Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:52 — Can We Truly “Be Changed in the Twinkling of an Eye” When the Lord Returns?
By Feng Shun
The Bible says, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:52–53). Many people believe that although we still sin, God is almighty, and when the Lord comes again He will change us in the twinkling of an eye, changing the sinful into the sinless, and then rapturing us up into the kingdom of heaven. But is there any basis for this view in the Lord’s words? When the Lord comes again, will He really do as we imagine He will? How exactly does God perform His work to purify man in the last days? These questions are directly linked to the crucial issues of our fate and our final end. We will fellowship this matter below.
“Being Changed in the Twinkling of an Eye” Contradicts the Lord’s Words
We believe, according to 1 Corinthians 15:52–53, that when the Lord returns in the last days, He will change us all in the twinkling of an eye, make us holy, and rapture us into the kingdom of heaven. But is this view really correct? Did the Lord Jesus ever say such a thing? Did the Holy Spirit ever say such a thing? The Lord Jesus’ words are the truth, and only the Lord Jesus’ words possess authority. Paul was just a man; he was not Christ. The words He spoke were not the truth, and so they were inevitably tainted by human will. When it comes to the matter of awaiting the Lord’s return and being raptured up into the heavenly kingdom, we should only go by the words of God — this is the only correct thing to do. If we base our understanding on Paul’s words, however, believing that God will not mind no matter how much we sin, and that when the Lord returns He will instantly change us, make us holy, and rapture us up into the heavenly kingdom, then how would this prophecy in Revelation be fulfilled? “And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12). According to this verse, when the Lord returns, He will reward or punish each person depending on their actions. This means that there is a direct correlation between our actions and whether or not we will be able to enter the kingdom of heaven. According to our own views, however, even if we do not follow the way of the Lord and we live in sin, there is still nothing to fear. We believe that when the Lord returns, He will change us in the twinkling of an eye and make us holy, then rapturing us up into the kingdom of heaven. There would then be no connection whatsoever between how good or righteous our actions are and whether or not we could enter the kingdom of heaven. But would that not leave the Lord’s words unfulfilled, when He said, “to give every man according as his work shall be”? Moreover, it is prophesied in the Book of Revelation that God will come in the last days to separate the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares, and the good servants from the wicked servants. If everyone changed form and was raptured up into the kingdom of heaven, then the statement about the goats and the sheep, the wheat and the tares would be rendered meaningless, and how then would God’s work of separating each according to their kind in the last days be fulfilled? We can therefore see that if we do not base our faith in the Lord on the Lord’s own words, but instead base it on the words of Paul, earnestly longing for the Lord to come to change us in the twinkling of an eye and rapture us up into the kingdom of heaven, then our view runs contrary to the Lord’s own words and is at odds with His will.
How God Works to Purify Man in the Last Days
The Lord Jesus told us clearly long ago what work He will do and how He will change people so that they may be purified when He returns in the last days. 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). “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). “I pray not that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil. … Sanctify them through Your truth: Your word is truth. … And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth” (John 17:15–19). In addition, 1 Peter 4:17 says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.” These verses tell us that when the Lord returns, He will, according to our needs as corrupt mankind, express the truth and perform the work of judgment beginning with the house of God; He will guide people to understand and enter into all truths, and He will use the truth to change and purify people. Only by undergoing the judgment of God’s words can we cast off the bonds of sin, be purified, and enter the kingdom of heaven. The Lord Jesus has now long since returned as Almighty God, Christ of the last days. Upon the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption, He has expressed many truths and performs the work of judging and purifying people, enabling us to resolve our sinful nature once and for all, cast off sin, and enter into the kingdom of heaven. The work of judgment in the last days performed by Almighty God entirely fulfills the prophecies spoken by the Lord Jesus.
How then does Almighty God perform the work of judgment to purify and save people? Almighty God says, “In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, to expose the essence 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 essence 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 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.”
“By means of this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt substance within his own self, and he will be able to change completely and become clean. Only in this way can man become worthy to return before the throne of God. All the work done this day is so that man can be made clean and be changed; through judgment and chastisement by the word, as well as through refinement, man can purge away his corruption and be made pure. Rather than deeming this stage of work to be that of salvation, it would be more apt to say it is the work of purification.”
God’s words lead us to understand that His work of judgment to purify and save people in the last days is not as simple as we imagine. Because we have been corrupted so deeply by Satan and we have satanic dispositions such as arrogance and conceitedness, selfishness and baseness, wickedness and greed deeply rooted within us, we often cannot help but commit sin and resist God. God will utterly cleanse us and change us, deeply corrupted as we are, and make us into people who revere and obey God, and so He must express the truth to judge and cleanse us. To experience God’s judgment and chastisement so that we can rid ourselves of corruption and be purified requires a long-term process. In the last days, therefore, and according to our needs, God expresses all aspects of the truth to judge and purify us. Not only does God judge and expose our satanic nature that rebels against and defies God, but He also tells us what He requires of us, such as how we should live out a normal human likeness, how we should obey and revere God, and how we can be honest people. Only after undergoing the judgment and chastisement of God’s words can we truly recognize the truth of our corruption and begin to know our satanic dispositions such as arrogance and selfishness. At the same time, we also come to know God’s holy substance and His righteous disposition that tolerates no offense, and only then does our determination to hate our own flesh arise, and we become willing to truly repent to God and conduct ourselves and do things in accordance with the truth. In this way and without even being consciously aware of it, we cast off the bonds of sin and become able to live out a true human likeness.
It has now been almost 30 years since Almighty God began His work. He has already made a group of overcomers before the great disasters arrive, and many experiential testimonies of those who have experienced God’s work of judgment and whose corrupt dispositions have undergone change are now publicly available online — these are the fruit borne by God’s work of judgment in the last days. Compared with the history of mankind, this short period of time of almost 30 years could be described as an instant, just as it says in the Bible: “[O]ne day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8). If we say that when the Lord returns in the last days He will change people in an instant and in the twinkling of an eye, such a statement is entirely appropriate when referring to the fruits of God’s work in the last days, and it entirely reveals the wisdom and almightiness of God.
Having given fellowship up to this point, I trust that everyone will now understand that, if we want to be purified and enter into the kingdom of heaven, then the only way to do so is to accept God’s work of judgment in the last days. So should we not now let go of our supernatural imaginings and accept the present work of God?
Source from: Find the shepherd