By Xu Hong, Italy
When I was a child, my mother often took me to witch doctors of the nearby villages to burn incense, asking them to bless our family with peace.
After I got married, I learned that my husband’s family had worshiped witch doctors for more than twenty years. They worshiped the statues of three sorceresses, Guanyin, and the god of wealth, and put them in the certain place in their house according to the witch doctor’s words. They served them with offerings and burned incense every day, asking them to bless the family with peace and wealth. And I naturally joined them.
Later, my mother-in-law thought that her house was too small, and then she moved all the statues of these so-called gods to my home. In hope that I could give birth to a healthy and pretty child, and that our family could be blessed with good fortune, my whole family burned incense every day. On the first and fifteenth days of every lunar month, we laid tributes such as various fruits and meat, and so on. Especially at Chinese New Year or on festival days, we would spend several days preparing for the sacrifice, making much more offerings, and all members of the family would come to burn incense and kowtow to them.
We worshiped them with all our heart, but unexpectedly, I gave birth to a child with incurable disease in 2001. At that time, our whole family all felt pained, and then we placed all our hopes on the witch doctors. At the same time as burning incense and praying for my child at home, we turned to witch doctors who were thought of as capable.
In 2002, we were recommended a witch doctor, who said that she could heal my child’s illness. She asked us to go to her place once a week and charged 20 yuan every time. Hearing her words, I was very happy, and I thought: There is hope for my child. As long as my child can recover, I don’t care how much money we’ll spend, even if I have to borrow money from others. Thus, we all placed the hopes on the witch doctor. However, several months passed, and the illness of the child did not at all turn better despite the money we had spent. I didn’t give up and sought help from another witch doctor in our village, who said that she could cure my child. I gave her some money and went to her place about once a week with some incense and offerings every time. After several months, the illness of my child turned no better, but got more and more serious. My child became weaker and weaker and finally died young. After that, our whole family sank into pain and I bathed my face in tears all day long. I often thought: Our whole family worship these sorceresses and witch doctors so sincerely, but why did they not protect my child to be safe and sound? Is it because they are not capable enough? If so, I need to worship a more capable witch doctor, so that our family can have peace in the future.
Later, I visited many other witch doctors. Some said, “Your family met something unfortunate because the location of your ancestors’ grave is not good, which influences the next generation. So, you need to move it to a better graveyard.” Some said, “Your cellar is too empty, and that’s not good. You’d better and stop using it and seal it.” They all said that we could have a change of luck as long as we did according to their words. In order to change our fortune, we did as what the witch doctors said.
One day, a witch doctor in our village came to my home. He said that my date of birth was not good and that it would bring calamity to me. Hearing his words, I was very frightened; then I gave him one hundred yuan and asked him to help me avoid the calamity. He told me, “You need to stay in the bedroom and cannot go out for 24 hours on your birthday. You cannot expose yourself to the sunlight, so you need to cover all the windows with quilts and block up every crack in the door.” Then I did so. On my birthday morning when I was having breakfast, I suddenly saw a ray of sunshine in the bedroom. At that moment, I was scared silly and my heart thumped. I thought: Now I am finished. I failed to ward off the calamity this time; the misfortune could befall me at any time. What should I do? After that, this became an anxiety to me. I was often worried and afraid that something would suddenly happen to me and take away my life.
Not long after that, the witch doctor came again and said, “Your husband and you cannot grow old together. There will be a calamity befalling you at any time. You’d better divorce your husband, live separately with him for one year, and then remarry him. In this way, you can avoid the calamity and your husband and you will surely grow old together.” In order to avoid the calamity, I divorced my husband and then went out to work. About three months later, I went home to spend the Spring Festival with my husband. Since I hadn’t been separated from him for one year as the witch doctor said, I felt that I would encounter calamity at any time. I lived in a constant state of panic and fear, and was afraid that something bad would happen to me one day.
In December of 2008, my mother-in-law and a sister preached God’s gospel to me. I saw God’s words say, “When the earth did not yet exist, the archangel was the greatest of heaven’s angels. It had jurisdiction over all the angels in heaven; this was the authority that God granted it. With the exception of God, it was the greatest of heaven’s angels. When God later created humanity, the archangel carried out a greater betrayal toward God upon the earth. I say it betrayed God because it wanted to manage humanity and to surpass God’s authority. It was the archangel that tempted Eve into sin; it did so because it wished to establish its kingdom upon earth and to make humanity betray God and obey it instead. It saw that there were many things that obeyed it; the angels obeyed it, as did the people upon the earth. The birds and beasts, trees, forests, mountains, rivers and all things upon the earth were under the care of man—that is, Adam and Eve—while Adam and Eve obeyed it. The archangel thus desired to surpass God’s authority and to betray God. Later on it led many angels to betray God, which then became various unclean spirits.”
The sister fellowshiped with me, “Long ago, there was an archangel in heaven. God granted it some power to manage all the angels. But it wanted to be on a parity with God and compete with God for status, and wanted all the angels to listen to it, so it led many angels to betray God. Finally, because of provoking the disposition of God, the archangel and many other angels were struck down and into the air by God, becoming various unclean spirits. The substance of these unclean spirits is evil. In order to deceive people to worship them, some of them attach themselves to some people. So, some sorceresses and witch doctors can say something that normal people don’t know to deceive and fool people, misleading people to worship them as god. And some unclean spirits directly attach themselves to various things to ‘perform their miracles.’ People who cannot discern them would be deceived and fooled by them. Satan takes advantage of these ways such as face reading, fortune telling, witch-doctoring and sorcery, burning incense and worshiping Buddha, and healing illnesses to deceive people, control people, and bind people so as to make people obey its every word and worship it as god, achieving its evil purpose of controlling and afflicting people.”
Hearingand the sister’s fellowship, I just came to my senses and saw through that the substance of the sorceresses and Guanyin I worshiped and of the witch doctors and fortune tellers I used to visit is Satan and evil spirits. Over these years, I have sought help from so many witch doctors, and burned incense, and made offerings and kowtowed to the evil spirits with my family, believing that they could bless us with peace and great business. When hearing that those sorceresses could heal my child’s illness, I placed my hopes on them, spending lots of money and time worshiping them piously. But finally my child died young. Being fooled by them, I did not wake up and still attempted to worship a more capable evil spirit so as to protect my family. Listening to their deceptions, I moved the graveyard, sealed the cellar, and even divorced my husband foolishly. What’s more, because of believing their deceptions, I was afraid that the calamities would come upon me at any time, living in fear every day. Deceived and fooled by those witch doctors, I was out of my senses and felt unspeakably painful. Now, through reading God’s words, I finally understood: What I worship all day long are evil spirits that deceive and afflict us. They cannot control or change our fate, and cannot bring us any peace or happiness; instead, they can only bring us calamities and pains, and can only corrupt us, harm us, and finally devour us. Thinking back to the past, I realized that I was really blind and ignorant, and had no discernment.
Through reading God’s words, my mother-in-law and I were certain that this God we follow today is the only true God who created everything and we made a resolution to follow Him wholeheartedly in the future. So then, my mother-in-law smashed all the clay statues and the incense burners, and threw them away, no longer worshiping them and being fooled by them. However, the evil spirits did not let go of my mother-in-law easily and always disturbed her. She had a headache and vomited for a long time, and the doctor could not find out the cause of her illness. At that time, our whole family were very anxious.
Later in a meeting, the sister read to me and my mother-in-law a passage of God’s words, “After Satan was struck into the air, it concerned itself with its matters, and God concerned Himself with His own work, continuously waging war against it, all the way until. Now is the time in which Satan should be destroyed. In the beginning God gave it authority, and later God struck it into the air, but it stayed defiant. Later, upon earth, it corrupted humanity, but God was actually on earth managing humanity. God uses His management of people to defeat Satan. By corrupting people, Satan brings people’s fate to a close and harasses God’s work. On the other hand, God’s work is the salvation of humanity. … Satan, however, does not do this. It corrupts humanity; it continuously carries out its work of corrupting humanity throughout the universe. Of course, God also does His own work. He pays no attention to Satan. No matter how much authority Satan has, its authority was still given by God; God merely did not actually give it all His authority, and so no matter what it does, it cannot surpass God and is always within God’s grasp. God did not reveal any of His acts while in heaven. He merely gave Satan a small portion of authority to allow it to exercise control over the angels. Therefore, no matter what it does, it cannot surpass God’s authority, because the authority that God originally gave it is limited.”
The sister fellowshiped, “After reading God’s word, we can see: When God comes to save us, we see through Satan’s evil substance and return before Him. Seeing that we all follow God and no longer worship it, and that it can no longer control us, Satan is unwilling to be defeated. So it disturbs us and attempts to make us return to its dominion and be controlled by it. Auntie, take you for example. When you threw away those clay statues and determined not to worship witch doctors again, these evil spirits came to fool you and seek revenge against you, letting you fall ill, so as to forcibly make you return to their reign, and be controlled and afflicted by them. This is Satan’s evil intention. We know that God’s essence is good and that we mankind are created by Him. Only He loves us mankind the most and only He has the authority of ruling over everything. Satan has some power, but it is granted by God and it is forever under the dominion of God. So, as long as we trulyand rely on Him, He will surely protect us.”
Hearing the sister’s fellowship, my mother-in-law and I saw that Satan is really too mean and evil. We also saw through Satan’s scheme and firmly believed: Satan is also controlled in God’s hand and it will never be able to exceed God. So long as we rely on God, we can defeat it. If God protects us and does not allow it to afflict us, it will surely retreat and no longer dare to afflict my mother-in-law.
Later, my mother-in-law and I prayed and relied on God to give us faith every day, not giving in to Satan. A month later, my mother-in-law gradually recovered and no longer had those symptoms. She finally got rid of the bound and affliction of the evil spirits, being set free.
Later, I saw God’s words say, “From the moment you come crying into this world, you begin to perform your duty. You assume your role in the plan of God and in the ordination of God. You begin the journey of life. Whatever your background and whatever the journey ahead of you, none can escape the orchestration and arrangement that Heaven has in store, and none are in control of their destiny, for only He who rules over all things is capable of such work. Since the day man came into existence, God has been steady in His work, managing this universe and directing the change and movement of all things.”
Reading God’s words, I understood: God created us mankind. Our fate in life is predestined by Him. Only He can rule over and control our family, job, marriage, progeny, and birth, age, illness, and death. And even our everyday life is ruled over by Him. No person and no evil force can control our fate or change God’s orchestration and arrangement. I used to worship lots of witch doctors and evil spirits, attempting to change my fate through them. However, I not only did not change my fate but constantly suffered from the trickery and affliction of the evil spirits. Now, I have understood that entrusting everything to God is the wisest choice.
So, I prayed to God and entrusted everything of my family into His hand, letting Him control them. After that, I did not worry about my husband’s safety anymore. My husband’s work was very stable and our whole family lived peacefully and happily under God’s protection and care. I thanked God and praised Him from the bottom of my heart. If God had not saved us, who knows to what extent we would have been afflicted by Satan.
Later, I read God’s word and sang hymns to praise God whenever I had time and I often had meetings with my brothers and sisters. I understood more and more of the truth, feeling so released and free in my heart. I was not deceived, controlled, and bound by the deceptions of Satan anymore, and lived a very steadfast and enjoyable life every day. I deeply felt: Only by following the true God can we understand all the mysteries, see through Satan’s schemes, and avoid its afflictions. As long as we obey God’s sovereignty and arrangement, we can receive God’s care and protection, and gain true peace and joy.
A period of time later, my husband saw in the city that the sorceress who used to say that she could cure my child in the city. She was seriously ill and could only walk with the help of other two people. The wife of the sorcerer of our village once quarreled with the neighbor and was beaten to a vegetative state. Now he takes care of his wife at home every day and no one seeks help from him anymore. And the husband of another sorceress of our village had cerebral thrombosis and became hemiplegic. The witch doctors whom I used to worship couldn’t even protect themselves when calamities befell their own family. So, how could they guarantee other people’s safety and change others’ fate? At the time, I even more saw through Satan’s evil substance and had a true discernment about them, no longer being deceived or controlled by them. Meanwhile, I also saw: God’s wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s schemes. God uses evil spirits as a foil to make us discriminate between good and evil, so that we can thoroughly be saved from Satan’s influence, no longer be deceived and controlled by it, and have true knowledge ofand salvation for us.
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