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Escaping Satan’s Sieges by God’s Word
I was once a leader of a Three-Self church. Seeing the pastors and elders scrambled for fame and gain, I was very disappointed with them and my faith and love gradually grew cold. Later, Almighty God’s work of the last days was preached to me. Through a period of investigation, I felt the work and guidance of the Holy Spirit and recovered the faith and love I had at the start. I was fully convinced of Almighty God’s work of the last days, and began to read His words hungrily and have meetings with my brothers and sisters in the Church of Almighty God. However, just then, I unexpectedly encountered the disturbances and sieges of the leaders and fellow believers in the Three-Self Church. In my bewilderment and confusion, it was Almighty God’s words that led me to overcome the temptations and disturbances of Satan, made me see clearly Satan’s ugly face and evil nature, and strengthened my faith in following Him to the very end.
One day, it was raining a bit. Pastor Huang and Sister Song, a leader of another Three-Self church, came to my house. I thought, “They have never come to visit me; for what do they both come today? Did they hear of my acceptance of Almighty God? They have been rejecting God’s work of the last days and sealing off the churches. Do they come to persuade me? It seems that they are well prepared. I must be very careful not to fall into their trap.” After they entered the room, Song queried, “Brother, we heard that you’ve accepted the Eastern Lightning. Is it true?” I thought to myself, “Sure enough they come for that. How did she know that? My wife told them? Well, it seems that I can’t hold out on them.” So I said, “Yes. Someone gave me a book, and I have read it. I think the words in it completely accord with facts, and what’s more, they carry authority and cannot be spoken by any man. I believe they are God’s utterances.” They exchanged knowing looks at each other, and then Song said solemnly, “Brother, you have believed in the Lord for many years; aren’t you confused? Aren’t the words of the Lord all in the Bible? There are no words of the Lord outside the Bible. You read their book; doesn’t it mean that you have departed from the Bible and abandoned the Lord’s way?” I looked at them and said confidently, “It says in John 21:25, ‘And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.’ And John 16:12-13 says, ‘I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.’ From these verses, we can see that there are God’s words outside the Bible; or else the Lord Jesus wouldn’t have said that the Spirit of truth would tell people many things when He came. Doesn’t that prove there are God’s words outside the Bible? You say there are no God’s words outside the Bible; how do you explain about the little scroll prophesied in Revelation? Aren’t you denying the prophecy by saying that? To tell the truth, I also thought that way in the past as you do. But after I read the words of Almighty God, I knew that The Word Appears in the Flesh is God’s utterance in the last days and is the scroll to be opened by the Lamb prophesied in the Bible. I hope you make an investigation and don’t miss the opportunity to be saved by God.” Hearing that, they stood up abruptly, and Song said in anger, “We only believe in the Lord Jesus! The Lord Jesus is our only Savior! And we won’t accept whoever is not called the Lord Jesus!” Pastor Huang also said angrily, “We came to persuade you for your good, but you’re simply irredeemable! I urge you to look out for yourself.” With that they went away in a huff. Looking at their receding figures, I felt sick at heart. “They have believed in God for years, but they don’t seek or investigate God’s work of the last days; instead, they try hard to disturb the believers and stop them from accepting God’s new work. They believe in God but do not know God; they are so pitiable.”
During the days that followed, the pastors, elders, preachers, co-workers, and believers in the Three-Self church came to persuade me time after time. They said, “Brother, please come back. We all miss you. If you come back, we will line up to welcome you….” After hearing these words repeatedly, I began to waver. I remembered my years of belief in the Lord in the Three-Self church; every tree and bush and every inch there were so familiar to me. I became kind of weak within. Just when I hesitated, a hymn of God’s word that I often sang rang in my ears: “The return of Jesus is a great salvation for those who are capable of accepting the truth, but for those who are unable to accept the truth it is a sign of condemnation, condemnation. You should choose your own path, and should not blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and reject the truth. You should not be an ignorant and arrogant person, but someone who obeys the guidance of the Holy Spirit and longs for the truth; only in this way will you benefit. …” (“You Should Be Someone Who Accepts the Truth” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). I sang it repeatedly in my heart. I pondered the lyrics, thinking, “What God has expressed today is the truth, and God’s work is all the more brought by the incarnate God Himself. If I don’t accept the returned Lord Jesus, won’t I be condemned? This is just as when the Lord Jesus came and did His work; the Pharisees held on to their conceptions and refused to accept Jesus’ gospel and finally was condemned by God. If today I yield to the persuasion of the people in the Three-Self church, won’t I be condemned like the earliest Pharisees? Besides, I have enjoyed the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church of Almighty God. In the past, when I was in the Three-Self church, I didn’t feel the work of the Holy Spirit at all. The pastors and elders had jealous disputes with one another and schemed against one another, and their preaching couldn’t supply the believers with life. The believers became cold in their faith and love. Now I am fortunate to keep up with God’s new work and receive the truth that can provide me with life; won’t I ruin myself if I go back? If they really take responsibility for my life, why did they not come to sustain or supply me when I was passive, but come and try hard to prevent me from walking the right path when I accepted God’s new work? The Lord : ‘No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the ’ (Luke 9:62). I shouldn’t turn back. All that came upon me these days is a spiritual battle of life and death. I must see through Satan’s cunning schemes and not waver. I should have a firm faith and rely on God’s words to overcome Satan’s sieges and follow God to the end.”
One day soon after, Mr. Sun came to my house on his motor tricycle. Upon entering my room, he said to me excitedly, “Brother, I have some good news for you. The director of the Religious Affairs Bureau told me that he wanted to talk to you. He asked you to go back to the church and continue to serve as the leader, and he promised to pay you a salary. He personally told me that. Once you agree and call him, it is done. Where would you find such a good opportunity?” At his words, I said to myself, “Today the director sent him to persuade me; it shows that he thinks highly of me. He remembers me and asks me to go back to work as the leader with salary; this will bring me both fame and gain. If I agree, I’ll have a guaranteed livelihood and be financially secure in my old age. That is what I have been expecting these years.” But then I thought, “If I go back to the Three-Self church, won’t I resume a life of struggling for fame and gain? Won’t I suffer the exclusion of the pastors and elders once again? Have I not suffered that enough? Besides, if I go back, it means that I have rejected and work and have given up the true way for the sake of fame and gain.” So I said to Sun, “I have retired from that position; I won’t go back. Thanks for your kindness.” He said anxiously, “Think it over again. Do not miss such a good opportunity. I’ll come in several days.” After Sun left, I was troubled: One way is to continue to follow Almighty God and endure the rejection of the religious people and the world, and the persecution of the government… The other way is to have fame and gain and position as well as an assured life in my later years. What should I choose? Just then Sun returned. At the sight of my hesitation, he said loudly to me, “You can’t miss such a good opportunity!” I hovered. Then the words in a hymn occurred to me: “That which you are enjoying today is the very thing which is ruining your future, whereas the pain you are suffering today is the very thing that is protecting you. You must be clearly aware of that so as to keep away from the hook of temptation and to avoid entering the dense fog that blocks out the sun. When the dense fog clears off, you will find yourself in the judgment of the great day” (“Enjoying Fleshly Comforts Will Ruin Your Future” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). God’s enlightenment made me realize that the material enjoyments I pursued would only ruin my life and cause me to end up being completely eliminated by God. At the time, I thought, “Why didn’t the Pharisees accept the gospel of the Lord Jesus? Wasn’t it because of their pursuit of fame and gain, position, and the enjoyments of the flesh that they rejected the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus and were cursed by God in the end? Satan’s scheme is really sinister! If I take a wrong path today, I will surely be eliminated by God. It is so horrible!” Then I refused Sun on the excuse of my old age and poor health.
Afterward, I read these 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” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). At the moment, I understood more clearly: The disturbances that have come upon me are all spiritual battles, and they are Satan’s accusations against me and also the sinister means Satan uses to plunder me. Its purpose is to try every way to make me reject the true way and deny God’s work and thus live under its domain again. I thought, “All that have happened to me during this period of time, whether Song’s disturbance, time after time of persuasion of the clerics and fellow believers in the church, or the director’s enticement of benefit, are actually despicable means Satan uses to deceive me. Satan is so hateful. It has been eyeing me greedily and trying every possible means to make me stray away from God and betray God and return to its camp.” The disclosure and guidance of God’s words enabled me to see through Satan’s schemes. I was resolved to stand testimony and firmly follow God to the end no matter what contemptible means they would use to disturb me in the future. So when Sun came and tried to persuade me again, I declined. From then on, they no longer came to interfere with me. I knew God had triumphed and that Satan had failed in humiliation. Thank God for leading me out of the sieges of Satan step by step. All the glory be to Almighty God!
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