41. Why does God perform new work in each age? For what reasons exactly does a new age come about?
The Answer from God’s Word:
My entire management plan, which spans six thousand years, consists of three phases, or three ages: first, the Age of Law; second, the Age of Grace (which is also the Age of Redemption); and finally, the Age of Kingdom. My work in these three ages differs according to the nature of each age, but at each stage it accords with man’s needs—or rather, it varies according to the tricks that Satan employs in My war against it. The purpose of My work is to defeat Satan, to make manifest My wisdom and omnipotence, to expose all Satan’s tricks and thereby to save all of humanity, which lives under its domain. It is to show My wisdom and omnipotence while at the same time revealing the hideousness of Satan. Moreover, it is to teach My creations to discriminate between good and evil, to recognize that I am the Ruler of all things, to see clearly that Satan is humanity’s foe, the lowest of the low, the evil one, and to make the difference between good and evil, truth and falsehood, holiness and filth, greatness and baseness, as clear as day. This way, ignorant humanity may bear witness to Me that it is not I who corrupt humanity, and only I—the Creator—can save humanity, can bestow upon them things for enjoyment; and they may come to know that I am the Ruler of all things and Satan is merely one of My creations, which later turned against Me. My six-thousand-year management plan is divided into three stages in order to achieve the following effect: to allow My creations to be My witnesses, to know My will, to see that I am the truth.
from “The Truth Concerning the Work in the Age of Redemption” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work of God continues to advance, and though the purpose of His work remains unchanging, the means by which He works are constantly changing, and thereby so are those who follow God. The more work of God, the more thoroughly man comes to know God, and the disposition of man changes accordingly along with His work. …
At that time, Jesus stated that the work of Jehovah had fallen behind in the Age of Grace, much as I say today that the work of Jesus has fallen behind. If there had been only the Age of Law and not the Age of Grace, Jesus could not have been crucified and could not have redeemed all mankind; if there had only been the Age of Law, could mankind possibly have developed until this day? History advances forward; is not history the natural law of God’s work? Is this not a depiction of His management of man within the entire universe? History progresses forward, so does the work of God, and the will of God continuously changes. It would be impractical for God to maintain a single stage of work for six thousand years, for all of man knows that He is always new and never old. He could not possibly continue to sustain work akin to the crucifixion, and once, twice, three times … be nailed to the cross. This is the perception of an absurd man. God does not sustain the same work, and His work is ever-changing and always new, much as how I daily speak to you new words and do new work. This is the work I do, the key of which lies in the words “new” and “wondrous.” “God is changeless, and God will always be God”; this saying is true indeed. The essence of God does not change, God is always God, and He could never become Satan, but these do not prove that His work is as constant and invariable as His essence. You declare that God is thus, but how then can you explain that God is always new and never old? The work of God continuously spreads and constantly changes, and the will of God is continuously manifested and made known to man. As man experiences the work of God, his disposition continuously changes, and his knowledge continuously changes. From where, then, does this change arise? Is it not from the ever-changing work of God? If the disposition of man can change, why cannot man allow My work and My words to also continuously change? Must I be subject to the restrictions of man? Are you not now simply resorting to sophistry?
from “How Can Man Who Has Defined God in His Conceptions Receive the Revelations.of God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The Holy Spirit works in accordance with the age, not just at will or according to set rules. The age has changed, and a new age must bring with it new work. This is true of every stage of work, and so His work is never repeated. In the Age of Grace, Jesus did much of that work, such as healing sickness, casting out demons, laying His hands upon man to pray for man, and blessing man. However, to continue to do so would serve no purpose in the present day. The Holy Spirit worked in that way at the time, for it was the Age of Grace, and man was shown enough grace for enjoyment. Man did not have to pay any price and could receive grace as long as he had faith. All were treated very graciously. Now, the age has changed, and the work of God has progressed further; through His chastisement and judgment, the rebelliousness of man and the unclean things within man will be cast away. As it was the stage of redemption, God had to do such work, showing man enough grace for man to enjoy, so that man could be redeemed from sin, and through grace be forgiven their sins. This stage is done to reveal the iniquities within man through chastisement, judgment, the smiting of words, as well as the discipline and revelation of words, so that they may afterward be saved. This is work more in-depth than redemption. In the Age of Grace, man enjoyed enough grace and has already experienced this grace, and so it is no longer to be enjoyed by man. Such work is now out-of-date and is no longer to be done. Now, man is saved through judgment by the word. After man is judged, chastised and refined, his disposition is thereby changed. Is this not because of the words I have spoken? Each stage of work is done in line with the progress of all mankind and with the age. All work has its significance; it is done for the final salvation, for mankind to have a good destination in the future, and for man to be divided according to their kind in the end.
from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God Himself comes to begin an age, and God Himself comes to bring the age to an end. Man is incapable of doing the work of beginning an age and concluding the age. If Jesus did not bring the work of Jehovah to an end, then that proves that He was merely a man, and did not represent God. Precisely because Jesus came and concluded the work of Jehovah, followed on from the work of Jehovah by beginning His own work, new work, it proves that this was a new age, and that Jesus was God Himself. They did two distinctly different stages of work. One stage was carried out in the temple, and the other was conducted outside of the temple. One stage was to lead the life of man according to the law, and the other was to offer up a sin offering. These two stages of work were unmistakably different; this is the division of the new and old ages, and there is no fault in saying that they are two ages! The location of Their work was different, and the content of Their work was different, and the objective of Their work was different. As such, they can be divided into two ages: the New and Old Testaments, which is to say, the new and old ages. When Jesus came He did not go into the temple, which proves that the age of Jehovah had ended. He did not enter the temple because the work of Jehovah in the temple had finished, and did not need to be done again, and so to do it again would be to repeat it. Only by leaving the temple, beginning a new work and opening up a new path outside of the temple, was He able to bring God’s work to its zenith. If He had not gone out of the temple to do His work, the work of God would never be able to progress beyond the temple, and there would never be any new changes. And so, when Jesus came He did not enter the temple, and did not do His work in the temple. He did His work outside of the temple, and went about His work freely accompanied by the disciples. God’s departure from the temple to do His work meant that God had a new plan. His work was to be conducted outside of the temple, and it was to be new work that was unconstrained in the manner of its implementation. Jesus’ arrival brought the work of Jehovah during the age of the Old Testament to an end. Although They were called by two different names, both stages of work were done by one Spirit, and the work of the second was a continuation of the first. As the name was different, and the content of the work was different, the age was different. When Jehovah came, that was the age of Jehovah, and when Jesus came, there was the age of Jesus. And so, each time God comes, He is called by one name, He represents one age, and He opens up a new path; and on each new path, He assumes a new name, which shows that God is always new and never old, and that His work is always progressing forward. History is always moving forward, and the work of God is always moving forward. For His six-thousand-year management plan to reach its end, it must keep progressing onward. Each day He must do new work, each year He must do new work; He must open up new paths, must begin new eras, begin new and greater work, and bring new names and new work. The Spirit of God is always doing new work, and never clings to the old ways and regulations. His work also never ceases, and is happening all the time.
from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh