2. Why does God have to judge and chastise people?
Relevant Words of God:
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.
from Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh
Before man was redeemed, many of Satan’s poisons had already been planted within him and, after thousands of years of being corrupted by Satan, he has within him an established nature that resists God. Therefore, when man has been redeemed, it is nothing more than a case of redemption in which man is bought at a high price, but the poisonous nature within him has not been eliminated. Man that is so defiled must undergo a change before becoming worthy to serve God. By means of this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt substance within his own self, and he will be able to change completely and become clean. Only in this way can man become worthy to return before the throne of God. All the work done this day is so that man can be made clean and be changed; through judgment and chastisement by the word, as well as through refinement, man can purge away his corruption and be made pure. Rather than deeming this stage of work to be that of salvation, it would be more apt to say it is the work of purification. In truth, this stage is that of conquest as well as the second stage in the work of salvation.
from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You only know that Jesus shall descend during the last days, but how exactly will He descend? A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus—you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in the good blessings of God, for you have missed out a step in God’s work of managing man, which is the key step of changing and perfecting. And so you, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance.
from “Concerning Appellations and Identity” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Through what is God’s perfection of man accomplished? Through His righteous disposition. God’s disposition primarily consists of righteousness, wrath, majesty, judgment, and curse, and His perfection of man is primarily through judgment. Some people don’t understand, and ask why it is that God is only able to make man perfect through judgment and curse. They say, “If God were to curse man, wouldn’t man die? If God were to judge man, wouldn’t man be condemned? Then how can he still be made perfect?” Such are the words of people who do not know the work of God. What God curses is the disobedience of man, and what He judges are the sins of man. Although He speaks harshly, and without the slightest sensitivity, He reveals all that is within man, and through these stern words He reveals that which is essential within man, yet through such judgment, He gives man a profound knowledge of the essence of the flesh, and thus man submits to obedience before God. The flesh of man is of sin, and of Satan, it is disobedient, and the object of God’s chastisement—and so, to allow man to know himself, the words of God’s judgment must befall him and there must be employed every kind of refinement; only then can God’s work be effective.
From the words spoken by God it can be seen that He has already condemned the flesh of man. Are these words, then, the words of curse? The words spoken by God reveal man’s true colors, and through such revelation he is judged, and when he sees that he is unable to satisfy God’s will, inside he feels grief and remorse, he feels that he is so indebted to God, and insufficient for God’s will. There are times when the Holy Spirit disciplines you from within, and this discipline comes from God’s judgment; there are times when God reproaches you and hides His face from you, when He pays you no heed, and does not work within you, soundlessly chastising you in order to refine you. God’s work in man is primarily in order to make plain His righteous disposition. What testimony does man ultimately bear to God? He testifies that God is the righteous God, that His disposition is righteousness, wrath, chastisement, and judgment; man testifies to the righteous disposition of God. God uses His judgment to make man perfect, He has been loving man, and saving man—but how much is contained within His love? There is judgment, majesty, wrath, and curse. Though God cursed man in the past, He did not completely cast man into the bottomless pit, but used that means to refine man’s faith; He did not put man to death, but acted in order to make man perfect. The essence of the flesh is that which is of Satan—God said it exactly right—but the facts carried out by God are not completed according to His words. He curses you so that you might love Him, and so that you might know the essence of the flesh; He chastises you in order that you might be awakened, to allow you to know the deficiencies within you, and to know man’s utter unworthiness. Thus, God’s curses, His judgment, and His majesty and wrath—they are all in order to make man perfect. All that God does today, and the righteous disposition that He makes plain within you—it is all in order to make man perfect, and such is the love of God.
from “Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In truth, the work being done now is to have people forsake Satan, forsake their old ancestor. All judgments by the word aim to expose humanity’s corrupt disposition and to enable people to understand the essence of life. These repeated judgments all pierce people’s hearts. Every judgment directly impacts their fate and is meant to wound their hearts so that they can let go of all those things and thereby come to know life, know this filthy world, and also know God’s wisdom and almightiness and know this Satan-corrupted mankind. The more of this kind of chastisement and judgment, the more man’s heart can be wounded and the more his spirit can be awakened. Awakening the spirits of these extremely corrupted and most deeply deceived of people is the goal of this kind of judgment. Man has no spirit, that is, his spirit died long ago and he knows not that there is Heaven, knows not that there is a God, and certainly knows not that he is struggling in the abyss of death; how would he possibly be able to know that he is living in this evil hell on earth? How would he possibly be able to know that this putrid corpse of his has, through Satan’s corruption, fallen into Hades of death? How would he possibly be able to know that everything on earth has long been ruined beyond repair by mankind? And how would he possibly be able to know that the Creator has come to the earth today and is searching for a group of corrupt people whom He can save? Even after man experiences every possible refinement and judgment, his dull consciousness still barely stirs and is virtually unresponsive. Humanity is so degenerate! Although this kind of judgment is like the cruel hail that falls from the sky, it is of the greatest benefit to man. If not for judging people like this, there would be no result and it would be absolutely impossible to save people from the abyss of misery. If not for this work, it would be very difficult for people to emerge from Hades because their hearts have long ago died and their spirits long ago trampled by Satan. Saving you who have sunk to the deepest depths of degeneration requires calling out to you strenuously, judging you strenuously, and only then will that ice-cold heart of yours be awakened.
from “Only the Perfected Can Live a Meaningful Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God does the work of judgment and chastisement so that man may gain knowledge of Him, and for the sake of His testimony. Without His judgment of man’s corrupt disposition, man could not possibly know His righteous disposition, which brooks no offense, nor would he be able to turn his old knowledge of God into a new one. For the sake of His testimony, and for the sake of His management, He makes His entirety public, thus enabling man, through His public appearance, to arrive at knowledge of God, to be transformed in his disposition, and to bear resounding testimony to God.
from “Only Those Who Know God Can Bear Testimony to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The last days have already arrived. All things in creation will be classed according to their kind, and divided into different categories based on their nature. This is the moment when God reveals humanity’s outcome and their destination. If people do not undergo chastisement and judgment, then there will be no way of exposing their disobedience and unrighteousness. 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.
from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The essence of God’s work of chastisement and judgment is to cleanse humanity, and it is for the day of final rest. Otherwise, the whole of humanity will not be able to follow their own kind or enter into rest. This work is humanity’s only path to enter into rest. Only God’s work of cleansing will cleanse humanity of their unrighteousness, and only His work of chastisement and judgment will bring to light those disobedient things among humanity, thereby separating those who can be saved from those who cannot, and those who will remain from those who will not. When His work ends, those people who remain will be cleansed and enjoy a more wonderful second human life upon the earth as they enter a higher realm of humanity; in other words, they will enter into humanity’s day of rest and live together with God. After those who cannot remain have undergone chastisement and judgment, their original forms will be entirely revealed; after this they will all be destroyed and, like Satan, will no longer be allowed to survive upon the earth. The humanity of the future will no longer contain any of this type of people; these people are not fit to enter the land of the ultimate rest, nor are they fit to enter the day of rest that God and man will share, for they are the targets of punishment and are the wicked, and they are not righteous people. … His ultimate work of punishing evil and rewarding good is entirely done in order to utterly purify all of humanity, so that He may bring an entirely holy humanity into eternal rest. This stage of His work is His most crucial work. It is the final stage of the whole of His management work.
from “God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Sermon and Fellowship Excerpts for Reference:
Why must God judge and chastise corrupt mankind, and what is the meaning of God’s judgment and chastisement of corrupt mankind? This truth is particularly important, for this involves the truth regarding visions of God’s work. If people lack vision in their faith, they don’t know how to believe in God; even if they do believe in God, they’re unable to choose the right path. Then what significance would God’s judgment and chastisement of corrupt mankind that resists Him and betrays Him hold? We must first be clear on this—God is the Creator, and He has the authority to rule over, judge, and chastise the created. Also, God’s disposition is righteous and holy. He does not allow those humans who resist and betray 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 right and proper, and it is determined by God’s disposition. We all know that God is righteous, that God is the truth. We have already seen this from the disposition that He reveals. All of God’s words are the truth. God created the heavens and the earth and all things through His words. God’s words are able to create all things, and God’s words are also the truth that can judge all things. God is performing the work of judgment and chastisement of corrupt mankind in the last days. Some might ask: “Has God performed the work of judgment before?” He has indeed done a lot of work of judgment and chastisement; it’s just that people have not witnessed it. Before human beings existed, Satan resisted and betrayed God, and how did God judge Satan? He banished Satan down to earth, and all those angels who followed Satan were sent down to earth along with Satan. God drove them down to earth from heaven—wasn’t this a judgment against Satan? It was that as well as a chastisement of it. Therefore, before there were humans, God had already judged and chastised Satan. We can see this from the Bible. Before this mankind existed, were there any other humans or other creatures that were subject to God’s judgment and chastisement? We can say with certainty that all those who have been destroyed by God were people who resisted and rebelled against God, and that they were all subject to His judgment and chastisement. Therefore, God’s judgment and chastisement has continued to exist ever since He created the heavens and the earth and all things. This is one aspect of God’s work in ruling over all things, because God’s disposition is immutable—it can never change. We can see that ever since there have been human beings they have betrayed God and followed Satan; they have all lived under God’s curse. So many people have died under God’s chastisement because of their own evildoing, and some have been annihilated. There have been so many who believe in God yet resist God, and ultimately they have all perished. Some have been punished in the spiritual realm while others have been chastised while still alive. This is why mankind has summed this up: “Goodness will be rewarded with goodness, and evil with evil.” This is all God’s judgment and chastisement. God’s work of judgment and chastisement in the last days is for the sake of saving corrupt mankind. In accepting God’s work, we are accepting God’s judgment and chastisement. All those who rebel against God and disobey God while undergoing His work receive His judgment and chastisement. People are mostly subject to the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, but sometimes they also receive the judgment and chastisement of the facts coming down upon them as well as God’s punishments. We have all seen this. Some say, “The unbelievers have never accepted God’s work of judgment and chastisement, so will they be able to escape God’s judgment and chastisement?” Regardless of whether people accept God’s work in the last days, they will all be subject to God’s judgment and chastisement. No one can escape it—this is a fact. Those within religion have not accepted God’s judgment and chastisement, yet they cannot escape it. No one can escape the chastisement that God has predetermined for man—it’s just a question of time, because everyone has their own individual outcome, and this outcome is also determined by God. We can see what kind of judgment and chastisement each person receives from their outcome. Some accept God’s judgment and chastisement, attain purification from God, completely turn toward Him, and their outcome is a good destination—entering the kingdom and gaining eternal life. That kind of person attains salvation. Those who do not accept God’s judgment and chastisement, that is, those who do not accept God’s work will eventually suffer perdition and annihilation. This is their judgment and chastisement that has been predetermined by God as well as their final outcome that has been determined by God’s judgment and chastisement. There are currently many leaders within the religious community who are resisting God—what will their final outcome be? If they do not repent, they are ultimately bound to sink down into destruction and perdition, for no one can escape God’s judgment and chastisement. This is absolute. We have accepted God’s judgment and chastisement, which means we have accepted God’s work of salvation for mankind. We are accepting and experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement in a positive way, developing true repentance, eventually achieving knowledge of God and transformation of our life disposition. For us, this kind of judgment and chastisement is our salvation. As for those who refuse to accept God’s judgment and chastisement, their outcome will be punishment, and they must ultimately face perdition and destruction. This is the consequence of evading God’s judgment and chastisement.
from “God Performing Work in Different Ways to Save Mankind Has Tremendous Meaning” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life III