Classic Words of God:
In the Age of Grace,
He could forgive man their sins until His crucifixion truly delivered mankind from sin. During that time, God appeared before man in mercy and lovingkindness; that is, He became a sin offering for man and was crucified for the sins of man so that they may forever be forgiven. He was merciful, compassionate, enduring and loving. And all those who followed Jesus in the Age of Grace also sought to be enduring and loving in all things. They endured all suffering, and never fought back even if beaten, cursed or stoned.
from “The Two Incarnations Complete the Significance of the Incarnation” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
To the people of that time—to all people—what Jesus had and was, was mercy and lovingkindness. He never remembered people’s transgressions, and His treatment of them was not based on their transgressions. Because that was a different age, He often bestowed plentiful food and drink upon the people so that they could eat their fill. He treated all His followers with grace, healing the sick, driving out demons, raising the dead. In order that the people might believe in Him and see that all that He did was done earnestly and sincerely, He went so far as to resurrect a rotting corpse, showing them that in His hands even the dead could come back to life. In this way He endured silently and did His work of redemption in their midst. Even before He was nailed to the cross, Jesus had already taken upon Himself the sins of humanity and become a sin offering for mankind. Even before being crucified, He had already opened the way to the cross in order to redeem mankind. At last He was nailed to the cross, sacrificing Himself for the sake of the cross, and He bestowed all of His mercy, lovingkindness, and holiness upon mankind. To humanity He was always tolerant, never vengeful, but forgave them their sins, exhorted them to repent, and taught them to have patience, forbearance, and love, to follow in His footsteps and sacrifice themselves for the sake of the cross. His love for the brothers and sisters exceeded His love for Mary. The work that He did took as its principle healing the people and driving out demons, all for the sake of His redemption. No matter where He went, He treated all who followed Him with grace. He made the poor rich, the lame walk, the blind see, and the deaf hear; He even invited the lowliest, destitute ones, the sinners, to sit at the same table with Him, never shunning them but always being patient, even saying, “When a shepherd loses one sheep out of a hundred, he will leave behind the ninety-nine to seek the one lost sheep, and when he finds it he will rejoice greatly.” He loved His followers as a ewe loves her lambs. Though they were foolish and ignorant, and were sinners in His eyes, and furthermore were the humblest members of society, He considered these sinners—men whom others despised—as the apple of His eye. Since He favored them, He gave up His life for them, as a lamb was offered up on the altar. He went about in their midst as if He were their servant, letting them use Him and slaughter Him, submitting to them unconditionally. To His followers He was the lovable Savior Jesus, but to the Pharisees, who lectured the people from a high pedestal, He showed not mercy and lovingkindness, but loathing and resentment. He did not do much work among the Pharisees, only occasionally lecturing and rebuking them; He did not go about in their midst doing the work of redemption, nor performing signs and wonders. He bestowed all His mercy and lovingkindness upon His followers, enduring for the sake of these sinners till the very end, when He was nailed to the cross, and suffering every humiliation until He had fully redeemed all humanity. This was the sum total of His work.
from “The True Story Behind Work in the Age of Redemption” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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.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.
from “The Vision of God’s Work (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh