IX. Questions and Answers on God’s Work of Judgment in the Last Days
Question 9: We accept God’s work of the last days, but how do we experience God’s judgment and chastisement so that we can receive the truth and life, get rid of our sinful nature, and achieve salvation to enter the kingdom of heaven?
Answer: How to experience God’s judgment and chastisement to gain the truth and life, and get rid of our sinful nature to achieve salvation and enter the kingdom of heaven, this question is very important, because this is the major issues that relate to our ending and destination. To seek this aspect of the truth, we should first read a few passages of Almighty God’s word:
“True faith in God means experiencing the words and work of God based on a belief that God holds sovereignty over all things. So you shall be freed of your corrupt disposition, shall fulfill the desire of God, and shall come to know God. Only through such a journey can you be said to believe in God” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“The current process of speaking is the process of conquering. How exactly should people cooperate? By eating and drinking these words effectively and understanding them. People cannot become conquered by themselves. They must, from eating and drinking these words, come to know their corruption and filth, their rebelliousness and unrighteousness, and fall down before God. If you can understand God’s will and then put it into practice and, further, have the vision, and if you can completely obey these words and not exercise any of your own choices, then you will have been conquered. And it will be these words that have conquered you” (“The Inside Truth of the Conquering Work (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“Paying attention to eating and drinking God’s words, paying attention to seeking the truth and God’s intentions in His words, and finding out God’s will in all things—this is the most fundamental and crucial means of practice. … Devoting all of your mind and body to God’s words primarily involves seeking the truth and God’s intentions in His words, paying attention to finding out God’s will, and understanding and gaining more truths in God’s words. …achieving the knowledge of God’s disposition and His loveliness, and knowing the various corrupt states of man, his corrupt nature, and what he truly lacks, and fulfilling God’s various requirements of man in order to satisfy God. Peter can correctly put all these things into practice according to God’s words, and nothing will be more after God’s heart, and there will be no better cooperation in experiencing God’s work” (“How to Take the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks).
As believers we first need to understand what believing in God means. Believing in God means to experience God’s work and His word, to understand the truth and live out the reality of truth. That’s the process of believing in God. The work of God in the last days is judging through His word. Then if we want our corrupt disposition to be cleansed and to achieve salvation, we must first put in some effort on God’s word and genuinely eat and drink the words of God, and accept God’s judgment and revelations in His word. No matter how much God’s word cuts to the heart, how harsh it is, or how much it makes us suffer, first be sure that God’s word is all the truth, and the reality of life that we should enter into. Every utterance of God’s word is to cleanse and change us, to make us shed our corrupt disposition and achieve salvation, and even more so to let us understand the truth to achieve the knowledge of God. So we must accept the judgment and chastisement, pruning and dealing of God’s word. If we want to receive the truth in God’s word, we must be able to suffer for accepting and obeying God’s word and the truth. We must seek the truth in God’s word, feel out God’s will, and reflect and know ourselves, reflect on God’s word to know our own arrogance, deception, selfishness and despicableness, how we engage in transactions with God, take advantage of God, deceive God, toy with the truth, and other satanic dispositions, as well as the various impurities in our belief in God and intentions to receive blessings. This way, we can gradually get to know the truth of our corruption and the essence of our nature. After we understand more of the truth, our knowledge of God will gradually grow deeper, and we will naturally know what kind of person God likes and dislikes, what kind of person he would save or eliminate, what kind of person he would use, and what kind of person he would bless. Once we see through these things, we will start to understand God’s disposition. These are all the results of experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God’s word. All those who seek the truth pay attention to experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God’s word, pay attention to seeking the truth in everything, and pay attention to practicing God’s word and obeying God. Such people will be able to gradually understand the truth and enter reality through experiencing God’s word, and achieve salvation and be made perfect. As for those who don’t love the truth, although they can recognize God’s appearance and work from the truth expressed by God, they think they can definitely achieve salvation as long as they abandon everything for God and fulfill their duty. In the end, they still cannot receive the truth and life after believing in God for many years. They understand only a few words, letters, and doctrines, but think they know the truth and have achieved reality. They are lying to themselves and will surely be eliminated by God. How do we experience God’s work to achieve salvation? Let’s read another few passages of Almighty God’s word.
Almighty God says, “Only when man practices the word of God can his life truly blossom; it cannot grow simply by reading His word. If it is your belief that to understand God’s word is all that is needed to have life, to have stature, then your understanding is warped. Truly understanding God’s word occurs when you practice the truth, and you must understand that “only by practicing the truth can it ever be understood” (“Practice the Truth Once You Understand It” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“In his belief in God, Peter sought to satisfy God in all that he did, and sought to obey all that came from God. Without the slightest complaint, he was able to accept chastisement and judgment, as well as refinement, tribulation and lack in his life, none of which could alter his love of God. Is this not the ultimate love of God? Is this not the fulfillment of the duty of a creature of God? Whether in chastisement, judgment, or tribulation, you are always capable of achieving obedience unto death, and this is what should be achieved by a creature of God, this is the purity of the love of God. If man can achieve this much, then he is a qualified creature of God, and there is nothing which better satisfies the desire of the Creator” (“Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“If what you seek is the truth, what you put into practice is the truth, and what you attain is a change in your disposition, then the path that you tread is the right one. If what you seek is the blessings of the flesh, and what you put into practice is the truth of your own conceptions, and if there is no change in your disposition, and you are not at all obedient to God in the flesh, and you still live in vagueness, then what you seek will surely take you to hell, for the path that you walk is the path of failure. Whether you will be made perfect or eliminated depends on your own pursuit, which is also to say that ‘success or failure depends on the path that man walks”(“Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“If one can truly enter into the reality of God’s words from the matters and the words required by Him, then he will be a person perfected by God. It can be said that the work and the words of God are completely effective for this person, that God’s words become his life, he obtains truth, and he can live according to God’s words. After this the nature of his flesh, that is, the foundation of his original existence, will shake and collapse. After one has the words of God as his life he becomes a new person. The words of God become his life; the vision of God’s work, His requirements of man, His revelation of man, and the standards for a true life that God requires man to achieve become his life—he lives according to these words and these truths, and this person becomes perfected by the words of God. He experiences rebirth and becomes a new man through His words” (“How to Take the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks).
Almighty God says, “Man’s life can only grow after putting God’s words into practice….” This line is the truth. It’s too practical. Believers who do not practice and experience God’s word cannot receive the truth. A person without the truth is a person without life. Almighty God gave testimony of how Peter pursued the truth to be perfected. Peter was a person who pursued the truth. He not only sought how to love God, but also paid attention to changing his life disposition. The primary manifestation is that he could obey God’s judgment and chastisement and accept the trials and refinement. Even if the Lord handed him over to Satan, he could still be obedient to the death. He was crucified upside down on the cross for the Lord, providing a beautiful and resounding testimony. Peter put special attention and care into believing in God, diligently obeying and loving God. He paid attention not only to preaching and working, but especially to practicing the truth and entering reality. That's why Peter was ultimately perfected by God and received God’s approval. In accordance with Peter’s testimony, we believers must pursue the truth if we want to achieve salvation, and pay attention to putting effort into God’s word, seeking the truth, and feeling out God’s intentions, practicing the truth and entering into reality. By pursuing in this way, we will become more and more clear about the truth, and have more and more paths to practice it. Before we know it, we will have entered into the reality of the truth. If we are merely satisfied with understanding doctrines, then we cannot practice the truth and enter into reality. Knowing doctrines doesn’t mean that we understand the truth. Only understanding the truth enables us to know God, know ourselves, and truly repent. But this is not so with knowing doctrines. Those who know more of doctrines will get more arrogant and self-conceited. And they will never know God or themselves. When it comes to experiencing God’s work of the last days, those who do not love the truth will naturally avoid the judgment and chastisement of God’s word, and will move even further away from God especially when they see God’s word cuts to the heart or is harsh. How could such people receive the truth? People who genuinely love the truth are willing to withstand any amount of suffering for the sake of receiving the truth. They can obey when suffering from the judgment of God’s word. They can also stand firm when faced with trials and refinements. Even if their families are torn apart, if they are imprisoned, or if they have to give up their lives, they can still stand and be a witness for God. Such people can certainly obtain the truth and receive God’s approval after experiencing God’s work!
from the movie script of Song of Victory