If My appearance was different from everyone else then that would be troublesome—everyone would come to worship Me and understand Me through their own conceptions, and they would not be able to bear that beautiful witness for Me.
I Find the Way to Victory in Spiritual Warfare
By Zhuiqiu, United States
When coming before God, we will often undergo the temptation and disturbance of Satan. Faced with Satan’s temptation and disturbance, I was once distressed and weak, but after experiencing it, I gained a lot. …
In 2011, I believed in the Lord Jesus because of my illness. In the initial years I was zealous. Though I ran a shop to be taken care of by myself and lived far from the church, I still actively attended meetings on each Lord’s Day. Until later I found there was no new light in the sermons of the pastors. They either talked the same old things or testified how they worked and suffered and so I felt I couldn’t gain supply. Every time I would return from the meeting with disappointment. Therefore, I prayed and asked the Lord to prepare a better church for me.
Afterward, a sister preached Almighty God’s kingdom gospel to me. Through the sister’s fellowship, I came to understand: The reason why the church grows desolate is because the pastors and elders have deviated from the Lord’s way and disobeyed the Lord’s commandments. They never make clear how to practice and experience the Lord’s words in their preaching. And instead they often interpret biblical knowledge and exalt and testify themselves to be adored by people, leading believers to go astray from the Lord’s way. This is why they are detested by God. Another reason is that God has been incarnated to do the work of judging and purifying man in the last days. The work of the Holy Spirit has shifted onto those who have accepted the kingdom gospel of Almighty God. Yet those who haven’t kept up with God’s work will be eliminated by the work of the Holy Spirit and fall into darkness. In the several fellowships, I found what the sister talked not only conformed to the Bible but also was something I had never heard, which provided for and edified me. Then I accepted God’s new work and I could have new light and gain every day by thirstily reading God’s words. Just when I was immersed in joy of the watering and feeding of God’s words, Satan’s disturbance soon came upon me unexpectedly.
One afternoon, my son came to the shop for goods. Seeing the book of God’s words I had put on the table, he opened it and asked me in astonishment: “Mum, is this from The Church of Almighty God?” I said to him excitedly: “Yes. This book is very good. Read it in your free time.” “Mum, how come you believe in Almighty God?” With that, he took out his cellphone and found the news about May 28 Zhaoyuan Case for me to read, and then tried to dissuade me from the faith. I immediately got muddled, thinking: What to make of it? Is it really the same as what the news reports? My son continued seriously: “Mum, The news has reported this. Can it possibly be false? You should return the book to them as soon as possible and never come into contact with them. You’d better go back to the former church.” After my son left, my heart couldn’t calm down anymore. My son’s words and the sister’s kept showing up in my head. I thought: The sister’s fellowships are all in line with the Bible and they are practical. Also, God’s words have opened the mysteries of Revelation and there is nothing incorrect. But what can account for the news? Should I accept the kingdom gospel of Almighty God? What should I do to be in accordance with the Lord’s will?
A few days later, the sister came for a meeting with me. I didn’t know how to face her, nor dared to raise my head to look at her. I thought that the sister traveled a long way for meetings with me and also helped me take care of my grandson. She looked very kind and treated me gently, unlike what the rumors said. If I drove her away, I would feel guilt in my heart; if otherwise, I was afraid that I would be deceived. At the very moment when I was in a dilemma, I remembered the Lord: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Luke 11:9). So I thought: Now there is true or false news. Wasn’t Tiananmen Square self-immolation incident created by the Chinese Communist Party? If I don’t seek, I will never know what the truth is all about. If I miss the opportunity of welcoming the Lord because of believing the rumors, won’t I regret it all my life? I decided to ask the sister about the truth. Then I recounted to her the occurrence of the last few days and the confusion in my heart.
The sister played to me the video—Lifting the Veil: The Truth About the Evil Chinese Communist Party’s Show Trial, and then read a passage of God’s words to me: “Kin who are not of the faith (your children, your husband or wife, your sisters or your parents, and so on) should not be forced into the church. God’s household is not short of members, and there is no need to make up its numbers with people who have no use. All those who do not believe gladly must not be led into the church. This decree is directed at all people. In this matter you should check, monitor and remind each other, and no one may violate it. Even when kin who are not of the faith do reluctantly enter the church, they must not be issued books or given a new name; such people are not of God’s household, and their entry into the church must be put a stop to by any means necessary. If trouble is brought upon the church due to the invasion of demons, then you yourself will be expelled or will have restrictions placed upon you. In short, everyone has a responsibility toward this matter, but you should also not be reckless, or use it to settle personal scores.”
The sister fellowshiped: “It is clearly written in God’s words that the church has principles in preaching the gospel. Those who are not of the faith can never be forced into the church, even including our relatives. As we all clearly know, the ten administrative decrees are equivalent to the ten commandments in the Age of Law and they must be obeyed by every one of God’s chosen people. Brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God never force others to accept the gospel, and there are never cases that they beat gospel targets who are unwilling to believe in Almighty God. Yet the perpetrators in the video beat the person to death because they failed to get her phone number. This is enough to prove that the several perpetrators are not from The Church of Almighty God.” After knowing the truth, I said: “Yes. When reporters interviewed them, the several perpetrators clearly stated ‘we never had contact with The Church of Almighty God, because they are very secretive’ and ‘what the state cracks down on is the Almighty God that Zhao believes in, not the Almighty God that we believe in.’ They confess that they are not from The Church of Almighty God. This is obviously framing and defaming the Church.” However, I still had some doubts: Since they are not members of The Church of Almighty God, why has the CCP insisted that they are from the Church? Filled with confusion, I asked the sister again.
The sister read another passage of God’s words: “Satan is at war with God, trailing along behind Him. Its objective is to demolish all the work God wants to do, to possess and control those whom God wants, to completely extinguish those whom God wants. If they are not extinguished, then they come to Satan’s possession to be used by it—this is its objective.” The sister fellowshiped: “As is known to us, Satan is the enemy of God. Where there is God’s work, there is Satan’s disturbance and destruction. God has been working to save man, while Satan tries various tricks to demolish God’s work and deceive and corrupt people to be saved by God in an attempt to let people go to hell and receive punishment along with it. The CCP is exactly the evil force of Satan and it particularly hates the truth and God. Over the past years, Almighty God has expressed all the truth of purifying and saving people, the kingdom gospel has been spread across the whole mainland China within only twenty years, and millions of people have returned to Almighty God. When seeing this, the CCP fears that people all accept the true way and reject it, so it started to frenziedly suppress and persecute Christians from The Church of Almighty God. Now Almighty God’s kingdom gospel has expanded to many countries in the world, and Almighty God’s expression and the facts of God’s chosen people suffering the CCP’s persecution have been made into films and uploaded to different big foreign websites. The CCP fears that its heinous crimes of persecuting and afflicting God’s chosen people are exposed to the world. And then it used the May 28 Shandong Zhaoyuan Case to frame and make false charges against The Church of Almighty God, defame the Church, and fabricate public scandals for suppressing and banning the Church of Almighty God, attempting to destroy God’s work. This is the sinister and evil motive of the CCP.”
After hearing the sister’s words, I saw the CCP was really too shameless and despicable. Through the communication with the sister, I was freed from the doubts and misgivings in my heart, and felt how arduous and difficult God’s work was. This even more stirred up my resolution to pursue the truth and follow God. Later on, I told to my son about the truth of May 28 Zhaoyuan Case, he gave his tacit consent and no longer opposed me. Sometimes when my son came across the sister who came for meetings, he would say hello to her politely.
Unexpectedly, several months later, my son said to me seriously: “Lately, I went to the church and heard the priest proclaimed lots of negative information about The Church of Almighty God. He said we can’t contact people who believe in Eastern Lightning, so stop your faith.” Seeing my son had been deceived by the priest, I was afraid that he would follow the priest to resist God and so I said solemnly: “Do you believe in the priest or in God?” My son blinked for a second and said: “Of course I believe in God. But all that the priest says comes from God. The priests all graduated from seminaries and they are very familiar with the Bible. They surely know much.” I asked my son again: “Do the priests have truth? Do their words match the Bible? Do you know what the Pharisees are? Have you forgotten how the Pharisees nailed the Lord Jesus to the cross? Those Pharisees all knew the Bible and compassed land and sea spreading the laws of Jehovah God, but they defined God within their conceptions and imaginations, within the literal words of the Bible. When the Lord Jesus began to work and preach sermons and brought the gospel of kingdom, they didn’t care how profound the Lord Jesus’ preaching was or how many miracles He performed. As long as His name was not Messiah, they would resist and condemn. They didn’t have any reverence for God. In order to protect their status and livelihood, they even colluded with the Roman government to crucify the Lord Jesus. After the Lord Jesus’ resurrection, not only did they not accept, but they persecuted the disciples of the Lord Jesus. They believed in and served God in name but resisted God in substance. That’s why the Lord Jesus rebuked and condemned them, saying that they were blind guides. Son, what we believe in is God, not man. The Jewish people followed the Pharisees to resist and condemn the Lord Jesus, committing a monstrous sin and suffering the curse of God. If we don’t investigate but blindly hear the priest’s words, are we not the same as the Jewish people following the Pharisees to resist the Lord Jesus? By contrast, when Peter heard the Lord Jesus’ words, he followed Him and recognized that the Lord Jesus was the Messiah prophesied to come. If we only listen to the priest rather than contact and investigate The Church of Almighty God, how can we recognize whether Almighty God’s words are the voice of God and whether Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus? Only by contacting and investigating can we know the truth.” Hearing what I said, my son had no idea how to refute it, but he still held some refusal in his heart, and said: “Don’t believe by mistake, for many people have said that this church is not good.” I said: “People who followed the Lord Jesus at that time were few while those who followed the Pharisees to judge and condemn the Lord Jesus were many, right? If we measure according to this, don’t we condemn and reject the Lord Jesus? Now through investigation, I have confirmed that Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus. You should also take a serious investigation.” My son found he couldn’t persuade me, so he went back to his room with helplessness.
Later, my son often came to my shop. The sister testified God’s kingdom gospel to him several times, but he couldn’t take in one word. He also told me: “As long as you give up believing in God, you can do whatever you like. You can close the shop and go play anywhere you please. Or you can watch TV dramas if you have nothing to do.” At his words, I felt they were both annoying and laughable. Why would he rather let me watch TV dramas than let me have meetings and read God’s words? I told my son with smile: “Believing in and worshiping God is what I like and what I most want to do. After accepting God’s kingdom gospel, I have known ever more of God’s work, have found the way of breaking away from sin, and have lived a full life. If you are truly good to me, you should support me.” Finally my son couldn’t change my mind and went away in anger.
The next day, when I was having meal in the shop, my son suddenly came in and said to me blankly: “Mum, I have a fateful thing to discuss with you.” Seeing my son’s solemn look, I wondered: In the past my son never spoke to me in this way. Is there anything serious today? My son said: “Will you choose believing in God or choose me? Just make a final choice. If you choose me, I can take you to the hospital when you’re ill and I can look after you whatever happens to you; if you choose believing in God, I will ignore you regardless of anything you encounter in the future. Mum, just think: I am your own flesh and blood. Anyway, you have to rely on me, right? If you believe in God, who will take care of you? Think about it seriously!” Hearing my son let me make a choice between God and him, I felt at once that my head buzzed, thinking: How will this happen? Is there anything wrong for me to believe in God? I just want to properly believe in and follow God, but why doesn’t my son understand me? I have this only son; if he really leave me alone, how shall I live? One side is God who loves and saves me, and the other is my only son. Facing such choice, I felt it was piercing my heart and grew weak unwittingly. In pain, I came before God and prayed: “O God! I’m very weak now, for I don’t know how to make the choice. He is my only son, yet I know I can’t give up believing in You. However, my son keeps stopping me and I don’t know what I should do. God, please lead me and let me understand Your will. …”
At a meeting, the sister saw me in a bad state and asked me with concern. Having learned my situation, she read a passage of God’s words for me: “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.”
The sister fellowshiped: “On this matter, outwardly it seems that your son is persecuting and hindering you from believing in God, but this actually is a spiritual battle. As Satan sees that we accept God’s kingdom gospel and come before God, it’s unwilling to admit defeat, so it uses our relatives to attack us, trying to shatter our faith so that we betray God and lose the chance of being saved by God to be devoured by Satan. And meanwhile, God uses such environment to test whether we have real faith in Him. Just like when Job was in trials, all that befell him was man’s doing. Yet behind the scenes, it’s Satan making a wager with God. Job lost a mountain of sheep and cattle, great fortune, and his pretty children, but he didn’t reject or betray God. He still followed the way of fearing God and shunning evil, kept his loyalty to God, overcame Satan by his faith, and stood testimony to glorify God. Since then, he attained God’s double blessings, and became a truly free man who worshiped God. Satan would never dare to tempt Job. Today as long as we rely on God to stand testimony, Satan will be shamed and defeated.”
At the time, I understood this was a spiritual battle, thinking: In order to make Job reject God, Satan not only took away all his possessions and children but also caused him to have painful sores all over. However, Job had never complained against God, and when he stood testimony, Satan fled in panic. At this thought, I couldn’t help feeling that Satan was too malicious and hateful. If I made compromise with my son, wouldn’t I fall into Satan’s scheme?
Then the sister continued: “We should also understand man’s fate is in God’s command, and not decided by any other person. Even if your son can look after your flesh temporarily, he can’t control your fate or resolve your spiritual emptiness and pain, much less does he decide your outcome and destination. In Matthew 6:26 the Lord Jesus said: ‘Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they?’ You see, God even feeds the animals, let alone us. God treats us like His children, and He will be responsible for our life. We should have.”
At this moment, God’s words occurred in my mind: “Faith is like a single log bridge, those who cling abjectly to life will have difficulty in crossing it.” I thought that my fate was in God’s hand, not controlled by my son. Even if my son could attend to my flesh, he could never command my fate. With God as my rear guard, I felt much assured in my heart, had faith in the way ahead, and resolved to stand testimony and shame Satan.
In the following several evenings, my son was unwilling to talk to me as he came home. And he even avoided me, blacklisted me on WeChat, and kept me from reaching him by phone. I could onlyand was willing to commit all this to God’s hand. In my free time, I would actively talk with my son about matters in our life. Unknowingly, I could get through to him. Sometimes when I had meetings, my son saw and no longer opposed me. As long as he had free time, he would take my grandson away from me. In this way I could have more time to gather with brothers and sisters quietly. Though my son didn’t speak anything, I could feel his estrangement with me was gradually gone.
In this spiritual battle, I was once distressed and weak because of my son’s repeated hindrances, but this experience made me profoundly feel the sinisterness and malice of Satan. At the same time I came to know the authority and power of God’s words. By relying on God’s words as my “weapon,” I had faith and strength, and defeated Satan time and again. And this simultaneously gave me a firmer resolution to follow God. All the glory be to God!
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