Countless times already, various fringe groups within Christianity have predicted a date for the second coming of Christ. They did not care about this being a clear violation of Jesus’ own words in Matthew 24:36, that no one knows the day and hour, except God the Father. Other groups (sometimes the same ones later on) claimed that Jesus had already returned or started a different dispensation or ministry. In this article we will look at one of the latest, a Chinese sect called “Church of Almighty God”, also known as Dongfang Shandian or “Eastern Lightning”. Since its foundation in 1993 it has grown rapidly, also outside China, and it seems to fanatically target existing Christians (proselytising) via social media.
In 2018 I found out about this group via a Facebook friend request from someone I didn’t know. The group shares many professionally made videos (often self-proclaimed as “best Christian movie”), non-traditional hymns and even variety shows. Although the English voice-overs of the videos are pretty good, the behaviour and mannerisms of the actors are distinctly non-Western, so as to have little immediate appeal to a Western audience. Sometimes I even got the impression I was watching North-Korean state propaganda. Nevertheless, I found myself watching a kind of dramatised documentary of over two hours in order not to reject this group out of hand. It was called “The Second Coming of Jesus. Disclose the Mystery about the Bible”. Could their teaching be true to the gospel?
The authority of the Bible
Just like Jehovah’s Witnesses, this sect considers all other churches as outdated and occasionally accuses them of blasphemy. “God ordained the desolation of the church(es), so that He could do a new [end-time] work”. Like the Mormons and the Adventists, the church has one or more holy books to interpret and supplement the Bible. Because the contents are often in direct conflict with the Bible, they first have to break down the authority of (large parts of) the Bible.
This is done in several ways, first of all by attacking certain views which are not shared by all Christians. Many Christians assume that belief in God is the same as belief in the Bible and that the Bible, even more so than Christ, is the Word of God. That is where they will get you. The cult does a good job debunking the idea that the Bible is the Word of God. After all, nowhere does the Bible claim this. And when the letters of Paul refer to Scripture, this is clearly a reference to the Old Testament Scriptures, which were the only ones available to the first Christians. What the church does not tell you, is that this does not necessarily have consequences for the authority of the Biblical materials. They are using these facts just to pave the way for their new revelations.
The same happens when they attack the mistaken idea that no truth exists outside the Bible. Very few Christians actually believe this, but if our attention is drawn to truth that exists outside the Bible, we will be a little more susceptible to these new revelations. Normally this would not have to be brainwashing or manipulation, but if it is repeated as often as it is in the videos, it sure begins to resemble manipulation. More about this later. Another way is by limiting the concept “Word of God” to that which the prophets have explicitly claimed to be words of God and to direct quotations from Jesus. Everything else is considered as merely an opinion of the authors.
This touches on the issue of verbal inspiration. Again, this is not something which most Christians believe, but if you can show it to be wrong, it will be easier to defend “new words of God”. Of course they have to make sure that such new words are prefixed by “Thus says the Lord” or “Almighty God says” and that is exactly what we find in the new “holy book”. In fact, even the chapter headings make this claim. The chapters are called “Utterance 1”, “Utterance 2”, etc. So there can be no doubt that these words have come directly from God, right?
Of course there can be doubts and we should have grave reservations about such claims. Did Paul not write to the Galatians (1:8), “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!” This is probably why the cult has an issue with the apostles in general and with St. Paul in particular. The apostles are compared to ordinary believers, brothers and sisters in the faith, who occasionally write letters of encouragement to each other.
At 1:49 in the movie there is mention of “only men’s views”. According to the movie, Paul neither wrote the words of the Holy Spirit, nor did he write on behalf of the Holy Spirit, although he was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Wait a minute. What is the value of being inspired when it does not allow an apostle to speak on behalf of God? It turns out this church makes little or no distinction between inspiration and enlightenment. Both are considered as pretty useless when it comes to authority.
Let us see what Paul himself writes about this. First of all, he occasionally indicates that he is merely giving his own opinion about a subject, e.g. in 1 Corinthians 7:25 where he addresses marriage, although he adds that even then, he is “trustworthy”. This suggests that in other places, he is not merely expressing his own opinion and is more than just trustworthy. And indeed, in 1 Corinthians 2:13 he says, “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.” Please also check 1 Corinthians 14:37,38, Ephesians 3:2-6 and 1 Corinthians 13:3,10. In the latter, Paul even claims that Christ is speaking through him. So either he is right, or he is a complete fraud and therefore even useless as an ordinary “brother”. It will not do to claim that “some” words in the Bible come from prejudice or erroneous understanding, without specifying those words and explaining why they are not from God.
When the cult maintains that Paul never said his words were “completely” from God, we should note that it was not necessary to say this. After all, he already made the distinction between that which was from God and that which was his personal opinion. Most was from God, not everything, so it is unfair to expect him to say that everything was completely from God. Could Paul “represent” God? Yes, and in fact he did. The cult says he could not, because he was “only” an apostle and a created being, not a prophet. Well, since when is a prophet not a created being? And do prophets and apostles not have something in common, namely that they are both sent (which is the meaning of the word ‘apostle’)? How can it be blasphemy for “men” to speak on behalf of God, when prophets, too, are men or women? And how can they say that Paul had no visions from God, when we have 2 Corinthians 12? Although Paul speaks in the third person, it is clearly about himself, or he would not have used the word “boast”.
More importantly, like most fundamentalists, the cult ignores one vital aspect of all Gods communications. Out of necessity, all these communications had to be expressed in limited human languages. This even applies when a message comes to us via a prophet, supposedly “directly from God”. It would be nice if linguistic, cultural and personal influences could always be discarded, but they never can. Knowledge of the background and circumstances is always necessary to inform our interpretation of the Bible, especially when statements do not seem to be in agreement with each other. The cult places much emphasis on being guided by the Holy Spirit, but when it comes to the mechanisms at work in and the interpretation of the Bible they severely limit the role of the Holy Spirit.
It seems that, to them, the only role of the Holy Spirit is to try and convince you that they are right. For the rest, we have to be satisfied with the assumption that their founders were guided by the Holy Spirit. No need to test their claims using the Bible, either, because the Bible is not reliable, anyway! It is said to be a book full of history, dead letters and doctrine. We are not to be “archaeologists” and can “no longer hold on to the Bible”. Following the Old and New Testament is supposed to bring condemnation! At one stage it is said that “the Bible has become a hindrance to Gods newest work”.
Compare this to the Berean Jews of Acts 17:11, who “examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true”. What Scriptures did they use? The Old ones, right? The Church of Almighty God claims that you can never understand a new work of God from the old Scriptures, because they always refer to a previous era or dispensation. You just have to accept the “new work”. When discussing page 1274 of their sacred book, they even say we should follow rather than investigate God. However, in this article we are not investigating God, but certain doctrines regarding God. We should never have to choose between following God and investigating doctrines. On the contrary, God has given us a mind in order to discover falsehood.
It is true that the Old Testament is mainly a reflection of the work of God in creation and in the giving of the law. It is also true that the New Testament is mainly a reflection, written after the facts, of the work of the Messiah and his first disciples. Both Testaments, however, are also connected and looking forward. The Old Testament contains many prophecies about the first coming of the Messiah and the New Testament contains information about the second coming and the completion of the Kingdom of God. It is therefore very misleading to state that “God never works in accordance with the Bible or by consulting it”. Sure, God is not bound by any record of his deeds or interpretation of his words, but it would be very strange if He were to act out of harmony with his own promises and warnings, as communicated by the prophets, the apostles and Jesus himself.
That we “cannot know the purpose of Gods work from the Bible” is simply wrong. In Acts 20:27 Paul says he had not hesitated to proclaim “the whole will of God” (NIV). Other translations speak of the whole counsel, the whole purpose or the whole plan of God. The Old Testament already speaks of the new covenant which would become a reality through Christ. Which is not to say that grace was absent from the Old Testament. It is therefore incorrect to distinguish three isolated earthly time periods, one of the Law, one of Grace and one of the Kingdom. It is true that the Bible cannot start or end an age, but that is no proof that a new age has started or will have to start before the completion of the Kingdom of heaven.
But let us take a closer look at this third, supposedly present, period of the Kingdom. First of all it is strange that the period of the Kingdom only started in 1990, while Jesus clearly said the Kingdom was near. Theologians generally agree about a thing called “realised eschatology”, meaning that Jesus made a decisive start and that the Kingdom unfolded from there, culminating, not starting, with the second coming. So what does the cult say is actually happening in this new period?
The age of (the descent of) the Kingdom
Four things supposedly started to happen around 1990. The first of them is the eradication of the sinful nature of true believers.
The eradication of sinful nature
Although the New Testament has many references to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, this process did not start as late as the 20th Century. Christ himself told his disciples that the Father would send the Holy Spirit, who would teach them (not some future generation) everything. The apostles made sure that new Christians were not only baptised in water, but also with the Holy Spirit. Just as Christ, the disciples received power to heal body, mind and spirit, as well as to experience this healing for themselves.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, I anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”. This is also referred to as the “fruit of the Spirit”, as in Galatians 5:16-25. In 2 Corinthians 3:18 Paul speaks of how “we all” are “being transformed into his image with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit”. So progress is possible and has already taken place. However, texts like 1 John 1:8 also make it abundantly clear that, in this lifetime, we will never be perfectly victorious over sin.
What we call “perfectionism” has raised its ugly head several times during history and each time people did exactly what 1 John 1:8 says, namely deceive themselves. I myself have had some bad experiences with people who claimed to be directly instructed by God and behaved as if they were morally superior. This is also a well-known danger in some charismatic circles. In order to avoid criticism for perfectionist tendencies, the group uses “to be after Gods heart” as a euphemism.
However, in the “19th Utterance” it becomes clear what they mean. “I can see clearly if a person is a jezebel or a prostitute, and I know who does what in secret… I have no use for that kind of person… They will be expelled from My house immediately. I don’t want them… For those people it is futile no matter how they seek, for in My kingdom all are holy and free from any blemish.” According to this angry god, the age of grace is clearly over. “No matter how they [sinners] seek”, there is no place for them. It reminds me of the “shut door” theory of early Adventism, which was quietly abandoned as it was discovered that people could still be converted and that nobody was ever free from blemish. How different is all this from the real Christ, who specifically spent time with tax collectors and prostitutes, saying “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Being judged by our responses to these teachings?
The second aspect of this new age is supposed to be judgement. They are forced to believe this, as Jesus himself claims in Matthew 25 that when He returns, He will judge the nations. Compare Rev. 22:12. So how can this be watered down so as to make it seem that this judgement has already started? Well, as we have seen, the cult says that those are condemned who believe in the Old and New Testaments only, in other words, all those who do not accept the new “Christ”. At first all those are welcome who are longing for the return of Christ, but when they find that the new Christ is a carefully hidden Chinese woman with strange teachings (which may even come from a different source) and reject her, they are considered condemned. This is exactly how cults manage to use every objection (in this case the absence of an actual judgement) to their advantage.
Another text cited in this connection, is 1 Peter 4:17, where it says that “judgement begins at the house of God”. This is then supposed to refer to mainstream churches in this new time period. However, the context as well as corresponding texts clearly refer to all kinds of trials Christians may experience at any time in history. Compare 1 Corinthians 11:32 – “But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world” (ESV).
The basis of the church’s strange views of judgement seems to be an equally strange interpretation of hell and Hades. Both are not considered as places or realms, but as people, who have been “occupied by evil spirits”, so that God cannot live in them. Hades-people are the worst and were never meant (predestined) by God to be saved. Hell-people were meant (predestined) by God to be saved “but have then been eliminated. Said simply, I have not chosen even one of these people” (19th Utterance). Here the term ‘predestination’, which does not occur in the Bible, is used in a totally different way Calvinism used it. In Calvinism it would not be possible to be predestined and still be lost. But either way, we are stuck with a category of people who, in the eyes of this cult, are completely beyond salvation.
Fortunately Jesus himself said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24). Our God does not work with a process of elimination, but a process of salvation.
Salvation by words, consent and obedience
The third aspect is salvation by (new) words. In spite of the belief that the judgement has already started, certain vital mysteries are supposedly only now being revealed. One wonders how people were ever saved without those revelations. It reminds me very much of the Three Angels Message of Seventh Day Adventism, which were only properly understood, or so they said, when reading the works of Ellen G. White. Although these books often conflicted with the message of the gospel, at least this church officially ascribed more authority to the Bible than to their own new “revelations”.
Without blinking an eye, the Church of Almighty God, however, turns their new revelations into the standard by which the Bible is then judged. Although this in itself is quite serious, my main problem is that this kind of salvation relies heavily on words, and not on the Christ, who, already during his first coming, secured our salvation, apart from any difficult doctrines, but simply by faith in him and his sacrifice for us. God also gave us his Spirit to grow into maturity and distinguish truth from error. Yes, discernment of spirits is one of the gifts of the Spirit! The Holy Spirit should not be equated to a new book, no matter how many lofty or mysterious pages it contains and no matter how many bad things are said about ordinary Christians.
And no, these people will not “seek truth together” with you. They already have the truth, or so they think. Like virtually all cults, they equate loyalty to God to loyalty to the organisation. This is often expressed in jargon. You should know that if they say “Almighty God” they really mean the new “end-time Christ” or better still, “the words and the work of our organisation”. But if you don’t realise this, they can use that as well.
The final aspect of the new age is persecution. All unofficial (“house”) churches in China actually face the tough and restrictive policies of the Chinese government, with the Church of Almighty God being no exception. I myself am not a great fan of the Chinese government with its combination of highly central leadership and capitalism, and the way they treat minorities like the Tibetan Buddhists and unofficial churches. The cult considers the “red dragon” in Revelation 12:4 to be the Chinese government.
The dragon is indeed a prominent symbol in China. And, although the primary meaning of Revelation 12:4 is obviously related to the first coming of Christ, prophecies often have multiple applications, so the Chinese government could be one of them. However, the irresistible temptation for cults is always to consider persecution as part of the proof that they are right. Conservative Seventh Day Adventist even consider the expectation of being persecuted (by Sunday-worshippers) as part of the proof that they are right.
The Bible, however, teaches that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”. So this is not limited to a particular Christian denomination. Matthew 24:9 and Luke 21:12 state that persecutions will be because of the name Jesus Christ. Could it be a coincidence that the Church of Almighty God no longer wants to use the name ‘Jesus’ for the new incarnation? Also, there is no indication that the “real” persecutions will only start in the 20th Century. There is an indication, though, in John 16:2, that believers of different faiths will turn against each other. “An hour is coming for everyone who kills you, to think that he is offering service to God”.
But this is not new, either. It is what you get when believers consider their specific teachings as more important than the simple gospel of a loving God, as taught and lived by Jesus. It is what you get when you consider others as “condemned” just for disagreeing with your latest views and discoveries. This is what makes certain cults more dangerous than they perhaps wish to be. Unfortunately, most aggression comes precisely from people who are convinced that they are right and who often have the “best intentions” and the most ambitious ideals for mankind.
The second coming itself
I was not surprised that the idea of a second incarnation of Christ arose in Asia. After all, the idea of repeated incarnations of the same soul is already generally accepted there. A new form of syncretism (mixing of religions and cultures) was perhaps to be expected. However, we cannot dismiss a new religious expression on this basis only. We should compare the most important claims to what God has previously revealed to us, while praying for the Holy Spirit to enlighten us. We should remain open to “fresh expressions”, not calling everything heresy that does not match our views, but firmly rejecting that which undermines the gospel of Christ.
Every eye shall see Him
According to Revelation 1:7, at Christ’s return, “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”. What does the Church of Almighty God say? “He does not come so that all people can see Him. He comes to take people by the hand and lead them into a new age” That is a considerable shift of emphasis, not to say a distortion of the original message. Are “those who pierced him” also going to be taken by the hand to be led into a new age? Surely not, they will be resurrected to face their judgement. Compare also Revelation 14:14-20. Have we already witnessed such a resurrection? No, we haven’t. We have not even witnessed the resurrection of “the believers who have died”, which must occur first, according to 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. In other words, the second coming of Christ has not yet taken place.
2. Lightning in the East
Then there is Christ’s own prediction in Matthew 24:27 that his (second) coming will resemble the way “lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west” (NIV). Note that it does not only say that something will travel from east to west. It says that it will be visible in the west even as it starts to come from the east. It is very unlikely that in my case, although I am very interested in all sorts of religious phenomena, it would take me 28 years to find out that Christ had returned, when this “light” should be visible everywhere simultaneously. Matthew 24:30 – “And then all the peoples of the earth shall mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory”. It means they can no longer deny his power and glory.
To be honest, there are also Christians who have explained the second coming in a more spiritual way, as happening in the hearts of the faithful. They point out that the Greek word translated by “coming” is parousia, which is really “presence”. They also point to a fairly consistent east-west symbolism in the Bible. In that case the “second coming” would stretch all the way from Pentecost to the present. And then there are those who don’t know whether the second coming will be literal or spiritual or who believe that it could be both. I belong to the group who believes in both.
The difficulty with the view of the Church of Almighty God is that it is neither a literal nor a spiritual interpretation of the texts concerning the second coming, nor a combination. They have a literal end-time Christ, but then this is somehow irrelevant as it is the message that counts and the way it supposedly guides the faithful, who still need the Holy Spirit, but that Holy Spirit is no longer enough. In other words, they pick and choose, saying that certain things cannot be literal and other things cannot be spiritual.
The fact that they have recognised a mortal being as being another incarnation of Christ, forces them to come up with all kinds of twists and exceptions and to reject parts of the Bible. It also explains the large number of words which are needed to convey their message. Whenever I asked a question, the answer was given in the form of another long video. I found it hard to get representatives of the Church to show they had actually thought things over for themselves, instead of just repeating standard phrases and sending more videos.
3. The thief and the midnight cry
In order to explain away the not very spectacular arrival of the end-time Christ, the cult will usually be quick to point at several Bible verses comparing Christ to a thief who visits at night. These text are Revelation 16:15, Matthew 24:43, 1 Thessalonians 5:2,4 and 2 Peter 3:10. It is always good practice to let the Bible explain itself as much as possible. In this case it is clear that Christ is not actually a thief, or behaves with stealth. 1 Thessalonians 5:4 makes it clear that this comparison is purely used to illustrate the element of surprise. The word “surprise” is literally used. And even that, according to the same text, applies mainly to those who are in (spiritual) darkness. Believers will not know the time either, but they will at least be prepared. There is no ground for stretching this little parable to mean that the true believers are treasures which will secretly and over a period of time be shaped, collected and taken away.
In Matthew 25:6, which is part of the parable of the ten virgins, someone cries at midnight, “Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” The Church of Almighty God applies this to their own message to recognise the returned Christ. As the Seventh Day Adventists found out, who did something similar (but before Christ was “due” to return), such an interpretation looses credibility the longer it takes before the heavenly wedding can actually be celebrated. However, in the case there is an additional problem. The midnight cry is an announcement of the return of Christ, so it cannot coincide with and continue well beyond his actual return, unless there should be a third and final return. Sometimes I get the impression that this is what the cult actually believes, since it does not seem to be a problem for them that the returned Christ is mortal. But that would be so un-biblical, that we can understand why it gets very little attention. It is much easier to keep repeating the same message about having entered a new age of purification and judgement than to come up with a coherent and helpful theology. It is also (too) easy to say that those who do not recognise that Christ has returned, cannot see the truth because they are resisting the Holy Spirit.
There is a reason why the Church hardly uses any traditional (or even standard evangelical) hymns. They all seem to have been freshly written for the sole purpose of supporting specific doctrines. At one time a member circulated a “bed-time” song about renewal and change, but it wasn’t just about being born again or growing in the likeness of Christ. The song also specifically mentioned that the trumpet had sounded and that we should listen to its sweet sound. This is a clear reference to the trumpet which will sound at the second coming of Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) and therefore suggests that the second coming is already a fact. So their hymns are not so innocent as they might seem on the surface.
The videos, I am sorry to say, also contain a high degree of theater and manipulation. Members are always presented as the happiest people on earth, with infinite patience and knowledge, whereas their opponents are depicted as impatient, rude, often lost for words or just appealing to their status or education. The latter are either to be converted or “eliminated”.
There is a scene in The Second Coming of Jesus. Disclose the Mystery about the Bible where members of the (traditional) church of “sister Feng” audibly complain that she is always preaching about the same things, as if new teachings are the only way forward. Compare this to St. Paul’s wish for us that we should “no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching” (Eph. 4:14, NIV). Silently approving of such a desire for excitement and new teachings, may one day even backfire, as the teachings of the Church of Almighty God themselves cannot remain “new” forever.
Although many accusations against the church are difficult to verify, as some will have been exaggerated by the Chinese government and rival churches, I think I can confirm seeing a generally sectarian approach, with its typical one-way communication, exclusivism, strong identity, grip on people, demands on the way members spend their time and money, etc. The way other churches are regarded as the enemy, I don’t think violent behaviour towards them would be impossible. However, I feel particularly sorry for those locked into this system, especially when they discover is not all brightness and sunshine in there, after all. According to 1 Corinthians 15:52 we (believers) will all be changed “in a flash [instant, moment], in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet” when also the dead will be raised. That moment has not come yet, or we would know about it.
Disobedient to Christ
Finally, in the light of the church’s emphasis on obedience, it is particularly sad that they disobey two of Christ’s most concrete and important commands. One is to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit… And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). The church does not baptise anyone. Maybe this is because of an overly literal (in English) interpretation of “to the very end of the age”, while ignoring the word “always”. Baptism is a symbol of being born again and being raised from the dead with Christ. I fail to see why that would no longer be relevant and meaningful.
The second command this church knowingly disobeys is remembering Christ’s suffering and death by celebrating holy communion (1 Cor. 11:24). It may sound logical not to remember someone who has already returned. However, Luke 14:15 speaks of “the feast in the Kingdom of God” which will replace holy communion. In Luke 22:16 Christ said he would eat “this Passover” again when it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God. In Revelation 19 this is also called “the marriage [feast] of the Lamb”. Is everything fulfilled? Has the “bride” made herself ready (Rev. 19:6)? No, even according to the Church of Almighty God another age is required before everything is fulfilled and the Kingdom has fully been established. Therefore Christ’s suffering for our sake should still be remembered as He commanded. Either that, or we should now be having that great feast in heaven (near the throne, according to Rev. 19:6) together with the saints of all ages.
 Almighty God is reported to have said “You may have opened this book for the purpose of research, or with the intention to accept; whatever your attitude, I hope that you will read it to the end, and will not put it aside easily. Perhaps, after reading these words, your attitude will change, but that depends on how motivated you are, and how easily you take things to heart. There is, however, one thing that you should know: The word of God cannot be spoken as the word of man, much less can the word of man be spoken as the word of God. A man used by God is not the incarnate God, and the incarnate God is not a man used by God; in this, there is a substantial difference. Perhaps, after reading these words, you do not accept that they are the words of God, and only accept them as the words of a man who has been enlightened. In that case, you are blinded by ignorance. How can the words of God be the same as the words of a man who has been enlightened? The words of God incarnate initiate a new age, guide the whole of mankind, reveal mysteries, and show man the direction ahead in a new age. The enlightenment obtained by man is but simple practice or knowledge. It cannot guide the whole of mankind into a new age or reveal the mystery of God Himself. God, after all, is God, and man is man. God has the substance of God, and man has the substance of man. If man views the words spoken by God as simple enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and takes the words of the apostles and prophets as words personally spoken by God, then man is wrong. Regardless, you should never turn right into wrong, or speak of the high as the low, or speak of the profound as the shallow; regardless, you should never deliberately refute what you know to be the truth. Everyone who believes there is a God should consider this problem from the correct standpoint, and should accept His new work and words as a creature of God—or else be eliminated by God.
 Note that the KJV says “shall not come into condemnation”. This translation was made at a time when condemnation meant the same as judgement, so it cannot be used to justify any kind of judgement which happens before the world is recreated, that is, while the present earth still continues.
 Translated back into English from the Dutch “Het wezen van Christus is gehoorzaamheid aan de wl van de Hemelse Vader”.