Question 2: Having believed in the Lord for so many years, we have always felt that as long as one can practice humility, tolerance and love brothers and sisters, and can follow the example of Paul by expending and laboring for the Lord, he is following the way of the Lord, and he will be raptured into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord returns. Just as Paul said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness” (2Ti 4:7–8). But you have witnessed that when we believe in the Lord, we must receive the judgment work of Almighty God in the last days. When we receive cleansing, we will be commended by God and admitted in the kingdom of heaven. I have a question: We believe in the Lord for so many years, and we expend and labor for the Lord; can we enter the kingdom of heaven without receiving the judgment work of Almighty God in the last days?
Answer: Many believers of the Lord feel that following the example of Paul by expending and laboring for the Lord is the same as following the Lord's way and qualifying for admission to the kingdom of heaven when the Lord returns. This has become the conception of many people. Is this conception based on the Lord's word? Does it please the Lord's heart if we pursue it like this? Are we truly following the Lord's way by laboring for the Lord like Paul? Will we qualify for the kingdom of heaven? The Lord Jesus said, “Not every one that said to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name? and in Your name have cast out devils? and in Your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity” (Mat 7:21–23). The Lord Jesus said it very clearly. Only those who follow the will of God could enter the kingdom of heaven. The Lord Jesus did not say those who sacrifice, expend, and labor for the Lord could enter the kingdom of heaven. Many of those who preach, cast out devils, and work wonders in the name of the Lord are people who labor. Not only are they not praised by the Lord, they are professed by the Lord as workers of iniquity. Paul said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness” (2Ti 4:7–8). This saying contradicts the word of the Lord Jesus. It is fundamentally incompatible with the intention of the Lord. To be brought into the kingdom of heaven, there is only one affirmed way, which is what the Lord Jesus had clearly said: “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Mat 25:6). “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:20). “To sup with the Lord” refers to receiving God’s judgment work in the last days. By receiving the judgment and chastisement of God, we understand all the truths and are cleansed and made perfect, these are the results of supping with the Lord. So we can be certain that only by receiving cleansing from the judgment and chastisement of Almighty God in the last days can one enter the kingdom of heaven.
We all know that only the Lord Jesus Christ is the truth, the way and the life. So how one can enter the kingdom of heaven should be based on the word of the Lord Jesus as final. Paul was only an apostle who spread the gospel. He could not speak on behalf of the Lord. The way he chose was not necessarily the way to the kingdom of heaven because the Lord Jesus did not witness Paul's way as correct. Moreover, the Lord Jesus did not tell people to follow the example of Paul. If we only go by Paul's word in choosing our way to the kingdom of heaven, it is easy to go astray. The Lord Jesus said : “… but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.” This sentence tells us that we must believe in the Lord's word. The only way to the kingdom of heaven is by following the will of God. When the Lord Jesus returns in the last days to do the work of judgment starting with the house of God, if we hear God's voice, receive God's work in the last days, and manage to receive cleansing and be made perfect by God's judgment and chastisement, we will be the type of people who obey the will of God and qualify to enter the kingdom of heaven. This is absolutely certain. Those who only rely on enthusiasm to preach for the Lord, cast out devils and work wonders in the name of the Lord, neither pay attention to practicing the word of the Lord nor seek to receive the work of God at present. Can these people know the Lord? Do they follow the will of God? Why did the Lord Jesus say, “I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity” (Mat 7:23)? This passage is really thought-provoking! We all know that back then when the Pharisees of Judaism traveled all over the land and sea to preach the gospel, they endured much hardship and paid many prices. On appearance, they seemed to be loyal to God, but actually they only emphasized on engaging in religious rituals and following regulations instead of practicing God's word. They did not follow God's commandments. They even abolished God’s commandments. What they did completely contradicted God's will and deviated from God's way. So the Lord Jesus condemned and cursed them: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Mat 23:15). It can be seen in what we assume: “As long as one works hard for the Lord, he will be brought into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord comes.” This view is purely the conception and imagination of man that simply do not agree with the Lord’s word. In seeking salvation and entry into the kingdom of heaven, we must do it according to the Lord Jesus’ word as final. If we ignore the Lord’s words, but take Paul’s words as basis and Paul’s practice as our goal of pursuit, how can we win the praise of the Lord?
In fact, before receiving the work of Almighty God in the last days, we all had this kind of conception and imagination that as long as we uphold the Lord's name, expend, preach and work for Him, we are practicing the Lord's word and following His way, and we will be brought into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord comes. Later, I received the work of Almighty God in the last days and saw His words. I will read them. “Regarding work, man believes that work is to run around for God, preach everywhere, and expend for His sake. Though this belief is correct, it is too one-sided; what God asks of man is not solely to run around for Him; beyond just this, this work is concerned with ministry and provision within the spirit. … Work refers not to running around for God, but to whether the life of man and what man lives out are able to give God enjoyment. Work refers to people using their devotion to God and their knowledge of God to testify about God, and also to minister to man. This is man’s responsibility and this is what all man should understand. One could say that your entry is your work, and that you are seeking to enter during the course of working for God. Experiencing God’s work does not merely mean that you know how to eat and drink of His word; more importantly, you must know how to testify about God and be able to serve God and be able to minister to and provide for man. This is work, and it is also your entry; this is what every person should accomplish. There are many who only focus on running around for God and preaching everywhere, yet overlook their individual experience and neglect their entry into the spiritual life. This is what has led those who serve God to become those who resist God” (“Work and Entry (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Upon seeing the word of Almighty God, I realized that God's requirement for man's work does not refer alone to suffering, running to and fro, and spending for God. It mainly refers to our ability to practice and experience God's word, our ability in articulating our understanding of God's word from practical experience, and our guidance for brothers and sisters to enter the reality of God's word. Only this kind of work will satisfy God's will. Recalling my belief in the Lord for many years, although I have done preaching work everywhere in the name of the Lord in storm and rain, endured some hardship and paid some prices, I haven't paid attention to practicing and experiencing the Lord's word, so I could not talk about the experiences and testimonies of how I practiced the Lord's word. In my preaching work, I could only speak about some empty words and doctrines from the Bible, and teach brothers and sisters to follow some religious rituals and rules. How could this have led brothers and sisters into the reality of God's word? Not only that, when I did preaching work, I often showed off myself to let people look up to me, and often went against the Lord's requirements by acting according to my own ideas. By sacrificing something, enduring some hardship, and paying some prices for the Lord, I thought that I was the one who loved the Lord most, and I was most faithful to the Lord. I was shameless enough to demand the blessing of the kingdom of heaven from God while positioning myself high above and looking down on those brothers and sisters who were passive and weak. Since I only focused on relying on enthusiasm to work for the Lord but did not pay attention to practicing and experiencing the Lord's word, after believing in the Lord for many years, I ended up not having the slightest knowledge of the Lord and fear of God in my heart, not to mention the transformation of my life disposition. Because I had believed in the Lord for many years, and I had been expending and enduring much hardship, I was becoming increasingly arrogant and insubordinate to anyone. I was even engaged in frauds and deception, revealing Satan's disposition in every aspect. The way I labored actually had nothing to do with the reality of practicing the Lord's word and obeying the Lord. How could this have led to understanding the Lord? For a person like me who had no reality of truth and understanding of the Lord, wasn't everything I did humiliating and resisting the Lord? How could this be exalting and witnessing for the Lord? After experiencing the work of Almighty God, I realized that no matter how many years a person has believed in the Lord, no matter how hard he has labored, if he has not experienced the judgment and chastisement of God in the last days, it is impossible for him to become a person who follows God's will and become someone who truly obeys and worships God. This is absolutely true.
Let’s take a look at those religious pastors and elders. Although they have cast aside everything to labor for the Lord, what kind of work have they been doing? What is the nature of their work? Having believed in the Lord for many years, they have never pursued the truth. They failed to receive the work of the Holy Spirit, and explain to us how to resolve the practical problems of our faith and entry in life. They often talk about some empty doctrines in the Bible to deceive the believers, and take every opportunity to witness how far they have trekked in preaching for the Lord, how much work they have done, how much pain they have endured, how many churches they have built, etc., to establish themselves for others to worship and follow. As a result, after working for so many years, not only have they failed in leading brothers and sisters to understand the truth and know God, but they let brothers and sisters worship and follow them, embark on the path of worshiping man and betraying God unknowingly. So let's think, are these pastors and elders following the Lord's way by working and expending like that? Aren't they doing evil against the Lord? Particularly the way they treat the work of Almighty God in the last days, most pastors and elders actually realize the word expressed by Almighty God is the truth, that the work of Almighty God is the work of the Holy Spirit, but they do not seek and study it. In order to protect their status and livelihood, they frantically contrive rumors and spread all kinds of absurdity and fallacies instead to condemn and resist Almighty God, and lock down the religious community to an air-tight and water-proof condition. They do not allow anyone to seek and study the true way, and bar people from entering the church to witness God's work. They even collude with the evil Chinese Communist Party to capture and persecute those who witness for Almighty God. Aren't they blatantly acting against God? Their sins against God are even worse than the sins of the Pharisees against the Lord Jesus in the past. Much worse! According to these facts, can we still say that we are following God's will when we are expending and laboring in the name of the Lord? Can we still say that as long as we are holding on to the Lord's name, keeping the Lord's way, and we are trekking and expending for the Lord, we will qualify to be brought into the kingdom of heaven? We will understand more after reading several more passages of Almighty God's word.
Almighty God says, “You say you have always suffered whilst following God, that you have followed Him through thick and thin, and have shared with Him the good times and the bad, but you have not lived out the words spoken by God; you wish only to run about for God and expend yourself for God each day, and have never thought to live out a life of meaning. You also say, ‘In any case, I believe God is righteous. I have suffered for Him, run around for Him, and devoted myself for Him, and I have worked hard despite not receiving any recognition; He is sure to remember me.’ It is true that God is righteous, yet this righteousness is untainted by any impurities: It contains no human will, and it is not tainted by the flesh, or by human transactions. All who are rebellious and in opposition, all who are not in compliance with His way, will be punished; none is forgiven, and none is spared!” (“The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“You must know what kind of people I desire; those who are impure are not permitted to enter into the kingdom, those who are impure are not permitted to besmirch the holy ground. Though you may have done much work, and worked for many years, in the end if you are still deplorably filthy, then it will be intolerable to the law of Heaven that you wish to enter My kingdom! From the foundation of the world until today, never have I offered easy access to My kingdom to those who curry favor with Me. This is a heavenly rule, and no one can break it! You must seek life. Today, those who will be made perfect are the same kind as Peter: They are those who seek changes in their own disposition, and who are willing to bear testimony to God and perform their duty as a creature of God. Only people such as this will be made perfect. If you only look to rewards, and do not seek to change your own life disposition, then all your efforts will be in vain—this is an unalterable truth!” (“Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). It is clearly said in the word of Almighty God. God is holy and righteous. God absolutely forbids any filthy and corrupt people to enter His kingdom.
Excerpted from the movie script of My Dream Of The Heavenly Kingdom