8. We believe that the Lord Jesus is the Savior because He forgave us our sins and redeemed us from our sins. You now testify that Almighty God is Christ of the last days, the appearance of the Savior, and that He is expressing the truth and performing the work of judgment beginning from the house of God to utterly cleanse and save man, and to free man from the dark influence of Satan. How does Almighty God utterly cleanse and save man?
Relevant Words of God:
God’s work in the present incarnation is to express His disposition primarily through chastisement and judgment. Building on this foundation, He brings more truth to man and points out to him more ways of practice, thereby achieving His objective of conquering man and saving him from his own corrupt disposition. This is what lies behind the work of God in the Age of Kingdom.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Preface
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
By what means is God’s perfection of man accomplished? It is accomplished by means of His righteous disposition. God’s disposition primarily consists of righteousness, wrath, majesty, judgment, and curse, and He perfects man primarily by means of His judgment. Some people do not understand, and ask why it is that God is only able to make man perfect through judgment and curse. They say, “If God were to curse man, wouldn’t man die? If God were to judge man, wouldn’t man be condemned? Then how can he still be made perfect?” Such are the words of people who do not know the work of God. What God curses is the disobedience of man, and what He judges are the sins of man. Although He speaks harshly and relentlessly, He reveals all that is within man, revealing through these stern words that which is substantive within man, yet through such judgment, He gives man a profound knowledge of the substance of the flesh, and thus man submits before God. The flesh of man is of sin and of Satan, it is disobedient, and it is the object of God’s chastisement. Thus, in order to allow man to know himself, the words of God’s judgment must befall him and there must be employed every kind of refinement; only then can God’s work be effective.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God
Whether God judges man or curses him, both make man perfect: Both are done in order to make perfect that which is impure within man. Through this means man is refined, and that which is lacking within man is made perfect through His words and work. Every step of God’s work—whether it be harsh words, or judgment, or chastisement—makes man perfect, and is absolutely appropriate. Never throughout the ages has God done work such as this; today, He works within you so that you appreciate His wisdom. Although you have suffered some pain within you, your hearts feel steadfast and at peace; it is your blessing to be able to enjoy this stage of the work of God. Regardless of what you are able to gain in the future, all that you see of God’s work in you today is love. If man does not experience God’s judgment and refinement, his actions and fervor will always remain at surface level, and his disposition will always remain unchanged. Does this count as having been gained by God? Today, although there is still much within man that is arrogant and conceited, man’s disposition is much more stable than before. God’s dealing with you is done in order to save you, and although you may feel some pain at the time, the day will come when there occurs a change in your disposition. At that time, you will look back and see how wise the work of God is, and at that time you will be able to truly understand God’s will.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God
If you do not know God’s disposition, then you will inevitably fall during trials, because you are unaware of how God makes people perfect, by what means He makes them perfect, and when God’s trials come upon you and they do not match your notions, you will be unable to stand firm. God’s true love is His entire disposition, and when God’s entire disposition is shown to people, what does this bring to your flesh? When God’s righteous disposition is shown to people, their flesh will inevitably suffer much pain. If you do not suffer this pain, then you cannot be made perfect by God, nor will you be able to devote true love to God. If God makes you perfect, He will surely show His entire disposition to you. From the time of creation until today, God has never shown His entire disposition to man—but during the last days He reveals it to this group of people whom He has predestined and selected, and by making people perfect, He lays bare His dispositions, through which He makes complete a group of people. Such is God’s true love for people. Experiencing God’s true love requires that people endure extreme pain, and pay a high price. Only after this will they be gained by God and be able to give their true love back to God, and only then will God’s heart be satisfied. If people wish to be made perfect by God, and if they wish to do His will, and fully give their true love to God, then they must experience much suffering and many torments from their circumstances, to suffer pain worse than death. Ultimately they will be forced to give their true heart back to God. Whether or not someone truly loves God is revealed during hardship and refinement. God purifies people’s love, and this is also only achieved amid hardship and refinement.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God
God has many means of perfecting man. He employs all manner of environments to deal with the corrupt disposition of man, and uses various things to lay man bare; in one regard, He deals with man, in another He lays man bare, and in another He reveals man, digging out and revealing the “mysteries” in the depths of man’s heart, and showing man his nature by revealing many of his states. God perfects man through many methods—through revelation, through dealing with man, through man’s refinement, and chastisement—so that man may know that God is practical.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Those Who Focus on Practice Can Be Perfected
The work being done now is to cause people to forsake Satan, their old ancestor. All judgments by the word aim to expose humanity’s corrupt disposition and to enable people to understand the essence of life. These repeated judgments pierce people’s hearts. Each judgment directly relates to their fate and is meant to wound their hearts so that they can let go of all those things and thereby come to know life, know this filthy world, know God’s wisdom and almightiness, and also know mankind, which is corrupted by Satan. The more man receives this kind of chastisement and judgment, the more man’s heart can be wounded and the more his spirit can be awakened. Awakening the spirits of these extremely corrupted and most deeply deceived of people is the goal of this kind of judgment. Man has no spirit, that is, his spirit died long ago and he knows not that there is Heaven, knows not that there is a God, and certainly knows not that he is struggling in the abyss of death; how could he possibly know that he is living in this evil hell on earth? How could he possibly know that this putrid corpse of his has, through Satan’s corruption, fallen into Hades of death? How could he possibly know that everything on earth has long been ruined beyond repair by mankind? And how could he possibly know that the Creator has come to the earth today and is searching for a group of corrupt people whom He can save? Even after man experiences every possible refinement and judgment, his dull consciousness still barely stirs and indeed is virtually unresponsive. How degenerate is humanity! And though this kind of judgment is like the cruel hail that falls from the sky, it is of the greatest benefit to man. If not for judging people like this, there would be no result and it would be absolutely impossible to save people from the abyss of misery. If not for this work, it would be very difficult for people to emerge from Hades, because their hearts long ago died and their spirits long ago were trampled by Satan. Saving you who have sunk to the deepest depths of degeneration requires calling out to you strenuously, judging you strenuously; only then will it be possible to awaken your frozen hearts.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only the Perfected Can Live a Meaningful Life
You should know that God’s perfection, completion, and gaining of men bring nothing but swords and smiting upon their flesh, as well as endless suffering, conflagration, merciless judgment, chastisement, and curses, and boundless trials. Such is the inside story and truth of the work of managing man. However, all these things are directed at man’s flesh, and all of the arrows of hostility are mercilessly aimed toward man’s flesh (for man is innocent). All of this is for the sake of His glory and testimony, and for His management. This is because His work is not solely for the sake of mankind, but also for the entire plan, as well as to fulfill His original will when He created mankind. Therefore, perhaps ninety percent of what man experiences involves sufferings and trials of fire, and there are very few, or even none, of the sweet and happy days for which man’s flesh has yearned. Much less is man able to enjoy happy moments in the flesh, spending beautiful times with God. The flesh is filthy, so what man’s flesh sees or enjoys is nothing but God’s chastisement, which man finds unfavorable, as if it were lacking in normal sense. This is because God will manifest His righteous disposition, which is not favored by man, does not tolerate man’s offenses, and loathes enemies. God openly reveals His entire disposition by any means necessary, thereby concluding the work of His six-thousand-year battle with Satan—the work of the salvation of all of mankind, and the destruction of Satan of old!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Purpose of Managing Mankind
Each of God’s words strikes at one of our mortal spots, leaving us wounded and filled with dread. He exposes our notions, our imaginings, and our corrupt disposition. From all that we say and do, down to every one of our thoughts and ideas, our nature essence is revealed in His words, putting us in a state of fear and trembling with nowhere to hide our shame. One by one, He tells us about all of our actions, our aims and intentions, even the corrupt disposition that we ourselves have never discovered, making us feel exposed in all our wretched imperfection and, even more, completely won over. He judges us for opposing Him, chastises us for blaspheming and condemning Him, and makes us feel that, in His eyes, we have not one single redeeming feature, that we are the living Satan. Our hopes are dashed, we no longer dare to make any unreasonable demands or to entertain any hopes of Him, and even our dreams vanish overnight. This is a fact that none of us can imagine and which none of us can accept. Within the space of a moment, we lose our inward equilibrium and do not know how to continue on the road that lies ahead, or how to continue in our beliefs. It seems as if our faith has gone back to square one, and as if we have never met the Lord Jesus or gotten to know Him. Everything before our eyes fills us with perplexity and makes us vacillate indecisively. We are dismayed, we are disappointed, and deep in our hearts there is irrepressible rage and disgrace. We try to vent, to find a way out, and, what is more, to continue waiting for our Savior Jesus, that we may pour our hearts out to Him. Though there are times when we appear on the outside to be on an even keel, neither haughty nor humble, in our hearts we are afflicted with a sense of loss we have never felt before. Though sometimes we may seem unusually calm on the outside, our minds are roiling with torment like a stormy sea. His judgment and chastisement have stripped us of all our hopes and dreams, putting an end to our extravagant desires and leaving us unwilling to believe that He is our Savior and capable of saving us. His judgment and chastisement have opened a chasm between us and Him, one so deep that no one is willing to cross it. His judgment and chastisement are the first time that we have suffered such a great setback, such great humiliation in our lives. His judgment and chastisement have caused us truly to appreciate God’s honor and intolerance of man’s offense, compared to which we are exceedingly base, exceedingly impure. His judgment and chastisement have made us realize for the first time how arrogant and pompous we are, and how man will never be the equal of God, or on a par with God. His judgment and chastisement have made us yearn to live no more in such a corrupt disposition, to rid ourselves of this nature essence as soon as possible, and to cease being vile and detestable to Him. His judgment and chastisement have made us happy to obey His words, no longer rebelling against His orchestrations and arrangements. His judgment and chastisement have once more given us the desire to survive and made us happy to accept Him as our Savior…. We have stepped out of the work of conquest, out of hell, out of the valley of the shadow of death…. Almighty God has gained us, this group of people! He has triumphed over Satan and defeated the multitudes of His enemies!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Appendix 4: Beholding the Appearance of God in His Judgment and Chastisement