Before, we enshrined many “gods” in my home such as the fortune god, the earth god, the door god, etc. In the beginning, I just went through the motions when enshrining them, and never took them seriously. Later, my husband criticized me for it, saying that it wouldn’t be efficacious if I didn’t worship them piously enough. Upon hearing what he said, I thought: Will these “gods” really bless us with more money, fleshly peace, and good health if we worship them? Now that my husband said so, I would do it devoutly. So whenever we had any trouble, we would unhesitatingly bow down to those “gods” for protection. We did it quite devoutly, in the hope that we could receive more blessings. Later on, I began to worship them by often offering fruits to them. Especially on festivals or special days, I was busier with the worship: I had to buy fruits and five sacrifices (pork, chicken, duck, fish, and egg) and burn a lot of joss paper to worship them. No matter how far away I went that day, I had to come back home and worship them, because I feared that I would offend those “gods” and thus receive no blessings from them if I didn’t do so. At the beginning of a year, we prayed for blessings and made many vows to those “gods.” And we had to redeem our vows to them by buying and enshrining them a lot of votive offerings at the end of a year. The older generation often said that if one made a vow but didn’t redeem it, he might incur some unexpected disasters. So it seemed that I was busy with these things every day, all year long. The enshrined sacrifice always had an awful smell and tasted bad, and I wanted to throw them away but felt it was such a waste. As my husband seldom had meals at home, I alone had to eat all of them. So, every time I forced myself to eat them all. But shortly afterwards, the next festival arrived. Things repeated like that, and I had to eat the strange-tasting food once again. Besides, every Kalends and fifteen in old style, we women needed to keep certain prohibitions. For example, we couldn’t wash our hair on those days, even though it was very dirty and stinky, otherwise, bad luck would follow. And in a few certain months of each year, we could only enjoy vegetarian meals and were not allowed to enjoy any meat dishes. Yet for the peace of my family, I tolerated all of the sufferings. However, though I had worshiped these “gods” year after year, things in my family didn’t go well: Both of my daughters-in-law were unable to have children; I myself suffered from gynecological diseases, which couldn’t be healed though I saw doctors everywhere; my husband got coronary heart disease and was likely to die at any time. This series of misfortunes plunged me deep into thought: “My husband’s family, regardless of how poor their financial condition is, have constantly been enshrining those ‘gods’ for generations and dare not neglect them in the least. Why are there still so many troubles in our family?” I began to suspect that those “gods” I worshiped were false gods. I didn’t want to enshrine them any more. But at the thought of the word “It’s easier to invite the ‘devil’ in than to send him away,” I continued enshrining them very reluctantly. Then I slid into confusion and agony unconsciously.
It lasted until one day when Almighty God’s end-time salvation came upon me. A sister preached the gospel to me and told me, “People believe in many gods, but there is only one true God. How should we discern the true God and the false? Almighty God says: ‘…mankind is not guided by a particular religious head or leader; instead the whole of mankind is led by the Creator, who created the heavens and earth, and all things, and also created mankind—and this is a fact. Although the world has several major religions, regardless of how great they are, they all exist under the dominion of the Creator, and none of them can exceed the scope of this dominion. The development of mankind, social progress, the development of natural sciences—each is inseparable from the arrangements of the Creator, and this work is not something that can be done by a particular religious head. … He who is incapable of creating the world will be incapable of bringing it to an end, whereas He who created the world will surely bring it to an end, and so if one is unable to bring the age to an end and is merely to help man to cultivate his mind, then he will surely not be God, and will surely not be the Lord of mankind. He will be incapable of doing such great work; there is only One who can carry out such work…. All work is done by this one true God, and the entire universe is commanded by this one God.’ (from The Word Appears in the Flesh) From Almighty God’s words, we see that there is only one true God who created everything and rules over all things. He is Almighty God—the Creator who governs all things in the entire universe. Only the true God can lead and supply all mankind. The development of mankind, the change of society, and the progress of natural science are inseparable from the sovereignty and designs of the Creator. Although Satan and other evil spirits claim to be ‘gods’ and can perform some signs and wonders to deceive man, they don’t possess any of God’s substance, much less can they do the work the Creator does. So we should worship the only true God alone.” Only after the sister’s fellowship was I aware that what I had worshiped was not the true God but Satan and evil spirits. Afterwards, the sister continued, “In the past we regarded all those who could perform some wonders and signs as gods. Furthermore, we categorized them into different kinds according to our own imaginations, conceptions and preferences. So we worshiped and enshrined them blindly. However, no matter how we enshrine them, they can’t bring a single favorable turn to our fates or point out the bright way to us. It is because only the true God can govern our fates and can express the truths to show us the direction to go forward, bring us the way of the transformation of life disposition, and bestow a pleasant destination upon us. However, Satan and evil spirits are incapable of doing such works, so they can’t be called God. Sometimes it seems efficacious after man worships them, for they can perform some signs and wonders beyond our capability and bring us some temporary enjoyments of the flesh. Therefore, we place hope on and cling to them, mistake them for God, and totally forget the true God and enshrine them. We have worshiped them so devoutly, but what do we obtain in the end?” Then the sister showed me a passage of Almighty God’s words: “However, those who worshiped idols and worshiped false gods lived in Satan’s bondage every day and were bound by various kinds of regulations and rules. They kept this prohibition today and that tomorrow, living without any freedom. They were like prisoners locked in cangues and chains, without any happiness. What does ‘prohibition’ represent? It represents restriction, bondage, and evil! Once a man worships an idol, he worships a false god and an evil spirit, and prohibitions follow with that: This cannot be eaten, and that cannot be eaten; this day he cannot go out, next day he cannot cook, and the following day he cannot move; even the day for wedding or funeral has to be chosen, and even the day for giving birth. What are these? These are prohibitions, are bondages to man, and are shackles with which Satan and evil spirits control man and restrict man’s spirit and body. With God, are there these prohibitions? When God’s holiness is mentioned, you should first think of this: With God, there is not any prohibition. God works and speaks by principles but without any prohibition, because God Himself is the truth, the way, and the life.” (from A Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh) God’s words made me recall that since I worshiped false gods, I lived in Satan’s bondage and restriction without any freedom: This couldn’t be done, and that couldn’t be eaten; washing the hair was not allowed today; if I’d like to go out the next day, I needed to see beforehand whether it was an appropriate day to go out and which direction was unfavorable to me. Even when I planned to attend a wedding or funeral, I had to check whether it was incompatible with my own birth year…. These prohibitions and rules like intangible shackles, controlled my every word and deed, every act and move, so much so that I couldn’t have a normal human life. Although I kept these regulations cautiously and required myself strictly according to them, many unfortunate things still happened to my family. Even if I had done my utmost to enshrine them or worshiped more “gods,” it was of no use. Not until that day when I read Almighty God’s words did I suddenly become aware that Satan and evil spirits bind our hearts through those contemptible means and mislead us into thinking that they can bestow peace to us. As a result, we keep worshiping them and begging them in order to remove our pain. Consequently, we have no place for God in our heart, betray and stay far away from the true God, thus losing God’s care and keeping. Finally Satan and evil spirits achieve their purposes of controlling man, occupying man, fooling man, and devouring man. After I knew the truth, I felt remorse for my former ignorance and naivety: I had mistaken false gods for the true God to worship but overlooked the existence of the true God. The sister went on fellowshipping with me, “With God, there is not any bondage and prohibition. All things God created for mankind are good in God’s eyes and are all prepared for man to enjoy. In God is total freedom, total release, for He is the truth, the way, and the life. From the beginning to the end, no matter whether man believes in Him or not, He gives man free choices. God just tells us what kind of people will be saved, and what kind of people will be eliminated and punished. He silently supplies man, warns man, and exhorts man with His word but never forces man to do anything. Even though God has authority and power to require man to do everything according to His will, He doesn’t do so. God is very principled in His words and actions. Only Satan compels you to do this or that and makes you restricted without any release. All that God does is treasuring, caring for, and showing mercy for mankind so that we can live in the light and enjoy everything He bestows. However, mankind would rather live in the darkness than come to the light, and they don’t worship God but worship Satan—the enemies of mankind. Isn’t this the sorrow of mankind? …” After I listened to the sister’s fellowship, I had some discernment. So I made a resolution to forsake the false gods and follow the true God, because only if I worship the true God, can I break away from the bondage and restriction of Satan’s influence of darkness and become truly liberated and free.
Will the protagonist truly forsake the false gods without delay? Please read “Forsake the False Gods and Follow the True One (II)”
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