With God by My Side I Overcame Satan’s Temptation (Part 1)
I’m a Christian. If you were to ask me if I’ve encountered any difficulties throughout my journey of faith, I would say that hindrance from family has been the single greatest difficulty that I’ve experienced. This is an issue that many other new believers may be confronted with. Although I experienced weakness and pain in the face of my family’s disruption and suppression, I was able to gain some understanding and discernment of Satan’s evil essence and motives through the enlightenment and guidance of God’s words. I also really deeply experienced that no matter how Satan may hinder or disrupt me, God is always by my side, guiding me and leading me with His words. This allows me to overcome Satan at every turn and live before God.
- The First Feud
- Negative Propaganda Rears Its Ugly Head Again
- The Significance of God Secretly Working in China
- God’s Benevolence Hidden Within the Trial
The First Feud
In March 2015, I very fortunately accepted Almighty God’s gospel of the last days. I gradually came to understand some truths by gathering with other brothers and sisters and reading God’s words; I knew that God has expressed words to do the work of judgment in the last days in order to transform, to cleanse our internal satanic dispositions so that we may fully escape the binds and strictures of sin, thus attaining purification and full salvation from God. In gatherings when I heard brothers’ and sisters’ experiences and understandings of God’s words I particularly saw how, as corrupt human beings, the only way for us to cast off our corrupt dispositions and live out a true human likeness is to accept the judgment, chastisement, pruning, dealing with, trials, and refinement of God’s words and to truly reflect on and know ourselves. In every gathering when we read God’s words I felt such great enjoyment and I determined to really pursue the truth and rid myself of corruption as soon as possible. However, just as I was basking in the watering and sustenance of God’s words and was tasting His love, a temptation from Satan came upon me.
One evening while I was in the kitchen making dinner, my husband came home from work and saw that I was listening to hymns of God’s words. He strode straight into the kitchen and turned off my phone and said heatedly, “Do you realize that you believe in Almighty God?” I was shocked by him suddenly coming at me like that. I had never seen him so upset with me throughout our entire marriage—I quickly asked him what was wrong. With a serious face, he said angrily, “I’ve looked it up online. The CCP government is really cracking down on The Church of Almighty God and there are all sorts of negative comments about the church online. You’re not allowed to go to any more of those gatherings!” I looked at him and thought about how over that period of time, he had seen that since I gained my faith, my relationship with his aunt had become more and more amicable. We weren’t constantly disagreeing with each other over minor things anymore; he had really happily supported my faith. Why the sudden change? Amidst my confusion, these words of God came to mind: “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements, or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words enlightened me, allowing me to see that what I was facing that day was the start of a spiritual battle. On the surface it looked like my husband was standing in the way of my faith, but in fact, it was Satan’s disruptions that were upon me. Satan was using my husband to prevent me from believing in and following God, while God’s will was for me to look at this from the perspective of the spiritual world, see through Satan’s tricks, and be able to stand witness for God in that kind of environment.
Realizing this, I quietly prayed to God, “Oh God! My husband has been taken in by the lies spread by the CCP. How can I fellowship with him so that he gains discernment? God, I beseech You to give me wisdom so that I can expose the CCP’s tricks and be a witness for Your work.” After praying, I tamped down my unsettled feelings and said to my husband, “Don’t be so quick to judge, no matter what sort of negative propaganda you’ve seen online. Over this period of time that I’ve been around the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God, I’ve seen that everyone reads God’s words together and shares fellowship on their own personal understandings. They come to know their own corrupt dispositions and are seeking to be honest people according to God’s requirements. Whenever someone has an issue, a difficulty, everyone finds passages of God’s words to share fellowship with them and resolve the issue. Everyone supports and helps each other, just like a family. They haven’t done any illegal or immoral things. Those of us who believe in Almighty God are on the right path in life—we seek the truth, we aspire to justice and righteousness. Since you haven’t read God’s words, you don’t have a real understanding of the truth. You shouldn’t just blindly listen to the CCP’s rumors.” Seeing I was resolute, he just turned and stormed out of the room.
After dinner my husband had me watch a special report on The Church of Almighty God. It claimed that a lot of believers go travel around to preach the gospel and abandon their families. Angered by these baseless claims, I said to my husband, “They’re turning the truth on its head and planting false information! You know better than anyone whether our home has split apart or has become more harmonious since I started believing in Almighty God. I used to bicker with your aunt over little household things and always made demands of you. But since believing in God, I’ve realized from God’s words that me arguing with the two of you was being controlled by my arrogant disposition; I always wanted you guys to do things my way. I realized that I’ve been lacking the reason one should possess with proper humanity, so I started to act according to the requirements of God’s words, putting myself aside, learning to be respectful and forgiving of others, and to put myself in the other person’s shoes when something comes up. Not only has our family not fallen apart, but it’s actually become more and more harmonious. Isn’t that the case? So why do you think believers like us spread the gospel? We are created beings and we enjoy the love of God, so we want to bear witness to God’s work of the last days for more people who are living in darkness and long for God’s appearance. Isn’t that our bounden duty? Isn’t that an honorable thing? And the brothers and sisters have come to understand God’s urgent will to save mankind through reading God’s words. They’re willing to give up the pleasures of the flesh to fulfill their duties and spread God’s gospel of the last days so that more people may be able to attain God’s salvation. This is the greatest possible good deed. How could anyone say they’re abandoning their families? When the Lord Jesus came to do His work, the apostles and disciples who followed the Lord gave up their homes and jobs to spread the gospel of the Lord Jesus, ultimately spreading God’s gospel to every corner of the world. For Christians, this is a model to be upheld, but people still condemn and slander them saying that they don’t care about their families? Without those apostles and disciples spreading the Lord Jesus’ gospel, how would we have been able to accept the Lord’s salvation? Likewise, if people hadn’t spread and born witness to the Lord Jesus coming and doing new work, how could we today receive God’s salvation of the last days? The CCP government is framing and condemning brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God, saying that they’re abandoning their families to spread the gospel. Isn’t that upending right and wrong and distorting the facts?” However, my husband was in such an angry state that he wouldn’t listen to a word I had to say. He warned me that I wasn’t permitted to go to church anymore and even had me return my book to the brothers and sisters.
Negative Propaganda Rears Its Ugly Head Again
After that, seeing that I was not going to give up my faith, my husband stopped going to work and would just sit at home keeping an eye on me. He wouldn’t let me go out to gatherings or read God’s words, and he wouldn’t let me get in touch with the brothers and sisters. He even took my cellphone away. The most overboard thing he did was insist on showing me negative online propaganda every evening, but no matter what sort of evil things or fallacies they contained, I just silently prayed to God and leaned on Him, and with God’s guidance I refuted each and every one of those things. When my husband saw that what I said made sense and there was no way for him to argue with it, his attitude softened up a bit, but he still said, “Since Almighty God is so great, why do you have to keep your faith secret? Why can’t you be open about it like a big cathedral?”
Knowing that he was asking this just to be contrary really angered me and I wanted to argue with him, but I didn’t understand enough of the truth to know what to say. I really wanted to see my brothers and sisters as soon as possible to have fellowship with them, but with my husband never taking his eyes off of me I didn’t have any chance to go. I felt so constrained by him that I wanted to cry, but had no tears. I didn’t know when I’d be able to live a life of the church, plus I had to constantly listen to him repeating that horrible slander he saw online. It was so upsetting, so difficult to bear. I didn’t know how much longer that would last. I went to the bathroom every day just so I could pray and ask God for faith and strength, that my spirit could be strong, and that He would give me wisdom and provide me with the right words so that I could use the truth to strike back at Satan’s tricks and overcome my husband’s hindrances.
The Significance of God Secretly Working in China
God later opened up a path for me. I told my husband that there was a course I wanted to go take, and he agreed; since he thought that I was going to class every day, he went back to work. I lost no time getting in touch with the brothers and sisters, and when they learned about my situation they started holding gatherings for me close to my house. During one of them, I asked why God would secretly work in China in the last days, so all of us sisters prayed to God to seek the truth. One sister shared in fellowship, “God becoming flesh and appearing in China in the last days in a concealed way is what His work requires, and it’s to better save mankind. His wisdom is hidden within this as well as His love for all of humanity. Let’s read a couple passages of His words. Almighty God says, ‘‘[B]ecause in this round of God’s work God comes into the flesh and moreover is born in the dwelling place of the great red dragon, even more than before, He faces extreme danger by coming to earth this time. What He faces are knives and guns and cudgels and clubs; what He faces is temptation; what He faces are crowds wearing faces filled with murderous intent. He risks being killed at any moment’ (‘Work and Entry (4)’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘To them, God become flesh is hidden, but to those in this stream, one can say that He is open. Although in God all is open, all is revealed, and all is set free, this is only true for those who believe in Him; as far as the rest, the unbelievers, are concerned, nothing is made known. The work that is currently being done among you and in China is strictly closed off, in order to keep them from knowing. Should they become aware of this work, then all they would do is condemn it and subject it to persecution. They would not believe in it. To work in the nation of the great red dragon, this most backward of places, is no easy task. If this work were to be put out into the open, it would be impossible to continue. This stage of work simply cannot be carried out in this place. If this work were to be carried out in the open, how could they allow it to go forward? Would this not put the work under even greater risk? If this work were not concealed, but rather carried out as in the time of Jesus, when He spectacularly healed the sick and cast out demons, then would it not have long ago been “taken prisoner” by the devils? Would they be able to tolerate the existence of God? If I were to now enter into the synagogues to preach and lecture man, then would I not have long ago been dashed to pieces? And if this had happened, how could My work have continued to be carried out? The reason that no signs and wonders are openly manifested at all is for the sake of concealment. So, to unbelievers, My work cannot be seen, known, or discovered. If this stage of work were to be done in the same manner as that of Jesus in the Age of Grace, it could not be so steady as it now is. So, to work secretly in this way is of benefit to you and to the work as a whole’” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
After reading this, the sister went on in fellowship, “The Lord Jesus once said, ‘And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil’ (John 3:19). In 1 John 5:19, it says, ‘The whole world lies in wickedness.’ This is a dark and evil world that was long ago corrupted and controlled by Satan. People all adulate violence and evil; we’ve become more and more corrupt and depraved. No one loves the light or justice, and no one actively seeks God’s appearance. When God became flesh to walk among mankind, no one welcomed His arrival. Instead, many hate the truth and hate God’s work—this is a fact. Just like when the Lord Jesus was working in Judea, no one knew Him or knew His work. They just relied on their notions and imaginations, judging and condemning the Lord Jesus; they resisted the Lord’s work and ultimately colluded with the Roman government to have Him nailed to the cross. Even Judea, a nation of faith, treated God in the flesh that way, so just think of God’s second coming in the flesh in China—wouldn’t He face even greater danger? China is an atheist nation that believes in Marxism-Leninism—it adores violence and advocates taking power by force. Since the People’s Republic of China was established by the Chinese Communist Party they have confiscated and destroyed countless copies of the Bible, and they have arrested and imprisoned countless Christians. Large numbers of Christians have even been brutally tortured to the point of disability or death. With God incarnating in the last days, appearing and working in China, this nation that is madly opposed to God, if He were to openly express the truth to save mankind wouldn’t He be facing the danger of being arrested or murdered at any moment? So, His work requires that He appear and work in China in a hidden way; this is the only way He’ll be more able to save mankind.
“In fact, after the Lord Jesus officially began His work in the Age of Grace, even though He publicly preached the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, He also worked in some secret ways. Just like when the Lord Jesus healed a leper, He told him, ‘See you tell no man; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony to them’ (Matthew 8:4). Also, after He took His disciples into the territory of Caesarea Philippi, He asked them, ‘Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?’ (Matthew 16:13). When Simon Peter said that He was Christ, the Son of the living God, the Lord Jesus ordered His disciples not to tell others that He was Christ. We can see from these passages of Scripture that the Lord Jesus also used secret methods in His work primarily because of the Pharisees’ truth-hating essence. If the Lord Jesus had openly said that He was the Messiah, that He was Christ, He would have suffered even more intense resistance and condemnation from the Pharisees. He could even have been arrested and framed for something. But since the Lord Jesus was not yet done with His work, and the time for Him to be crucified had not yet come, He urged people not to tell others of what they had seen and heard after performing miracles such as healing the sick and casting out demons so that He could more effectively continue to develop His work. This was to avoid disrupting God’s work. Just the same, in the last days God is working in China in a hidden way, and all followers of God gather in secret to read God’s words and do all of the church’s work. This is what His work requires, and concealed within it is God’s wisdom as well as His love and salvation for us. Sister, God’s thinking far surpasses our own and the significance of Him doing His work of the last days in secret is very profound. We really cannot fathom it!”
Hearing this sister’s fellowship significantly brightened my heart, and I understood the meaning behind God working in secret. As humans, we are so deeply corrupted that we do not recognize God or welcome His coming. When the Lord Jesus appeared and did His work in a nation of faith, He was condemned and slandered by the Roman government and religious circles, so how could God not face even greater barriers working in a country where the atheist CCP is in control? The purpose of God working in secret is to better develop His work and provide more people with the opportunity to come before God and accept His salvation. This fully reflects the wisdom of God’s work and His genuine love for mankind!
God’s Benevolence Hidden Within the Trial
As I mulled over this period of time during which my husband had been trying absolutely everything to get me to give up my faith, a passage of God’s words suddenly occurred to me: “God does His work, God cares for a person, looks upon this person, and all the while Satan dogs His every step. Whomever God favors, Satan also watches, trailing along behind. If God wants this person, Satan would do everything in its power to obstruct God, using various evil ploys to tempt, disrupt and wreck the work God does, all in order to achieve its hidden objective” (“God Himself, the Unique IV” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After pondering these words I understood that Satan was using my husband to tempt me and disrupt me, trying to ruin my relationship with God. It was trying to get me to betray God and depart from Him, to become subject to it again so it could toy with me and trample me. Then I would ultimately be destroyed with it. Satan is so despicable—I absolutely could not fall prey to its tricks! In any case, God allowed Satan’s temptation to come upon me and His benevolence is within that. He is using these circumstances to give me true discernment on Satan’s sinister intentions to swallow people whole, so that I can hate and forsake Satan, and resolutely follow God until the very end.
Thanks to God’s guidance, I was able to see Satan’s tricks a little more clearly and I developed the resolve to forsake it as well as the confidence to undergo whatever was to come. I silently prayed to God, “Oh God! May You give me faith and strength so that when Satan once again disturbs me, I will be able to rely on the truth and do battle with Satan, stand witness, and satisfy Your will.”