4. You say that if we do not accept God’s work of judgment of the last days, we shall not be cleansed, and thus will not be fit to enter the kingdom of God. We do not believe this. Although we are still capable of sin and are bound by the flesh, it is clearly stated in the Bible that “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1Co 15:52). We believe that God is almighty: A single utterance from God created the heavens and earth and all things, and a single utterance from God can raise people from the dead. When God comes, He will be able to instantly change our form and raise us into the kingdom of heaven. We therefore do not need God to become flesh in the last days and express the truth and perform the work of judgment and purification.
Bible Verses for Reference:
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1Pe 4:17).
“And if any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects Me, and receives not My words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (Jhn 12:47–48).
“I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come” (Jhn 16:12–13).
“I pray not that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil. … Sanctify them through Your truth: Your word is truth. … And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth” (Jhn 17:15–19).
Relevant Words of God:
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?
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
God does His work throughout the entire universe. All those who believe in Him must accept His word, and eat and drink His word; no one can be gained by God by seeing the signs and wonders shown by God. Throughout the ages, God has always used the word to make man perfect. Thus you should not devote all your attention to signs and wonders, but should strive to be made perfect by God. In the Old Testament Age of Law, God spoke some words, and in the Age of Grace, Jesus, too, spoke many words. After Jesus had said many words, the later apostles and disciples led people to practice according to the commandments issued by Jesus and experienced according to the words and principles spoken of by Jesus. In the last days, God principally uses the word to make man perfect. He does not use signs and wonders to oppress man, or convince man; this cannot make plain the power of God. If God only showed signs and wonders, then it would be impossible to make plain the reality of God, and thus impossible to make man perfect. God does not make man perfect by signs and wonders, but uses the word to water and shepherd man, after which is achieved the complete obedience of man and man’s knowledge of God. This is the aim of the work He does and the words He speaks. God does not use the method of showing signs and wonders to make man perfect—He uses words, and uses many different methods of work to make man perfect. Whether it be the refinement, dealing, pruning, or provision of words, God speaks from many different perspectives to make man perfect, and to give man a greater knowledge of the work, wisdom and wondrousness of God. When man is made complete at the time that God concludes the age in the last days, then he will be qualified to look upon signs and wonders. When you come to know God and are able to obey God no matter what He does, you will no longer have any notions about Him when you see signs and wonders. At the moment, you are corrupt and incapable of complete obedience to God—do you think you are qualified to see signs and wonders in this state? When God shows signs and wonders, that is when God punishes man, and also when the age changes, and, moreover, when the age concludes. When God’s work is being carried out normally, He does not show signs and wonders. Showing signs and wonders is laughably simple for Him, but that is not the principle of God’s work, nor is it the aim of God’s management of man. If man saw signs and wonders, and if the spiritual body of God were to appear to man, would all people not believe in God? I have previously said that a group of overcomers are gained from the East, overcomers who come from amid the great tribulation. What is meant by these words? They mean that these people who have been gained only truly obeyed after undergoing judgment and chastisement, and dealing and pruning, and all kinds of refinement. The belief of these people is not vague and abstract, but real. They have not seen any signs and wonders, or any miracles; they do not speak of abstruse letters and doctrines, or profound insights; instead they have reality, and the words of God, and a true knowledge of the reality of God. Is such a group not more capable of making plain the power of God? God’s work during the last days is real work. During the age of Jesus, He did not come to make man perfect, but to redeem man, and so He displayed some miracles to make people follow Him. For He principally came to complete the work of crucifixion, and showing signs was not part of the work of His ministry. Such signs and wonders were work that was done in order to make His work effective; they were extra work, and did not represent the work of the entire age. During the Old Testament Age of Law, God also showed some signs and wonders—but the work God does today is real work, and He would definitely not show signs and wonders now. If He showed signs and wonders, His real work would be thrown into disorder, and He would be unable to do any more work. If God said to use the word to make man perfect, but also showed signs and wonders, then could it be made plain whether or not man truly believes in Him? Thus, God does not do such things. There is too much of religion within man; God has come during the last days to expel all the religious notions and supernatural things within man, and make man know the reality of God. He has come to remove an image of a God that is abstract and fanciful—an image of a God who, in other words, does not exist at all. And so, now the only thing that is precious is for you to have a knowledge of reality! The truth overrides everything. How much truth do you possess today? Is all that shows signs and wonders God? Evil spirits can also show signs and wonders; are they all God? In his belief in God, what man searches for is the truth, and what he pursues is life, rather than signs and wonders. This should be the goal of all those who believe in God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. All Is Achieved by the Word of God
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
The work done by God during this age is chiefly the provision of the words for the life of man; the exposure of man’s nature essence and corrupt disposition; and the elimination of religious notions, feudal thinking, outdated thinking, and the knowledge and culture of man. These things must all be cleansed through being exposed by God’s words. In the last days, God uses words, 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, and so that through the words of God, man beholds the deeds of God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Knowing God’s Work Today
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. When the demons were cast out of man and he was redeemed, this meant only that he was wrested out of Satan’s hands and returned to God. However, without being made clean or changed by God, he remains as corrupt man. Within man still exist filth, opposition, and rebelliousness; man has only returned to God through His redemption, but he has not the slightest knowledge of God and is still capable of resisting and betraying Him. Before man was redeemed, many of Satan’s poisons had already been planted within him and, after thousands of years of being corrupted by Satan, he has within him an established nature that resists God. Therefore, when man has been redeemed, it is nothing more than a case of redemption in which man is bought at a high price, but the poisonous nature within him has not been eliminated. Man that is so defiled must undergo a change before becoming worthy to serve God. 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. Rather than deeming this stage of work to be that of salvation, it would be more apt to say it is the work of purification. In truth, this stage is that of conquest as well as the second stage in the work of salvation. It is through judgment and chastisement by the word that man arrives at being gained by God, and it is through the use of the word to refine, judge, and disclose that all of the impurities, notions, motives, and individual aspirations within man’s heart are completely revealed. For all that man may have been redeemed and forgiven of his sins, it can only be considered as God not remembering the transgressions of man and not treating man in accordance with his transgressions. However, when man, who lives in a body of flesh, has not been set free from sin, he can only continue to sin, endlessly revealing his corrupt satanic disposition. This is the life that man leads, an endless cycle of sinning and being forgiven. The majority of mankind sin in the day only to confess in the evening. This way, even though the sin offering is forever effective for man, it will not be able to save man from sin. Only half the work of salvation has been completed, for man still has a corrupt disposition. … It is not easy for man to become aware of his sins; he has no way of recognizing his own deeply rooted nature, and he must rely on judgment by the word in order to achieve this result. Only thus can man gradually be changed from this point onward.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)
The work of the last days is to speak words. Great changes can be effected in man by means of words. The changes now effected in these people upon their accepting these words are much greater than those effected in people upon their accepting the signs and wonders of the Age of Grace. For, in the Age of Grace, the demons were cast out from man with the laying on of hands and prayer, but the corrupt dispositions within man still remained. Man was healed of his sickness and forgiven his sins, but as for just how man was to be purged of the corrupt satanic dispositions within him, this work had yet to be done. Man was only saved and forgiven his sins for his faith, but the sinful nature of man was not extirpated and still remained within him. The sins of man were forgiven through the agency of the incarnate God, but this did not mean that man no longer had sin within him. The sins of man could be forgiven through the sin offering, but as for just how man can be made to sin no more, and how his sinful nature may be extirpated completely and transformed, he has no way of solving this problem. The sins of man were forgiven, and this is because of the work of God’s crucifixion, but man continued to live within his corrupt satanic disposition of old. This being so, man must be completely saved from his corrupt satanic disposition, so that his sinful nature may be completely extirpated, never to develop again, thus enabling the disposition of man to be transformed. This would require man to grasp the path of growth in life, to grasp the way of life, and to grasp the way to change his disposition. Furthermore, it would require man to act in accordance with this path, so that his disposition may gradually be changed and he may live under the shining of the light, so that all that he does may be in accord with the will of God, so that he may cast away his corrupt satanic disposition, and so that he may break free from Satan’s influence of darkness, thereby emerging fully from sin. Only then will man receive complete salvation.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)
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