Question 22: The Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross as a sin offering for man, thereby redeeming us from sin. If we stray from the Lord Jesus and believe in Almighty God, would this not be a betrayal of the Lord Jesus? Would this not be apostasy?
In the last days now, when God has done new work and assumed a new name, are we betraying God or keeping pace with God’s work when we left the name of Jesus and accepted the name of Almighty God? When God initiates new work, man can only be saved by keeping pace with God’s work. This is true. We can see from Almighty God’s word, the reason God adopted the name Almighty God was related to the work being done in the last days and the disposition expressed by God. Almighty God says, “God’s work in the present incarnation is to express His disposition primarily through chastisement and judgment. Building on this foundation, He brings more truth to man and points out to him more ways of practice, thereby achieving His objective of conquering man and saving him from his own corrupt disposition. This is what lies behind the work of God in the Age of Kingdom” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh). The work of God in the last days is to judge and chastise corrupted mankind, putting people in their kinds and concluding the era. Because of the redemption of the Lord Jesus, our sins were forgiven. But undeniably, we have not completely detached ourselves from sin. Our dispositions are still arrogant, selfish, greedy, deceitful and evil. We are trapped in the vicious cycle of sinning during the day and repenting at night, relying on grace for salvation. So, in order to save us thoroughly, God speaks in the last days with His righteous, majestic and unoffendable disposition, and does His new work of the judgment, chastisement, conquest and cleansing of man, bringing us a completely new era—the Age of Kingdom. The stage of work performed by God in the last days does not show miracles. Everything is accomplished with words. The sin, rebellion and unrighteousness of man are judged and chastised by God’s word, thus completely cleansing man and making man perfect, from which we can see that God is so omnipotent and wise. God is indeed Almighty God Himself. It was God who created all things and dominates everything! So people prostrate before God and worship God. At the same time, the name Almighty God is used to completely finish the six-thousand-year-long war effort with Satan.
The judgment and chastisement work of God in the last days is also the work of sorting people out according to their own kinds. This fulfills the prophecy of 1 Peter 4:17, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.” This also fulfills the prophecy of distinguishing the sheep from the goat, the wheat from the tares and the good servant from the evil servant. These are the work that God does in the last days. We will understand it after reading several passages of Almighty God’s word.
“The work of the last days is to separate all according to their kind, and to conclude the management plan of God, for the time is near and the day of God has come. God brings all who enter His kingdom—all who are loyal to Him to the very end—into the age of God Himself. Yet prior to the arrival of the age of God Himself, God’s work is not to observe the deeds of man, or to inquire into the life of man, but to judge man’s disobedience, for God shall purify all those who come before His throne. All who have followed the footsteps of God to this day are those who come before the throne of God, and this being so, every single person who accepts God’s work in its final phase is the object of God’s purification. In other words, everyone who accepts God’s work in its final phase is the object of God’s judgment.
“In the judgment beginning at the house of God spoken of in times past, the ‘judgment’ of these words refers to the judgment that God today passes on those who come before His throne in the last days” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“Only through chastisement and judgment can the outcome of all creation be revealed. Man only shows his true colors when he is chastised and judged. Evil shall be put with evil, good with good, and all humanity shall be classified according to their kind. Through chastisement and judgment, the outcome of all creation will be revealed, so that the evil may be punished and the good rewarded, and all people become subject to the dominion of God. All this work must be achieved through righteous chastisement and judgment. Because man’s corruption has reached its peak and his disobedience become exceedingly severe, only God’s righteous disposition, one that is principally compounded of chastisement and judgment and is revealed during the last days, can fully transform and complete man. Only this disposition can expose evil and thus severely punish all the unrighteous. Therefore, a disposition such as this is imbued with the significance of the age, and the revelation and exhibition of His disposition is made manifest for the sake of the work of each new age. It is not that God reveals His disposition arbitrarily and without significance. Supposing that, in revealing the outcome of man during the last days, God were still to bestow upon man infinite compassion and love and continue to be loving toward him, not subjecting man to righteous judgment but rather showing him tolerance, patience, and forgiveness, and pardoning man no matter how grave his sins, without any jot of righteous judgment: then when would all of God’s management ever be brought to a close? When would a disposition such as this be able to lead people into mankind’s appropriate destination? Take, for example, a judge who is always loving, a judge with a kindly face and a gentle heart. He loves people irrespective of the crimes they may have committed, and he is loving to and forbearing with them whoever they may be. In that case, when will he ever be able to reach a just verdict? During the last days, only righteous judgment can classify man according to their kind and bring man into a new realm. In this way, the entire age is brought to an end through God’s righteous disposition of judgment and chastisement” (“The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). The word of God clearly tells us that God’s primary work in the last days is to put all things according to their own kinds. It is also the work of judging and chastising man by word, judging man’s sin and chastising man’s rebellion and unrighteousness, thoroughly transforming man and making man perfect. All those who accept and obey God’s work in the last days are the objects of God’s judgment and cleansing. Only God’s righteous judgment can save man, perfect man and bring him into a new realm. And the loving and merciful Savior Jesus only did the work of forgiving man’s sin. He was not to do the work of cleansing and transforming man, not to mention sorting people out according to their own kinds. Therefore, only by accepting the work of judgment and chastisement by Almighty God’s word, by honoring the name of Almighty God as great, can man receive the full salvation of God. If we uphold the name of the Lord Jesus but reject the name of Almighty God, we won’t receive the truth and salvation for mankind from Almighty God in the last days.
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Almighty God is Jehovah God, who once proclaimed the law to mankind by which to lead their lives. He is also the Lord Jesus, who was nailed to the cross to redeem mankind. The judgment of Almighty God, the redemption of the Lord Jesus, and the law of Jehovah God are all the work of the same God; according to His own plan and the needs of mankind, God saves man step by step.
Today we accept the name of Almighty God, which does not mean that we are ungrateful to the Lord Jesus and have betrayed Him. It means that we are following the footsteps of the Lamb, staying true to the way of God, and following Him with loyalty, and only thus will we meet with God’s approval. As it says in Revelation 14:4, “These are they which follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb.” Those who insist on the name of Jesus and refuse to accept that of Almighty God just become the betrayers of God, and will be eliminated by Him. In the time when God came to do His work with the name of Jesus, those disciples who accepted God’s new work and followed the Lord Jesus had not abandoned the true way nor betrayed Jehovah God. In fact, they had kept pace with God’s footsteps and were the ones faithful to God, while the Pharisees, who thought themselves faithful to Jehovah God, and insisted on Jehovah’s name alone, rejected the Lord Jesus. The result is that their loyalty did not meet with Jehovah God’s approval, but rather quite the opposite: They were subject to God’s curses and punishment. We must, therefore, learn from the failure of the Pharisees. We must accept the name of Almighty God and keep pace with the footsteps of God’s work. Only thus can we receive God’s salvation.
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