The Relationship Between the Three Stages of God’s Work
Classic Words of God:
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
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
If you have a clear knowledge of the three stages of work—which is to say, of God’s entire plan of management—and if you can fully correlate the previous two stages of God’s work with the present stage, and can see that it is work done by one God, then you will have no firmer foundation. The three stages of work were done by one God; this is the greatest vision, and is the only path to knowing God. The three stages of work could only have been done by God Himself, and no man could do such work on His behalf—which is to say that only God Himself could have done His own work from the beginning until today.
from “Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh