P. On Casting Off the Influence of Satan and Achieving Salvation

638. (A Selected Chapter of God’s Word)

Escape From the Influence of Darkness, and You Will Be Gained by God

What is the influence of darkness? This so-called “influence of darkness” is the influence of Satan’s deception, corruption, binding, and controlling of people; the influence of Satan is an influence that has an aura of death. All those who live under the domain of Satan are doomed to perish.

How can you escape from the influence of darkness after gaining faith in God? Once you have sincerely prayed to God, you turn your heart to Him completely, at which point your heart is moved by God’s Spirit. You grow willing to give yourself to Him completely, and at this moment, you will have escaped from the influence of darkness. If everything man does is that which pleases God and in line with His requirements, then he is someone who lives within the words of God and under His care and protection. If people cannot practice the words of God, if they are always attempting to fool Him, acting in a perfunctory manner toward Him, and not believing in His existence—then these are all people living under the influence of darkness. Men who have not received God’s salvation are living under the domain of Satan; that is, they all live under the influence of darkness. Those who do not believe in God are living under the domain of Satan. Even those who believe in God’s existence might not necessarily be living in His light, for those who believe in Him may not actually be living within His words nor be able to submit to God. Man is limited to believing in God, and because he does not have knowledge of God, he is still living within the old rules, among dead words, with a life that is dark and uncertain, neither fully purified by God nor completely gained by Him. Therefore, while it goes without saying that those who do not believe in God are living under the influence of darkness, even those who do believe in God may still be under its influence, for they lack the work of the Holy Spirit. Those who have not received God’s grace or mercy and those who cannot see the work of the Holy Spirit are all living under the influence of darkness; and most of the time, so are people who merely enjoy the grace of God yet do not know Him. If a man believes in God yet spends most of his life living under the influence of darkness, then this man’s existence has lost its meaning—and what need is there to mention people who do not believe that God exists?

All those who cannot accept God’s work, or who accept God’s work but are unable to meet His demands, are people living under the influence of darkness. Only those who pursue the truth and are capable of meeting God’s demands will receive blessings from Him, and only they will escape from the influence of darkness. Those who have not been released, who are always controlled by certain things, and who are unable to give their hearts to God are people under Satan’s bondage who live within an aura of death. Those who are unfaithful to their own duties, who are unfaithful to God’s commission, and who fail to perform their functions at the church are people living under the influence of darkness. Those who deliberately disturb the church life, who intentionally sow discord between their brothers and sisters, or who form cliques are people who live deeper still under the influence of darkness, in Satan’s bondage. Those who have an abnormal relationship with God, who always have extravagant desires, who always want to gain an advantage, and who never seek transformation in their dispositions are people who live under the influence of darkness. Those who are always sloppy and never serious in their practice of the truth, and who do not seek to meet the will of God, seeking instead only to satisfy their own flesh, are also people who are living under the influence of darkness, shrouded by death. Those who engage in crookedness and deception when working for God, who deal with God in a perfunctory manner, who cheat God, and who always make plans for themselves are people living under the influence of darkness. All those who cannot sincerely love God, who do not pursue the truth, and who do not focus on transforming their dispositions are people living under the influence of darkness.

If you wish to be praised by God, then you must first escape from Satan’s dark influence, opening your heart to God and turning it toward Him completely. Would God praise the things you are doing now? Have you turned your heart to God? Have the things you have done been what God requires of you? Are they in line with the truth? Examine yourself at all times and concentrate on the eating and drinking of God’s words; lay out your heart before Him, love Him with sincerity, and devotedly expend yourself for God. People who do this will surely receive God’s praise.

All those who believe in God, yet do not pursue the truth, have no way of escaping from Satan’s influence. All those who do not live their lives with honesty, who behave one way in front of others but another way behind their backs, who give the appearance of humility, patience, and love though their essence is insidious, cunning, and without loyalty to God—such people are typical representatives of those who live under the influence of darkness; they are the ilk of the serpent. Those who only ever believe in God for their own benefit, who are self-righteous and haughty, who show off, and who protect their own status are people who love Satan and oppose the truth. These people resist God and belong entirely to Satan. Those who are not attentive to God’s burdens, who do not serve God wholeheartedly, who are always concerned with their own self-interests and the interests of their families, who are unable to abandon everything to expend themselves for God, and who never live by His words are people outside of His words. Such people cannot receive God’s praise.

When God created men, it was so that they could enjoy His abundance and genuinely love Him; in this way, men would live in His light. Today, as for all those who cannot love God, are not attentive to His burdens, are unable to give their hearts fully to Him, are not able to take His heart as their own, and cannot shoulder His burdens as their own—God’s light does not shine upon any such men, and they therefore are all living under the influence of darkness. They are on a path that is diametrically opposed to God’s will, and there is not a shred of truth in anything they do. They are wallowing in the mire with Satan; they are people who live under the influence of darkness. If you can often eat and drink the words of God and be attentive to His will and put His words into practice, then you belong to God, and you are a person who lives within His words. Are you willing to escape from the domain of Satan and live in the light of God? If you live within the words of God, then the Holy Spirit will have an opportunity to perform His work; if you live under Satan’s influence, then you will give the Holy Spirit no such opportunity. The work that the Holy Spirit performs on men, the light that He shines on them, and the confidence that He gives to them last for only a moment; if people are not careful and do not pay attention, then the work of the Holy Spirit will pass them by. If men live within the words of God, then the Holy Spirit will be with them and perform work on them. If men do not live within the words of God, then they live in Satan’s bonds. If men live with corrupt dispositions, then they do not have the presence or the work of the Holy Spirit. If you live within the boundaries of the words of God, and if you live in the state that God requires, then you are one who belongs to Him, and His work will be performed on you; if you are not living within the boundaries of God’s requirements, but living instead under the domain of Satan, then you are decidedly living within Satan’s corruption. Only by living within the words of God and giving your heart to Him can you meet His requirements; you must do as God says, making His utterances the foundation of your existence and the reality of your life; only then will you belong to God. If you actually practice in accordance with God’s will, He will perform work on you, and you will then live under His blessings, in the light of His countenance; you will grasp the work that the Holy Spirit performs and feel the joy of God’s presence.

To escape from the influence of darkness, you must first be loyal to God and eager at heart to pursue the truth; only then can you have a correct state. Living in a correct state is the prerequisite for escaping from the influence of darkness. Not having a correct state is not being loyal to God, and not being eager at heart to seek the truth; and escaping from the influence of darkness is out of the question. My words are the basis of man’s escape from dark influences, and people who cannot practice in accordance with My words will not be able to escape from the bonds of the influence of darkness. To live in a correct state is to live under the guidance of the words of God, to live in a state of loyalty to God, to live in a state of seeking the truth, to live in the reality of sincerely expending oneself for God’s sake, and to live in a state of genuinely loving God. Those who live in these states and within this reality will slowly transform as they enter into the depth of the truth, and they will transform as the work goes deeper; and in the end, they will certainly become people who are gained by God and who love God genuinely. Those who have escaped from the influence of darkness can gradually ascertain God’s will and gradually come to understand it, eventually becoming confidants of God. They not only harbor no notions about God and do not rebel against Him, but they also detest even more those notions and rebellion that possessed them before, and genuine love for God arises in their hearts. People who are unable to escape from the influence of darkness are all completely occupied with the flesh and full of rebellion; their hearts are filled with human notions and philosophies for living, as well as their own intentions and deliberations. What God requires is a singular love from man; what He requires is that man be occupied by His words and by a heart full of love for Him. To live within the words of God, to search within His words for that which they should seek, to love God for His words, to run for His words, to live for His words—these are the goals that man should strive to achieve. Everything must be built on God’s words; only then will man be able to meet God’s requirements. If man is not equipped with the words of God, then he is nothing but a maggot possessed by Satan! Weigh this: How much of the word of God has taken root inside of you? In which things are you living in accordance with His words? In which things have you not been living in accordance with them? If God’s words have not completely taken hold of you, then what exactly occupies your heart? In your everyday life, are you being controlled by Satan, or are you being occupied by the words of God? Are His words the foundation upon which your prayers are based? Have you come out of your negative state through the enlightenment of the words of God? To take God’s words as the foundation of your existence—this is what everyone should enter into. If His words are not present in your life, then you are living under the influence of darkness, you are rebelling against God, you are resisting Him, and you are dishonoring His name. Such people’s belief in God is pure mischief and disturbance. How much of your life has been lived in accordance with His words? How much of your life has not been lived in accordance with His words? How much of what the word of God has required of you has been fulfilled in you? How much has been lost in you? Have you looked closely at such things?

Escaping from the influence of darkness requires both the work of the Holy Spirit and man’s dedicated cooperation. Why do I say that man is not on the right track? People who are on the right track can first give their hearts to God. This is a task that takes a very long time to enter into, for humankind has always lived under the influence of darkness, and has been under Satan’s bondage for thousands of years. Therefore, this entry cannot be achieved in a mere day or two. I raised this issue today so that men can gain a grasp of their own state; once man can discern what the influence of darkness is and what it means to live in the light, then entry becomes much easier. This is because you must know what Satan’s influence is before you can escape from it; only after that will you have a way to cast it off. As for what to do thereafter, that is humans’ own business. Enter into everything from a positive aspect, and never wait passively. Only in this way can you be gained by God.

from The Word Appears in the Flesh

639. Man’s flesh is of Satan, it is full of rebellious dispositions, it is deplorably filthy, and it is something unclean. People covet the enjoyment of the flesh too much and there are too many manifestations of the flesh; this is why God despises man’s flesh to a certain extent. When people cast off the filthy, corrupt things of Satan, they gain God’s salvation. But if they still do not divest themselves of filth and corruption, then they are still living under the domain of Satan. People’s conniving, deceitfulness, and crookedness are all things of Satan. God’s salvation of you is to extricate you from these things of Satan. God’s work cannot be wrong; it is all done in order to save people from darkness. When you have believed to a certain point and can divest yourself of the corruption of the flesh, and are no longer shackled by this corruption, will you not have been saved? When you live under Satan’s domain you are incapable of manifesting God, you are something filthy, and cannot receive God’s inheritance. Once you have been cleansed and made perfect, you will be holy, you will be a normal person, and you will be blessed by God and delightful to God.

Excerpted from “Practice (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

640. Man lives amid the flesh, which means he lives in a human hell, and without God’s judgment and chastisement, man is as filthy as Satan. How could man be holy? Peter believed that chastisement and judgment by God were man’s best protection and greatest grace. Only through chastisement and judgment by God could man awaken and hate the flesh, hate Satan. God’s strict discipline frees man from the influence of Satan, frees him from his own little world, and allows him to live in the light of God’s presence. There is no better salvation than chastisement and judgment! Peter prayed, “O God! As long as You chastise and judge me, I will know that You have not left me. Even if You do not give me joy or peace, and make me live in suffering, and inflict countless chastenings on me, as long as You do not leave me, my heart will be at ease. Today, Your chastisement and judgment have become my best protection and my greatest blessing. The grace You give me protects me. The grace You bestow upon me today is a manifestation of Your righteous disposition, and is chastisement and judgment; moreover, it is a trial, and, more than that, it is a life of suffering.” Peter was able to put aside the pleasures of the flesh and seek a deeper love and greater protection, because he had gained so much grace from God’s chastisement and judgment. In his life, if man wishes to be cleansed and achieve changes in his disposition, if he wishes to live out a life of meaning and fulfill his duty as a creature, then he must accept God’s chastisement and judgment, and must not allow God’s discipline and God’s smiting to depart from him, in order that he may free himself from the manipulation and influence of Satan, and live in the light of God. Know that God’s chastisement and judgment is the light, and the light of man’s salvation, and that there is no better blessing, grace or protection for man.

Excerpted from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

641. If people wish to become living beings and to bear testimony to God, and to be approved of by God, then they must accept God’s salvation; they must gladly submit to His judgment and chastisement and must gladly accept the pruning of God and being dealt with by Him. Only then will they be able to put all of the truths required by God into practice, and only then will they gain God’s salvation and truly become living beings. The living are saved by God; they have been judged and chastised by God, they are willing to devote themselves and are happy to lay down their lives for God, and they would gladly dedicate their whole lives to God. Only when the living bear testimony to God can Satan be shamed; only the living can spread the gospel work of God, only the living are after God’s heart, and only the living are real people. Originally the man made by God was alive, but because of Satan’s corruption man lives amid death and lives under the influence of Satan, and so, in this way, people have become the spiritless dead, they have become enemies who oppose God, they have become the tools of Satan, and they have become the captives of Satan. All the living people created by God have become dead people, and so God has lost His testimony, and He has lost mankind which He created and which is the only thing that has His breath. If God is to take back His testimony and take back those who were made by His own hand but who have been taken captive by Satan, then He must resurrect them so that they become living beings, and He must reclaim them so that they live in His light. The dead are those who have no spirit, those who are numb in the extreme and who oppose God. They are foremost those who do not know God. These people have not the slightest intention of obeying God; they only rebel against Him and oppose Him and have not the slightest loyalty. The living are those whose spirits have been reborn, who know to obey God, and who are loyal to God. They are possessed of the truth, and of testimony, and these people alone are pleasing to God in His house.

Excerpted from “Are You Someone Who Has Come to Life?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

642. Man’s entire life is lived under the domain of Satan, and there is not a single person who can free themselves from the influence of Satan on their own. All live in a filthy world, in corruption and emptiness, without the slightest meaning or value; they live such carefree lives for the flesh, for lust, and for Satan. There is not the slightest value to their existence. Man is incapable of finding the truth that will free him from the influence of Satan. Even though man believes in God and reads the Bible, he does not understand how to free himself of the control of Satan’s influence. Throughout the ages, very few people have discovered this secret, very few have grasped it. As such, even though man detests Satan, and detests the flesh, he does not know how to rid himself of the ensnaring influence of Satan. Today, are you not still under the domain of Satan? You do not regret your disobedient acts, and much less do you feel that you are filthy and disobedient. After opposing God, you even have peace of mind and feel great tranquility. Is your tranquility not because you are corrupt? Does this peace of mind not come from your disobedience? Man lives in a human hell, he lives under the dark influence of Satan; across the land, ghosts live together with man, encroaching upon the flesh of man. On earth, you do not live in a beautiful paradise. The place where you are is the realm of the devil, a human hell, a netherworld. If man is not cleansed, then he is of the filth; if he is not protected and cared for by God, then he is still a captive of Satan; if he is not judged and chastised, then he will have no means of escaping the oppression of the dark influence of Satan. The corrupt disposition that you show forth and the disobedient behavior that you live out are sufficient to prove that you are still living under the domain of Satan. If your mind and thoughts have not been cleansed, and your disposition has not been judged and chastised, then your entire being is still controlled by the domain of Satan, your mind is controlled by Satan, your thoughts are manipulated by Satan, and your entire being is controlled by the hands of Satan. Do you know just how far you are, now, from the standards of Peter? Do you possess that caliber? How much do you know of the chastisement and judgment of today? How much do you possess of that which Peter came to know? If, today, you are unable to know, will you be able to achieve this knowledge in the future? Someone as lazy and cowardly as you is simply incapable of knowing chastisement and judgment. If you pursue the peace of the flesh, and the pleasures of the flesh, then you will have no means of being cleansed, and in the end you will be returned to Satan, for what you live out is Satan, and it is the flesh. As things stand today, many people do not pursue life, which means that they do not care about being cleansed, or about entering into a deeper life experience. That being so, how can they be made perfect? Those who do not pursue life have no opportunity to be made perfect, and those who do not pursue a knowledge of God, who do not pursue changes in their disposition, are incapable of escaping Satan’s dark influence.

Excerpted from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

643. Everything that God does is necessary and possessed of extraordinary significance, for all that He does in man concerns His management and the salvation of mankind. Naturally, the work that God did in Job is no different, even though Job was perfect and upright in the eyes of God. In other words, regardless of what God does or the means by which He does it, regardless of the cost, regardless of His objective, the purpose of His actions does not change. His purpose is to work God’s words into man, as well as God’s requirements and will for man; in other words, it is to work into man all that God believes to be positive in accordance with His steps, enabling man to understand God’s heart and comprehend God’s substance, and allowing man to obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements, thus allowing man to attain fear of God and shunning of evil—all of this is one aspect of God’s purpose in all He does. The other aspect is that, because Satan is the foil and service object in God’s work, man is often given to Satan; this is the means God uses to allow people to see in Satan’s temptations and attacks the wickedness, ugliness, and contemptibility of Satan, thus causing people to hate Satan and be able to know and recognize that which is negative. This process allows them to gradually free themselves from Satan’s control and accusations, interference, and attacks—until, thanks to God’s words, their knowledge and obedience of God, and their faith in God and fear of Him, they triumph over the attacks and accusations of Satan; only then will they have been completely delivered from the domain of Satan. People’s deliverance means that Satan has been defeated, it means that they are no longer the food in Satan’s mouth—instead of swallowing them, Satan has relinquished them. This is because such people are upright, because they have faith, obedience, and fear toward God, and because they completely break with Satan. They bring shame upon Satan, they make a coward of Satan, and they utterly defeat Satan. Their conviction in following God, and obedience to and fear of God defeat Satan, and make Satan completely give them up. Only people such as this have truly been gained by God, and it is this which is God’s ultimate objective in saving man. If they wish to be saved, and wish to be completely gained by God, then all those who follow God must face temptations and attacks both great and small from Satan. Those who emerge from these temptations and attacks and are able to fully defeat Satan are those who have been saved by God. This is to say, those who have been saved unto God are those who have undergone God’s trials, and who have been tempted and attacked by Satan an untold number of times. Those who have been saved unto God understand God’s will and requirements, and are able to acquiesce to God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and they do not forsake the way of fearing God and shunning evil amid Satan’s temptations. Those who are saved unto God possess honesty, they are kindhearted, they differentiate between love and hate, they have a sense of justice and are rational, and they are able to care for God and treasure all that is of God. Such people are not bound, spied upon, accused, or abused by Satan; they are completely free, they have been completely liberated and released. Job was just such a man of freedom, and this is precisely the significance of why God had handed him over to Satan.

Excerpted from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

644. Job’s faith, obedience, and his testimony to overcoming Satan have been a source of huge help and encouragement to people. In Job, they see hope for their own salvation, and see that through faith, and obedience to and fear of God, it is entirely possible to defeat Satan, to prevail over Satan. They see that as long as they acquiesce to God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and as long as they possess the determination and faith not to forsake God after having lost everything, then they can bring shame and defeat upon Satan, and they see that they need only possess the determination and perseverance to stand firm in their testimony—even if it means losing their lives—for Satan to be cowed and beat a hasty retreat. Job’s testimony is a warning to later generations, and this warning tells them that if they do not defeat Satan, then they will never be able to rid themselves of the accusations and interference of Satan, nor will they ever be able to escape the abuse and attacks of Satan. Job’s testimony has enlightened later generations. This enlightenment teaches people that only if they are perfect and upright will they be able to fear God and shun evil; it teaches them that only if they fear God and shun evil can they bear strong and resounding testimony to God; only if they bear strong and resounding testimony to God can they never be controlled by Satan and live under the guidance and protection of God—only then will they have been truly saved. Job’s personality and his life’s pursuit should be emulated by everyone who pursues salvation. That which he lived out during his whole life and his conduct during his trials is a precious treasure to all those who pursue the way of fearing God and shunning evil.

Excerpted from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

645. When people have yet to be saved, their lives are often interfered with, and even controlled by, Satan. In other words, people who have not been saved are prisoners to Satan, they have no freedom, they have not been relinquished by Satan, they are not qualified or entitled to worship God, and they are closely pursued and viciously attacked by Satan. Such people have no happiness to speak of, they have no right to a normal existence to speak of, and moreover they have no dignity to speak of. Only if you stand up and do battle with Satan, using your faith in God and obedience to, and fear of God as the weapons with which to fight a life-and-death battle with Satan, such that you fully defeat Satan and cause it to turn tail and become cowardly whenever it sees you, so that it completely abandons its attacks and accusations against you—only then will you be saved and become free. If you are determined to fully break with Satan, but are not equipped with the weapons that will help you defeat Satan, then you will still be in danger; as time goes on, when you have been so tortured by Satan that there is not an ounce of strength left in you, yet you have still been unable to bear testimony, have still not completely freed yourself of Satan’s accusations and attacks against you, then you will have little hope of salvation. In the end, when the conclusion of God’s work is proclaimed, you will still be in the grip of Satan, unable to free yourself, and thus you will never have a chance or hope. The implication, then, is that such people will be completely in Satan’s captivity.

Excerpted from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

646. During the work of God’s abiding provision and support of man, He tells the entirety of His will and requirements to man, and shows His deeds, disposition, and what He has and is to man. The objective is to equip man with stature, and to allow man to gain various truths from God while following Him—truths that are the weapons given to man by God with which to fight Satan. Thus equipped, man must face God’s tests. God has many means and avenues for testing man, but every one of them requires the “cooperation” of God’s enemy: Satan. This is to say, having given man the weapons with which to do battle with Satan, God hands man over to Satan and allows Satan to “test” man’s stature. If man can break out from Satan’s battle formations, if he can escape Satan’s encirclement and still live, then man will have passed the test. But if man fails to leave Satan’s battle formations, and submits to Satan, then he will not have passed the test. Whatever aspect of man God examines, the criteria for His examination are whether or not man stands firm in his testimony when attacked by Satan, and whether or not he has forsaken God and surrendered and submitted to Satan while ensnared by Satan. It may be said that whether or not man can be saved depends on whether he can overcome and defeat Satan, and whether or not he can gain freedom depends on whether he is able to lift up, on his own, the weapons given to him by God to overcome Satan’s bondage, making Satan completely abandon hope and leave him alone. If Satan abandons hope and relinquishes someone, this means that Satan will never again try to take this person from God, will never again accuse and interfere with this person, will never again wantonly torture or attack them; only someone such as this will truly have been gained by God. This is the entire process by which God gains people.

Excerpted from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

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