By Jinyi, United States
Hearing the Good News of the Lord’s Return at a Meeting
I began believing in the Lord in 2016, and went to meetings every week. Later, a new sister started coming to our meetings. After several meetings with her, I found that she could shine new light on many different scriptures in her talks. Everyone felt very well supplied by her, and I admired her very much. I thought, “She is so young, yet despite her age, her fellowship on the Bible is better than our pastor. How does she manage to read the Bible like that?” Curious, I asked her privately, “Your understanding of the Bible is impressive. How do you understand so much of it?” She said that she also attended another meeting where the brothers and sisters fellowshiped more clearly and understandably, and she invited me to come and listen, to which I happily agreed.
The next Sunday, she took me to the meeting she had told me about, and the brothers and sisters there warmly welcomed me. After sitting down, they told me that thehad returned as the incarnated Almighty God, both to express many truths and to do the work of judging and purifying mankind, which fulfils the biblical prophecies, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). “The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). A sister also fellowshiped with me about God’s six-thousand-year management plan, how to discern the , the mystery of mankind’s destination, and many other aspects of the truth. Her fellowship was very detailed, I understood it very clearly, and I learned that there are indeed many mysteries involved in believing in God, so I decided to investigate The Church of Almighty God. After the meeting, my sister gave me a book of to take home and read.
Forming Misunderstandings of Judgment
After I returned home, I read Almighty God’s words in my free time, and after doing so, I felt that God’s words were very good, and I enjoyed them very much. One day, I read in Almighty God’s words that, “The work of the last days is to separate all according to their kind, to conclude the management plan of God, for the time is near and the day of God has come. God brings all who have entered His kingdom, that is, all those who have been loyal to Him to the end, into the age of God Himself. However, until the coming of the age of God Himself, the work that God shall do is not to observe the deeds of man or to inquire into the life of man, but to judge his rebellion, for God shall purify all those who come before His throne. All those who have followed the footsteps of God to this day are those who have 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.” I thought to myself: The Lord Jesus has returned incarnate in the last days to do the final winnowing work, to separate all people according to their kind, which means that everyone who accepts the work of God in the last days must undergo His judgment. I couldn’t help but think that I was still capable of deceiving others with my words, of tricking others and being envious, of hating others when they hurt me, and that I still had many problems; I often lost my temper with my family, got angry with my coworkers, and so on. Today, I thought, the Lord has come to do the work of judgment, and if I were made to account for my past behaviors, wouldn’t I be condemned? How would I ever enter God’s kingdom? Thinking of this, I was very worried about myself. I felt that I couldn’t enter God’s kingdom, so I became very negative. Although I wanted to openly fellowship with my brothers and sisters and seek solutions, I was afraid that if my brothers and sisters knew who I really was, they would laugh at me and belittle me, so I chose escape, and stopped attending meetings.
My brothers and sisters, unaware of the truth, often invited me to meetings, but I always said I was busy with work or made other excuses. After a while, my brothers and sisters sent me a message and asked me when I was free, saying they could arrange meetings according to my schedule. Faced with the concern of my brothers and sisters, my closed heart was touched. I thought, “I’ve tried every means to refuse them, and even deliberately did not return messages, but they don’t make an issue of it, and continue to tolerate and be patient with me, and think of every possible way to solve the problem of me not coming to meetings. They often asked if I was experiencing difficulties, and their words revealed concern and support for me. Isn’t this true love? The sincere invitation of my brothers and sisters left me too embarrassed to refuse, so I began going to meetings again. The first few times, I couldn’t calm myself, because I thought, “I live in a state of sinning and confessing every day, and the moment God judges me, I will still be condemned, so listening at meetings is pointless.” But I never spoke that thought to my brothers and sisters. Instead, I tried to preserve my dignity and muddle through the meetings.
Eliminating My Misunderstandings of Judgment
This continued until one day when my sister fellowshiped on aspects of the truth regarding judgment, and my notions about it were finally eliminated. Sister Yang fellowshiped, “Almighty God expresses the truth in the last days to do the work of judging and purifying people to bring us into the. But some people still may not understand God’s will, and believe that God judges and chastises people to condemn them, so they refuse to accept God’s work of judgment in the last days. For man, is it the salvation from God or condemnation by God that He has returned incarnate in the last days to do the work of judgment? Many people can’t see this issue clearly. So, let’s look at what Almighty God said about this.” After listening to Sister Yang, I suddenly felt better, and I thought, “Today’s topic of fellowship is exactly what I need! I am one of the many people Sister Yang is talking about. I don’t know if God’s work of judgment is to condemn or save people.” So, I listened more seriously.
Another sister then read a passage of Almighty God’s words, “All that He does is true love for 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 to work man. From beginning to end, God has been doing His utmost to save man, and He is certainly not willing to completely destroy the men He created with His own hands. Now He has come among you to work; isn’t this even more salvation? If He hated you, would He still do work of such magnitude to personally lead you? Why should He suffer so? God does not hate you or have any ill intention toward you. You should know that God’s love is the truest love. It is only because of people’s disobedience that He has to save them through judgment; otherwise, they would not be saved.” “Today God judges you, and chastises you, and condemns you, but know that your condemnation is so that you might know yourself. Condemnation, curse, judgment, chastisement—these are all 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 needs of His work, that He works in accordance with His plan for man’s salvation, and that He is the righteous God who loves man, and saves man, and who judges and chastises man. … God has not come to kill, or destroy, but to judge, curse, chastise, and save.”
Sister Yang said, “From the words of Almighty God, we can clearly see that the purpose of God’s work of judgment in the last days is not to condemn us for our sins, it is not to punish us, but to awaken our hearts, to let us know the truth of how deeply we are corrupted by Satan, to tell us that God’s disposition is righteous, holy, and brooks no offense, and to save us by helping us escape our corrupt state, so that we are able to live out a true human likeness, and attain. Today all of humanity lives under the power of Satan, becoming ever more evil and corrupt. They pursue food, drink and pleasure all day long, live in sin without repentance, and enjoy the pleasures of sin. Even those in the religious world follow evil worldly trends, and what they live out is no different than the Gentiles. None today yearn for the truth or look forward to God’s appearance. God has appeared and begun to work in the last days and the truths He has expressed have been published on the Internet, but how many can proactively seek and investigate? People are indifferent, ignore it, and even condemn and resist God’s return. It is obvious that we have been corrupted to the utmost by Satan, that there is no love for the truth in our hearts, that we prefer evil, and can even resist God. If God does not express the truth or do the work of judgment in the last days, we will never reflect and come to know ourselves, we will still think that the Lord is merciful and loving, that we will be forgiven by the Lord no matter how many sins we commit, and that we will enter the kingdom of heaven when the Lord returns. The truth is that God is righteous and holy, so how could God bring those who resist Him into the kingdom? We can only see the truth of our corruption when we experience God’s judgment, only this way can we achieve change in our life disposition, and genuinely obey and fear God, and only then are we qualified to enter God’s kingdom. We can see that God’s work of judgment is a work of great love and salvation for man. Only those who hate the truth and refuse to accept the judgment and purification of Almighty God’s words will be revealed and eliminated.”
When I heard this, the anxiety in my heart was greatly eased. It turns out that God judges people not to condemn, but to save them! We live in a state of sinning and confessing every day, and we always rebel against God against our will. We are indeed corrupted deeply by Satan, and we cannot escape bondage of sin by ourselves. We truly need to undergo God’s work of judgment to be saved. If not for my sister’s fellowship that day, I would misunderstand God’s will and believe that God’s work of judgment is to condemn us. Thanks be to God, I finally understood the meaning of God’s work of judgment in the last days!
God’s Work of Judgment in the Last Days Is Very Practical
Then, Sister Yang continued her fellowship, saying, “We know that God’s work of judgment in the last days is to save people, but how does God do the work of judgment? To understand this aspect of truth, let’s read another passage of God’s word. Almighty God says, ‘In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, expose the essence of man, and dissect his words and deeds. 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 the 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, those 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 just a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes it over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth that man does not possess at all. Only methods of this kind are deemed 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.’
“From God’s word we can see that Almighty God expressed the truth to do the work of judgment, and when we read the words of Almighty God, we feel that God judges us face to face. God’s word is like a sharp sword that exposes our nature of resisting and betraying God, we see that we are deeply corrupted by Satan, our satanic dispositions such as our arrogance, self-importance, hating the truth, being selfish, despicable, twisted, deceitful, greedy, and evil are revealed, and we see that we live out nothing at all of a true human likeness. For example, when we perform our duties, when our brothers and sisters give us different suggestions, we always think that our own opinions are correct. Even if what another says is in accordance with the truth, we are unwilling to accept the advice, and we always want others to listen to us, because we are especially arrogant and self-important. Or, although we believe in God, in our natures we dislike the truth, and our hearts worship money, fame and status, and we pursue eating, drinking, carousing, and fleshly enjoyment like the Gentiles. Or, even if we can forsake and expend to some extent, we do so in an attempt to deal with God, to gain rewards and enter the kingdom of heaven rather than to repay God’s love and fulfil the duties of a created being. In addition, as God uses words to judge and chastise us in the last days, He also arranges environments to prune, deal with, try, and refine us in our real lives. For example, when we try to muddle through in the performance of our duties, God incites and leads our coworkers to prune and deal with us; when we stubbornly rebel against and resist God, He uses the environment to punish and discipline us; when our hearts turn to God, God is merciful, and enlightens and guides us to understand His will. It is amidst God’s work of judgment that we become ever more aware of the truth of our own corruption, ever more able to distinguish between positive and negative things, our view of things gradually changes, and we gain some real understanding of God’s disposition. Fear and love of God are produced in our heart, we begin to seek and practice the truth in all things, we are no longer content to live according to our satanic corrupt dispositions, our conscience and sense have been restored, we are willing to securely do the duty of a created being and submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, we begin to feel ever deeper change in our life disposition, and we begin to live out a genuine human likeness. These are the results achieved by God’s work of judgment.”
After hearing to my sister’s fellowship, the anxiety in my heart completely evaporated. God’s work is truly practical! If we don’t experience the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, we see ourselves as doing very well, and we can never know ourselves. If we don’t know ourselves, how can we achieve change? Once I had some understanding of God’s work of judgment in the last days, I happily accepted God’s last-days work.
At the next meeting, my young sister showed me a film of experience and testimony from The Church of Almighty God entitled God’s Work Has Made Me Live out the Likeness of a Man. In the film, the protagonist is a construction contractor for more than a decade who initially refuses to engage in the “unwritten rule” of bribing officials in our dark society, and never has much business as a result. Eventually, to earn money, he decides in frustration to follow the evil trends and begins to give bribes, lose control, collude with government officials, and do many immoral things, until his conscience causes him to live in misery and torment. After his mother tells him about Almighty God’s last days’ gospel, he sees clearly the pitiable fact of his own corruption by Satan within the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, he begins to feel loathing and regret for himself, and he decides to be an honest person according to God’s words. After this, he is able to gradually escape Satan’s bondage and live amidst God’s blessings and protection.
After I saw the video, I realized that God’s work of judgment truly can save and purify people! Without God’s judgment and chastisement, no one would be able to realize how badly we have been corrupted by Satan, but God’s judgment and chastisement truly can save us and help us escape Satan’s bondage. God’s words truly are authoritative and almighty! I sincerely thanked God deep in my heart for giving me the fortune to accept His work of the last days. There are still many corrupt dispositions within me, and in the future I hope to read more of Almighty God’s word, experience God’s judgment and chastisement, be purified and perfected by God, and become someone in accordance with God’s will!