By Yang Laidi I’m Yang Laidi, sixty-two years old this year. In 1985, because my husband had health problems, our […]
A Spiritual Warfare – Overcome Satan
By Chuanyang, United States
In 2011, I believed in the Lord and was baptized. Two years later, I began to perform various functions in the church. At first, I was full of faith in the Lord, and I could carefully take notes while reading theor listening to the sermons. But afterward, I gradually found that jealousy and strife was a growing problem among the church pastor, elder, and co-workers. Besides, the pastor spent the church offerings buying personal items, so that 70,000 or 80,000 yuan was squandered, and finally the church even had a deficit of more than 20,000 yuan. For these reasons and others, the church was divided. Some co-workers, in order to collect money, left the church and set up their own church, and they even tried to rope me in. The pastor’s living out in ordinary times was very poor. Although he seemed quite spiritual when preaching in the meetings, in he never practiced the Lord’s words, nor could he treat the believers fairly. Once, when two believers had a quarrel, the pastor immediately drove the one who was distant with him out of the church. Several veteran co-workers couldn’t bear it and left the church. There were many other things of a similar nature. Gradually I lost my former faith and began to doubt whether I had the hope of being saved. Though I still went to the church and carried out my functions, I was no better than the unbelievers in my behavior and committed more and more sins. I felt that I had completely lost the Lord’s presence. I was very distressed and helpless.
Fortunately, Are You a True Believer of God?” and “Have You Come Alive?” Every time I read them, I felt as if God was judging me face to face. These words thoroughly revealed my corruption within, and left me ashamed. I had also watched many movies on the website of the Church of Almighty God, such as “The Mystery of Godliness” and “Break the Spell.” The truths fellowshiped in the movies revealed all kinds of conceptions the religious world had been sticking to, and also tell us the pure understanding, and these truths were just what we most need to understand. After a period of investigation, I was certain that Almighty God is the returned we had been yearning for, and He is currently doing the work of judgment beginning with God’s family. I couldn’t say how excited I was in my heart. Therefore I planned to tell this good news to my brothers and sisters in the Lord and my friends.’s work of the last days came upon me in late 2016. A brother of witnessed to the judgment work of the returned Lord for me. When hearing the word “judgment,” I immediately thought of a passage of Apostles’ Creed: “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, of heaven and earth. I believe in , His only Son, our Lord…. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.” This shows that God will indeed do the work of judgment in the last days. Thus the brother’s testimony raised my interest, and I decided to investigate it. The brother gave me a book of Judgment Begins With the House of God, and said that it was spoken by the Christ of the last days. He also downloaded the app of the Church of Almighty God to my phone. Little by little I was attracted by , and I had read many times the two passages of , “
On the first day of 2017, I preached the news of the Lord’s return to a brother. I thought that he would undoubtedly accept it, for he was a preacher and understood the Bible better. Unexpectedly, when I delivered him this message, he had no heart to seek or investigate in the slightest, but afterward sent me a set of theories of resisting Almighty God set out by the religious world, and even told this thing to the elder in our church. Thus, before the meeting on the Lord’s Day came, the elder called me, saying that he had something to talk with me. I supposed he must want to talk about the matter of my accepting Almighty God’s work, for the pastor and elder had long ago sealed off the church before I contacted Almighty God’s work of the last days. They even bound believers with threatening words, not allowing them to contact or investigate the. They said if anyone investigated it, he would be expelled from the church. As they had already publicly condemned and blasphemed against Almighty God, and now knew that I had accepted the Eastern Lightning, they would surely do everything possible to force me to blaspheme and condemn Almighty God and give up investigating the true way. Thinking of this, I became very nervous and was afraid that I couldn’t stand firm. So I hurriedly came before God and prayed, asking Him to protect my heart and give me more confidence and courage to face this environment. At the same time, I read some words of God about how to discern the pastors and elders, and how to distinguish between the true way and the false way; I also watched some gospel movies, hoping that I could overcome the elder’s siege.
On the Lord’s Day meeting, an elder and two preachers called me into a small room. The moment when I entered into it, I was quite nervous. So I kept praying to God in my heart: “Oh Almighty God, please guide me. My stature is too small. May You give me wisdom, and the proper words to say.” I had barely sat down when they went straight to the point and asked me, “Brother, speak honestly. Have you already accepted the Eastern Lightning? Don’t be fooled by it!” And they even said nastily, “Did any women tempt you? I heard that they use this to tempt people.” After that they said many words to condemn and blaspheme Almighty God. Hearing those vicious smears, I was very angry, and thought: You have the nerve to call yourselves elder and preachers—you are talking nonsense! I’ve attended the meetings in the Church of Almighty God for four months. It stipulates in the church administrative decrees that it is absolutely prohibited for two members of the opposite sex to work together. If there are affairs of the church to be handled, three or more people must work together to deal with them. This is God’s disposition, and no one is allowed to offend this administrative decree; otherwise he will be expelled from the church. You elder and preachers have believed in the Lord for many years and have rich scriptural knowledge, but you don’t have a God-revering heart in the slightest. Facing the work of the returned Lord, you not only don’t investigate it, but haphazardly condemn and slander God. This is an offense against the disposition of God. Then I recalled the time when the Lord Jesus came to do His work, the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees in the temple also condemned and resisted Him like this. Although they clearly knew that there was truth in the Lord Jesus’ preaching, and that the miracles He performed were far beyond anyone’s reach, they brazenly fabricated rumors, saying that the Lord Jesus cast out demons by the prince of demons and that He spoke words of blaspheme. Eventually, they colluded with the Roman government to crucify the Lord on the cross. Listening to the words of the elder and preachers, and seeing their attitude toward the true way, I realized the history was repeating itself.
This made me even more assured that Almighty God’s work is the true way, for “The truth has been persecuted since ancient times.” The more that it is condemned the more there is the truth to be sought. So I said, “I did come into contact with the Eastern Lightning, and I am investigating it. It is now the last days; since someone preached to me the Lord’s return, I should make an investigation. As a believer in the Lord for years, I must be clear about the path I will take in future, and be responsible for my future destination. What’s more, the Bible says: ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he that receives it’(Revelation 2:17). During this period of time, I’ve read many words of judgment and punishment Almighty God has expressed, and His words are absolute truths. Almighty God is indeed the Lord Jesus returned. For that reason I began to investigate the way. Facing the return of the Lord, we should keep a seeking heart so as to avoid opposing God.” But they were utterly dismissive of my words and said, “We won’t examine it. Most religious pastors and elders don’t seek or investigate Almighty God’s work, nor do they acknowledge that Almighty God is the Lord’s second coming. What’s there to investigate?” Then I replied, “The Pharisees had great scriptural knowledge, and they served God in the temple all year around. When the Lord Jesus came to do the work, why did they not know Him and even nail Him to the cross? Can we say for sure that we can recognize the Lord Jesus when He returns? So, we should watch our tongues and not to casually judge God. If we don’t investigate Almighty God’s words or find out the truth of the matter and instead condemn blindly, then aren’t we just like the earliest Pharisees?” Finally they said impatiently, “We’ll have a co-worker meeting after the gathering, and you must make it clear who you believe in.” At their words, I felt a little nervous and immediately prayed to God: “Oh God! They want me to restate my position in the meeting, and try to force me to speak words of betraying and blaspheming You. This is Satan’s trick. Oh, God! My stature is too small. Please give me wisdom.” After the prayer, my heart calmed down a lot. And I looked at them and said with wisdom, “I can’t make a decision now, for I’m investigating it and it’s difficult for me to commit myself.” My answer made the pastor very angry. Then he went to take care of the service with one preacher, leaving another to talk with me.
The remaining preacher said a lot more blasphemous things against Almighty God. Hearing that, I was very indignant, “What you said is blaspheming God and you will be cursed. Do you not know how the Pharisees were cursed? You are digging your grave with your teeth!” My words left him speechless. Then I continued, “Actually you’ve seen the things on the websites of the Church of Almighty God, and even seen more than me. The words of Almighty God are the truth. The truths fellowshiped in the movies are so clear that they can resolve all of our conceptions. Please make an investigation.…” Whatever I said afterward, he didn’t refute me or said any blasphemous words. At this, I no longer felt nervous or frightened. This was the first time for me to feel such a great confidence brought about by prayer since my belief in the Lord. Thank God for guiding me.
After I returned back, at the thought of the elder’s and preachers’ words of distorting the facts, I was very angry. Especially when I thought of those in our church who sincerely believed in the Lord and had been eagerly longing for His return, I felt even more indignant and anxious. Because in every meeting, what they heard were all the words of condemning Almighty God, and they were hindered and controlled by the rumors of the elder and co-workers so that they didn’t have a chance to investigate the true way. Then I remembered the words of the Lord Jesus: “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut upagainst men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in” (Matthew 23:13). “Aren’t the elder’ and preachers’ behaviors the same as that of the Pharisees? They’ve believed in the Lord for years, explain the scriptures excellently, and are the leading men in the believers’ eyes. However, when the gospel of the Lord’s return was preached to them, they not only didn’t investigate or seek the true way, but they even sealed off the church and stopped the believers from doing investigating it. Aren’t these expressions of shutting up the kingdom of heaven against men, and not going in themselves but hindering others from entering?” But I couldn’t understand that since they preached sermons to the believers and served the Lord in the church every day, why did they resist and condemn God’s work of the last days so severely?
Later I read Almighty God’s words: “Those who read the Bible in grand churches recite the Bible every day, yet not one understands the purpose of God’s work. Not one is able to know God; moreover, not one is in accord with the heart of God. They are all worthless, vile men, each standing on high to teach God. Though they brandish the name of God, they willfully oppose Him. Though they label themselves believers of God, they are ones who eat the flesh and drink the blood of man. All such men are devils who devour the soul of man, demons who purposefully disturb those who try to step onto the right path, and stumbling blocks that impede the path of those who seek God. Though they are of ‘robust flesh,’ how are their followers to know that they are antichrists who lead man in opposition to God? How are they to know that they are living devils who specially seek souls to devour?” (“All Who Do Not Know God Are Those Who Oppose God”). “Look at the leaders of every denomination and sect. They are all arrogant and self-right, and they interpret the Bible out of context and according to their own imagination. They all rely on gifts and erudition to do their work. If they were incapable of preaching anything, would those people follow them? They do, after all, possess some learning, and can speak a little of doctrine, or know how to win over others and how to use some artifices, through which they have brought people before themselves and have deceived them. Nominally, those people believe in God—but in reality they follow their leaders. If they encounter those who preach the true way, some of them would say, “We have to consult him about our belief in God.” See how they require someone’s consent to believe in God; is that not a problem? What have those leaders become, then? Have they not become Pharisees, false shepherds, antichrists, and stumbling blocks to people’s acceptance of the true way?” (“Only the Pursuit of the Truth Is the True Belief in God”). From God’s words, I saw clearly the true face of the pastors and elders. Although they are seminary graduates with an abundant scriptural knowledge, and even have no need to look at the Bible when preaching to others, in fact they have never paid attention to practicing or experiencing the Lord’s words. Their nature is so arrogant and self-right that they do not have a place for God in their hearts at all, nor do they revere God. They even regard understanding the Bible doctrines as understanding the truth, and take it to be their capital, thinking that they are better than anyone else. They resist and condemn God’s work of the last days, and bar the believers from investigating it. They are the ones who hate the truth and hate God and who create an independent kingdom. They are just like the chief priests and scribes who resisted the Lord Jesus. They win some believers over, and nominally they are protecting the believers, but in reality they want to delude and bind them, making the believers obey and surround them. As to the sacrifices or money the believers offered to the Lord, they secretly embezzle and carve up them without restraint. Therefore their actions are merely for the sake of protecting their positions and meal-tickets. God’s words made me see more clearly the essence of the pastors’ and elders’ resistance to God.
Not long after, I faced even a bigger trial. On the first Sunday of March, 2017, I went to my former church again. The elder told me that the church co-worker meeting had decided to stop me partaking the Holy Communion and end my service. At that point, I felt very sorrowful, for being forbidden to partake of Holy Communion meant Christ didn’t recognize me any more in the religious believers’ eyes, and they would no longer take me as their brother. When I saw the scornful and guarded look in the eyes of the brothers and sisters and their false smiles, the sensation of being rejected made me very distressed. I really wanted to cry at that time. After all, I had stayed there for several years, and had some affection for the brothers and sisters. When they began dinner in the evening, I left secretly. Walking alone on my way home, I recalled what had just happened. The more I thought the more I was in pain. I couldn’t figure out why they took me as their enemy since I had accepted the true way. Just then, I thought of the words in the Bible: “If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18). “It’s true. Now the Lord Jesus has returned to the flesh and does His work of judgment to purify and save us, and yet He encounters the slander, defiance and condemnation of the religious world. The elder ending my service in the church and the brothers and sisters abandoning me actually shows that they had rejected the truth before rejecting me. Compared with the suffering of God being rejected by this generation, what was the pain that I’m suffering?” After understanding God’s will, I no longer felt so painful. Then I couldn’t help remembering a hymn of God’s words I often sang, “God Likes One Who Has a Resolution”: “We should have one resolution: No matter how intense of an environment or what difficulties we are facing, no matter how weak and negative we are, we cannot lose our confidence in changing our disposition, nor can we lose confidence in the words of God. God has given mankind a promise, and He requires that man have resolution, and that they have the perseverance to receive. God does not like cowards, God likes people who have resolution. …” I felt God’s comfort and encouragement to me. Yeah! No matter how intense of the environment I’m facing, I should not lose my faith in God, and should have the perseverance and resolution. God’s words gave me a positive force, and I was no longer negative but felt released in my heart.
Thinking back to what I have experienced in this period of time, I really thank God for arranging these environments for me, making me have personally experienced the religious elder’s attack and the believers’ rejection. Though I was distressed and weak at that time, God’s words guided me and allowed me to have discernment about the religious pastors’ and elders’ substance of opposition to God, so that I could be truly free from their bonds and come before God, and could stood testimony for God. All the glory be to Almighty God.