2. The Significance of God’s Work of Conquest
Relevant Words of God:
Mankind, so profoundly corrupted by Satan, knows not that there is a God, and has stopped worshiping God. In the beginning, when Adam and Eve were created, Jehovah’s glory and testimony were ever present. But after being corrupted, man lost the glory and the testimony, for everyone rebelled against God and ceased to revere Him altogether. Today’s work of conquest is to recover all the testimony and all the glory, and to have all men worship God, so that there is testimony among the created; this is the work to be done during this stage. How, exactly, is mankind to be conquered? By using the work of words of this stage to fully convince man; by using disclosure, judgment, chastisement, and merciless curse to persuade him utterly; by disclosing man’s rebelliousness and judging his resistance so he may know the unrighteousness and filth of mankind, and thus use these things as a foil to God’s righteous disposition. It is chiefly through these words that man is conquered and fully convinced. Words are the means to the ultimate conquering of mankind, and all who accept God’s conquest must accept the smiting and judgment of His words. The process of speaking today is precisely the process of conquering. And just how should people cooperate? By knowing how to eat and drink these words, and achieving an understanding of them. As to how people are conquered, this is not something they can do by themselves. All you can do is, through eating and drinking these words, to come to know your corruption and filth, your rebelliousness and your unrighteousness, and fall down before God. If, after grasping God’s will, you are able to put it into practice, and if you have visions and are able to completely submit to these words, and not make any choices by yourself, then you will have been conquered—and it will have been as a result of these words. Why did mankind lose the testimony? Because no one has faith in God, because God has no place in people’s hearts. The conquest of mankind is the restoration of the faith of mankind. People always want to run headlong into the mundane world, they harbor too many hopes, want too much for their future, and have too many extravagant demands. They are always thinking of the flesh, planning for the flesh, and have no interest in seeking the way of belief in God. Their hearts have been snatched away by Satan, they have lost their reverence for God, and they are fixated on Satan. But man was created by God. Thus, man has lost the testimony, meaning he has lost the glory of God. The purpose of conquering mankind is to reclaim the glory of man’s reverence for God.
from “The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Today’s work of conquest is intended to make it obvious what man’s end will be. Why is it said that today’s chastisement and judgment are judgment before the great white throne of the last days? Do you not see this? Why is the work of conquest the final stage? Is it not precisely to make manifest what kind of ending each class of man will meet? Is it not to allow everyone, in the course of the work of conquest of chastisement and judgment, to show their true colors and then afterward to be classified according to their kind? Rather than saying this is conquering mankind, it might be better to say that this is showing what kind of ending there will be for each class of person. This is about judging people’s sins and then revealing the various classes of person, thereby deciding whether they are evil or righteous. After the work of conquest, then comes the work of rewarding good and punishing evil. People who obey completely—meaning the thoroughly conquered—will be placed in the next step of spreading God’s work to the entire universe; the unconquered will be placed in darkness and will meet with calamity. Thus will man be classified according to kind, the evildoers grouped with evil, to be without the light of the sun ever again, and the righteous grouped with good, to receive light and live forever in the light. The end is near for all things; man’s end has been clearly shown to his eyes, and all things will be classified according to kind. How, then, can people escape the anguish of each being classed according to kind? The end of every kind of person is revealed when the end is near for all things, and this is done during the work of conquering the entire universe (including all the work of conquest, starting with the current work). The revelation of the end of all mankind is done before the seat of judgment, in the course of the chastisement, and in the course of the work of conquest of the last days. … The final stage of conquest is meant to save people, and also to reveal their endings. It is to disclose people’s degeneration through judgment, thereby causing them to repent, to rise up, and to pursue life and the right path of human life. It is to wake up the hearts of the numb and obtuse people and to show, through judgment, their inner rebelliousness. However, if people are still unable to repent, still unable to pursue the right path of human life and unable to cast off these corruptions, then they are beyond salvation, and will be devoured by Satan. Such is the significance of God’s conquest: to save people, and also to show their endings. Good endings, bad endings—they are all revealed by the work of conquest. Whether people will be saved or cursed is all revealed during the work of conquest.
The last days are when all things will be classified according to kind through conquering. Conquering is the work of the last days; in other words, judging each person’s sins is the work of the last days. Otherwise, how could people be classified? The work of classification that is done among you is the start of such work in the entire universe. After this, those of all lands and all peoples will also be subjected to the work of conquest. This means every person in creation will be classified according to kind, submitting before the seat of judgment to be judged. No person and no thing can escape suffering this chastisement and judgment, nor is any person or thing not classified by kind; every person will be classed, for the end of all things draws near, and all heaven and earth has reached its conclusion. How could man escape the final days of human existence?
from “The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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 attitude 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 a vague God. Their resolve to suffer for God comes from their zeal and the good character of their humanity. 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 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 inherent image, but a God they have imagined, a God of whom they have only heard, or of whom they have only read legends in writing. 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 in accordance with 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 are not 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! Throughout their lives, those people suffer and spend time in prison; they are ever forbearing, loving, and they ever bear the cross, 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. All the many words I now speak to you are meant to let you know, to have this knowledge lead you to a newer, accurate knowledge; they are also meant to eradicate the old notions and the old knowledge 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.
from “The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work of Jehovah was the creation of the world, it was the beginning; this stage of work is the end of work, and it is the conclusion. At the start, God’s work was carried out among the chosen ones of Israel, and it was the dawn of a new epoch in the most holy of all places. The last stage of work is carried out in the most impure of all countries, to judge the world and bring the age to an end. In the first stage, God’s work was done in the brightest of all places, and the last stage is carried out in the darkest of all places, and this darkness will be driven out, the light brought forth, and all the people conquered. When the people of this most impure and darkest of all places have been conquered, and the entire population has acknowledged that there is a God, who is the true God, and every person has been utterly convinced, then this fact will be used to carry out the work of conquest throughout the entire universe. This stage of work is symbolic: Once the work of this age has been finished, the work of six thousand years of management will come to a complete end. Once those in the darkest of all places have been conquered, it goes without saying that it will also be so everywhere else. As such, only the work of conquest in China carries meaningful symbolism. China embodies all forces of darkness, and the people of China represent all those who are of the flesh, of Satan, and of flesh and blood. It is the Chinese people who have been most corrupted by the great red dragon, who have the strongest opposition to God, whose humanity is most base and impure, and so they are the archetype of all corrupt humanity. This is not to say that other countries have no problems at all; the notions of man are all the same, and although the people of these countries may be of good caliber, if they do not know God, then it must be that they oppose Him. Why did the Jews also oppose and defy God? Why did the Pharisees also oppose Him? Why did Judas betray Jesus? At the time, many of the disciples did not know Jesus. Why, after Jesus was crucified and rose again, did people still not believe in Him? Is man’s disobedience not all the same? It is merely that the people of China are made an example of, and when they are conquered they will become models and specimens, and will serve as references for others. Why have I always said that you are an adjunct to My management plan? It is in the people of China that corruption, impurity, unrighteousness, opposition, and rebelliousness are manifested most completely and revealed in all their varied forms. On the one hand, they are of poor caliber, and on the other, their lives and mindset are backward, and their habits, social environment, family of birth—all are poor and the most backward. Their status, too, is low. The work in this place is symbolic, and after this test work has been carried out in its entirety, God’s subsequent work will be much easier. If this step of work can be completed, then the subsequent work goes without saying. Once this step of work has been accomplished, great success will have been fully achieved, and the work of conquest throughout the entire universe will have come to a complete end. In fact, once the work among you has been successful, this will be equivalent to the success throughout the entire universe. This is the significance of why I have you act as a model and a specimen. Rebelliousness, opposition, impurity, unrighteousness—all are found in these people, and in them is represented all the rebelliousness of mankind. They are really something. Thus, they are held up as the epitome of conquest, and once they have been conquered they will naturally become specimens and models for others.
from “The Vision of God’s Work (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Man cares about nothing more than the future end, the final destination, and whether or not there is something good to hope for. If man were given a beautiful hope during the work of conquest, and if, prior to the conquest of man, he were given a proper destination to pursue, then not only would the conquest of man not achieve its effect, but the effect of the work of conquest would also be influenced. That is to say, the work of conquest achieves its effect by taking away the fate and prospects of man and judging and chastising the rebellious disposition of man. It is not achieved by doing a deal with man, that is, by giving man blessings and grace, but rather by revealing man’s loyalty by stripping him of his “freedom” and eradicating his prospects. This is the essence of the work of conquest. If man were given a beautiful hope at the very beginning, and the work of chastisement and judgment were done after, then man would accept this chastisement and judgment on the basis that he had prospects, and in the end, the unconditional obedience and worship of the Creator by all His creatures would not be achieved; there would only be blind, ignorant obedience, or else man would blindly make demands of God, and it would be impossible to fully conquer man’s heart. Consequently, it would be impossible for such work of conquest to gain man, or, moreover, to bear testimony to God. Such creatures would be unable to perform their duty and would only strike bargains with God; this would not be conquest, but mercy and blessing. The biggest problem with man is that he thinks of nothing but his fate and prospects and idolizes these things. Man pursues God for the sake of his fate and prospects; he does not worship God because of his love for Him. And so, in the conquest of man, man’s selfishness, greed and the things that most obstruct his worship of God must all be dealt with and thereby eliminated. In doing so, the effects of man’s conquest will be achieved. As a result, in the first stages of the conquest of man it is necessary to purge the wild ambitions and most fatal weaknesses of man, and, through this, to reveal man’s love of God and change his knowledge of human life, his view of God, and the meaning of his existence. In this way, man’s love of God is cleansed, which is to say, man’s heart is conquered. But in God’s attitude toward all creatures, God does not conquer only for the sake of conquering; rather, He conquers in order to gain man, for the sake of His own glory, and in order to recover the earliest, original likeness of man. Were He to conquer only for the sake of conquering, then the significance of the work of conquest would be lost. That is to say that if, after conquering man, God washed His hands of man and paid no heed to man’s life or death, then this would not be the management of mankind, nor would man’s conquest be for the sake of his salvation. Only the gaining of man following his conquest, and his ultimate arrival at a wonderful destination, is at the heart of all the work of salvation, and only this can achieve the aim of man’s salvation. In other words, only man’s arrival at the beautiful destination and his entry into rest are the prospects that should be possessed by all creatures, and the work that should be done by the Creator.
from “Restoring the Normal Life of Man and Taking Him to a Wonderful Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The stage of the last days, in which man is to be conquered, is the last stage in the battle with Satan, and it is also the work of man’s complete salvation from the domain of Satan. The inner meaning of man’s conquest is the return of the embodiment of Satan—man who has been corrupted by Satan—to the Creator following his conquest, through which he will forsake Satan and completely return to God. In this way, man will have been completely saved. And so, the work of conquest is the last work in the battle against Satan and the final stage in God’s management for the sake of Satan’s defeat. Without this work, the full salvation of man would ultimately be impossible, the utter defeat of Satan would also be impossible, and mankind would never be able to enter the wonderful destination, or get free from Satan’s influence. Consequently, the work of salvation of man cannot be concluded before the battle with Satan is concluded, for the core of the work of God’s management is for the sake of mankind’s salvation. Earliest mankind was in the hands of God, but because of Satan’s temptation and corruption, man was bound up by Satan and fell into the hands of the evil one. Thus, Satan became the object to be defeated in the work of God’s management. Because Satan took possession of man, and because man is the capital which God uses to carry out all management, if man is to be saved, then he must be snatched back from the hands of Satan, which is to say that man must be taken back after having been held captive by Satan. Thus, Satan must be defeated through changes in man’s old disposition, changes which restore man’s original sense of reason. In this way, man, who has been taken captive, can be snatched back from the hands of Satan. If man is freed from the influence and bondage of Satan, then Satan will be shamed, man will ultimately be taken back, and Satan will be defeated. And because man has been freed from the dark influence of Satan, man will become the spoils of this entire battle, and Satan will become the object to be punished once the battle has finished, after which the entire work of mankind’s salvation will have been completed.
from “Restoring the Normal Life of Man and Taking Him to a Wonderful Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work of conquest done on you people is of the deepest significance: In one regard, the purpose of this work is to perfect a group of people, which is to say, to perfect them, that they may become a group of overcomers—as the first group of people made complete, meaning the firstfruits. In another regard, it is to let created beings enjoy God’s love, receive God’s full and greatest 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 people onto the right path of human life. In yet another regard, it is to bear testimony before Satan. And in still another, it is to lay a foundation for spreading future gospel work. All the work He has done is for the purpose of leading people onto the right path of human life, so that they may live as normal people, for people do not know how to live, and without this guidance, you will only live empty lives; your life will be devoid of value or meaning, and you will be utterly incapable of being a normal person. This is the deepest significance of conquering man.
from “The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh