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2. What is the relationship between every stage of God’s work and His name?

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IV. One Must Bear Witness to the Aspect of Truth Concerning the Relationship Between God’s Three Stages of Work and His Names

2. What is the relationship between every stage of God’s work and His name?

(1) The significance of God taking the name Jehovah in the Age of Law

Bible Verses for Reference:

“And God said moreover to Moses, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial to all generations” (Exo 3:15).

Relevant Words of God:

“Jehovah” is the name that I took during My work in Israel, and it means the God of the Israelites (God’s chosen people) who can take pity on man, curse man, and guide the life of man. It means the God who possesses great power and is full of wisdom. … That is to say, only Jehovah is the God of the chosen people of Israel, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of Moses, and the God of all the people of Israel. And so in the current age, all the Israelites apart from the tribe of Judah worship Jehovah. They make sacrifices to Him on the altar, and serve Him wearing priests’ robes in the temple. What they hope for is the reappearance of Jehovah. … The name Jehovah is a particular name for the people of Israel who lived under the law. In each age and each stage of work, My name is not baseless, but holds representative significance: Each name represents one age. “Jehovah” represents the Age of Law, and is the honorific for the God worshiped by the people of Israel.

from “The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

During the Age of Law, the work of guiding mankind was done under the name of Jehovah, and the first stage of work was initiated on earth. At this stage, the work consisted of building the temple and the altar, and using the law to guide the people of Israel and to work in their midst. By guiding the people of Israel, He launched a base for His work on earth. From this base, He expanded His work beyond Israel, which is to say that, starting from Israel, He extended His work outward, so that later generations gradually came to know that Jehovah was God, and that it was Jehovah who created the heavens and earth and all things, and that it was Jehovah who made all creatures. He spread His work through the people of Israel outward beyond them. The land of Israel was the first holy place of Jehovah’s work on earth, and it was in the land of Israel that God first went to work on earth. That was the work of the Age of Law.

from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

During the Age of Law, Jehovah laid down many commandments for Moses to pass on to the Israelites who followed him out of Egypt. These commandments were given by Jehovah to the Israelites, and bore no relation to the Egyptians; they were meant to restrain the Israelites. God used the commandments to demand of them. Whether they observed the Sabbath, whether they respected their parents, whether they worshiped idols, and so forth: these were the principles by which they were judged sinful or righteous. Among them, there were some who were stricken by Jehovah’s fire, some who were stoned to death, and some who received Jehovah’s blessing, and this was determined according to whether or not they obeyed these commandments. Those who did not observe the Sabbath would be stoned to death. Those priests who did not observe the Sabbath would be stricken by Jehovah’s fire. Those who did not show respect to their parents would also be stoned to death. This was all commended by Jehovah. Jehovah established His commandments and laws so that, as He led them in their lives, the people would listen to and obey His word and not rebel against Him. He used these laws to keep the newborn human race under control, the better to lay the foundation for His future work. And so, based on the work that Jehovah did, the first age was called the Age of Law.

from “The Work in the Age of Law” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The people in Israel all called Jehovah their Lord. At the time, they considered Him the head of their family, and the whole of Israel became a great family in which everyone worshiped their Lord Jehovah. The Spirit of Jehovah often appeared to them, and He spoke and uttered His voice to them, and used a pillar of cloud and sound to guide their lives. At that time, the Spirit provided His guidance in Israel directly, speaking and uttering His voice to the people, and they beheld the clouds and heard the peals of thunder, and in this way He guided their lives for several thousands of years. Thus, only the people of Israel have always worshiped Jehovah.

from “The Vision of God’s Work (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

His work and utterances in Israel gave guidance to all the people of Israel as they lived their lives throughout the land of Israel, and in this way showed humanity that Jehovah was not only able to blow breath into man, that he might have life from Him and rise up from the dust into a created human being, but that He could also incinerate mankind, and curse mankind, and use His rod to govern mankind. So, too, did they see that Jehovah could guide man’s life on earth, and speak and work among humanity according to the hours of the day and of the night. He did the work only so that His creatures might know that man came from dust picked up by Him, and moreover that man had been made by Him. Not only this, but the work He began in Israel was meant so that other peoples and nations (who in fact were not separate from Israel, but rather had branched off from the Israelites, yet were still descended from Adam and Eve) might receive the gospel of Jehovah from Israel, so that all created beings in the universe might be able to revere Jehovah and hold Him to be great.

from “The Work in the Age of Law” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The name Jehovah cannot represent all of the disposition of God. The fact that He carried out work in the Age of Law does not prove that God can only be God under the law. Jehovah set forth laws for man and handed down commandments, asking man to build the temple and altars; the work He did represents only the Age of Law. The work He did does not prove that God is the God who asks man to keep the law, the God in the temple, or the God before the altar. This cannot be said. The work under the law can only represent one age.

from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

(2) The significance of God taking the name Jesus in the Age of Grace

Bible Verses for Reference:

“The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, you son of David, fear not to take to you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Mat 1:20-21).

“And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary: for you have found favor with God. And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luk 1:30-33).

Relevant Words of God:

The Age of Grace began with Jesus’ name. When Jesus began to perform His ministry, the Holy Spirit began to testify to the name of Jesus, and the name of Jehovah was no longer spoken of; instead, the Holy Spirit undertook the new work principally under the name of Jesus. The testimony of those who believed in Him was borne for Jesus Christ, and the work they did was also for Jesus Christ. The conclusion of the Old Testament Age of Law meant that the work principally conducted under the name of Jehovah had come to an end. Henceforth, the name of God was no longer Jehovah; instead He was called Jesus, and from here on the Holy Spirit began the work principally under the name of Jesus.

from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

“Jesus” is Emmanuel, and it means the sin offering that is full of love, full of compassion, and redeems man. He did the work of the Age of Grace, and represents the Age of Grace, and can only represent one part of the management plan. … Only Jesus is the Redeemer of mankind. He is the sin offering that redeemed mankind from sin. Which is to say, the name of Jesus came from the Age of Grace, and existed because of the work of redemption in the Age of Grace. The name of Jesus existed to allow the people of the Age of Grace to be reborn and saved, and is a particular name for the redemption of the whole of mankind. And so the name Jesus represents the work of redemption, and denotes the Age of Grace. … “Jesus” represents the Age of Grace, and is the name of the God of all those who were redeemed during the Age of Grace.

from “The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

During the Age of Grace, the name of God was Jesus, that is to say, God was a God who saved man, and He was a compassionate and loving God. God was with man. His love, His compassion, and His salvation accompanied each and every person. Only by accepting the name of Jesus and His presence was man able to gain peace and joy, to receive His blessing, His vast and numerous graces, and His salvation. Through the crucifixion of Jesus, all those who followed Him received salvation and were forgiven their sins.

from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

When Jesus came, He also did part of God’s work, and spoke some words—but what was the main work He accomplished? What He mainly accomplished was the work of crucifixion. He became the likeness of sinful flesh to complete the work of crucifixion and redeem all mankind, and it was for the sake of all mankind’s sin that He served as a sin offering. This is the main work He accomplished. Ultimately, He provided the path of the cross to guide those who came later. When Jesus came, it was primarily to complete the work of redemption. He redeemed all mankind, and brought the gospel of the kingdom of heaven to man, and, furthermore, He brought the kingdom of heaven. As a result, those who came after all said, “We should walk the path of the cross, and sacrifice ourselves for the cross.” Of course, in the beginning Jesus also did some other work and spoke some words to make man repent and confess his sins. But His ministry was still the crucifixion, and the three and a half years He spent preaching the way were in preparation for the crucifixion that came after. The several times that Jesus prayed were also for the sake of the crucifixion. The life of a normal man that He led and the thirty-three and a half years that He lived on earth were primarily for the sake of completing the work of crucifixion, they were to give Him strength, and make Him able to undertake this work, as a result of which God entrusted the work of crucifixion to Him.

from “All Is Achieved by the Word of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

As for the work of the Age of Grace, Jesus was the God who saved man. What He had and was was grace, love, compassion, forbearance, patience, humility, care, and tolerance, and so much of the work that He did was the redemption of man. As for His disposition, it was one of compassion and love, and because He was compassionate and loving, He had to be nailed to the cross for man, in order to show that God loved man as Himself, so much so that He offered up Himself in His entirety. Satan said, “Since You love man, You must then love him to the ultimate extreme: You must be nailed to the cross, to deliver man from the cross, from sin, and You shall offer up Yourself in exchange for all of mankind.” Satan made the following wager: “Since You are a loving and compassionate God, You must love man to the ultimate extreme: You should then offer Yourself up to the cross.” Jesus replied, “As long as it is for mankind, I am willing to lay down My all.” And then He went up onto the cross without the slightest self-regard, and redeemed the whole of mankind.

from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Then, during the Age of Grace, Jesus came to redeem the whole of fallen mankind (and not only the Israelites). He showed mercy and lovingkindness to man. The Jesus that man saw in the Age of Grace was filled with lovingkindness and was always loving toward man, for He had come to save humanity from sin. He was able to forgive men their sins until His crucifixion completely redeemed mankind from sin. During this period, God appeared before man with mercy and lovingkindness; that is, He became a sin offering for man and was crucified for the sins of man so that they might forever be forgiven. He was merciful, compassionate, enduring, and loving. And all those who followed Jesus in the Age of Grace likewise sought to be enduring and loving in all things. They were long-suffering, and never fought back even when beaten, cursed, or stoned.

from “The Two Incarnations Complete the Significance of the Incarnation” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

During the Age of Grace, Jesus was the name of God. In other words, the work of the Age of Grace was done principally under the name of Jesus. During the Age of Grace, God was called Jesus. He undertook a stage of new work beyond the Old Testament, and His work ended with the crucifixion. This was the entirety of His work.

from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

(3) The significance of God taking the name Almighty God in the Age of Kingdom

Bible Verses for Reference:

You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of Jehovah shall name” (Isa 62:2).

Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God: and I will write on him my new name” (Rev 3:12).

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, said the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Rev 1:8).

Saying, We give you thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which are, and were, and are to come; because you have taken to you your great power, and have reigned” (Rev 11:17).

Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are your ways, you King of saints” (Rev 15:3).

Relevant Words of God:

During the last days, His name is Almighty God—the Almighty, who uses His power to guide man, conquer man, and gain man, and in the end, bring the age to its close. In every age, at every stage of His work, God’s disposition is evident.

from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Since Almighty God—the King of the kingdom—has been witnessed, the scope of God’s management has unfolded entirely throughout the whole universe. Not only has God’s appearance been witnessed in China, but the name of Almighty God has been witnessed in all nations and all lands. They are all calling out this holy name, seeking to fellowship with God by any means possible, grasping the will of Almighty God and serving in coordination in the church. The Holy Spirit works in this wondrous way.

from “The Eighth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

And so, when the final age—the age of the last days—arrives, My name shall change again. I shall not be called Jehovah, or Jesus, much less the Messiah, but shall be called the powerful Almighty God Himself, and under this name I shall bring the entire age to an end. I was once known as Jehovah. I was also called the Messiah, and people once called Me Jesus the Savior because they loved and respected Me. But today I am not the Jehovah or Jesus that people knew in times past—I am the God who has returned in the last days, the God who shall bring the age to an end. I am the God Himself that rises up at the ends of the earth, replete with My entire disposition, and full of authority, honor and glory. People have never engaged with Me, have never known Me, and have always been ignorant of My disposition. From the creation of the world until today, not one person has seen Me. This is the God who appears to man during the last days but is hidden among man. He resides among man, true and real, like the burning sun and the flaming fire, filled with power and brimming with authority. There is not a single person or thing that shall not be judged by My words, and not a single person or thing that shall not be purified through the burning of fire. Eventually, all nations shall be blessed because of My words, and also smashed to pieces because of My words. In this way, all people during the last days shall see that I am the Savior returned, I am the Almighty God that conquers all of mankind, and I was once the sin offering for man, but in the last days I also become the flames of the sun that burn all things, as well as the Sun of righteousness that reveals all things. Such is My work of the last days. I took this name and am possessed of this disposition so that all people may see that I am a righteous God, and am the burning sun, and the flaming fire. It is so that all may worship Me, the only true God, and so that they may see My true face: I am not only the God of the Israelites, and am not just the Redeemer—I am the God of all creatures throughout heavens and earth and seas.

from “The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

In His final work of concluding the age, God’s disposition is one of chastisement and judgment, in which He reveals all that is unrighteous, in order to publicly judge all peoples, and to perfect those who love Him with a sincere heart. Only a disposition such as this can bring the age to an end. The last days have already arrived. All things in creation will be classed according to their kind, and divided into different categories based on their nature. This is the moment when God reveals humanity’s outcome and their destination. If people do not undergo chastisement and judgment, then there will be no way of exposing their disobedience and unrighteousness. Only through chastisement and judgment can the outcome of all creation be revealed. Man only shows his true colors when he is chastised and judged. Evil shall be put with evil, good with good, and all humanity shall be classified according to their kind. Through chastisement and judgment, the outcome of all creation will be revealed, so that the evil may be punished and the good rewarded, and all people become subject to the dominion of God. All this work must be achieved through righteous chastisement and judgment. Because man’s corruption has reached its peak and his disobedience become exceedingly severe, only God’s righteous disposition, one that is principally compounded of chastisement and judgment and is revealed during the last days, can fully transform and complete man. Only this disposition can expose evil and thus severely punish all the unrighteous. Therefore, a disposition such as this is imbued with temporal significance, and the revelation and exhibition of His disposition is made manifest for the sake of the work of each new age. It is not that God reveals His disposition arbitrarily and without significance. Supposing that, in revealing the outcome of man during the last days, God were still to bestow upon man infinite compassion and love and continue to be loving toward him, not subjecting man to righteous judgment but rather showing him tolerance, patience, and forgiveness, and pardoning man no matter how grave his sins, without any jot of righteous judgment: then when would all of God’s management ever be brought to a close? When would a disposition such as this be able to lead people into mankind’s appropriate destination? Take, for example, a judge who is always loving, a judge with a kindly face and a gentle heart. He loves people irrespective of the crimes they may have committed, and he is loving to and forbearing with them whoever they may be. In that case, when will he ever be able to reach a just verdict? During the last days, only righteous judgment can classify man according to their kind and bring man into a new realm. In this way, the entire age is brought to an end through God’s righteous disposition of judgment and chastisement.

from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

When God becomes flesh this time, His work is to express His disposition, primarily through chastisement and judgment. Using this as the foundation, He brings more truth to man, shows more ways of practice, and so achieves His objective of conquering man and saving man from his corrupt disposition. This is what lies behind the work of God in the Age of Kingdom.

from Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh

In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, expose the essence of man, and dissect his words and deeds. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out the normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, those words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan and an enemy force against God. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with just a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes it over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth that man does not possess at all. Only methods of this kind are deemed judgment; only through judgment of this kind can man be subdued and thoroughly convinced into submission to God, and moreover gain true knowledge of God. What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his own rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that are incomprehensible to him. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt substance and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the substance of this work is actually the work of opening up the truth, the way, and the life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God.

from “Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

During the Age of Kingdom, God incarnate speaks words to conquer all those who believe in Him. This is “the Word appearing in the flesh”; God has come during the last days to do this work, which is to say, He has come to accomplish the actual significance of the Word appearing in the flesh. He only speaks words, and rarely is there the advent of facts. This is the very substance of the Word appearing in the flesh, and when God incarnate speaks His words, this is the appearance of the Word in the flesh, and is the Word coming into the flesh. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and the Word became flesh.” This (the work of the appearance of the Word in the flesh) is the work that God will accomplish in the last days, and is the final chapter of His entire management plan, and so God has to come to earth and manifest His words in the flesh.

from “All Is Achieved by the Word of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

In the Age of Kingdom, God uses the word to usher in a new age, to change the means of His work, and to do the work for the entire age. This is the principle by which God works in the Age of Word. He became flesh to speak from different perspectives, enabling man to truly see God, who is the Word appearing in the flesh, and His wisdom and wonder. Such work is done to better achieve the goals of conquering man, perfecting man, and eliminating man. This is the true meaning of using the word to work in the Age of Word.

from “The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

His initial work was carried out in Judea, within the scope of Israel; in Gentile nations He did not do any era-launching work whatsoever. The final stage of His work is not only carried out among the people of Gentile nations; even more so, it is carried out among those cursed people. This one point is the evidence most capable of humiliating Satan; thus, God “becomes” the God of all creation in the universe and becomes the Lord of all things, the object of worship for everything with life.

from “God Is the Lord of All Creation” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

In this final era, I will have My name magnified among the Gentile nations, cause My deeds to be seen by the Gentiles, that they may call Me the Almighty on account of My deeds, and make it so that My words may soon come to pass. I will make all people know that I am not only the God of the Israelites, but also the God of all the nations of the Gentiles, even those that I have cursed. I will let all people see that I am the God of all creation. This is My greatest work, the purpose of My work plan for the last days, and the only work to be fulfilled in the last days.

from “The Work of Spreading the Gospel Is Also the Work of Saving Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

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