Question 5: You say only by accepting God’s work of judgment in the last days can man’s corrupt satanic disposition be transformed. We practice patience and humility as required by the Lord, we love our enemy, bear our cross, subdue our body, abandon the secular world, work and preach for the Lord, and so on. Aren’t they all our changes? Can’t they be seen as the credentials for our entry into the kingdom of heaven? I believe only if we continue our pursuit like this can we become holy and enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Answer: Man can love their enemy, bear their cross, subdue their body, and preach the Lord’s gospel, which are all man’s good deeds after their believing in the Lord and show that they have a true heart toward the Lord. Such good deeds are right in man’s eyes, and seemingly they are in accordance with the God’s word, but they don’t indicate that men are practicing God’s word and doing God’s will, much less indicate that they have cast off their sinful nature and become holy. We cannot only judge a person’s good deeds outwardly, but should discern his intentions behind them. If one’s intention is for obeying God, loving God, and satisfying God, such good deeds are practicing the truth and doing God’s will. If one does good deeds only for receiving blessings, the crown, and rewards, not for loving God, such good deeds are not doing God’s will, but are hypocritical performances. If good deeds mean that one has done God’s will and become holy, then why is he still able to commit sins and resist God often? Why does he still live a life of sinning in the day and confessing at night? This is enough to show that man’s having good deeds doesn’t mean they are able to practice the truth and live out the realities of God’s word, nor does it mean that they know God and revere God, much less mean that he can love God and obey God. Just as Almighty God says, “Changes merely in behavior cannot last long. If one is not transformed in his life disposition, he will show his ferocity sooner or later. Because the changes in behavior result from one’s zealousness and besides, he has some working of the Holy Spirit at that time, it is a very easy thing for him to show some zealousness and offer temporary kindness. Just as the unbelievers say, ‘It is easy to do a good thing, but it is difficult to do good things in the whole life.’ Man cannot do good things in his whole life. One’s behavior is directed by his life, and his life determines his behavior. Only the things one naturally expresses represent his life and his nature; the things he pretends cannot last long. … Man’s having good behavior does not mean that he can obey God, much less mean that he is compatible with Christ. His changes in behavior are based on doctrines and his zealousness, not on the true knowledge of God or the truth, much less on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Even if sometimes his behavior is directed by the Holy Spirit, it is not the expression of his life, much less does it mean that he knows God. No matter how good his behavior is, it does not prove that he is a person who obeys God or that he is a person who practices the truth” (“The Distinctions Between Outward Change and Transformation in Disposition” in Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers). Almighty God’s words clarify the substance and source of good deeds. Man’s good deeds are out of zealousness, and are the practices produced by man’s doctrines and regulations, but not by the principles after having understood the truth, or by man’s desire for satisfying God and loving God because of having understood God’s will. Man’s good deeds stem from man’s conceptions and imaginations, which are out of man’s own ideas and man’s corrupt nature. So, if man does everything, suffers and pays the price according to his conceptions and imaginations, he is not practicing the truth or obeying God, nor is it guided by the work of the Holy Spirit. Man can do good deeds and keep some regulations, and they seem very devout and spiritual, but because he does not have his corrupt satanic disposition transformed or have his sinful nature resolved, and does not have any knowledge of God, he still can commit sins to resist God often. We see that many people who have good deeds after believing in God still commit sins and confess sins often. This is an undeniable fact. At the same time man does good deeds, he does evil to resist God. This is sufficient to prove that he is not doing the will of heavenly Father, and he cannot be approved by God. Take the Pharisees for instance, they kept the laws rigidly, and their outward behaviors were perfect, but when the Lord Jesus came to work, why did they resist, condemn, and frame Him frenziedly and nail Him onto the cross? This is enough to prove that there remains the nature that resists God within man. No matter how good man’s outward behavior is, it does not mean man knows God, obeys God and can be compatible with God, much less mean that he can do God’s will and become holy. If man wants to resolve his sinful nature and become holy, he has to experience the work of judgment God does in the last days, know many truths from it and produce true knowledge about God, and be able to obey God and revere God; otherwise, man’s deep-rooted, corrupt satanic disposition will never be transformed and can never be cleansed, and he can never be a person after God’s heart and enter into God’s kingdom.
The Lord Jesus merely did the redemptive work. So in the Age of Grace, no matter how man read the Bible, they were incapable of breaking away from the bondage of the sins, much less becoming holy. God, according to the steps of His work, has predestined to do the work of “judgment beginning with the house of God” to purify man and transform man, so that man can be free from their sins and become holy. Just as Almighty God says, “Though Jesus did much work among man, He only completed the redemption of all mankind and became man’s sin offering, and did not rid man of all his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to take on the sins of man as the sin offering, but also required God to do greater work to completely rid man of his disposition, which has been corrupted by Satan. And so, after man was forgiven his sins, God has returned to flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment, and this work has brought man into a higher realm. All those who submit under His dominion shall enjoy higher truth and receive greater blessings. They shall truly live in the light, and shall gain the truth, the way, and the life” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Through the sin offering, man has been forgiven his sins, for the work of the crucifixion has already come to an end and God has prevailed over Satan. But the corrupt disposition of man still remains within them and man can still sin and resist God; God has not gained mankind. That is why in this stage of work God uses the word to reveal the corrupt disposition of man and asks man to practice in accordance with the right path. This stage is more meaningful than the previous one and more fruitful as well, for now it is the word that directly supplies life for man and enables the disposition of man to be completely renewed; it is a stage of work more thorough. Therefore, the incarnation in the last days has completed the significance of God’s incarnation and completely finished God’s management plan for the salvation of man” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). We see from God’s word that the redemptive work the Lord Jesus did is to lay a foundation for God’s work of salvation in the last days, while God’s work of judgment in the last days is the core and the key, and is the most important stage of work for God to save mankind. We can only be forgiven of our sins through experiencing God’s work in the Age of Grace, but cannot cast off sins and become holy. God’s work of judgment in the last days can work into man all the truth necessary to man, so man can know God, have their life disposition changed, and become mankind who obeys God, worships God and is after God’s heart. Thus, God’s management plan of saving mankind will be fulfilled.
from the movie script of Stinging Memories