20. The Notion of the Religious World That: “The Judgment of the Great White Throne in the Last Days Is About Rewarding the Good and Punishing the Evil, It Is Not Salvation”
People in the religious world say: “The judgment of the great white throne that’s spoken about in the Bible will primarily target unbelievers and false believers, it will be about rewarding the good and punishing the evil. It is not salvation. But you say that God’s judgment is carried out in order to purify and save people. We think that this is inconsistent with the Bible, so we can’t accept this statement of yours.”
Words From the Bible
“With my soul have I desired You in the night; yes, with my spirit within me will I seek You early: for when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness” (Isaiah 26:9).
“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17).
“And if any man hears My words, and believes 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” (John 12:47–48).
“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” (John 17:17–19).
“Go your way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:9–10).
“And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, Jehovah is my God” (Zechariah 13:9).
Words of Almighty God of the Last Days
The work of the last days is to separate all according to their kind, and to conclude the management plan of God, for the time is near and the day of God has come. God brings all who enter His kingdom—all who are loyal to Him to the very end—into the age of God Himself. Yet prior to the arrival of the age of God Himself, God’s work is not to observe the deeds of man, or to inquire into the life of man, but to judge man’s disobedience, for God shall purify all those who come before His throne. All who have followed the footsteps of God to this day are those who come before the throne of God, and this being so, every single person who accepts God’s work in its final phase is the object of God’s purification. In other words, everyone who accepts God’s work in its final phase is the object of God’s judgment.
In the judgment beginning at the house of God spoken of in times past, the “judgment” of these words refers to the judgment that God today passes on those who come before His throne in the last days. There are, perhaps, those who believe in such supernatural imaginings as that, when the last days have arrived, God will erect a big table in the heavens, upon which a white tablecloth will be spread, and then, sitting upon a great throne with all men kneeling on the ground, He will reveal the sins of each man and thereby determine whether they are to ascend to heaven or be sent down to the lake of fire and brimstone. No matter what man imagines, it cannot alter the essence of God’s work. The imaginings of man are nothing but the constructs of man’s thoughts; they come from the brain of man, summed up and pieced together from what man has seen and heard. Therefore I say, however brilliant the images conceived, they are but cartoon drawings, and are incapable of substituting the plan of God’s work. Man, after all, has been corrupted by Satan, so how could he fathom the thoughts of God? Man conceives God’s work of judgment as something fantastic. He believes that since it is God Himself who does the work of judgment, then this work must be of the most tremendous scale, and incomprehensible to mortals, and must resound throughout the heavens and shake the earth; if not, how could it be the work of judgment by God? He believes that, as this is the work of judgment, then God must be particularly imposing and majestic as He works, and those being judged must be howling with tears and on their knees begging for mercy. Such scenes would surely be spectacular, and deeply affecting…. Everyone imagines God’s work of judgment to be miraculous. Do you know, however, that, at the time when God has long since begun His work of judgment among man, you remain nestled in lethargic slumber? That at the time when you think God’s work of judgment has formally begun, God will have already made heaven and earth anew? At that time, perhaps, you will have only just come to understand the meaning of life, but God’s merciless work of punishment shall bring you, still deep in sleep, into hell. Only then will you suddenly realize that God’s work of judgment has already concluded.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth
Some believe that God may at some unknown time come to earth and appear to man, whereupon He shall personally judge the whole of mankind, testing them one by one without anyone being left out. Those who think in this way do not know this stage of work of the incarnation. God does not judge man one by one, and He does not test man one by one; to do thus would not be the work of judgment. Is not the corruption of all mankind the same? Is not the essence of all mankind the same? What is judged is mankind’s corrupt essence, man’s essence corrupted by Satan, and all the sins of man. God does not judge the trifling and insignificant faults of man. The work of judgment is representative, and it is not carried out especially for a certain person. Rather, it is work in which a group of people are judged in order to represent the judgment of all of mankind. By personally carrying out His work on a group of people, God in the flesh uses His work to represent the work of the whole of mankind, after which it is gradually spread. This is also how the work of judgment is. God does not judge a certain kind of person or a certain group of people, but instead judges the unrighteousness of the whole of mankind—man’s opposition to God, for example, or man’s lack of fear for Him, or man’s disturbance of the work of God, and so on. What is judged is mankind’s essence of opposition to God, and this work is the work of conquest of the last days. The work and word of the incarnate God witnessed by man are the work of judgment before the great white throne during the last days, which was conceived by man during times past. The work that is currently being done by the incarnate God is exactly the judgment before the great white throne. The incarnate God of today is the God who judges the whole of mankind during the last days. This flesh and His work, His word, and His entire disposition are the entirety of Him. Although the scope of His work is limited, and does not directly involve the entire universe, the essence of the work of judgment is the direct judgment of all mankind—not only for the sake of the chosen people of China, nor for the sake of a small number of people. During the work of God in the flesh, although the scope of this work does not involve the entire universe, it represents the work of the entire universe, and after He concludes the work within the work scope of His flesh, He will immediately expand this work to the entire universe, in the same way that the gospel of Jesus spread throughout the universe following His resurrection and ascension. Regardless of whether it is the work of the Spirit or the work of the flesh, it is work that is carried out within a limited scope, but which represents the work of the entire universe. During the last days, God performs His work by appearing in His incarnate identity, and God in the flesh is the God who judges man before the great white throne. Regardless of whether He is the Spirit or the flesh, He who does the work of judgment is the God who judges mankind during the last days. This is defined based on His work, and it is not defined according to His external appearance or several other factors. Although man harbors notions about these words, no one can deny the fact of the incarnate God’s judgment and conquest of all mankind. Regardless of what man thinks of it, facts are, after all, facts. No one can say that “The work is done by God, but the flesh is not God.” This is nonsense, for this work can be done by no one except God in the flesh.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of the Incarnate God
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 you 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. You, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are therefore incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Concerning Appellations and Identity
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. … 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)
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
The purpose of God’s work of chastisement and judgment is in essence meant to purify humanity, for the sake of the ultimate rest; without such cleansing, none of humanity could be classified into different categories according to kind, or enter into rest. This work is humanity’s only path to enter into rest. Only God’s work of purification will cleanse humans of their unrighteousness, and only His work of chastisement and judgment will bring to light those disobedient elements of humanity, thereby separating those who can be saved from those who cannot, and those who will remain from those who will not. When this work ends, those people who are allowed to remain will all be cleansed and enter a higher state of humanity in which they will enjoy a more wonderful second human life upon the earth; in other words, they will commence their human day of rest, and coexist with God. After those who are not allowed to remain have been chastised and judged, their true colors will be entirely exposed, after which they will all be destroyed and, like Satan, will no longer be permitted to survive upon the earth. The humanity of the future will no longer include any of this type of people; such people are not fit to enter the land of the ultimate rest, nor are they fit to join in the day of rest that God and humanity will share, for they are the targets of punishment and are wicked, unrighteous people. They were redeemed once, and they have also been judged and chastised; they also once rendered service to God. However, when the final day comes, they will still be cast out and destroyed due to their wickedness and as a result of their disobedience and inability to be redeemed; they will never again come into being in the world of the future, and will no longer live among the human race of the future. Whether they are spirits of the dead or people still living in the flesh, all evildoers and all those who have not been saved will be destroyed once the holy among humanity enter into rest. As for these evildoing spirits and humans, or the spirits of righteous people and those who do righteousness, regardless of what era they are in, all those who commit evil will ultimately be destroyed, and all those who are righteous will survive. Whether a person or spirit will receive salvation is not entirely decided on the basis of the work of the final age; rather, it is determined by whether or not they have resisted or been disobedient toward God. People in the previous era who committed evil and could not attain salvation will, undoubtedly, be targets for punishment, and those in the current era who commit evil and cannot be saved will surely be targets for punishment, too. Humans are categorized on the basis of good and evil, not by which epoch they live in. Once thus categorized, they will not be punished or rewarded immediately; rather, God will only carry out His work of punishing evil and rewarding good after He has finished carrying out His work of conquest in the last days. Actually, He has been separating humans into good and evil ever since He started doing His work of mankind’s salvation. It is just that He will reward the righteous and punish the wicked only after His work has come to an end; it is not that He will separate them into categories upon the completion of His work and then immediately set about the task of punishing evil and rewarding good. Rather, this task will be done only when His work is wholly finished. The entire purpose behind God’s ultimate work of punishing evil and rewarding good is to thoroughly purify all humans so that He may bring a purely holy humanity into eternal rest. This stage of His work is the most crucial; it is the final stage of the whole of His work of management.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together
The work of judgment is God’s own work, so it must naturally be carried out by God Himself; it cannot be done by man in His stead. Because judgment is the use of the truth to conquer humankind, there is no question that God would still appear in the incarnate image to perform this work among man. That is to say, Christ of the last days shall use the truth to teach people across the world and make all truths known to them. This is God’s work of judgment. Many have a bad feeling about the second incarnation of God, for people find it difficult to believe that God would become flesh to do the work of judgment. Nevertheless, I must tell you that the work of God often goes far beyond the expectations of man, and is difficult for human minds to accept. For people are but maggots upon the earth, while God is the supreme One who fills the universe; the mind of man is like a pit of foul water that breeds only maggots, whereas each stage of the work directed by the thoughts of God is the distillation of God’s wisdom. People are always trying to contend with God, to which I say it is self-evident who will lose out in the end. I exhort you all not to think yourselves more valuable than gold. If others can accept the judgment of God, why can’t you? How much higher do you stand above others? If others can bow their heads before the truth, why can’t you, too? God’s work has an unstoppable momentum. He will not repeat the work of judgment again just because of the “contribution” you have made, and you will be overcome with regret at letting such a good opportunity slip by. If you do not believe My words, then just wait for that great white throne in the sky to pass judgment upon you! You must know that all of the Israelites spurned and denied Jesus, and yet the fact of Jesus’ redemption of mankind still extended throughout the universe and to the ends of the earth. Isn’t this a reality that God made long ago? If you are still waiting for Jesus to take you up to heaven, then I say that you are an obstinate piece of deadwood.[a] Jesus will not acknowledge a false believer such as you, who is disloyal to the truth and seeks only blessings. On the contrary, He will show no mercy in casting you into the lake of fire to burn for tens of thousands of years.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth
a. A piece of deadwood: a Chinese idiom, meaning “beyond help.”
Related Movie Extracts
Why Does the Lord Come Back to Do the Judgment Work in the Last Days?
God’s Judgment of the Last Days Is Salvation for Man
God Shall Judge and Purify All Who Come Before His Throne
Judgment Is God’s Primary Way to Perfect Man
Judgment and Chastisement Reveal God’s Salvation