Someone even says: “The catastrophe is here, and children are dead. Are they not innocent? Why does God not save the children?” This is so naive. What about the wars in the Middle East, Damascus turning into ruins? Refugees from the nations involve adults, children, and the elderly. Who do you blame? Are you blaming God for being unjust? So many children have died, and you blame God for being unjust? And you call yourself someone who believes in God, while you are unable to see through even this. Some watch the lion hunt its quarry, and they say “How cruel, how wretched.” Yet you do not see your own wretchedness, your own ignominy in not accepting God’s work; yet you do not see that if men disobey God’s judgment and chastisement, if men even rebel against and resist God, such men should be cursed. You do not feel hate against the evil mankind who resist God, instead you sympathize with them. Which side are you on? Are you on the side of Satan, or are you on the side of God? Such men do not believe in the righteousness of God. Still some other say: “God is merciful and loving. God will eventually save this mankind. God will save all men.” This is nonsense. Do such people truly know God? During the era of Noah, only Noah’s eight family members entered the ark, while the rest died in the flood. Can you say that God is unjust? Amongst those who died, there were the elderly, women, children, new born babies. There were all kinds of people, yet they all died, and you say that God is unjust? Once you say this, you are resisting God, you are the kind that opposes God. As a matter of fact, God rules over mankind, and how do you learn that? God rules over mankind, the arrival of mankind’s every event has been permitted by God, each major event has been arranged by God, can it not be understood thus? You say that God rules mankind, how do you seek this truth, how do you know this truth? If your understanding is good, you may praise God; if your understanding is not good, you may blame God, and judge God. If you should truly blame and judge God, then you belong to the unbelievers, and how does God take care of the mankind that does not believe? He takes care of them with catastrophe. You shall perish when you are faced with a catastrophe, this is the unavoidable result, because you are an unbeliever. Can the endings of the believers and the unbelievers be the same? Those who believe in Almighty God, the true believers, even though they might still reveal certain corruptions, yet they are somewhat obedient to God, and they worship God to a certain extent. Even though there might be areas that are uncleansed, there might even be occasional lies, or even transgressions, but based on their beliefs, based on their obedience to God’s work, the Lord Jesus’ redemptive work has been effective on them, therefore they shall remain. Can Satan still accuse? It no longer has the power to accuse, because there remains the redemption of the Lord Jesus, the sin offering has been effective on such people. Those who believe in the Lord Jesus, if they do not accept Almighty God’s work of the last days, then they are betraying God, and the sin offering shall not be effective for them. There have been some who worry about this, “If we should experience God’s work of the last days, and if the catastrophe should arrive after us experiencing for two or three years when we have yet to be cleansed, can we still be saved? Can we still remain?” Aren’t there many who ask this question in their minds? There are many, ninety percent of all people have this question. How do you view this question now? Are you clear now? What did I just say? Even if we are not yet perfect, we still reveal certain corrupt disposition, we even tell lies, and make transgressions, yet we seek the truth, and such people shall have salvation. Because you have gained some reality of the truth, therefore you shall remain, and your transgressions shall not warrant your death. Some even lie, some may have once committed the sin of adultery, but this does not warrant death, for the sin offering of the Lord Jesus shall be effective for you. Then some might say: “For those who have experienced God’s work for twenty, thirty years, whereby they have gained the truth, whereby they have been perfected, what would be the reward for these people?” “They shall be called the overcomers.” “Therefore these people have not a single trace of corruption in them? Impossible.” It is not that they do not reveal a single trace of corruption; there is more-or-less some. Then why have these people become the overcomers? Because the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption will be effective for these people for eternity. The Lord Jesus has already taken on the sins for man, they have long been forgiven, and Satan dares not accuse, for Satan has no power to accuse. Then, during the last days, those overcomers that have been perfected by God, based on what shall they be defined as the overcomers? Because those people have borne witnesses that are glorious and resounding. What are these glorious and resounding witnesses? Under this harsh environment, under the harsh environment where Satan is feverishly persecuting God’s elects, standing firm in the testimony, continuing to follow God, to fulfill one’s duty as usual, to seek the truth when fulfilling one’s duty, and ultimately holding onto principles when carrying out one’s deeds, standing on God’s side while encountering many trials, without stumbling, without being taken captive by Satan, persevering until the end, such people are the overcomers, such are the witnesses of the overcomers. Let me give an example. Let’s say there is a battle, where a regiment is stationed in a position on top of a hill. The enemy has launched a dozen or so attacks, but they have all been repelled, and the regiment is ultimately victorious. However, only a company of troops has survived, while the rest have perished in battle. Tell me, isn’t this company the final victors? Therefore, those people who persevere in their belief in God and their experience of God’s work until the very end, persevering until the arrival of the catastrophe, these people shall be the overcomers. During this period of time, they have endured multiple temptations, sieges, and persecutions from Satan, yet they have not stumbled, they are still standing: These are the overcomers. These people have battled until the end, they are still holding their positions, fulfilling their duties to God’s satisfaction: These are the overcomers. Do you understand? Then some might say: “Therefore, those who persevere until the end shall be the overcomers.” Yet this is not the right interpretation. Such men must experience many trials, and have withstood these trials to become the overcomers. Some have failed during the trials, they have compromised, surrendered to Satan, yet they continue to stay in the church among the crowds; these men shall not be the overcomers. Some are coerced by their spouse, being threatened with “If you still won’t come back, then I am divorcing you. If you are still fulfilling your duties, then I will no longer be with you.” “You can live with whoever you wish. I shall fulfill my duties; I shall follow God. If it is your wish to divorce, I shall sign all the papers immediately.” Just like this, these people have stood their ground. Some were arrested, prosecuted, and sentenced by Satan. These people did not sign any letters of repentance, they did not compromise, they were released after being imprisoned for a few years, they have stood their ground and borne witnesses. Some were abandoned by their husbands, their children left them, yet they stood their ground, did not fall, and followed God until the end; these men shall be the overcomers. They come from all walks of life, they have encountered all kinds of situation, yet no matter how many trials they have encountered, they have not been struck down, they have stood their ground. These people have persevered until the end in fulfilling their duties; they even seek the truth and accept the truth while they are fulfilling their duties. Their notions continue to diminish, their resistance continues to abate, their conflicts continue to dwindle, and in the end, they feel that they have become compatible with Christ, without any trace of conflicts, without any hint of notions; they shall be the overcomers. If a person should follow until the end, with notions that are never resolved, with disobedience that is never resolved, with arrogance that is never resolved, fulfilling his duties yet not seeking the truth, with his paltering and fooling around unresolved, shall someone like him become an overcomer? No. He did not seek the truth, and therefore he has never encountered any trials.
During the previous gathering, some brother and sister asked a question: “What is the ‘mark of the beast’ from Revelation?” I do not know how to interpret the Bible, and I have never interpreted the Bible. Man is unable to interpret the prophecies of the Bible, for those are God’s words, and man is not qualified to interpret them. When God’s work has fulfilled such a thing, and made such a thing come true, man will praise God when he sees it, thereby knowing God’s sovereignty, knowing God’s almightiness, seeing the glory of God. It is sufficient to praise God. Man cannot interpret God’s words and God’s prophecies. We cannot interpret them. If we have some understanding or some points of view regarding the “mark of the beast” that we can fellowship, that we can make a contribution to others, then this is what we should fellowship to others. Some might also say, “I cannot accept your interpretation. I do not agree.” That is fine. The truth holds dominion over God’s house, and there is freedom of speech. Each to their own understandings, each to their own choices, and each to their own paths. Regardless of your understanding, you shall experience thus. If you are someone who seeks the truth, you should put your effort into seeking the truths. You should never hold onto your own opinions, and you should understand the principles of truth. If you are always obsessed with interpreting the Bible, then you are arrogant, because man cannot interpret God’s prophecies. If man should force an interpretation, it will surely be erroneous, and man shall certainly bring shame to himself. Do not interpret the Bible. We talk about our own points of view and understanding. They might be a little off and not quite right, but they still originate from the right source, the path is still correct, the result is still good, and that shall be sufficient. Do you understand? How should we fellowship the truth in this area? First, we must look at what the “beast” in Revelation is referring to. It is referring to Satan’s regime. What is Satan’s regime referring to? The regime of each nation, the regime of the great red dragon. None of the regimes of each nation belongs to God. If it should belong to God, it shall be the kingdom of Christ. “Beast” refers to the regimes of each nation. “Great whore” refers to the religions. Some are Catholic, some are Christian, yet regardless of their religion, they are still whores, committing fornication with the world. Let us not define. I have said that I do not interpret the Bible, therefore I shall provide a simple outline to give you a rough idea so that you know what to do.
God’s appearance in the last days is to go to war with Satan, and to carry out the final battle with Satan’s evil forces on this earth. When Christ came to this earth to perform work during the Age of Kingdom, what did He come here to do? First, to establish His kingdom; second, to end this era. Therefore, those who accept Almighty God shall be God’s elects during the Age of Kingdom, the Church of Almighty God shall be the primary source of the kingdom’s people during the Age of Kingdom. This shall result in the entire religious world, and eventually the entire world, battling with Christ. Therefore, Christ of the last days, Almighty God, and His elects shall be persecuted by the various beasts and whores of the world. In this way, the prophecies from Lord Jesus in the Bible, “But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation” (Luke 17:25), shall be fully fulfilled. Some might say, “What is the ‘mark of the beast’ referring to?” We are unable to clearly say what the “mark of the beast” specifically refers to, but let me tell you a fact. During the process in which we follow Almighty God, we must experience many battles with Satan, and endure many plunders carried out by Satan. Satan will plunder you, Satan will persecute you, Satan will coerce you, Satan will throw you in jail, Satan will cut off your way of life; you will encounter all kinds of trials, and inevitably some will be captured by Satan. Once a person has been captured by Satan, standing on the side of Satan, the belief of this person will no longer qualify, and he shall be denied by God. God calls such people the unbelievers. The unbelievers have shamed God in front of Satan and denied God. They have been captured by the beast. Once they have been captured by Satan, once they have surrendered, God shall see the mark of the beast on these people. Look, at this very moment, some have already been captured by Satan. They have been arrested by the great red dragon. “If you still acknowledge that you believe in Almighty God, we shall put you in prison, we shall sentence you to imprisonment for this many years. You will cause your spouse to be fired from work, your children will never qualify for university. Your children will not be allowed to enter into university, your family will not be allowed to work, you will not have any way out in life.” Is this not the doing of Satan? In any case, you will encounter all kinds of trials. If you have not encountered any today, you shall encounter them tomorrow; if you shall not encounter any tomorrow, eventually you shall encounter them one day. In short, God requires that you encounter them. Why? There is no bearing of witness without trials. Your loyalty will not reveal itself if you have not been placed in tribulations, your true heart will not be revealed. Your true heart has to be revealed, your loyalty has to be revealed, your obedience also has to be revealed, and then this shall be the end. God demands such things from everyone. We are examined thus during the Age of Kingdom, we are examined thus when appearing before the seat of Christ, every one of us must pass this examination. If you do not pass this examination, if you should be captured by Satan at any stage and be imprinted with the “mark of the beast,” you will never be qualified to enter the kingdom of God. Because to accept Christ of the last days, to be taken up in front of God, this shall be the key moment to enter the kingdom, therefore we must encounter major battles and great tribulation. There will be many difficulties on this path to enter the kingdom, and it requires the offering of one’s life to reach the destination. In Revelation, look at those who believe in Almighty God, “These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes” (Revelation 14:4), “of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” (Revelation 7:9), “These are they which came out of great tribulation” (Revelation 7:14). Look upon these words, they are all referring to those who believe in Almighty God. These people follow Christ without deviating one single step, they are loyal until their death; these are the overcomers. In Revelation, there are also those who bear witness for Jesus, there are also those who martyred themselves. How are the souls of those who martyred themselves being handled, what is happening with those who bear witness for Jesus, what is happening to those who believe in Almighty God and follow Christ of the last days? You can see several different types—what is their end, which ones are saved and perfected by God, what is happening with those who have been captured—and thereby these several types of people have been distinguished.