The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (4)
What does it mean to be perfected? What does it mean to be conquered? What criteria must be met in order for people to be conquered? And what criteria must be met for them to be perfected? Conquering and perfecting are both for the purpose of making man complete so that he may be restored to his original likeness, and be freed of his corrupt satanic disposition and the influence of Satan. This conquering comes early in the process of working man; indeed, it is the first step of the work. Perfecting is the second step, and it is the concluding work. Every human being must undergo the process of being conquered. If not, they would have no way of knowing God, nor would they be aware that there is a God, which is to say, it would be impossible for them to acknowledge God. And if people do not acknowledge God, it is also impossible for them to be made complete by God, since you do not meet the criteria for this completion. If you do not even acknowledge God, then how can you know Him? How can you pursue Him? You will not be able to bear witness to Him, either, and much less will you have the faith to satisfy Him. So, for anyone who wants to be made complete, the first step must be to undergo the work of conquest. This is the first condition. But both conquering and perfecting are in order to work people and to change them, and each is part of the work of managing man. Both steps are required to make someone whole, and neither can be neglected. It is true that “being conquered” does not sound very nice, but in fact, the process of conquering someone is the process of changing them. Once you have been conquered, your corrupt disposition may not have been completely eradicated, but you will have known it. Through the work of conquest, you will have come to know your lowly humanity, as well as much of your own disobedience. Although you will be unable to discard or to change these things within the short period of the work of conquest, you will come to know them, and this will lay the foundation for your perfection. As such, conquering and perfecting are both done in order to change people, to rid them of their corrupt satanic dispositions so that they can give themselves fully to God. Being conquered is merely the first step in changing people’s dispositions, as well as the first step in people fully giving themselves to God, and it is lower than the step of being perfected. A conquered person’s life disposition changes far less than a perfected person’s. Being conquered and being perfected are conceptually different from each other because they are different phases of work and because they hold people to different standards; conquest holds people to lower standards, while perfection holds them to higher ones. The perfected are righteous people, people made holy; they are crystallizations of the work of managing humanity, or end products. Although they are not perfect humans, they are people who seek to live meaningful lives. The conquered, meanwhile, acknowledge God’s existence in word only; they acknowledge that God has been incarnated, that the Word has appeared 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. They have only recently begun to have a somewhat human likeness. They have some insights into life, but still it remains hazy to them. In other words, they are just starting to possess humanity. Such are the effects of being conquered. When people set foot on the path to perfection, their old dispositions are capable of change. Further, their lives continue to grow, and they gradually enter more deeply into the truth. They are able to loathe the world and all those who do not pursue 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 pursue the truth. They are unwilling to live within the thoughts generated by their own brains, and they feel loathing for man’s self-righteousness, haughtiness, and self-conceit. They speak with a strong sense of propriety, handle things with discernment and wisdom, and are loyal and 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 this chastisement and judgment from God. They believe that they cannot be without God’s chastisement and judgment, that it protects them. They do not pursue a faith of peace and joy and of seeking bread to satisfy hunger. Neither do they pursue fleeting fleshly enjoyments. This is what occurs in those who are perfected. After people are conquered, they acknowledge that there is a God, but that acknowledgment is manifested in them in a limited number of ways. What does the Word appearing in the flesh actually mean? What does incarnation mean? What has God incarnate done? What is the goal and significance of His work? After experiencing so much of His work, after experiencing His deeds in the flesh, what have you gained? Only after understanding all of these things will you be someone who is conquered. If you merely say that you acknowledge there is a God, but do not forsake what you ought to forsake, and fail to give up the fleshly enjoyments that you should give up, but instead continue to covet fleshly comforts as you always have, and if you are unable to let go of any prejudices against the brothers and sisters, and do not pay any price in carrying out many simple practices, then this proves you have yet to be conquered. In that case, even if there is much that you understand, it will all be for nothing. The conquered are people who have achieved some initial changes and initial entry. Experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement gives people an initial knowledge of God, and an initial understanding of the truth. You may be incapable of fully entering into the reality of deeper, more detailed truths, but in your actual life you are able to put into practice many rudimentary truths, such as those involving your fleshly enjoyments or your personal status. All of this is the effect achieved in people during the process of being conquered. Changes in disposition can also be seen in the conquered; for example, the way they dress and present themselves, and how they live—these can all change. Their perspective on belief in God changes, they are clear about the goals of their pursuit, and they have higher aspirations. During the work of conquest, corresponding changes also occur in their life disposition. There are changes, but they are shallow, preliminary, and far inferior to the changes in disposition and goals of pursuit of those who have been perfected. If, in the course of being conquered, a person’s disposition does not change at all, and they do not gain any truth, then this person is trash, and completely useless! People who have not been conquered cannot be perfected! If a person only seeks to be conquered, then they cannot be fully made complete, even if their dispositions exhibit certain corresponding changes during the work of conquest. They will also lose the initial truths they gained. There is a vast difference between the change in dispositions in those who are conquered and those who are perfected. But being conquered is the first step in change; it is the foundation. Lack of this initial change is proof that a person does not actually know God at all, since this knowledge comes from judgment, and such judgment is a major part of the work of conquest. As such, all who are made perfect must first be conquered; if not, there is no way for them to be perfected.
You say that you acknowledge God incarnate, and that you acknowledge the Word’s appearance in the flesh, yet you do certain things behind His back, things that go against what He asks, and in your heart you are not frightened of Him. Is this acknowledging God? You acknowledge what He says, but you do not practice what you are able to, nor do you abide by His way. Is this acknowledging God? And though you acknowledge Him, you harbor a heart of wariness for Him, never a heart of fear. If you have seen and acknowledged His work and know that He is God, yet you remain tepid and completely unchanged, then you are the kind of person who still has not been conquered. Those who have been conquered must do all they can, and though they are not able to enter higher truths, and these truths may be beyond them, such people are willing in their hearts to attain to this. It is because there are limits to what they can accept that there are bounds and limits to what they are able to practice. At the very least, however, they must do all they can, and if you can achieve that, this is an effect that has been achieved because of the work of conquest. Suppose you say, “Given that He can put forth so many words that man cannot, if He is not God, who is?” Such thinking does not mean you acknowledge God. If you acknowledge God, you must demonstrate it through your actual actions. If you lead a church, yet do not practice righteousness, if you crave money and wealth, and always pocket the church’s funds for yourself, is this acknowledging that there is a God? God is almighty, and He is worthy of fear. How can you not be afraid if you truly acknowledge that there is a God? If you are capable of committing such despicable acts, do you truly acknowledge Him? Is it God that 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 are all afraid of Him and don’t dare to do anything that opposes Him or which violates their consciences; 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 try to stop you from believing in God? How should you love God when your unbelieving husband is good to you? And how should you love God when the brothers and sisters loathe you? If you acknowledge Him, then in these matters you will act appropriately and live out reality. If you fail to take concrete actions 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? Are you frightened of Him in your heart? Do you fear Him? Do you possess a heart of love for Him deep down inside? When you are distressed and have no one to lean on, you sense the loveliness of God, but afterward you forget all about it. That is not loving God, and nor is it believing in God! What, ultimately, does God wish for man to achieve? All the states that I mentioned, such as feeling very impressed by your own importance, feeling you are quick to pick up and understand new things, controlling others, looking down on others, judging people by their appearance, bullying guileless people, coveting church money, and so forth—only when all of these corrupt satanic dispositions have been, in part, removed from you, will your conquest be made manifest.
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. You are all descendants of Moab; when the work of conquest is carried out in you, it is great salvation. All of you live in a land of sin and licentiousness, and you are all licentious and sinful. Today you are not just able to look upon God, but more importantly, you have received chastisement and judgment, you have received truly profound salvation, which is to say, you have received God’s greatest love. In all that He does, God is truly loving toward 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 for the purpose of making man complete. From beginning to end, God has been doing His utmost to save man, and has no desire to completely destroy the men He created with His own hands. Today, He has come among you to work; is this not salvation all the more? If He hated you, would He still do work of such magnitude in order to personally guide you? Why should He suffer so? God does not hate you or have any ill intentions toward you. You should know that God’s love is the truest love. It is only because people are disobedient that He has to save them through judgment; if not for this, saving them would be impossible. Because you do not know how to live and are not even aware of how to live, and because you live in this licentious and sinful land and are yourselves licentious and filthy devils, He cannot bear to let you become even more depraved, He cannot bear to see you living in this filthy land as you do now, trampled on by Satan at will, and He cannot bear to let you fall into Hades. He only wants to gain this group of people and thoroughly save you. This is the main purpose of doing the work of conquest on you—it is just for salvation. 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 to enjoy this judgment and this immense salvation, to enjoy all of these blessings, blessings that cannot be found anywhere in the human world, and to enjoy this love, then be good: Stay in this stream to accept the work of conquest so you can be made perfect. Today, you may suffer a little pain and refinement because of God’s judgment, but there is value and meaning to suffering this pain. Though people are refined and mercilessly exposed by God’s chastisement and judgment—the aim being to punish them for their sins, to punish their flesh—none of this work is intended to condemn their flesh to destruction. The severe disclosures by the word are all for the purpose of leading you onto the right path. You have personally experienced so much of this work and, clearly, it has not led you onto an evil path! It is all in order to make you live out normal humanity, and it is all achievable by your normal humanity. Every step of God’s work is based upon your needs, according to your weaknesses, and according to your actual stature, and no unbearable burden is placed on you. This is not clear to you today, and you feel as if I am being hard on you, and indeed you always believe that the reason I chastise, judge and reproach you every day is because I hate you. But although what you suffer is chastisement and judgment, this is actually love for you, and it is the greatest protection. If you cannot grasp the deeper meaning of this work, it will be impossible for you to continue experiencing. This salvation should bring you comfort. Do not refuse to come to your senses. Having come this far, the significance of the work of conquest should be clear to you, and you should no longer hold opinions about it one way or another!