Daily Words of God: The Three Stages of Work | Excerpt 23
March 31, 2021
"Though Jesus in His incarnation was utterly without emotion, He always comforted His disciples, provided for them, helped them, and sustained them. However much work He did or however much suffering He endured, He never made excessive demands of the people, but was always patient and forbearing of their sins, such that people in the Age of Grace affectionately called Him “the lovable Savior Jesus.” To the people of that time—to all people—what Jesus had and was, was mercy and lovingkindness. He never remembered people’s transgressions, and His treatment of them was not based on their transgressions. Because that was a different age, He often bestowed plentiful food and drink upon the people so that they could eat their fill. He treated all His followers with grace, healing the sick, driving out demons, raising the dead. In order that the people might believe in Him and see that all that He did was done earnestly and sincerely, He went so far as to resurrect a rotting corpse, showing them that in His hands even the dead could come back to life. In this way He endured silently and did His work of redemption in their midst. Even before He was nailed to the cross, Jesus had already taken upon Himself the sins of humanity and become a sin offering for mankind. Even before being crucified, He had already opened the way to the cross in order to redeem mankind. At last He was nailed to the cross, sacrificing Himself for the sake of the cross, and He bestowed all of His mercy, lovingkindness, and holiness upon mankind. To humanity He was always tolerant, never vengeful, but forgave them their sins, exhorted them to repent, and taught them to have patience, forbearance, and love, to follow in His footsteps and sacrifice themselves for the sake of the cross. His love for the brothers and sisters exceeded His love for Mary. The work that He did took as its principle healing the people and driving out demons, all for the sake of His redemption. No matter where He went, He treated all who followed Him with grace. He made the poor rich, the lame walk, the blind see, and the deaf hear; He even invited the lowliest, destitute ones, the sinners, to sit at the same table with Him, never shunning them but always being patient, even saying, “When a shepherd loses one sheep out of a hundred, he will leave behind the ninety-nine to seek the one lost sheep, and when he finds it he will rejoice greatly.” He loved His followers as a ewe loves her lambs. Though they were foolish and ignorant, and were sinners in His eyes, and furthermore were the humblest members of society, He considered these sinners—men whom others despised—as the apple of His eye. Since He favored them, He gave up His life for them, as a lamb was offered up on the altar. He went about in their midst as if He were their servant, letting them use Him and slaughter Him, submitting to them unconditionally. To His followers He was the lovable Savior Jesus, but to the Pharisees, who lectured the people from a high pedestal, He showed not mercy and lovingkindness, but loathing and resentment. He did not do much work among the Pharisees, only occasionally lecturing and rebuking them; He did not go about in their midst doing the work of redemption, nor performing signs and wonders. He bestowed all His mercy and lovingkindness upon His followers, enduring for the sake of these sinners till the very end, when He was nailed to the cross, and suffering every humiliation until He had fully redeemed all humanity. This was the sum total of His work.
Without Jesus’ redemption, mankind would forever have lived in sin, and become the children of sin, the descendants of demons. Going on in this way, the entire earth would have become a lodging place for Satan, a place for its habitation. But the work of redemption required showing mercy and lovingkindness toward mankind; only by this means could mankind receive forgiveness and at last win the right to be made complete and fully gained. Without this stage of work, the six-thousand-year management plan would not have been able to go forward. If Jesus had not been crucified, if He had only healed the people and exorcised their demons, then the people could not have been completely forgiven of their sins. In the three and a half years that Jesus spent doing His work on earth, He completed only half of His work of redemption; then, by being nailed to the cross and becoming the likeness of sinful flesh, by being handed over to the evil one, He completed the work of crucifixion and mastered mankind’s destiny. Only after He was delivered into Satan’s hands did He redeem mankind. For thirty-three and a half years He suffered on earth, being ridiculed, slandered, and forsaken, even to the point where He had no place to lay His head, no place of rest; then He was crucified, with His whole being—an immaculate and innocent body—nailed to the cross, and underwent all manner of suffering. Those in power mocked and scourged Him, and the soldiers even spat in His face; yet He remained silent and endured until the end, submitting unconditionally to the point of death, whereupon He redeemed all of humanity. Only then was He permitted to rest. The work that Jesus did represents only the Age of Grace; it does not represent the Age of Law, nor is it a substitute for the work of the last days. This is the essence of Jesus’ work in the Age of Grace, the second age that mankind has passed through—the Age of Redemption.
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