VI. Questions and Answers on God’s Work of Judgment in the Last Days
Question 1: You bear witness that the Lord Jesus has returned as none other than Almighty God who has expressed the truth in doing judgment work in the last days. How could it be possible? The Lord will actually come to bring us into the kingdom of heaven, how could He leave us behind to do judgment work in the last days? I think by believing in the Lord Jesus and receiving the Holy Spirit’s work, we have already been experiencing God's judgment work. There is proof in the Lord Jesus’ word: “if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (Jhn 16:7-8). We think that after the Lord Jesus resurrected and ascended to heaven, at Pentecost the Holy Spirit descended to work on people. That had already made people blame themselves for their sins, for righteousness and judgment. When we confess and repent before the Lord, we are actually experiencing the judgment of the Lord. the work of the Lord Jesus was redemption work, after the Lord Jesus ascended to heaven, the work done by the Holy Spirit who descended at Pentecost should be the judgment work of God in the last days. Had it not been the judgment work, how could it be “he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment”? Besides, as believers of the Lord, we are often touched, reprimanded and disciplined by the Holy Spirit. So, in front of the Lord, we are always crying and repenting to the Lord. The many good behaviors engendered are how we have been transformed by our faith in the Lord. Is it not the result of experiencing God's judgment? The judgment work of Almighty God in the last days that you talk about, how does it differ from the work of the Lord Jesus?
Answer: Since you recognize what the Lord Jesus did was the work of redemption, and the way He brought is “Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mat 4:17). then what did you base upon to determine that the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost to do the work of judgment in the last days? You only based on the Lord Jesus’ word that said, “for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (Jhn 16:7-8). You dare to be certain that the work done by the Holy Spirit was the judgment work in the last days, is there any basis according to God’s word? The Lord Jesus had never said that. The Lord Jesus said explicitly, “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (Jhn 12:47-48). The Lord Jesus made it very clear that what He did was not judgment work. The Lord Jesus will only express the truth to do the judgment work when He returns in the last days. To be sure, it is wrong for some people to refer to the work of the Holy Spirit in the Age of Grace as the judgment work of God. Of course, when we confess our sins and repent before the Lord, we must have the moving and work of the Holy Spirit to receive the grace of God, to enjoy peace and joy. But when someone repents to the Lord, breaks down in tears, it only means that he is moved by the Holy Spirit. The achieved effect is to make man confess and repent and qualify to enjoy the grace of God. It is not the effects achieved by the judgment of God in the last days—to be cleansed and made perfect. The work of the Holy Spirit in the Age of Grace is different from the work of the Holy Spirit in the last days. This is directly related to the effect and purpose God intends to achieve in every stage of His work. Let us hear two passages of Almighty God’s word and we will understand what judgment is.
Almighty God says: “When it comes to the word ‘judgment’, you will think of the words that Jehovah spoke to all the places and the words of rebuke that Jesus spoke to the Pharisees. Though these words are stern, they are not God’s judgment of man; these words are only those spoken by God within different environments, that is, different settings, and they are unlike the words spoken by Christ as He judges man in the last days. In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, reveal the essence of man, and dissect his words and deeds. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out the normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and disposition of God, and so on. These words are all focused on the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, those words that reveal how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan and an enemy force against God. When God does the work of judgment, He does not simply make clear the nature of man with just a few words, but carries out revelation, dealing, and pruning over the long term. Such manner of revelation, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words but with the truth that man does not possess at all. Only such manner of work is deemed judgment; only through such judgment can man be persuaded, be thoroughly convinced into submission to God, and gain true knowledge of God. What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that could not be understood by man. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt substance and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the substance of such work is actually the work of opening up the truth, way, and life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God. …
The work of judgment is God’s own work, so it must naturally be done by God Himself; it cannot be done by man in His stead. Because judgment is the conquering of man through the truth, it is unquestionable that God still appears as the incarnate image to do this work among men. That is to say, in the last days, Christ shall use the truth to teach men around the earth and to make all truths known to them. This is God’s work of judgment” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Almighty God has clearly expounded what judgment is and the effects of judgment work. The judgment work of God in the last days is to thoroughly cleanse and save mankind. It is not simply to say a few reprimanding or imprecating words to man. Nor can the expression of a few passages of words release people from the bondage of sin to receive cleansing and salvation of God. God needs to express enough words to explain all aspects of the truth that the corrupt mankind should understand and enter in order to receive cleansing and salvation, and disclose all the mysteries of His management plan to mankind. This is hundreds, even thousands of times, more than the words expressed by the Lord Jesus in the Age of Grace. The judgment work of God in the last days is focused on expressing the truth and the word of judgment, to judge and expose man’s satanic nature that resists and betrays God, and the truth of man’s corruption by Satan, completely revealing the holy, righteous and unoffendable disposition of God. All aspects of the truth about God’s intention and requirements of mankind, what kind of people will receive salvation or punishment, and so on, are disclosed to us. By experiencing God’s judgment work in the last days, we understand the purpose of God’s management plan. We can distinguish between positive and negative things, and clearly see the demonic face of Satan who insanely resists God. We see through the fact of man’s profound corruption by Satan and recognize our satanic nature that resists and betrays God. Pertaining to God’s righteous disposition, omnipotence, wisdom, and all about God’s possessions and being, we receive some true understanding and beget a God-fearing heart. We fall to the ground in shame, feeling that we are unworthy of living before God. We despise and forsake ourselves, we gradually detach from the binding of sin, living out the likeness of a real man and becoming truly fearful of and obedient to God. These are the effects of experiencing the judgment work of God in the last days. Only this kind of work is the judgment work of God in the last days.
Let us then look at the Age of Grace. The Lord Jesus only did the work of redemption and preached the way of repentance, showing only the merciful and loving sides of God’s disposition to man. Although the Lord Jesus also said some words to judge man, condemn and curse the Pharisees, these were not the focus of His work. The Lord Jesus only did the redemption work which was centered upon forgiveness of sins, teaching of repentance and bestowal of grace. It was not the work that centered upon judging and cleansing the sins of man. So the work of the Lord Jesus only revolved around the work of redemption and He expressed limited words that taught man how to repent and confess sins, how to be humble and patient, how to get baptized, bear the cross, suffer, etc. By believing in the Lord, we only need to go by the Lord’s word to confess and repent, then our sins would be forgiven. We would no longer be convicted by law and sentenced to death. We would be qualified to pray to God and enjoy God’s grace and blessings. These were the effects achieved by the redemption work of God in the Age of Grace, which were completely different from those of the judgment work in the last days. However, some people believe that, by experiencing the work of the Holy Spirit in the Age of Grace and receiving the enlightenment, reprimand and discipline of the Holy Spirit, by being able to pray in tears, confess sins, and behave well, it is actually the experience of God’s judgment and cleansing. I ask you then, do we know the root of our own sins? Do we know the essence of our own satanic nature that resists God? Do we know the truth about man’s profound corruption? Do we clearly see the evil essence of Satan? Do we know the righteous, majestic and unoffendable disposition of God? Are we truly detached from the binding and control of sins? Has our satanic disposition been cleansed? Have we become reverent and obedient to God? If we haven’t accomplished these, how could we be said to have experienced God’s judgment and cleansing? The work of the Lord Jesus in the Age of Grace was not the judgment work. The work of Almighty God in the Age of Kingdom is the judgment work of God in the last days.
from the movie script of My Dream of the Heavenly Kingdom