VII. One Must Fellowship Clearly That Only That Which Christ of the Last Days Brings Is the Way of Eternal Life
1. One must understand that the message spread by the Lord Jesus in the Age of Grace was only the way of repentance.
Bible Verses for Reference:
“Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mat 4:17).
“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Mat 26:28).
“And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luk 24:47).
Relevant Words of God:
In the beginning, Jesus spread the gospel and preached the way of repentance, then went on to baptize man, heal sickness, and cast out demons. In the end, He redeemed mankind from sin and completed His work for the entire age.
from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Jesus’ work was done in accordance with the needs of man in that age. His task was to redeem humanity, to forgive them of their sins, and so all His disposition was one of humility, patience, love, piety, forbearance, mercy, and lovingkindness. He blessed humanity richly and brought them grace in abundance, and all things for enjoyment: peace and happiness, Jesus’ tolerance and love, His mercy and lovingkindness. In those days, all that man encountered was an abundance of things to enjoy: His heart was at peace and reassured, his spirit was consoled, and he was sustained by the Savior Jesus. That he could gain these things was a consequence of the age in which he lived. In the Age of Grace man had been corrupted by Satan, and so the work of redeeming all humanity required an abundance of grace, infinite forbearance and patience, and even more, an offering adequate to atone for humanity’s sins. What people saw in the Age of Grace was merely My sin offering for humanity, Jesus. And they knew only that God could be merciful and forbearing, saw only Jesus’ mercy and lovingkindness. This was because they lived in the Age of Grace. So before they could be redeemed, they had to enjoy much grace that Jesus bestowed on them; only this was beneficial to them. This way, they could be forgiven of their sins through their enjoyment of grace, and could have the chance to be redeemed through enjoying Jesus’ forbearance and patience. Only through Jesus’ forbearance and patience were they capable of receiving forgiveness and enjoying the abundance of grace bestowed by Jesus—just as Jesus said, “I have come not to redeem the righteous but sinners, allowing their sins to be forgiven.” … The more Jesus loved mankind, forgiving them of their sins and giving them enough mercy and lovingkindness, the more mankind was capable of being saved, called the lost lambs that Jesus bought back at a great price. Satan could not meddle in this work, because Jesus treated His followers as a loving mother treats the infant in her arms. He did not grow angry at them or despise them, but was full of consolation; He never got furious among them, but forbore with their sins and turned a blind eye to their foolishness and ignorance, such that He said, “Forgive others seventy times seven times.” So His heart reformed the hearts of others, and in this way did the people receive forgiveness through His forbearance.
from “The Truth Concerning the Work in the Age of Redemption” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
At the time, Jesus only spoke to His disciples a series of sermons in the Age of Grace, such as how to practice, how to gather together, how to ask in prayer, how to treat others, and so forth. The work He carried out was that of the Age of Grace, and He expounded only on how the disciples and those who followed Him ought to practice. He did only the work of the Age of Grace and none of the last days. … The work of God in each age has clear boundaries; He does only the work of the current age and never does He carry out the next stage of work in advance. Only in this way can His representative work of each age be brought to the fore. Jesus had spoken only of the signs of the last days, of how to be patient and how to be saved, how to repent and confess, as well as how to bear the cross and endure suffering; never did He speak of what man in the last days should enter into or how to seek to satisfy God’s will.
from “How Can Man Who Has Defined God in His Conceptions Receive the Revelations of God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Man received much grace, such as the peace and happiness of the flesh, the blessing of the entire family upon the faith of one, and the healing of sicknesses, and so on. The rest were the good deeds of man and their godly appearance; if man could live based on such, he was considered a good believer. Only such believers could enter heaven after death, which means that they were saved. But, in their lifetime, they did not understand at all the way of life. They merely committed sins, then made confession in a constant cycle without any path toward a changed disposition; such was the condition of man in the Age of Grace.
from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work of Jesus was only for the sake of man’s redemption and the crucifixion. Thus, there was no need for Him to say more words in order to conquer any man. Much of what He taught man was drawn from the words of the Scriptures, and even if His work did not exceed the Scriptures, still He was able to accomplish the work of the crucifixion. His was not the work of the word, nor for the sake of conquering mankind, but in order to redeem mankind. He only acted as the sin offering for mankind, and did not act as the source of the word for mankind.
from “The Vision of God’s Work (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The Age of Grace preached the gospel of repentance, and provided that man believed, then he would be saved. … At the time Jesus’ work was the redemption of all mankind. The sins of all who believed in Him were forgiven; as long as you believed in Him, He would redeem you; if you believed in Him, you were no longer a sinner, you were relieved of your sins. This is what it meant to be saved, and to be justified by faith. Yet in those who believed, there remained that which was rebellious and opposed God, and which still had to be slowly removed. Salvation did not mean man had been completely gained by Jesus, but that man was no longer of sin, that he had been forgiven his sins: Provided you believed, you would never more be of sin. … Jesus did not come to perfect and gain man, but to do one stage of work: bringing forth the gospel of the kingdom of heaven and completing the work of the crucifixion—and so once Jesus was crucified, His work came to a complete end.
from “The Vision of God’s Work (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh