3. The Significance of God’s Work of Judgment and Chastisement
Relevant Words of God:
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.
from “Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in 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.
from “Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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.
from “God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In His final work of concluding the age, God’s disposition is one of chastisement and judgment, in which He reveals all that is unrighteous, in order to publicly judge all peoples, and to perfect those who love Him with a sincere heart. Only a disposition such as this can bring the age to an end. The last days have already arrived. All things in creation will be separated according to their kind, and divided into different categories based on their nature. This is the moment when God reveals humanity’s outcome and their destination. If people do not undergo chastisement and judgment, then there will be no way of exposing their disobedience and unrighteousness. Only through chastisement and judgment can the outcome of all creation be revealed. Man only shows his true colors when he is chastised and judged. Evil shall be put with evil, good with good, and all humanity shall be separated according to their kind. Through chastisement and judgment, the outcome of all creation will be revealed, so that the evil may be punished and the good rewarded, and all people become subject to the dominion of God. All this work must be achieved through righteous chastisement and judgment. Because man’s corruption has reached its peak and his disobedience become exceedingly severe, only God’s righteous disposition, one that is principally compounded of chastisement and judgment and is revealed during the last days, can fully transform and complete man. Only this disposition can expose evil and thus severely punish all the unrighteous.
from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Today God judges you, chastises you, and condemns you, but you must know that the point of your condemnation is for you to know yourself. He condemns, curses, judges, and chastises so that you might know yourself, so that your disposition might change, and, moreover, so that you might know your worth, and see that all of God’s actions are righteous and in accordance with His disposition and the requirements of His work, that He works in accordance with His plan for man’s salvation, and that He is the righteous God who loves, saves, judges, and chastises man. If you only know that you are of lowly status, that you are corrupt and disobedient, but do not know that God wishes to make plain His salvation through the judgment and chastisement that He does in you today, then you have no way of gaining experience, much less are you capable of continuing forward. God has not come to kill or destroy, but to judge, curse, chastise, and save. Until His 6,000-year management plan comes to a close—before He reveals the outcome of each category of man—God’s work on earth will be for the sake of salvation; its purpose is purely to make those who love Him complete—thoroughly so—and to bring them into submission under His dominion. No matter how God saves people, it is all done by making them break away from their old satanic nature; that is, He saves them by having them seek life. If they do not do so, then they will have no way to accept God’s salvation. Salvation is the work of God Himself, and the seeking for life is something that man must take on in order to accept salvation. In the eyes of man, salvation is the love of God, and the love of God cannot be chastisement, judgment, and curses; salvation must contain love, compassion, and, moreover, words of solace, as well as boundless blessings bestowed by God. People believe that when God saves man, He does so by moving them with His blessings and grace, so that they can give their hearts to God. That is to say, His touching man is His saving them. This sort of salvation is done by striking a deal. Only when God grants them a hundredfold will man come to submit before God’s name and strive to do well for Him and bring Him glory. This is not what God intends for mankind. God has come to work on earth in order to save corrupt mankind; there is no falsehood in this. If there were, He would certainly not have come to do His work in person. In the past, His means of salvation involved showing the utmost love and compassion, such that He gave His all to Satan in exchange for the whole of mankind. The present is nothing like the past: The salvation bestowed upon you today occurs at the time of the last days, during the classification of each according to kind; the means of your salvation is not love or compassion, but chastisement and judgment, in order that man may be more thoroughly saved. Thus, all that you receive is chastisement, judgment, and merciless smiting, but know this: In this heartless smiting there is not the slightest punishment. Regardless of how harsh My words might be, what befall you are but a few words that might appear utterly heartless to you, and no matter how angry I might be, what rain upon you are still words of teaching, and I do not mean to harm you or put you to death. Is this not all fact? Know that nowadays, whether it be righteous judgment or heartless refinement and chastisement, everything is for the sake of salvation. Regardless of whether today each is classified according to kind or the categories of man are laid bare, the purpose of all of God’s words and work is to save those who truly love God. Righteous judgment is brought to purify man, and heartless refinement is done to cleanse them; harsh words or chastening are both done to purify and are for the sake of salvation. Thus, today’s method of salvation is unlike that of the past. Today, you are brought salvation through righteous judgment, and this is a good tool for classifying you each according to kind. Moreover, ruthless chastisement serves as your utmost salvation—and what have you to say in the face of such chastisement and judgment? Have you not always enjoyed salvation, from start to finish? You have seen God incarnate and realized His omnipotence and wisdom; in addition, you have experienced repeated smiting and discipline. However, have you not also received supreme grace? Are your blessings not greater than those of anyone else? Your graces are more bounteous even than the glory and riches enjoyed by Solomon! Think about it: If My intention in coming were to condemn and punish you rather than save you, could your days have lasted so long? Could you sinful beings of flesh and blood have survived until today? If My goal were merely to punish you, then why would I have become flesh and embarked upon such a great enterprise? Could punishing you mere mortals not simply be done by uttering a single word? Would I still need to destroy you after purposely condemning you? Do you still not believe these words of Mine? Could I save man merely through love and compassion? Or could I only use the crucifixion to save man? Is My righteous disposition not more conducive to making man completely obedient? Is it not more capable of thoroughly saving man?
from “You Should Put Aside the Blessings of Status and Understand God’s Will to Bring Salvation to Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In truth, 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.
from “Only the Perfected Can Live a Meaningful Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
All of you live in a land of sin and licentiousness, and you are all licentious and sinful. Today you are not just able to look upon God, but more importantly, you have received chastisement and judgment, you have received truly profound salvation, which is to say, you have received God’s greatest love. In all that He does, God is truly loving toward you. He has no ill intention. It is because of your sins that He judges you, so that you will examine yourselves and receive this tremendous salvation. All this is done for the purpose of making man complete. From beginning to end, God has been doing His utmost to save man, and has no desire to completely destroy the men He created with His own hands. Today, He has come among you to work; is this not salvation all the more? If He hated you, would He still do work of such magnitude in order to personally guide you? Why should He suffer so? God does not hate you or have any ill intentions toward you. You should know that God’s love is the truest love. It is only because people are disobedient that He has to save them through judgment; if not for this, saving them would be impossible. Because you do not know how to live and are not even aware of how to live, and because you live in this licentious and sinful land and are yourselves licentious and filthy devils, He cannot bear to let you become even more depraved, He cannot bear to see you living in this filthy land as you do now, trampled on by Satan at will, and He cannot bear to let you fall into Hades. He only wants to gain this group of people and thoroughly save you. This is the main purpose of doing the work of conquest on you—it is just for salvation. If you cannot see that everything done on you is love and salvation, if you think it is just a method, a way to torment man, and something untrustworthy, then you might as well go back to your world to suffer pain and hardship! If you are willing to be in this stream, and to enjoy this judgment and this immense salvation, to enjoy all of these blessings, blessings that cannot be found anywhere in the human world, and to enjoy this love, then be good: Stay in this stream to accept the work of conquest so you can be made perfect. Today, you may suffer a little pain and refinement because of God’s judgment, but there is value and meaning to suffering this pain. Though people are refined and mercilessly exposed by God’s chastisement and judgment—the aim being to punish them for their sins, to punish their flesh—none of this work is intended to condemn their flesh to destruction. The severe disclosures by the word are all for the purpose of leading you onto the right path. You have personally experienced so much of this work and, clearly, it has not led you onto an evil path! It is all in order to make you live out normal humanity, and it is all achievable by your normal humanity. Every step of God’s work is based upon your needs, according to your weaknesses, and according to your actual stature, and no unbearable burden is placed on you. This is not clear to you today, and you feel as if I am being hard on you, and indeed you always believe that the reason I chastise, judge and reproach you every day is because I hate you. But although what you suffer is chastisement and judgment, this is actually love for you, and it is the greatest protection.
from “The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God became flesh in the most backward and filthy place of all, and it is only in this way that God is able to clearly show the entirety of His holy and righteous disposition. And through what is His righteous disposition shown? It is shown when He judges man’s sins, when He judges Satan, when He abhors sin, and when He despises the enemies that oppose and rebel against Him. The words I speak today are to judge man’s sins, to judge man’s unrighteousness, to curse man’s disobedience. Man’s crookedness and deceitfulness, man’s words and deeds—all that is at odds with God’s will must be subjected to judgment, and all of man’s disobedience denounced as sin. His words revolve around the principles of judgment; He uses judgment of man’s unrighteousness, the curse of man’s rebelliousness, and exposure of man’s ugly faces to make manifest His own righteous disposition. Holiness is a representation of His righteous disposition, and in fact God’s holiness actually is His righteous disposition. Your corrupt dispositions are the context of today’s words—I use them to speak and to judge, and to carry out the work of conquest. This alone is the real work, and this alone fully makes God’s holiness shine. If there is no trace of a corrupt disposition in you, then God will not judge you, nor will He show you His righteous disposition. Since you have a corrupt disposition, God will not let you off, and it is through this that His holiness is shown. If God were to see that man’s filthiness and rebelliousness were too great but He did not speak or judge you, nor chastise you for your unrighteousness, then this would prove that He is not God, for He would have no hatred of sin; He would be just as filthy as man. Today, it is because of your filth that I judge you, and it is because of your corruption and rebelliousness that I chastise you. I am not flaunting My power to you or deliberately oppressing you; I do these things because you, who have been born in this land of filth, have been so severely contaminated by filth. You have simply lost your integrity and humanity and you have become like pigs born in the dirtiest corners of the world, and so it is because of this that you are judged and that I unleash My wrath upon you. It is precisely because of this judgment that you have been able to see that God is the righteous God, and that God is the holy God; it is precisely because of His holiness and His righteousness that He judges you and unleashes His wrath upon you. Because He can reveal His righteous disposition when He sees the rebelliousness of man, and because He can reveal His holiness when He sees the filth of man, this is enough to show that He is God Himself, who is holy and pristine, and yet lives in the land of filth.
from “How the Effects of the Second Step of the Work of Conquest Are Achieved” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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, and nor would man be able to turn his old knowledge of God into a new one. For the sake of His testimony, and for the sake of His management, He makes His entirety public, thus enabling man, through His public appearance, to arrive at knowledge of God, to be transformed in his disposition, and to bear resounding testimony to God. The transformation of the disposition of man is achieved through many different kinds of God’s work; without such changes in his disposition, man would be unable to bear testimony to God and to be after God’s heart. The transformation of man’s disposition signifies that man has freed himself from Satan’s bondage and from the influence of darkness, and has truly become a model and specimen of God’s work, a witness of God, and one who is after God’s heart. Today, God incarnate has come to do His work on earth, and He requires that man achieve knowledge of Him, obedience to Him, testimony to Him, to know His practical and normal work, to obey all of His words and work which do not accord with the notions of man, and to bear testimony to all the work He does to save man, as well as all the deeds He accomplishes to conquer man. Those who bear testimony to God must have knowledge of God; only this kind of testimony is accurate and real, and only this kind of testimony can shame Satan. God uses those who have come to know Him through undergoing His judgment and chastisement, dealing and pruning, to bear testimony to Him. He uses those who have been corrupted by Satan to bear testimony to Him, and so too does He use those whose disposition has changed, and who have thus gained His blessings, to bear testimony to Him. He does not need man to praise Him with his mouth, nor does He need the praise and testimony of the ilk of Satan, who have not been saved by Him.
from “Only Those Who Know God Can Bear Testimony to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh