28. The Lord Jesus performed His redemption work in the Age of Grace and in the last days Almighty God does His work of judgment. How do we recognize that the judgment work of the last days and the redemption work of the Age of Grace are from one God?
The Answer from God’s Word:
After the work of Jehovah, Jesus became flesh to do His work amongst man. His work was not carried out in isolation, but built upon the work of Jehovah. It was work for a new age after God had concluded the Age of Law. Similarly, after the work of Jesus ended, God still continued 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, a new work will continue the management of God. This incarnation is God’s second incarnation following the completion of Jesus’ work. Of course, this incarnation does not occur independently, but is the third stage of work after the Age of Law and the Age of Grace. Each new stage of God’s work always brings a new beginning and a new age. So too are there corresponding changes in the disposition of God, in His way of working, in the location of His work, and in His name. No wonder, then, that it is difficult for man to accept the work of God in the new age. But regardless of how He is opposed by man, God is always doing His work, and is always leading the whole of mankind forward. When Jesus came into the world of man, He brought the Age of Grace and ended the Age of Law. During the last days, God once more became flesh, and when He became flesh this time, He ended the Age of Grace and brought the Age of Kingdom. All those who accept the second incarnation of God will be led into the Age of Kingdom, and be 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, and did not rid man of all his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to take on the sins of man as the sin offering, but also required God to do greater work to completely rid man of his disposition, which has been corrupted by Satan. And so, after man was forgiven his sins, God has returned to flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment, and 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 shall gain the truth, the way, and the life.
from Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work being done at present 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, God’s work has made progress. 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 advance over that done in the Age of Law. The three stages are tightly interconnected and each link in the chain is 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, He would have to be crucified again 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 even higher than before. It may be said that this stage of work is built on the foundation of the Age of Law and on the rock of Jesus’ work. The 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 at 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? I do not come through conception by the Holy Spirit, nor do I bear the sins of man through crucifixion; rather, I am here to chastise man directly. If My chastisement of 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 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 disposition We reveal to man are also different. That is why what man sees and understands this day is unlike that of the past; this is so because of the change in era. … Similarly, the Spirit of Jehovah is not the father of the Spirit of Jesus, and the Spirit of Jesus is not the son of the Spirit of Jehovah: They are one and the same Spirit. Just like the incarnate God of today and Jesus. Though They are not related by blood, They are one; this is because Their Spirits are one. God can do the work of mercy and lovingkindness, as well as that of the righteous judgment and of chastisement of man, and that of calling down curses on man; and in the end, He can do the work of destroying the world and punishing the wicked. Does He not do all of this Himself? Is this not the omnipotence of God? He was able both to promulgate laws for man and to issue him commandments, and He was also able to lead the early Israelites to live their lives on earth and to guide them to build the temple and altars, holding all the Israelites under His dominion. Relying on His authority, He lived on earth with the people of Israel for two thousand years. The Israelites dared not rebel against Him; all revered Jehovah and observed His commandments. This was the work that was done relying on His authority and His omnipotence. 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. But during the final stage this can no longer be so. Similarly, even though Their Spirits were one, the work of Jesus and Jehovah was not entirely alike. Jehovah’s work was not to bring the age to an end but to guide it, ushering in mankind’s life on earth. However, the work now in hand is to conquer those in the Gentile nations who have been deeply corrupted, and to lead not just the family of China, but the entire universe. … From the creation of the world down to the present, the Spirit of God has set this great work in motion, and has moreover done different work in different ages and in different nations. The people of each age see a different disposition of His, which is naturally revealed through the different work that He does. He is God, filled with mercy and lovingkindness; He is the sin offering for man and man’s shepherd; but He is also man’s judgment, chastisement, and curse. He could lead man to live on earth for two thousand years, and He could also redeem the corrupted mankind from sin. Today, He is also able to conquer mankind, who do not know Him, and prostrate them under His dominion, so that all submit to Him fully. In the end, He will burn away all that is unclean and unrighteous within men throughout the universe, to show them that He is not only a merciful and loving God, not only a God of wisdom and wonders, not only a holy God, but, even more, a God who judges man. To the evil ones among mankind, He is burning, judgment, and punishment; to those who are to be perfected, He is tribulation, refinement, and trial, as well as comfort, sustenance, provision of words, dealing, and pruning. And to those who are eliminated, He is punishment and also retribution. Tell Me, is God not almighty? He is capable of any and all work, not just the crucifixion as you imagined. You think too lowly of God!
from “The Two Incarnations Complete the Significance of the Incarnation” in The Word Appears in the Flesh