II. One Must Bear Witness to Truths Concerning the Three Stages of God’s Work of Salvation
1. The aims of the three stages of work of God’s management of mankind
Relevant Words of God:
My entire management plan, the six-thousand-year management plan, consists of three stages, or three ages: the Age of Law of the beginning; the Age of Grace (which is also the Age of Redemption); and the Age of Kingdom of the last days. My work in these three ages differs in content according to the nature of each age, but at each stage this work befits the needs of man—or, to be more precise, is done according to the tricks that Satan employs in the war that I wage against it. The purpose of My work is to defeat Satan, to make manifest My wisdom and omnipotence, to expose all of Satan’s tricks, and thereby to save the entire human race, which lives under Satan’s domain. It is to show My wisdom and omnipotence, and to reveal the unbearable hideousness of Satan; even more than that, it is to allow created beings to discriminate between good and evil, to know that I am the Ruler of all things, to see clearly that Satan is the enemy of humanity, a degenerate, the evil one, and to allow them to tell, with absolute certainty, the difference between good and evil, truth and falsehood, holiness and filth, and what is great and what is ignoble. Thus will ignorant humanity become able to bear witness to Me that it is not I who corrupt humanity, and only I—the Creator—can save humanity, can bestow upon people the things that they can enjoy; and they will come to know that I am the Ruler of all things and Satan is merely one of the beings that I created and that later turned against Me. My six-thousand-year management plan is divided into three stages, and I work thus to achieve the effect of enabling created beings to bear witness to Me, and comprehend My will, and know that I am the truth.
from “The True Story Behind the Work of the Age of Redemption” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The aim of the three stages of work is the salvation of all mankind—which means the complete salvation of man from the domain of Satan. Though each of the three stages of work has a different objective and significance, each is part of the work of saving mankind, and is different work of salvation carried out according to the requirements of mankind.
from “Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Today we’re first going to summarize God’s thoughts, ideas, and every move since creating humans, and to take a look at what work He carried out from creating the world to the official start of the Age of Grace. We can then discover which of God’s thoughts and ideas are unknown to man, and from there we can clarify the order of God’s plan for management, and thoroughly understand the context in which God created His management work, its source and development process, and also thoroughly understand what results He wants from His management work—that is, the core and the purpose of His management work. To understand these things we need to go back to a distant, still and silent time when there were no humans …
When God arose from His bed, the first thought that He had was this: to create a living person, a real, living human—someone to live with and be His constant companion. This person could listen to Him, and God could confide in and speak with him. Then, for the first time, God grabbed a handful of dirt and used it to create the very first living person that He had imagined, and then gave this living creature a name—Adam. Once God had gained this living and breathing person, how did He feel? For the first time, He felt the joy of having a loved one, a companion. He also felt for the first time the responsibility of being a father and the concern that comes along with it. This living and breathing person brought God happiness and joy; He felt comforted for the first time. This was the first thing God had ever done that was not accomplished with His thoughts or even words, but was done with His own two hands. When this kind of being—a living and breathing person—stood in front of God, made of flesh and blood, with body and form, and able to speak with God, He experienced a kind of joy He had never felt before. He truly felt His responsibility and this living being not only tugged at His heart, but his every little move also touched Him and warmed His heart. So when this living being stood in front of God, it was the first time He had the thought to gain more people like this. This was the series of events that began with this first thought that God had. For God, all of these events were occurring for the first time, but in these first events, no matter what He felt at the time—joy, responsibility, concern—there was no one for Him to share it with. Starting from that moment, God truly felt a loneliness and a sadness that He had never had before. He felt that human beings could not accept or comprehend His love and concern, or His intentions for mankind, so He still felt sorrow and pain in His heart. Although He had done these things for man, man was not aware of it and did not understand. Aside from happiness, the joy and comfort man brought to Him quickly brought with it His first feelings of sorrow and loneliness. These were God’s thoughts and feelings at that time. While God was doing all these things, in His heart He went from joy to sorrow and from sorrow to pain, all mixed with anxiety. All He wanted to do was hasten to let this person, this human race know what was in His heart and understand His intentions sooner. Then, they could become His followers and be in accord with Him. They would no longer listen to God speak but remain speechless; they would no longer be unaware of how to join God in His work; above all, they would no longer be people indifferent to God’s requirements. These first things that God completed are very meaningful and hold great value for His management plan and for human beings today.
After creating all things and humans, God did not rest. He could not wait to carry out His management, nor could He wait to gain the people He so loved among mankind.
… God sees this instance of management of mankind, of saving humans, as more important than anything else. He does these things not only with His mind, nor is it only with His words, and He particularly does not do it casually—He does all of these things with a plan, with a goal, with standards, and with His will. It is clear that this work to save mankind holds great significance for both God and man. No matter how difficult the work is, no matter how great the obstacles are, no matter how weak humans are, or how deep mankind’s rebelliousness is, none of this is difficult for God. God makes Himself busy, expending His painstaking effort and managing the work He Himself wants to carry out. He is also arranging everything, and ruling all the people and the work He wants to complete—none of this has been done before. It is the first time God has used these methods and paid a great price for this major project of managing and saving mankind. While God is carrying out this work, little by little He is expressing to humans without reservation His hard work, what He has and is, His wisdom and almightiness, and every aspect of His disposition. He unreservedly reveals all of this to mankind bit by bit, revealing and expressing these things as He has never done before. So, in the entire universe, aside from the people who God aims to manage and save, there have never been any creatures so close to God, that have such an intimate relationship with Him. In His heart, the mankind He wants to manage and save is most important, and He values this mankind above all else; even though He has paid a great price for them, and even though He is continually hurt and disobeyed by them, He never gives up on them and continues tirelessly in His work, with no complaints or regrets. This is because He knows that sooner or later, humans will someday awaken to His call and be moved by His words, recognize that He is the Lord of creation, and return to His side …
from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Regardless of what God does or the means by which He does it, regardless of the cost, or His objective, the purpose of His actions does not change. His purpose is to work into man God’s words, God’s requirements, and God’s will for man; in other words, it is to work into man all that God believes to be positive in accordance with His steps, enabling man to understand God’s heart and comprehend God’s substance, and allowing him to obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and thus allowing man to attain the fear of God and shunning of evil—all of which is one aspect of God’s purpose in all He does. The other aspect is that, because Satan is the foil and serving object in God’s work, man is often given to Satan; this is the means God uses to allow people to see the wickedness, ugliness, and contemptibility of Satan amid Satan’s temptations and attacks, thus causing people to hate Satan and be able to know and recognize that which is negative. This process allows them to gradually free themselves from Satan’s control, and from Satan’s accusations, interference, and attacks—until, thanks to God’s words, their knowledge and obedience of God, and their faith in God and fear of Him, they triumph over the attacks of Satan, and triumph over the accusations of Satan; only then will they have been completely delivered from the domain of Satan. People’s deliverance means that Satan has been defeated, it means that they are no longer the food in Satan’s mouth—that instead of swallowing them, Satan has relinquished them. This is because such people are upright, because they have faith, obedience, and fear toward God, and because they completely break with Satan. They bring shame upon Satan, they make a coward of Satan, and they utterly defeat Satan. Their conviction in following God, and obedience to and fear of God defeat Satan, and make Satan completely give them up. Only people such as this have truly been gained by God, and it is this which is God’s ultimate objective in saving man.
from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Such is the management of God: to hand mankind over to Satan—a mankind that doesn’t know what God is, what the Creator is, how to worship God, and why it is necessary to submit to God—and give free rein to the corruption of Satan. Step by step, God then recovers man from the hands of Satan, until man fully worships God and rejects Satan. This is the management of God. All this sounds like a mythical story; and it seems perplexing. People feel that it is like a mythical story, and that is because they have no inkling of how much has happened to man over the last several thousand years, much less do they know how many stories have occurred in the expanse of this universe. And furthermore, that is because they cannot appreciate the more astonishing, more fear-inducing world that exists beyond the material world, but which their mortal eyes prevent them from seeing. It feels incomprehensible to man, and that is because man has no understanding of the significance of God’s salvation of mankind and the significance of the work of God’s management, and does not comprehend how God ultimately wishes mankind to be. Is it a mankind akin to Adam and Eve, uncorrupted by Satan? No! The management of God is in order to gain a group of people who worship God and submit to Him. This mankind has been corrupted by Satan, but no longer sees Satan as his father; he recognizes the ugly face of Satan, and rejects it, and comes before God to accept His judgment and chastisement. He knows what is ugly, and how it contrasts with that which is holy, and he recognizes the greatness of God and the evil of Satan. A mankind such as this will no longer work for Satan, or worship Satan, or enshrine Satan. That’s because they are a group of people that have truly been gained by God. This is the significance of God’s managing mankind. …
The love and compassion of God permeates each and every detail of His management work, and regardless of whether people are able to understand God’s good intentions, He is still tirelessly doing the work that He intends to accomplish. Irrespective of how much people understand of the management of God, the benefits and assistance of the work done by God can be appreciated by everyone. Perhaps, today, you have not felt any of the love or life provided by God, but as long as you do not abandon God, and do not give up on your determination to pursue the truth, then there will always be a day when God’s smile will be revealed to you. For the aim of the work of God’s management is to recover the mankind who is under the domain of Satan, not to abandon the mankind who has been corrupted by Satan and opposes God.
from “Man Can Only Be Saved Amidst the Management of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God created humanity and placed them upon earth, whom He has led to the present day. He then saved humanity and served as a sin offering for humanity. At the end He still must conquer humanity, save humanity entirely and restore them to their original likeness. This is the work that He has been engaged in from the beginning to the end—restoring man to his original image and to his original likeness. He will establish His kingdom and restore man’s original likeness, meaning that He will restore His authority upon earth and restore His authority among all creation. Man lost his God-fearing heart after being corrupted by Satan and lost the function that one of God’s creatures should have, becoming an enemy disobedient to God. Man lived under Satan’s domain and followed Satan’s orders; thus, God had no way to work among His creatures, and was all the more unable to win fear from His creatures. Man was created by God, and ought to worship God, but man actually turned his back to God and worshiped Satan. Satan became the idol in man’s heart. Thus God lost His standing in man’s heart, which is to say that He lost the meaning of His creation of man, and so to restore the meaning of His creation of man He must restore man’s original likeness and rid man of his corrupt disposition. To reclaim man from Satan, He must save man from sin. Only in this way can He gradually restore man’s original likeness and restore man’s original function, and in the end restore His kingdom. The ultimate destruction of those sons of disobedience will also be carried out in order to allow man to better worship God and better live upon the earth. Since God created man, He shall make man worship Him; since He wishes to restore man’s original function, He shall restore it completely, and without any adulteration. Restoring His authority means making man worship Him and making man obey Him; it means that He shall make man live because of Him and make His enemies perish because of His authority; it means that He will make every last part of Him persist among humanity and without any resistance by man. The kingdom He wishes to establish is His own kingdom. The humanity He wishes for is one that worships Him, one that completely obeys Him and has His glory. If He does not save corrupt humanity, the meaning of His creation of man will come to nothing; He will have no more authority among man, and His kingdom will no longer be able to exist upon the earth. If He does not destroy those enemies who are disobedient to Him, He will be unable to obtain His complete glory, nor will He be able to establish His kingdom upon the earth. These are the symbols of the completion of His work and the symbols of the completion of His great accomplishment: to utterly destroy those among humanity who are disobedient to Him, and to bring those who have been made complete into rest. When humanity has been restored to their original likeness, when humanity can fulfill their respective duties, keep their own place and obey all of God’s arrangements, God will have obtained a group of people upon the earth who worship Him, and He will also have established a kingdom upon the earth that worships Him. He will have eternal victory upon the earth, and those who are opposed to Him will perish for all eternity. This will restore His original intention in creating man; it will restore His intention in creating all things, and it will also restore His authority upon earth, His authority among all things and His authority among His enemies. These are the symbols of His total victory. Henceforth humanity will enter into rest and enter into a life that follows the right track. God will also enter into eternal rest with man and enter into an eternal life shared by God and man. The filth and disobedience upon the earth shall disappear, as shall the wailing upon the earth. All upon the earth that opposes God will not exist. Only God and those people that He has saved shall remain; only His creation shall remain.
from “God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
When the three stages of work come to an end, there will be made a group of those who bear testimony to God, a group of those who know God. These people will all know God and will be able to put the truth into practice. They will possess humanity and sense, and will all know the three stages of God’s work of salvation. This is the work that will be accomplished at the end, and these people are the crystallization of the work of 6,000 years of management, and are the most powerful testimony to the ultimate defeat of Satan.
from “Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
After carrying out His 6,000 years of work through the present day, God has already revealed many of His acts, primarily to defeat Satan and save all of humanity. He uses this opportunity to allow everything in heaven, everything upon the earth, everything within the seas as well as every last object of God’s creation on earth to see God’s almightiness and to see all of God’s acts. He seizes the opportunity of defeating Satan to reveal all of His acts to humanity and allow people to be able to praise Him and exalt His wisdom of defeating Satan. Everything on earth, in heaven and within the seas brings Him glory, praises His almightiness, praises all His acts and shouts His holy name. This is proof of His defeat of Satan; it is proof of His conquering of Satan; more importantly, it is proof of His salvation of humanity. The whole of God’s creation brings Him glory, praises Him for defeating His enemy and returning victoriously and praises Him as the great victorious King. His purpose is not merely to defeat Satan, and so His work has continued for 6,000 years. He uses Satan’s defeat to save humanity; He uses Satan’s defeat to reveal all His acts and reveal all of His glory. He will obtain glory, and all the multitude of angels will see all His glory. The messengers in heaven, the humans upon earth and all of creation upon earth will see the glory of the Creator. This is the work that He does. His creation in heaven and on earth will all see His glory, and He will return triumphantly after utterly defeating Satan and let humanity praise Him. He will thus successfully achieve both of these aspects. In the end all of humanity will be conquered by Him, and He will wipe out anyone who resists or rebels, that is to say, wipe out all those who belong to Satan.
from “You Should Know How the Whole of Humanity Has Developed to the Present Day” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
I have been working on earth for thousands of years, and to this day, I continue to carry out My work thus. Although My work contains many projects, its purpose remains unchanged; though I am filled with judgment and chastisement toward man, for example, what I do is still for the sake of saving him, and for the sake of better spreading My gospel and further expanding My work among all the Gentile nations once man has been made complete. … It is so that, in this final era, My name may be magnified among the Gentile nations, so that My deeds may be seen by the Gentiles and they will call Me the Almighty on account of My deeds, and 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