The Judgment of the Great White Throne Has Begun
By Witri, Indonesia
After I found faith, I started learning how to pray and read the Bible and I did my utmost to follow the Lord’s words in daily life. Later, I watched lots of videos online about judgment in the last days. They mentioned this prophecy from Revelation: “And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:11–12). In the last days, the Lord Jesus sits on the great white throne in white robes and everyone kneels before Him. He judges each person according to their deeds in life. Those of sin go down to hell to be punished, and those not of sin are raptured up into the kingdom. These videos filled my mind with images of the Lord’s judgment. I believed His judgment in the last days would be as the videos said. I resolved to follow the Lord’s teachings so that when He returned to judge us, He would welcome me into the kingdom.
In 2004, Indonesia suffered a terrible tsunami that killed over 200,000 people. I realized this was God’s wrath and that He was warning us that the day of judgment would soon come. Over all my years of faith I’d done my utmost to practice the Lord’s teachings, but I just couldn’t put His words into practice or love others as myself. I got angry when I heard my mother-in-law criticize me to my sister-in-law and I resented her for it. I coveted wealth and followed worldly trends. The Bible says: “[Y]ou shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45). God is holy and the unholy can’t behold God’s face. But I was always sinning and confessing and hadn’t rid myself of sin at all. Would the returned Lord judge me and send me to hell? So I asked some pastors how to solve the problem of sinning. They said, “As long as we pray to the Lord, and confess and repent, He’ll forgive us our sins.” But this didn’t solve my problem. I kept sinning and confessing just like before. Every time I sinned, I would feel afraid. The Lord would come in the last days to judge us one by one by our actions. If I kept sinning, I’d be judged and condemned. How could I get into the kingdom? I felt so anxious.
In February 2018, my husband started joining gatherings online. He looked so happy every day and became a lot more engaged in his faith. This made me curious about what they were talking about in their gatherings. One day, my husband said, “The Lord Jesus has returned as Almighty God. He’s doing the work of judgment.” I was astounded. If the Lord Jesus had returned, He would be sitting on a great white throne in the sky, judging us one by one. This spectacle hadn’t been seen, so how could the last days’ judgment have begun already? When I said this to my husband he just laughed and said, “God’s work of judgment in the last days is not how we imagine it to be. God has come to the earth in the flesh and He is expressing the truth to judge us.” My doubts grew and I wondered: How could the Lord judge us by expressing words? I’d never heard any pastor or elder say such a thing. As my husband had only just accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days, he couldn’t explain it well, so he asked me to meet with people from The Church of Almighty God. I didn’t want to at first, but thinking that my husband was a thoughtful man and earnest in his faith, that he believed the Lord had returned and was doing judgment work, I reckoned he must have a good reason. To find out whether the Lord really had returned or not, I agreed to join their gatherings.
At a gathering, Sister Liu from the Church gave fellowship on my question: “The judgment of the great white throne in Revelation was a vision John saw on the island of Patmos prophesying the work God would do in the last days. It didn’t show the facts of God’s work. We can’t try to understand this prophecy using our notions and imaginings. The Bible says: ‘Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit’ (2 Peter 1:20–21). We must have a God-fearing heart when it comes to prophecies. Prophecies come from God and are mysterious, so only God can reveal their meaning. People only understand them once they’ve been fulfilled. If we interpret them literally, we’ll be prone to delimiting God’s work and offending God. The Pharisees went by the literal meaning of Scripture, imagining that the Messiah would be born into a palace and would come to power. But the exact opposite occurred. The Lord not only wasn’t born in a palace, but was born in a manger as the son of a carpenter, and He really didn’t come to power. The Pharisees stubbornly clung to their notions and refused to acknowledge the Lord as the Messiah. They could see His words and work had authority and power and that they came from God, yet still they resisted and condemned Him. They had the Lord crucified in the end. They offended God’s disposition and were cursed and punished by God. We must learn from the Pharisees and not try to understand prophecies and delimit God’s work with our own notions.”
I thought what this sister said was very enlightening, and that it accorded with the Bible. Prophecies come from God, and His thoughts are loftier than man’s. God’s wisdom is also loftier than man’s. Only God knows the details of how prophecies are to be fulfilled. How could man ever fathom God’s work? I realized I couldn’t delimit God’s work with my own notions. I asked the sister, “You testify that God has incarnated and come to earth in the last days, expressing the truth and doing judgment work. What does this mean? How’s this connected with the judgment of the great white throne in the Bible?”
The sister looked up these verses in the Bible: “And I saw another angel fly in the middle of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come” (Revelation 14:6–7). “For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22). “And has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man” (John 5:27). “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 12:48). And this one in 1 Peter: “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). She then gave fellowship: “These verses mention ‘having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth,’ ‘for the hour of his judgment is come,’ and ‘judgment must begin at the house of God.’ We can see that God comes to earth in the last days to do His work of judgment. One also says, ‘but has committed all judgment to the Son.’ ‘Son’ and ‘Son of man’ mean someone born of man and possessing normal humanity. Like the Lord Jesus, though He may look ordinary on the outside, He has God’s Spirit and a divine essence within Him. Neither God’s Spirit nor His spiritual body could be called the Son of man. These verses prove that God will incarnate as the Son of man in the last days to express the truth and perform the work of judgment, and this judgment begins with God’s house. This means those who hear God’s voice and come before His throne will be judged first.”
She then read some passages of Almighty God’s words: “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 substance of all mankind the same? What is judged is mankind’s corrupt substance, man’s substance 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 irreverence toward Him, or man’s disturbance of the work of God, and so on. What is judged is mankind’s substance 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” (“Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of the Incarnate God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Today’s work of conquest is intended to make it obvious what man’s end will be. Why do I say that today’s chastisement and judgment are judgment before the great white throne of the last days? Do you not see this? Why is the work of conquest the final stage? Is it not precisely to make manifest what kind of ending each class of man will meet? Is it not to allow everyone, in the course of the work of conquest of chastisement and judgment, to show their true colors and then afterward to be classified according to their kind? Rather than saying this is conquering mankind, it might be better to say that this is showing what kind of ending there will be for each class of person. This is about judging people’s sins and then revealing the various classes of person, thereby deciding whether they are evil or righteous. After the work of conquest, then comes the work of rewarding good and punishing evil. People who obey completely—meaning the thoroughly conquered—will be placed in the next step of spreading God’s work to the entire universe; the unconquered will be placed in darkness and will meet with calamity. Thus will man be classified according to kind, the evildoers grouped with evil, to be without the light of the sun ever again, and the righteous grouped with good, to receive light and live forever in the light” (“The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Many people may not care what I say, but I still want to tell every so-called saint who follows Jesus that, when you see Jesus descend from the heaven upon a white cloud with your own eyes, this will be the public appearance of the Sun of righteousness. Perhaps that will be a time of great excitement for you, yet you should know that the time when you witness Jesus descend from the heaven is also the time when you go down to hell to be punished. That will be the time of the end of God’s management plan and it will be when God rewards the good and punishes the wicked. For the judgment of God will have ended before man sees signs, when there is only the expression of truth. Those who accept the truth and do not seek signs, and thus have been purified, shall have returned before the throne of God and entered the Creator’s embrace. Only those who persist in the belief that ‘The Jesus who does not ride upon a white cloud is a false Christ’ shall be subjected to everlasting punishment, for they only believe in the Jesus who exhibits signs, but do not acknowledge the Jesus who proclaims severe judgment and releases the true way of life. And so it can only be that Jesus deals with them when He openly returns upon a white cloud. They are too stubborn, too confident in themselves, too arrogant. How could such degenerates be rewarded by Jesus?” (“By the Time You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus, God Will Have Made Heaven and Earth Anew” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
The sister then gave fellowship, saying, “God doesn’t do His judgment work in the last days as we imagine, with everyone kneeling and God revealing our sins one by one, and then deciding whether we go up to heaven or down to the lake of fire. If God judged man in this way, no one would be found fit to enter the kingdom. We’re deeply corrupted by Satan and filled with satanic dispositions, so once we have faith in the Lord we may do some good deeds, act kindly, and spread the gospel and work hard for the Lord, but we still have a sinful nature within us. We still keep sinning and confessing and we can’t keep the Lord’s teachings. When the Lord doesn’t do what we want, we blame Him. We lie and cheat for the sake of our own interests and prestige. When our interests are impacted, we hate people and take revenge on them … The Bible says, ‘[H]oliness, without which no man shall see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:14). Can people as sinful as us get into the kingdom of heaven? If God judged and condemned us based on our current behavior, wouldn’t we all be punished and annihilated? To save mankind from sin once and for all, God has once again incarnated as the Son of man and come in secret in the last days. He is Almighty God, who expresses the truth and works to judge and cleanse mankind. This is the judgment of the great white throne in Revelation. God does His work of judgment by first becoming flesh and expressing the truth to cleanse and save man and to make a group of overcomers. He then brings the great disasters, rewards the good and punishes the wicked, and destroys this evil old age. Finally, He appears openly to all people, and then His judgment work is finished. When the great disasters rain down is not when the judgment of the great white throne begins, but when it ends. At that time, all whose corrupt dispositions have been cleansed by the judgment of God’s words during His secret work will survive the disasters with God’s protection, and He will lead them into His kingdom. Those who denied and condemned Almighty God during the time of His secret work will be swept away by unprecedented disasters, to be punished amid weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
My heart brightened at her fellowship. It turned out God’s judgment work in the last days wasn’t as I’d imagined, with God sitting on a great white throne judging people one by one and sending them up to heaven or down to hell. God’s judgment work is done in stages. First, He expresses the truth to uproot man’s sinful nature, cleanse and save them, giving them a chance to repent and change. Then He appears openly to reward goodness and punish evil. That image I had in my head of the great white throne will be the scene of God’s judgment work ending. If I waited till then to accept God’s work of the last days, it would be too late and I’d miss my chance at salvation. I realized I’d best look into Almighty God’s work of the last days. So I asked the sister, “How does God judge and cleanse people with His words?”
She read a passage of Almighty God’s words. “In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, to expose the essence 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 essence 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. These 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 into submission to 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 substance 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 substance 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” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
She continued to fellowship, saying, “In expressing the truth to do His work of judging and cleansing man, God doesn’t just say a few words or write some passages. Instead, He expresses all the truths which cleanse and save mankind. He reveals such truths as how Satan corrupts man, how God saves man, who God blesses, who He eliminates, who can be saved and get into the kingdom, and so on and so forth. He especially exposes and dissects man’s God-resisting satanic nature and utterly reveals all the satanic dispositions and poisons we carry within us. We can see in the revelations and judgment of God’s words the truth of our own corruption by Satan. We come to know our sinful, God-resisting nature and its root cause, and we see how deeply rooted within us our satanic dispositions are, such as arrogance, deceit, selfishness, greed, and despising the truth. For example, though we can expend ourselves for the Lord, and endure being mocked and slandered by unbelievers, and we don’t deny the Lord or stop preaching the kingdom gospel even when sent to prison, when calamity strikes and our future prospects look bleak, we complain and blame God, we regret the efforts we’ve made, and we may even deny and betray God. We see that the efforts we made were just to get God’s grace and blessings, and to receive a crown and be rewarded. Such efforts are impure. We’re just making deals with God and cheating the Lord. Only then do we recognize how corrupted by Satan we are, and that we don’t revere God and are without conscience or reason. By experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement, we begin to know God’s righteous, majestic disposition. We begin to revere God, truly hate ourselves, and become willing to forsake our flesh and practice the truth. Our corruptions begin to be cleansed away, and we begin to live out a true human likeness. Those who’ve been judged by God’s words for years know from the bottom of their hearts that God’s judgment can indeed cleanse and change people, and that it is love and salvation for man.”
I saw from her fellowship just how practical God’s judgment work is. God actually expresses words to judge and expose our corruptions and the root cause of our sins, to show us the way to change, and to cleanse and save us. Whenever I sinned before, I just asked the Lord to forgive me but then I couldn’t help but sin again because I hadn’t accepted God’s judgment in the last days. I’d now finally found the path to be rid of sin and be cleansed.
I read a lot of Almighty God’s words after that as well as many testimonies written by brothers and sisters. I became convinced that Almighty God’s words are the truth and can cleanse and change people. I recognized Almighty God to be the Lord Jesus returned and accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days. Thinking back, I lived in my imagination, waiting for the Lord to come for the judgment of the great white throne. I didn’t know God had come in secret already to express the truth and begin the work of judgment beginning with God’s house. I almost missed God’s salvation of the last days! I thank God for His mercy and kindness for allowing me to hear His voice, to be raised up before His throne and accept being judged and purified before the seat of Christ. Thanks be to Almighty God!