By Xiaolan, Taiwan
Editor’s note: Many Christians believe that the great white throne judgment is the work that the Lord will reward the good and punish the wicked, and determine man’s outcome when He comes back. So how is the great white throne judgment prophesied in the Book of Revelation carried out? Let’s see the experiences of Sister Xiaolan.
I Heard for the First Time That the Lord Had Returned and Started To Do the Work of Judgment
One evening on my way home after a gathering, Sister Zhang said to me excitedly, “The Lord Jesus we have been longing for has returned, He is Christ of the last days — Almighty God. The incarnate Almighty God has expressed millions of words and has started to do the work of judgment beginning with the house of God.” I was shocked after hearing these words. Looking at the sister, I was unable to recover my sense for a while and thought: My father is the elder of our church. Since I was little, he has told me that when the Lord returned to do the work of judgment, He would reward the good and punish the wicked, and determine man’s outcome. At that time righteous people would be rewarded and enter into the kingdom of heaven; evil people would be punished in hell. But now I haven’t seen God reward the good and punish the wicked, how could it be the great white throne judgment? Thinking also of my current situation, I often lie and cheat, always enjoy physical comforts and pursue money, living in sin every day, and moreover I haven’t accrued many good deeds yet. If the Lord has come to judge man, how can I account to Him? The kingdom of heaven can’t possibly have a share for me. Thinking of this, I couldn’t help shuddering.
So I said to Sister Zhang, “When the Lord returns, He will judge all nations and all peoples. The Bible says when God comes to judge, all the people will weep in sorrow. Now I haven’t seen any signs, how could it be that the Lord has come and started to do the work of judgment? You’d better speak with more caution.”
Sister Zhang said with a smile, “My husband and I have investigated Almighty God’s work in the last days for a period of time. Almighty God has already revealed the truth about the work of judgment. As long as you read more of His words, you will understand it. In fact, the work of judgment in the last days done by Almighty God is exactly the great white throne judgment prophesied in the Book of Revelation.”
Sister Zhang’s words made me very surprised. She and her husband were earnest Christians who had believed in the Lord for many years. I never thought that both of them would have accepted Almighty God’s work in the last days. Therefore, I became a little curious about The Church of Almighty God. But when she asked me whether I would like to investigate God’s work in the last days, I still told her I needed to seek and pray since I worried that I would believe wrong.
When the Lord Knocked at My Door Again I Decided To Seek and Investigate
It was another meeting day. After the meeting had ended, Sister Zhang bore witness to God’s new work for me again. She said that God expressing the word and doing the work of judgment was to do the work of eliminating sin based on the work of redemption in the Age of Grace. If we wanted to break free from the bondage and the restriction of sin, we must accept God’s work in the last days, so that we could be saved and enter into the kingdom of heaven. At that moment my heart was struck by her words, thinking: My sister bore witness to the Lord having returned again and again, this may be the Lord’s arrangements. I should go and listen to the sermons of The Church of Almighty God to see whether the judgment they talk about is the same as the great white throne judgment prophesied in the Book of Revelation. If Sister Zhang believes wrong, then, as a co-worker of our church, I can ask her to turn back in time, and I will gain some discernment as well. So, I agreed.
The True Meaning of the Great White Throne Judgment
After I got off of work, I went nervously to The Church of Almighty God along with Sister Zhang. Seeing the brothers and sisters were kind and warm-hearted, I became relaxed. Sister Xiaoyun was of my own age and had insight when she spoke. She fellowshiped with me about many aspects of truths very clearly, giving me a lot of benefits. She also fellowshiped: In the Age of Law, Jehovah God issued laws and commandments, leading mankind to live on earth. However, during the later stages of the Age of Law, man was not able to abide by the commandments, committing sins continuously and thus all faced the danger of being executed for breaking the law. Therefore, in the Age of Grace, God personally became flesh to be nailed to the cross as a sin offering for man, thereby redeeming us from sin. So when we commit sins, as long as we repent and confess in the name of the Lord Jesus, the Lord will forgive us and not see us as sinners. However, because our corrupt dispositions are deeply ingrained, we still often commit sins and resist God, stuck in a cycle of committing sins and then confessing sins. If we want to thoroughly shake off the shackles of sin and become holy, we must be judged and purified by the work of God’s second incarnation.
I was attracted by Sister Xiaoyun’s fellowship; the more I listened, the more my heart became clear. When she talked about that God has incarnated to do the work of judgment in the last days, I became nervous. Then I asked her, “You bear witness that the Lord has returned and has started to do the work of judgment beginning with the house of God, this is in line with the prophecies of the Bible. But I think when the great white throne judgment begins is when God rewards good and punishes evil and determines man’s outcome and all kindreds of the earth will wail; at that time, righteous people will be rewarded and enter the kingdom of heaven while evil people will descend into hell and be punished. I haven’t seen God reward the good and punish the wicked, how could it be that the great white throne judgment has begun? Furthermore, we are all living in the bondage of sin; if God did the work of judgment, then wouldn’t we be condemned?”
Sister Xiaoyun fellowshiped, “Actually, the great white throne judgment in the last days begins when Almighty God comes to express the truth and do His judgment work of the last days in order to cleanse and save corrupt mankind. God will first make a group of overcomers before the disaster. Then, God will bring down the great disasters and start to reward good and punish evil. At that time, God’s great white throne judgment in the last days will be thoroughly complete and He will appear openly. Now ‘four consecutive blood moons’ has already appeared, the great disasters are near, and all humankind acknowledges that the end of the world is arriving. When the great disasters come, anyone who resists God or opposes God will be destroyed in the disasters. That is precisely the great white throne judgment. In addition, we can see from the Bible’s prophecies that the Lord’s return is separated into the two stages of secret arrival and open arrival. At first, the Lord comes like a thief, which means God incarnate arrives secretly to express the truth and perform His judgment work in the last days. The main purpose is to make a group of overcomers. This fulfills the prophecy: Judgment must begin at the house of God. When God incarnate does His work secretly, God cleanses and perfects those who hear His voice and are brought before Him. And when God appears openly on the clouds, He will start rewarding the good and punishing the wicked: Those who accept God’s work in the last days and have been purified will be brought into rest; those evil ones who resist God’s new work will be all destroyed.”
After hearing the fellowship, I understood that Almighty God’s work of judgment in the last days is exactly the great white throne judgment. At first, God arrives secretly to express the truth to judge and cleanse our corrupt dispositions, allowing us to gain His salvation. And then it is when He appears openly on the clouds that He will reward the good and punish the wicked, and determine man’s outcome. It is not as I thought that the judgment is to directly determine our outcome. At this moment, the matter which was gnawing at my mind for many years finally disappeared, I felt much more released.
The Way God Does His Work of Judgment
After dinner, we continued to fellowship.
I asked, “How does God do the work of judging and cleansing man?”
Brother Wu said, “About this issue, God’s word has said very clearly.” And then he read me a passage of God’s word: “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.”
Brother Wu fellowshiped, “Although we have gained the salvation of the cross and our sins have been forgiven, our sinful nature still has not been rid of. Our nature is arrogant and conceited, selfish and greedy, deceitful and crooked, and so on. Not only that, our behavior and conduct are all relying on Satan’s philosophy. For the sake of our own interest, we use, cheat and fight each other, even between the members of the same family there is no true love and affection. Dominated by our arrogant nature, we always want to show off and distinguish ourselves, always want to have a place in people’s hearts and to be exalted and supported by others. If we don’t experience God’s work of judgment but only subdue our body, these corrupt dispositions will never be resolved. In God’s work of the last days God mainly expresses words to judge and cleanse us, revealing our corrupt dispositions. Through those words we can see our filth and corruption, rebelliousness and resistance, and get to know our satanic nature and corrupt substance. Thus, we will hate our corrupt dispositions, be no longer willing to live by the satanic nature and then bring forth in us the resolve to forsake our flesh and practice the truth. Meanwhile, in God’s judgment, we can also realize that God’s disposition is unoffendable and we will give rise to a God-fearing heart and be able to practice the truth and live by God’s words. In this way we can gradually rid ourselves of corrupt disposition and eventually live out the likeness of a true man. So, Almighty God’s work of judgment is not to condemn us but to cleanse and perfect us. It is precisely God’s great mercy and salvation for us.”
After hearing God’s words and Brother Wu’s sharing, I felt God’s work of judgment is very practical. It turns out that the reason that I’ve always been living in sin and unable to practice the Lord’s word is because of my corrupt dispositions. For so many years I have been trying to find the path to solve the problem of sin but fail, and even my father isn’t able to break free from the bondage of sin. Today I get benefits so much from the fellowship and I feel the words in the book is indeed not something that an ordinary person can talk about.
I Had a Notion About God’s Severe Words
Just as our gathering was coming to an end, I accidentally saw a passage of words, “Many have a bad feeling about the second incarnation of God, for man finds it difficult to believe that God would become flesh to do the work of judgment. Nevertheless, I must tell you that often the work of God greatly exceeds man’s expectations and is difficult for the minds of men to accept. For men are merely maggots upon the earth, while God is the supreme One that fills the universe; the mind of man is akin to a pit of foul water that gives rise only to maggots, whereas each stage of the work directed by the thoughts of God is the distillation of God’s wisdom. Man constantly wishes to contend with God, to which I say it is self-evident who will suffer loss in the end. I exhort you all not to regard yourselves as more important than gold. If others can accept the judgment of God, then why can you not? How much higher do you stand above others? If others can bow their heads before the truth, why can you not also do so?” I felt these words were very reasonable, but I also had some thoughts about them, especially about the word “maggots” and phrase “a pit of foul water.” I thought to myself: How can God speak so harshly? The Lord Jesus always spoke gently, it’s impossible that God says such harsh things. But since I would have to get up early to go to work the next morning, I left the meeting.
After I got home, my husband asked me why I was so late. I said, “Today I went to The Church of Almighty God to listen to sermons and lost track of time. Their sermons are really profound. I had never heard such a good sermon.” My husband said, “The priest told us not to contact The Church of Almighty God. It’s said that there are many believers who pursue more actively from many sects have believed in Eastern Lightning. Also, they have spread the gospel to every country. You’d better be more cautious in regard to the coming of the Lord.” At his words, I recalled the word “maggots” and phrase “a pit of foul water,” thinking: Maybe I’d better not contact them anymore. However, I always felt an unspeakable pain in my heart.
At night I lay in bed, thinking over and over. What the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God fellowshiped was all in line with the Bible. What’s more, they fellowshiped clearly about some truths that I have never understood after decades of believing in the Lord. Although they met me for the first time, they treated me with sincerity and love, making me feel very warm. Besides, I found Sister Zhang and her husband had gained much more faith and knowledge of God and they became completely different from before, though they haven’t believed in Almighty God for a long time. And I also thought of Sister Xiaoyun’s fellowship which said that after God’s work of salvation finished, He would punish those who forsook Him and resisted Him. So, if Almighty God is truly the return of the Lord Jesus, then won’t I become a person forsaking God? And won’t it be in vain that I’ve believed in the Lord for so many years? So, I decided to continue investigating.
God’s Severe Words Are Said for Cleansing Man
One day after that, I went to The Church of Almighty God again and told my confusion to Sister Xiaoyun. Then she fellowshiped with me, “Weighing whether or not something is the word of God cannot be based on whether it is severe or not, nor should we define that severe words are not God’s words. Actually, God said some severe words both in the Age of Law and in the Age of Grace. For example, Jehovah said to the people of Judea, ‘But draw near here, you sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore’ (Isaiah 57:3). The Lord Jesus said, ‘You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?’ (Matthew 23:33) ‘Give not that which is holy to the dogs, neither cast you your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you’ (Matthew 7:6). From the verses we can see that both Jehovah God and the Lord Jesus not only said some severe words, but they also said many words of blessing and mercy to man. Especially to those followers, the Lord Jesus never got angry, but showed endless compassion and love. Actually, what kind of disposition God expresses or in which tone He speaks in each age are both related to His work. In the Age of Grace, God did the work of redemption, so the Lord Jesus expressed a disposition of love and mercy and spoke gently to man, which was helpful for him to come before God to repent and confess, gaining His salvation. Today, Almighty God does the work of judging and cleansing man. So, based on the need of this work, God expresses a disposition that is primarily one of righteousness, majesty and wrath, because only stern words can achieve the result of transforming man and cleansing man.”
Then Sister Xiaoyun shared two more passages of God’s words with me: “For My work is the work of conquest, and is aimed at your disobedience and old nature. The kind words of Jehovah and Jesus fall far short of the severe words of judgment today. Without such severe words, it would be impossible to conquer you ‘experts,’ who have been disobedient for thousands of years. The laws of the Old Testament lost their power on you long ago, and the judgment of today is far more formidable than the old laws. Most suitable for you is judgment, and not the trifling restrictions of laws, for you are not the mankind of the very beginning, but a mankind that has been corrupt for thousands of years.” “Though My words may be stern, they are all said for man’s salvation, as I am only speaking words and not punishing man’s flesh. These words cause man to live in the light, to know that the light exists, to know that the light is precious, even more so to know how beneficial these words are to man, and to know that God is salvation. Though I have said many words of chastisement and judgment, they have not been done unto you in deed. I have come to do My work, to speak My words and, though My words may be stern, they are spoken in judgment of your corruption and your rebelliousness. The purpose of My doing this remains to save man from Satan’s domain, to use My words to save man; My purpose is not to harm man with My words. My words are stern so that results may be achieved from My work. Only through working in this way can man know themselves and break away from their rebellious disposition.”
Sister Xiaoyun fellowshiped, “In the last days, God will judge and cleanse man and completely rid us of our corrupt disposition and save us from Satan’s domination. Only through God’s severe words of judgment, can our numb hearts be awakened, and can we understand that we have been deeply corrupted by Satan and that we urgently need God’s salvation. Only from the judgment in God’s words can we recognize God’s majestic, wrathful and righteous disposition, develop a God-fearing heart, and then forsake the flesh to practice the truth. In this way, we can break free from the bondage of sin and live out a likeness of a true man. Just like me, in the past I didn’t understand my corrupt satanic disposition, thinking that I was an honest person. When I saw God’s words reveal that ‘the heart of man is deceitful above all things,’ I outwardly admitted that God’s words are the truth, but I wasn’t able to fully accept the judgment and chastisement of these words. Later, when God arranged environments to reveal me, I saw that in order to protect my own interests as well as my face and vanity, I often acted one way in front of others and another way behind their backs, and often involuntarily lied. Only then did I understand that I was a deceitful person. Afterward, I also saw God’s words say that God hates and detests deceitful people, they can’t be saved; only honest people can be saved and enter the kingdom of heaven. I then had a knowledge of God’s righteousness and holiness and developed some fear of God. I consciously started to forsake myself and practice to be an honest person. Gradually I gained some entry in being honest and now I lied less. All of this was the result that was achieved through the judgment of God’s words. I personally realized that only by experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God’s words could we live out the likeness of a true man. Although some of God’s words sound a little severe and even sometimes they judge and curse us, they are still not done unto our flesh. God speaks severe words only to let us understand our corrupt disposition more deeply so that we can rid ourselves of corruption and be cleansed eventually. So, no matter whether His words are tender or severe, they are God’s salvation and love for us.”
Hearing Sister Xiaoyun’s fellowship, I was very moved and also understood that no matter how severe God’s words are, they are all salvation for us. In the past, I always lived in circumstances where I committed sins and then confessed them, because I thought that the Lord Jesus was always loving and compassionate, He would forgive my sins unconditionally, forsake me and be patient with me. Thus, I had not the least bit of reverence or fear for God, and even when I committed sins, I thought nothing of it. Today I finally know that only severe words of judgment can awaken my numb heart. Though I haven’t understood much, I’m willing to accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, no longer willing to hurt God’s heart.
Later on, Sister Xiaoyun gave me a copy of The Scroll Opened by the Lamb so that I could read it at home. Through a period of reading God’s words and having gatherings with my brothers and sisters, I completely confirmed that Almighty God is the second coming of the Lord Jesus.
After accepting God’s work in the last days, I emphasized reading the words of God and accepting the judgment and chastisement of the words. For the various corrupt states of man revealed by God’s words, I accepted and checked them against myself. Gradually I came to have some understanding of my own corrupt disposition. In my life, my relationship with my family also had a subtle change. When they did something that couldn’t conform to my expectations and I wanted to lose my temper with them, I recalled God’s words revealing: “considering yourselves as always right and better than others, being arrogant, and acting savagely like wild animals in mountains.” Then I realized that my willing to fly into a temper was the result of my satanic disposition of arrogance and brutishness, and it was not normal humanity. Therefore, I consciously prayed to God, forsook my flesh and put aside myself. Now my children say that I smile more and my husband also says that I’m not as self-centered as before nor do I lose my temper at any time.
Through my experiences I appreciated that God’s work of judgment can indeed save me from the corrupt satanic disposition. Judgment and chastisement is the truest and most genuine love. Although God’s words of judgment are severe, His will is to use the revelation of words to make me understand my corruption and unrighteousness, so that I can pursue the truth and can be cleansed. Although the judgment of words makes me suffer, it is still the remedy for me to live out the normal humanity. This is just like the Bible says: “Open rebuke is better than secret love” (Proverbs 27:5).