The Inside Truth of the Conquering Work (3)
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 man’s temperament or flesh changes does not determine whether he has been conquered. Rather, it is when man’s thinking, man’s consciousness, and man’s 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. 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 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 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?
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. Right now you need to have an understanding from the positive angle so you can change yourselves. What you most need to do is equip yourselves with God’s words, meaning fully equip yourselves with the truth and vision that are before you now, and then go forth and put them into practice. This is your responsibility. I am not asking you to seek and gain even greater illumination. Currently you simply do not have the stature for that. What is needed of you is to do all you can to eat and drink God’s words. You need to understand God’s work and know your nature, your substance, and that old life of yours. You especially need to know 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.
What you should presently enter into is elevating your life and raising your caliber. In addition, you need to change those old perspectives from your past, change your thinking, and change your notions. Your whole life needs renewal. When your 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. How exactly did you understand the Bible in the past? A quick comparison today will tell you. In the past you put Moses, Peter, Paul, or all those biblical statements and perspectives up on a pedestal. Now, if you are asked to put the Bible up on a pedestal, would you do it? You would see that the Bible contains too many records written by man and that the Bible is but man’s account of two stages of God’s work. It is a history book. Does this not mean that your understanding of it has changed? If you now look at the genealogy of Jesus given in the Gospel of Matthew, you would say, “The genealogy of Jesus? Nonsense! This is Joseph’s genealogy, not Jesus’. There is no relationship between Jesus and Joseph.” When you look at the Bible now, your understanding of it is different, meaning your perspective has changed, and you bring a higher level of understanding to it than the religious scholars of old. When someone says that there is something to this genealogy, you would respond, “What is there to it? Go ahead and explain. Jesus and Joseph are not related. Do you not know that? Can Jesus have a genealogy? How can Jesus have ancestors? How can He be the descendant of man? His flesh was born of Mary; His Spirit is the Spirit of God, not the spirit of a man. Jesus is the beloved Son of God, so can He have a genealogy? While on earth He was not a member of mankind, so how can He have a genealogy?” When you analyze the genealogy and explain the truth clearly, sharing what you have understood, that person will be left speechless. Some people will reference the Bible and ask you, “Jesus had a genealogy. Does your God of today have a genealogy?” You will then tell them your most realistic understanding. In this way, your understanding will have gotten results. In truth, Jesus is not related to Joseph at all and is related even less to Abraham. It is only that Jesus was born in Israel. But God is not an Israelite or a descendant of the Israelites. Just because Jesus was born in Israel, does not mean God is the God of Israelites only. It was only for the purpose of His work that He took this step of incarnating Himself. God is the God of all creation in the universe. It is just that He first did one stage of work in Israel and then, afterward, began working in Gentile nations. Yet people considered Jesus to be the God of the Israelites and furthermore placed Him among the Israelites and among David’s descendants. The Bible says that at the end of the days, Jehovah’s name will be great among Gentile nations, meaning God will be working in Gentile nations in the last days. That He was incarnated in Judea back then does not indicate that God only loves Jews. That happened only because the work required it. It cannot be said that God had to be incarnated in Israel (because the Israelites were His chosen people). Are not God’s chosen people found in Gentile nations, too? It was after Jesus finished working in Judea that the work expanded to Gentile nations. (The nations outside of Israel are commonly referred to as “Gentile nations”; “Gentile nations” is not an indication that those places have no chosen people; rather, the nations outside of Israel are collectively called “Gentile nations.”) In truth, those Gentile nations were populated by God’s chosen people as well; it was just that no work was being done there yet at the time. People put such emphasis on Israel because the first two stages of work took place in Israel while no work was being done in Gentile nations. The work in Gentile nations is beginning only today, and that is why people are having a hard time accepting it. If you can clearly understand all this, accurately take in and correctly view all these matters, you will have an accurate understanding of the God of today and of the past, and it will be higher than the understanding of God possessed by the saints throughout history. If you experience today’s work and hear God’s personal utterance today, yet you have no understanding at all of God’s entirety; if your pursuit remains as it always was and is not replaced with anything new; and especially if you experience all this conquering work, yet ultimately no change whatsoever can be seen in you, then is not your faith like that of those who only seek bread to satisfy their hunger? In that case, conquering work will not have achieved any result in you. Will you then not become someone to be eliminated?
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. 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. 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.
Regardless of how strong their present resolve to love God, man has in general become obedient and followed to this day. Not until the end, when this stage of work concludes, will man repent thoroughly. That is when people will truly be conquered. Right now they are only in the process of being conquered. The moment the work concludes, they will be completely conquered, but not so right now! Even if everyone is convinced, that does not mean they have been thoroughly conquered. This is because currently people have seen only words and not factual events, and they still feel uncertain no matter how deeply they believe. That is why it is only with that last factual event, the words becoming reality, that people will be thoroughly conquered. Right now these people are being conquered because they are hearing of many mysteries that they never heard of before. But inside each and every one of them, they are still looking for and waiting for some factual events that allow them to see every word of God being actualized. Only then will they be completely convinced. Only when, in the end, all have seen these actualized factual realities, and these realities have caused them to feel certain, will they show conviction in their hearts, their speech, and their eyes, and will they be thoroughly convinced from the bottom of their hearts. This is man’s nature. You need to see the words all coming true, you need to see some factual events happening and see disaster befalling some people, and then you will be completely convinced deep down inside. Like the Jews, you keep attaching great importance to seeing signs and miracles. Yet you keep not seeing that there are signs and miracles and that realities are happening which are meant to greatly open your eyes. Whether it is someone descending from the sky, or a pillar of clouds speaking to you, or My performing an exorcism on one of you, or My voice booming like thunder among you, you have always wanted to and will always want to see this kind of event. One can say that in believing in God, your greatest wish is to see God come and personally show you a sign. Then you will be satisfied. To conquer you people, I have to perform work similar to the creation of the world and then add a sign. Then, your hearts will be completely conquered.