2. How God’s work of judgment in the last days purifies and saves mankind
Bible Verses for Reference:
“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).
“Sanctify them through Your truth: Your word is truth. As you have sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth” (Jhn 17:17–19).
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.
—Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh
Christ of the last days 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. All these different 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 about 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
Today, God has become flesh primarily to complete the work of “the Word appearing in the flesh,” to use the word to make man perfect, and make man accept the dealing with the word and the refinement of the word. In His words He causes you to gain provision and gain life; in His words you see His work and deeds. God uses the word to chastise and refine you, and thus, if you suffer hardship, it is also because of the word of God. Today, God does work not with facts, but with words. Only after His word has come upon you can the Holy Spirit work within you and cause you to suffer pain or feel sweetness. Only the word of God can bring you into reality, and only the word of God is capable of making you perfect. And so, at the very least you must understand this: The work done by God during the last days is principally the use of His word to make every person perfect and to guide man. All the work that He does is through the word; He does not use facts to chastise you. There are times when some people resist God. God does not cause you great discomfort, your flesh is not chastised, nor do you suffer hardship—but as soon as His word comes upon you, and refines you, it is unbearable for you. Is that not so? During the time of the service-doers, God said to throw man into the bottomless pit. Did man really arrive at the bottomless pit? Simply through the use of words to refine man, man entered into the bottomless pit. And so, during the last days, when God becomes flesh, He principally uses the word to accomplish all and make all clear. Only in His words can you see what He is; only in His words can you see that He is God Himself. When God incarnate comes to earth, He does no other work but the speaking of words—thus there is no need for facts; words suffice. That is because He has principally come to do this work, to allow man to behold His power and supremacy in His words, to allow man to see in His words how He humbly hides Himself, and to allow man to know His entirety in His words. All that He has and all that He is are in His words. His wisdom and wondrousness are in His words. In this are you made to see the many methods with which God speaks His words. Most of God’s work during all this time has been provision, revelation, and dealing to man. He does not curse a person lightly, and even when He does, it is through the word that He curses them. And so, in this age of God become flesh, do not try to see God heal the sick and cast out demons again, and stop constantly looking for signs—there is no point! Those signs cannot make man perfect! To speak plainly: Today, the real God Himself of the flesh does not act; He only speaks. This is the truth! He uses words to make you perfect, and uses words to feed and water you. He also uses words to work, and He uses words in place of facts to make you know His reality. If you are capable of perceiving this manner of God’s work, then it is difficult to be negative. Instead of focusing on things that are negative, you should focus only on that which is positive—which is to say, regardless of whether or not the words of God are fulfilled, or whether or not there is the advent of facts, God causes man to gain life from His words, and this is the greatest of all signs; and even more so, it is an undisputable fact. This is the best evidence through which to know God, and is an even greater sign than signs. Only these words can make man perfect.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. All Is Achieved by the Word of God
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. … 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?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. All Is Achieved by the Word of God
During the last days, God has come chiefly in order to speak His words. He speaks from the perspective of the Spirit, from the perspective of man, and from a third person perspective; He speaks in different ways, using one way for a period of time, and He uses the method of speaking to change the notions of man and remove the image of the vague God from man’s heart. This is the main work done by God. Because man believes that God has come to heal the sick, to cast out demons, to perform miracles, and to bestow material blessings upon man, God carries out this stage of work—the work of chastisement and judgment—in order to remove such things from the notions of man, so that man may know the reality and normality of God, and so that the image of Jesus may be removed from his heart and replaced by a new image of God. As soon as the image of God within man becomes old, then it becomes an idol. When Jesus came and carried out that stage of work, He did not represent the entirety of God. He performed some signs and wonders, spoke some words, and was ultimately crucified. He represented one part of God. He could not represent all that is of God, but rather He represented God in doing one part of God’s work. That is because God is so great, and so wondrous, and He is unfathomable, and because God only does one part of His work in every age. 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
Though My words may be stern, they are all said for man’s salvation, as I am only speaking words and not punishing man’s flesh. These words cause man to live in the light, to know that the light exists, to know that the light is precious, and, even more so, to know how beneficial these words are to them, as well as to know that God is salvation. Though I have uttered many words of chastisement and judgment, what they represent has not been done unto you in deed. I have come to do My work and to speak My words, and though My words may be strict, they are spoken in judgment of your corruption and your rebelliousness. The purpose of My doing this remains to save man from Satan’s domain; I am using My words to save man. My purpose is not to harm man with My words. My words are stern in order to achieve results in My work. Only through such work can man come to know themselves and break away from their rebellious disposition. The greatest significance of the work of words is allowing people to put the truth into practice after having understood it, to achieve changes in their disposition, and to gain knowledge of themselves and of the work of God. Only doing the work by way of speaking words can make possible the communication between God and man, and only words can explain the truth. Working in this way is the best means of conquering man; apart from the utterance of words, no other method is capable of giving people a clearer understanding of the truth and the work of God. Thus, in His final stage of work, God speaks to man in order to unlock for them all the truths and mysteries that they do not yet understand, allowing them to gain from God the true way and the life, thereby meeting His will. The purpose of God’s work on man is to enable them to meet God’s will, and it is done to bring them salvation. Therefore, during the time of His salvation of man, He does not do the work of punishing them. While bringing salvation to man, God does not punish evil or reward good, nor does He reveal the destinations of various kinds of people. Rather, only after the final stage of His work is complete will He do the work of punishing evil and rewarding good, and only then will He reveal the ends of all the different sorts of people. Those who are punished will be those who are actually unable to be saved, while those who are saved will be those who have obtained God’s salvation during the time of His salvation of man. While God’s work of salvation is being done, every single person who can be saved will be saved as far as possible, and none of them discarded, for the purpose of God’s work is to save man. All those who, during the time of God’s salvation of man, are unable to achieve a change in their disposition—as well as all those who are unable to submit to God completely—will become objects for punishment. This stage of work—the work of words—will unlock for people all of the ways and mysteries that they do not understand, so that they can understand the will of God and God’s requirements of them, and so that they can have the prerequisites to put God’s words into practice and achieve changes in their disposition. God uses only words to do His work and does not punish people for being a little rebellious; this is because now is the time of the work of salvation. If anyone who acts rebelliously were punished, then no one would have the opportunity to be saved; everyone would be punished and fall into Hades. The purpose of words that judge man is to allow them to know themselves and submit to God; it is not to punish them with such judgment.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. You Should Put Aside the Blessings of Status and Understand God’s Will to Bring Salvation to Man
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
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
God uses His judgment to make man perfect, He has loved man, and saved man—but how much is contained within His love? There is judgment, majesty, wrath, and curse. Though God cursed man in the past, He did not completely cast man into the bottomless pit, but used that means to refine man’s faith; He did not put man to death, but acted in order to make man perfect. The substance of the flesh is that which is of Satan—God said it exactly right—but the facts carried out by God are not completed according to His words. He curses you so that you might love Him, and so that you might know the substance of the flesh; He chastises you so that you might be awakened, to allow you to know the deficiencies within you, and to know man’s utter unworthiness. Thus, God’s curses, His judgment, and His majesty and wrath—they are all in order to make man perfect. All that God does today, and the righteous disposition that He makes plain within you—it is all in order to make man perfect. Such is the love of God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God
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 of Him or to harbor any designs on 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. Beholding the Appearance of God in His Judgment and Chastisement