2. Why does God have to judge and chastise people?
Relevant Words of God:
Though Jesus did much work among man, He only completed the redemption of all mankind and became man’s sin offering, and did not rid man of all his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to take on the sins of man as the sin offering, but also required God to do greater work to completely rid man of his disposition, which has been corrupted by Satan. And so, after man was forgiven his sins, God has returned to flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment, and this work has brought man into a higher realm. All those who submit under His dominion shall enjoy higher truth and receive greater blessings. They shall truly live in the light, and shall gain the truth, the way, and the life.
from Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh
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 substance 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.
from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You only know that Jesus shall descend during the last days, but how exactly will He descend? A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus—you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in the good blessings of God, for you have missed out a step in God’s work of managing man, which is the key step of changing and perfecting. And so you, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance.
from “Concerning Appellations and Identity” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
None actively seek out the footsteps or appearance of God, and none wish to exist in the care and keeping of God. Rather, they are willing to rely on the corrosion of Satan and the evil one in order to adapt to this world and to the rules of life the wicked mankind follows. At this point, the heart and spirit of man are sacrificed to Satan and become its sustenance. Moreover, the human heart and spirit become a place in which Satan can reside and a fitting playground for it. In this way, man unknowingly loses his understanding of the principles of being human, and of the worth and purpose of human existence. The laws from God and the covenant between God and man gradually fade away in man’s heart and man no longer seeks or pays heed to God. As time passes, man no longer understands why God created man, nor does he understand the words that come from the mouth of God or realize all that is from God. Man begins to resist the laws and decrees from God; the heart and spirit of man become deadened…. God loses the man of His original creation, and man loses the root of his beginning. This is the sorrow of this mankind.
from “God Is the Source of Man’s Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Mankind has developed through tens of thousands of years of history to get to where they are today. However, the mankind of My original creation has long ago sunk into degeneracy. They have already ceased to be what I want, and thus humanity, as they appear in My eyes, no longer deserves the name of mankind. They are rather the scum of mankind that Satan has taken captive, the rotten walking corpses that Satan lives in and in which it is clothed. People do not in the least believe in My existence, nor do they welcome My coming. Mankind only begrudgingly responds to My requests, temporarily acceding to them, and does not sincerely share in life’s joys and sorrows with Me. Since people see Me as inscrutable, they begrudgingly pretend to smile at Me, striking up an attitude of cozying up to one in power. This is because people have no knowledge of My work, much less of My will at present.
from “What It Means to Be a Real Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Man lost his God-fearing heart after being corrupted by Satan and lost the function that one of God’s creatures should have, becoming an enemy disobedient to God. Man lived under Satan’s domain and followed Satan’s orders; thus, God had no way to work among His creatures, and was all the more unable to win fear from His creatures. Man was created by God, and ought to worship God, but man actually turned his back to God and worshiped Satan. Satan became the idol in man’s heart. Thus God lost His standing in man’s heart, which is to say that He lost the meaning of His creation of man, and so to restore the meaning of His creation of man He must restore man’s original likeness and rid man of his corrupt disposition. To reclaim man from Satan, He must save man from sin. Only in this way can He gradually restore man’s original likeness and restore man’s original function, and in the end restore His kingdom. The ultimate destruction of those sons of disobedience will also be carried out in order to allow man to better worship God and better live upon the earth. Since God created man, He shall make man worship Him; since He wishes to restore man’s original function, He shall restore it completely, and without any adulteration. Restoring His authority means making man worship Him and making man obey Him; it means that He shall make man live because of Him and make His enemies perish because of His authority; it means that He will make every last part of Him persist among humanity and without any resistance by man. The kingdom He wishes to establish is His own kingdom. The humanity He wishes for is one that worships Him, one that completely obeys Him and has His glory. If He does not save corrupt humanity, the meaning of His creation of man will come to nothing; He will have no more authority among man, and His kingdom will no longer be able to exist upon the earth. If He does not destroy those enemies who are disobedient to Him, He will be unable to obtain His complete glory, nor will He be able to establish His kingdom upon the earth. These are the symbols of the completion of His work and the symbols of the completion of His great accomplishment: to utterly destroy those among humanity who are disobedient to Him, and to bring those who have been made complete into rest.
from “God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The Man’s Fellowship:
Why must God judge and chastise corrupt mankind, and what is the meaning of God’s judgment and chastisement of corrupt mankind? This truth is particularly important, for this involves the truth regarding visions of God’s work. If man’s faith in God is lacking in vision, then he would not know how to believe in God; even when man does believe in God, he would not be choosing the right way. What is the meaning of God’s judgment and chastisement of corrupt mankind, this mankind that resists Him and rebels against Him? We must first understand clearly that God is the Creator. Because He is the Creator, He has the authority to rule over, judge, and chastise the created. Also, God’s disposition is righteous and holy, and based on God’s disposition, God does not allow those humans who resist and rebel against Him to live in His presence. God does not allow filthy and corrupt things to exist in His presence. Therefore, God’s judgment and chastisement of corrupt mankind is completely reasonable and righteous, and it is determined by God’s disposition. We all know that God is righteous, and that God is the truth. From the disposition revealed by God we have already seen that God is the truth. God’s words are all truths. God created the heavens and earth and all things through His words. God’s words are able to create all things, and God’s words are the truth that is able to judge all things. During the last days, God is performing the work of judgment and chastisement of corrupt mankind. Some might ask: “Has God performed the work of judgment before? Has God performed the work of judgment and chastisement in other ages, ages before our time?” God has indeed performed much work of judgment and chastisement, only people have not witnessed it. Before there were humans, Satan resisted and rebelled against God, and how did God judge Satan? God banished Satan down to earth, and all those angels who followed Satan were also banished by God down to earth, together with Satan. God expelled them from heaven down to earth, and wasn’t this a judgment against Satan? This was a judgment against Satan, as well as a chastisement of it. Therefore, before there were humans, God had already judged and chastised Satan. We have written information regarding this matter. Before there was this mankind, were there any other humans or other creatures? There most certainly were. And did those other humans receive God’s judgment and chastisement? We can say with certainty that, all those who have been destroyed by God were humans who resisted and rebelled against God, that they all received the judgment and chastisement of God. This is undeniable. Therefore, ever since God created the heavens and earth and all things, God’s judgment and chastisement have always existed. This is one aspect of God’s work in ruling over all things, because God’s disposition remains the same and will never change. Today, God has initiated the judgment and chastisement of this corrupt mankind. In the past, all other human beings who rebelled against God and resisted God all received judgment and chastisement from God. We have seen that ever since there were human beings, and they rebelled against God and followed Satan, they have all lived amid God’s curse. There have been so many who have died from God’s chastisement because of their evildoing, and some were even annihilated. There have been so many who believed in God yet resisted God, and they have all died in the end. Some were punished in the spiritual realm, while some have received judgment and chastisement when they were still alive. Therefore, mankind has come to one conclusion: “Goodness will be rewarded with goodness, and evil with evil.” Isn’t this God’s judgment and chastisement? This is all God’s judgment and chastisement. On this day, God has initiated the work of judgment and chastisement in God’s house to save corrupt mankind. In accepting God’s work, we are also accepting God’s judgment and chastisement. When people rebel against God and resist God in experiencing God’s work, don’t they earn God’s judgment and chastisement? All people receive God’s judgment and chastisement. Most of the time people receive judgment and chastisement from God’s words, and they sometimes also receive judgment and chastisement of factual events, as well as receiving God’s punishments. We have seen all these things. Some say, “The unbelievers have never accepted God’s work of judgment and chastisement, will they be able to escape God’s judgment and chastisement?” No, they shall also receive God’s judgment and chastisement. Regardless of whether people accept God’s work in the last days, all of them must still receive God’s judgment and chastisement, for no one can escape God’s judgment and chastisement, and this is fact. Now, those religious figures have also not accepted God’s judgment and chastisement, so can they escape God’s judgment and chastisement? No. No one can escape the chastisement that God has predetermined for man. It’s just a question of time, and everyone has their own individual end. This end is also determined by God, and no one can escape it. From the end of mankind, we can see the judgment and chastisement that each one of them receives. Some accept God’s judgment and chastisement, attain salvation from God, completely return to God, and the end for them is a good destination—entering the kingdom, gaining eternal life, and they are saved. Those who do not accept God’s judgment and chastisement, that is, those who do not accept God’s work will eventually suffer perdition and destruction. This is their judgment and chastisement that has been predetermined by God, and the final outcome for them is also determined by God’s judgment and chastisement. There are many leaders from the religious community who are resisting God, and what is the final outcome for them? If they do not repent, in the end they will most certainly sink into destruction and perdition, for no one can escape God’s judgment and chastisement. This is absolute. We have accepted God’s judgment and chastisement today, that means we have accepted God’s work of mankind’s salvation. That is, we are accepting and experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement in a positive way, eventually attaining true repentance, eventually coming to know God and gaining transformation of our life disposition. Such a judgment and chastisement is our salvation. As for those who refuse to accept God’s judgment and chastisement, what is their end? It is punishment, they shall ultimately suffer perdition and destruction. Such is their fate for running away from God’s judgment and chastisement.
from “God Performing Work in Different Ways to Save Mankind Has Tremendous Meaning” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (III)
“Why does God want to judge and chastise us? Why do we have to accept God’s judgment and chastisement?” This requires some consideration. After you give it some careful thought, you might be able to understand God’s intentions. Let’s read some of God’s words: “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, nor would he be able to turn his old knowledge of God into a new one” (“Only Those Who Know God Can Bear Testimony to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From these words, you can understand God’s intentions. God’s work of judgment and chastisement is intended to allow people to know God, so there is deep meaning in this work. So, how will we attain salvation? It is by knowing God’s disposition that we will reach this result. By experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement we come to know the righteousness, majesty, wrath and holiness of God’s disposition. We will see our own unbearable filthiness; we will see that we are corrupt and disobedient and that we often resist God; we will see that we follow Satan and betray God, and that we are essentially of Satan. In this way, we will begin to feel true repentance and will be able to turn our backs on Satan and return to God. This is all the result of knowing the disposition of God. If there was no judgment and chastisement from God, we would not be able to know God’s righteous disposition. If we aren’t able to know God’s righteous disposition, will we be able to truly change? Will we be able to revere God in our hearts? Will we be able to know the essence of our corruption? Will we be able to hate Satan? Will we be able to forsake Satan, return to God and submit to God? This would all be beyond our reach, so God’s work of judgment and chastisement has great significance.
from “The Importance of Knowing God and the Way to Know God” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (I)