By Liu Ming
April 12 Sunny
Today, in the gathering, our pastor read several verses about the judgment of the last days, “And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). “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. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15). After reading these verses, our pastor said, “In the last days, when the Lord returns, He’ll erect a big table in the heavens to carry out judgment. The Lord will sit on the great white throne with several millions of angels around Him, and open the book of life and the book of the dead. Then, people will be brought before the throne one by one to receive His righteous judgment. There stands something like a screen, which will present our lifetime of actions and behavior. Then, God will determine our destination and ending according to our behavior: Those who do evil and those whose names aren’t recorded in the book of life, will be thrown into the hell to suffer the punishment, while those who do good and obey the Lord’s way will have their names recorded in the book of life and, receiving the eternal life. This is the work of judgment carried out by the Lord in the last days.”
Listening to the pastor’s sermon, I imagined many majestic and spectacular scenes: The dead are brought before the throne one by one to receive God’s judgment, as if criminals are judged by the judge. Some are on their knees begging for mercy; some are weeping and gnashing their teeth. … I realized that the judgment was to punish the evil, reward the good, and determine our ending according to our behavior. “So as long as I pursue actively and act in accordance with the Lord’s words, I’ll certainly be raptured into the kingdom of heaven and gain the eternal life when the Lord returns.” At the thought of this, I felt cheerful inside.
April 13 Cloudy
Today, I was very happy because my cousin came to visit me. Since his whole family emigrated, we hadn’t seen each other for two years, so we talked a lot. During our chat, I found that he had much more growth in life than before and that his words had lots of new light which I did not know. Then I shared with him the pastor’s sermon about the judgment of the last days. After hearing my words, he read the prophecies in Revelation, “And I saw another angel fly in the middle of heaven, having the everlastingto 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: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Revelation 14:6-7). Then he communicated, “These verses tell us clearly, ‘having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth.’ From this, we can see that when the prophecy ‘for the hour of his judgment is come’ is fulfilled, we still live on the earth, not in heaven; since God’s judgment work of the last days is to judge us humans, of course it is carried out on the earth, not in heaven. As to the judgment of the great white throne recorded in the Revelation, it is just a vision seen by John on the island of Patmos, and can’t be understood literally because the vision isn’t the fact of God’s work.” After listening to his fellowship, I felt confused: So what really is the judgment of the last days? Although he and the pastor both fellowshiped based on the scriptures, what they said are completely different. Then, whose words are in line with the Lord’s will? For a moment, I couldn’t figure out who is right. So I asked my cousin to fellowship with me more and he agreed to continue the fellowship tomorrow.
April 14 Cloudy to Sunny
Before eight o’clock this morning, my cousin came to my house with his wife. Upon seeing them, I impatiently asked my cousin about what the judgment of the last days was. Looking at me with a smile, he said that he once had the same confusion as me. It was not until he read the words of a book that his confusion was resolved. Then he took out the book and read two passages of words to me, “Perhaps there are 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 the imaginings of man, the substance of God’s work cannot be altered. The imaginings of man are nothing but the constructs of man’s thoughts and 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 still no more than a drawing and are not able to substitute for the plan of God’s work. After all, man has been corrupted by Satan, so how can he then fathom the thoughts of God? Man conceives the work of judgment by God to be particularly fantastic. He believes that since it is God Himself doing the work of judgment, then it must be of the most tremendous scale and incomprehensible to mortals, and it must resound through the heavens and shake the earth; otherwise 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 a scene must be a grand spectacular and be deeply rousing…. Everyone imagines God’s work of judgment to be preternaturally wonderful” (“Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth”). “Because the one who is judged is man, man who is of the flesh and has been corrupted, and it is not the spirit of Satan that is judged directly, the work of judgment is not carried out in the spiritual world, but among man” (“Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh”).
After reading the words, he said, “These words thoroughly reveal our conceptions and imaginations about the great white throne judgment and clearly tell us that the judgment is carried out on the earth. God’s thoughts soar higher than the heavens, so the prophecies in thecannot be fathomed by us humans. Only when these prophecies are fulfilled can we truly understand them. What’s more, we all know that without holiness no one shall see the Lord because the Lord is holy. Since we still have many corrupt dispositions, and wrong intentions and viewpoints, we’re unfit to see God. If we are raised into heaven and directly come into contact with the spiritual body of God, we corrupt humans will be struck down. Then how could the work of judgment be carried out? Later, I saw some verses and became more certain that God’s work of judgment is carried out on the earth. The Scripture says, ‘Because he has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has ordained’ (Acts 17:31). ‘For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son. … And has given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is ’ (John 5:22, 27). These verses mention ‘the Son of man’ or ‘the Son.’ We all know that the Son of man refers to the incarnate flesh of God, a normal and ordinary person. For example, the incarnate who once worked amongst man was called the Son of man. So from these verses, we can know that the judgment work of God is performed on the earth, not in heaven. So ‘God’s establishing a great white throne to judge man’ is completely our conception and imagination and cannot possibly be tenable.”
After listening to his fellowship, I nodded in agreement and said, “You’re right. The Bible clearly says, ‘For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son.’ The Son refers to the incarnate God, not the spirit of God. Ah, in the past, I often read these verses, but why didn’t I realize this point? Now through your fellowship, I realize that my understanding of God’s judgment of the last days is wrong. Then, could you fellowship about how God does the work of judgment?”
He nodded and continued, “Do you remember the opening of books to judge the dead and the opening of the book of life prophesied in the Book of Revelation? Actually, the opening of books to judge the dead is God’s judgment of all unbelievers and all those who deny and resist Him. This judgment is their condemnation, their punishment, their destruction. And opening the book of life refers to the judgment that begins at the house of God, that is, Christ of the last days, expressing the truth to judge and cleanse all those brought before His throne. These chosen people of God who accept God’s judgment work and are brought before Him are all objects of God’s judgment, cleansing, and salvation. The judgment that begins at the house of God is to perfect this group of people before the disaster. Only this group of people are the wise virgins, people whose names are recorded in the book of life, the 144,000 overcomers prophesied by the Book of Revelation, the people who will ultimately enter the kingdom of heaven to inherit eternal life. This fulfills what was prophesied in Revelation: ‘And I looked, and, see, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God’ (Revelation 14:1-5). God’s judgment work in the last days completely fulfills the vision of the great white throne judgment prophesied in the Book of Revelation. The great white throne symbolizes God’s holiness as well as His authority. Then how can we get to know God’s authority? As we all know, God created the heavens and earth and all things with His word. He uses His word to guide, cleanse, and save mankind, to accomplish everything. God’s word has authority and power. What God says shall come to pass, what He orders shall stand. God is as good as His word, and His word shall be accomplished, and that which is accomplished lasts forever. The work of God in the last days is to express the truth to carry out judgment.”
After his fellowship, my sister-in-law smiled and said, “The Christ of the last days has expressed millions of words to guide and supply us, and to judge and cleanse our sins. Through reading God’s words, we know not only our shortcomings, what we lack, and our rebelliousness, but also God’s holy, righteous and good essence. In God’s words, we confirm that God is the truth, the way, and the life. Brother, I copied a passage of words from a website. Let me read them to you, ‘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’” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth”).
After reading the words, she said, “Brother, in the past, we all thought that the Lord’s judgment of the last days was to condemn and punish people; actually, it is not the condemnation, nor the punishment, but the purification and salvation of us humans. Although in our belief in the Lord, we have our sins forgiven and have the qualification to come before God to pray to Him, communicate with Him, and enjoy His abundant grace, the sinful nature and the satanic disposition still remain within us; we can’t help but rebel and resist God and frequently live in the state of committing sins and confessing sins, unable to get rid of the bonds and control of sinful nature. Since our nature is full of arrogance, conceit, selfishness, despicableness, crookedness, and cunningness, we often reveal corrupt disposition. For example, we often make deals with God and our belief in God is not to obey or revere Him, but to gain blessings; in order to protect our interests, we often tell lies and deceive others; when we encounter unfavorable environments, we often misunderstand Him and even complain about Him. These satanic dispositions are deeply rooted in us and without God’s work of judgment, we can’t resolve them or become people who obey and are compatible with Him. Therefore, we need God to do a stage of purification and salvation work to allow us to cast off our sinful nature. Through undergoing God’s judgment, we’ll gradually see the substance of our nature and the true state of our corruption, having some real knowledge of ourselves and God. In the course of experiencing God’s work, as we gain entry into the reality through acting according to the truth, our satanic dispositions will all change to varying degrees so that we’ll increasingly have conscience and sense and live out a human likeness. This is the ‘judgment before the great white throne’ prophesied in Revelation. It is just as the Scriptures say, ‘But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world’ (1 Corinthians 11:32). ‘Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects: therefore despise not you the chastening of the Almighty: For he makes sore, and binds up: he wounds, and his hands make whole’ (Job 5:17-18). From these verses, we know that God first uses stern words to expose the truth of our corruption, allowing us to understand our own substance of nature; and then He points out the way of practice to cleanse and transform our corrupt disposition. This is God’s judgment work of the last days. God’s judgment work resolves our nature of sinning and resisting Him from the root up, and concludes our millennia-long life of sinning and confessing. So we can completely free ourselves from Satan’s dark influence, cast off corrupt disposition, receive God’s salvation, and finally enter into His kingdom.”
After hearing this, I said to them, “Your fellowship reminds me of the Lord’s words, ‘And if any man hear my words, and believe 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). Now I understand that the Lord Jesus merely did the work of redemption and spread the way of repentance; when He comes back in the last days, He will do the work of judgment; that is, He will issue truth to judge our corrupt disposition, allowing us to know the true face of our own corruption, so that the satanic poisons within us will gradually be cleansed. Turns out that the work of judgment is not what I imagined: People would be brought before the throne one by one to receive God’s judgment, with some on their knees begging for mercy and some weeping and gnashing their teeth; in the end, those who do good deeds would enter the kingdom and gain the rewards while those who do evil would be thrown into the hell to suffer the punishment. I’m so absurd that I take my conceptions and imaginations as the facts of the work of judgment.”
My cousin nodded and said, “Right. We should not define the work of God easily. We should have a seeking and obedient heart. Only in this way can we obtain God’s guidance and have a knowledge of His work; otherwise even though there are clear prophecies in the Bible, we still won’t accept the reality that God made and finally we’ll miss the chance to welcome the Lord’s coming.”
I said, “You are right. I shouldn’t define God’s work according to my conceptions and imaginations anymore. Thank God! I understand a lot from your fellowship. By the way, you two really have had a great growth and your understanding is extraordinary. I’ve visited many churches, but no one could explain the work of judgment clearly. Now, all over the world, only Eastern Lightning witnesses that the Lord has come back and done the work of judgment. You’ve mentioned the Christ of the last days, so could it be that you have accepted Eastern Lightning? Tell me, what’s going on?” My cousin replied, “Actually, Xiaoyue (my sister-in-law) and I have accepted God’s work of the last days abroad. It was after reading God’s words that we had such understanding. Brother, we have come back this time specifically to preach God’s gospel of the kingdom to you. We hope you can accept the gospel and not miss the Lord’s return.”
After hearing their words, I was both shocked and delighted, saying, “After hearing your fellowship, I remember the Lord Jesus said, ‘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: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come’ (John 16:12-13). I also remember the little scroll sealed with seven seals prophesied in Revelation 5. Perhaps the scroll is the truth expressed by the returned Lord Jesus. If it is truly the case, I must read these words carefully and thoroughly examine God’s work in the last days.” Hearing this, both of them felt happy for me.
June 18 Sunny
Now I have accepted God’s work of the last days for two months. After that fellowship two months ago, my wrong viewpoint was corrected and I no longer defined God’s judgment work based on my conceptions and imaginations but had a completely new knowledge of His judgment work. Every time I think about how my cousin and sister-in-law came back specially to tell me the good news, I feel deeply touched. And I know it was God that used them to preach the gospel of kingdom to me so that I could have the opportunity to accept His new work, which was God’s grace and blessings. I thank God from the bottom of my heart. Amen!