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Gospel Reader

Uncovering the Mystery of “Judgment”

126

By En Hui, Malaysia

My name is En Hui and I’m 46 years old. I live in Malaysia, and I have been a believer in the Lord for 27 years. In October 2015, I moved to another city to take up a job. My new colleagues were all big fans of Facebook, which they used for chatting, finding new friends, and posting images. Seeing that I didn’t have a Facebook account they set one up for me, and I gradually learned how to go online and use it. Sometimes I would see the postings of some brothers and sisters in the Lord and I’d share them and “like” them. Sometimes I’d post things that praised the Lord or share the Lord’s grace with some of my good friends. Every day I felt that there was fulfillment in my life.

One day in February 2016 when I was browsing one of my good friend’s Facebook page I saw this posting: “We discussed the issue of judgment today in our group. We all said different things but, for the most part, agreed what it means. Someone said: ‘I don’t understand and I don’t dare say any old nonsense because it’s something that God will do in the future and we shouldn’t try and blindly guess.’ Someone else said: ‘Psalm 75:2 says “When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly.” Everything that every single person does is being recorded by God, so when the Lord Jesus returns to judge all humans He will reveal our deeds to all as though playing a movie. So we should always be righteous and never do evil in order to avoid God’s judgment of being cast into hell.’ Someone else said: ‘It says in the Bible: “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Rev 20:11–12). From the text we can see that when the Lord Jesus returns in the last days He will set up a giant desk in the sky and will sit behind it. He will then unroll a scroll on it, and, with all of mankind kneeling on the ground, call out the name of every individual and judge each of them one-by-one according to the deeds they have done. Good people will be taken up to the kingdom of heaven by the Lord, while the wicked will be cast into hell.’”

God’s Chastisement and Judgment Is the Light of Man’s Salvation.

After reading the posting I sat in my chair, and in my mind there formed a sketchy image of the Lord Jesus judging people: The Lord sitting on a throne, people kneeling in front of the desk and coming clean on all their sins in order for God to judge, and the Lord sending each one of them to heaven or to hell according to their deeds. I thought about how I’d been a loyal follower of the Lord for over 20 years and had tried my best to carry out His instructions. I believed that the Lord would see my piety and take me up to heaven…. But as I was thinking all this I suddenly had an idea: Now that I knew how to use the Internet why didn’t I do a search for “judgment” and see what came up? I opened up a browser and typed in the word and I can’t remember which link I clicked on but to my surprise this sentence popped up: “God’s Chastisement and Judgment Is the Light of Man’s Salvation.” This sentence piqued my interest immediately, and so I went to the web site to read more. As the web page loaded I heard the pleasing and thought-provoking hymn “God’s Chastisement and Judgment Is the Light of Man’s Salvation.” It was sung: “In his life, if man wishes to be cleansed and achieve changes in his disposition, if he wishes to live out a life of meaning, and fulfill his duty as a creature, then he must accept God’s chastisement and judgment, and must not allow God’s discipline and God’s smiting to depart from him, so he can free himself from the manipulation and influence of Satan and live in the light of God. Know that God’s chastisement and judgment is the light, and the light of man’s salvation, and that there is no better blessing, grace or protection for man.

After the hymn finished I pondered over the lyrics, which I found to be quite moving. I began to think: “Is God’s chastisement and judgment really the light of our salvation? Is it mankind’s greatest protection and grace? How are we to understand this? For people to be purified and live meaningful lives does that mean they have to accept God’s chastisement and judgment?” I pondered over the words in the hymn, and many questions circled around my brain. I also thought: “If God were to judge man, wouldn’t man be condemned? And how come judgment becomes a light of salvation?” I was curious and a little bit excited because I had never heard any of this expressed before. Even though the judgment being talked about in the hymn was not how I understood judgment to be, I still faintly felt that judgment seemed to have deep significance and was related to a person’s future and fate. I checked where the hymn had originated and discovered that it was from The Church of Almighty God, and so I went to The Church of Almighty God’s web site. I discovered that the web site had a fresh and attractive home page and the content was rich and varied, with listening material, reading material, songs, discussions and lots of other stuff. I thought to myself: “How come no one ever told me about this web site? Something so good, but no one knew about it so that they could share it with me?” I clicked on the link labeled “books” and as I was scrolling down the list I saw this book Testimonies of Experiences in Entry Into Life. I clicked on it and saw that they were mostly testimonies about the issue of God’s judgment, for example “God’s judgment and chastisement saved me,” “God’s judgment and chastisement was a great salvation for me,” “I saw God’s love in His judgment and chastisement,” “God’s judgment and chastisement awoke my sinful spirit,” “God’s judgment and chastisement put me on the right path.” Because it was almost time for me to go to work I only had time to look briefly at a few of these testimonies. The authors all described how their corrupt dispositions were transformed and also talked about their deficiencies, corruption, mistaken views in believing in God, etc., and how these were changed through the words of judgment of Almighty God. This made me even more curious about “God’s Chastisement and Judgment Is the Light of Man’s Salvation.” Could it be that judgment wasn’t about being condemned? That it wasn’t about determining each person’s ending? I started to get agitated because I knew I had to get to the bottom of what “God’s Chastisement and Judgment Is the Light of Man’s Salvation” was talking about. I came to the conclusion that Testimonies of Experiences in Entry Into Life was probably a book that was extremely useful in helping people to believe in God, and that I should take a good look at it. But time was running short, so I turned off my computer and went to work.

That night, as I was tossing around in my bed unable to sleep, images of The Church of Almighty God’s web site kept on popping into my brain. I especially couldn’t get my head around the sentence “God’s Chastisement and Judgment Is the Light of Man’s Salvation,” and I really wanted to know what the “judgment” in the sentence referred to.

Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth

On getting up the next day I opened up The Church of Almighty God’s web site and started searching for anything to do with the word “judgment.” I saw an article titled “Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” and in it I read these words: “The ‘judgment’ in the words previously spoken—judgment will begin at the house of God—refers to the judgment God passes today on those who come before His throne in the last days. Perhaps there are those who believe in such supernatural imaginings as that, when the last days have arrived, God will erect a big table in the heavens, upon which a white tablecloth will be spread, and then, sitting upon a great throne with all men kneeling on the ground, He will reveal the sins of each man and thereby determine whether they are to ascend to heaven or be sent down to the lake of fire and brimstone. No matter what the imaginings of man, the substance of God’s work cannot be altered. The imaginings of man are nothing but the constructs of man’s thoughts and come from the brain of man, summed up and pieced together from what man has seen and heard. Therefore I say, however brilliant the images conceived, they are still no more than a drawing and are not able to substitute for the plan of God’s work. After all, man has been corrupted by Satan, so how can he then fathom the thoughts of God? Man conceives the work of judgment by God to be particularly fantastic. He believes that since it is God Himself doing the work of judgment, then it must be of the most tremendous scale and incomprehensible to mortals, and it must resound through the heavens and shake the earth; otherwise how could it be the work of judgment by God? He believes that, as this is the work of judgment, then God must be particularly imposing and majestic as He works, and those being judged must be howling with tears and on their knees begging for mercy. Such a scene must be a grand spectacular and be deeply rousing…. Everyone imagines God’s work of judgment to be preternaturally wonderful. Do you know, however, that God began the work of judgment among men long ago and all this while you have been nestled in peaceful oblivion? That, the time that you think God’s work of judgment is officially beginning, it is already time for God to make heaven and earth anew? At that time, perhaps you will have only just understood the meaning of life, but the merciless work of punishment of God shall bring you, still deep in sleep, into hell. Only then will you suddenly realize that God’s work of judgment has already concluded.” I was really surprised to read these words. These are words that reveal people’s innermost thoughts about God’s work of judgment of the last days, and their views, so accurately. The ideas expressed seem so real and practical. Could it be that the idea of a judgment in heaven that I’d been holding on to was just my imaginings? This passage shows that people all imagine the work of God’s judgment to be mysterious and supernatural. It also indicates that the work of judgment has already begun long ago and will soon conclude, and it also exhorts people to hurry and seek the manifestations of God. When I thought that these might be the words of God I became agitated again and I had a strong urge to immediately understand the meaning of God’s judgment. But there was just too much content on The Church of Almighty God’s web site and at the time I didn’t know where to start looking. So I decided to seek out the members of The Church of Almighty God and see if they could help me understand things.

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