We discussed up to the third section of this piece of the word of God the last time we congregated, now let us start our fellowship from the fourth section.
“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.” The word of God is spoken very clearly. The work of judgment is God’s own work, it is work that God must carry out among mankind, it is work that must be personally carried out by God Himself, it is work that no man is able to do in His stead. No man can do it in His stead. None of mankind can replace God and do this work in His stead. Why can no one replace Him? Some people might say: “Was God’s work not carried out by using Moses during the Age of Law? Then how come God cannot use people to carry out the work of judgment?” Is there some mystery here? In the Age of Law God issued forth laws and commandments to the Israelites, which work could be carried out by using man, but man cannot replace God and carry out the work of judgment in the last days, why is that? There is a mystery here. What is this mystery all about? We must continue reading along and see what God has to say about it. “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.” How do we decipher these words of God? God has made known the definition of the work of judgment, but what is the nature of the work of judgment? How is this explained in the word of God? “Because judgment is the conquering of man through the truth….” How can we decipher these words? What exactly is judgment? Based on the word of God we can understand it as follows: God’s work of judgment is done through the conquering of man through the truth. “The conquering of man through the truth,” we must carefully think these words over. Why is man not able to do the work of judgment? Some people say that man does not possess the truth, that man cannot express the truth. It is totally okay to understand and accept things in this way. Man does not have the truth and does not possess the truth. Man does not possess the truth, so man cannot carry out the work of judgment. Some people say: “God is able to make use of prophets to issue forth the word of God, so if God made use of prophets to issue forth the word of God in order to carry out the work of judgment, would that be okay?” Would that be okay? Some people say it would not be okay. How come? Some people might say that prophets are people too. It’s true that prophets are also people, but prophets are able to convey the word of God, so if God uses prophets to convey the word of God in order to carry out the work of judgment, would that be okay? Everyone says it would not be okay. Why is that? Prophets conveying the word of God and God issuing forth the truth anytime and anywhere Himself will bring about different results, because prophets are not themselves the truth. What consequences will there be when someone who is not the truth conveys the word of God? Christ, when carrying out the work of judgment through His capacity as God, may issue forth the truth anytime and anywhere, reveal all that God has and is, and make known the disposition of God. So, what is the difference between these results and the results that are brought about when a prophet, who is not himself the truth and who is not able to reveal all that God has and is anytime and anywhere, conveys the word of God? If this is something you can understand thoroughly, then you have a true understanding of the words, “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.” “It cannot be done by man in His stead.” What does this include? It won’t do if God uses people or prophets to convey the word of God. But why won’t it do if God uses people to convey the word of God? Why will this not achieve the result that is achieved when God carries out the work Himself? If you are able to understand this thoroughly, then you will be able to accept the words that “it cannot be done by man in His stead.”It means that it is inappropriate for God to use man for this kind of work, the results will not be able to be achieved.
What is it exactly that makes it not okay for God to use prophets to convey the word of God in order to carry out the work of judgment? What results will not be able to be achieved if the work is done in this way? Can you see it? If prophets are used to convey the word of God, the result that will be achieved is that people will only be able to have a little bit of understanding of the words being conveyed. But as for understanding the disposition of God, all that God has and is, and the truth issued forth by God, regardless of how great an effort man exerts, it will be very difficult to achieve the best result. Isn’t that so? Why can’t the best result be achieved? In essence, prophets themselves are human. Since they are human by nature, could they reveal all that God has and is? There’s absolutely no way this could be revealed. Take me as an example, even though I have some experience and understanding of the word of God and am able to communicate this to you, I still am only able to reveal the being of humanity. Regardless of how much I pursue the truth, all that I can reveal is still all that is the being of humanity, it is not all that God has and is. Can you see that? Even though I am able to “love what God loves and hate what God hates,” I dare not say that I am able to reveal the righteous disposition of God, that is a distance too far for me to go. Based on this point, we can see that prophets, regardless of how they convey the word of God, will not be able to reveal the disposition of God, nor will they be able to reveal all that God has and is, for prophets are human by nature, they are not divine. Christ has a divine substance, and in carrying out the work of judgment He can issue forth the truth anytime and anywhere, He can reveal all that God has and is. In Christ, man is able to witness the disposition of God, and witness all that God has and is, and witness the almightiness and wisdom of God. For the man used by God, no matter how much we come to understand the word of God through him, ultimately we will still never be able to come to an understanding of God, and what we are able to attain will be very, very limited! Now you should be able to see this clearly! So now when God says, “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,” we should be able to understand the meaning of these words, right? However, people in the religious world are unable to comprehend the meaning of these words, they do not understand them. They believe that since God was able to use Moses to carry out His work in the Age of Law, then God should be able to use man to carry out the work of judgment in the last days. But isn’t this very far away from the intention of God? Now we can recognize this point. This is the grace of God. People in the religious world cannot recognize this, for they have no experience of God’s work in the last days. How many truths they must fail to understand! They lack an understanding of many truths. By comparison we have obtained much, much more. In the book The Word Appears in the Flesh everything that is expressed is the truth. It contains truths that have not yet been obtained through the several stages of God’s work that mankind has gone through since the creation of the world, truths that up to now have not been understood. But today, since we are experiencing the work of God in the last days, we have obtained these truths. Is this not the grace of God? Is this not the profound love of God?
You see that religious people are not foolish, that among them there are many pastors and elders that are very learned and knowledgeable. How is it that they have failed to discover so many of the truths that have been issued forth by God during His work in the last days? How is it that they fail to see these facts? How did the Lord Jesus say it? “For this people’s heart is waxed gross...” (Matthew 13:15; Acts 28:27). They do not have knowledge of God, they do not have knowledge of God’s work, and they do not have knowledge of the word of God. These people all believe that they understand the Bible, but they do not have knowledge of God or of the truth. What a pity, isn’t it? Each and every one of those in God’s house that have experienced several years of God’s work, that have some reality of the truth, if they were to fellowship on the truth, if they were to give sermons, I dare say that their words would be a hundred times more powerful than those pastors and elders in the religious world. Is this not a fact? They would be one hundred times better than them. There would be no comparison. When you see the religious pastors stand there in impeccable attire, wearing their glasses, “Wow, what mannerisms, look at the mannerisms of the pastor.” But whenever they talk about something, none of the reality of the truth will be found within their words. But this is not the same for people who have received the work of God in the last days. They don’t have such mannerisms on the outside, but whenever they say a few sentences the reality of the truth will be there. The pastors will be amazed, their eyes will light up and they’ll say: “Where did these words come from? I have never heard them before! How could your faith be different from ours? The things you are saying are so much more real compared to what we are saying.” They will be shocked, they will be bewildered, and they will say: “What is going on here? We are all reading the same Bible, we all believe in the one true God, so how is it that you all are saying things that are so real? How is your understanding so much deeper than ours?” What is the problem here? This is the result achieved by the experience of God’s judgment and chastisement. They have not experienced His judgment and chastisement; even if they studied the Bible for 100 years they would not be able to attain this result. Paul was most adept at studying the Bible under the wing of the law teacher Gamaliel, but he did not have an understanding of the Lord Jesus. He spread the gospel as an apostle of the Lord Jesus, but ultimately he did not have an understanding of the Lord Jesus, he was only able to exalt the God and Father, and uphold the “Holy Trinity.” What does this illustrate? If he had a true understanding of the Lord Jesus would he still be able to talk of the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit? How did the “Holy Trinity,” the greatest misconception in the religious world, come about? It came about from religious figures not having an understanding of God and misinterpreting the Bible. It is very clear what effect judgment and chastisement have had on us, we do not need to go into detail about this. That is not the topic we are discussing today.