By Nick Yang, United States
“And I saw a great white throne, and one sitting upon it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away, and there was no place found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing in the presence of the throne, and the books were opened; and another book was opened” (Revelation 20:11-12).
Every time I read these two verses, I would imagine the splendid scene of the returned Lord judging mankind in the last days. I thought that at that time the Lord Jesus would sit upon the great white throne in the sky with the records of every person in His hands, and imposingly judge them all. I continued to stick to this notion until I heard God’s good news.
I heard God’s good news.
One day in February 2018, after I returned home from a holiday in another state, my wife happily said to me, “The Lord Jesus has already returned in the flesh. He has expressed words and done the work of judgment starting from God’s house. I went to listen to a few sermons about this. From them, I’ve understood many truths and really gained sustenance. Moreover, those brothers and sisters have a fresh and clear way of fellowshiping about the Bible. Also, they are very compassionate. So I felt unrestrained when gathering together with them. How about listening to them with me tomorrow?” Hearing this, I said in amazement, “How is this possible? Revelation clearly states that when the Lord returns, He will sit upon the great white throne in the sky and personally unroll the scrolls where everything that every single person did throughout his or her life has been recorded. At that time, people will be lifted in the air, personally confess to their sins committed throughout their lifetime, and accept the Lord’s righteous judgment. But so far we haven’t seen any scenes like this, so how can it be that the Lord has returned?” And I reminded her, “There is no true love in this world. You should be careful. Don’t be cheated by others.”
She said, “Indeed there is no love in this world. But they are true believers in God, and are really different from ordinary people. You’ll see when you meet them tomorrow.” Hearing her speaking like this, I felt a bit curious, so I wanted to meet those people praised by my wife and listen to their sermons.
My notions and imaginings were barriers to my knowledge of God.
The following day, when we arrived at the meeting place as arranged, the brothers and sisters greeted us with enthusiasm. By closely observing their speech and actions, I could feel their hearts were genuine. Slowly, my own heart felt a lot more liberated. Furthermore, hearing them communicate their own experiences of believing in God, I felt their fellowshiping was very practical and novel. Accordingly, I thought their way was worth seeking and investigating. So, I asked the brother who preached, “Brother, I heard my wife say that the Lord Jesus had already returned to flesh to do His work of judgment. But I remember Revelation states, ‘And I saw a great white throne, and one sitting upon it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away, and there was no place found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing in the presence of the throne, and the books were opened; and another book was opened’ (Revelation 20:11-12). Therefore, it’s reasonable to say that judgment in the last days ought to be in the sky. When the Lord returns, it should be that He’ll sit upon the great white throne in the air, with books of records in His hands, and imposingly judge each man and woman based on his or her individual actions. How can you say that the Lord has already become flesh to carry out upon earth the work of judgment?”
After hearing my question, he nodded and said solemnly, “Based on the record of John’s visions in the Book of Revelation, many Christians are full of notions and imaginings about judgment during the time of the Lord coming again in the last days. They believe that the work of judgment will be carried out in the air. In their thoughts, there will be a white throne in the sky, and on that throne will be the Lord Jesus. With the book of life and the book of the dead opened beside Him, the Lord Jesus will ask all people to account for all of the sins they have ever committed, and then He’ll decide people’s end based on their actions and deeds. We all imagine the work of God’s judgment to be very supernatural. However, will God fulfill it in accordance with our imaginings? Will God’s judgment in the last days happen in the air or on earth? Let’s first look at two verses. Revelation 14:6-7 say, ‘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, 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.’ These verses clearly tell us that an angel told people that when the time God performs judgment comes, people aren’t in the sky but on earth. Let’s think about this. Heaven is where God resides; we are mortal beings who have always lived on earth and are also the mankind corrupted by Satan. So how can we possibly ascend to heaven to be judged? We’re only worthy of bowing down at God’s feet and accepting God’s judgment on earth. That is more practical.”
Taking a good look at the verses and pondering the brother’s fellowshiping, I felt it made a lot of sense. I had always believed that when the Lord returned, He would judge us in the sky. But I never thought about whether it was realistic or not. I thought, “It seems that my faith in God is confused.”
Not much later, he turned on his computer and asked me to read a passage of God’s words, “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? … 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.”
After I finished reading, he fellowshiped this, “God’s words reveal that our ideas about the Lord coming to do His work of judgment in the sky completely come from our conceptions and imaginings. In fact, even though we haven’t seen any signs and wonders, God has already expressed truths and started His work of judgment beginning with His house among the group of people predestined and selected by Him. This is exactly the judgment of the great white throne, as prophesied in the Book of Revelation. All those who accept God’s work of judgment in the last days, and gain purification and transformation, are the overcomers made by God before the great catastrophe. Their names will be recorded in the book of life. This is completely in accordance with the prophecy recorded in Revelation, ‘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 14:4-5). When the people who accept God’s work of judgment in the last days are made complete by God, God’s judgment work will be thoroughly complete, and then God will reward good and punish evil. If we accept God’s judgment work at that time, it’ll be too late. So, only by accepting the incarnate God’s work of judgment by the word can we survive the catastrophe with the protection of God.”
It turned out that God is judging mankind like this.
His fellowshiping made me feel suddenly enlightened. I thought, “As it turns out, the work of judgment beginning with the house of God is the judgment of the great white throne, as prophesied in the Book of Revelation. God’s work really is wise and unfathomable! I must listen carefully to figure out whether the Lord has truly returned to start His work of judgment beginning with His house.” Then I asked him out of curiosity, “Brother, has the Lord really come to earth? Then how does He judge mankind?”
He smiled and gently said, “In the past, we all believed that when God judges people, He’ll sit on the seat of judgment and directly decide their end, based on their deeds. Then the good people will be accepted into heaven, while the wicked will be sent to hell and punished. Actually, this is all just our notions and imaginings. Then how does God judge people on earth? Let’s take a look at God’s words and see what He has to say about this topic.” He opened his Kindle and read, “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.”
After reading God’s words, he continued to fellowship this, “From these words we learn that in the last days, God expresses truths according to the need of mankind, and that these truths are aimed at our corrupt thoughts and nature. He uses truths to judge and chastise our disobedience and unrighteousness so that we can accept the judgment in His words and achieve an understanding of the truth. We will know how evil, absurd and preposterous the wrong ideas Satan instilled in us are, recognize our satanic nature that resists and betrays God, and see how filthy and ugly our souls are. This allows us to develop repentance, and no longer rely on our satanic nature when we do things. Rather, we can be good people in accordance with the word of God, and, in the end, change will occur in our life disposition. In this way we’ll be totally made complete by God, and His judgment work will be finished. Take me, for example. In the past, I believed that to believe in God was just to receive blessings and grace, and to enjoy God’s eternal blessings. Directed by such faith, I constantly demanded grace and blessings from the Lord, using my sacrificing and traveling for Him as capital, and felt that I was the most qualified to get these things. But I saw the words of Almighty God, ‘Man’s relationship with God is merely one of naked self-interest. It is the relationship between the receiver and giver of blessings. To put it plainly, it is like the relationship between employee and employer. The employee works only to receive the rewards bestowed by the employer. In a relationship like this, there is no affection, only a deal; there is no loving and being loved, only charity and mercy; there is no understanding, only resignation and deception; there is no intimacy, only a gulf that cannot be bridged.’ The disclosure of God’s words made me ashamed of myself. I saw that my nature was so selfish, deplorable, and treacherous. My belief in God and sacrifices for God weren’t to pursue the truth nor fulfill the duties of a created being. On the contrary, I was trying to engage in a transaction with God. I did so in order to satisfy my desire for gaining blessings, and to demand eternal blessings from God. With this knowledge, I felt especially regretful, and began to forsake my personal ambitions and desires and pursue the truth according to God’s requirements. Afterward, God arranged many situations in which He tried and refined me to reveal my shortcomings so that I could see even more clearly the truth of my corruption. I loathed myself even more, and gradually no longer believed in the Lord just to fill my belly. Through experiencing God’s judgment work in the last days, I deeply sensed that the judgment work of God in the last days can really cleanse and change a person. So only by accepting God’s work of judgment in the last days can our corrupt disposition be purified and we ourselves be saved and perfected by God in the end. Brother, do you understand what I’m saying?”
I smiled and nodded, saying, “I understand it a bit. Before, although I knew God’s judgment will start from God’s house, I didn’t know how it was to be carried out. Today, through your fellowshiping, I understand that judgment starting from God’s house means God incarnates in the flesh to express the truth and judge and cleanse the people who come before Him. When God’s work ends, all people will be sorted in accordance with their own kind.”
I have been raptured before the throne by God after being freed from my preconceived notions.
Later, I gained an even greater understanding of the meaning of God’s judgment work on earth after watching the video of recitation of God’s words The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a “White Cloud” on The Church of Almighty God website. Also, the brother leaned upon pictures of the three stages of work and fellowshiped about the truths of the three stages of God’s work, the incarnation of God, and God’s names to me. This allowed me to gain a better understanding of the truths about God’s six-thousand-year management plan for mankind, the significance of God’s incarnation, and God changing His name in each age. And after watching the video The Origin and Development of The Church of Almighty God, I fully determined that the incarnate Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus.
Dear readers, God’s work of judgment before the great white throne in the last days has almost reached its end. Are you already in the flow of God’s judgment work or not?