4. The Relationship Between Each of the Three Stages of God’s Work.
Relevant Words of God:
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 the entire breadth of God’s management, and are all the work of one Spirit. From when He created the world, God has always been 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 surely carried out by one Spirit. All those who separate these three stages oppose God. Now, you must understand that all the work from the first stage until today is the work of one God, the work of one Spirit, of which there is no doubt.
from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You should understand Jehovah’s work, the laws He put in place, and the principles by which He led man’s life, the content of the work He did in the Age of Law, the purpose for which He set forth the laws, the significance of His work to the Age of Grace, and the work God does in this final stage. The first stage is the work of the Age of Law, the second stage is the work of the Age of Grace, and the third stage is the work of the last days. You must understand these stages of God’s work. … The work done in the last days cannot replace the work of the Age of Law or that of the Age of Grace. However, the three stages interconnect into one entity and are all the work done by one God. Naturally, the execution of this work is divided into separate ages. The work done in the last days brings everything to a close; that done in the Age of Law is of commencement; and that done in the Age of Grace is of redemption. … In the last days, only the work of the word is done to usher in the Age of Kingdom but it is not representative of all the ages. The last days are no more than the last days and no more than the Age of Kingdom, which do not represent the Age of Grace or the Age of Law. The last days are merely the time in which all the work in the six-thousand-year management plan is revealed to you. This is the unveiling of the mystery. …
The work in the last days is the last stage of the three. It is the work of another new age and does not represent the whole management work. The six-thousand-year management plan is divided into three stages of work. No stage alone can represent the work of the three ages but can only represent one part of a whole. 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. Therefore, if God only did the work in the Age of Law, man would define God and say, “God is the God in the temple. To serve God, we must wear priestly robes and enter the temple.” If the work in the Age of Grace had never been carried out and the Age of Law had continued until the present, man would not know that God is also merciful and loving. If the work in the Age of Law had not been done, and only that in the Age of Grace had been done, man would know only that God can redeem man and forgive man’s sins. They would only know that He is holy and innocent, that He can sacrifice Himself and be crucified for man. Man would only know of this and have no understanding of all else. So each age represents one part of God’s disposition. The Age of Law represents some aspects, the Age of Grace some aspects, and then this age some aspects. The disposition of God can only be fully revealed through the combination of all three stages. Only when man knows all three stages can man receive it fully. Not one of the three stages can be omitted. You will only see the disposition of God in its entirety once you know these three stages of work. God’s completion of His work in the Age of Law does not prove that He is the God under the law, and completion of His work of redemption does not show that God will forever redeem mankind. These are all conclusions drawn by man. The Age of Grace has come to an end, but you cannot say that God belongs only to the cross and that the cross represents the salvation of God. If you do so, you are defining God. In this stage, God is mainly doing the work of the word, but you cannot say that God has never been merciful to man and that all He has brought is chastisement and judgment. The work in the last days lays bare the work of Jehovah and Jesus and all mysteries not understood by man. This is done to reveal the destination and end of mankind and conclude all work of salvation among mankind. This stage of work in the last days brings everything to a close. All mysteries not understood by man must be unraveled to allow man to gain insight into such and have a clear understanding in their hearts. Only then can man be divided according to their kinds. Only after the six-thousand-year management plan has been completed will man come to understand the disposition of God in its entirety, for His management will then have come to an end.
from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work done at present has pushed forward the work of the Age of Grace; that is, the work in the entire six-thousand-year management plan has moved forward. Though the Age of Grace has ended, the work of God has progressed further. Why do I say time and again that this stage of work builds upon the Age of Grace and the Age of Law? This means that the work of this day is a continuation of the work done in the Age of Grace and an uplifting of that done in the Age of Law. The three stages are closely interconnected and linked one to the next. Why do I also say that this stage of work builds on that done by Jesus? If this stage did not build on the work done by Jesus, then in this stage the crucifixion, the work of redemption done previously, would still need to be carried out. This would be meaningless. Therefore, it is not that the work has completely finished, but that the age has moved forward, and the work has become even higher than before. It could be said that this stage of work is built on the foundation of the Age of Law and the rock of the work of Jesus. The work is built stage by stage, and this stage is not a new beginning. Only the combination of the three stages of work can be deemed the six-thousand-year management plan.
from “The Two Incarnations Complete the Significance of the Incarnation” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The final stage of work does not stand alone, but is part of the whole formed together with the two previous stages, which is to say that it is impossible to complete the entire work of salvation by only doing one of the three stages of work. Even though the final stage of work is able to fully save man, this does not mean that it is only necessary to carry out this single stage on its own, and that the two previous stages of work are not required to save man from the influence of Satan. No single stage of the three stages can be held up as the only vision that must be known by all mankind, for the entirety of the work of salvation is the three stages of work, not a single stage among them. As long as the work of salvation has not been accomplished, the management of God will be unable to come to a complete end. God’s being, disposition, and wisdom are expressed in the entirety of the work of salvation, not revealed to man at the very beginning, but have been gradually expressed in the work of salvation. Each stage of the work of salvation expresses part of the disposition of God, and part of His being; not every stage of work can directly and completely express the entirety of God’s being. As such, the work of salvation can only be fully concluded once the three stages of work have been completed, and so man’s knowledge of the entirety of God is inseparable from the three stages of God’s work. What man gains from one stage of work is merely the disposition of God that is expressed in a single part of His work. It cannot represent the disposition and being that is expressed in the stages before or after. That is because the work of saving mankind cannot be finished straight away during one period, or in one location, but gradually becomes deeper according to man’s level of development at different times and places. It is work that is carried out in stages, and is not completed in a single stage. And so, God’s entire wisdom is crystallized in the three stages, rather than in one individual stage. His entire being and entire wisdom are laid forth in these three stages, and each stage contains His being, and is a record of the wisdom of His work. … Each of the three stages of work is carried out upon the foundation of the previous stage; it is not carried out independently, separate from the work of salvation. Though there are great differences in the age and type of work that is carried out, at its core is still the salvation of mankind, and each stage of the work of salvation is deeper than the last.
from “Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh