Question 2: You have witnessed the Lord Jesus has returned to express the truth and do judgment work in the last days. Why didn't I see it? I just believe that the Lord will return on the clouds; I just believe that when the Lord returns, all those who believe in Him will be instantly changed and be lifted in the air to meet with the Lord. Just as Paul said, “For our conversation is in heaven; from where also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like to his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things to himself” (Phl 3:20–21). And you say the Lord's return is to become flesh, appear as the Son of man and express the truth to do judgment work in the last days. I think it's impossible! Since God is omnipotent, a single word of God created the heavens and earth and all things, and let the dead rise again. God can turn us into holiness with one word. Why does God have to become flesh to express the truth to do the work of judging and cleansing man?
Answer: God’s work is always unfathomable. No one can clearly explain God’s prophecies. Man can only understand a prophecy when it is fulfilled. What does this mean? It means that no one can fathom the wisdom and omnipotence of God. When the Lord Jesus appeared to work in the Age of Grace, no one could fathom it. When Almighty God does judgment work of the last days in the Age of Kingdom, no one can know it in advance either. Therefore, mankind finds it so inconceivable about God becoming flesh in the last days to express the truth and do judgment work. But when the work of God is done, the catastrophe will arrive. At that time, many people will sense that God’s word has all been fulfilled. But it will be too late to regret. They can only wail and grind their teeth amid the catastrophe. About how God does His work of judgment in the last days to cleanse and save man, how to make a group of overcomers—the firstfruits, it will be even clearer after we read a few passages of Almighty God’s word.
Almighty God says: “You should be able to see the will of God, and should see that the work of God is not as simple as the creation of the heavens and earth and all things. That is because the work of today is the transformation of those who have been corrupted, who are numb to the utmost degree, it is to purify those who were created but processed by Satan. It is not the creation of Adam or Eve, still less is it the creation of the light, or the creation of every plant and animal. God makes pure the things that have been corrupted by Satan and then gains them anew; they become things that belong to Him, and they become His glory. This is not as man imagines, it is not as simple as the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them, or the work of cursing Satan to the bottomless pit; rather, it is the work of transforming man, turning things that are negative, and do not belong to Him, into things that are positive, and do belong to Him. This is the truth behind this stage of God’s work. You must understand this, and avoid oversimplifying matters. The work of God is unlike any ordinary work. Its wonderfulness and wisdom are beyond the mind of man. God does not create all things during this stage of work, but nor does He destroy them. Instead, He transforms all the things He created, and purifies all the things that have been defiled by Satan. And thus does God embark upon a great enterprise, which is the entire significance of the work of God. Is the work of God that you see in these words really so simple?” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Is the Work of God As Simple As Man Imagines?).
“The flesh of man has been corrupted by Satan, and it has been most deeply blinded, and profoundly harmed. The most fundamental reason why God works personally in the flesh is because the object of His salvation is man, who is of the flesh, and because Satan also uses the flesh of man to disturb the work of God. The battle with Satan is actually the work of conquering man, and at the same time, man is also the object of God’s salvation. In this way, the work of God incarnate is essential. Satan corrupted the flesh of man, and man became the embodiment of Satan, and became the object to be defeated by God. In this way, the work of doing battle with Satan and saving mankind occurs on earth, and God must become human in order to do battle with Satan. This is work of the utmost practicality” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of the Incarnate God).
“Earliest mankind was in the hands of God, but because of Satan’s temptation and corruption, man was bound up by Satan and fell into the hands of the evil one. Thus, Satan became the object to be defeated in the work of God’s management. Because Satan took possession of man, and because man is the capital which God uses to carry out all management, if man is to be saved, then he must be snatched back from the hands of Satan, which is to say that man must be taken back after having been held captive by Satan. Thus, Satan must be defeated through changes in man’s old disposition, changes which restore man’s original sense of reason. In this way, man, who has been taken captive, can be snatched back from the hands of Satan. If man is freed from the influence and bondage of Satan, then Satan will be shamed, man will ultimately be taken back, and Satan will be defeated. And because man has been freed from the dark influence of Satan, man will become the spoils of this entire battle, and Satan will become the object to be punished once the battle has finished, after which the entire work of mankind’s salvation will have been completed” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Restoring the Normal Life of Man and Taking Him to a Wonderful Destination).
“In the work of the last days, the word is mightier than the manifestation of signs and wonders, and the authority of the word surpasses that of signs and wonders. The word exposes all the corrupt dispositions buried deep in the heart of man. You have no way of recognizing them on your own. When they are laid bare before you through the word, you will naturally come to discover them; you will not be able to deny them, and you will be utterly convinced. Is this not the authority of the word? This is the result achieved by the work of the word today. Therefore, it is not through the healing of sickness and casting out of demons that man can be fully saved from his sins, nor can he be made fully complete by the manifestation of signs and wonders. The authority to heal sickness and cast out demons only gives man grace, but the flesh of man still belongs to Satan and the corrupt satanic disposition still remains within man. In other words, that which has not been made clean still pertains to sin and to filth. Only after he has been made clean through the agency of the word can man be gained by God and become sanctified. … By means of this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt essence within his own self, and he will be able to change completely and become clean. Only in this way can man become worthy to return before the throne of God. All the work done this day is so that man can be made clean and be changed; through judgment and chastisement by the word, as well as through refinement, man can purge away his corruption and be made pure” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)).
“In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, to expose the substance of man, and to dissect the words and deeds of man. 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 normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the substance of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, the 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 a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth of which man is utterly bereft. Only methods such as these can be called 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 essence 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 essence 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” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth).
“God does the work of judgment and chastisement so that man may gain knowledge of Him, and for the sake of His testimony. Without His judgment of man’s corrupt disposition, man could not possibly know His righteous disposition, which brooks no offense, and nor would man be able to turn his old knowledge of God into a new one. For the sake of His testimony, and for the sake of His management, He makes His entirety public, thus enabling man, through His public appearance, to arrive at knowledge of God, to be transformed in his disposition, and to bear resounding testimony to God. The transformation of the disposition of man is achieved through many different kinds of God’s work; without such changes in his disposition, man would be unable to bear testimony to God and to be after God’s heart. The transformation of man’s disposition signifies that man has freed himself from Satan’s bondage and from the influence of darkness, and has truly become a model and specimen of God’s work, a witness of God, and one who is after God’s heart” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Those Who Know God Can Bear Testimony to God).
“Those who are able to stand firm during God’s work of judgment and chastisement during the last days—that is, during the final work of purification—will be the ones who will enter into the final rest alongside God; as such, all those who enter into rest will have broken free of Satan’s influence and been obtained by God after having undergone His final work of purification. These humans, who will have been finally obtained by God, will enter into the final rest. The essential purpose of God’s work of chastisement and judgment is to purify humanity and to prepare them for their ultimate rest; without such cleansing, none of humanity could be classified into different categories according to kind, or enter into rest. This work is humanity’s only path to enter into rest” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together).
In the last days, God becomes flesh to express the truth and do judgment work to cleanse and make perfect man instead of transforming him with one word. There are truth and mystery within! The way God cleanses and makes man perfect by His work of judgment in the last days is absolutely not as simple as we imagine. With one word, the Lord Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. But for God to cleanse and transform mankind that has been utterly corrupted by Satan to resist and act against God into a mankind that understands, obeys and worships God, to transform a mankind that has been corrupted into living devils for millennia into a mankind with the truth and humanity in twenty or thirty years, it is a process of battling Satan. Is this a simple matter? If God raises the dead and transforms our body with one word, can this humiliate Satan? In the last days, mankind has been corrupted by Satan for millennia. The nature and disposition of Satan have been ingrained in man. Mankind is arrogant, selfish, deceitful, evil and greedy. For fame and fortune, they plot against each other, deceive and slaughter each other. Mankind loathes and detests the truth. They have become the enemy of God from early on. They are the ilk of Satan who resist and betray God. God’s salvation for man is actually a battle with Satan. Just as Almighty God says, “The flesh of man has been most profoundly corrupted, and it has become something which opposes God, so much so that it even openly opposes and denies the existence of God. This corrupt flesh is simply too intractable, and nothing is more difficult to deal with or change than the corrupt disposition of the flesh. Satan comes into the flesh of man to stir up disturbances, and it uses the flesh of man to disturb the work of God and impair the plan of God, and thus man has become Satan, and become the enemy of God. For man to be saved, he must first be conquered. It is because of this that God rises to the challenge and comes into the flesh to do the work He intends to do, and to do battle with Satan. His aim is the salvation of man, who has been corrupted, and the defeat and annihilation of Satan, which rebels against Him. He defeats Satan through His work of conquering man, while at the same time He saves corrupt mankind. Thus, it is a work that achieves two aims at once” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of the Incarnate God).
God wants to transform mankind that has been corrupted by Satan to act against God into a mankind that truly obeys God and is compatible with God. The difficulty of this task is quite high. It is much more difficult than the creation of the heavens and earth and all things by God. The creation of the heavens and earth and all things from nothingness was accomplished by one word of God’s. But to cleanse and transform the utterly corrupted mankind, God must become flesh and express many truths to judge and cleanse man. For us to experience God’s judgment and chastisement, to cast away corruption and receive cleansing, it requires the process of a long period. This is also the process of God’s battle with Satan. First by expressing the truth to conquer man and then cleansing and making man perfect with the truth. When we understand the truth and know God, we will clearly see the fact of our corruption by Satan and begin to detest Satan, forsake Satan, and curse Satan. Ultimately, we will thoroughly rebel against Satan and completely turn to God. So that God wrests mankind back from Satan’s hands. These people who are saved are God’s spoils from defeating Satan. Only by working like this can God really defeat and humiliate Satan. This is also the inside story of God’s work of judgment in the last days. According to Satan’s original intention, human beings have been corrupted into living devils. If God can turn these living devils into human beings, Satan will be convinced. So God follows His original plan by becoming flesh to battle with Satan’s kinds. Although God’s work in the last days only lasts twenty to thirty years, He made a group of overcomers, fulfilling the prophecies in the Book of Revelation: “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb” (Rev 14:4). These overcomers are the firstfruits gained and enjoyed by God. Compared to the history of mankind, isn’t twenty or thirty years just a blink of an eye? The Bible says, “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2Pe 3:8). If it says that when the Lord returns in the last days, He will change our body in a moment, in a blink of an eye, it is also completely suitable to be applied on the effects achieved by God’s work in the last days. It can also be received this way. But we can easily interpret Paul’s words as those who believe in the Lord will be instantly transformed and lifted into the air to meet the Lord when He returns. So, we just idly waited for the Lord to descend on the clouds to transform and rapture us. Isn’t Paul’s word misleading? We cannot be filled with notions and imagination about God’s work. God’s work is practical, tangible and visible at every step. The incarnate Almighty God is the practical God who comes to the world to save man by expressing the truth. If we don’t accept, aren’t we rebelling against God and resisting God? How can we receive the praises and blessings of God?
—The movie script of The Moment of Change