54. The Principles of Overcoming the Temptation of Satan
1. You must do your utmost to pursue the truth. Only if you truly know God’s work can you identify the cunning schemes of Satan and overcome the temptation of Satan.
2. When trial and refinement come upon you, you must spend more time and effort praying to God and seeking the truth. When you achieve understanding of God’s will, you will be able to identify the cunning schemes of Satan.
3. You must clearly see that the true facts of battle of the spiritual world are Satan’s accusation of God’s chosen people and wager with God. Only those who stand firm in their testimony will be saved.
4. You must hold to God’s words, and be resolute in obeying the truth, being loyal to God, and striking back at the deceitful schemes of Satan; only then can Satan be thoroughly shamed and defeated.
Relevant Words of God:
Believing in God and pursuing the knowledge of God is no simple matter. They cannot be achieved simply by gathering together and listening to preaching, and you cannot be perfected by passion alone. You must experience, and know, and be principled in your actions, and gain the work of the Holy Spirit. When you have undergone experiences, you will be able to differentiate many things—you will be able to distinguish between good and evil, between righteousness and wickedness, between what is of flesh and blood and what is of the truth. You should be able to distinguish between all these things, and in so doing, no matter the circumstances, you will never be lost. Only this is your real stature.
from “Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Peter was faithful to Me for many years, yet he never grumbled or had a complaining heart, and even Job was not his equal. Throughout the ages the saints, too, have all fallen far short of him. He not only pursued the knowledge of Me, but also came to know Me during the time that Satan was carrying out its deceitful schemes. This led to many years of service that was after My own heart, as a result of which he was never exploited by Satan. Peter drew upon the faith of Job, yet he also clearly perceived his shortcomings. Although Job was of great faith, he lacked a knowledge of matters in the spiritual realm, and thus he said many words that did not correspond to reality; this shows that his knowledge was still shallow, and incapable of being perfect. And so, Peter always looked to gaining a sense of the spirit, and always focused on observing the dynamics of the spiritual realm. As a result, he was not only able to ascertain something of My wishes, but also understood a little of the deceitful schemes of Satan, and thus his knowledge was greater than any other throughout the ages.
from “The Eighth Utterance” of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Faith is like a single log bridge, those who cling abjectly to life will have difficulty in crossing it, but those who are ready to sacrifice themselves can pass over without worry. If man has timid and fearful thoughts, they are being fooled by Satan. It fears that we will cross the bridge of faith to enter into God. Satan devises every way possible to send us its thoughts, we should always pray that the light of God will shine on us, and we must always rely on God to purify us from Satan’s poison. We shall always be practicing in our spirits to come close to God. We shall let God have dominion over our whole being.
from Utterances and Testimonies of Christ in the Beginning
If people fall under the influence of Satan, then they have no love for God within them, and their previous visions, love, and resolution have disappeared. People used to feel that they were supposed to suffer for God, but today they think it is shameful and have no shortage of complaints. This is the work of Satan; it shows that man has fallen under the domain of Satan. If you encounter this state you must pray, and turn the other way as soon as you can—this will protect you against Satan’s attacks. It is during bitter refinement that man can most easily fall under the influence of Satan—so how should you love God during such refinement? You should summon your will, laying your heart before God and devoting the last of your time to Him. No matter how God refines you, you should be able to put the truth into practice to fulfill God’s will, and you should take it upon yourself to seek God and seek communion with God. … As you experience, you will fail twice and succeed once, or else fail five times and succeed twice, and as you experience in this way, only amid failure will you be able to see the loveliness of God and discover what is lacking within you. When you next encounter such situations, you should caution yourself, temper your steps, and pray more often. You will gradually develop the ability to triumph in such situations. When that happens, your prayers have been effective.
from “Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Truly Love God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Your many experiences of failure, of weakness, and times of negativity could be said to be God’s trials of you. This is because everything comes from God, all things and events are in His hands. Whether you fail or whether you are weak and you stumble all rests on God and is within His grasp. From God’s side, this is a trial of you, and if you cannot recognize that, it will become temptation. There are two kinds of states that people should recognize: One comes from the Holy Spirit, and the other likely comes from Satan. One state is that the Holy Spirit illuminates you and allows you to know yourself, to detest and regret yourself and to be able to have genuine love for God, to set your heart on satisfying Him. The other state is that you know yourself, but you are negative and weak. It could be said that that is God’s refinement. It could also be said that it is Satan’s temptation. If you recognize that this is God’s salvation of you and that you are now incredibly in His debt, and if from now on you try to repay Him and no longer fall into such depravity, if you put your effort into eating and drinking His words, and if you always consider yourself to be lacking, and have a heart of longing, then this is God’s trial. After the suffering has ended and you are once again moving forward, God will still lead, illuminate, enlighten, and nourish you. But if you don’t recognize it and you are negative, simply abandoning yourself to despair, if you think this way, then Satan’s temptation has come upon you.
from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If many things come upon you that are not in line with your notions but you are able to put them aside and know God’s actions from these things, and in the midst of refinements you reveal your heart of love for God, this is standing witness. If your home is peaceful, you enjoy comforts of the flesh, no one is persecuting you, and your brothers and sisters in the church obey you, can you display your heart of love for God? Can this refine you? It is only through refinement that your love for God can be shown, and it is only through things occurring that are not in line with your conceptions that you can be perfected. It is through many negative things, many adversities that God perfects you. It is through many of Satan’s actions, accusations, and its expression in many people that God allows you to acquire knowledge, thus perfecting you.
from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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. For example, if you are prejudiced toward your brothers and sisters, you will have words that you want to say—words that you feel may be displeasing to God—but it will be hard for you inside, and at this moment, a battle will commence within you: Do I speak or not? This is the 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 and the anger is naturally extinguished. Such is the effect of your cooperation with God. Everything you do requires you to pay a certain price in your efforts. Without actual hardship, you can’t satisfy God, it does not even come close to satisfying God, and you are just saying empty slogans! Can these empty slogans satisfy God? When God and Satan do battle in the spiritual realm, how should you satisfy God, and how should you stand firm in your testimony to Him? You should know that everything that happens to you is a great trial and the time when God needs you to bear testimony. Externally, they might not seem like a big deal, but when these things happen they show whether or not you love God. If you do, you will be able to stand firm in your testimony to Him, and if you have not put the love of Him into practice, this shows you are not someone who puts the truth into practice, that you are without the truth, and without life, that you are chaff! Everything that happens to people is when God needs them to stand firm in their testimony to Him. Nothing major has happened to you at the moment, and you do not bear great testimony, but every detail of your daily life relates to the testimony to God. If you can win the admiration of your brothers and sisters, your family members, and everyone around you; if, one day, the unbelievers come, and admire all that you do, and see that all that God does is wonderful, then you will have borne testimony. Although you have no insight and your caliber is poor, through God’s perfection of you, you are able to satisfy Him and be mindful of His will. Others will see what great work He has done in people of the poorest caliber. People come to know God, and become overcomers before Satan and loyal to God to an extent. So none will have more backbone than this group of people. This will be the greatest testimony. Although you are incapable of doing great work, you are able to satisfy God. Others can’t put aside their conceptions, but you can; others can’t bear testimony to God during their actual experiences, but you can use your actual stature and actions to repay God’s love and bear resounding testimony to Him. Only this counts as actually loving God. If you are incapable of this, then you do not bear testimony among your family members, among your brothers and sisters, or before the people of the world. If you can’t bear testimony before Satan, Satan will laugh at you, it will treat you as a joke, as a plaything, it will often make a fool of you, and drive you insane.
from “Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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. Under no circumstances must you behave as in the past, doing one thing before My face and another behind My back—that way you are already beyond redemption. Surely I have uttered more than enough of words like these, have I not? It is precisely because man’s old nature is incorrigible that I have repeatedly reminded him. Do not get bored! All that I say is for the sake of ensuring your destiny! What Satan needs is precisely a foul and filthy place; the more hopelessly irredeemable, and the more debauched you are, refusing to submit to restraint, the more will unclean spirits avail themselves of any opportunity to infiltrate. Once you have arrived at this pass, your loyalty will be but idle chatter, without any reality, and your resolution will be eaten up by unclean spirits, to be turned into disobedience or Satan’s wiles, and used to disrupt My work. Thereat I will smite you to death whenever and wherever I please.
from “The Tenth Utterance” of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The truth that man needs to possess is found in the word of God, a truth that is the most beneficial and helpful to mankind. It is the tonic and sustenance that your body needs, something that helps man restore his normal humanity, a truth that man should be equipped with. The more you practice God’s word, the more quickly your life will blossom; the more you practice God’s word, the clearer the truth becomes. As you grow in stature, you will see things of the spiritual world more clearly, and you will be more powerful to triumph over Satan. Much of the truth that you don’t understand will be made clear when you practice the word of God.
from “Practice the Truth Once You Understand It” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The Man’s Fellowship:
Satan’s carrying out schemes refers primarily to all types of tests that people encounter every day, including all sorts of evil thoughts that they themselves generate in their hearts and natures. When Peter was faced with such things he prayed to God, sought God’s words, and sought the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit. It might be that it took days of seeking and several times of fellowship before he understood God’s intention, God’s will. In this way he achieved the result of understanding God and at the same time saw through Satan’s schemes as well. The more tests by Satan that a person experiences, the more they know what is meant by Satan’s tests. The more they are able to pray to God and seek the truth when they meet with tests, the more they understand God. The more they understand the truth and know God, the easier it becomes to see through Satan’s schemes. This is what has often been spoken of in the past as possessing the capacity to discriminate only when one has understood the truth. There are altogether too many examples of this, and we don’t need to go into such details here. As long as you grasp that when you are tested you can pray and seek the truth and achieve seeing through Satan’s schemes, then that establishes testimony. If someone falls into Satan’s trap and is snared in its schemes that is to lose testimony and be a person who is a failure. … To give an example, say a relative or friend who is an unbeliever urges you to make some money and get rich, and you say, “We believe in God. I want God, not wealth. I am content with having these clothes and having food to eat.” The unbeliever says, “God didn’t say getting rich is wrong. Getting rich doesn’t prevent you from believing in God in your heart, and it’s not a sin. If you are rich, you can donate. Isn’t that a good deed also?” Actually, these words are Satan’s test, Satan’s scheme. If you are a person seeking the truth, you should pray to God and find out God’s intentions. If you really manage to understand, you’ll realize that getting rich is not God’s intention, that you can be saved only by accepting God’s work, and getting rich will not bring you salvation. At that moment, if you choose in favor of God’s demands and being obedient to God’s intention, then you establish testimony, while Satan is humiliated. If you go along with what the devil has to say, go out and get rich, go out and make money, then you’ve been snared in Satan’s scheme and lost testimony. You must be able to pursue knowing God when Satan is carrying out its scheme. This is the most correct method in the practice of establishing testimony. Everyone has experienced some major tests during the experience of believing in God that involve issues of the fate of your lives and involve questions about your path in life. For example, after believing in God for several years, some people get a partner who is not a believer and then leave God’s house. Some people, after believing in God for several years, find a good job that takes over their lives, and they leave God’s house. Some people after believing in God for several years are arrested by the great red dragon, intimidated and bribed, and then become frightened and drop out. Some people after believing in God for several years go after an opportunity to get rich, and some people, after believing in God for several years, because they lose interest in the truth and face many dangers, feel no more interest and return to the world. … The way these people fell down was in being defeated during Satan’s test. There are some other situations in which people during a life of believing in God encounter Satan’s tests (including evil thoughts in people’s minds). If people succumb to the pleasures of the flesh they are taken in by Satan’s scheming, and do some things that satisfy the flesh but deceive God and resist God. Although these are minor failures, these situations are enough to show that the people involved still lack the truth, have not obeyed, and rebelled too much. If people are completely able to discern Satan’s tests and schemes in the experience of everyday surroundings and able to behave according to the truth in all matters, that demonstrates that these people’s experiencing several years of God’s work has results and they have a certain stature, which is that such people can throw off the influence of Satan, that they have defeated Satan, and that Satan cannot achieve anything with such people. Of course, this is directly related to people’s being equipped with the truth. Only by possessing more truth can one completely defeat Satan, obey God in all things, and completely live before God. For life to attain this level is to be completed by God and to be gained by God.
from “Responses to Questions From Churches of Various Regions” in Records of Christ’s Talks