9. The Notion of the Religious World That: “By Believing in the Lord, They Have Already Been Justified by Faith and Attained Salvation Through Their Faith, and They Do Not Need to Accept the Judgment Work of the Last Days”
In the Bible, Paul says, “That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Romans 10:9–10). Because of this, the religious world thinks that when the Lord returns, they will be raptured directly to the kingdom of heaven, so the Lord does not need to perform the work of judgment in the last days.
Words From the Bible
“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” (Matthew 7:21–23).
“Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the son stays ever” (John 8:34–35).
“For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26–27).
“You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45).
“Without holiness no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).
“Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14).
“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” (John 16:12–13).
“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).
Words of Almighty God of the Last Days
At the time, Jesus’ work was the work to redeem all mankind. The sins of all who believed in Him were forgiven; as long as you believed in Him, He would redeem you; if you believed in Him, you were no longer of sin, you were relieved of your sins. This is what it meant to be saved, and to be justified by faith. Yet in those who believed, there remained that which was rebellious and opposed God, and which still had to be slowly removed. Salvation did not mean man had been completely gained by Jesus, but that man was no longer of sin, that he had been forgiven his sins. Provided you believed, you would never more be of sin.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Vision of God’s Work (2)
As man sees it, God’s crucifixion had already concluded the work of God’s incarnation, redeemed all of mankind, and allowed Him to seize the key to Hades. Everyone thinks God’s work has been fully accomplished. In fact, from God’s perspective, only a small part of His work had been accomplished. All He had done was to redeem mankind; He had not conquered mankind, let alone changed man’s satanic countenance. That is why God says, “Although My incarnate flesh went through the pain of death, that was not the whole goal of My incarnation. Jesus is My beloved Son and was nailed to the cross for Me, but He did not exhaustively conclude My work. He only did a portion of it.” Thus God initiated the second round of plans to continue the work of the incarnation. God’s ultimate intention was to perfect and to gain all of the people rescued from Satan’s clutches, which was why God prepared, once again, to brave the danger of coming into the flesh.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Work and Entry (6)
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
Though Jesus did much work among man, He only completed the redemption of all mankind and became man’s sin offering; He did not rid man of all his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to become the sin offering and bear the sins of man, but it also required God to do even greater work to rid man completely of his satanically corrupted disposition. And so, now that man has been forgiven of his sins, God has returned to the flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment. 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 they shall gain the truth, the way, and the life.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Preface
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. The majority of mankind sin in the day only to confess in the evening. This way, even though the sin offering is forever effective for man, it will not be able to save man from sin. Only half the work of salvation has been completed, for man still has a corrupt disposition. … 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. If God did not destroy the wicked, but instead allowed them to remain, then every human would still be unable to enter into rest, and God would not be able to bring all of humanity into a better realm. Such work would not be complete. When His work is finished, the whole of humanity will be entirely holy; only in this way will God be able to live in rest peacefully.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together
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