Question 17: You testify that in the last days God expresses the truth and does the work of judging and purifying man, so how exactly does God judge, purify and save man?
Currently, all those who seek and study the true way want to know how Almighty God does judgment work in the last days. Pertaining to this aspect of the truth, Almighty God has expressed ample words. Let us look at a few passages of His words:
“When God becomes flesh this time, His work is to express His disposition, primarily through chastisement and judgment. Using this as the foundation, He brings more truth to man, shows more ways of practice, and so achieves His objective of conquering man and saving man from his corrupt disposition. This is what lies behind the work of God in the Age of Kingdom” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, expose 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 the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, those words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan and an enemy force against God. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with just a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes it over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth that man does not possess at all. Only methods of this kind are deemed judgment; only through judgment of this kind can man be subdued and thoroughly convinced into submission to God, and moreover 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 own 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 are incomprehensible to him. 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 this work is actually the work of opening up the truth, the way, and the life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“The work done by God during this age is chiefly the provision of the words for the life of man, the disclosure of the substance of the nature of man and the corrupt disposition of man, the elimination of religious conceptions, feudal thinking, outdated thinking, as well as the knowledge and culture of man. This must all be laid bare and cleansed away through the words of God. In the last days, God uses words, and not signs and wonders, to make man perfect. He uses His words to expose man, to judge man, to chastise man, and to make man perfect, so that in the words of God, man comes to see the wisdom and loveliness of God, and comes to understand the disposition of God, so that through the words of God, man beholds the deeds of God” (“Knowing God’s Work Today” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“God has many means of perfecting man. He employs all manner of environments to deal with the corrupt disposition of man, and uses various things to lay man bare; in one regard He deals with man, in another He lays man bare, and in another He reveals man, digging out and revealing the ‘mysteries’ in the depths of man’s heart, and showing man his nature by revealing many of his states. God perfects man through many methods—through revelation, dealing, refinement, and chastisement—so that man may know that God is practical” (“Only Those Who Focus on Practice Can Be Perfected” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
From the words of Almighty God we see that when judging the corrupt mankind in the last days, God uses many aspects of the truth and the righteous disposition He has expressed to conduct judgment, revelation, and condemnation on man’s satanic nature, to cleanse and transform man’s satanic disposition and save man from the influence of Satan. In the majestic and wrathful judgment and chastisement of God, we feel as if we are face to face with God; we see the essential nature and actual facts of our corruption by Satan. We truly understand God’s holy essence and God’s righteous disposition that cannot be offended. A God-fearing heart is born in us and we develop a real understanding of God and many truths at the same time, so that our life disposition is transformed, and we finally live out the likeness of a genuine man, an honest man who obeys God. All the words expressed by God unfold to mankind many aspects of the truth: God’s righteous disposition, God’s possessions and being, the mystery of His management plan, the inside story of God’s three-stage work, the aim and intention of God’s salvation for mankind, the root of sin and the reality of mankind’s being corrupted, and the destination and outcome of mankind, and so on. These truths are the words that give us life and the way of eternal life. When we read the word of Almighty God, we feel God’s word like a two-edged sword, with God’s majesty and wrath emanating from each word and each line. It pinpoints our notions about God in the depth of our hearts, our despicable purposes and devious intentions of our belief in God, even the satanic toxins hidden in our nature unbeknownst to us are revealed, so that we can see we are utterly corrupted by Satan. We live by Satan’s toxins, philosophy, logic and rules in all respects. Our hearts are filled with the viciousness, arrogance, greed, deceit, and other satanic dispositions. We live out all kinds of demonic nature, becoming the offspring of Satan, progeny of the great red dragon, who rebel against and resist God. After reading God’s word of judgment and revelation, we are in awe of God, feeling His observation of our innermost hearts. The word of God hits our satanic nature in every aspect, as if we are face to face with God, at times reminding, warning, reproaching, dealing with, and disciplining us. Sometimes God’s fierce word is filled with anger, in which we see the truth of our corruption, making us feel abjectly shameful. We deeply feel that the word of God is indeed the truth. It is full of power and authority; it is the revelation of God’s disposition and His life being. The holy substance of God cannot be defiled. God’s righteous disposition is unoffendable. We cannot help but prostrate before God, to repent to God in penitence. We hate our satanic nature. We are filled with remorse and willing to accept the judgment and chastisement of God. We are totally convinced and determined in our hearts to lead a new life to satisfy God. This is the result of the judgment of God’s word on God’s chosen people. After experiencing such judgment and chastisement, those who truly believe in God and love the truth can gain the truth and be made perfect by God. Those who dislike the truth and do not truly experience God’s judgment and chastisement are bound to be eliminated by God.
When God judges and reveals people with the word, He also prepares a variety of circumstances and events to deal with and prune people, test people, and reveal people. After experiencing the facts of these judgment, chastisement, chastening and discipline, we recognize that our satanic nature and satanic disposition is too obdurate. As we are expending, suffering and paying a price for God, we can still unwittingly rebel against and resist God. Under the righteous, majestic and wrathful judgment of God, we clearly see our hideous satanic appearance that resists God. We see that we are the children of hell, and that we don’t fit to live before God. Our hearts ache in pain. We tremble with fear and show remorse to God. We forsake ourselves and curse ourselves. When we express true repentance before God, He bestows compassion and tolerance upon us, He illuminates, enlightens, comforts, and supports us, so that we understand the good intentions of God’s salvation for us and come to know God’s loveliness. We are willing to live by the truth of God’s word to comfort and satisfy God. The judgment and chastisement of God make us clearly understand the people God likes, the people God saves, the people God makes perfect, the people God blesses, the people God detests, the people God eliminates and the people God punishes and curses, thereby understanding God’s righteous disposition. After experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement, we truly comprehend that the truth expressed by God to corrupted mankind is judgment, chastisement, scrutiny, and cleansing. God should show His righteous, majestic, wrathful and unoffendable disposition to mankind’s satanic nature of resisting God. Only this can make us beget a God-fearing heart, pursue the truth, love God, obey and worship God, living out the likeness of a real man to glorify and witness for God. These are the effects of God’s judgment and chastisement. Now we should all understand that for the utterly corrupted mankind, God must become flesh to express the truth for judgment work in order to cleanse and save mankind. Otherwise, the corrupted mankind cannot be saved. If we only stop with the Age of Grace and decline God’s judgment work in the last days, we are bound to be eliminated and destroyed. This is the absolute outcome.
from Classic Questions and Answers on the Gospel of the Kingdom
How does God’s work in the last days judge man? … How much judgment and chastisement have you experienced in the words of God? … Which words of God have you now come to experience and know? Which words of judgment and chastisement did you feel were directed precisely at judging you, that accurately revealed who you are, that revealed your corrupt substance, that revealed the truth of your corruption? Did these words of God, like a double-edged sword, pierce through your heart, causing you so much pain that you wished you were dead, and in the end you truly reflected on yourself through these words of God and came to know your corrupt substance? If you are able to talk about these kinds of actual experiences, it means that you have truly received God’s judgment and chastisement. Nowadays, there are many people who have believed in God for many years, who have read some of the words of God and who have listened to some sermons. However, it seems to them as though the words of God are simply judging other people, that they have nothing to do with them, or that only some of God’s words apply to them. “I think I have this corruption too. I feel like I also have such problems.” Do you think that such knowledge of God’s words is qualified? It proves then that you have not truly received God’s judgment and chastisement. When you read a paragraph of God’s words of judgment and chastisement, why do you not relate your own states to them? Why can you not receive God’s judgment and chastisement from your heart? Why can you not receive God’s judgment and chastisement of you? Why do you just read them as if they were simply ordinary words of God and nothing more? There is a problem with the way you treat the word of God. If you truly accepted God’s words of judgment and chastisement, you would treasure the words of God. You would say: “Wow, all of God’s words of judgment and chastisement are directed at me. Every word that reveals the corrupt substance of mankind and every word that expresses the truth is judgment and chastisement directed at me. The word of God is so precious. The word of God can change me, the word of God can transform me, and the word of God can perfect me.” If you eat and drink the word of God in this way, if you accept it this way, then how could you still worry about not changing? How could you still worry about not being able to know yourself? How could you still worry about not being able to make a fresh start? There are people now who eat and drink the word of God but who are unable to relate it to their own corrupt states. They do not feel that the word of God judges and chastises corrupt mankind, and neither do they feel that it is the most precious. They eat and drink the word of God just as a formality. It seems to them that God’s words of judgment are all directed at other people, and that only His words of blessings are directed at themselves. Do you all think that they would be able to come to know themselves by eating and drinking God’s word from this point of view? Of course not. Nowadays, there are many people who always feel that they’re pretty good. They are haughty and arrogant, obey no one, always want to stand higher than everyone else and always have the tendency to want to lead others. Has this kind of person undergone God’s judgment and chastisement? How could they still be so arrogant if they had actually undergone God’s judgment and chastisement? How could they still be unwilling to submit to anyone? How could their life disposition still be so corrupt? They would have started to keep a low profile long ago, or, in the words of nonbelievers, they would “live with their tails between their legs.” How, then, can we solve our corrupt disposition? Only through accepting the judgment and chastisement of God can our corrupt disposition be solved. Only then can our life disposition be changed. This point ought to be clear. So, when you put time and energy into believing in God, where should you concentrate your efforts? You must open yourself up to the word of God and accept His judgment and chastisement. You must receive God’s judgment and chastisement honestly and truly. You must receive God’s pruning and dealing and situate yourself within the word of God and lay yourself before Him. Do not situate yourself outside of the word of God, as though God’s words of judgment and chastisement are all directed at other people and have nothing to do with you. Only by receiving the judgment and chastisement of God can we come to truly know the work of God, to truly understand all the truths expressed by God, and to achieve true obedience to God.
from “Five Signs of Entry Onto the Right Track of Belief in God” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (V)