By Bai Xinchun
I had believed in the for many years. Before, I often heard the preacher say: “The Lord Jesus has redeemed us from the cross and forgiven all our sins. The Bible says: ‘He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life’ (John 3:36). Therefore, as long as we act according to the Lord’s words and no longer commit sins, we can enter into the kingdom of heaven. If we fail to keep the Lord’s teachings or don’t act according to His words, we will be judged and condemned by the Lord when He returns.” I thought: I led a hard life in the world before, but I believe in the Lord now, and I can enter into the kingdom of heaven and gain the eternal life as long as I act according to the Lord’s words. Really thank the Lord. So I began to pursue zealously, practicing the Lord’s teachings in everything I encountered in my life. However, as time went by, I found that I no longer could put the Lord’s words into practice, for I still committed sins involuntarily. Besides, I couldn’t forbear or forgive others, and often quarreled with them over trifles, living in sins every day. No matter how I tried to subdue my heart, I still couldn’t break free from the shackles of sin. When I saw these words in the Bible: “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defiles, neither whatever works abomination, or makes a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27), I learnt that all those who told lies or did evil things were not allowed to enter into the holy city, and that only those who achieved purification and no longer committed sins could enter into it. In order to break free from sins, I had consulted many preachers, hoping to get help from them. However, they all failed me. Seeing that nobody could help me solve this problem, I felt disappointed and distressed. When I thought about what the preacher had said that people who couldn’t practice the Lord’s words would be judged and sent down to the lake of fire and brimstone when the Lord came, I couldn’t help worrying: How can people like me enter into the kingdom of heaven? I often felt distressed and perplexed because of this.
Just when I was painful and helpless, the kingdom of Almighty God came upon me. At that time, an acquaintance of mine came to testify about the three stages of God’s work to me. The sister fellowshiped: “In the Age of Law, Jehovah decreed laws, teaching men to live on earth, worship God as well as abide by the laws and commandments. However, at the end of the Age of Law, the temple became desolate and gradually turned into a place of trade. People all lived in sins and began to make improper sacrifices, and they were in the danger of being put to death by the law. God couldn’t bear to see the mankind He created walk toward destruction, so He ended the Age of Law and carried out a stage of work of redemption in the Age of Grace. Thereafter, men’s sins would be forgiven as long as they called on the name of the Lord Jesus. And in this way, men would not be condemned by the law. However, the root of sin in men has not been eradicated and they are still bound by sins, so though they have believed in the Lord, they still often commit sins and live in the state of committing sins in the day and confessing them at night. Men’s sins are just like the leeks: Even if you mow them today, they will grow again tomorrow, which is because the root of the leek still dugs into the earth. And now we can see that the sins of the church grow each day, and the believers become cold in their faith. Besides, they have no love toward each other but often raise jealousy and strife and form factions in the church. This just fulfills the words in the Scripture: ‘And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold’ (Matthew 24:12). Since men have all departed from the Lord’s teachings and lived in sins, how can they enter into the kingdom of heaven without removing the sins?”
After hearing this, I couldn’t help saying: “Yes. We are really all living in sins and bound by sins.” The sister continued: “So, do people like us, who live in sins without being able to be free from them, need a stage of work to remove sins and get purified?” I nodded in agreement. The sister said: “Then who can do the work of removing sins?” After a pause, she went on saying: “Only the Creator can do such work, because men are all creatures and are incapable of doing such work. I believe that every person who truly believes in the Lord is waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus. It is the last days now and the Lord has already returned. He has done a stage of work of judging and purifying men with the word among men. We all have read the prophecies in Revelation about the book and the Lamb. Revelation 5:1 says: ‘And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.’ Nobody knows what is written in the book. And Revelation 5:7-9 says: ‘And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat on the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for you were slain, and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.’ From this we can see that the Lamb refers to the Lord . It also says that only the Lamb is worthy to open the book and loose the seals. In fact, Almighty God, Christ of the last days, is the return of the Lord Jesus. He has opened up all truths and mysteries to those who have faith in Him, telling us the truth that people of the past and of today didn’t understand. That is, Almighty God has opened the sealed book. In the last days, the work of judgment done by Almighty God is the work of ‘judgment beginning with the house of God’ prophesied in the Bible.” After hearing this, I remembered the scripture “LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come” (Revelation 4:8), feeling that what the sister said was in line with the Bible. So I said: “The preacher of our church also said that the Lord is to judge all people when He comes back, and he asked us to be watchful to wait for the coming of the Lord. However, the judgment we speak of is that the Lord will erect a big white table in the heavens to judge all nations and all people when He returns. You say that the Lord is to do the work of judgment on earth. Do you have any biblical basis?” The sister replied: “The Bible says: ‘Before the LORD; for he comes to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity’ (Psalms 98:9). And Revelation 14:6 says: ‘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.’ The words ‘the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth’ here show that it is on the earth but not in the heavens that God judges the people in the last days.”
With that word, she took out a book of The Word Appears in the Flesh and read: “The ‘judgment’ in the words previously spoken—judgment will begin at the house of God—refers to the judgment God passes today on those who come before His throne in the last days. 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. Do you know, however, that God began the work of judgment among men long ago and all this while you have been nestled in peaceful oblivion? That, the time that you think God’s work of judgment is officially beginning, it is already time for God to make heaven and earth anew? At that time, perhaps you will have only just understood the meaning of life, but the merciless work of punishment of God shall bring you, still deep in sleep, into hell. Only then will you suddenly realize that God’s work of judgment has already concluded.” “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” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“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.” “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. The incarnate God of today is the God who judges the whole of mankind during the last days” (“Corrupt Mankind is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Then she fellowshiped: “Almighty God’s words have stated very clearly: The work of judgment in the last days is carried out among man, for the one who is judged is the corrupt man of the flesh. So it is not as what we have imagined that God will erect a table in the heavens to judge the people. This is completely man’s conception and imagination. Since the judgment before the great white throne in Revelation is a prophecy, then how can it be fulfilled as we imagined? Just like the Old Testament foretold the coming of a Messiah. However, when the Lord came, He was not called Messiah but Jesus; and as for the birth of the Lord, it was prophesied that a virgin would conceive and bear a son, but what people saw was Mary who had a husband giving birth to the Lord Jesus. Are these not the lessons we should draw today? God’s thoughts soar higher than the heavens, while we human beings are just little creatures, so how can the work of God be fathomed by man? Isn’t it too arrogant for man to measure God’s work by his own conceptions and imaginations? That is resisting God! Wouldn’t you agree, sister?”
After hearing the sister’s fellowship, I thought: As for the great matter of the Lord’s coming to do the work of judgment, I shouldn’t accept it blindly, for it is a major issue concerning my entering into the kingdom of heaven in the future. I must make it clear; otherwise, I could be someone who betrays the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus might have mentioned the work of judgment in the last days. So I said to the sister: “Sister, what you fellowshiped is right and in accordance with the Bible, but the matter of the Lord’s coming is of great importance. So I want to go back to search the Bible first. How about we have a fellowship tomorrow?”