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, a plan that spans six thousand years, consists of three stages, or three ages: the Age of Law in the beginning; the Age of Grace (which is also the Age of Redemption); and the Age of Kingdom in the last days. My work in these three ages differs in content according to the nature of each age, but at each stage it accords with man’s needs—or, to be more precise, it 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 its domain. It is to show My wisdom and omnipotence while at the same time revealing the unbearable hideousness of Satan. Even more, it is to teach My creations to discriminate between good and evil, to know 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 tell, with absolute certainty, the difference between good and evil, truth and falsehood, holiness and filth, and what is great and what is ignoble. This way, ignorant humanity will become able to bear witness to Me that it is not I who corrupt humanity, and only I—the Lord of creation—can save humanity, can bestow upon man things for their enjoyment; 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 so as to achieve the following effect: to enable My creations to become My witnesses, to comprehend My will, and to know that I am the truth.
from “The True Story Behind 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, neither at random nor in conformity to set rules. The age has changed, and a new age necessarily brings 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 a fair amount of that kind of work, such as healing sickness, casting out demons, laying His hands upon man to pray for him, and blessing man. However, to do so again would be meaningless in the present day. The Holy Spirit worked in that way at the time, for it was the Age of Grace, and there was sufficient grace for man to enjoy. No payment of any kind was asked of him, and so long as he had faith he would receive grace. All were treated very graciously. Now the age has changed, and the work of God has progressed further; it is through chastisement and judgment that the rebelliousness of man and the unclean things within man will be purged away. That stage being the stage of redemption, it behooved God to work in that way, showing enough grace for man to enjoy, so that man might be redeemed from sin and by means of grace be forgiven his sins. This present stage is to expose the unrighteousness within man by means of chastisement, judgment, the smiting of words, as well as the discipline and revelation of words, so that humanity may afterward be saved. This is work more in-depth than redemption. The grace in the Age of Grace was sufficient for man’s enjoyment; now that man has already experienced this grace, he is no longer to enjoy it. This work is now past its time and is no longer to be done. Now man is to be saved through the judgment of the word. After man is judged, chastised, and refined, his disposition is thereby changed. Is this not all because of the words I have spoken? Each stage of work is done in line with the progress of the whole human race and with the age. The work is all significant, and it is all done for the sake of the final salvation, that mankind may have a good destination in the future, and that humanity may 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 open up 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 would be proof that He was merely a man and incapable of representing 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 markedly different; this divides the new age from the old, and it is absolutely correct to say that they are two different 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 the Old Testaments, which is to say, the new and the 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 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 have stagnated upon the foundations of the temple, and there would never have been 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, leading the disciples, went about His work freely. 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. As soon as Jesus arrived, He brought the work of Jehovah during the age of the Old Testament to an end. Although They were called by two different names, it was the same Spirit that accomplished both stages of work, and the work that was done was continuous. 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, that was the age of Jesus. And so, with each coming, God 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 never ceases to progress in a forward direction. 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 in a forward direction. Each day He must do new work, each year He must do new work; He must open up new paths, must launch new eras, begin new and greater work, and along with these, bring new names and new work. From moment to moment, the Spirit of God is doing new work, never clinging to old ways and regulations. Nor has His work ever stopped, but is coming to pass with each passing moment.
from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh