Once Satan has been defeated, that is to say, once man has been completely conquered, man will comprehend that all of this work is for the sake of salvation, and that the means of this salvation is to regain from the hands of Satan. The 6,000 years of work of God’s management are divided into three stages: the Age of Law, the Age of Grace, and the Age of Kingdom. These three stages of work are all for the sake of mankind’s salvation, which is to say, they are for the salvation of a mankind that has been severely corrupted by Satan. At the same time, however, they are also so that God may do battle with Satan. Thus, just as the work of salvation is divided into three stages, so the battle with Satan is also divided into three stages, and these two aspects of God’s work are conducted simultaneously. The battle with Satan is actually for the sake of mankind’s salvation, and because the work of mankind’s salvation is not something that can be successfully completed in a single stage, the battle with Satan is also divided into phases and periods, and war is waged upon Satan in accordance with the needs of man and the extent of Satan’s corruption of him. Perhaps, in man’s imagination, he believes that in this battle God will take up arms against Satan, in the same way that two armies would fight each other. This is only something that man’s intellect is capable of imagining, and is a supremely vague and unrealistic idea, yet it is what man believes. And because I say here that the means of man’s salvation is through the battle with Satan, man imagines that this is how the battle is conducted. In the work of man’s salvation, three stages have been carried out, which is to say that the battle with Satan has been split into three stages prior to the complete defeat of Satan. Yet the inner truth of the entire work of the battle with Satan is that its effects are achieved through bestowing grace upon man, and becoming a sin offering of man, forgiving the sins of man, conquering man, and making man perfect. As a matter of fact, the battle with Satan is not the taking up of arms against Satan, but the salvation of man, the working of the life of man, and the changing of man’s disposition so that he may bear testimony to God. This is how Satan is defeated. Satan is defeated through changing the corrupt disposition of man. When Satan has been defeated, that is, when man has been completely saved, then the ashamed Satan will be completely bound, and in this way, man will have been completely saved. And so, the substance of man’s salvation is the battle with Satan, and the war with Satan is primarily reflected in the salvation of man. The stage of the last days, in which man is to be conquered, is the last stage in the battle with Satan, and 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 in 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 stock of all God’s 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. Satan is defeated through changes in man’s old disposition that restore his original sense, and 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, 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 all of this battle, and Satan will become the object that will be punished once this battle has finished, after which the entire work of mankind’s salvation will have been completed.
God has no malice toward the creatures and wishes only to defeat Satan. All of His work—whether it be chastisement or judgment—is directed at Satan; it is carried out for the sake of mankind’s salvation, is all in order to defeat Satan, and it has one objective: doing battle with Satan to the very end! And God will never rest before He has been victorious over Satan! He will rest only once He has defeated Satan. Because all of the work done by God is directed at Satan, and because those who have been corrupted by Satan are all under the control of Satan’s domain and all live under Satan’s domain, if God did not battle against Satan or cause them to break with it, Satan would not relax its hold on these people, and they could not be gained. If they were not gained, it would prove that Satan has not been defeated, that it has not been vanquished. And so, in God’s 6,000-year management plan, during the first stage He did the work of the law, during the second stage He did the work of the Age of Grace, that is, the work of crucifixion, and during the third stage He did the work of conquering mankind. All this work is directed at the extent to which Satan has corrupted mankind, it is all in order to defeat Satan, and not one of the stages is not for the sake of defeating Satan. The substance of the 6,000-year work of God’s management is the battle against the great red dragon, and the work of managing mankind is also the work of defeating Satan, and the work of doing battle with Satan. God has battled for 6,000 years, and thus worked for 6,000 years, to ultimately bring man into the new realm. When Satan is defeated, man will be completely liberated. Is this not the direction of God’s work today? This is precisely the direction of the work of today: the complete liberation and freeing of man, so that he is not subject to any rules, nor limited by any binds or restrictions. All this work is done in accordance with your stature and in accordance with your needs, meaning that you are provided with whatever you can accomplish. It is not a case of “driving a duck onto a perch,” of forcing you to do things beyond your ability; instead, all this work is carried out in accordance with your actual needs. Each stage of work is in accordance with the actual needs and requirements of man, and is for the sake of defeating Satan. In fact, at the beginning there were no barriers between the Creator and His creatures. They are all caused by Satan. Man has become unable to see or touch anything because of Satan’s disturbance and its corruption. Man is the victim, the one who has been deceived. Once Satan has been defeated, the creatures will behold the Creator, and the Creator will look upon the creatures and be able to personally lead them. Only this is the life that man should have on earth. And so, God’s work is primarily in order to defeat Satan, and once Satan has been defeated, everything will be solved. Today, you have seen that it really is something for God to come among man. He has not come to spend each day finding fault in you, to say this and that, or to simply allow you to see what He looks like, and how He speaks and lives. God has not become flesh merely to allow you to look upon Him, or to open your eyes, or to allow you to hear the mysteries He has spoken of and the seven seals that He has opened. Rather, He has become flesh to defeat Satan. He has personally come among man in the flesh to save man, to do battle with Satan, and this is the significance of His incarnation. If it were not in order to defeat Satan, then He would not personally do this work. God has come to earth to do His work among man, to personally reveal Himself to man and allow man to behold Him; is this a small matter? It really is something! It is not as man imagines that God has come so that man may look upon Him, so that man may understand that God is real and not vague or hollow, and that God is lofty but also humble. Could it be that simple? It is precisely because Satan has corrupted the flesh of man, and man is the one who God intends to save, that God must assume the flesh to do battle with Satan and to personally shepherd man. Only this is beneficial to His work. The two incarnate fleshes of God have existed in order to defeat Satan, and have also existed in order to better save man. That is because the one doing the battle with Satan can only be God, whether it be the Spirit of God or the incarnate flesh of God. In short, the one doing the battle with Satan cannot be the angels, much less can it be man, who has been corrupted by Satan. The angels are powerless to do it, and man is even more impotent. As such, if God wishes to work the life of man, if He wishes to personally come to earth to work man, then He must personally become flesh, that is, He must personally put on the flesh, and with His inherent identity and the work that He must do, come among man and personally save man. If not, if it were the Spirit of God or man that did this work, then this battle would forever fail to achieve its effect, and would never end. Only when God becomes flesh to personally go to war against Satan among man does man have a chance of salvation. Furthermore, only then is Satan shamed, and left without any opportunities to exploit or any plans to execute. The work done by God incarnate is unachievable by the Spirit of God, and even more incapable of being done on God’s behalf by any fleshly man, for the work that He does is for the sake of the life of man, and in order to change the corrupt disposition of man. Were man to participate in this battle, he would only flee in woeful disarray, and would simply be incapable of changing the corrupt disposition of man. He would be incapable of saving man from the cross, or of conquering all of rebellious mankind, but only be able to do a little old work according to principle, or else work that is unrelated to the defeat of Satan. So why bother? What is the significance of work that cannot gain mankind, much less defeat Satan? And so, the battle with Satan can only be carried out by God Himself, and is simply incapable of being done by man. Man’s duty is to obey and to follow, for man is unable to do the work of opening up a new epoch, nor, moreover, can he carry out the work of battling Satan. Man can only satisfy the Creator under the leadership of God Himself, through which Satan is defeated; this is the only thing that man can do. And so, every time a new battle commences, which is to say, every time the work of the new age begins, this work is personally done by God Himself, through which He leads the entire age, and opens up a new path for the whole of mankind. The dawn of each new age is a new start in the battle with Satan, through which man enters a newer, more beautiful realm and a new age that is personally led by God Himself. Man is the master of all things, but those who have been gained will become the fruits of all battles with Satan. Satan is the corrupter of all things, it is the loser at the end of all battles, and is also the one which will be punished following these battles. Among God, man and Satan, only Satan is the one which will be detested and rejected. Those who were gained by Satan but are not taken back by God, meanwhile, become the ones who will receive punishment in behalf of Satan. Of these three, only God should be worshiped by all things. Those who were corrupted by Satan but are taken back by God and who follow the way of God, meanwhile, become the ones who will receive God’s promise and judge the evil ones for God. God will surely be victorious and Satan will surely be defeated, but among man there are those who will win and those who will lose. Those who win will belong to the Victor, and those who lose will belong to the loser; this is the classification of each according to kind, it is the final outcome of all God’s work, it is also the aim of all God’s work, and it will never change. The core of the main work of God’s management plan is focused on the salvation of man, and God becomes flesh primarily for the sake of this core, for the sake of this work, and in order to defeat Satan. The first time God became flesh was also in order to defeat Satan: He personally became flesh, and was personally nailed to the cross, in order to complete the work of the first battle, which was the work of mankind’s redemption. Likewise, this stage of work is also personally done by God, who has become flesh to do His work among man, to personally speak His word and allow man to see Him. Of course, it is inevitable that He also does some other work along the way, but the main reason He carries out His work personally is in order to defeat Satan, to conquer the whole of mankind, and to gain these people. And so, the work of God’s incarnation really is something. If His purpose were only to show man that God is humble and hidden, and that God is real, if it were only for the sake of doing this work, then there would be no need to become flesh. Even if God did not become flesh, He could reveal His humbleness and hiddenness, His greatness and holiness, to man directly, but such things have nothing to do with the work of managing mankind. They are incapable of saving man or making him complete, much less can they defeat Satan. If the defeat of Satan only involved the Spirit doing battle against a spirit, then such work would have even less practical value; it would be incapable of gaining man and would ruin the fate and prospects of man. As such, God’s work today is of profound significance. It is not only so that man may see Him, or so that man’s eyes may be opened, or in order to provide him with a little moving and encouragement; such work has no significance. If you can only speak of this kind of knowledge, then it proves that you do not know the true significance of God’s incarnation.
The work of God’s entire management plan is personally done by God Himself. The first stage—the creation of the world—was personally done by God Himself, and if it had not been, then no one would have been capable of creating mankind; the second stage was the redemption of all mankind, and it was also personally done by God Himself; the third stage goes without saying: There is an even greater need for the end of all God’s work to be done by God Himself. The work of redeeming, conquering, gaining, and perfecting the whole of mankind is all personally carried out by God Himself. If He did not personally do this work, then His identity could not be represented by man, or His work done by man. In order to defeat Satan, in order to gain mankind, and in order to give man a normal life on earth, He personally leads man and personally works among man; for the sake of His entire management plan, and for all of His work, He must personally do this work. If man only believes that God came to be seen by him and make him happy, then such beliefs hold no value, they have no significance. Man’s knowledge is too superficial! Only by carrying it out Himself can God do this work thoroughly and completely. Man is incapable of doing it on behalf of God. As he does not have God’s identity or His substance, he is incapable of doing His work, and even if man did, it would not have any effect. The first time God became flesh was for the sake of redemption, to redeem all mankind from sin, to make man capable of being cleansed and of being forgiven for his sins. The work of conquest is also personally done by God among man. If, during this stage, God were only to speak prophecy, then a prophet or someone gifted could be found to take His place; if only prophecy were spoken, man could stand in for God. Yet if man were to personally do the work of God Himself and were to work the life of man, it would be impossible for him to do this work. It must be personally done by God Himself: God must personally become flesh to do this work. In the Age of Word, if only prophecy were spoken, then Isaiah or Elijah the prophet could be found to do this work, and there would be no need for God Himself to do it personally. Because the work done in this stage is not merely the speaking of prophecy, and because it is of greater importance that the work of words is used to conquer man and defeat Satan, this work cannot be done by man, and must be personally done by God Himself. In the Age of Law Jehovah did part of God’s work, after which He spoke some words and did some work through the prophets. That is because man could stand in for the work of Jehovah, and the seers could foretell things and interpret some dreams on His behalf. The work done in the beginning was not the work of directly changing man’s disposition, and was unrelated to the sin of man, and man was required only to abide by the law. So Jehovah did not become flesh and reveal Himself to man; instead He spoke directly to Moses and others, made them speak and work on His behalf, and caused them to work directly among mankind. The first stage of God’s work was the leadership of man. It was the start of the battle with Satan, but this battle had yet to officially begin. The official war with Satan began with the first incarnation of God, and it has continued right up until today. The first instance of this war was when God incarnate was nailed to the cross. The crucifixion of God incarnate defeated Satan, and it was the first successful stage in the war. When God incarnate begins to directly work the life of man, this is the official start of the work of regaining man, and because this is the work of changing man’s old disposition, it is the work of doing battle with Satan. The stage of work done by Jehovah in the beginning was merely the leadership of man’s life on earth. It was the beginning of God’s work, and although it had yet to involve any battle, or any major work, it laid the foundation for the work of the battle to come. Later, the second stage of work during the Age of Grace involved changing man’s old disposition, which means that God Himself wrought the life of man. This had to be personally done by God: It required that God personally become flesh, and if He had not become flesh, no one else could have replaced Him in this stage of work, for it represented the work of fighting directly against Satan. If man had done this work on God’s behalf, when man stood before Satan, Satan would not have submitted and it would have been impossible to defeat it. It had to be God incarnate who came to defeat it, for the substance of God incarnate is still God, He is still the life of man, and He is still the Creator; whatever happens, His identity and substance will not change. And so, He put on the flesh and did the work to cause the complete submission of Satan. During the stage of work of the last days, if man were to do this work and were made to speak the words directly, then he would be unable to speak them, and if prophecy were spoken, then it would be incapable of conquering man. By assuming the flesh, God comes to defeat Satan and cause its complete submission. He utterly defeats Satan, fully conquers man, and completely gains man, after which this stage of work is completed, and success achieved. In God’s management, man cannot stand in for God. In particular, the work of leading the age and launching new work is in even greater need of being personally done by God Himself. Giving man revelation and providing him with prophecy can be done by man, but if it is work that must be personally done by God, work of the battle between God Himself and Satan, then this work cannot be done by man. During the first stage of work, when there was no battle with Satan, Jehovah personally led the people of Israel using the prophecy spoken by the prophets. Afterward, the second stage of work was the battle with Satan, and God Himself personally became flesh, coming into the flesh, to do this work. Anything that involves the battle with Satan also involves the incarnation of God, which means that this battle cannot be waged by man. If man were to do battle, he would be incapable of defeating Satan. How could he have the strength to fight against it whilst still under its domain? Man is in the middle: If you lean toward Satan you belong to Satan, but if you satisfy God you belong to God. Were man to stand in for God in the work of this battle, would he be able to? If he did, would he not have perished long ago? Would he not have entered into the netherworld long ago? And so, man is unable to replace God in His work, which is to say that man does not have the substance of God, and if you did battle with Satan you would be incapable of defeating it. Man can only do some work; he can win some people over, but he cannot stand in for God in the work of God Himself. How could man do battle with Satan? Satan would take you captive before you’d even started. Only God Himself can do battle with Satan, and upon this basis man can follow God and obey Him. Only in this way can man be gained by God and escape from the bonds of Satan. What man can achieve with his own wisdom, authority and abilities is too limited; he is incapable of making man complete, of leading him, and, moreover, of defeating Satan. Man’s intelligence and wisdom are unable to thwart the schemes of Satan, so how could man do battle with it?
All those who are willing to be made perfect have the chance to be made perfect, so everyone must relax: In the future you will all enter the destination. But if you are unwilling to be made perfect, and are unwilling to enter the wonderful realm, then that is your own problem. All those who are willing to be made perfect and are loyal to God, all those who obey, and all those who faithfully perform their function—all such people can be made perfect. Today, all those who do not loyally perform their duty, all those who are not loyal to God, all those who do not submit to God, particularly those who have received the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit but do not put it into practice—all such people are unable to be made perfect. All those who are willing to be loyal and obey God can be made perfect, even if they are a little ignorant; all those who are willing to pursue can be made perfect. There is no need to worry about this. As long as you are willing to pursue in this direction, you can be made perfect. I am unwilling to forsake or eliminate any of those among you, but if man does not strive to do well, then you are only ruining yourself; it is not Me that eliminates you, but you yourself. If you yourself do not strive to do well—if you are lazy, or do not perform your duty, or are not loyal, or do not pursue the truth, and always do as you please, spending money and having sexual liaisons, then you condemn yourself, and are unworthy of anyone’s pity. My purpose is for all of you to be made perfect, and at the very least be conquered, so that this stage of work may be successfully completed. God’s wish is for every person to be made perfect, to be ultimately gained by Him, to be completely cleansed by Him, and to become one He loves. It matters not whether I say you are backward or of poor caliber—this is all fact. My saying this does not prove that I intend to forsake you, that I have lost hope in you, much less that I am unwilling to save you. Today I have come to do the work of your salvation, which is to say that the work I do is a continuation of the work of salvation. Every person has the chance to be made perfect: Provided that you are willing, provided that you pursue, in the end you will be able to achieve the effects, and not one of you will be forsaken. If you are of poor caliber, My requirements of you will be in accordance with your poor caliber; if you are of high caliber, My requirements of you will be in accordance with your high caliber; if you are ignorant and illiterate, My requirements of you will be in accordance with your illiteracy; if you are literate, My requirements of you will be in accordance with your level of literacy; if you are elderly, My requirements of you will be in accordance with your age; if you are capable of providing hospitality, My requirements of you will be in accordance with this; if you say you cannot offer hospitality, and can only perform a certain function, whether it be spreading the gospel, or taking care of the church, or attending to other general affairs, My perfection of you will be in accordance with the function that you perform. Being loyal, obeying to the very end, and pursuing the supreme love of God—this is what you must accomplish, and there are no better practices than these three things. Ultimately, man is required to achieve these three things, and if he can achieve them he will be made perfect. But, above all, you must truly pursue, you must actively press onward and upward, and not be passive toward that. I have said that every person has the chance to be made perfect, and is capable of being made perfect, and this counts, but if you do not try to be better in your pursuit, if you do not achieve these three criteria, then in the end you must be eliminated. I want everyone to catch up, want everyone to have the work and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and be able to obey to the very end, because this is the duty that each of you should perform. When you have all performed your duty, you will all have been made perfect, you will also have resounding testimony. All those who have testimony are those who have been victorious over Satan and gained God’s promise, and they are the ones who will remain to live in the wonderful destination.
a. The original text reads “today, it is because.”