A Selection From the Four Passages of God’s Word on “The Inside Truth of the Conquering Work” (Part Two)
12. The result to be achieved from conquering work is primarily for man’s flesh to stop rebelling, that is, for man’s mind to gain a new understanding of God, his heart to thoroughly obey God, and for him to resolve to be for God. How a person’s temperament or flesh changes does not determine whether he has been conquered. Rather, it is when your thinking, your consciousness, and your sense change—that is, when your whole mental attitude changes—that 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, that is, when you can exert yourself for God with all your heart—this kind of person is someone who is fully conquered.
13. In the realm of religion, many people suffer not insignificantly their whole lives, subduing their body or bearing their cross, even suffering and enduring until their last breath! Some are still fasting the morning of their death. All their lives they deny themselves nice food and nice clothing, stressing only 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—none of these have been dealt with at all. They have no true understanding of themselves. Their mental image of God is the 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 God nor know His will. They are only blindly working for and blindly suffering for God. They place no value whatsoever on being discerning and care little about how to ensure that their service actually fulfills God’s will. Even less do they know how to achieve an understanding of God. The God they serve is not God in His original image, but a God that they themselves conjured up, a God they heard of, or a legendary God found in writings. They then use their vivid imaginations and their godly hearts to suffer for God and to take on for God the work that God wants to do. Their service is too inexact, such that there is practically no one truly serving God in a way that fulfills His will. Regardless of how willing they are to suffer, their original perspective on service and their mental image of God remain unchanged because they have not gone through God’s judgment and chastisement and His refinement and perfection, and because no one has led them with 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. Thus 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 through this kind of service? And who would approve of it? From beginning to end, their service never changes at all. They receive only man-made lessons and base their service only on their naturalness and what they themselves are fond of. What reward could this reap? Not even Peter, who saw Jesus, knew how to serve in a way that fulfilled God’s will. It was not until the end, in his old age, that he came to understand. What does this say about those blind men who have not experienced any dealing or any pruning and who have had no one guiding them? Is not much of your service today like that of these blind people? All those who have not received judgment, not received pruning and dealing, and not changed—are they not the incompletely conquered? Of what use are such people? If your thinking, your understanding of life, and your understanding of God show no new change and result in not even a little real gain, you will never achieve anything remarkable in your service! Without a vision and without a new understanding of God’s work, you cannot be a conquered person. Your way of following God will then be like that of those who suffer and fast—it will be of little value! It is precisely because there is little testimony in what they do that I say their service is futile! Throughout their lives, those people suffer, spend time in prison, and at every moment, they endure, stress love and kindness, and bear their cross. They are slandered and rejected by the world and have experienced every hardship. They obey to the end, but still, they are not conquered and they can offer no testimony of being conquered. They have suffered in no small measure, but inside they do not know God at all. None of their old thinking, old notions, religious practices, man-made understandings, and human ideas have been dealt with. There is no new understanding in them at all. Not even a bit of their understanding of God is true or accurate. They have misunderstood God’s will. Can this be to serve God? However you understood God in the past, suppose you maintain it today and continue to base your understanding of God on your own notions and ideas no matter what God does. That is, suppose you possess no new, true understanding of God and you fail to know God’s true image and true disposition. Suppose your understanding of God is still guided by feudal, superstitious thinking and is still born of human imaginations and notions. If this is the case, then you have not been conquered. My goal in saying all these words to you now is to allow you to understand and to use this knowledge to lead you to an accurate and new understanding. They are also aimed at getting rid of those old notions and old knowledge that you carry in you so that you can possess a new understanding. If you truly eat and drink My words, then your understanding will change considerably. As long as you maintain an obedient heart as you eat and drink God’s words, your perspective will come around. 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 more and more on-target, more and more able to fulfill God’s will. If you can change your life, your understanding of life, and your many notions about God, then your naturalness will gradually diminish. This, and nothing short of this, is the result after God conquers man; this is the change that will be seen in man. If in believing in God, all you know about is subduing your body and enduring and suffering, and you are unclear on whether what you are doing is right or wrong, much less whom it is for, then how can this kind of practice lead to change?
14. You should understand that what I am demanding of you is not that your body be held in bondage or that your brain be controlled and prevented from thinking arbitrary thoughts. This is neither the goal of the work nor the work that needs to be done right now. … You need to understand God’s work and recognize your nature, your substance, and that old life of yours. You especially need to recognize those past erroneous practices and human doings of yours. 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 being asked of each of you now. 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.
15. When your understanding of God’s deeds changes, when you have a new understanding of the truth of everything God says, and when your internal understanding is elevated, your life will take a turn for the better. Everything that people do and say now is practical. These are not doctrines, but rather what people need for their life and what they should possess. This is the change that takes place in man during the conquering work, the change that man should experience, and it is the result after man is 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 understanding 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 touch in the past and things they could not come into contact with. They are the true work of the Spirit.
16. At the conclusion of all the conquering work, it is imperative that all of you understand that God is not the God of Israelites only, but rather the God of all creation. He created all of 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 still have not reached any understanding whatsoever in the course of the conquering work and you are not acknowledging at all that God is your God. All you are acknowledging is 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. In the end, if you, like Matthew, again write a genealogy for Me, find Me an appropriate “ancestor,” and find Me a correct root—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 conquering work, 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 the other’s God, and most importantly the God of all who love Him, and the God of all creation. He is the God of 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 descendants of Adam and Eve. He is the God of everything in the heavens and everything on earth.
17. The Israelite family and all Gentile families alike are 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 is descending 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 you? He led the Israelites and was born in Judea, and He is also born in a Gentile land. Is not all His work 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 you who do not acknowledge God; it is not that God was never your God. It is you who reject God; it is not that God is unwilling to be your God. 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, and even 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. Do not keep looking heavenward either. 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. You also have never thought about how God could personally descend in a Gentile land. He ought to descend on Mount Sinai or the Mount of Olives and appear to Israelites. Are not 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 smash these notions of yours. You thereby have seen God personally appearing among you—not on Mount Sinai or on the Mount of Olives, but among people whom He has never led in the past.
18. After God did His two stages of work in Israel, Israelites and all Gentiles alike came to harbor this notion: While it is true that God created all things, He is willing to be the God of Israelites only, 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, Jehovah—our God—loathes you. Those Jews further believe this: 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 this many notions. They domineeringly claim God for themselves, not allowing that God is also the God of the Gentiles. In this way, God became a blank 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 He likes Jews, 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 not God 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 not all conquered people and all who want to be God’s followers 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 that of 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, then 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 be His loyal, obedient creations.
19. What does it mean to be perfected? What does it mean to be conquered? What criteria must one meet in order to be conquered? And what criteria must one meet in order to be perfected? Conquering and perfecting are both for the purpose of working man so he can return to his original likeness and be free of his corrupt satanic disposition and Satan’s influence. This conquering comes early in the process of working man, meaning it is the first step of the work. Perfecting is the second step, or the concluding work. Every human being has to go through being conquered; otherwise he would not be able to know God and would not know there is a God, that is, he would not be able to acknowledge God. And if a person does not acknowledge God, it would be impossible for him to be made complete by God because he would not meet the criteria for this completion. If you do not even acknowledge God, how would you be able to know Him? And how would you seek after Him? You would also be unable to bear witness to Him, much less have the faith to satisfy Him. So, for anyone who wants to be made complete, the first step has to be to go through the conquering work. This is the first condition. But be it conquering or perfecting, each is for the goal of working man and changing him, and each is an item in the work of managing man. These two steps are what are required in turning someone into a complete person; neither step can be skipped. It is true that “being conquered” does not sound very nice, but in fact the process of conquering someone is the process of changing him. After being conquered, you may not have gotten rid of your corrupt disposition completely, but you will have known it. Through the conquering work you will have come to know the low humanity of yours and also to know much disobedience of yours. Although you will be unable to discard or to change them within the short period of the conquering work, you will come to know them. This lays the foundation for your perfection. So conquering and perfecting are both done to change man, both done to rid man of his corrupt satanic disposition so he can give himself fully to God. It is just that being conquered is the first step in changing the human disposition and also the first step in man fully giving himself to God, a step that is lower than being perfected. A conquered person’s life disposition changes far less than a perfected person’s. Being conquered and being perfected are formulaically different from each other because they are different phases of work and because they hold people to different standards, with conquest holding them to lower standards and perfection holding them to higher ones. The perfected are righteous people, people made holy and pure; they are crystallizations of the work of managing humanity, or end products. Although they are not blameless humans, they are people who seek to live meaningful lives. But what about the conquered? They only verbally acknowledge that God exists; they acknowledge that God has incarnated Himself, that the Word appears in the flesh, and that God has come to the earth to do the work of judgment and chastisement. They also acknowledge that God’s judgment and chastisement and His smiting and refinement are all beneficial to man. That is, they are just starting to have the human likeness, and they have some understanding of life but are still foggy about it. In other words, they are just starting to possess humanity. These are the results of being conquered. When people step onto the path of perfection, their old disposition can be changed. Further, their lives keep growing and they gradually enter more deeply into the truth. They are able to loathe the world and loathe all those who do not seek after the truth. They especially loathe themselves, but more than that, they clearly know themselves. They are willing to live by the truth and they make it their goal to seek after the truth. They are unwilling to live within the thoughts generated by their own brains, and they feel loathing for man’s self-rightness, haughtiness, and self-conceit. They speak with a strong sense of propriety, handle things with discernment, are possessed of wisdom, and are loyally obedient to God. If they experience an instance of chastisement and judgment, not only do they not become passive or weak, but they are grateful for it. They cannot do without God’s chastisement and judgment; they can receive His protection through it. They do not pursue a faith of peace and joy and of seeking bread to satisfy hunger. Neither do they go after temporary fleshly enjoyments. This is what the perfected have.
20. You say that you acknowledge God incarnate and you acknowledge that the Word appears in the flesh, yet you do some things behind His back, and you do not act the way He wants you to, and do not fear Him. Is this acknowledging God? You acknowledge what He says, but you refuse to put into practice even those things that you are able to and you do not abide by His way. Is this acknowledgment? You acknowledge Him, but your only mindset is to guard against Him, never to revere Him. If you have seen and acknowledged His work and you know that He is God, yet you remain lukewarm and completely unchanged, then you are still an unconquered person.
21. A conquered person has to do everything he can; he wants to enter and reach higher truths even though he is not yet able to. It is only because he is limited in what he can take in that his practices are bounded and limited. But at the very least he has to do everything in his abilities. If you can do these things, it will be because of the conquering work. Suppose you say, “Given that He can put forth so many words that man cannot, if He is not God, who is?” Having this kind of thinking does not mean you acknowledge God. If you acknowledge God, you have to show it through your actions. Leading a church but being unable to do righteousness, and coveting money and always secretly funneling the church’s money into your own pockets—is this acknowledging that there is a God? God is almighty and to be feared. How can you not be afraid if you truly acknowledge that there is a God? How can you have done such despicable things? Can that be called believing? Do you really acknowledge Him? Is God what you believe in? What you believe in is a vague God; that is why you are not afraid! Those who truly acknowledge and know God all fear Him and are afraid to do anything that opposes Him or that goes against their conscience; they are especially afraid to do anything that they know is against God’s will. Only this can be considered acknowledging God’s existence. What should you do when your parents deter you from believing in God? How should you love God when your unbelieving husband treats you well? And how should you love God when the brothers and sisters loathe you? If you acknowledge Him, then you will act appropriately and live out reality in all these situations. If you fail to act concretely but only say that you acknowledge God’s existence, then you are just a talker! You say you believe in Him and acknowledge Him. But in what way do you acknowledge Him? In what way do you believe in Him? Do you fear Him? Do you revere Him? Do you love Him deep down inside? When you are distressed and have no one to lean on, you feel that God is to be loved, and then afterward you forget all about it. That is not loving God or believing in God! What ultimately does God want man to achieve? All the states that I mentioned, such as thinking you are a big shot, feeling you are quick to pick things up, controlling others, looking down on others, judging people by their appearance, bullying honest people, coveting church money, and so forth—to be rid of a portion of such corrupt satanic dispositions is what should be seen in you after you are conquered.
22. The conquering work done on you people is of the deepest significance. On the one hand, the purpose of this work is to perfect a group of people, that is, to perfect them into a group of overcomers, as the first group of people made complete, meaning the firstfruits. On the other hand, it is to let created beings enjoy God’s love, receive God’s greatest salvation, and receive God’s full salvation, to let man enjoy not only mercy and lovingkindness, but more importantly chastisement and judgment. From the creation of the world until now, all that God has done in His work is love, without any hatred for man. Even the chastisement and judgment you have seen are also love, a truer and more real love, a love that leads man to the right way of human life. On the third hand, it is to bear testimony before Satan. And on the fourth hand, it is to lay a foundation for spreading future gospel work. All the work He has done is for the purpose of leading people to the right way of human life, so that they can have the normal life of mankind, because man does not know how to lead a life. Without such leading, you would only be able to live an empty life, would only be able to live a worthless and meaningless life, and would not know at all how to be a normal person. This is the deepest significance of conquering man.
23. All of you live in a place of sin and licentiousness; you are all licentious and sinful people. Today you not only can see God, but more importantly, you have received chastisement and judgment, received such deepest salvation, that is, received God’s greatest love. All that He does is true love for you; He has no ill intention. It is because of your sins that He judges you, so that you will examine yourselves and receive this tremendous salvation. All this is done to work man. From beginning to end, God has been doing His utmost to save man, and He is certainly not willing to completely destroy the men He created with His own hands. Now He has come among you to work; isn’t this even more salvation? If He hated you, would He still do work of such magnitude to personally lead you? Why should He suffer so? God does not hate you or have any ill intention toward you. You should know that God’s love is the truest love. It is only because of people’s disobedience that He has to save them through judgment; otherwise, they would not be saved. As you do not know how to lead a life or how to live, and you live in this licentious and sinful place and are licentious and filthy devils, He does not have the heart to let you become even more depraved; neither has He the heart to see you living in the filthy place like this, being trampled by Satan at will, or the heart to let you fall into the underworld. He only wants to gain this group of you and thoroughly save you. This is the main purpose of doing the conquering work on you—it is just for salvation.
24. If you cannot see that everything done on you is love and salvation, if you think it is just a method, a way to torment man and something untrustworthy, then you might as well go back to your world to suffer pain and hardship! If you are willing to be in this stream and enjoy this judgment and this immense salvation, enjoy all of this blessing that cannot be found anywhere in the human world, and enjoy this love, then stay submissively in this stream to accept the conquering work so you can become perfected. Though now you are suffering some pain and refinement because of the judgment, this pain is valuable and meaningful. Although chastisement and judgment are refinements and merciless disclosures to man, meant to punish his sins and punish his flesh, none of this work is intended to condemn and extinguish his flesh. The severe disclosures of the word are all for the purpose of leading you to the right path. You have personally experienced so much of this work and, clearly, it has not led you to an evil path! All of it is to enable you to live out a normal humanity; all of it is something your normal humanity can achieve. Every step of the work is done based on your needs, according to your weaknesses, and according to your actual stature, and no unbearable burden is placed on you. Although you are unable to see this clearly now and you feel as if I am being hard on you, although you keep thinking that the reason I chastise and judge you every day and reproach you every day is because I hate you, and although what you receive is chastisement and judgment, in reality it is all love for you, also a great protection for you. If you cannot grasp the deeper meaning of this work, then there is simply no way for you to go on in your experience. You should be comforted for such salvation. Do not refuse to come to your senses. Having come this far, you should see clearly the significance of this conquering work. You should no longer waver back and forth in your thinking!