Chapter 25. God Performing Work in Different Ways to Save Mankind Has Tremendous Meaning
The Meaning of God’s Judgment and Chastisement of Mankind
For us to believe in God, we must know God’s work. To know God’s work is also to know how God is saving corrupt mankind. As believers in God, we must be clear about how God saves mankind. We all know that God’s work in the last days is the work of conquest and salvation, and how is this work of conquest and salvation mainly carried out? It is primarily carried out with judgment and chastisement at its core. That is to say, judgment and chastisement are at the core of God’s work to save corrupt mankind. Now that we understand this, how do we get to know God’s judgment and chastisement? This is the key question. Why must God judge and chastise corrupt mankind, and what is the meaning of God’s judgment and chastisement of mankind? This truth is particularly important, for this involves the truth regarding visions of God’s work. If man’s faith in God is lacking in vision, then he would not know how to believe in God; even when man does believe in God, he would not be choosing the right way. What is the meaning of God’s judgment and chastisement of corrupt mankind, this mankind that resists Him and rebels against Him? We must first understand clearly that God is the Creator. Because He is the Creator, He has the authority to rule over, judge, and chastise the created. Also, God’s disposition is righteous and holy, and based on God’s disposition, God does not allow those humans who resist and rebel against Him to live in His presence. God does not allow filthy and corrupt things to exist in His presence. Therefore, God’s judgment and chastisement of corrupt mankind is completely reasonable and righteous, and it is determined by God’s disposition. We all know that God is righteous, and that God is the truth. From the disposition revealed by God we have already seen that God is the truth. God’s words are all truths. God created the heavens and earth and all things through His words. God’s words are able to create all things, and God’s words are the truth that is able to judge all things. During the last days, God is performing the work of judgment and chastisement of corrupt mankind. Some might ask: “Has God performed the work of judgment before? Has God performed the work of judgment and chastisement in other ages, ages before our time?” God has indeed performed many works of judgment and chastisement, only people have not witnessed them. Before there were humans, Satan resisted and rebelled against God, and how did God judge Satan? God banished Satan down to earth, and all those angels who followed Satan were also banished by God down to earth, together with Satan. God expelled them from heaven down to earth, and wasn’t this a judgment against Satan? This was a judgment against Satan, as well as a chastisement of it. Therefore, before there were humans, God had already judged and chastised Satan. We have written information regarding this matter. Before there was this mankind, were there any other humans or other creatures? There most certainly were. And did those other humans receive God’s judgment and chastisement? We can say with certainty that, all those who have been destroyed by God were humans who resisted and rebelled against God, that they all received the judgment and chastisement of God. This is undeniable. Therefore, ever since God created the heavens and earth and all things, God’s judgment and chastisement have always existed. This is one aspect of God’s work in ruling over all things, because God’s disposition remains the same and will never change. Today, God has initiated the judgment and chastisement of this corrupt mankind. In the past, all other human beings who rebelled against God and resisted God all received judgment and chastisement from God. We have seen that ever since there were human beings, all those who rebelled against God and followed Satan have all lived amid God’s curse. There have been so many who have died from God’s chastisement because of their evildoing, and some were even annihilated. There have been so many who believed in God yet resisted God, and they have all died in the end. Some were punished in the spiritual realm, while some have received judgment and chastisement when they were still alive. Therefore, mankind has come to one conclusion: “Goodness will be rewarded with goodness, and evil with evil.” Isn’t this God’s judgment and chastisement? This is all God’s judgment and chastisement. On this day, God has initiated the work of judgment and chastisement in God’s house to save corrupt mankind. In accepting God’s work, we are also accepting God’s judgment and chastisement. If people rebel against God and resist God when experiencing God’s work, will they earn God’s judgment and chastisement? All people receive God’s judgment and chastisement. Most of the time people receive judgment and chastisement from God’s words, and they sometimes also receive judgment and chastisement of factual events, as well as receiving God’s punishments. We have seen all these things. Some say, “The unbelievers have never accepted God’s work of judgment and chastisement, will they be able to escape God’s judgment and chastisement?” No, they shall also receive God’s judgment and chastisement. Regardless of whether people accept God’s work in the last days, all of them must still receive God’s judgment and chastisement, for no one can escape God’s judgment and chastisement, and this is fact. Now, those religious figures have also not accepted God’s judgment and chastisement, so can they escape God’s judgment and chastisement? No. No one can escape the chastisement that God has predetermined for man. It’s just a question of time, and everyone has their own individual end. This end is also predetermined by God, and no one can escape it. From the end of mankind, we can see the judgment and chastisement that each one of them receives. Some accept God’s judgment and chastisement, attain salvation from God, completely return to God, and the end for them is a good destination—entering the kingdom, gaining eternal life, and they are saved. Those who do not accept God’s judgment and chastisement, that is, those who do not accept God’s work will eventually sink into destruction. This is their judgment and chastisement that has been predetermined by God, and the final outcome for them is also determined by God’s judgment and chastisement. There are many leaders from the religious community who are resisting God, and what is the final outcome for them? If they do not repent, in the end they will most certainly sink into destruction, for no one can escape God’s judgment and chastisement. This is absolute. If we have accepted God’s judgment and chastisement today, that means we have accepted God’s work of mankind’s salvation. That is, we are accepting and experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement in a positive way, eventually attaining true repentance, eventually coming to know God and gaining transformation of our life disposition. Such a judgment and chastisement is our salvation. As for those who refuse to accept God’s judgment and chastisement, what is their end? It is punishment, they shall ultimately sink into destruction. Such is their fate for running away from God’s judgment and chastisement. Our experience of God’s judgment and chastisement today has such significance. We see that God’s words are the truth, and truth itself is judgment and chastisement for people. If you submit to God’s words and submit to the truth, then you shall enjoy the presence of God, and you shall gain the blessing of God. If you oppose God’s words and oppose the truth, then your fate shall be punishment, and you shall lose the blessing of God. We can say that all words from God are our judgment and chastisement. God has no feelings for Satan and those angels that followed Satan. He banished them from heaven down to earth, and it is the same for corrupt mankind. However, we are fortunate this day, for we have accepted God’s work of judgment and chastisement. This work of judgment and chastisement is performed by God for the salvation of man. Through judgment and chastisement, through the expression of truth, God is transforming man’s disposition, not punishing us or determining our end. If we do not accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, if we refuse to accept all the truths expressed by God, then our end shall be to sink into destruction. This is absolute. Therefore, what is the significance for us to accept God’s judgment and chastisement? Only by accepting God’s judgment and chastisement can we attain salvation, only by accepting God’s judgment and chastisement can we truly return to God, belong to God, and gain the blessing of God. If we reject God’s judgment and chastisement, then our end is to sink into destruction. What is the path to eternal life? It is to accept God’s judgment and chastisement. Accepting God’s judgment and chastisement is the path to enter the kingdom, it is the path to eternal life. We have now gained some understanding of God’s disposition, but where does this understanding come from? We have gained such understanding from God’s judgment and chastisement of corrupt mankind. Through God’s judgment and chastisement of corrupt mankind, we see that God’s disposition is righteous and holy. If you still believe in Jesus, if you are still living in the Age of Grace, then you will not see God’s righteous disposition, and you will not see that God’s disposition is holy. God is the truth. The truth is God’s judgment of mankind, and is the standard with which mankind distinguishes right from wrong, good from evil. Only the truth can judge man, only the truth can transform the disposition of man. For God is the truth, God is the Creator, therefore God has the authority to judge the created. This is right and reasonable. Besides God, no one can judge corrupt mankind. Therefore, for us to accept God’s judgment and chastisement, are we not being exalted by God? We are being exalted by God, and this is God’s grace to us. We must see this clearly. And how does God judge corrupt mankind? All of us are now experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement, and it can be said that every sentence of God’s words is judgment against corrupt mankind. Some are unable to see this. They think that the majority of God’s words are not words of judgment and chastisement, that only those of God’s words that reveal and expose mankind’s corruption are words of judgment against mankind. This is incorrect. We should say that regardless of what aspect of God’s words, as long as they are God’s words, they are all truths; as long as they are truths, they are all judgments. Every word of God is a judgment against mankind. If you act against God’s words, if you resist God’s words, then all of God’s words are chastisement to you. Those with deeper experience of God’s work have come to know this. Now that we have understood some truths from God’s words, we can now see the affairs of this world clearly. And after we have understood them clearly, we discover one fact—God’s words can judge this world, God’s words can reveal all, God’s words can judge all things, and we have seen this for ourselves. We see that we are too deeply corrupted by Satan. And how have we come to learn this? Through God’s words. Through the truths that we have come to understand from God’s words, we have come to a real understanding regarding the essence of corrupt mankind. From this result, we can see that God’s word is judgment. We are only able to know the truth and essence of our corruption through God’s judgment and chastisement. Those who have never experienced God’s judgment and chastisement will never come to know the essence of their own corruption. Therefore, the more we experience God’s judgment and chastisement, the more we come to know the essence and truth of our own corruption. The more we experience God’s judgment and chastisement, the more we come to know God, know God’s disposition, and know all that God has and is. Once we have come to truly know God, we come to see the degree to which mankind has been corrupted by Satan, we come to see our own wretchedness, and so we eventually bow down before God, coming to the realization that we are nothing, that we are mere dust. From then on, a person’s life and disposition begin a transformation. They are no longer arrogant and smug, they are no longer pompous and self-righteous, they no longer show off, or pursue to rise above others. In the end, they attain the state of mind where they are able to accept wherever they have been placed, whatever they must do, whatever role they must play, regardless of the position they have been given. They submit to God’s arrangement and are able to fulfill their duties as one of the created. At this point, the person comes to possess reason and conscience in God’s presence, and begins to live as a real human being. These are all results achieved through experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement. During the Age of Grace, why didn’t people who believed in God attain such results? Because they did not experience God’s judgment and chastisement as we can today. The results that we can attain today are not from believing in God through the Bible, but through experiencing the judgment from Christ of the last days. All the truths that we understand today, all the fruits that we have reaped, they are all results attained through experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement. We can see clearly now, that we are truly blessed to be able to experience God’s judgment and chastisement, God’s trials and refinements, God’s dealing and pruning, and we have been exalted by God. We have gained this small understanding of God’s judgment and chastisement.
Trials and Refinements Have Important Significance for Men’s Salvation Through Faith in God
When experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement, we must also experience the trials and refinements caused by God’s words. When we first accept the trials and refinements of God’s words, we all start by having conceptions of God and misunderstanding God. Some even blame God, believing the things that God has said are inappropriate. Yet when we read God’s words now we find that the way He speaks is very meaningful. God tests us through His words, God refines us through His words, God makes us suffer through His words. What’s the significance of God working this way? When we are experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement initially, we do not have a deep understanding of our own corruptions. We only admit some of it, or we only accept a part of it. Subsequently, after we have experienced God’s trials and refinements, we see that we continue to reveal so much of our own corruptions. We also discover our satanic disposition of arrogance and conceit. We see that we are lacking in the likeness of a true human being, and what we live out is entirely the image of Satan. At this point, we come to a new understanding of God’s judgment and chastisement, we come to know that God’s judgment and chastisement can save people, that God’s trials and refinements can reveal people, allowing them to see the truth of their own corruptions. Through trials and refinements, we discover our satanic nature, we see that we are indeed lacking in the likeness of a true human being. At this point, in our hearts, we feel: “Ah, such trials and refinements are very useful for the salvation of people. Such trials and refinements produce profound results in revealing people’s corruption, allowing them to have a deeper understanding of their own corrupt essence.” This result is attained by people who have experienced the different trials and refinements. That is to say, judgment and chastisement through words are not enough. We must further rely on trials and refinements. It is through the revelations from such trials and refinements that we can fully accept God’s words, and see that all of God’s words of judgment and chastisement of mankind are all truths, that they are all facts. In this way, we come to feel good about these trials and refinements, we come to understand that to truly attain salvation from God, and to be perfected by God, we must experience a great deal of trials and refinements. To attain perfection by God, it is very necessary to experience hundreds of trials, and this perfection is the result attained through trials and refinements. However, some are unwilling to experience trials and refinements, they are unwilling to suffer. Why are they unwilling to suffer? They feel that: “Isn’t it enough that we believe in God and seek the truth? As long as we slowly understand more truths, won’t we still be saved? Why do we need to suffer so much? What is the use in that?” This shows that people are still unable to see clearly the significance of trials and refinements. Most people have had an experience like this, where after they understood some truths, they discovered that their corrupt disposition had still not changed. Some people, after they have done some bad things and you fellowship the truths with them, what do they say? They say, “I understand all the truths, but I am still unable to overcome my corrupt disposition.” You have all heard this before. These people understand all the truths, but they lose control of themselves when dealing with things, unable to control their own corrupt disposition, unable to do anything about it. Why are people able to understand some truths but are unable to overcome their own corrupt dispositions? What results can the understanding of truths achieve? We all know that the first result in understanding truths is to transform the point of view with which we look at things. People can change their point of view, but can they change the desires and preferences within their own natures? Can they be changed based on a transformation of their point of view? They can’t. For example, your unbelieving spouse, or your unbelieving parents, they belong with Satan, they are uninterested in the truth, they oppose you in everything, but how do you view them? You know that they belong with Satan, that they belong with the devil, right? Yet, if one day they died in the catastrophe, could you really treat them as Satan? You wouldn’t be able to do that, but instead you would mourn for them, you might even complain to God about their passing, you might blame and resist God, thinking that God is unjust, isn’t that right? What is the issue here? This is because man’s nature still belongs with Satan. If man’s nature does not transform, then all those things inside man’s nature—preferences, pursuits, desires—will never change either. We often see people who, when you fellowship the truths with them, seem to understand those truths, yet they continue to covet riches, they continue to pursue status, they continue to love the material world. What is going on here? Although they have understood some truths, yet their life disposition has not been transformed. If someone’s belief in God is merely focused on understanding the truths in God’s words, can their life disposition be transformed without trials and refinements? It will most certainly not be transformed, because while they have understood some truths and their points of view have changed, yet those things within their nature cannot be changed, those preferences, desires, and wants in their nature will not change. And what method of working must God take to transform man’s disposition? Trials and refinements, for they are crucial for man to attain the transformation of disposition. Take, for example, a man who loves status. He will do anything for status, he is willing to suffer anything for it. If he lacks status, he is willing to betray God, he will become very weak and negative. Why is this? It comes from within the man’s nature, it is because the desires and preferences within the man’s nature have not changed. To attain transformation in such things, it is not enough to understand God’s words; one must also suffer. And how does one suffer? Through trials and refinements. For such a man, what trials and refinements are required to cause a transformation in his disposition? First, give him status, fulfill his desire for status. His mood will improve a lot, and every day he’ll be excited, eager, and enthusiastic. Until one day, for whatever reason, his status gets taken away from him and he falls from grace. He’ll then become negative, he’ll shed tears, he’ll suffer. If this man should suffer for two years like this, tell me, would this man still crave status? Or would he become indifferent to status, and no longer seek status? He would give up. By tempering him with sufferings, by tempering him for two years, his desire for status would be ground away. Therefore, trials and refinements are so very useful for transforming man’s disposition. … What we are talking about here is that if anyone has been through a lot of pain, if anyone has suffered much, their life disposition would have been more or less transformed. For those who have had an easy life, it is a given that they have too many desires, too many demands, and will always be finicky. So, suffering can change a person, and a lot of suffering can transform that person. Trials and refinements are extremely important to the transformation of a human being’s life disposition. To be perfected, Peter experienced hundreds of trials. Therefore, when it comes to us, who have been so deeply corrupted, naturally we also need to experience hundreds of trials to be perfected. Transformation in life disposition can only be attained by man through trials, this is absolute, no one can deny this. Judgment and chastisement have such importance for our salvation, and now we see that trials and refinements also have such importance for our disposition to transform and for us to receive salvation from God. At an earlier stage, many people reflected, “Now that we have already listened to sermons for such a long time, how come our life disposition has still not been transformed? What is the problem?” You now have a solid understanding of this issue without needing my explanation, isn’t that true? Because you still have not experienced much, and because you have not experienced the different trials and refinements, it is not sufficient for you to merely understand truths from listening to sermons: You must also experience the different trials and refinements in order for truths to take root in your hearts. The results from understanding some truths by listening to sermons are insufficient, for such understanding of truths is superficial. Once you have experienced the different trials, once you have deepened your understanding of truths and you have gained knowledge through your own experiences, then you shall see that not only have you changed your point of view, but your life disposition has also been transformed accordingly. There are many desires, preferences, and pursuits in everyone’s nature, and these must be resolved through trials and refinements. Those things inside people’s nature will not transform themselves without trials and refinements. For some particularly stubborn things, they must experience even more trials in order to give them up, such things as love, status, fame, family, and the obsession with riches. Is it easy for a person to give up such things? These things are not easy to give up. If a person has only understood some truths without encountering the different trials and refinements, these things cannot be resolved. Things like avarice are even more difficult to resolve. Such things require trials and refinements, and for some particularly stubborn and lethal things, they require an even longer period of trials and refinements to get rid of. Therefore, the transformation of life disposition is not an easy thing to achieve.
Significance of God Using Different Environments to Perfect Mankind
Effecting a transformation in life disposition can only be attained in specific environments. The first is the persecution and coercion from the great red dragon, which is a necessary environment for people. The second is where there are always people around you who dislike you, who give you dirty looks and always have a bone to pick with you. Such environments are beneficial to you. People are usually unable to see this clearly. I used to be averse to such environments myself, but once I suffered in environments like this over a prolonged period I began to feel that this was actually a good thing, that it would be troublesome if I were not in such environments. Do you understand now, that the environment God has laid out for us is the best? Some would say that, “God is always making us suffer, how could that be best?” The work that God performs is the work of man’s salvation, the work of transforming man’s disposition. During the times when we seek salvation and to be perfected, these are the environments that we need, for such environments are the most beneficial for someone who wants to be saved and perfected. If we have truly been saved and perfected, those people and things that were service-doers shall then be removed, for God shall take them away. Once the great red dragon has done its service, God shall punish the great red dragon and banish it. For those false Christs, antichrists, and evildoers, who disturb and deceive God’s chosen people, once God’s chosen people have seen through their natures and turned their backs on them all, once God’s chosen people have all learned to discern, these evildoers shall also be banished and shall disappear. They shall be removed from their positions and shall be expelled or dismissed. There is a time for everything in God, for there is so much meaning in God’s work, for God is almighty and wise. During this stage of work, we can see God’s almightiness on the one hand, while we can also see God’s wisdom on the other. God uses the great red dragon, all kinds of evildoers, as well as various evil spirits, to do service, to perfect God’s chosen people. Such work has a lot of significance so we should come to understand that God’s wisdom suffuses all aspects of God’s work. If you have not learned this, if you should have conceptions regarding any aspect of God’s plan, how can you experience God’s work? To know God’s work, it is not simply enough for you to know why God said such things and to understand the theories. The key is to understand those things that serve a positive and guiding function during God’s work of the last days—judgments and chastisements, trials and refinements, pruning and dealing, the various environments, people, and things utilized by the Holy Spirit—and what results they can achieve respectively. We must come to know all these things. In addition, we must also come to know the meaning of God having the great red dragon serve as the foil; the benefits that the persecutions, coercions, and arrests by the great red dragon bring to God’s chosen people. What are the results achieved? The different evil spirits, false Christs, antichrists, deceivers, what functions do they serve by performing work and deceiving God’s chosen people inside the church? What effects do the interruptions and disturbances from false apostles, false workers and evildoers have on the life entry of God’s chosen people? When coming up against these actual facts, you must have real knowledge, for if you do not have the right knowledge, then these results shall not be achievable by you, you shall not receive salvation, and you shall not be perfected. Now, it is clear that to be saved and perfected is no easy thing, and it cannot be achieved through merely reading God’s words. There are many parts to the work of God. On the one hand, God expresses words for you to enter from the positive side, to enter into His words. But if you only read God’s words and you are unable to see the other methods by which God performs His work, then how do you enter God’s words? You do not merely enter God’s words from one side. Without pruning and dealing, without trials and refinements, without judgment and chastisement, and without the great red dragon as the foil, could you know how to enter? Without all these environments, without enduring all that pain, could you know how to enter? It is not an easy task to know God’s work. Now, we have gained some knowledge regarding these things we often encounter when experiencing God’s work, and after we have gained knowledge of such things, how should we put the truth into practice? When being arrested, persecuted, and coerced by the great red dragon, what should you enter into? What truths, in which aspect, should you seek? What results must be achieved? Is there a way? When the great red dragon is persecuting and coercing you, the key is you must understand that the great red dragon is a foil. What is the purpose of a foil? To allow you to see it, to allow you to learn the essence of its nature. The evil of the great red dragon provides a contrast to God’s truth and righteousness; the filth and corruption of the great red dragon provides a contrast to God’s holiness; the dark rule of the great red dragon provides a contrast to God’s light and almightiness; the way by which the great red dragon corrupts and deceives people provides a contrast to the way by which God saves people, loves them, and provides for them. Now you know the purpose of a foil. Without a foil, the result of our understanding of God will not be ideal, it will be incomplete, and we will be unable to know God completely. That is, without the foil, we will not be able to truly know God; without the foil, we will not be able to discern; without the foil, we will not know what it means to rebel against the great red dragon, and what it means to return to God. You must rebel against it to be able to return. For you to have faith, for you to have true faith in God, you must renounce Satan. You must renounce Satan to believe in God. For you to return to God, you must rebel against Satan. For you to truly love God, you must hate Satan. This is the function of the foil, and this is the result attained by understanding what the foil is.
The Various Ways in Which God Performs Work Have Great Meaning to People Receiving Salvation and Being Perfected (1)
When experiencing God’s work, we see many ways that God performs His work. First, God’s work of the last days is mainly to save corrupt mankind through judgment and chastisement, which also requires pruning and dealing. Furthermore, various trials and refinements must be used to transform people’s disposition. Such are the ways that God performs work. When people are not familiar with God’s work, they continue to have conceptions, always blaming God, constantly having conceptions in their minds, constantly thinking: “Doesn’t God love man? Why is He so harsh in what He says? Why does God always speak to us with a tone of judgment and chastisement?” Do you understand now? Why does God speak so harshly to us? How do you explain that? The reason that God reveals people and judges them with harsh words is primarily because mankind has been too deeply corrupted by Satan, and if God did not speak in such a way, people’s disposition could never be transformed, and it would be impossible to make people truly understand the reality of their corruption. Moreover, this way that God speaks is completely based on the facts and truths regarding corrupt mankind. We can see from this that God’s disposition is righteous, for He treats everyone the same way. If we were not so deeply corrupted, if we still displayed a lot of obedience to God, then the way that God speaks would certainly be much gentler. The way by which God chooses to speak to us is determined by the degree of our corruption. As an example, if a child is behaving very badly, to a degree where kind words can no longer get through to them, then the parents must employ other measures: First, they must speak more harshly to the child. And second, if things get out of hand, the child must also be spanked and disciplined. If the child has not been misbehaving to such a degree, is it necessary for the adults to take such measures? There is no need then, for if the adults go too far with the measures that they employ it will not be beneficial to the child. Moreover, the adults themselves would never wish to do such a thing, would they? When parents strike their own child, they feel emotional pain themselves. If that is the case, why do they still do it? Because it is the last resort, and there is no other way for the child to be disciplined. The parents are forced to treat the child in this way. By the same token, the reason that God judges and chastises corrupt mankind is because mankind is too deeply corrupted, and resists and rebels against God too strongly, which saddens God a lot. Therefore, God becomes angry with mankind and hands out judgment and chastisement. This is understandable. When we first began to experience God’s work, we didn’t think our own corruptions to be very deep, we always thought that we were good people. Therefore, when we first began to receive God’s judgment and chastisement, we had some conceptions in our minds, we had some opinions, and this is normal. After experiencing God’s work for several years, we began to see the reality of our corruption clearly. We were unable to forgive ourselves, we even hated ourselves, we even cursed ourselves. So now we realize that God’s judgment and chastisement is extremely necessary, that God should do this as a matter of course, that if God does not save mankind through such means, corrupt mankind will never receive God’s salvation. There is no other way. After experiencing God’s work for several years, we see the good intentions of God, we see God’s extreme patience with corrupt mankind, and the true love He has for us. According to mankind’s degree of corruption, according to the evil deeds perpetrated by mankind, all of mankind should have been destroyed, yet God still wants to save us as much as possible. Therefore, God’s judgment and chastisement demonstrates God’s exaltation of us and tolerance for us. In fact, people do not deserve to receive such judgment and chastisement from God, for mankind should have simply been destroyed based on his evil deeds, destroyed a hundred times over. So is such judgment and chastisement too much for us? It’s not too much, in fact, we can say that it is not enough. Even after such judgment and chastisement, people have still not truly submitted, which shows just how rebellious they really are. So such judgment and chastisement is not heavy at all. In fact, people should be receiving more and much heavier sufferings. Those who have had experience of this already know that without God’s judgment and chastisement, then first, we would have no knowledge of the facts regarding Satan’s deep corruption of mankind; second, we would have no knowledge of our own corrupt nature; and third, we would also have no knowledge that we are the progeny of Satan, the offspring of the great red dragon. We have enmity with God, we have already positioned ourselves opposite to God, while we still think that we belong with God, that we believe in God, that we are of God’s house. We humans rebelled against God to such a degree, yet we are unrepentant, unaware of the fact and truth of our own corruption. Can such people as us ever return to God? Therefore, God’s work of the last days must take the method of judgment and chastisement, to attain the salvation of man and the transformation of his disposition. We must understand such things. Now we are clear that God’s primary work is judgment and chastisement. Be it pruning and dealing, or trials and refinements, their job is to attain judgment and chastisement of people so that their life disposition can be transformed. It can be said that pruning and dealing are also judgment and chastisement, trials and refinements are also judgment and chastisement as they all serve to achieve the effects of judgment and chastisement. Therefore, the essence of God’s work of the last days is to save people through judgment and chastisement. This is absolutely correct. Most people are still not thoroughly familiar with God’s work, and they still think: “Could people receive salvation through experiencing God’s work in such a way? Could people’s life disposition be transformed? I have experienced it for years, and I have understood some truths, but I have not seen many transformations. Will I truly be transformed in the end?” This question is easy to answer now, isn’t it? If you have experienced God’s work for a few years, and you still have not seen much transformation now, what is the problem? It’s because you have not experienced enough of God’s trials and refinements, you still need more in the future. We see that judgment and chastisement from words only are not enough: We also require trials and refinements, as well as pruning and dealing, maybe even more severe trials and refinements for longer periods of time, in order to transform our life disposition, for no transformation is possible without suffering.
During God’s work of the last days, we also see God using the great red dragon as a foil, and we must gain some understanding of this. God uses the great red dragon as a foil, and the great red dragon plays the role of the foil in God’s work of the last days. What is the meaning of this foil? Through contrast, it helps us learn God’s disposition and righteousness. With just one glance of the great red dragon, we can see that it is evil, that it is cruel and inhuman. The great red dragon knows no truths, and the great red dragon is Satan itself. We have learned that the great red dragon is Satan itself, that it is God’s nemesis, that it knows no truths, that it is complete evil and it is utter darkness. How does this help us to know God? It serves as a foil to God. By seeing that the great red dragon is evil, dark, filthy, and corrupt, we see that God is righteous, bright, good, and holy. With the great red dragon providing such a negative contrast, we see more clearly these dispositions of God, as well as all that God is and has. Without the great red dragon as a foil, it becomes arduous for us to know God, it becomes difficult. Therefore, it is very beneficial to have this foil. For example, sugar is sweet, but if you have no idea what bitterness is then you will never deeply experience sweetness. Isn’t that the case? If you ate a lump of sugar and I asked you whether it was sweet or not, you would probably tell me that it was sweet. But how sweet was it? You’d have no idea if you didn’t know what bitterness was. If you knew what bitterness was, then when you tasted sugar again you’d know how sweet it was, you’d then know its degree of sweetness. Isn’t that right? To know something positive, you must use other things that are negative as a foil in order to get an effective contrast. This is absolutely correct. Now, do we think that the great red dragon is righteous? It has not one shred of righteousness, isn’t that the truth? And is God righteous? God is indeed righteous, and it is obvious once we compare Him with the dominion of the great red dragon. So, we can see clearly the function that the great red dragon plays as a foil. There is a standard for God’s salvation of corrupt mankind, and what is this standard? We all know that the great red dragon is God’s nemesis. It is the origin, archetype, and representative of negative things. When we look at our own corrupt disposition, and compare our corrupt disposition with the essence and nature of the great red dragon, we come to know who we truly belong with. We become clear as to whether this corrupt mankind belongs with Satan or not. If you can see much of the great red dragon’s poison in yourself, and ultimately you discover that the nature inside of you is also the nature of the great red dragon, then you shall clearly see the reality of your corruption. You will admit that when God said “you are the offspring of the great red dragon,” He was absolutely correct, that God’s judgment is just. Before, when God said that we were the offspring of the great red dragon, we thought, “Are we really the offspring of the great red dragon? Aren’t we much better than the great red dragon? Even though we have been ruled over by it for these many years, but have we truly become its offspring?” Many have this question in their hearts. After experiencing God’s work for a few years, we see that we have a lot of the great red dragon’s poisons inside of ourselves. All the various poisons exist inside the great red dragon, however, we have also discovered up to a hundred different poisons within ourselves, as if we also have all of those various poisons. So tell me, are we not the offspring of the great red dragon? We are the offspring of the great red dragon, this is absolutely true. If you don’t believe me, start by learning about your corrupt disposition, then look for the poisons in the great red dragon, look at what the nature of the great red dragon is, then look at what your nature is. You shall understand once you have compared the two, and you will see that God’s words are all too accurate. Furthermore, through understanding the nature and essence of the great red dragon, we can then determine the degree to which we have to be transformed through experiencing God’s work, in order to truly attain salvation and escape from Satan’s influence. If you still have the poisons and the nature of the great red dragon, are you someone who has received salvation? If you perpetrate the same evil deeds that the great red dragon perpetrates, yet you still say that you believe in God, that you have been saved, could what you say be true? The great red dragon has clear boundaries, and if you are within its sphere of influence then you most certainly belong to it. If your life disposition has been transformed, if you do not have the poisons of the great red dragon, if the nature and essence of the great red dragon cannot be found on you, then, you are someone who has truly received salvation and you have truly escaped Satan’s influence. Therefore, through the nature and essence of the great red dragon, we may know the standard for God’s salvation of men, as well as the ultimate result that must be achieved. As a result, on a fundamental level, we can clearly see the meaning of God utilizing the great red dragon as a foil in His work of the last days. At this very moment, we are being persecuted, coerced, and arrested by the great red dragon. We are suffering immensely, we are greatly oppressed, in our hearts we even demand of God: “When will You destroy the great red dragon? We are suffering too much, the great red dragon is too ferocious, we are unable to survive and pass our days peacefully under its regime. God, please hurry and destroy the great red dragon.” Isn’t this demand in everyone’s heart? Everyone is making such a demand. If indeed the great red dragon is now destroyed, is it beneficial to our experience of God’s work and to us being perfected? It does not give us any benefit, does it? Therefore, every time when I think about this, I come to the conclusion that the great red dragon still can’t be destroyed at this time because we have yet to be perfected, we have yet to be saved, the role that the great red dragon plays has yet to bring about its ultimate result. Now that we have an understanding as to the meaning of the great red dragon being used as a foil, when we experience God’s work we would know better how to care for God’s will, we would know better what we should seek in order to be saved and perfected.