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My Experience of Spiritual Warfare Was God’s Blessing in Disguise
By Chengshan, Unite States
There’s a proverb that says you can only see a rainbow by first going through wind and rain, and this is how it is on the path of believing in God. Our lives can only grow by making it through the hard times, and only then can ourand our love for God increase. After accepting God’s new work, the protagonist of this article encounters harassment and obstruction at the hands of her husband. After getting through this, she comes to understand that she was actually experiencing a spiritual battle, and that it was all God’s blessing in disguise after all.
I accepted God’s work of the last days in April 2018. Just as I was feeling immersed in the joy of welcoming the Lord’s return, little did I realize that a spiritual battle was about to quietly enter my world …
A Misfortune Caused by Online Rumors
One day, after a gathering, I saw that my husband had tried calling me six times, and I began to worry that something may have happened at home, so I rushed back. I never expected, when I got home, to find my husband with a furious expression on his face, and in exasperation he made me look at the messages he’d sent my phone. He said, “Do you know what it says on the internet about The Church of? It says that once you join this church, they will con you out of your money. You must not join this church!” I instantly said to my husband, “What it says online is not factual. You haven’t had any dealings with The Church of Almighty God, and you just don’t understand, so don’t talk nonsense. I’ve been seeking and investigating lately, and I’ve become certain that Almighty God is the Lord returned. In my contact with the brothers and sisters of the church, I’ve seen that each and every one of them are good-hearted and generous, and they are all compassionate people. When we meet together, we fellowship God’s words and we talk about how to worship God and how to pursue the truth and live out true humanity. They’ve never once mentioned money to me. The facts are completely at odds with what it says on the internet. Don’t believe everything you read! Since I believed in the Lord, I have been longing for Him to return, and now He has returned, and I cannot renounce God….” Without waiting for me to finish speaking, my husband interrupted me by angrily saying, “I don’t care! I’ve seen what it says on the internet, so you mustn’t join the church anymore!” I said anxiously, “We’re following the right path in life, and you mustn’t believe….” He then yelled loudly at me. “I won’t let you join the church no matter what you say. You are not to meet with them anymore….” Our argument got hotter and hotter until I became afraid that the neighbors would hear, and so I said no more.
I ran to the bathroom, feeling incredibly wronged. I thought of how my husband had never before treated me this way, and yet when it came to my belief in Almighty God, he had gotten so angry, and simply wouldn’t listen to anything I said. I thought about it over and over and I couldn’t help but cry. Then I kneeled and prayed to God: “O God, I feel so wronged. My husband believes the rumors on the internet and he’s trying to stop me from believing in You. He won’t listen to me. O God, I ask that You give me wisdom and strength. I can do nothing, but I know that everything You express is the truth, so I ask for Your guidance that I may be able to stand witness for You.” After praying, I felt a little more at peace, but I was still feeling very upset.
Hidden Behind the Rumors Was Satan’s Cunning Scheme
On the second day, I told a sister about this matter at the meeting. She read to me a section of the word 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.”
She gave fellowship, saying, “This situation looks from the outside as though your husband is coercing and obstructing you, but in reality, a spiritual battle is raging behind the scenes. It is a wager made by God and Satan to see whether or not we can stand firm in our testimony to God. That we have now accepted God’s new work and attained God’smeans that we have escaped Satan’s dark influence. But Satan is unwilling to be defeated, and so it uses our families to harass us and obstruct us, with the aim of making us give up our belief in God and return under the domain of Satan, to be destroyed alongside Satan by God in the end—this is Satan’s cunning scheme. We must pray more to God, see through Satan’s cunning schemes, rely on God and stand witness for Him, and when we stand firm, Satan is then shamed and defeated. When Satan’s temptations befell Job, for example, because Job had true faith in God, no matter what means Satan employed to disrupt him, he kept his faith in God. He did not deny and Satan had no choice but to withdraw.”
Only after hearing the sister’s fellowship did I understand that, as it turned out, I was in the midst of a spiritual battle. Satan wished to disrupt my relationship with God, destroy my resolve to follow God and stop me from following Him, and so it was obstructing me through my husband. If I became enmeshed in Satan’s cunning scheme and abandoned the true way for the sake of safeguarding flesh and emotions, then I would lose my chance to be saved by God, and my end could then only be to be destroyed alongside Satan by God. Satan was trying to drag me to hell—it was so abominable!
When I’d come to this realization, resolve reawakened in my heart to stand witness for God. But thinking about the rumors on the internet which my husband had mentioned, I felt angry, and I said to the sister, “We are clearly now following the right path in our belief in God, but my husband believes the rumors he’s read online, and he says that the God we believe in is bad. He’s worried that I’ll be conned out of money. When I heard him say these things, I was really angry, but I don’t know how I should give him fellowship.” The sister listened and then said, smiling, “Sister, first of all we have to be aware that all those rumors online are made by the CCP. The CCP does not believe that there is a God, and ever since it came into power, its persecution of Christians has never ceased. It publicly states that Christianity is an evil cult, and that theis the book of an evil cult. The aim of the CCP constraining religious belief in this way is to create a godless zone in China so as to control the people forever. God incarnate came to China to perform His work in the last days, to express the truth and to save us. The CCP fears that we will follow God, that we will read God’s words and understand the truth and thus be able to discern the essence of the CCP, and ultimately rise up and reject it. In this way, it’s wild ambition and desire to rule all mankind will be thwarted. Therefore, it does its utmost using online media to spread rumors, and to malign and blaspheme The Church of Almighty God, with the aim to scare people away from The Church of Almighty God, to make them not dare to seek and investigate the true way, and to make them lose God’s salvation. From this we can see that the CCP is a satanic regime which resists God. From the very beginning, Satan has lied in order to deceive people, and its words simply cannot be trusted. Now, your husband has also been deceived by rumors, so we should fellowship patiently with him and help him to see the true situation clearly. As for what kind of church The Church of Almighty God is and what principles there are concerning the donation of money, let’s read a passage of sermons, and then we’ll understand.”
Then the sister read to me a passage of sermons, “What kind of a church is The Church of Almighty God? First, it is a raptured church. Its members first received God’s work, experienced judgment and chastisement before the judgment seat of Christ, and after they gain some understanding of God, they have sincere faith. Some of them have undergone many trials to develop a heart that fears God, but of course testimony of those who have been worked by God into a group of overcomers has already appeared. Some people have actual experience and testimony of the fact, which stands as resounding testimony for God. … Also, new believers are forbidden from carelessly undertaken projects of offering, even out of enthusiasm, why? Because you don’t understand any of the truth, and your offerings are given out of enthusiasm, not out of sincere belief. After you believe for a year, understand some of the truth, and pray several times, and you make such offerings out of willing obedience to God, then we allow it. New believers are not allowed to make offerings because they don’t understand the truth. This is why, in the house of God, we don’t allow sermons to encourage offerings. At our meetings, no one may give sermons about offerings, and if anyone does, they are removed from their leadership positions, this is the administrative decree of God’s house.”
The sister then gave fellowship, saying, “From this sermon, we can see that The Church of Almighty God is a raptured church. These people have heard the voice of God and returned before His throne; they have accepted God’s work and guidance, experienced the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, come to possess true knowledge of all their various corrupt dispositions and have stood firm in their testimony to God in all kinds of trials and refinements. There are even some who would rather die than betray God when being cruelly tortured by the CCP police, and they are truly obedient to God and have true love for Him. All these experiences and testimonies are published on The Church of Almighty God’s website, and from them we can see that these people are a group who have passed through great adversity, and are the first fruits made complete by God. This group of people are the overcomers that God speaks of, who will enter God’s kingdom and inherit everlasting life. This precisely fulfils the prophecy in the Book of Revelation, ‘These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’ (Rev 7:14). From this we can see that The Church of Almighty God is a church led by God Himself; God’s disposition is righteous and holy and will absolutely not permit anything evil to happen within His church. As for the rumors being spread online that say The Church of Almighty God cons people out of money, they are nothing but sheer fabrication. The church’s administrative decrees clearly stipulate that no one is permitted to give sermons about offerings. If brothers and sisters really want to make a donation, then they must have believed in God for over a year, and they must still be willing to make a donation after praying many times; only then will the church accept the donation. In fact, everything in heaven and on earth was created by God, and everything man has obtained through labor is given by God. God simply has no lack of material wealth—what God wants are the hearts of man. If we believe in God sincerely, then books of God’s words are presented to us as free gifts, and the church will arrange brothers and sisters to provide gatherings for us.”
After listening to the sister’s fellowship, I thought about how I’d been attending gatherings for such a long time and never had a brother or sister mentioned money. One time, I’d wanted to buy some fruit to take to a gathering, but a sister told me not to, and said that just for me to attend was enough. My own personal experiences enabled me to have some discernment of the essence of these rumors and, when I thought of how my husband had been deceived by them, I felt that I ought to equip myself more with the truth and bear testimony to God with my living out, and help my husband to see through the rumors spread by the CCP.
In Weakness, God’s Words Strengthened My Faith
My husband saw that his admonition had had no effect on me, so he got my friends to obstruct and harass me, arranging times to go for meals or go shopping when I was supposed to attend gatherings, but I refused them all. Seeing that this ruse had been useless, my husband began to use the cold-shoulder tactic. Every day, when I finished work and came home, he would be sitting and playing on his mobile phone, not saying anything to me and sulking visibly. This went on for over two weeks. I felt like my life had become so painful and oppressive, and I couldn’t help but weaken a little. I thought to myself, “How can I go on like this? Every day when I get home, I have to see his sulking face, and I feel so pained and upset! Maybe I should not attend church gatherings for a few days and then see how things are.” No sooner had this thought come to me than I realized that Satan had put this idea in my head, and so I hurried before God and prayed: “O God! I feel somewhat weak now that this situation has befallen me. I see that my stature is so small and that I don’t understand much about Your words or Your will. I ask that You give me strength and guide me along the road ahead.”
Afterward, I read a passage of the word of God: “Do not be discouraged, do not be weak, I will reveal to you. The road to the kingdom is not that smooth, nothing is that simple! You want blessings to come easy, right? Today everyone will have bitter trials to face, otherwise the loving heart you have for Me will not grow stronger and you will not have true love for Me. Even if it is just minor circumstances, everyone must get through them, it’s just that they differ to some degree. … Those who share in My bitterness shall certainly share My sweet. That is My promise and My blessing to you.” God’s words comforted me greatly. Yes! Because the evil forces of Satan harass and obstruct us, the path of following God is doomed to be filled with hardship and danger. Yet the wisdom of God is built upon the cunning schemes of Satan, and when Satan tries to harass us and obstruct us from believing in God, that is precisely the time when God is testing us. If we truly believe in God, then we will not betray God no matter what situation befalls us. If I stood firm in my testimony to God, would I not earn His praise? I should not become weak and dispirited due to my husband’s emotional abuse, but instead should receive what God gives and thank God for giving me a chance to earn His praise! Once I’d understood God’s will, I no longer felt distressed, and I made a resolution: From now on, no matter how Satan may use my husband to harass me, I will not give up attending gatherings. I wish to rely on God and stand witness for Him to shame Satan!
I Gain Strength From Relying on God, and I Stand Firm in My Testimony
When a friend came to see me a few days later, I said to her that the Lord Jesus had returned in the flesh for the second time, that He is Almighty God who has come to perform His work of judgment in the last days beginning in God’s house, that He expresses the truth to cleanse us of our corruption and so that we become honest people, and that He leads us on the right path through life. I told her that Jehovah, the Lord Jesus and Almighty God are all one God, it is just that He performs different works in different ages, and that God’s name is also taken according to the works He performs in different ages…. My friend listened awhile, then she turned and said to my husband, “What she says sounds reasonable. She says that Jesus and Almighty God are one God, and she believes in God and is following the right path through life. That can’t be wrong. Don’t try to obstruct her anymore, otherwise you will have no peace in your household.” My husband then said, “She’s changed. Lately, I’ve been sulking and feeling irritable with her, but she doesn’t argue with me. This wouldn’t have happened before, and I don’t know what would have become of us if we’d kept arguing! Fine. I won’t bother you anymore.” I felt thrilled to hear my husband say this, and I kept thanking and praising God, for I knew that this was God opening a way for me. When I relied on God sincerely, Satan was shamed and defeated.
From that day on, my husband never tried to obstruct me again, and my home life regained its tranquility. Although this spiritual battle had caused me some pain, once I’d gotten through it, my relationship with God was closer, I had some understanding of God’s almightiness and wisdom, and I also came to have some discernment of the evil essence of Satan as it corrupts and devours people, and this much strengthened my faith to follow God. I also came to understand that my husband’s attempts to obstruct me were not a hardship, but rather were God’s blessing in disguise!
If you are also facing constraints on your belief right now, please don’t complain or become disheartened. We must come more before God and pray, and as long as we rely on God sincerely, then God will surely lead us in overcoming Satan’s temptations.
Read more testimonies on our Spiritual Warfare page.
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