The Overcomers’ Testimonies “Regenerated in God’s Word”

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I was a peasant. As my family was poor, I kept working everywhere to make money, just wanting to live a better life through my own labor. However, in real life I saw that the lawful rights and interests of a rural worker like me couldn’t be guaranteed at all. My wages were often withheld for no reason. Deceived and exploited by others again and again, I couldn’t get the payment I deserved for a year’s hard work. I felt that the world was too dark! People lived by the law of the jungle like animals and contended with and fought against each other. There was simply no place for me to live. When I was extremely distressed and depressed in my heart and lost confidence in life, a friend preached Almighty God’s end-time salvation to me. From then on, I often had meetings with the brothers and sisters, and we prayed, sang, and fellowshipped about the truth together. We learned from each other and made up for each other’s deficiencies, and I felt especially happy and released. In the Church of Almighty God, I saw that there was no deception or distinction of position among the brothers and sisters. We were all simple and open and lived in harmony. In order to cast off the corrupt disposition and live out the likeness of a man and thus be saved, all of us were striving to pursue the truth, which let me taste the happiness of life and understand the value and meaning of life. Therefore, I always felt that I should preach the gospel so that more people who lived in darkness could come before God to be saved by God and see the light again. So, I joined in preaching the gospel to testify God. However, I never expected that I would be arrested by the CCP government for preaching the gospel and suffer the extremely cruel tortures and imprisonment.

It was at noon in the winter of 2008. When I was testifying God’s end-time work to a gospel friend with two sisters, we were reported by an evil person. Six policemen suddenly rushed into the house of the gospel friend on the excuse of checking residence cards. As soon as they entered the house, they roared loudly, “Freeze!” Two of them rushed at me madly. One seized the clothes on my chest. The other grabbed my arms and twisted them backward with force, shouting venomously, “What are you doing? Where are you from? What’s your name?” I asked in reply, “Who are you? Why do you arrest me?” Hearing that, they flared up into a fury and said aggressively, “Don’t ask why! You’re the one we are catching! Come with us!” After that, the vicious policemen pushed the two sisters and me into a police car and took us to the local police station.

After arriving there, they put me into a small room, ordered me to squat down, and arranged for four guys to watch me. Having squatted for a long time, I was really tired and couldn’t bear it. Just when I wanted to stand up, the vicious policemen came over to press my head down, not allowing me to stand up. They didn’t allow me to get up until they came to search me in the evening. Since they got nothing, they all left later. Soon after, I heard the cry of someone who was tortured in the next room. At that time, I was very afraid in my heart: What cruel means will they use to torture me next? I prayed to God desperately in my heart, “Almighty God! Now I feel scared in my heart. May you give me faith and strength so that I will be strong and courageous and can stand testimony for you. If I can’t withstand their cruel tortures, I’d rather commit suicide by biting off my own tongue than be a Judas to betray God!” After the prayer, I thought of God’s words, “Do not fear this or that. The Almighty God of hosts will surely be with you. He will be your rear guard and shield.” (from “The Twenty-sixth Piece of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) Right! With Almighty God being my rear guard and being with me, what shall I fear? I’ll rely on God to war against satan. God’s words removed the timidity in my heart and my tightened heart was released.

That night, another four ferocious-looking policemen came. One of them pointed at me, shouting, “We’ve finally got you this big fish. Your believing in Almighty God is disturbing the social order and disrupting the state law….” As he roared, he pushed me into an interrogation room on the second floor and ordered me to squat down. In the room, there were various kinds of torture devices, such as ropes, sticks, batons, steel whips, guns, and so on, which were placed disorderedly on the floor. A vicious policeman with angry eyes grabbed my hair with one hand and made an electric baton sputter with the other hand. He threatened and questioned me, “How many people are there in your church? Where is your meeting place? Who is your leader? How many of you preach in our area? Speak up! Otherwise, there will be a lot for you to suffer.” Looking at the electric baton with a blue light and the torture devices in the room, I couldn’t help feeling kind of nervous and afraid and didn’t know whether I could overcome the following cruel torture. Just at the critical moment, I thought of Almighty God’s words, “The bitter cup I drank you must drink (Jesus said this after his resurrection), and the way I walked you will have to walk. …” (from “The Course of Peter’s Knowing ‘Jesus’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) I realized: This is God’s charge and is the way of life that God personally opens up for us. In walking the way of believing in God and pursuing the truth, we are bound to experience some tribulations and frustrations, which is inevitable. What the suffering accomplishes is God’s blessing. Only in tribulations can we gain the way of truth God bestows. The truth is the eternal life that God bestows to us. I should follow God’s footsteps to go forward and confront all these bravely instead of being timid or afraid. When I thought of that, a burst of strength welled up in my heart immediately. Then I said loudly, “I only believe in Almighty God! I know nothing else!” Hearing that, the vicious policeman was so exasperated that he jabbed my left breast wildly with the electric baton for nearly a minute. Immediately, I felt as if the blood in my body were boiling. Unbearably painful all over, I writhed on the floor and kept screaming. Still unwilling to give up, he suddenly dragged me up and lifted my chin with the baton, roaring, “Speak up! You don’t confess, eh?” While roaring, he jabbed my right breast with the electric baton. I shivered all over and then fainted from pain, lying motionless on the floor…. I didn’t know how long had passed when I woke up. I heard them saying, “Playing dead? You pretend! How dare you pretend!” Then they jabbed my face with the baton and kicked my thighs. After that, they dragged me up from the floor, saying venomously, “Speak up or not?” I still didn’t answer. They fiercely punched my face. One of my teeth was knocked out, and another one became loose. Immediately, blood flowed from my mouth. Facing such torments of those frenzied demons, I was really afraid that I couldn’t stand their cruel torture and would betray God. At that time, I thought of God’s words, “Those in power look ferocious in appearance, but do not be afraid. That is because you have little faith. As long as your faith rises, nothing will be difficult.” (from “The Seventy-fifth Piece of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) God’s words gave me faith and strength once again. I realized: Although those vicious policemen before my eyes are crazy and aggressive, they are manipulated in God’s hand. Now, God is using them to test my faith. As long as I rely on God by faith and don’t give in to them, they will surely be put to shame and defeated. Thinking of that, I exerted all my strength and asked them in reply loudly, “Why did you arrest me and take me here? Why did you shock me with the electric baton? What crime have I committed?” With a guilty conscience, the vicious policemen, who were stumped by my questions, stuttered, “Shouldn’t I… I… I arrest you and take you here? …” With the word, they went away in dejection. Seeing satans’ awkward and ugly manner, I shed tears with excitement. In such adversity, I truly experienced the authority and power of Almighty God’s words. As long as I practiced and cooperated according to God’s words, I would have God’s care and keeping and have God’s power as company. At the same time, I felt indebted to God for my little faith. After that, a tall policeman came in and walked to me, saying, “As long as you tell us where you live and how many people there are in your family, we’ll release you at once.” Seeing that I still said nothing, he exasperatedly grabbed my hand and forcefully put my fingerprint on the statement they fabricated beforehand. Seeing that the statement simply wasn’t what I said but was all their lies and framings, I was so indignant that I snatched it and tore it up. Immediately, the vicious policeman flew into a rage. He violently punched my left cheek and slapped my face hard twice, so I became disoriented. Then, they locked me up in the small room again.

In the small room, covered with bruises and unbearably painful from the tortures, I couldn’t help feeling weak and sad: Why do I have to undergo such suffering in believing in God? I preach the gospel to others with good intentions, letting them pursue the truth to be saved. However, I suffer such torture…. When I thought of that, I felt even more wronged and distressed. In anguish, I thought of God’s words, “Since you are a man, you should spend for God and endure all sufferings! As for the little suffering you are undergoing now, you should accept it gladly and readily in your heart. You should live out a meaningful life, like Job and Peter. … You people are the ones who pursue the right way and pursue to make progress. You stand up in the country of the great red dragon and are the ones called righteous by God. Isn’t this the most meaningful life?” (from “Practice (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) Every word of Almighty God struck my heart. Yes! Almighty God has watered and supplied me with his abundant words of life, so I have enjoyed so much grace from him freely, known the mysteries no one could know throughout the past generations, and understood the truths no one could understand throughout the past generations. This is God’s special blessing for me. I should bear testimony for God and endure all sufferings for God. No matter how much I suffer, it is worthwhile, because this is the most valuable and meaningful thing. However, today I’m persecuted and suffer a little physically because of preaching the gospel, and then I feel reluctant and mistreated. Don’t I grieve God too much? Am I not too conscienceless? How can I be worthy of God’s grace and blessing and God’s supply of life? The saints in the past generations, because of walking in God’s way, had borne strong and resounding testimonies for God and lived out a meaningful life. Having gained so much supply of words from God today, shouldn’t I even more bear a good testimony for God? … As I thought of that, I felt less pain in my body. I deeply knew that it was Almighty God’s words that gave me the power of life and made me overcome the weakness of my flesh.

On the second day, the vicious policemen were already at the end of their schemes. They threatened me, “You won’t say, right? Then we’ll put you in prison!” After that, they took me to the detention house. In the detention house, the vicious policemen continued to torture me in various ways. Moreover, they often instigated the prisoners to beat me. In the severe winter, they incited the prisoners to pour basins of cold water on me, forcing me to wash in cold water. I felt so cold that I shivered all over. There, the prisoners were the machines to make money for the government. We didn’t have any lawful right and had to endure the prison guards’ squeezing and exploiting like slaves. They forced me to print thermal paper unceasingly in the daytime and work overtime at night. If I took a break, someone would come over to beat me violently. At the beginning, they required me to print 2,000 sheets a day, and then the quota increased to 2,800, and finally to 3,000. Even the veterans couldn’t finish that amount of work, let alone a newcomer like me. Actually, they intentionally made me unable to finish it so that they could find excuses to torture and afflict me. When I failed to meet the quota, the vicious policemen would put shackles weighing over five kilograms on me and had my hands and feet shackled together. I would have to sit there motionless, bending with my head downward. The gang of inhuman vicious policemen didn’t care about my eating, drinking, defecating, and urinating. Although the commode was in the cell, I couldn’t walk there to use it. So I had to beg the cellmates to pull me onto the commode. If they were kind, they would pull me there. If no one helped me, I had to relieve myself in my pants. The most painful thing was eating. As my hands and feet were shackled together, I could only force my head down and lift up my feet and hands at the same time. Only thus could I put the steamed bun into my mouth. Every bite cost me great strength and the handcuffs and shackles hurt me sharply. After a long time, my wrists and ankles had hard, black, and shiny calluses. When I was shackled, I often got nothing to eat. On occasion, the prisoners gave me two small steamed buns. But most of the time, they ate my share and I had to suffer hunger. As for water, it was even less. Actually, everyone was given only two bowls of water every day. However, I was shackled and unable to move, so I seldom drank water and I couldn’t drink it. I went through such unspeakable inhuman tortures four times, and each time I was shackled three days at least and eight days at most. Whenever I was unbearably hungry, I thought of what God ever said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) Gradually, I realized that God wanted to accomplish in me the fact that “the word becomes life” through satan’s affliction on me. After understanding God’s will, I got released in my heart. Then I quieted myself before God and prayed to God and pondered God’s words. Unknowingly, I no longer felt so painful and didn’t feel hungry. It made me truly experience that God’s word is the truth, the way, and the life and is indeed the foundation for my existence. Therefore, I had more faith in God unconsciously. I remembered that once the prison guards tortured me on purpose again. I was shackled there and had nothing to eat or drink three days and nights. The prisoner who was shackled beside me said, “Before, a young man was starved to death because of being shackled like this. You haven’t eaten anything for several days yet still look energetic.” At his words, thinking that I didn’t eat or drink anything for three days and nights yet didn’t feel that hungry, I deeply felt that the life force of God’s word was supporting me and truly saw that God appeared to me in the word. I was very excited in my heart. In such an environment of suffering, I could truly experience the reality of the truth that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God,” which was really the most precious wealth of life God bestowed to me, was my special gain, and was even more what I could never gain in an easy environment without worrying about food and clothing. It was so meaningful and worthwhile to undergo such suffering today! At that time, I couldn’t help remembering God’s words, “What you inherit today is higher than what the apostles and prophets in the past generations inherited, even higher than what Moses and Peter inherited. Blessings cannot be gained in one or two days. You have to pay much price. That is, you have to have a refined love, have a great faith, and have the many truths God requires you to live up to, you have to be able to stand with justice, not bending or swerving, and have to have a heart that loves God without change even unto death, and you need to have the will, have your life disposition transformed and your corruptions cured, and accept all God’s manipulations without complaint and even be able to obey unto death. These are what you should achieve, are God’s ultimate purpose, and are God’s requirements for this group of people.” (from “Is God’s Work So Simple as People Imagine?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) Pondering God’s words, I realized: What sufferings and trials accomplish is indeed God’s blessing and is God’s most practical life supply and watering to me. Now, although the words God bestows to me surpass those to the saints in the past generations, I still need to have faith and perseverance to inherit them, and should never bend or swerve in the tribulation but obey God’s manipulation and arrangement and accept God’s salvation. Only thus can I enter into the reality of God’s words and see God’s wonderful deeds. Without the price of suffering, I’m not qualified to inherit the promise and blessing God bestows to me. The inspiration and guidance of God’s words made me stronger and have more strength within. I made a firm resolution: I will try my best to cooperate with God and satisfy God’s requirement and bear testimony for God in such an environment of suffering, so that I can gain the most.

One month later, the CCP police sentenced me to one year of hard labor on the charge of “being suspected of disturbing the social order and damaging the implementation of the law.” Just after I entered the labor camp, the vicious policemen spread rumors and lies among prisoners, saying that I, a believer in Almighty God, was worse than murderers and robbers, and instigated the prisoners to torture me, so they often beat and kicked me without cause and created all manner of difficulties for me. It made me truly see that China is the living hell firmly controlled by satan the devil, its every corner is dark, it doesn’t allow the existence of light, and there’s no living space for the believers in Almighty God at all. In the daytime, the vicious policemen forced me to work in the workshop. If I didn’t finish the quota, they would ask the prisoners to beat me after I returned to the cell, and they called it “killing the chicken to frighten the monkey.” When I counted bags in the workshop, the prisoners always deliberately took one or some from the bags which I had counted in bundles of 100. Then, they said that I didn’t count correctly and took the opportunity to beat and kick me. Seeing that I had been beaten enough, the prison governor would come over and hypocritically asked what had happened. Then, the prisoners would frame me, saying that I didn’t count enough bags, so I would be scolded by the prison governor. Moreover, every morning, the prisoners ordered me to recite the “code of conduct.” If I refused, I would be beaten. They also forced me to sing the songs of praising the Communist Party. If they saw that I didn’t sing or my lips didn’t move, I couldn’t escape being beaten up at night. Besides, they made me mop the floor. Whenever I didn’t do it to their satisfaction, I would suffer a fierce beating. Once, a gang of prisoners suddenly beat me with fists and feet. After that, they asked me, “Boy, do you know why you were beaten? It’s because you didn’t stand up to say hello to the prison governor when he came here!” Each time after being beaten, I dared not speak out my indignation within, but could only pray to God silently in tears and pour out my resentment and grievance to God. This was because it was a lawless place where people had no way to reason. There was no justice, but only violence. There were no men, but only the frenzied devils and scorpions! I felt it distressing and depressing to live in such an adverse environment, not wanting to stay even one more minute…. Whenever I was weak and distressed to a degree, I would think of Almighty God’s words, “The God in heaven comes to the filthiest licentious land, and he never expresses his grievances or complains against men but silently endures men’s tortures and oppression. Yet he never opposes men’s unreasonable demands, never makes excessive requirements of men, and never has unreasonable requirements for men, but only wholeheartedly and uncomplainingly does for men all the works they need: teaching, inspiring, rebuking, refining with words, warning, exhorting, comforting, judging, and disclosing. Which step is not for men’s life? Although God takes away men’s future and destiny, which step of his work is not for men’s destiny? Which step is not for men’s existence? Which step is not for men to break free from the suppression of the afflicting and pitch-dark force of darkness? Which step is not for men? Who can know God’s motherly heart? Who can understand God’s anxious heart?” (from “Work and Entering In (9)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) God’s words encouraged me. Yes! Enduring great humiliations and sufferings, God comes to the world to work through being incarnated this time just for the purpose of saving us, the most deeply corrupt people, out of satan’s abyss of misery, so that we can live in God’s light and live in the pleasant destination where there is no satan’s affliction, no sorrow, no grief, and no tears. What God works on me, whether grace and blessing or trial and refining, is all for supplying me and saving me and for working the truth into me, so that the truth can become my life. Today, God permits the persecution and tribulation to come upon me. Although I suffer a lot, I practically experience God’s presence, and practically taste that God’s word becomes the bread of life for me and becomes a lamp to my feet and a light to my path, guiding me to go forward step by step in the devil’s dark den. All this is God’s love and God’s keeping that I’ve enjoyed and received in suffering. At that time, I realized: I’m too blind, too selfish, and too greedy; in believing in God, I only know to enjoy God’s grace and blessing, but don’t pursue the truth and life in the least; when my flesh suffers a little, I complain incessantly and don’t try to sense God’s will or seek to know God’s work at all, always making God grieved and distressed for me; I’m so conscienceless! In remorse and self-reproach, I prayed to God silently, “O Almighty God! I see that everything you’ve done is for saving me and gaining me. I hate myself for being too disobedient and too blind and having no humanity and thus always misunderstanding you and never caring for your will. O God! Today, it is your words that arouse my numb heart and spirit and make me understand your will. I don’t want to have my own desire and requirement any more, but only wish to obey your manipulation and arrangement. Even if I have to undergo all kinds of sufferings, I’ll try my best to cooperate with you and bear a resounding testimony for you in satan’s persecution, pursue to break away from satan’s influence, and live out the likeness of a real man to satisfy you.” After the prayer, I understood God’s thoughtful kind intention and knew that every environment God permitted me to experience was God’s greatest love and salvation to me. Therefore, I no longer had a thought of withdrawal and no longer misunderstood God. Although the environment was still the same, I was full of joy and enjoyment within. I always felt that it was my honor and pride, was a special favor to me, a corrupt man, and was God’s special grace and blessing that I could suffer pains and persecutions for believing in Almighty God today.

After experiencing one year of affliction in prison, I saw that my stature was too small and I lacked too many truths. Just through such a special environment, Almighty God made up for my lacking and made me grow up in stature, so that in adversity I gained the most valuable wealth of life, understood many truths I hadn’t understood before, saw clearly the ugly face of satan the devil and its reactionary substance of resisting God, and knew its monstrous sin of persecuting Almighty God and afflicting Christians. I truly experienced Almighty God’s great mercy and salvation to me, a corrupt man, and felt that Almighty God’s words are indeed with authority and life power and can bring me light, be my life, and lead me to overcome satan and tenaciously walk out of the valley of the shadow of death. Meanwhile, I also knew that the way Almighty God leads me to walk is exactly a right way of human life and a bright way of gaining the truth and life! From now on, no matter how many persecutions and tribulations as well as dangers and temptations I’ll encounter, I’m willing to do my best to pursue the truth and gain the way of eternal life Almighty God bestows on me.

 

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3 Ways to Win in the Spiritual Warfare

By Zhenzhen The Bible says: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). From this, we can see that Satan is always by our side and it tries every means possible to use the people, matters and things around us to entice and tempt us, to make us fall into mischief and sin. Just as in our daily life, we are usually faced with the temptations of wealth, status, reputation, porn and so on. And we can easily give into the temptation, and thus fall into Satan’s trap and lose the testimony. So what should we do to keep us away from Satan’s seduction, overcome the temptation of Satan and break free from sin? Next let’s take a look at three paths to practice. 1.Facing Satan’s Temptations, Only by Praying to God, Seeking and Grasping His Will, Can We Penetrate Satan’s Plots. When faced with temptations, we often get into a muddle and don’t know how to deal with them suitably. At the crucial moment, firstly, we should come before God to seek and ponder His will and pray for His help. Only through God’s enlightening and guidance can we understand His intention, see through Satan’s plots and overcome temptations. The Lord Jesus said, “And all things, whatever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive” (Matthew 21:22). God is almighty, omniscient and omnipotent. When we face Satan’s temptations, God can see all this. Meanwhile, He observes our attitude and sees whether we’ll seek His will and whether we want to satisfy Him pertaining to what happens to us. If we want to satisfy God to stand in testimony to Him and if we come before God to pray to Him, then God will reveal His will to us and point out the way to practice for us. Just like Job, when he was tempted by Satan, and suffered a sudden loss of a mountain of sheep and cattle, all his great fortune, his sons and daughters, and his servants, he didn’t say anything but first came before God and prayed: “Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). We can learn that in Job’s experiences, when Satan’s temptation came upon Job, he first prayed and sought for God. Then he got to understand God’s will, realizing that it was permitted by God that he encountered this, and that God gave, and God had taken away. So he was able to willingly obey God. Even when his wife asked him to forsake God, he could see through Satan’s scheme and immediately struck back at it, rather than follow his wife to say words of rebelling and resisting against God. In the end, he stood firm in his testimony, putting Satan to shame and defeating it. Yet, by contrast, Job’s three friends didn’t pray to God or seek God’s will, but looked for external causes. As a result, they misunderstood Job and said many things that are foolish and ignorant, thereby causing disgust in God. This makes us see that praying to God and seeking His will is of grave importance to man’s overcoming Satan. I once saw these words of God: “After God created mankind and gave them spirits, He enjoined them that if they didn’t call out to God, then they would not be able to connect with His Spirit and thus the “satellite television” from heaven would not be received on earth. When God is no longer in people’s spirits there is an empty seat left open for other things, and that’s how Satan seizes the opportunity to get in. When people contact God with their hearts, Satan immediately goes into a panic and rushes to escape. Through mankind’s cries God gives them what they need, but He does not “reside” within them at first. He just constantly gives them aid because of their cries and people gain hardiness from that internal strength so that Satan dare not come here to “play” at its will. This way, if people constantly connect with God’s Spirit, Satan dare not come to disrupt” (“Interpretation of the Seventeenth Utterance”). Obviously, it is through our sincere praying or calling out to God that He helps us to get rid of Satan’s temptation. For example, in the case of Job, he saw through Satan’s schemes relying on God, and then said just one thing, which made Satan dare not tempt him any more. Therefore, if we cry out to God with our heart and rely on Him, Satan will rush to escape; yet if we merely do things in our own way rather than pray to God and depend on Him, we will never see through Satan’s deceit, nor will we receive God’s care and protection, but instead, we can be easily taken captive or even be devoured by Satan. Take when Samson was tempted by a beautiful woman, for example. As he didn’t pray to God and depend on Him, he failed to see through Satan’s deceitful schemes on time, and ended up being exploited and afflicted by Satan amidst trials. But later, in his fight with the Philistines, when he relied on God, he gained the power given by God and defeated them. So, we can see that if we want to stand through the test, we must pray to God and rely on Him, only this way can we live under God’s care and protection. 2.When Encountering Satan’s Temptation, We Should See Clearly the Battle in the Spiritual Realm. Don’t Analyze and Examine. Only by Accepting It From God, Can We Defeat the Temptation of Satan. When Satan’s temptations come upon us, externally, we encounter some people, matters and things. Actually, behind the scenes, there is a spiritual war, in which Satan is making a bet with God. Only by seeing clearly the spiritual war and standing firm on the side of God to satisfy God’s demands, can we defeat Satan completely. Let’s read the following verses, “And the LORD said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Does Job fear God for nothing? Have not you made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he has on every side? you have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face. And the LORD said to Satan, Behold, all that he has is in your power; only on himself put not forth your hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD” (Job 1:8-12). From this, we see that when we are faced with a temptation, behind it, a spiritual battle comes first and then the temptation comes upon us. Just like the temptation that happened to Job, behind it, Satan was making a wager with God in the spiritual realm and the temptation came upon him. Then, Satan began to do things and made the scourges befall Job. However, by our own eyes, we only saw that Job was robbed of his wealth by a band of gangsters and lost his sons and daughters, but we couldn’t see at all that Satan was making a bet with God. Because Job had some knowledge of God’s sovereignty, when encountering the temptation, he didn’t analyze or examine through his mind. On the contrary, he sought and understood God’s will and saw clearly the spiritual battle, finally standing in his testimony and obtaining God’s praise. Just as God discloses, “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements, or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God. Take when Job was tried, for example: Behind the scenes, Satan was making a bet with God, and what happened to Job was the deeds of men, and the interference of men. Behind every step that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle. ... Thus, in everything there is a battle, and when there is a battle within you, thanks to your actual cooperation and actual suffering God works within you. Ultimately, inside you are able to put the matter aside….” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God”). Nowadays, we also encounter many setbacks and various temptations. If we want to overcome Satan’s temptations, we need to look at things according to God’s word from the spiritual world, and should not analyze or examine relying on our own minds. Only in this way can we penetrate Satan’s tricks and stand witness for God. 3.Facing Satan’s Temptations, We Must Hold on to God’s Word, Firmly Obey the Truth and Be Loyal to God. Thus We Can Counterattack Against Satan’s Plots and Leave Satan Utterly Humiliated and Defeated. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Good News Productions International and College Press Publishing[/caption] We all know that only God’s word is the truth. God’s words, with authority and might, are realities of all positive things. Therefore, only God’s word can make us distinguish all Satan’s heresies to counterattack Satan’s schemes. Only by going by God’s words can we not lose our way or be fooled by Satan. Just as the Bible records, “And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If you be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Then the devil takes him up into the holy city, and sets him on a pinnacle of the temple, And said to him, If you be the Son of God, cast yourself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning you: and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone. Jesus said to him, It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God. Again, the devil takes him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shows him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And said to him, All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me. Then said Jesus to him, Get you hence, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve” (Matthew 4:2-10). Satan tempted the Lord Jesus for three times, but every time it fled in defeat. The reason that Satan failed was because the Lord Jesus is the truth, the way and the life. Not only could the Lord see through Satan’s tricks, but what He said is all the truth and a good weapon to counter all Satan’s tricks. On the contrary, if we can’t see things by God’s words, we will fall into Satan’s temptations and be afflicted by it. For instance, because our forefathers, Adam and Eve, didn’t hold on to God’s word, they were tempted and afflicted by Satan. Thus they were driven from the Garden of Eden and lived in the curse. Today, we live in this evil and degenerated world. If we want to overcome Satan’s various temptations, we have to practice God’s word in all things and submit to the truth. In this way, Satan has no way to take advantage of us. Just as God’s words say, “During the work of His abiding provision and support of man, God tells the entirety of His will and requirements to man, and shows His deeds, disposition, and what He has and is to man. The objective is to equip man with stature, and to allow man to gain various truths from God while following Him—truths that are the weapons given to man by God with which to fight Satan. Thus equipped, man must face God’s tests. God has many means and avenues for testing man, but every one of them requires the “cooperation” of God’s enemy: Satan. ... It may be said that whether or not man can be saved depends on whether he can overcome and defeat Satan, and whether or not he can gain freedom depends on whether he is able to lift up, on his own, the weapons given to him by God to overcome Satan’s bondage, making Satan completely abandon hope and leave him alone. If Satan abandons hope and relinquishes someone, this means that Satan will never again try to take this person from God, will never again accuse and interfere with this person, will never again wantonly torture or attack them; only someone such as this will truly have been gained by God” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II”). We see that no matter what things we face or when we encounter them, only when we come before God to pray to Him always, seek His will in all things, see things on the side of God, see clearly the battle in the spiritual realm, and do not analyze or examine with our minds, but go by God’s word strictly and learn to obey the truth, can we be protected by God from falling into Satan’s cunning schemes and temptations, can we stand witness, escape Satan’s sieges and live with freedom and relief before God!   You may be interested in:  Why Does God Allow Suffering? Understanding the Grace of God From Job’s Story Little Bamboo Shoots’ Growth—Sufferings Are God’s Love

2017-11-15 17:07:20

How to Keep Temper When Hurt by Others

When hurt by others, I not only keep my temper, but get along well with them after I practice this way ...

2018-11-12 06:32:58

Relying on God, We Will Fear No Difficulty

I came to Korea alone and it was tough for me to get a job. But when I truly relied on God, I have seen God’s deeds.

2018-08-15 09:41:11

Going Through the Tunnels and Getting Warmed by the Sun

Lin Fang Just like all the other brothers and sisters who thirst for the return of the Lord Jesus, I too continuously long for our Lord eagerly to return to receive us into the kingdom of heaven soon so that we can enjoy its blessings. One day in November of 2006 I finally heard the news of the Lord’s return. Through reading the words expressed by Almighty God and through the patient fellowshiping about and bearing witness to God’s work in the last days from my brothers and sisters, I finally recognized that Almighty God incarnate is the return of the Lord Jesus. Thereupon, I willingly accepted Almighty God’s work in the last days. In a meeting, Sister Yang told me in a very serious tone: “Right now there are many brothers and sisters who, after accepting God’s work in the last days, come across some of Satan’s disturbances and temptations. Some are deceived by the lies of the CCP, some meet with the disturbances and threats of pastors and elders, some are coerced or obstructed by their families, and family members of some suffer ailments or calamities. These are tricks by Satan trying to obstruct us from returning to God. We all already understand that the work of Almighty God’s judgment starts from God’s house, and this is God’s final stage of work in saving mankind. He is doing everything He can to save man, and Satan is constantly practicing its tricks and disturbances on us in order to obstruct us from coming before God and receiving His salvation. Right now the fight that is being waged in the spiritual world is becoming more and more intense, so we urgently need to be equipped with the truth and master discernment in order to not be deceived whenever Satan’s tricks befall us and to stand witness to God. Now, let’s read a passage from the word of Almighty God.” So, I took the book of God’s word and carefully read the following passage: “As God works, Satan harasses. In the last days, it will finish its harassment; likewise, God’s work will be finished, and the kind of person God wishes to complete will be completed. God directs people positively; His life is living water, immeasurable and without limits. Satan has corrupted man to a certain degree; in the end, the living water of life will complete man, and it will be impossible for Satan to interfere and carry out its work. Thus, God will completely obtain these people. Satan still refuses to accept this now; it continuously pits itself against God, but God pays it no attention. He has said, I will be victorious over all of Satan’s dark forces and over all dark influences. … God is wiser than it, and His work far exceeds it. Therefore, I previously stated the following: The work that I do is carried out in response to Satan’s ruses. In the end I will reveal My almightiness and Satan’s powerlessness. When God does His work, Satan tails Him from behind, until in the end it is finally destroyed—it will not even know what hit it! It will only realize the truth once it has already been smashed and crushed; at that time it will already have been burned in the lake of fire. Will it not be completely convinced then? For it has no more schemes to employ!” (“You Should Know How the Whole of Humanity Has Developed to the Present Day” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Sister Yang gently said to me: “Through the word of God we can see that in God’s management work Satan is following closely behind each step of God’s work. God is in front carrying out the work of saving man, and Satan is in the back, disturbing and destroying it. It is constantly vying for man with God, and this is especially true during God’s final stage of work in completely saving man. At this time Satan is even more so doing everything in its power, exploiting all kinds of people and things to disturb us and obstruct us from accepting and obeying the work of God. It is Satan’s despicable goal to distance man from God and make man deny God and betray God, thereby losing God’s salvation. But God’s wisdom is carried out in response to Satan’s trickery. He is able to use Satan’s disturbance to bring us to an understanding of His work and His wisdom and almightiness, and also to allow us to see clearly Satan’s wickedness and ugliness. So, no matter what happens in the future, we all must pray to God and rely on God and seek the truth, and we must see through Satan’s trickery so that we can stand witness to God. It’s just like the trials that Job went through. He stood witness to God, causing Satan to retreat in humiliation….” After hearing Sister Yang tell me this, I responded with complete faith: “Yes, we believe in the true God. If we depend upon God then we have nothing to fear; if I come across Satan’s temptation, I will certainly stand on the side of God.” One day not long after this when I was finished spreading the gospel I was back at my front door when my neighbor came rushing over to me waving her hands, saying: “Where have you been? Something big has happened! Today your son’s friends Liu and Hu came to borrow your truck, and Hu put it directly into 5th gear and it suddenly started moving and the steel rope made a loud cracking noise and snapped off and hit Hu on his temple, and blood started immediately gushing out. He’s already been rushed to the hospital….” My mind suddenly went blank, and I rushed into my home to pray to God: “Oh God! I do not understand Your will. Why has this suddenly happened to me? Please enlighten me….” After praying to God I thought about a verse from the Bible: “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil” (Luke 4:1-2). When thinking about these words I also suddenly recalled Sister Yang’s fellowship about the truth on the spiritual fight. Then I understood. These things were just Satan tempting me and disturbing me. Satan just wanted to use these unfavorable things to attack me so that I would doubt God, blame God and deny God. This truly is a spiritual fight! It was at this time that I thought about another thing that God has said: “You are able to stand on the side of God when He does battle with Satan, and you do not turn back to Satan, then you will have achieved the love of God, and you will have stood firm in your testimony” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God”). These words of God filled me with faith, and I thought to myself: Satan, no matter how you disturb me I will not fall for your tricks, I will not blame God or doubt God, I will stand on the side of God, I will properly follow Almighty God. Once I understood the will of God I felt much steadier in my heart. But Satan was unwilling to admit defeat, and it still constantly disturbs me through people and things. While Hu was hospitalized his family put all responsibility over my family. They wanted me to pay for all of the medical expenses. I kept trying to negotiate with them, telling them that I was willing to pay half, but all along they would not agree with me. After three weeks Hu was already healed, but he still wasn’t discharged from the hospital. This was done deliberately in order to extort the money from my family. Then one day Hu said: “The truck is yours, so all the expenses should be paid by you.” Hu’s wife also stood up and yelled out: “That’s right! Since it’s your truck that was involved in the accident then you should pay all the expenses….” As I stood there with them pestering me endlessly I started growing very angry. I had involuntarily gotten caught up in this matter. I felt a particular pain, I was distraught with anxiety, and I didn’t want to talk to them anymore, so I unhappily walked out of the room. When I got downstairs I thought to myself: I’m a believer in God; when things like this happen to me I should not get angry in this way, I should entrust this matter to the hands of God. I need to rely on God. When I returned home I opened up the book of God’s word and saw the following words of God: “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements, or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God. Take when Job was tried, for example: Behind the scenes, Satan was making a bet with God, and what happened to Job was the deeds of men, and the interference of men. Behind every step that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle. … You should know that everything that happens to you is a great trial and the time when God needs you to bear testimony” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God”). As I read these words I thought back to that day when I boasted in front of Sister Yang that I would certainly stand by the side of God whenever trials befall me. I hadn’t imagined that when Satan persistently pestered me, I would not be able to stand witness to God, my mind was always preoccupied, so I couldn’t calmly seek God’s will in His presence. Instead, I was considering what was right and what was wrong. I had fallen for Satan’s tricks. I had fallen into darkness. It wasn’t until I was finished thinking about these things that I could finally see how truly sinister and evil Satan is. It had used this affair to disturb me, it had thought of every possible thing it could do to make me deny God’s sovereignty, to entrap me in a place where I got angry thinking about what was right and what was wrong as I considered what would bring some benefit to my flesh, and even more so it wanted to use these things to make me deny Almighty God and betray Almighty God. But I will not fall for Satan’s tricks, I am willing to depend on God, and to deliver these things into the hands of God. Whether or not Hu would leave the hospital, how much money I would have to spend in the end, I accepted that these things would be orchestrated by the hand of God, and regardless of the outcome, I would be willing to obey. Once I had come to understand God’s will, once I was willing to stand witness to God, I unexpectedly witnessed one of God’s wondrous deeds the following day. God had aroused a young man to go to Hu’s hospital room and reprimand him: “I cannot bear to look at someone like you, someone who bullies good people, and someone who extorts someone else for their money. If it were me I wouldn’t give you a single cent.” Another person in the room also chimed in: “That’s right, he was the one that got into the truck, and now he wants this person’s money, how unreasonable!” “Right! Whoever borrowed the truck should also pay some of the money! They can’t have the owner of the truck pay for everything!” After Hu heard this he lowered his head and didn’t say a word. Three days later Hu was discharged from the hospital. I knew deep in my heart that behind these events taking place it was God who had opened up this way out for me. After experiencing this, I could see the wickedness and despicableness of Satan. It had used people and things that I knew to disturb me and attack me in an attempt to make me complain to God and blame Him and distance myself from Him due to the fact that I was going to lose some money, and it wanted me to live in suffering. At the same time, I could also see that when I stopped considering my physical gains and losses, when I relied on God through my faith in Him, when I stood on the side of God, then God used the words of nonbelievers to open up a way out for me, forcing Satan to retreat in humiliation. This granted me the chance to see God’s authority that mobilizes and rules over all things. It’s just as it is written in the word of God: “I will mobilize all to serve Me, and moreover, I will reveal My power, so that every man can see that in the whole universe world not a single object is not in our hands, not a single person is not in our service, and not a single accomplishment is not performed for us” (Utterances and Testimonies of Christ in the Beginning). The more I read the word of God the more I see that God is almighty, that God is wonderful. I see now that all things are in the hands of God, and I now have more faith in God. I am willing now to experience more of the work of God in whatever happens next, and I will rely upon God in order to no longer fall for Satan’s temptations. A month later Satan’s temptation befell me again. One day, my daughter who had just recently gotten married came back home where she suddenly fainted at the front door. My neighbor picked her up and helped her into the house. When I saw that my daughter was sick I thought at first that it was just a common cold, I didn’t pay much attention to it. I certainly wasn’t expecting that halfway through the night she would suddenly start trembling from head to toe. I was scared and had no idea what to do. I just quickly grabbed her and held her to my chest, and after a little while she seemed a little better. The next morning my daughter said to me: “Mom, go perform your duties, I’ll be okay.” I silently prayed to God: “Dear God! All things are in Your hands, so I entrust my daughter to You….” After this I turned to my daughter and said: “Jing, you need to pray to God more and rely on God, for He is the strong support that we need.” After urging my daughter about this I went to go perform my duties. I didn’t expect that two days later when I returned I would find my daughter in a hospital bed unconscious. My daughter-in-law turned to me and said in a sad voice: “Mom, after you left, Jing’s illness started getting really serious. When the doctor examined her, he said she had a cerebral hemorrhage and that she needed a craniotomy surgery. But since you and her husband have not been here the past two days, there was no one to sign off for her, and now we’ve missed the time for surgery. I also heard the doctor tell Jing’s mother-in-law that her condition was not good and that even if she did wake back up she would be in a vegetative state.” When I heard this it felt like a knife had been twisted into my heart, and tears started falling out of my eyes. I just couldn’t accept this as the truth. So I held on to a bit of hope and went to talk to a specialist, but he shook his head as he said to me: “We’ve used all the medicine that we could, we’ve tried as hard as we can, the best possible result is that she wakes up in a vegetative state.” After hearing this doctor’s words I felt that even heaven had come crashing down. It felt like I lived in endless suffering…. Later on, when my son-in-law arrived and saw what state my daughter was in, he not only wasn’t concerned about whether she would live or die, but he even turned to me and showed a total lack of humanity asking me to return the betrothal money that he had given us at the time of the wedding. On that day the road to home from the hospital felt so long, I was a lost soul wandering down that road. It felt like I was walking down a long, dark tunnel where I could not see any light in front of me. When I returned home I was feeling dispirited and feebly opened the book of the word of God and read the following words: “On earth, all manner of evil spirits are endlessly on the prowl for a place to rest, are ceaselessly searching for the corpses of men to eat up. My people! You must remain inside My care and protection. Never behave dissolutely! Never behave recklessly! Rather, offer up your loyalty in My house, and only with loyalty can you mount a countercharge against the devil’s cunning” (“The Tenth Utterance” of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe). “When you face sufferings you must be able to not consider the flesh and not complain against God. When God hides Himself from you, you must be able to have the faith to follow Him, to maintain your previous love without allowing it to falter or disappear. No matter what God does, you must submit to His design, and be more willing to curse your own flesh than to complain against Him. When you are faced with trials you must satisfy God in spite of any reluctance to part with something you love, or bitter weeping. Only this can be called true love and faith” (“Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement”). As I read these words of God I thought back to the events that had just taken place, and I truly could see the contempt, maliciousness and savageness of Satan. It wanted to take me away from God’s hands, it wanted to devour my spirit. It was practicing its cunning schemes against me everywhere that it could in order to disturb me and attack me. First, I was extorted by others, and since I lost money I lived in suffering; this time Satan used my beloved daughter to again test me, it tried to use my daughter’s illness to make me complain to God, deny God and betray God, so that I would lose God’s salvation in the last days. These were all the cunning schemes of Satan. It was just like the trials that Job faced in his time. In the background was a fight, and Satan wanted to make Job abandon God and deny God by making him lose his wealth and his children, but Job never complained to God. Instead, he praised God’s name, causing Satan to retreat in humiliation and giving beautiful and resounding testimony to God. Although my flesh is weak I also must see through Satan’s cunning schemes and stand by God’s side. God says: “And only with loyalty can you mount a countercharge against the devil’s cunning.” “You must satisfy God in spite of any reluctance to part with something you love, or bitter weeping. Only this can be called true love and faith.” God is using Satan’s attacks to perfect my faith and my devotion in God. Man’s life and death are both in God’s hands. As I thought about this, I knelt to the ground as bitter tears ran down my face, and I prayed to God: “Almighty God! The fate of man lies in Your hands, I am willing to deliver my daughter into Your hands. But if You do not allow this then my daughter will not die so long as a single breath is in her body, and if it is like what the doctor said then she will become a vegetable, then I will not blame You, I will still follow You.” Very late at night I was sitting at the head of my daughter’s hospital bed until I was not sure when I dozed off. I woke up in a daze hearing my daughter say, “Mom, mom, I need water.” My heart skipped upon hearing my daughter’s voice, and I jumped to my feet. I rubbed my eyes and stared at her. My daughter’s hands were moving and her eyes were open. This immediately flooded me with emotions to the point that I didn’t know what to say, and all I could do was to continue blurting out: “Oh! God! Oh! God! ...” Another person in the ward also said in amazement: “Oh! It’s a miracle! How has she gotten better all of a sudden?” I flashed an uncontrollable smile. I saw that this truly was God ruling over man’s destiny. God’s deeds truly are wonderful. It was God who saved my daughter. Three days later, my daughter miraculously recovered her health, and she seemed just like a normal person again. After experiencing this suffering by the hands of Satan I was able to see that the fight being waged in the spiritual world was an intense one, and I could see clearly the sinister meanness and wicked cruelty of Satan. At the same time I had a much better understanding of the will of God. God had allowed for these trials to befall me so that He could better rescue me and perfect me, for this allowed me to recognize the almightiness and wisdom of God, and it also allowed me to see God’s authority and dominion. This perfected my faith, devotion and obedience toward God. He rescued me from the influence of Satan, allowing my life to grow. God truly is so lovable! Later on I read the following passage from the word of God: “My entire management plan, which spans six thousand years, consists of three phases, or three ages: first, the Age of Law; second, the Age of Grace (which is also the Age of Redemption); and finally, the Age of Kingdom. My work in these three ages differs according to the nature of each age, but at each stage it accords with man’s needs—or rather, it varies according to the tricks that Satan employs in My war against it. The purpose of My work is to defeat Satan, to make manifest My wisdom and omnipotence, to expose all Satan’s tricks and thereby to save all of humanity, which lives under its domain. It is to show My wisdom and omnipotence while at the same time revealing the hideousness of Satan. Moreover, it is to teach My creations to discriminate between good and evil, to recognize that I am the Ruler of all things, to see clearly that Satan is humanity’s foe, the lowest of the low, the evil one, and to make the difference between good and evil, truth and falsehood, holiness and filth, greatness and baseness, as clear as day. This way, ignorant humanity may bear witness to Me that it is not I who corrupt humanity, and only I—the Creator—can save humanity, can bestow upon them things for enjoyment; and they may come to know that I am the Ruler of all things and Satan is merely one of My creations, which later turned against Me” (“The Truth Concerning the Work in the Age of Redemption”). Through these words of God I came to a better understanding of God’s will. I could see that everything that God does is salvation and love toward man. As I thought back to all the trials that I went through, even though I did endure some hardships, I also obtained many things. Through these experiences I saw that Satan continuously used the people and things at my side to disturb me, but all along I had God by my side. He used His words to enlighten me and guide me, so that I could better differentiate things. He gave me a road to follow, gave me faith and strength, so that I could be firm in times of passivity and weakness. Every step of the way I was able to break away from the dark influence of Satan and witness God’s wondrous deeds. In my life I grew tougher through these experiences. After I went through these experiences I felt that I need not fear these disturbances and afflictions from Satan any longer, because I have God at my side. So long as we depend on God and do not leave the word of God, so long as we have faith in God, then God will guide us to victory over Satan’s cunning schemes and attacks, and we will live protected under God’s watchful eye. Now I am of even firmer conviction that Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus. He is my Lord, my God! I also recognize that we are creatures, regardless of whether we receive blessings or endure hardships, we should always obey God and worship God. I stand here with my resolution firm: My heart is set on following Almighty God to the end of the road!

2016-12-16 04:24:43