Spiritual Warfare: I Rely on God to Defeat Satan (Part 2)
By Wang Lin, China
I Encounter Satan’s Deceitful Schemes Once Again
When the day of our next meeting came, more than 10 brothers and sisters had just arrived at my home when six leaders and co-workers from my old church turned up on motorcycles. Their faces were grave, and they had a haughty look about them. When I saw them, I couldn’t help but feel a little timid and afraid, and I thought to myself: “I wonder what they will do to threaten and intimidate me today. I understand too few truths and I’m not able to refute their fallacies. What if I end up deceived by them?” And so, I hurriedly said a prayer to God: “O Almighty God! Faced with these religious co-workers, I feel a little timid and I don’t know how to handle it. I ask that You protect my heart and that You give me faith, wisdom and the power of discernment so that I am not deceived by the fallacies they spread, and so that I am able to rely on You to stand witness.” After praying, my heart gradually became calm. One of the leaders of my old church said unctuously to me, “I hear that you have led brothers and sisters from our church to accept Eastern Lightning? I never thought that you, being so ardent in your pursuit, would have departed from the Lord’s way so quickly. We’ve come today to advise you with loving hearts: Turn back. We’ve all come here for your own good …” They then took out a Bible and said to me, “It says in the Bible: ‘This same Jesus, … shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven’ (Acts 1:11). ‘Behold, He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see Him’ (Revelation 1:7). The Lord departed on a white cloud, and when He returns, He will come on a white cloud. We haven’t seen the Lord coming on a white cloud, so how can you say that the Lord has returned already…?” Seeing them act so aggressively, I called on God silently in my heart, asking Him to protect my heart and lead me to stand firm in my testimony. After praying, a sister’s fellowship on the aspect of truth of the Lord’s coming came to mind, and I said to them, “There are many prophecies recorded in the Bible about the Lord’s return, and as we wait for the Lord to come, we can’t just cling solely to the idea that the Lord will come on a cloud. It says in the Bible: ‘Behold, I come as a thief’ (Revelation 16:15). ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ (Matthew 25:6). When it says, ‘as a thief,’ it means that He will come quietly and in secret, meaning that God will come among man in secret to perform His work to save man. It is prophesied in the Bible both that the Lord will come with clouds, and also that He will come in secret, so what’s the truth of the matter? We all know that the prophecies in the Bible will all be fulfilled, so then how exactly will the Lord come in the last days? Actually, the Lord’s return in the last days happens in stages. First, He comes in secret to perform His work of judgment and to complete a group of overcomers before the disasters come, and afterward God shall bring the great disasters down upon the world and He will begin to reward the good and punish the wicked. God will then come with clouds and will appear openly to all nations and peoples. At that time, the prophecy in Revelation chapter 1, verse 7 that ‘Behold, He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him,’ shall be fulfilled. Therefore, in the matter of welcoming the Lord’s return, we cannot delimit the way the Lord comes by relying on our own misconceptions and imaginings, or else we will easily miss the Lord’s return. We will even be like the Pharisees from those days who yearned for the Messiah to come, but when the Lord Jesus did come, they crucified Him upon the cross, and thus were condemned and weeded out by God. I advise you to listen well to Almighty God’s words and to first study Almighty God’s work, and not blindly condemn it!”
Just then, some brothers and sisters began to discuss quietly amongst themselves, saying, “Every day, these leaders long for the coming of the Lord. Now the Lord has come and yet they don’t seek Him or accept Him, but instead they obstruct us and harass us, and they won’t let us follow the Lord’s new work. Aren’t they resisting the Lord by doing this?” “Yes, they are! Why on earth are they doing this?” Hearing this discussion amongst the brothers and sisters, I felt a deep loathing for the speech and actions of the leaders and co-workers from my old church.
Seeing that I remained unmoved, the leader continued to try to intimidate me, saying, “You have gone astray, and you have led so many brothers and sisters astray as well. When the Lord comes, He will condemn you as a great sinner. But it’s not too late if you sincerely repent to the Lord now …” They then found some passages of scripture which they tried to explain out of context, and they spouted heretical fallacies. But I silently prayed to God so that He would lead me to discern their fallacies with the truth, and God kept my heart from being disturbed.
I said to them, “Almighty God is the embodiment of the Spirit of truth. In the last days, He expresses all truths to purify and save mankind, and He reveals all truths and mysteries, such as the mystery of God’s six-thousand-year management plan, why God performs three stages of work to save mankind, how Satan corrupts man, how God saves man, how God determines people’s ends, mankind’s future destination and how people should pursue in order to be saved and enter the kingdom of heaven. This precisely fulfills the Lord Jesus’ words: ‘However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come’ (John 16:13). Only God is the truth, the way and the life, and only God Himself can reveal to man the mysteries of His work—no human being can perform this kind of work. I remember that it says in the Bible: ‘Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert’ (Isaiah 43:19). Almighty God has now begun the Age of Kingdom and He performs the work of purifying man with words. If we do not listen, do not see and do not study His work, how then can we ascertain whether Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned or not? Wouldn’t that be too rash and too reckless of us?” The leader could think of nothing to say to refute my words and was clearly fazed by what I’d said. He pointed at me and shouted: “There’s no hope for you!” In quiet voices, they began to discuss amongst themselves, saying, “The way of Eastern Lightning is so lofty. When people hear it, they immediately get drawn in, and they follow Almighty God so steadfastly!” Hearing them say this, I thanked God from the bottom of my heart. I saw the authority of God’s words, and only by relying on the words of Almighty God was I able to see through Satan’s deceitful schemes.
These religious leaders harassed us in my home all that day, but because of God’s protection, I was able to stand firm in my testimony. They saw that I still persisted in my belief, and so they said to my non-believing husband, “If anyone else comes who believes in Eastern Lightning, you are not to receive them.” My husband was perplexed, and said, “Aren’t you all believers in God? How can you say this way is wrong while that way is right?” Seeing that my husband wasn’t heeding them, they then said some slanderous things about the work of Almighty God, and they only left when it was getting dark.
After that, these religious leaders and co-workers came to my home almost every day, and they took turns to spread their misconceptions in an attempt to obstruct me. My husband came to believe the religious leaders’ deceptions, and whenever he saw me holding a gathering, he would beat me or scold me, and he forbade me from reading my book of God’s words. Faced with this constant disruption, my heart felt very pressured, and my life also suffered great disruption, and I was harassed to the point where I became terribly upset. I couldn’t help but feel a little weak and dispirited, and I thought to myself: “Why is it so hard to believe in the true God and follow the true way? When will all this harassment come to an end? I’m under so much pressure every day that I really don’t know how I can go on.” In my pain, I could only cry out to God with all my strength: “O Almighty God! I finally get to welcome You after all this time, but these leaders and co-workers come to my home almost every day to harass me and obstruct me from accepting Your new work. They’ve also incited my husband to curtail my belief in You, and faced with this situation I just don’t know what to do. I really don’t understand. These leaders stand on their podiums and tell us often that the Lord will soon arrive, and they enjoin us to be like the wise virgins and await the Lord and welcome Him. And now You have returned, and not only do they themselves not accept You, but they do all they can to stop us from accepting You—what on earth is this all about? How can they be this way? O God! I ask that You guide me to understand Your will.”
God’s Words Guide Me to See Through to the Essence of the Religious Leaders
One evening, I went to the home of one of my sisters from the church, and it just so happened that the two sisters from The Church of Almighty God were there. When I saw them, all the oppression and unjust treatment I’d suffered over the past few days came flooding out in tears, and I confided in these two sisters about my plight and my difficulties. They comforted me and then read me two passages of God’s words: “You should know these are the last days. The devil Satan, like a roaring lion, stalks abroad, searching for people to devour” (“Chapter 28” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Be not afraid; with My support, who could ever block this road? Remember this! Do not forget! All that occurs is by My good intention, and everything is under My observation. Can you follow My word in all that you say and do? When the trials of fire come upon you, will you kneel down and call out? Or will you cower, incapable of moving forward? You must possess My courage within you, and you must have principles when it comes to facing relatives who do not believe. For My sake, however, you also must not yield to any dark forces. Rely on My wisdom to walk the perfect way; do not allow any of Satan’s conspiracies to take hold” (“Chapter 10” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
One of the sisters gave fellowship, saying, “We can see from God’s words that the further we get into the last days, the more Satan’s demons become like fierce lions, seeking people to devour wherever they go. God has now come to perform His work to save man in the last days, and it is the time when God’s six-thousand-year war with Satan will be concluded. God will utterly save mankind and destroy Satan, and so Satan frantically retaliates and does everything in its power to drag more people down to hell with it. Satan sees so many of us brothers and sisters accepting God’s work of the last days and is enraged, and so it does all it can to use these leaders from our old church to disrupt and obstruct us from accepting God’s new work and from keeping pace with His footsteps. If one of its tricks fails, then it tries another, and its aim is to steal us away from God so that we lose the final salvation—this is Satan’s sinister motive! We must be able to see through Satan’s deceitful schemes and be resolved to suffer; the more Satan harasses us in this way, the more we must stand witness for God and put Satan to shame.” After listening to God’s words and the sister’s fellowship, I thought to myself: “Yes indeed, Satan uses these leaders and does all it can to harass me and make me leave God—it really is so evil and hateful! It will not rest until it has dragged me down to hell. Since I believe in the true way and I have God as my backup, I shall not fear them and I will not suffer their bonds and restraints, lest Satan take me prisoner. I will rely on God to overcome these temptations of Satan, and I shall stand firm upon the true way.”
The sister then looked up another passage of God’s words and read aloud: “There are those who read the Bible in grand churches and recite it all day long, yet not one among them understands the purpose of God’s work. Not one among them is able to know God; still less can any one among them accord with God’s will. They are all worthless, vile people, each standing on high to lecture God. They willfully oppose God even as they carry His banner. Claiming faith in God, still they eat the flesh and drink the blood of man. All such people are devils that devour the soul of man, head demons that deliberately get in the way of those trying to step onto the right path, and stumbling blocks impeding those who seek God. They may appear of ‘sound constitution,’ but how are their followers to know that they are none other than antichrists who lead people to stand against God? How are their followers to know that they are living devils dedicated to the devouring of human souls?” (“All People Who Do Not Know God Are People Who Oppose God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
She then gave fellowship, saying, “God’s words expose the demonic essence of these religious leaders as being an essence which hates the truth and resists God. Although they may have believed in God for many years and are well-versed in the Bible, in their approach to the coming of the Lord, they not only refuse to take the initiative to seek and study the true way, but they also cling to their misconceptions and imaginings to resist and condemn God’s work of the last days, to obstruct believers from studying and accepting the true way, and they try to ruin believers’ chances to attain God’s salvation. In particular, religious leaders see more and more believers following Almighty God and not worshiping or looking to them anymore, and so in order to maintain their own positions and livelihoods, they put out all manner of rumors and fallacies, and they employ all kinds of means to do their utmost to obstruct believers from accepting God’s salvation of the last days. They also try to usurp the Lord’s sheep and keep believers tightly in their grip to make the believers treat them as God. From the attitude and the actions of these religious leaders toward God’s work of the last days, we can see that they are the wicked servants and antichrists that are exposed by God’s work of the last days. Just like the Pharisees who resisted the Lord Jesus in those days, for example. When the Lord Jesus came to perform His works, they were arrogant and conceited and they stubbornly clung to their own misconceptions and imaginings, and they refused to seek or accept the Lord Jesus, but instead they wildly condemned and resisted Him. When the Pharisees saw that more and more believers were following the Lord Jesus, they became afraid that no one would support them or look up to them anymore and felt their positions and livelihoods to be under threat, and so they did everything they could to find fault with the Lord, they judged and blasphemed the Lord Jesus, and they misled the followers of Judaism, so much so that they even joined forces with the Roman government to crucify the Lord Jesus upon the cross. The actions of the Pharisees thoroughly revealed their true colors and exposed them as being people who resisted God and hated the truth, and as genuine antichrists. The Lord Jesus therefore cursed the Pharisees, saying: ‘But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in’ (Matthew 23:13). From this, we can see that the essence of the modern-day leaders of the religious world is exactly the same as that of the Pharisees: They are of the ilk of Satan, hypocrites who hate the truth and hate God. Sister, we must be able to see this clearly and know how to discern them!”
Through reading God’s words and listening to the sister’s patient fellowship, I came to understand that those religious leaders coming again and again to harass me and obstruct me from following Almighty God were doing so with the aim of maintaining their own positions and livelihoods. They wanted to trap us and control us, so that we would follow them and satisfy their wild ambitions and desires. By doing this, weren’t they vying with God for mankind? They really were the obstacles and stumbling blocks upon the path to the heavenly kingdom, and they were so evil and despicable! If I turned back and gave up my belief because of their harassment, would that not mean that I had been caught in Satan’s deceitful scheme? “Absolutely not,” I thought. “I will never yield or surrender to the forces of Satan. I must rely on God and live by His word, and no matter how hard this path may get or how those religious leaders and co-workers may try to harass and deceive me, I will follow God staunchly till the very end.”
I Defeat Satan and Stand Witness
Afterward, the religious leaders and co-workers continued unremittingly to come to my home to harass me. Under the guidance of God’s words, however, I saw through their deceitful schemes and I knew very clearly that this was a war in the spirit world. I was no longer subject to their bonds and restraints, and no matter how they tried to harass me, my desire to follow God never wavered. They saw that I was not listening to them anymore, and so they had the fact that I had accepted Eastern Lightning printed in one of their pamphlets, and they issued it to the brothers and sisters in the church and told them all to abandon me. Seeing the religious leaders’ despicable behavior, my husband also came to have some discernment of them, and he no longer beat or scolded me. After that, I was able to read God’s words and attend gatherings without his interference.
Through experiencing over 40 days of intense spiritual warfare, I had witnessed Satan’s despicable wickedness. In order to force me to give up the true way, it really did everything it possibly could to beleaguer me, harass me and obstruct me from accepting God’s work of the last days—it really had been a ferocious spiritual war! Although I experienced pain and weakness during this time, God knew that my stature was too small and, when the religious leaders were spouting their fallacies, God enlightened me and guided me, and He arranged for brothers and sisters to fellowship God’s words with me. In this way, I was able to understand God’s will, have discernment and see through Satan’s deceitful schemes, to go from doubt to certainty, from weakness to strength, and to increase my faith in God little by little. During this fierce spiritual war, I developed much discernment and I saw that these so-called religious leaders were not people who loved the truth or longed for God to appear at all. If it hadn’t been for God revealing them in this way, I would never have been able to recognize the truth of their resistance to God and I would never have been able to see through to their antichrist essence. Thanks be to God for guiding me to see through Satan’s deceitful schemes, for saving me from the religious leaders’ bonds and restraints, and for enabling me to stand firm upon the true way! Thanks be to God!