kingdom
1. After the work of Jehovah, Jesus became flesh to do His work amongst man. His work was not carried out in isolation, but was built upon the work of Jehovah. It was work for a new age that God did after He had concluded the Age of Law. Similarly, after the work of Jesus ended, God went on with His work for the next age, because the entire management of God is always progressing forward. When the old age passes, it will be replaced by a new age, and once the old work has been completed, there will be new work to continue God’s management. This incarnation is God’s second incarnation, which follows upon Jesus’ work. Of course, this incarnation does not occur independently; it is the third stage of work after the Age of Law and the Age of Grace. … When Jesus came into the world of man, He ushered in the Age of Grace and ended the Age of Law. During the last days, God once more became flesh, and with this incarnation He ended the Age of Grace and ushered in the Age of Kingdom. All those who are able to accept the second incarnation of God will be led into the Age of Kingdom, and will moreover become able to personally accept the guidance of God. Though Jesus did much work among man, He only completed the redemption of all mankind and became man’s sin offering; He did not rid man of his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to become the sin offering and bear the sins of man, but it also required God to do even greater work to rid man completely of his satanically corrupted disposition. And so, now that man has been forgiven of his sins, God has returned to the flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment. This work has brought man into a higher realm. All those who submit under His dominion shall enjoy higher truth and receive greater blessings. They shall truly live in the light, and they shall gain the truth, the way, and the life.
Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh
2. The first incarnate God did not complete the work of incarnation; He only completed the first step of the work that it was necessary for God to do in the flesh. So, in order to finish the work of incarnation, God has returned to the flesh once again, living out all the normality and reality of the flesh, that is, making God’s Word manifest in an entirely normal and ordinary flesh, thereby concluding the work that He left undone in the flesh. … It was Jesus’ flesh that was nailed to the cross, His flesh that He gave up as a sin offering; it was by means of a flesh with normal humanity that He defeated Satan and completely saved man from the cross. And it is as a complete flesh that the second incarnate God performs the work of conquest and defeats Satan. Only a flesh that is completely normal and real can perform the work of conquest in its entirety and bear powerful testimony. That is to say, the conquest of man is made effective through the reality and normality of God in the flesh, not through supernatural miracles and revelations. The ministry of this incarnate God is to speak, and thereby to conquer and perfect man; in other words, the work of the Spirit realized in the flesh, the flesh’s duty, is to speak and thereby conquer, reveal, perfect, and eliminate man completely. And so, it is in the work of conquest that God’s work in the flesh will be accomplished in full. The initial work of redemption was only the beginning of the work of incarnation; the flesh that performs the work of conquest will complete the entire work of incarnation.
“The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
3. The work of today has pushed forward the work of the Age of Grace; that is, the work under the entire six-thousand-year management plan has moved forward. Though the Age of Grace has ended, there has been progress in God’s work. Why do I say time and again that this stage of work builds upon the Age of Grace and the Age of Law? Because the work of this day is a continuation of the work done in the Age of Grace, and an advance over that done in the Age of Law. The three stages are tightly interconnected, with each link in the chain closely tied to the next. Why do I also say that this stage of work builds on that done by Jesus? Supposing that this stage did not build on the work done by Jesus, another crucifixion would have to take place in this stage, and the redemptive work of the previous stage would have to be done all over again. This would be meaningless. And so it is not that the work is completely finished, but that the age has moved forward and the level of the work has been raised higher than before. It can be said that this stage of work is built on the foundation of the Age of Law and upon the rock of Jesus’ work. God’s work is built stage by stage, and this stage is not a new beginning. Only the combination of the three stages of work may be deemed the six-thousand-year management plan. The work of this stage is done on the foundation of the work of the Age of Grace. If these two stages of work were unrelated, then why is the crucifixion not repeated in this stage? Why do I not bear the sins of man, but instead come to judge and chastise man directly? If My work to judge and chastise man and My coming now not by the conception of the Holy Spirit did not follow the crucifixion, then I would not be qualified to judge and chastise man. It is precisely because I am one with Jesus that I come directly to chastise and judge man. The work at this stage is built entirely on the work in the preceding stage. That is why only work of this kind can bring man, step by step, into salvation. Jesus and I come from one Spirit. Even though We are unrelated in Our fleshes, Our Spirits are one; even though the content of what We do and the work that We take on are not the same, We are alike in essence; Our fleshes take different forms, but this is due to the change in era and the differing requirements of Our work; Our ministries are not alike, so the work We bring forth and the dispositions We reveal to man are also different. That is why what man sees and understands this day is unlike in the past, which is because of the change in era.
“The Two Incarnations Complete the Significance of the Incarnation” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
4. The first time I came among humans was during the Age of Redemption. Of course, I came into a Jewish family; as such, the first to see God’s coming to earth were the Jews. The reason I did this work in person was that I wanted to use My incarnate flesh as a sin offering in My work of redemption. Thus, the first to see Me were the Jews in the Age of Grace. That was the first time I worked in the flesh. In the Age of Kingdom, My work is to conquer and perfect, so I again do My shepherding work in the flesh. This is My second time working in the flesh. … They are similar in that both incarnate fleshes of God carry out the work of God the Father, and dissimilar in that one performed the work of redemption while the other does the work of conquest. Both represent God the Father, but one is the Redeemer, filled with lovingkindness and mercy, and the other is the God of righteousness, filled with wrath and judgment. One is the Supreme Commander who launched the work of redemption, while the other is the righteous God who accomplishes the work of conquest. One is the Beginning, the other the End. One is sinless flesh, while the other is flesh that completes the redemption, continues the work, and is never sinful. Both are the same Spirit, but They dwell in different fleshes and were born in different places, and They are separated by several thousand years. However, all Their work is mutually complementary, never conflicting, and can be spoken of in the same breath.
“What Is Your Understanding of God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
5. 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. … 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.
“God’s Work and Man’s Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
6. From the work of Jehovah to that of Jesus, and from the work of Jesus to that of this current stage, these three stages cover in a continuous thread the entire gamut of God’s management, and are all the work of one Spirit. Since the creation of the world, God has always been at work managing mankind. He is the Beginning and the End, He is the First and the Last, and He is the One who begins an age and the One who brings the age to an end. The three stages of work, in different ages and different locations, are unmistakably the work of one Spirit. All those who separate these three stages stand in opposition to God. Now, it behooves you to understand that all the work from the first stage until today is the work of one God, the work of one Spirit. Of this there can be no doubt.
“The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh