By Chen Yu
I believed in the Lord for 8 years, and throughout that period I enjoyed the Lord’s grace and blessings. My family was safe, and I confidently awaited the return of the.
Once, my brothers and sisters preached the gospel to me, testifying that the Lord Jesus had already returned, and was the incarnate Almighty God. Through reading Almighty God’s words, I came to understand aspects of the truth regarding God’s six-thousand-year management plan, His three stages of work, and His name, which were things I didn’t understand in the past. After careful contemplation, I realized that if God hadn’t personally told us these things, who could possibly know about God’s six-thousand-year management plan or His work in? My heart verified to me that the words of Almighty God were God’s voice, and that the Lord had truly returned, so I happily accepted.
The First Temptation Comes, and I Clearly See Satan’s Sinister Intentions
Just a little over a month after I accepted God’s work of the last days, it was the end of the year, and I took my salary of a little over 3,000 yuan, which I had just received, to the market to buy my New Year’s goods. After I bought everything and counted what I had left, I realized I was short 2,100 yuan. I had no idea when or how the pickpockets had taken my money. The thought that the money I worked so hard to earn had simply vanished made me miserable, not to mention furious, and immediately following that, several questions took shape in my heart, “Isn’t God supposed to care for and protect us if we believe in Him? How could I have run into a pickpocket? I believed in the Lord for 8 years and nothing like this happened to me. How could my money be stolen just a little over a month after I accepted this stage of His work?” The more I thought, the more anxious I became.
Feeling insecure and nervous, I returned home, where weakness grew in my heart. I believed in God, so how could something like this happen to me? But then I remembered that the things said by Almighty God were things not just anyone could say, that they were God’s words, so I was right to believe! Then why wasn’t God caring for me and protecting me? I couldn’t understand, and I felt very conflicted and tormented.
Several days later, my brother came to my house for a meeting, and I told him about everything that had happened. He told me to pray to God, and to first try to calm down and understand God’s will. After that, we prayed together, and he read me a passage of, “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. 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 interference of men. Behind every step that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle.”
He fellowshiped, “Brother, from God’s words we can understand that some things appear to be done by man, but they are actually part of a spiritual battle. They are Satan’s temptations and God’s trials coming to us. If today we accept Almighty God’s work, can hear God’s words, and gain the truth from God, it means we have betrayed Satan, escaped from Satan’s camp, and returned to God’s presence. But Satan isn’t content to let us go. It knows our newis unsteady, so it creates disasters to disturb us, and to ruin our relationship with God. Its goal is to produce doubt of God within us, and then to make us deny and betray God, and finally catch us again in its snare, where it can command and control us. So, we need to see things according to God’s words. On the surface, it appears that a pickpocket stole your money, but actually this is one of Satan’s tricks. Satan wants to use this to make you deny God and quit the faith. If we become negative and weak, if we shun God, then Satan’s scheme has succeeded. This is an invisible battle in the spiritual world. It’s just like in , when God praised Job as a righteous man, but Satan didn’t believe Him, and accused Job of worshiping God because God had blessed Job, so Satan tempted Job. Job lost his mountains of sheep and cattle, his ten children, and grew boils all over his body. But in this spiritual battle, Job stayed on the path of fearing God and shunning evil, never denied God, never uttered a single complaint against God, and actually glorified and stood firm and testified for God. Satan was utterly humiliated and failed. After that, Job was called ‘a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil’ by God, and gained redoubled blessings from God. So, we need to see this matter clearly, seek the truth, and rely on God to stand firm and testify for God, otherwise we will fall for Satan’s tricks.”
After hearing the words of God and my brother’s fellowship, I suddenly realized what was happening. There was a spiritual battle behind the loss of my money, and it was Satan making a bet with God. I had often read the Book of Job, but why didn’t I understand God’s will? To stop me from acceptingin the last days, Satan had intentionally created a disaster which made me mistakenly believe it was caused by Almighty God, so I complained that God didn’t protect me and fell into weakness. If not for God’s words and my brother’s fellowship, I would almost have returned to Satan’s camp and lost God’s salvation! After experiencing the theft of my money, I saw Satan’s sinister intentions more clearly.
After our meeting, I prayed to God, saying, “Almighty God! Through today’s fellowship, I know Satan used the loss of my money to make me complain against You and leave You, and I almost fell for Satan’s trick. Now, I wish to leave behind my misunderstanding of You. I don’t want to stand on Satan’s side, I want to stand firm and testify for You, and to humiliate Satan.” After I prayed, I felt much less burdened and more secure, and I no longer lived in doubt.
The Second Temptation Comes, and I Understand My Mistaken Views of Belief in God
But Satan didn’t stop there. After some time passed, my leg suddenly became so painful that I couldn’t walk, and medicine had no effect. I worried about whether I would become crippled. I started to become weak again. I thought of how, since I had accepted God’s new work, I had read God’s word every day, but why did bad things keep happening to me? The more I thought, the lower my state became. I lived in torment, and no longer wanted to read God’s word.
Afterward, my brothers and sisters came for a meeting, and when they saw my depressed state, they considerately asked what was wrong, and then found passages of God’s word that spoke to my state and fellowshiped with me. I saw the words of God that said, “How many believe in Me only so I would heal them? … And how many believe in Me simply to receive peace and joy from Me? How many believe in Me only to demand from Me more material wealth, and how many believe in Me just to spend this life in safety and to be safe and sound in the world to come? How many believe in Me only to avoid the suffering of hell and to receive the blessings of heaven? How many believe in Me only for temporary comfort but do not seek to gain anything in the world to come? When I brought down My fury upon man and seized all the joy and peace he originally possessed, man became doubtful. When I gave unto man the suffering of hell and reclaimed the blessings of heaven, man’s shame turned into anger. When man asked Me to heal him, yet I acknowledged him not and felt abhorrence for him, man went far away from Me and sought the way of witch doctors and sorcery. When I took away all that man had demanded from Me, then all disappeared without a trace. Therefore, I say that man has faith in Me because I give too much grace, and there is far too much to gain.”
My brother fellowshiped, “God exposes our mistaken views about belief in Him. When we first, every one of us hopes to gain safety and blessings from God. We hope that our sicknesses will be cured, that we will have enough money, and that finally we will gain salvation and enter the kingdom of heaven. But when we don’t gain these things, we begin to doubt and deny God, or even leave God, but these notions of believing in God to trade with Him are mistaken. Satan uses this weak spot of ours to attack us, and by making us sick or damaging our interests, provokes problems in our relationship with God with the goal of tempting us into denying and leaving God, and finally swallowing us. So, if we don’t change our notions of believing in God to gain blessings and benefits, we will doom ourselves amidst Satan’s temptations and disturbances. The first time, a pickpocket took your money, but through reading God’s words you saw through Satan’s trick and became more determined to believe in God, but it isn’t content to quit. This time Satan is making you suffer the pain of illness and loss of security, and its goal is to make you reject God. We need to see through Satan’s tricks! God hates seeing Satan harm us, and hopes that we let go of our mistaken notions about belief in God and use His words to defeat Satan, so that Satan’s tricks lose their effectiveness on us and we can stand firm on the path of believing in God. Brother, does this fellowship help you understand?”
When I heard this, I suddenly realized, “For so many years, I’ve clung to the notion of gaining blessings in my belief in God. What I’ve been doing is trading with God, using God to achieve my own goals. My intentions in believing in God were despicable, and not at all in accord with God’s will. If I keep believing like this, how will the Lord ever receive me into His home in heaven? If not for the words of Almighty God revealing my mistaken intentions, I really would never know that my views of belief in God are wrong. I wish to put aside my mistaken views of belief in God, treat my illness correctly, believe in and worship God with an honest heart, and not give Satan an opening. I know Job had boils all over his body, he never lost heart or became disappointed, nor did he blame God for his fleshly pain. He continued to glorify God, and finally Satan was humiliated. I am hopelessly far from achieving what Job did, but my circumstances today are God’s examination of me. He wants to gain my heart, and He also wants me to use actual testimony to counter Satan’s trick. So, I will learn from Job’s example, not blame God, and stand firm and testify for God.”
He then shared a passage of God’s words with me, “People’s faith is required for when something cannot be seen by the naked eye, and your faith is required for when you cannot let go of your own notions. When you are not clear on God’s work, what is required is your faith and that you take a firm stance and stand witness.” From God’s words, I understood that when circumstances not in accord with my notions come to me, I need to confidently and resolutely stand on God’s side, and not blame or deny God, because only then will I see God’s miraculous deeds. With the encouragement of God’s words, I had the faith to overcome my sickness. I used my faith to pray and rely on God, and gradually, my leg recovered. I had overcome another of Satan’s temptations, and seen the authority and power of God’s words.
Later, the church arranged for me to lead a small group. I was very excited for the chance to practice fulfilling my duties and grow and learn with my brothers and sisters, so I accepted the commission. But this is when yet another unexpected problem arose …
The Temptation of Illness’s Torment Comes Again, God’s Words Give Me Faith
I don’t know how, but I got a strange disease on my lower body, one that was very painful and very embarrassing to talk about. I thought, I had believed in the Lord for so many years, I always stayed away from places of vice and iniquity, and I had always conducted myself honorably, so I was absolutely blindsided by this disease. How would other people see me if they found out? It was simply incredible that I would get this disease! But in my confusion, I suddenly realized that this was another one of Satan’s temptations. Only Satan could do such a despicable thing. The first two times I was tempted, it was my brothers and sisters who helped me understand God’s words and see through Satan’s tricks. This time, Satan was using this kind of shameful disease to impugn my character. It knew I would be embarrassed to tell my brothers and sisters, so it used this underhanded method to make me misunderstand and blame God. But I had already had two experiences, and this time, I didn’t fall into negativity. I knew that only God’s words can defeat Satan, so I prayed to God, “God! I know I have this disease because You allowed it. I don’t want the Satan’s tricks to make me doubt and blame You, so I ask You to guide me and help me understand Your will.”
After praying, I thought of God’s words, “The environment around us as well as the people, matters and objects, all are permitted by His throne. Do not have a complaining heart, or God will not bestow His grace upon you. When sickness happens it is due to, and His good intentions are surely behind it. Even when your body endures suffering, take no ideas from Satan. Praise God in the midst of illness and enjoy God in the midst of your praise. Do not lose heart in the face of illness, keep seeking and never give up, and God shall shine His light on you. How faithful was Job? Almighty God is an all-powerful physician! To dwell in sickness is to be sick, but to dwell in the spirit is to be well. If you have but one breath, God will not let you die.” The enlightenment and guidance in God’s word showed me what to do. God’s love was in the coming of my illness, and I couldn’t blame God because I was sick. I simply had to trust that God is almighty, and that when I recovered was entirely up to God. And, as I suffered in my illness, I had to genuinely rely on God, look to God, and learn from Job’s example. No matter what, I had to praise God and resolutely follow Almighty God. Even though my sickness caused me some pain, I didn’t blame God, and I was determined to continue to do my duties. After some time passed, this strange illness recovered on its own. I saw that God’s deeds are truly wonderful, and I thanked God from the bottom of my heart.
Time and again, I personally experienced Satan’s disturbances and temptations, but thanks to the guidance in God’s words, I had discernment of Satan’s sinister intentions. I knew that it was despicable, evil, and full of deception and tricks. Its essence is that of a demon that harms people, swallows people, and stops us from believing in or following God. Only by seeing it clearly and rejecting it could I escape its dark grasp. At the same time, I also saw the hardships and difficulty God endures to save us. As Satan harmed me, God remained by my side, using His words to lead me, help me know right from wrong and good from evil, and make me able to reject Satan and resolutely follow God. Finally I avoided all of Satan’s snares and changed my incorrect views about belief in God in the process, and Satan was humiliated and retreated. In this invisible battle, what I felt most was God’s love. In the midst of my own pain and confusion, God’s hand guided me, kept me from losing my way amidst Satan’s temptations, helped me overcome them one by one, and allowed me to stand firm and testify for God.
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Now, disasters are occurring frequently everywhere. In the Philippines, the pandemic and the famine have not passed yet and powerful Typhoon Molave, Goni and Tropical Storm Atsani have landed. Biblical prophecies of the coming of the Lord have been fulfilled. It stands to reason that the Lord has returned—so why have we yet to welcome His arrival? Will we not be plunged into the great tribulation if this carries on? And just what should we do to welcome the Lord’s coming?