The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (3)
The intended effect of the work of conquest is, above all, for man’s flesh to no longer rebel; that is, for man’s mind to gain a new knowledge of God, for man’s heart to thoroughly obey God, and for man to aspire to be for God. People do not count as having been conquered when their temperament or flesh changes; when man’s thinking, man’s consciousness, and man’s sense change, which is to say, when your whole mental outlook changes—that will be when you have been conquered by God. When you have resolved to obey and have adopted a new mentality, when you no longer bring any of your own notions or intentions to God’s words and work, and when your brain can think normally—which is to say, when you can exert yourself for God with all your heart—then you are the type of person who is fully conquered. In religion, many people suffer a great deal throughout their lives: They subdue their bodies and bear their cross, and they even continue to suffer and endure when on the very verge of death! Some are still fasting on the morning of their death. All their lives they deny themselves nice food and clothing, focusing only on suffering. They are able to subdue their body and forsake their flesh. Their spirit for enduring suffering is commendable. But their thinking, their notions, their mental attitude, and indeed their old nature, have not been dealt with in the slightest. They lack any true knowledge of themselves. Their mental image of God is that traditional one of an abstract, vague God. Their resolve to suffer for God comes from their zeal and their positive natures. Even though they believe in God, they neither understand Him nor know His will. They merely work and suffer blindly for God. They place no value whatsoever on acting with discernment, care little about how to ensure that their service actually fulfills God’s will, and much less are they aware of how to achieve the knowledge of God. The God they serve is not God in His original image, but a God shrouded in legend, a product of their own imagination, a God they have only heard of, or found in writings. They then use their fertile imaginations and piousness to suffer for God and undertake God’s work that God wants to do. Their service is too inexact, such that practically none of them are truly able to serve God’s will. Regardless of how gladly they suffer, their original perspective on service and their mental image of God remain unchanged, because they have not undergone God’s judgment, chastisement, refinement and perfection, and nor has anyone guided them using the truth. Even if they believe in Jesus the Savior, none of them has ever seen the Savior. They only know of Him through legend and hearsay. As a result, their service amounts to no more than serving randomly with eyes closed, like a blind man serving his own father. What, ultimately, can be achieved by such service? And who would approve of it? From beginning to end, their service remains the same throughout; they receive only man-made lessons and base their service only on their naturalness and their own preferences. What reward could this bring? Not even Peter, who saw Jesus, knew how to serve in accordance with God’s will; he only came to know this in the end, in his old age. What does this say about those blind people who have not experienced the slightest bit of being dealt with or of being pruned, and who have had no one guiding them? Is not the service of many among you today like that of these blind people? All those who have not received judgment, not received pruning and dealing, and who have not changed—are they not all incompletely conquered? Of what use are such people? If your thinking, your knowledge of life, and your knowledge of God show no new change and you do not truly gain anything, then you will never achieve anything remarkable in your service! Without a vision and a new knowledge of God’s work, you cannot be conquered. Your way of following God will then be like those who suffer and fast: of little value! It is precisely because there is little testimony in what they do that I say their service is futile! They spend their lives suffering and sitting in prison; they are never not forbearing, loving, and they never put down the cross that they carry, they are ridiculed and rejected by the world, they experience every hardship, and although they are obedient to the very end, they are still not conquered, and can offer no testimony to being conquered. They have suffered a great deal, but inside they do not know God at all. None of their old thinking, old notions, religious practices, man-made knowledge, and human ideas have been dealt with. There is not the slightest hint of new knowledge in them. Not one bit of their knowledge of God is true or accurate. They have misunderstood God’s will. Does this serve God? Whatever your knowledge of God in the past, if it stays the same today and you continue to base your knowledge of God on your own notions and ideas no matter what God does, which is to say that if you possess no new, true knowledge of God and if you fail to know God’s true image and disposition, if your knowledge of God is still guided by feudal, superstitious thinking and is still born of human imagination and notions, then you have not been conquered. I say all these words to you today so that you may know, so that this knowledge may lead you to a newer, accurate knowledge; I also say these words in order to eradicate the old notions and the old way of knowing in you, so that you may possess new knowledge. If you truly eat and drink My words, then your knowledge will change considerably. As long as you eat and drink God’s words with a heart of obedience, then your perspective will be reversed. As long as you are able to accept the repeated chastisements, your old mentality will gradually change. As long as your old mentality is thoroughly replaced with the new, your practice will also change accordingly. In this way, your service will become increasingly on-target, increasingly able to fulfill God’s will. If you can change your life, your knowledge of human life, and your many notions about God, then your naturalness will gradually diminish. This, and nothing short of this, is the effect when God conquers people, it is the change that occurs in people. If, in your faith in God, all you know about is subduing your body and enduring and suffering, and you do not know whether that is right or wrong, much less for whose sake it is done, then how can such practice lead to change?
Understand that what I ask of you is not for you to hold your flesh in bondage or to stop your brain from thinking arbitrary thoughts. This is neither the goal of the work, nor the work that needs to be done right now. Right now, you must have knowledge from the positive aspect so that you may change yourselves. The most necessary action is that you equip yourselves with God’s words, meaning to fully equip yourselves with the truth and vision that are before you now, and then go forth and put them into practice. This is your responsibility. I am not asking you to seek and gain even greater illumination. At present, you simply do not have the stature for that. What is required of you is to do all you can to eat and drink God’s words. You must understand God’s work and know your nature, your substance, and that old life of yours. In particular, you need to know those past erroneous practices and those human doings you engaged in. To change, you must start by changing your thinking. First, replace your old thinking with the new, and let your new thinking govern your words and actions and your life. This is what is asked of each of you today. Do not practice blindly or follow blindly. You should have a basis and a target. Do not fool yourselves. You should know what exactly your faith in God is for, what should be gained from it, and what you should enter into right now. It is imperative that you know all this.
What you should enter into at present is elevating your life and raising your caliber. In addition, you need to change those old perspectives from your past, change your thinking, and change your notions. Your whole life needs renewal. When your knowledge of God’s deeds changes, when you have a new knowledge of the truth of everything God says, and when the knowledge within you is elevated, then your life will take a turn for the better. Everything that people do and say now is practical. These are not doctrines, but rather they are the things that people need for their life, and they are what they should possess. This is the change that takes place in people during the work of conquest, the change that people should experience, and it is the effect after they are conquered. When you have changed your thinking, adopted a new mental attitude, overturned your notions and intentions and your past logical reasonings, discarded those deep-rooted things inside you, and gained a new knowledge of faith in God, then the testimonies you give will be elevated, and your whole being will have truly changed. All these are the most practical, most realistic, and the most fundamental of things—things that were difficult for people to grasp in the past, and things they were incapable of engaging with. They are the true work of the Spirit. How exactly did you understand the Bible in the past? A quick comparison today will tell you. In the past you mentally elevated Moses, Peter, Paul, or all those biblical statements and perspectives, and put them on a pedestal. Now, if you were asked to put the Bible up on a pedestal, would you do it? You would see that the Bible contains too many records written by man, and that the Bible is but man’s account of two stages of God’s work. It is a history book. Does this not mean that your knowledge of it has changed? If you looked at the genealogy of Jesus given in the Gospel of Matthew today, you would say, “The genealogy of Jesus? Nonsense! This is Joseph’s genealogy, not Jesus’. There is no relationship between Jesus and Joseph.” When you look at the Bible now, your knowledge of it is different, meaning your perspective has changed, and you bring a higher level of knowledge to it than the religious scholars of old. Were someone to say that there is something to this genealogy, you would respond, “What is there to it? Go ahead and explain. Jesus and Joseph are not related. Do you not know that? Can Jesus have a genealogy? How can Jesus have ancestors? How can He be the descendant of man? His flesh was born of Mary; His Spirit is the Spirit of God, not the spirit of a man. Jesus is the beloved Son of God, so can He have a genealogy? While on earth He was not a member of mankind, so how can He have a genealogy?” When you analyze the genealogy and explain the truth clearly, sharing what you have understood, the person whom you are explaining this to will be left speechless. Some people will reference the Bible and ask you, “Jesus had a genealogy. Does your God of today have a genealogy?” You will then tell them of your knowledge, which is the most real of all, and in this way, your knowledge will have achieved an effect. In truth, Jesus was no relation of Joseph, much less of Abraham; He was simply born in Israel. God, however, is not an Israelite or a descendant of the Israelites. Just because Jesus was born in Israel, that does not mean God is the God of the Israelites only. It was only for the sake of His work that He carried out the work of incarnation. God is the God of all creation throughout the universe. He simply carried out a stage of His work in Israel first, after which He began to work among the Gentile nations. People, however, considered Jesus the God of the Israelites, and furthermore placed Him among the Israelites and among David’s descendants. The Bible says that at the end of days, Jehovah’s name will be great among Gentile nations, meaning God will work among the Gentile nations during the last days. That God was incarnated in Judea does not indicate that God only loves Jews. He was born there only because the work required it; it is not the case that God could only have been incarnated in Israel (because the Israelites were His chosen people). Are not God’s chosen people found among the Gentile nations, too? It was after Jesus finished working in Judea that the work expanded to Gentile nations. (The Israelites called all nations except for Israel “Gentile nations.”) In truth, those Gentile nations were populated by God’s chosen people as well; it was just that no work was being done there yet at that time. People put such emphasis on Israel because the first two stages of work took place in Israel while no work was being done in Gentile nations. The work among the Gentile nations is only beginning today, which is why people find it so difficult to accept. If you can clearly understand all of this, if you are able to assimilate and regard it correctly, then you will have an accurate knowledge of the God of today and of the past, and this new knowledge will be higher than the knowledge of God possessed by all the saints throughout history. If you experience today’s work and hear God’s personal utterances today, yet you have no knowledge of God’s entirety; if your pursuit remains as it always was and is not replaced with anything new; and especially if you experience all this work of conquest, yet ultimately no change whatsoever can be seen in you, then is your faith not like that of those who only seek bread to satisfy their hunger? In that case, the work of conquest will not have achieved any effect in you. Will you then not become one of those who are to be eliminated?
When all of the work of conquest comes to an end, it is imperative that you all understand that God is not only the God of Israelites, but of all creation. He created all mankind, not just the Israelites. If you say that God is the God of Israelites only or that it is impossible for God to be incarnated in any nation outside of Israel, then you have yet to acquire any knowledge during the course of the work of conquest, and you do not acknowledge in even the smallest way that God is your God; you merely recognize that God moved from Israel to China and is being forced to be your God. If this is still how you see things, then My work has been fruitless in you, and you have not understood a thing I have said. If, ultimately, you write another genealogy for Me as Matthew did, locating a suitable ancestor for Me, finding My “correct” progenitor—such that God has two genealogies for His two incarnations—would that not then be the biggest joke in the world? Would not you, this “well-intentioned person” who found Me a genealogy, have become someone who divided God? Are you able to take on the burden of this sin? After all this work of conquest, if you still do not believe that God is the God of all creation, if you still think that God is the God of Israelites only, are you not someone who openly resists God? The purpose of conquering you today is to have you acknowledge that God is your God and also the God of others, and most importantly He is the God of all who love Him, and the God of all creation. He is the God of the Israelites and the God of the people of Egypt. He is the God of the British and the God of Americans. He is not just the God of Adam and Eve, but also the God of all their descendants. He is the God of everything in the heavens and everything on earth. All families, be they Israelite or Gentile, are all in the hands of one God. Not only did He work in Israel for several thousand years and was once born in Judea, but today He descends in China, this place where the great red dragon lies coiled. If being born in Judea makes Him the King of the Jews, then does not descending among all of you today make Him the God of all of you? He led the Israelites and was born in Judea, and He has also been born in a Gentile land. Is not all His work done for the whole of the mankind that He created? Does He love Israelites a hundred fold and loathe Gentiles a thousand fold? Is that not your notion? It is not the case that God was never your God, but rather just that you do not acknowledge Him; it is not the case that God is unwilling to be your God, but rather just that you reject Him. Who among the created is not in the hands of the Almighty? In conquering you today, is not the goal to have you acknowledge that God is none other than your God? If you still maintain that God is the God of Israelites only, and still maintain that the house of David in Israel is the origin of God’s birth, and that no nation other than Israel is qualified to “produce” God, much less is any Gentile family able to personally receive Jehovah’s work—if you still think this way, then does that not make you an obstinate holdout? Do not always fixate on Israel. God is right here among you today. Nor should you keep looking heavenward. Stop pining for your God in heaven! God has come into your midst, so how can He be in heaven? You have not believed in God for very long, yet you have a lot of notions about Him, to the point that you dare not for a second think that the God of the Israelites would deign to grace you with His presence. Even less do you dare to think about how you could see God make a personal appearance, given how unbearably filthy you are. Neither have you ever thought about how God could personally descend into a Gentile land. He ought to descend on Mount Sinai or the Mount of Olives and appear to Israelites. Are not the Gentiles (that is, people outside of Israel) all objects of His loathing? How could He personally work among them? All these are the deep-rooted notions that you have developed over many years. The purpose of conquering you today is to shatter these notions of yours. Thus do you behold God’s personal appearance among you—not on Mount Sinai or on the Mount of Olives, but among people He has never led before. After God carried out His two stages of work in Israel, Israelites and all Gentiles alike came to harbor the notion that while it is true that God created all things, He is only willing to be the God of Israelites, not the God of Gentiles. Israelites believe the following: God can only be our God, not the God of you Gentiles, and because you do not revere Jehovah, therefore Jehovah—our God—loathes you. Those Jewish people also believe the following: The Lord Jesus assumed the image of us Jewish people and is a God who bears the mark of the Jewish people. It is among us that God works. God’s image and our image are similar; our image is close to God’s. The Lord Jesus is the King of us Jews; Gentiles are not qualified to receive such great salvation. The Lord Jesus is the sin offering for us Jews. It was merely on the basis of those two stages of work that Israelites and the Jewish people formed all these notions. They domineeringly claim God for themselves, not allowing that God is also the God of the Gentiles. In this way, God became an empty space in the hearts of Gentiles. This is because everyone came to believe that God does not want to be the God of the Gentiles and that He only likes Israelites—His chosen people—and the Jewish people, especially the disciples who followed Him. Do you not know that the work that Jehovah and Jesus did is for the survival of all mankind? Do you now acknowledge that God is the God of all of you born outside of Israel? Is God not right here in your midst today? This cannot be a dream, can it? Do you not accept this reality? You dare not believe it or think about it. Regardless of how you see it, is not God right here in your midst? Are you still afraid to believe these words? From this day on, are all conquered people and all who wish to be God’s followers not God’s chosen people? Are not all of you, who are followers today, the chosen people outside of Israel? Is your status not the same as the Israelites? Is not all this what you should recognize? Is this not the goal of the work of conquering you? Since you can see God, He will be your God forever, from the beginning and into the future. He will not abandon you, so long as all of you are willing to follow Him and to be His loyal, obedient creatures.
Regardless of how much people aspire to love God, they have generally been obedient in following Him until today. Not until the end, when this stage of work concludes, will they thoroughly repent. That is when people will truly be conquered. Right now, they are only in the process of being conquered. The moment the work ends, they will be completely conquered, but that is not the case right now! Even if everyone is convinced, that does not mean they have been thoroughly conquered. This is because, at present, people have seen only words and not factual events, and they remain uncertain, no matter how deeply they believe. That is why it is only with that last factual event, the words becoming reality, that people will be thoroughly conquered. Right now, these people are conquered because they hear many mysteries that they never heard of before. But inside each and every one of them, they are still looking for and waiting for some factual events that allow them to see every word of God being actualized. Only then will they be completely convinced. Only when, in the end, all have seen these actualized factual realities, and these realities have caused them to feel certain, will they show conviction in their hearts, their speech, and their eyes, and be thoroughly convinced from the bottom of their hearts. Such is the nature of man: You need to see the words all coming true, you need to see some factual events happening and see disaster befalling some people, and then you will be completely convinced deep down inside. Like the Jews, you are preoccupied with seeing signs and miracles. Yet you continually fail to see that there are signs and miracles and that realities are happening which are meant to greatly open your eyes. Whether it is someone descending from the sky, or a pillar of clouds speaking to you, or My performing an exorcism on one of you, or My voice booming like thunder among you, you have always wanted to and will always want to see this kind of event. One can say that in believing in God, your greatest wish is to see God come and personally show you a sign. Then you will be satisfied. To conquer you people, I have to perform work similar to the creation of the world, and then in addition, show you some kind of sign. Then, your hearts will be completely conquered.