21. How to overcome Satan’s temptation
Words of Almighty God of the Last Days
The building of the kingdom is aimed directly at the spiritual realm. That is, the state of battle of the spiritual realm is made plain directly among all My people, and this suffices to show that not only within the church, but also and more so in the Age of Kingdom, every person is constantly at war. Despite their physical bodies, the spiritual realm is revealed directly, and they come in contact with the life of the spiritual realm. Thus, when you begin to be faithful, you must prepare properly for the next part of My work. You should give over the entirety of your heart; only then can you satisfy My heart. I care nothing for what happened previously in the church; today, it is in the kingdom. In My plan, Satan has, all along, been stalking behind each step and, as the foil of My wisdom, has always been trying to find ways and means to disrupt My original plan. Yet could I succumb to its deceitful schemes? Everything in heaven and on earth serves Me; could the deceitful schemes of Satan be any different? This is precisely where My wisdom intersects; it is precisely that which is wondrous about My deeds, and it is the principle of operation for My entire management plan. During the era of the building of the kingdom, still I do not avoid the deceitful schemes of Satan, but continue to do the work I must. Among the universe and all things, I have chosen the deeds of Satan as My foil. Is this not a manifestation of My wisdom? Is this not precisely that which is wondrous about My work?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Words to the Entire Universe, Chapter 8
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 essence, 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, disturbances, 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 power 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.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II
When people have yet to be saved, their lives are often disturbed, 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.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II
When Job first underwent his trials, he was stripped of all his property and all of his children, but he did not fall down or say anything that was a sin against God as a result. He had overcome the temptations of Satan, and he had overcome his material assets, his offspring and the trial of losing all his worldly possessions, which is to say he was able to obey God as He took things away from him and he was also able to offer thanks and praise to God because of what God did. Such was Job’s conduct during Satan’s first temptation, and such was also Job’s testimony during the first trial of God. In the second trial, Satan stretched forth its hand to afflict Job, and although Job experienced pain greater than he had ever felt before, still his testimony was enough to leave people astounded. He used his fortitude, conviction, and obedience to God, as well as his fear of God, to once more defeat Satan, and his conduct and his testimony were once more approved of and favored by God. During this temptation, Job used his actual conduct to proclaim to Satan that the pain of the flesh could not alter his faith and obedience to God or take away his devotion to God and God-fearing heart; he would not renounce God or give up his own perfection and uprightness because he faced death. Job’s determination made a coward of Satan, his faith left Satan timorous and trembling, the intensity with which he fought against Satan during their life-and-death battle bred in Satan a deep hatred and resentment; his perfection and uprightness left Satan with nothing more it could do to him, such that Satan abandoned its attacks on him and gave up its accusations against Job that it had laid before Jehovah God. This meant that Job had overcome the world, he had overcome the flesh, he had overcome Satan, and he had overcome death; he was completely and utterly a man who belonged to God. During these two trials, Job stood firm in his testimony, actually lived out his perfection and uprightness, and broadened the scope of his living principles of fearing God and shunning evil. Having undergone these two trials, there was born in Job a richer experience, and this experience made him more mature and seasoned, it made him stronger, and of greater conviction, and it made him more confident of the rightness and worthiness of the integrity to which he held firm. Jehovah God’s trials of Job gave him a deep understanding and sense of God’s concern for man, and allowed him to sense the preciousness of God’s love, from which point consideration toward and love for God were added into his fear of God. The trials of Jehovah God not only did not alienate Job from Him, but brought his heart closer to God. When the fleshly pain endured by Job reached its peak, the concern that he felt from Jehovah God gave him no choice but to curse the day of his birth. Such conduct was not long-planned, but a natural revelation of the consideration for and love for God from within his heart, it was a natural revelation that came from his consideration for and love for God. This is to say, because he loathed himself, and he was unwilling to, and could not stand to torment God, thus his consideration and love reached the point of selflessness. At this time, Job elevated his long-standing adoration and yearning for God and devotion to God to the level of consideration and loving. At the same time, he also elevated his faith and obedience to God and fear of God to the level of consideration and loving. He did not allow himself to do anything that would cause harm to God, he did not permit himself any conduct that would hurt God, and did not allow himself to bring any sorrow, grief, or even unhappiness upon God for his own reasons. In God’s eyes, although Job was still the same Job as before, Job’s faith, obedience, and fear of God had brought God complete satisfaction and enjoyment. At this time, Job had attained the perfection that God had expected him to attain; he had become someone truly worthy of being called “perfect and upright” in God’s eyes. His righteous deeds allowed him to overcome Satan and to stand fast in his testimony to God. So, too, his righteous deeds made him perfect, and allowed the value of his life to be elevated and transcend more than ever, and they also made him the first person to no longer be attacked and tempted by Satan. Because Job was righteous, he was accused and tempted by Satan; because Job was righteous, he was handed over to Satan; and because Job was righteous, he overcame and defeated Satan, and stood firm in his testimony. Henceforth Job became the first man who would never again be handed over to Satan, he truly came before the throne of God and lived in the light, under the blessings of God without the spying or ruination of Satan…. He had become a true man in the eyes of God; he had been set free …
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II
Job had suffered the ravages of Satan, yet still he did not forsake the name of Jehovah God. His wife was the first to step out and, playing the role of Satan in a form that is visible to the eyes of man, attacked Job. The original text describes it thus: “Then said his wife to him, Do you still retain your integrity? curse God, and die” (Job 2:9). These were the words spoken by Satan in the guise of man. They were an attack, and an accusation, as well as enticement, a temptation, and slander. Having failed in attacking Job’s flesh, Satan then directly attacked Job’s integrity, wishing to use this to make Job give up his integrity, renounce God, and no longer go on living. So, too, did Satan wish to use such words to tempt Job: If Job forsook the name of Jehovah, then he need not endure such torment; he could free himself from the torment of the flesh. Faced with the advice of his wife, Job reprimanded her by saying, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). Job had long known these words, but at this time the truth of Job’s knowledge of them was proven.
When his wife advised him to curse God and die, her meaning was: “Your God treats you thus, so why not curse Him? What are you doing still living? Your God is so unfair to you, yet still you say ‘blessed be the name of Jehovah.’ How could He bring disaster upon you when you bless His name? Hurry up and forsake the name of God, and follow Him no more. Then, your troubles will be over.” At this moment, there was produced the testimony that God wished to see in Job. No ordinary person could bear such testimony, nor do we read of it in any of the stories of the Bible—but God had seen it long before Job spoke these words. God merely wished to use this opportunity to allow Job to prove to all that God was right. Faced with the advice of his wife, Job not only did not give up his integrity or renounce God, but he also said to his wife: “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” Do these words carry great weight? Here, there is only one fact capable of proving the weight of these words. The weight of these words is that they are approved of by God in His heart, they are what was desired by God, they are what God wanted to hear, and they are the outcome that God yearned to see; these words are also the marrow of Job’s testimony. In this, Job’s perfection, uprightness, fear of God, and shunning of evil were proven. The preciousness of Job lay in how, when he was tempted, and even when his whole body was covered with sore boils, when he endured the utmost torment, and when his wife and kinfolk advised him, he still uttered such words. To put it in another way, in his heart he believed that, no matter what temptations, or however grievous the tribulations or torment, even if death was to come upon him, he would not renounce God or spurn the way of fearing God and shunning evil. You see, then, that God held the most important place in his heart, and that there was only God in his heart. It is because of this that we read such descriptions of him in the Scriptures as: In all this did not Job sin with his lips. Not only did he not sin with his lips, but in his heart he did not complain about God. He did not say hurtful words about God, nor did he sin against God. Not only did his mouth bless the name of God, but in his heart he also blessed the name of God; his mouth and heart were as one. This was the true Job seen by God, and this was the very reason why God treasured Job.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II
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 disturbances 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.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II
Peter was faithful to Me for many years, yet he never grumbled nor had any complaint; even Job was not his equal, and, throughout the ages, the saints have all fallen far short of Peter. He not only sought to know Me, but also came to know Me during a time when Satan was enacting its deceitful schemes. This led Peter to serve Me for many years, always in line with My will, and for this reason, he was never exploited by Satan. Peter drew lessons from the faith of Job, yet also clearly perceived Job’s shortcomings. Although Job had been of great faith, he lacked knowledge of matters in the spiritual realm, so he said many words that did not correspond to reality; this shows that Job’s knowledge was shallow and incapable of perfection. Therefore, Peter focused always on gaining a sense of the spirit, and always paid attention to observing the dynamics of the spiritual realm. As a result, he not only was able to ascertain something of My wishes, but also had a modicum of knowledge of the deceitful schemes of Satan. Because of this, his knowledge of Me grew to be greater than anyone else’s throughout the ages.
From Peter’s experience, it is not hard to see that if humans wish to know Me, they must focus on giving careful consideration within their spirits. I do not ask that you “dedicate” a certain amount to Me externally; this is of secondary concern. If you do not know Me, then all the faith, love, and loyalty of which you speak are but illusions; they are froth, and you are sure to become someone who makes great boasts before Me but does not know himself. As such, you will once more be ensnared by Satan and unable to extricate yourself; you will become a son of perdition and an object of destruction. However, if you are cold and uncaring toward My words, then you undoubtedly oppose Me. This is fact, and you would do well to look through the gate of the spiritual realm at the many and varied spirits that have been chastised by Me. Which of them, faced with My words, was not passive, uncaring, and unaccepting? Which of them was not cynical about My words? Which of them did not try to find fault with My words? Which of them did not use My words as “defensive weapons” with which to “protect” themselves? They did not use the contents of My words as a way to know Me, but merely as toys to play with. In this, were they not resisting Me directly? Who are My words? Who is My Spirit? I have asked you such questions so many times, yet have you ever gotten any higher and clear insights about them? Have you ever truly experienced them? I remind you once again: If you do not know My words, nor accept them, nor put them into practice, then you will inevitably become objects of My chastisement! You will surely become victims of Satan!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Words to the Entire Universe, Chapter 8
When God said, “The state of battle of the spiritual realm is made plain directly among all My people,” He meant that when people embark on the right track and begin to know God, not only is each person tempted internally by Satan, but they may also be tempted by Satan in the church itself. However, this is a path that everyone must take, so no one need be alarmed. Satan’s temptation may come in several forms. Someone may neglect or forsake what God says, and might say negative things to dampen other people’s positivity; however, such a person will usually not win others to their side. This is difficult to discern. The main reason for this is: Such a person might still be proactive in attending meetings, but they are unclear about visions. If the church does not guard against them, then the entire church could be swayed by their negativity into responding tepidly to God, and thereby not paying attention to God’s words—and this would mean falling straight into Satan’s temptation. Such a person might not rebel against God directly, but because they cannot fathom God’s words and do not know God, they may go so far as to complain or have a heart full of resentment. They might say God has abandoned them and they are therefore incapable of receiving enlightenment and illumination. They may wish to leave, but they are slightly afraid, and they might say that God’s work does not come from God but is instead the work of evil spirits.
Why does God mention Peter so often? And why does He say that even Job did not come close to being his equal? Saying so not only causes people to pay attention to Peter’s deeds, but also has them set aside all the examples they have in their hearts, as even the example of Job—who had the greatest faith—will not do. Only in this way can a better result be achieved, wherein people are able to cast aside everything in an effort to imitate Peter, and, in doing so, advance a step in their knowledge of God. God shows people the path of practice that Peter took to know God, and the goal of doing so is to give people a point of reference. God then goes on to predict one of the ways in which Satan will tempt humans when He says, “However, if you are cold and uncaring toward My words, then you undoubtedly oppose Me. This is fact.” In these words, God foretells the crafty schemes Satan will try to use; they stand as a warning. It is not possible that everyone could be indifferent to God’s words, yet nonetheless, some people will be taken captive by this temptation. Therefore, at the end, God reiterates with emphasis, “If you do not know My words, nor accept them, nor put them into practice, then you will inevitably become objects of My chastisement! You will surely become victims of Satan!” This is God’s counsel to humanity—yet in the end, as God foretold, a portion of people will inevitably fall victim to Satan.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Interpretations of the Mysteries of “God’s Words to the Entire Universe”, Chapter 8
Mat 4:8–11 Again, the devil takes Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shows Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And said to Him, All these things will I give You, if You will fall down and worship me. Then said Jesus to him, Get you hence, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve. Then the devil leaves Him, and, behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
The devil Satan, having failed at its previous two ploys, tried yet another: It showed all the kingdoms in the world and their glory to the Lord Jesus and asked Him to worship it. What can you see about the true features of the devil from this situation? Is the devil Satan not absolutely shameless? (Yes.) How is it shameless? All things were created by God, and yet Satan turned around and showed all things to God, saying, “Look at the wealth and glory of all of these kingdoms. If You worship me I’ll give them all to You.” Is this not a complete role reversal? Is Satan not shameless? God made all things, but did He make all things for His own enjoyment? God gave everything to mankind, but Satan wanted to seize it all and having seized it all, it told God, “Worship me! Worship me and I’ll give this all to You.” This is the ugly face of Satan; it is absolutely shameless! Satan does not even know the meaning of the word “shame.” This is just another example of its evil. It does not even know what shame is. Satan clearly knows that God created all things and that He manages and has dominion over all things. All things belong not to man, and much less to Satan, but to God, and yet the devil Satan brazenly said that it would give all things to God. Is this not another example of Satan once again acting absurdly and shamelessly? This causes God to hate Satan even more, does it not? Yet no matter what Satan tried, was the Lord Jesus fooled? What did the Lord Jesus say? (“You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.”) Do these words have a practical meaning? (Yes.) What sort of practical meaning? We see Satan’s evil and shamelessness in its speech. So if man worshiped Satan, what would be the outcome? Would they obtain the wealth and glory of all of the kingdoms? (No.) What would they obtain? Would mankind become just as shameless and laughable as Satan? (Yes.) They would be no different from Satan then. Therefore, the Lord Jesus said these words, which are important for each and every human being: “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.” This means that except for the Lord, except for God Himself, if you served another, if you worshiped the devil Satan, then you would wallow in the same filth as Satan. You would then share Satan’s shamelessness and its evil, and just like Satan you would tempt God and attack God. Then what would the outcome be for you? You would be loathed by God, struck down by God, destroyed by God. After Satan had tempted the Lord Jesus several times without success, did it try again? Satan did not try again and then it left. What does this prove? It proves that Satan’s evil nature, its malice, and its absurdity and preposterousness are not worth even mentioning in the face of God. The Lord Jesus defeated Satan with only three sentences, after which it scurried away with its tail between its legs, too ashamed to show its face, and it never again tempted the Lord Jesus. Since the Lord Jesus had defeated this temptation of Satan, He could now easily continue the work that He had to do and the tasks that lay before Him. Would everything that the Lord Jesus did and said in this situation carry any practical meaning for each and every human being if it were applied to the present day? (Yes.) What sort of practical meaning? Is defeating Satan an easy thing to do? Must people have a clear understanding of Satan’s evil nature? Must people have an accurate understanding of Satan’s temptations? (Yes.) When you experience Satan’s temptations in your own life, if you were able to see through to Satan’s evil nature, would you not be able to defeat it? If you knew about Satan’s absurdity and preposterousness, would you still stand on Satan’s side and attack God? If you understood how Satan’s malice and shamelessness are being revealed through you—if you clearly recognized and understood these things—would you still attack and tempt God in this way? (No, we would not.) What would you do? (We would rebel against Satan and cast it aside.) Is that an easy thing to do? It is not easy. To do this, people must frequently pray, they must often place themselves before God and examine themselves. And they must let God’s discipline and His judgment and chastisement come upon them. Only in this way will people gradually extricate themselves from Satan’s deception and control.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique V
At present, are there many temptations for people who live in this society? Temptations surround you on all sides, all sorts of evil currents, all sorts of discourses, all sorts of thoughts and viewpoints, all sorts of seductions and enticements from all sorts of people, all sorts of devilish faces worn by all sorts of people. These are all temptations you face. For example, people may do favors for you, make you rich, become friends with you, go on dates with you, give you money, give you a job, invite you to dance, show you courtesy, or give you gifts. All these things are possibly temptations. If things don’t go well, you will fall into the trap. If you are not internally equipped with some truth and lack any real stature, you will not be able to see these things for what they are, and they will all be traps and temptations for you. In one respect, if you don’t possess the truth, you won’t be able to see through Satan’s tricks, and you won’t be able to see the satanic faces of different kinds of people. You will not be able to overcome Satan, forsake the flesh, and attain obedience to God. In another respect, lacking the truth reality, you will be unable to resist all the varied evil currents, evil viewpoints, and absurd thoughts and sayings. When confronted with these, it will be like a sudden cold snap. Maybe you will only catch a mild cold, or maybe something more serious—you may even suffer a potentially life-threatening cold stroke.[a] Maybe you will lose your faith entirely. If you are lacking in the truth, just a few words from Satan and devils of the world of unbelievers will leave you confused and bewildered. You will question whether or not you should believe in God and whether such faith is correct. It may be that, gathering today, you are in a good state, but then tomorrow, you go home and watch two episodes of a television show. You have been lured away. At night, you forget to pray before sleeping, and your mind is completely occupied with the plot of the television show. If you continue to watch the television for two days, your heart is already far from God. You no longer wish to read God’s word or fellowship about the truth. You don’t even want to pray to God. In your heart, you are always saying, “When will I be able to do something? When can I start some important cause? My life doesn’t have to be in vain!” Is that a change of heart? Originally, you wanted to understand more about the truth so that you could spread the gospel and bear witness for God. Why have you now changed? Just by watching movies and television programs, you allow Satan to take hold of your heart. Your stature is small indeed. Do you think you have the stature to resist these evil tides? Now God shows grace to you and takes you into His house to perform your duty. Don’t forget your stature. At present, you are a flower in a greenhouse, unable to withstand the wind and rain outside. If people cannot recognize and withstand these temptations, Satan can take them captive at any time, in any place. Such is the small stature and pitiful state of man. As you do not possess the truth reality and lack understanding of the truth, all the words of Satan are as poison to you. If you give them your ear, they will be irremovably trapped inside your heart. In your heart, you say, “I will stop up my ears and seal my eyes,” but you can’t escape the temptation of Satan. You don’t live in a vacuum. If you hear Satan’s words, you won’t be able to resist. You will fall into the trap. Your prayers and curses on yourself will be of no avail. You can’t resist. Such things can influence your thoughts and influence your actions. They can block the path of your pursuit of truth. They can even control you, prevent you from expending yourself for God, render you passive and weak, and keep you far away from God. In the end, you will be worthless and despair of all hope.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only in the Frequent Reading of God’s Words and Contemplation of the Truth Is There a Way Ahead
a. Cold stroke, a term used in traditional Chinese medicine which refers to severe, potentially life-threatening, internal cold caused by external elements.
Accepting and following Christ in any country comes with some level of persecution and tribulation. You always need to act with caution and pray to and look to God, and you must also have wisdom and intelligence. Whatever country and social environment you are in, they all have a suitable environment that God has laid out and arranged for you. It all depends on whether or not one pursues the truth. A comfortable environment brings temptations for people, while persecution by torture also brings temptations and trials. Are there trials in comfortable environments then? There are also God’s trials. God has arranged this comfortable environment for you, and everything depends on how you experience it—whether you will be fully ensnared by Satan’s traps and in Satan’s temptation, or whether you will be able to triumph over it in all respects and bear witness for God, holding fast to your loyalty and duty. This all depends on how you experience it and the choices you make. Mainland Chinese brothers and sisters have an environment that’s a bit tougher, and God has given them a burden that is a bit heavier and laid out an environment for them that is a bit harsher, but He has also given them more. The tougher the environment and the greater the trials that God lays out, the more that people gain. But in a comfortable environment, people also experience temptations and trials everywhere, and God has given you much, too. If you can triumph over temptation every time you face it, then you won’t gain any less than your brothers and sisters who experience persecution by torture. This also takes pursuing the truth and having stature to overcome. For example, things like being together with your family, eating and drinking well, entertainment and enjoyment, and some social trends that comfort the flesh and cause depravity are all temptations for you. When you face these temptations, they will not only catch your eye, but also disturb and entice you. When you follow worldly things and trends, that is when Satan’s temptations, or one could also say God’s trials will arise. You will need to make a choice about how to respond to these temptations and trials, and this is when God tests people and shows them for who they are. This is the time when what God has said to you and the truths you have understood should take effect. If you are someone who pursues the truth and you have true faith in God in your heart, then you will be able to overcome these temptations and stand firm and bear witness for God in the trials that He has laid out for you. If instead of loving the truth, you love the world, you love trends, you love craving comfort and satisfying your flesh, and you love an empty life, then you will follow these worldly things. You will feel admiration for these things and be attracted to and possessed by them. Little by little, your heart will lose interest in believing in God, you will become sick of the truth, and then, in the midst of temptation, Satan will snatch you away. In a trial like this, you will have lost your testimony. There are many people who have heard a lot of sermons and are performing their duties but still feel empty inside. They still love following pop stars and famous people, keeping up with trends, watching entertainment programs on TV, and even binge-watching shows all night to the point that they become nocturnal. Some young people are even playing video games. To sum it up, they do not hesitate to pay any price and fanatically pursue these trendy things. And why do they do this? It is because they have not gained the truth. People who have not gained the truth have a certain feeling, which is that there doesn’t seem to be much difference between believing in God and not believing in Him. They still feel empty in their hearts and that there is no meaning to their lives. If they follow trends, they feel that they are more fulfilled, that there is a bit more richness to their life, and that they are a bit happier on a daily basis. If they believe in God and do not follow trends, they still feel that life is meaningless and empty. This is because they do not love the truth. You can also say confidently that these people do not understand the truth in the slightest and do not have the truth reality, and therefore they cannot live without following trends. Some people have never pursued the truth and they are unsettled even when performing their duties. They are unable to stand firm when they face temptations, and eventually they have to withdraw. Some people are quite enthusiastic and resolute when they start performing their duties, but they stop wanting to perform them when they face temptations, becoming careless and perfunctory and lacking devotion. There is no testimony in this. If they can let go of their duties as soon as they face temptations and choose whatever they prefer, then they have no testimony. If another temptation comes, they might deny God and want to follow worldly trends and leave the church. Or when another temptation comes, they start to doubt God and are not sure whether He even exists, and even come to believe that they have evolved from apes. These people have been seized completely by Satan. Caught up in all of these temptations, they do not pray to God or seek the truth. They only think of the fate of their flesh, and as a result they fail to stand firm in their testimony. Step by step, they are dragged by Satan into hell and into the abyss of death. God has given this person over to Satan, and they no longer have any chance of salvation. Tell Me, is pursuing the truth not important? (It is.) The truth is very important. What function can the truth serve? At the very least, it can help you to see through Satan’s schemes when you face temptation, to know what you should do and what you should not, and what it is that you should choose. At least it will make you know these things. The most important thing is that the truth will enable you to stand firm in temptation. You will be able to stand firm, steadfast and unwavering, while holding to the duty that God has given you, being loyal to this duty, and being able to reject Satan. You will be able to stand firm in your testimony amidst trials like Job did. This is what people should gain at the very least.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
On earth, all manner of evil spirits are forever on the prowl for a place to rest, and are endlessly searching for human corpses that can be consumed. My people! You must remain within My care and protection. Never be dissolute! Never behave recklessly! You should offer up your loyalty in My house, and only with loyalty can you mount a countercharge against the devil’s trickery. Under no circumstances should you behave as you did in the past, doing one thing in front of Me and another behind My back; if you act this way, then you are already beyond redemption. Have I not uttered more than enough words such as these? It is precisely because humanity’s old nature is incorrigible that I have had to give people repeated reminders. Do not get bored! All that I say is for the sake of ensuring your destiny! A foul and filthy place is precisely what Satan needs; the more hopelessly irredeemable and the more dissolute you are, refusing to submit to restraint, then the more those unclean spirits will avail themselves of any opportunity to infiltrate you. If you have gotten to this point, then your loyalty will be nothing but idle chatter, without any reality to it whatsoever, and the unclean spirits will gulp down your resolution and transform it into disobedience and satanic plots to be used to disrupt My work. From there, you could be smitten by Me at any time. No one understands the gravity of this situation; people all simply turn a deaf ear to what they hear, and are not the least bit cautious. I remember not what was done in the past; are you actually still waiting for Me to be lenient toward you by “forgetting” once more? Though humans have opposed Me, I will not hold it against them, for they are too small of stature, and so I have not made overly high demands of them. All I require is that they not be dissolute, and that they submit to restraint. Surely it is not beyond your capacity to meet this one stipulation, is it?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Words to the Entire Universe, Chapter 10
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 disturbance. 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 disturbance of men. Behind every step of work 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 if you do not say them, you will feel internal discomfort, and at this moment, a battle will commence within you: “Do I speak or not?” This is the battle. Thus, in everything you encounter 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, you are able to put the matter aside inside of you and the anger is naturally extinguished. Such is the effect of your cooperation with God. Everything people do requires them to pay a certain price in their efforts. Without actual hardship, they cannot satisfy God; they do not even come close to satisfying God, and they are just spouting 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. Though they may seem unimportant from the outside, 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 happens when God needs them to stand firm in their testimony to Him. Though nothing major is happening to you at the moment and you do not bear great testimony, every detail of your daily life is a matter of 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, showing others what great work He has done in people of the poorest caliber. When people come to know God and become overcomers before Satan, loyal to God to a great extent, then none has more backbone than this group of people, and this is the greatest testimony. Although you are incapable of doing great work, you are able to satisfy God. Others cannot put aside their notions, but you can; others cannot 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 cannot 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. In the future, great trials may befall you—but today, if you love God with a true heart, and if, regardless of how great the trials ahead, irrespective of what happens to you, you are able to stand firm in your testimony and are able to satisfy God, then your heart will be comforted, and you will be unafraid no matter how great the trials you encounter in the future. You cannot see what will happen in the future; you can only satisfy God in today’s circumstances. You are incapable of doing any great work and should focus on satisfying God by experiencing His words in real life, and bear strong and resounding testimony that brings shame upon Satan. Although your flesh will remain unsatisfied and will have suffered, you will have satisfied God and brought shame upon Satan. If you always practice in this way, God will open up a path before you. When, one day, a great trial comes, others will fall down, but you will still be able to stand firm: Because of the price you have paid, God will protect you so you can stand firm and not fall down.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God
What trials are you able to withstand today? Dare you say that you have a foundation, are you able to stand firm when faced with temptations? The temptations of being hunted and persecuted by Satan, for example, or of status and prestige, of marriage, or wealth, are you able to overcome these temptations? (We can more or less overcome some of them.) How many grades of temptations are there? And which grade are you able to overcome? For example, you might not be afraid when you hear that someone has been arrested for believing in God, and you may not be afraid when you see others being arrested and tortured—but when you are arrested, when you find yourself in this situation, are you able to stand firm? This is a great temptation, is it not? Say, for example you know someone, someone of pretty good humanity, who is passionate in their faith in God, who has given up family and career to perform their duty and has suffered much hardship: A day suddenly comes when they are arrested and sentenced to jail for their faith in God, and you hear that they were subsequently beaten to death. Is this a temptation of you? How would you react if this happened to you? How would you experience this? Would you seek the truth? How would you seek the truth? How, during such a temptation, would you make yourself stand firm, and understand God’s will, and from this gain the truth? Have you ever considered such things? Are such temptations easy to overcome? Are they something extraordinary? How should things that are exceptional and contradict human notions and imaginings be experienced? If you have no path, are you liable to complain? Are you able to seek the truth in God’s words and see the essence of problems? Are you able to use the truth to determine the right principles of practice? Is this not what should be found in those who pursue the truth? How can you know God’s work? How should you experience it in order to obtain the fruits of God’s judgment, purification, salvation, and perfection? What truths ought to be understood to solve people’s myriad notions and grievances against God? What are the most useful truths you should equip yourselves with, the truths that will allow you to stand firm amid various trials? How great is your stature right now? What degree of temptations are you able to overcome? Do you have any idea? If you don’t, then this is questionable. You just said that you could “more or less overcome some of them.” These are muddled words. You must be clear about the kind of stature you have, what truths you have already equipped yourselves with, what temptations you are able to overcome, what trials you are able to accept, and during which trials you should possess which truths, what knowledge of God’s work, and choose which path to satisfy God—you must have a good idea about all of this. When you encounter something that doesn’t fit with your notions and imaginings, how will you experience it? How, in such things, you should equip yourself with the truth—and with which aspects of the truth—in order to pass through smoothly, not just resolving your notions, but attaining true knowledge of God—is this not what you should seek? What kinds of temptations do you ordinarily experience? (Status, prestige, profit, money, relations between men and women.) These, basically, are the common ones. And with regard to your stature today, in which temptations are you able to keep a hold of yourself and stand firm? Do you possess the true stature of overcoming these temptations? Can you really guarantee that you will perform your duty properly, and not do anything that violates the truth, or which is disruptive and disturbing, or defiant and rebellious, or which upsets God? (No.) So what must you do to perform your duty properly? For one, you must examine yourself in all things, to see whether or not your actions are in accordance with the truth principles, to see whether or not your actions are perfunctory, whether or not there are rebellious or resisting elements. If there are, you must seek the truth to resolve them. Additionally, if there are some things you do not know about yourself, you must seek the truth to resolve them. If you are dealt with and pruned, you should accept it and submit. As long as people speak in accordance with the facts, then you absolutely cannot argue and engage in sophistry with them; only then can you come to know yourself and truly repent. People should achieve the requirements of these two aspects of things and have true entry. This way, they can achieve an understanding of the truth and enter into reality, and perform their duty to an acceptable standard.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. In Giving One’s Heart to God, One Can Obtain the Truth
In everyday life, people come into contact with all kinds of people, events, and things, and if they do not have the truth and do not pray and seek it, then they will find it hard to cast off temptation. Take relations between men and women, for example. Some people are unable to resist such temptations, and they fall as soon as they face this kind of situation. Does this not show that they are too small in stature? People who do not have the truth are pitiful like this and they do not bear any witness at all. Some people fall into temptation when they encounter situations related to money. When they see someone else with money, they complain, “How come they have so much money and I’m so poor? It’s not fair!” They complain when this happens to them, and they cannot accept it from God or submit to His orchestration and arrangement. There are also some people who are always focused on status, and when faced with this kind of temptation, they are unable to overcome it. For example, an unbeliever wants to hire them for an official position, giving them many advantages, and they are unable to stand firm. They think, “Should I do it?” They pray, and they contemplate, and then: “Yes—I have to!” They have made up their mind, and there is no point in their seeking anymore. They have clearly decided to take up this official position and gain its benefits, but they also want to come back and believe in God, fearful of losing the blessings of belief in God. So they pray to Him: “Please test me, God.” What’s left to test you about? You have already decided to take up your official position. You did not stand firm in this matter, and you have already fallen. Do you still need to be tested? You are not worthy of God’s testing. Would you, with your pitifully small stature, be up to it? There are even some despicable people who compete for any advantage they see. The Holy Spirit is right beside them, watching them to see what views they express and what their attitude is and begins to test them. Some people think to themselves, “I don’t want it, even if it is God’s kindness toward me. I have enough already, and God shows too much kindness to me. I don’t care about being well-fed and well-dressed, I only care about pursuing the truth and being able to gain God. The truth I have received was given to me by God for nothing. I’m not worthy of these things.” The Holy Spirit scrutinizes their hearts and enlightens them even more, allowing them to understand more, and to be more invigorated, and making the truth more transparent to them. Those despicable people, however, see a benefit being given out and think, “I’ll fight for it before anyone else can. If they give it to someone else and not me, I’ll give them a good scolding and give them a hard time. I’ll show them what I’m made of, and then we’ll see who they give it to next time!” The Holy Spirit sees that they are this sort and exposes them. Their ugliness is revealed, and this kind of person must be punished. However many years they may believe, it will do nothing for them. They can gain nothing! Many times, when the Holy Spirit shows kindness to people, they gain it when they do not expect it. If God does not show you kindness, your punishment will also happen when you do not expect it. This is how dangerous things are for those who do not pursue the truth.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. In Believing in God, Gaining the Truth Is Most Crucial
If you are not conscious of the temptations you encounter, but handle them poorly and can’t make the correct choices, these temptations will bring you to grief and misery. As an example, say the brothers’ and sisters’ special treatment of you includes the material perks of feeding you, clothing you, housing you, and providing your daily necessities. If what you enjoy is nicer than what they give you, you’ll look down on it, and you may spurn their gifts. However, if you met a rich man and he gave you a fine suit of clothes, saying that he does not wear it, could you stand firm in the face of such temptation? You might think over the situation, saying to yourself, “He is rich, and these clothes mean nothing to him. He doesn’t wear them anyway. If he doesn’t give them to me, he’ll just pack them away somewhere. So, I will keep them.” What do you make of that decision? (They are already enjoying the benefits of status.) Why is this enjoying the benefits of status? (Because they accepted fine things.) Is it enjoying the benefits of status just to accept the fine things offered to you? If you are offered something ordinary, but it is just what you need and so you accept it, does this also count as enjoying the benefits of status? (Yes. Whenever they accept things from others to satisfy their own selfish desires, it counts.) It seems you’re not clear on this. Have you ever thought about this: If you were not a leader and had no status, would he still offer this gift? (He wouldn’t.) He certainly would not. It is because you are a leader that he makes this gift to you. The nature of the thing has changed. This is not normal charity, and herein is the problem. If you asked him, “If I were not a leader, but simply an ordinary brother or sister, would you make such a gift to me? If this item were needed by a brother or sister, would you give it to them?” He would say, “I couldn’t. I can’t give things willy-nilly to anyone. I give it to you because you are my leader. If you did not have this special status, why would I give you such a gift?” Now see how you have failed to understand the situation. You believed him when he said he had no use for that fine suit of clothes, but he was deceiving you. His purpose is to have you accept his gift so that, in the future, you will be good to him and afford him special treatment. This is the intention behind his gift. The fact is that you know in your heart that he would never give you such a gift if you had no status, but you still accept it. With your tongue, you say “Thanks be to God. I have accepted this gift from God, it is God’s benevolence to me.” Not only do you enjoy the benefits of status, but you also take enjoyment in the things of God’s chosen people, as though they were your proper due. Is this not shameless? If man has no sense of conscience and lacks all shame, then that is the problem. Is this just a matter of behavior? Is it simply wrong to accept things from others and right to refuse them? What should you do when you encounter such a situation? You must ask this giver of gifts if what they are doing conforms to the principles. Say to them, “Let us look for guidance from God’s word or the administrative regulations of the church and see if what you are doing is in line with principles. If not, I cannot accept such a gift.” If those resources inform the giver that their action violates the principles but they still wish to give you the gift, what should you do? You must act according to principles. Ordinary people can’t overcome this. They long eagerly for others to give them more, and they wish to enjoy more special treatment. If you are the right kind of person, you should immediately pray to God when faced with such a situation, saying, “Oh God, what I’m faced with today is certainly a sign of Your good will. It’s a lesson You’ve set out for me. I’m willing to seek the truth and act according to the principles.” The temptations facing those with status are too great, and once a temptation comes, it is hard indeed to overcome. You need the protection and assistance of God; you must pray to God, and you must also seek the truth and frequently reflect on yourself. In this way, you will feel grounded and at peace. However, if you wait until after you receive such gifts to pray, will you still feel such groundedness and peace? (Not anymore.) What will God think of you then? Will your actions please God, or disgust Him? He will detest your actions. Is the problem simply one of whether you accept a thing? (No.) So, where is the problem? The problem lies in the opinions and attitude you adopt when confronting such a situation. Do you decide for yourself or do you seek the truth? Do you have any standard of conscience? Do you have a God-fearing heart at all? Do you pray to God whenever you encounter the situation? Do you first seek to satisfy your own desires, or do you first pray and seek God’s will? You are revealed in this matter. How should you handle such a situation? You must have principles to your practice. First, externally, you must refuse these special material considerations, these temptations. Even when you are offered something you especially desire or precisely the thing you need, you must likewise refuse it. What is meant by material things? Food, clothing, and shelter, and items for daily use are all included. These special material considerations must be refused. Why must you refuse them? Is doing so merely a matter of how you act? No; it’s a matter of your cooperative attitude. If you want to practice the truth, satisfy God, and shun temptation, you must first have this cooperative attitude. With this attitude, you will be able to shun temptation, and your conscience will be at peace. If you are offered something you want and you accept it, your heart will feel the reproach of your conscience, to some degree. However, due to your excuses and self-justifications, you will say that you ought to be given this thing, that it’s your due. And then, the pangs of your conscience won’t be so accurate or evident. Sometimes, your thoughts and views may sway your conscience, so that its pangs are not obvious. So, is your conscience a reliable standard? It is not. This is an alarm bell that warns people. What kind of warning does it give? That there’s no security in relying on feelings of conscience alone; one must also seek the truth principles. That is what’s reliable. Without the truth to constrain them, people can still fall into temptation, giving various reasons and excuses that let them satisfy their greed for the benefits of status. Therefore, as a leader, you should adhere in your heart to this one principle: I will always refuse, always shun, and absolutely reject any special treatment. Absolute rejection is the prerequisite for shunning evil. If you possess the prerequisite for shunning evil, you are already under the protection of God to some degree. And if you have such principles to your practice and hold fast to them, you are already practicing the truth and are satisfying God. You are already walking the correct path. When you are walking the correct path and already satisfying God, do you still require the test of your conscience? Acting according to principles and practicing the truth is higher than the standards of conscience. If someone has the determination to be cooperative and is able to act according to principles, they have already satisfied God. This is the standard God requires of men.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Resolve the Temptations and Bondage of Status
You must often come before God, eat and drink and ponder His words, accept His discipline and guidance, and learn the lesson of submission—this is very important. You must be able to submit to all the environments, people, things, and matters that God has arranged for you, and when it comes to matters you cannot quite fathom, you must frequently pray while seeking the truth; only by understanding God’s will can you find a way forward. You must have a God-fearing heart. Do what you ought carefully and cautiously, and live before God with a God-obeying heart. Quiet yourself often before Him, and do not be dissolute. At the least, when something happens to you, first quiet yourself, then rush to pray, and by praying and seeking and waiting, come to understand God’s will. Is this not an attitude of fearing God? If you fear and obey God at heart, and are able to quiet yourself before Him and grasp after His will, then with this kind of cooperation and practice, you will be protected, and you will not be tempted, nor will you do anything that disrupts or disturbs the work of the church. Seek the truth in the matters which you cannot see clearly. Do not blindly pass judgment or issue condemnations. In this way, you will not be loathed by God, or detested and rejected by Him. If you have a God-fearing heart, you will be afraid of offending Him, and should something that tempts befall you, you will live before God in terror and trepidation, and yearn to obey Him and satisfy Him in all things. It is only once you have such a practice and are able to live often in such a state, often quieting yourself before God and often coming before Him, that you will be able unconsciously to shun temptation and evil things. Without a God-fearing heart, or with a heart that is not before Him, there are some evils you will be capable of. You have a corrupt disposition, and you cannot master it, so you are capable of evil. Will the consequences not be severe if you should do such evil as constitutes a disruption and disturbance? At the least, you will be dealt with and pruned, and if what you have done is serious, God will detest and reject you, and you will be expelled from the church. However, if you have a God-obeying heart, and your heart can often be quiet before God, and if you fear and are terrified of God, will you not then be able to stay far clear of many evil things? If you fear God and say, “I am terrified of God; I’m afraid of offending Him, of disrupting His work and courting His loathing,” is this not a normal attitude and a normal state for you to have? What is it that will have given rise to your terror? Your terror will have arisen from a God-fearing heart. If you have the terror of God at heart, then you will shun and avoid evil things when you see them, and thus you will be protected. Can someone without terror of God at heart fear Him? Can they shun evil? (No.) Are they who cannot fear God and are not terrified of Him not bold people? Can bold people be restrained? (No.) And do those who cannot be restrained not do whatever occurs to them in the heat of the moment? What are the things people do when they act by their own will, by their zeal, by their corrupt disposition? As God sees them, they are evil things. So, you must see clearly that it is a good thing for man to have terror of God at heart—with it, one can come to fear God. When one has God in their heart and can fear God, they will then be able to stay far clear of evil things. Such people are they who have a hope of being saved.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only With Fear of God Can One Tread Upon the Path of Salvation
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 disturb 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.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II
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