Take a look at the religious circles, the Pharisees, chief priests, and scribes of Judaism: They all blindly judged the Lord Jesus. Why did they judge the Lord Jesus? Why did they resist and condemn the Lord Jesus? The Lord Jesus expressed many truths, and they all admitted this, so why did they still condemn and resist the Lord Jesus? These people all believed in God; they were the first generation of people in history to believe in God, in the name of Jehovah God. The second generation to believe in God believed in the name of the Lord Jesus. In the last days, people believe in the name of Almighty God. They were the first generation. So why did they nail the Lord Jesus to the cross? Is it because they relied on the concepts and ideas of man to judge the Lord Jesus? Which of the words spoken by the Lord Jesus resulted in this? The Lord said He was sent by God and God was inside of Him, He said He was doing God’s work, and God was expressing the words of God through Him. When the Lord Jesus spoke these words, the Jewish chief priests and scribes were outraged and said something like, “What You say is blasphemy, You are just an impostor pretending to have been sent by God, we can’t accept this!” Thus they started to condemn Him. Normally, when the Lord Jesus said He was sent by God, He was the manifestation of God, and God was speaking from inside Him, what should those Pharisees, chief priests and scribes do? They were mere men; they should have hurried to prostrate themselves before the Lord Jesus and obey the work and words of the Lord Jesus. But they were so arrogant and self-righteous. They thought they fully understood the Bible. They thought God in heaven was the boss and they were His right hand men. Would they have submitted under the authority of the Lord Jesus? No, they would not. If they couldn’t submit under the power of God then that was nothing more than arrogant condemnation and resistance. In the end they died. Why did they die? Because they stubbornly and arrogantly reject the Lord Jesus—God incarnate and in the end they were cursed. So today Almighty God has come, what ending would be waiting for those who resist and condemn Almighty God? Almighty God says, “Whoever resists will die!” “Whoever resists will die,” this is absolute. In the Age of Kingdom God gave Himself the name of Almighty God. If you don’t accept Him, you will be destined to have no place in the kingdom; if you resist Him you will be destined to be cursed, and you will be punished. It’s as simple as that.
Some people will say: “In the religious circles there are so many godly people, so many people love God, don’t get married, keep their virginity, spend their money and dedicate their whole life to the Lord. Can it be that if they don’t accept Almighty God they should all die?” Is what they say right? What’s wrong with them? Are they able to live if they don’t accept Almighty God? Are they more powerful than God? If they don’t accept Almighty God, is it possible they cannot die? This is ridiculous. When the Lord Jesus came, the Jewish chief priest who resisted Him and condemned Him was cursed to “die”! Was this chief priest high placed? Was he much higher placed than the nuns in the convents? Much higher than the religious pastors and elders? With just one chief priest in all Judaism, was he in a high position? He was a chief priest who served God, but for resisting God he had to face death anyway. Given this circumstance, how should we understand God’s disposition? If you are a person of caliber, have intelligence, what do you think about this? No matter what type of person, he or she belongs to God’s creation. You may be a religious leader, a pastor, an elder or a priest. You may be a prophet, even an angel. But no matter who, any and all who resist God must meet with God’s curse, and in the end will be destroyed! Are angels superior? If they resist God, God will pull them down from the sky and hurl them back to the ground, isn’t that what happened to Satan and all the evil spirits who joined it? Isn’t that a fact? You are just a mere creation, what do you matter? Do you think that if you resist God you won’t die? Because in the past you loved God, you were devout, you worked hard and toiled for God, and you have done great services for God, if you resist God then you won’t die? Is this a sound idea? It is not. Some people say: “These people love God, have been devout their whole lives and have done countless good deeds.” How does God determine the outcome for people, do you know? Let us read a passage from God’s words: “Now is the time I determine the ending for each man, not the stage at which I began to work man. I write down in My book the words and actions of each man, as well as their path as My follower, inherent characteristics, and final performance. In this way, no manner of man shall escape My hand and all shall be with their own kind as I assign. I decide the destination of each man not on the basis of age, seniority, amount of suffering, or least of all, the degree of misery, but on whether they possess truth. There is no other choice but this. You must realize that all those who do not follow the will of God will be punished. This is an immutable fact. Therefore, all those who are punished are so punished for the righteousness of God and as retribution for their evil acts.”
On what grounds does God determine one’s destination? I will read again the key words in this paragraph: “I decide the destination of each man not on the basis of age.” This is the first point, not on the basis of age. God determines each person’s destination, that is, the Lord of creation determines each person’s destination, and that is done very seriously and conscientiously, for God is supremely diligent in His responsibilities. Why is God supremely righteous, supremely holy, supremely responsible in His tasks? Firstly: “not on the basis of age.” What does this mean? It is saying that it is not on the basis of “Those elderly people who believe in God will have a good destination; those who are young won’t.” Secondly: “not on the basis of … seniority.” What does “seniority” mean? For example, “Somebody has believed in God for a long time, and this person has done a lot of work, this person has position, this person is of a noble character and has high prestige, everybody likes him and he is popular.” It’s not based on this. Thirdly, “not on the basis of … amount of suffering.” “Suffering” means someone who believes in the Lord and has suffered a great deal and has been persecuted or has been imprisoned for a relatively long time, or has been to many places to evangelize, or has endured much slander, judgment, and persecution by unbelievers. The way God determines one’s outcome is not based on this. Fourthly, “not on the basis of … or least of all, the degree of misery.” This “degree of misery” means that someone has no truth, though having believed in God for many years, been quite diligent, and their intentions are good, so that all who look at them feel pity for them, and everybody thinks they should be shown a little special consideration. How God determines one’s destination is not based on this. The last clause reads: “but on whether they possess truth.” God determines one’s destination by “whether they possess truth,” not based on anything else. Know this! Then some people will ask, “why is it only by whether they possess truth, why is it not based on other things? Suffering, qualifications, seniority, age; why not base it on these?” From this we can understand God’s righteousness. All those things that were mentioned are external things that have nothing to do with the substance of people, the essence of their nature, or whether they have humanity or not. It’s like the question how do you judge whether a person has humanity? Some people say, “By whether they’re good looking. If someone is attractive they are people with a good humanity.” “Is that right? Some people say, “That person is old and has suffered a lot, so his humanity is good.” Is that right? Some people say, “Everybody likes this person, he has a good reputation. This is good humanity.” Is that right? So how can we be sure if somebody’s humanity is good or not? That is determined by whether one loves the truth, by whether one can or can’t accept the truth: If you can love and accept the truth then you are a kindhearted person, a genuinely good person. All those who don’t accept the truth, don’t love the truth have a bad human nature. Truth is the touchstone that reveals humanity, and separates the good from the bad. It is truth that most reveals people, God’s work that most reveals people, and fulfilling one’s duty that most reveals a person. Know this!
How can we judge whether one has humanity or not? We have discovered that so many people are very honest, and it seems as if they are so kind, for they take pity on the poor, take pity on beggars, and take pity on disadvantaged groups. Some even take pity on animals, adopting stray and abandoned dogs and cats. They buy chickens, ducks, and fish to keep them from being slaughtered and then set them free. Are these people kind enough? If it is just that they can’t accept the truth, can’t accept the work of God, then what type of people are these? They are not really kind. Real kindness is to love the truth; to love the truth is to love life. Those who love the truth are those who love life. Those who don’t love the truth don’t love life, and they don’t have life. Without loving the truth you are not a really kind person. Therefore, when you chit chat with many people, they are bright faced, gentle and amiable, and have a beaming smile, but as soon as you start preaching the gospel, testifying about God, or communicating the truth to them, they start to frown, get into a frenzy condemning you and resisting, getting red in the face with anger. What type of people are these? Are these good people? Are they the devil? They are the real devils. Now many people can’t differentiate among others, and always judge from outward behavior. Does this make it easy to be cheated? Many people, including Satan the Devil, can say things that people like to hear. They can all say things that sound benevolent, things that can make people happy, and in the end they do evil deeds and their true nature is revealed. Therefore, only judging by somebody’s appearance and only listening to what they say doesn’t mean that you can see somebody’s true essence. It doesn’t represent that you really understand people, know people.
Let’s take another look. There are so many so-called devout people, people with a so-called understanding of the truth of the Bible. They devote much and toil their whole life for God, but when Almighty God comes they disapprovingly glare at Him, condemn and resist Him. What type of people are these? These devils are revealing themselves for what they are. Some people say, “That’s not right, they did so much for the Lord, and expected no reward, isn’t it because of their love of the Lord?” Is that right? No, it is not right. Why is it not right? They devoted themselves to the Lord for their own purposes. People never do anything without wanting some kind of benefit. Just like Paul, they want to enter the kingdom of heaven and get a reward and gain laurels. Did Paul really love God? If Paul didn’t love the Lord Jesus, then why did Paul suffer so much and still spread the gospel of the Lord Jesus? If it was not for the love of God, then it was for his own purposes, right? His intention was clear: He wanted to go to heaven, for reward and laurels, not out of love for God. So in the end he said those words: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness…” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). He worked to the end and finally said these words, so it turns out that he did all this to accomplish his own goals. Therefore, through the time that he worked for God he never bore witness to what there was to love in the Lord Jesus and never bore witness that the Lord Jesus is God. He never witnessed all that the Lord Jesus is, the Lord Jesus’ disposition. Judging by this, did Paul really love the Lord Jesus in his heart? If he really did love the Lord Jesus, how would he have treated Him? He would constantly bear witness to Him. Because Paul only loved to stand witness to himself and show off, he would say, “I have toiled all these years for whom? It’s all for the Lord Jesus, I see how much the Lord Jesus loves me. If I can’t suffer a little for the Lord Jesus to accomplish His commission, then I’m shameful and not worthy to be called a man. When the Lord openly reveals Himself to me I will be too ashamed to see Him, unworthy of welcoming the Lord when He reveals Himself.” He should have said this. But did Paul’s books ever contain words like these? You can thumb through all of the books that Paul wrote but never will you find where he wrote how much he loved the Lord Jesus. You will never find it. Isn’t this right? Therefore, Paul didn’t love the Lord Jesus.
Based on the fact of how much Paul devoted to his work and his ending as we have seen, measure all those religious circles that work for the Lord, all those who worship Paul, all those whose pursuit is like Paul’s, spreading the gospel and bearing witness to the Lord. Do these people really love the Lord? All of their toil and so-called piety is not for their love of the Lord, but is merely to bargain and make a deal with the Lord; it’s totally just for their own good fortune. It’s in order to enter the kingdom of heaven and get their reward. Are these sorts of people’s expenditure and toil commemorated by God? So when God is thinking about their end what does He base His decision on? What does He base His decision on when deciding their destination? It’s written here: “I decide the destination of each man not on the basis of age, seniority, amount of suffering, or least of all, the degree of misery, but on whether they possess truth….” What is the meaning of “whether they possess truth”? It means practicing the words of God, when you understand the words of God and know His disposition, and finally understand the truth, you put it into practice. It is because you want to carry out the will of God that you expend yourself and suffer. In order to satisfy God you will pay any price, no matter how hard it is. You will not make a deal with God; nothing that you do for Him is because of a demand that you have of Him but is out of your duty as one of God’s creatures. It is because of the will of God, it is to satisfy God and console His heart. You will say: “Because in the past we were all corrupt people, we have all committed many sins and offended God. We have all hurt God. Now we have understood the truth. If we are people with conscience, we should live for God, for doing the will of God. To live for repaying the love of God!” Do people whose intention is to devote themselves to God and suffer for Him have the truth? These people have the truth. They do it all for the truth. To carry out the will of God they are willing to suffer and expend themselves. They don’t do it in order to make a deal with God, or for the purpose of selfish means, and certainly not for good fortune. This type of hard work, this sort of toil and effort and price is the testimony to one’s having the truth, the evidence that one has truth.