Letting Go of My Notion and Seeking Humbly, I Find the Way to the Kingdom of Heaven
When hearing some people testify that the Lord Jesus has returned and has done the work of judgment in the last days, many people maybe have the same idea as me, thinking, “The Lord Jesus has taken on all of our sins, so we have been forgiven of our sins by believing in the Lord, and the Lord will directlyus into the kingdom of heaven when He returns. Then why do we still have to accept judgment? Is God’s judgment not the condemnation of mankind? If we accept God’s judgment, how can we ?” Later, in a meeting, my confusion was resolved, and I understood the importance of the returned Lord’s work of judgment in the last days, and also knew that God’s judgment in the last days is not the condemnation of people but the salvation for them. In the end, I welcomed the Lord’s return and found the way to be purified and enter the kingdom of heaven. Now I’d like to share my experience.
I Was Confused and Had Different Opinions With My Wife
My wife and I began to believe in the Lord Jesus in 1995, and later we went to South Korea. In 2017, we started to attend gatherings at a church in South Korea.
Later on, I accidentally discovered that my wife went to another church to have meetings. One day, my wife said to me excitedly, “Do you know? The Lord Jesus has returned, expressing the truth and doing the work of judgment and purification of mankind with His words. Only when we accept God’s work of judgment in the last days and are cleansed of sin are we qualified to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
After hearing what my wife said, I was very surprised and thought: “The Lord Jesus has already taken on all of our sins. We have been forgiven of our sins by believing in Him. When the Lord comes, He will directly bring us into the kingdom of heaven. Why do we need to accept God’s judgment?”
“Where did you go to listen to sermons? Why do you say this?” I angrily questioned my wife.
“Don’t be angry. In fact, God’s work is divided into three stages. The first stage was the work of the Age of Law when Jehovah God issued the laws and commandments and guided man on earth. The second stage was in the Age of Redemption. The Lord Jesus was crucified to atone for our sins. When we accepted the Lord’s redemption, our sins were forgiven. Although the Lord has forgiven our sins, we are not cleansed of our sinful nature, and we can still sin. That’s a fact. So, when the Lord returns, He will do the work of judgment and purification to completely save us from sins, which fulfills what the Bible says: ‘For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God’ (1 Peter 4:17). I think what the people from The Church of Almighty God said sounds quite reasonable, and is in line with the Bible. Would you like to investigate with me?” My wife patiently persuaded me.
I stubbornly said, “We have already been forgiven of our sins. When the Lord returns, He will directly rapture us into the kingdom of heaven. Why would the Lord do the judgment work? Isn’t judgment about being condemned? If so, how can we enter the kingdom of heaven? Don’t go to this church anymore.” Seeing that I was a little angry, my wife didn’t say anything else.
I had thought that my wife would not go to the church, but instead of giving up investigating The Church of Almighty God, she became more proactive. She even read Almighty God’s words to me from time to time and talked to me about God’s work in the last days, but I still clung to my own views, thinking that the Lord Jesus would not come to do the work of judgment. At the same time, I felt really worried that my wife would be deceived. So, I had to find a way to stop her from listening to sermons of The Church of Almighty God.
One day, my wife went to attend a gathering again. No sooner had she entered the house than I said in a threatening tone, “Didn’t I tell you not to go to The Church of Almighty God? Why do you still go there? If you don’t listen to me, I’ll send you back to China. It’s up to you to deal with this!”
My wife said nothing when seeing I got angry and she silently turned around and kneeled down to. Seeing her praying, I was unable to lose my temper with her. Meanwhile, I couldn’t help thinking, “She has believed in the Lord for more than 20 years. She is an enthusiastic seeker and familiar with the Bible. Besides, she is thoughtful and knows her own mind, so she won’t be easily deceived. In less than a month after first going to The Church of Almighty God, she has such a staunch belief in Almighty God. It seems that the way of the church is extraordinary.” Thinking of this, I didn’t worry about her for the time being.
The Hymns of The Church of Almighty God Touch My Heart
After dinner one day, I lay in bed and watched TV, while my wife was sitting beside me and looking at her phone. Then I suddenly heard the lyrics from her phone: “O God! I beg You to do judgment work in me, and purify me, and change me, allowing me to understand Your will in all things, and allowing me to obey Your will in all things. In Your salvation of me, there is Your supreme love and Your will.”
This hymn sounded soothing and the lyrics took root deep in my heart. Unconsciously, I went over and saw a sister in the video who sang the hymn “I’m Willing to Submit to God’s Work” with deep affection. This music video shows how this sister reveals her corrupt disposition, realizes her rebellion after reading Almighty God’s words, and finally submits to God’s work. The sister’s experience touched me a lot. The songs I had heard in my church all expressed believers’ gratitude and praise for God. I hadn’t heard any song that showed how God changed and purified people. I thought of how my wife and I had believed in the Lord Jesus for more than 20 years. We were living in the situation of sinning during the day and confessing our sins at night, and were very eager to get rid of the bondage of sin someday. This hymn sang out the feelings of our hearts. When I knew from this hymn that God’s work of judgment could purify and change people, I felt God’s earnest intention to save mankind.
After that, my wife played a hymn video of God’s words of The Church of Almighty God—Come to Zion With Praising. I heard the lyrics: “Praise has come to Zion and God’s dwelling place has appeared. The glorious holy name, extolled by all peoples, spreads. Ah, Almighty God! The Head of the universe, Christ of the last days—He is the shining Sun that has risen upon Mount Zion, which towers in majesty and grandeur over all the universe. … Almighty God! We call out to You in jubilation; we dance and sing. You are truly our Redeemer, the great King of the universe!” The lyrics sounded authoritative and powerful, and no ordinary human could speak them. It seemed as though the Lord Jesus had returned as Almighty God. Gradually I didn’t feel so resistant to The Church of Almighty God. Since then, my wife would play hymns for me every night, including the hymns of God’s words and hymns of life experience, and she also played some videos of readings of God’s words. I was very happy to listen to them, and often intoxicated with them. Even though I didn’t fully understand what the content meant, I still inexplicably liked to listen to them.
One day, I said to my wife, “I feel that the lyrics in the hymns of God’s words touch me at a deep level. They are something that no regular person could say.”
“Certainly, they’re God’s words, and of course they have authority. The Lord. ‘My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me’ (John 10:27). The sheep of God can hear God’s voice. Since you love to listen to the hymns of God’s words, I believe you are the sheep chosen by God!” My wife said happily.
I was moved by what my wife said. Over the years of my belief in the Lord, I had often heard brothers and sisters talk about God’s sheep. I thought God’s sheep would gladden God. When I heard my wife say that I was the sheep chosen by God, I was very glad.
Seeing I wasn’t so resistant, my wife calmly tried to persuade me, “We have believed in the Lord for more than 20 years, and every time we go to the church, the pastors always preach the same old things or the doctrine of making offerings. What have we gained from church gatherings over the years? We didn’t have any spiritual enjoyment. If we want to truly believe in God, we must follow God’s footsteps. Now the Lord Jesus has returned and done the work of judgment and purification in the last days, so we should investigate, so as not to miss the opportunity to welcome the Lord.” I totally agreed with my wife. In recent years, every gathering was like a formality, I couldn’t hear any new sermon, and my spirit really felt no enjoyment.
My attitude was not as resistant as before, so my wife tried to ask me, “Would you like to go to The Church of Almighty God with me to listen to God’s words? If there is anything you don’t understand, the brothers and sisters will fellowship with you about it.” Hearing my wife’s words, I wondered to myself, “My wife has been investigating for a long time. She must have gained some insights and thought that this church is good, so she advises me to go to the church. If she is not so sure, she will not persuade me to believe in Almighty God.”
“Okay, I will go with you to investigate.” I readily agreed with her.
Resolving My Confusion: Can We Directly Enter the Kingdom of Heaven Once Our Sins Are Forgiven?
After meeting the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God, I directly raised my confusion, “You have testified that the Lord Jesus has returned and has done the work of judgment in the last days, and only by accepting the work of judgment in the last days can we enter the kingdom of heaven. But I think the work of the Lord Jesus’ crucifixion has already redeemed us and forgiven all our sins. We are no longer sinful. So, when the Lord comes, we will be directly raptured into the kingdom of heaven. Why do you say that only by accepting the work of judgment in the last days can we enter the kingdom of heaven? Could you please fellowship about this question?”
Brother Wang read a few passages of Almighty God’s words which address this issue. Almighty God says, “For all that man may have been redeemed and forgiven of his sins, it can only be considered as God not remembering the transgressions of man and not treating man in accordance with his transgressions. However, when man, who lives in a body of flesh, has not been set free from sin, he can only continue to sin, endlessly revealing his corrupt satanic disposition. This is the life that man leads, an endless cycle of sinning and being forgiven. The majority of mankind sin in the day only to confess in the evening. This way, even though the sin offering is forever effective for man, it will not be able to save man from sin. Only half the work of salvation has been completed, for man still has a corrupt disposition.”
“Though Jesus did much work among man, He only completed the redemption of all mankind and became man’s sin offering; He did not rid man of all his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to become the sin offering and bear the sins of man, but it also required God to do even greater work to rid man completely of his satanically corrupted disposition. And so, now that man has been forgiven of his sins, God has returned to the flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment. This work has brought man into a higher realm. All those who submit under His dominion shall enjoy higher truth and receive greater blessings. They shall truly live in the light, and they shall gain the truth, the way, and the life.”
Brother Wang fellowshiped, “We all know that in the end of the Age of Law, people became more and more sinful, and could not keep the laws and faced the danger of being executed by the laws. Thus, the Lord Jesus was crucified and did the work of redemption, and He took on all the sins of mankind. So, as long as people pray to the Lord and confess their sins, they will be forgiven and no longer be executed by the law. They are also eligible to come before the Lord Jesus to enjoy His blessings and grace. This is the result achieved by the redemption work of the Lord Jesus. However, though the Lord Jesus has pardoned our sins, He has not pardoned our sinful nature or our satanic disposition. Our sinful natures, such as arrogance, self-importance, selfishness, baseness, cunning, wickedness and greediness, continue to exist. So, we often sin in spite of ourselves. For example, we often say ‘Christ is the Lord of my house,’ but in our lives we are arrogant at home. We always want to have the final say and let others listen to us. We clearly know that the Lord requires us to be honest people, but as soon as it involves our face and position, we can lie and deceive; when we face natural or man-made disasters, we can misunderstand and blame God, and even betray God; even though we expend ourselves for God, it’s with the aim of entering the kingdom and being blessed, not for obeying and loving the Lord. How can the filthy and corrupt people like us be praised by God and enter the kingdom of heaven? Almighty God says, ‘A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus—you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but you have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in the good blessings of God, for you have missed out a step in God’s work of managing man, which is the key step of changing and perfecting. You, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are therefore incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance.’
“The Lord Jesus has foretold many times that He would come back in the last days to uproot the sin within us, that is, to solve our satanic nature and satanic disposition. In the last days, upon the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption, Almighty God has come to express the truth and do the work of judgment starting from the house of God, to judge and purify us, so that we can completely escape the bondage of sin and be obtained by God. Therefore, only by accepting and experiencing the judgment work of Almighty God in the last days can we get rid of satanic disposition, be purified and enter the.”
Sister Li then fellowshiped, “Yes. The Lord Jesus said, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the son stays ever’ (John 8:34–35). Hebrews 12:14 says, ‘Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.’ These verses clearly tell us: People who often sin are the servants of sin. They are not worthy of seeing God’s face and entering the kingdom of God. Only when we attain sanctity and divest ourselves of filth can we enter the kingdom of God. God is the Lord of the kingdom of heaven, so God has the final say on the criteria for entering the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, based on the needs of corrupt mankind, God has done the work of judgment in the last days to completely solve our sinful nature. This stage of work fulfills the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘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). And in 1 Peter 4:17 it is written, ‘For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.’ The Lord Jesus has already clearly told us that He will use words to judge and purify people in the last days. Thus, only by accepting God’s work of judgment in the last days and the judgment and chastisement of Almighty God’s words can we be completely cleansed, free from the bondage of sin, become people who conform to God’s will, and finally be saved by God and brought into God’s kingdom.”
At that time, everything suddenly became clear. I said with joy, “After hearing Almighty God’s words and your fellowship, I feel that what you’ve said are all facts. I am indeed still living in the situation of sinning during the day and confessing at night. Especially my corrupt dispositions such as arrogance, selfishness and baseness still exist within me. Today your fellowship brightens my heart. I have known the Lord only redeemed us, but hasn’t removed our satanic disposition, and our sins cannot be removed by ourselves. Only God can purify and transform people. So, accepting God’s judgment work of the last days is indeed essential.”
Brother Wang and Sister Li nodded and said happily, “Thank God!”
Resolving My Confusion: Is God’s Judgment Condemning Mankind or Saving Them?
I then asked, “Now I understand why God returns to do the work of judgment in the last days, but I still have a question that I don’t quite understand. God’s judgment seems to condemn people. If we accept God’s judgment, doesn’t that mean we’ll be condemned? If so, how could we enter the kingdom of heaven?”
After hearing this, Brother Wang said, “Brother, you think that accepting God’s judgment means being condemned, and having no chance to enter the kingdom of heaven. The reason why you have such worries is mainly that you do not understand how God does the work of judgment. Let’s read a few passages of God’s words regarding this, and then you’ll see.
“God’s words say, ‘God’s work in the present incarnation is to express His disposition primarily through chastisement and judgment. Building on this foundation, He brings more truth to man and points out to him more ways of practice, thereby achieving His objective of conquering man and saving him from his own corrupt disposition. This is what lies behind the work of God in the Age of Kingdom.’
“‘In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, to expose the substance 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 substance 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 essence 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 essence 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.’
“‘By what means is God’s perfection of man accomplished? It is accomplished by means of His righteous disposition. God’s disposition primarily consists of righteousness, wrath, majesty, judgment, and curse, and He perfects man primarily by means of His judgment. Some people do not understand, and ask why it is that God is only able to make man perfect through judgment and curse. They say, “If God were to curse man, wouldn’t man die? If God were to judge man, wouldn’t man be condemned? Then how can he still be made perfect?” Such are the words of people who do not know the work of God. What God curses is the disobedience of man, and what He judges are the sins of man. Although He speaks harshly and relentlessly, He reveals all that is within man, revealing through these stern words that which is substantive within man, yet through such judgment, He gives man a profound knowledge of the substance of the flesh, and thus man submits before God. The flesh of man is of sin and of Satan, it is disobedient, and it is the object of God’s chastisement. Thus, in order to allow man to know himself, the words of God’s judgment must befall him and there must be employed every kind of refinement; only then can God’s work be effective.’”
Brother Wang fellowshiped, “We can learn from God’s words that in the last days God expresses many truths to do judgment work, and uses the truths to judge and purify man. God judges mankind’s filth, corruption, rebellion and resistance. Although His words are strict, they fully reveal God’s holy and righteous disposition, so that we can know our own satanic nature and the truth of our corruption. Only after experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God’s words can we realize that our selfish, despicable, arrogant, crooked and deceitful satanic dispositions are firmly rooted within us, and that we can also rebel against God, resist God, and fall far short of God’s will and requirements; at the same time, we also have some understanding of God’s righteous and holy disposition, and gradually develop hearts of reverence for Him. Our corrupt disposition changes to varying degrees, and we have gradually escaped the degenerate situation of sinning during the day and confessing at night. All of this is an effect that has been achieved through having experienced God’s words of judgment. It can be seen that the judgment and revelations of God’s words are not to punish or condemn people, but to purify, transform, and save people. However, those who stubbornly cling to their own notions and imaginations and refuse to accept God’s work of judgment and purification in the last days, will weep and gnash their teeth when the great disasters descend.”
Sister Li said, “Yes, God’s work of judgment through His words in the last days is to save and perfect people. I didn’t know myself before and I felt that since I could make sacrifices and expend myself for the Lord, then I was the one who most loved the Lord and was most qualified to enter the kingdom of heaven. After accepting God’s work in the last days, I saw God’s words, ‘Many who follow God are only concerned with how to gain blessings or stave off disaster. As soon as God’s work and management are mentioned, they fall silent and lose all interest. They think that understanding such tedious issues will not help their lives to grow or provide any benefit. Consequently, although they have heard about God’s management, they pay it little heed. They do not see it as something precious to be accepted, much less do they receive it as part of their lives. Such people only have one simple aim in following God, and that aim is to receive blessings. Such people cannot be bothered to pay heed to anything else that does not directly involve this aim. To them, there is no goal more legitimate than believing in God to receive blessings—it is the very value of their faith. If something does not contribute to this aim, they remain completely unmoved by it. This is the case with most people who believe in God today. Their aim and intention seem legitimate, because as they believe in God, they also expend for God, dedicate themselves to God, and perform their duty. They give up their youth, forsake family and career, and even spend years away from home busying themselves. For the sake of their ultimate goal, they change their own interests, their outlook on life, and even the direction they seek; yet they cannot change the aim of their belief in God. They run about for the management of their own ideals; no matter how far the road is, and no matter how many hardships and obstacles there are along the way, they remain persistent and unafraid of death. What power compels them to continue dedicating themselves in this way? Is it their conscience? Is it their great and noble character? Is it their determination to battle the forces of evil to the very end? Is it their faith to bear witness to God without seeking reward? Is it their loyalty in being willing to give up everything to achieve God’s will? Or is it their spirit of devotion to always forgo extravagant personal demands? For someone who has never understood the work of God’s management to still give so much is, quite simply, a miracle! For the moment, let us not discuss how much these people have given. Their behavior, however, is highly worthy of our analysis. Apart from the benefits that are so closely associated with them, could there be any other reasons why people who never understand God would give so much for Him? In this, we discover a previously unidentified problem: Man’s relationship with God is merely one of naked self-interest. It is a relationship between a receiver and a giver of blessings. To put it plainly, it is akin to the relationship between employee and employer. The employee works only to receive the rewards bestowed by the employer. There is no affection in such a relationship, only transaction. There is no loving or being loved, only charity and mercy. There is no understanding, only suppressed indignation and deception. There is no intimacy, only an uncrossable chasm.’
“God’s words were like a two-edged sword piercing my heart and spirit. I realized that over my years of belief in God, although I made sacrifices and suffered a great deal, all the sacrifices and suffering had been to gain blessings, not to practice the Lord’s words nor to obey and love God. When God kept my family living in peace, and bestowed abundant materials and peace on me, I was full of joy, thanking and praising the Lord, and I expended myself energetically. However, when I encountered hardships or trials, I would complain in my heart, and even reason with the Lord, unwilling to expend for the Lord. How was I believing in God? Was I not deceiving and using God? I had no love for God. I felt God scrutinizes everything of mine, and my despicable intentions behind belief in God and working hard are observed clearly by God. God hates me being an opportunist and hates me believing in Him just for gaining blessings under the pretense of expending for Him. How could God allow those who deceive and betray God and belong to Satan to enter the kingdom of God? Under the judgment of God, I realized that God’s holy and righteous disposition brooks no offense. I couldn’t help falling before God in regret, despising myself. Later, I saw God’s words: ‘Belief in God is so that you may obey God, love God, and perform the duty that should be performed by a creature of God. This is the aim of believing in God. You must achieve a knowledge of the loveliness of God, of how worthy God is of reverence, of how, in His creatures, God does the work of salvation and making them perfect—these are the bare essentials of your belief in God. Belief in God is principally the switch from a life of the flesh to a life of loving God; from living within corruption to living within the life of God’s words; it is coming out from under the domain of Satan and living under the care and protection of God; it is being able to achieve obedience to God and not obedience to the flesh; it is allowing God to gain your entire heart, allowing God to make you perfect, and freeing yourself from the corrupt satanic disposition.’ God’s words awakened my heart and changed my wrong perspectives on pursuit. From then on, my belief in God was taking a turn for the better, and I was unwilling to live for myself but willing to give up my intention of obtaining blessings and seek to obey, love and satisfy God in all things. Regardless of whether I will be blessed or suffer disasters in the future, I’m willing to obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and fulfill the duties of a creature of God. Later, by experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement, I have understood more and more truth and God’s intention to save people, and my view of believing in God has gradually changed. There are less corrupt impurities with the fulfillment of my duties, and my conscience and reason are restored. Now I feel that I live out a little of the semblance of a true human being. I have seen in my experience that God’s work of judgment in the last days is love, salvation, purification, and perfection for people. Only by accepting and experiencing God’s work of judgment in the last days can we get rid of corrupt dispositions and finally enter the kingdom of God.”
I said happily, “Before, I thought God’s judgment was condemning mankind. Now I know that I really didn’t understand God’s will and God’s work of judgment. Almighty God’s words and your fellowship have brightened my heart. God’s work of judgment in the last days is so necessary. I think of how we still often live in sin, do not recognize our corruption, let alone admit that we have a satanic nature that resists God. If people like us, who don’t know ourselves at all and can resist God, can enter the kingdom of heaven, then how should God’s righteousness and holiness be reflected? I now understand that God’s work of judgment is so meaningful. Only by experiencing the judgment of God’s words can we know ourselves and know God, get rid of corruption and be cleansed. I am so fortunate to investigate The Church of Almighty God today. Otherwise, I would miss the opportunity to welcome the Lord’s return, and lose the chance to be saved and enter the kingdom of heaven forever, and then I would regret it forever.”
Later, after a period of seeking and investigating, I understood the mystery of God’s incarnation, the meaning of, the significance and effects of God’s three stages of work, and the dispositions God expresses in each stage of work, and so on. I have seen that every word that Almighty God expresses is practical and is indeed the truth. I believe that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. I thank God for His mercy and salvation for me, so that I have the opportunity to welcome the Lord’s return and find the way to be saved and enter the kingdom of heaven.
- Editor’s Note:
Does Brother Jin’s experience help you understand the meaning and necessity of God’s work of judgment in the last days, and find the way to the kingdom of heaven? If you have any questions, please contact us through Messenger.