Satan is the evil one, the enemy of God, that has ever wished to corrupt and devour mankind whom God created. When God performs His work to save mankind, Satan dogs His steps and causes constant interruptions and disturbances to God’s work, and that is why each and every brother and sister who has accepted God’s new work encounters the disturbances and temptations of Satan to varying degrees. As Christians, how are we to approach the temptations of Satan? Should we flee and recoil, or should we rely on God to overcome Satan? Let’s now read the experiences of Sister Zhiyuan, and within them, we will find the path we should practice.
How Fortunate I Am to Welcome the Lord’s Return!
I used to believe in Catholicism, and I would kneel each morning and night before a picture of Jesus upon the cross and recite verses of Scripture, yearning for the Lord to come soon to receive us into heaven. One day, my elder brother invited a man named Brother Liu to give us a sermon. Brother Liu preached from the Old Testament and the New Testament, all the way through to the Book of Revelation and, at the end, he testified that the Lord Jesus had returned as, Christ of the last days. Almighty God has expressed many millions of words, he told us, and has revealed mysteries that have been hidden for many thousands of years, such as how the whole of mankind has progressed through to today, how Satan corrupts man, how God performs His work to save man, what mankind’s ends and destinations are like, and so on. Brother Liu also told us that God’s work to save mankind is divided into three stages, namely the Age of Law and the Age of Grace, with the last stage being the Age of Kingdom. In the Age of Law, Jehovah God proclaimed His laws to guide mankind’s life on earth and so that people knew what sin was; in the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus sacrificed Himself for mankind and was crucified, thus absolving us of our sins; and in the final Age of Kingdom, the Lord returns to perform His last work—the work of judgment—and to express His words to eliminate our sinful nature, to enable us to be free of the bonds of sin once and for all and be purified, and ultimately to lead us into our beautiful destination. The three stages of God’s work to save mankind are closely connected one to another, with each stage of work built upon the foundation of the previous stage, and with each stage being a higher work than the last and absolutely indispensable. Through reading Almighty God’s words and by listening to Brother Liu’s fellowship, I understood some truths which I had never understood in all my years spent believing in the Lord, and my heart was filled with light and enjoyment. I became certain that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned, and I gladly accepted God’s new work.
Afterward, I often attended gatherings with my new brothers and sisters to read God’s words and learn hymns, and my heart felt a sweetness beyond compare. I felt like I had accepted God’s work of the last days too late and that there were many truths I didn’t understand, and so I read God’s words avidly every single day. I never could have imagined what would happen to me next …
I Doze While Reading God’s Words and This Causes Me Great Distress
After a week had gone by, I discovered that there was something wrong with me. I would take up my book of God’s words and open it to a page, but before I’d even read a few lines, my eyes would find it so tough going that I wouldn’t be able to keep them open. I would try hard to keep them open, but as soon as I started reading God’s words, I would start to yawn, and my eyes would water. I really wanted to read God’s words, but I would always feel so tired that I just couldn’t read on. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, so I said a prayer to God: “O God, I get tired as soon as I start reading Your words. I want to read them but I’ve got no energy. Please lead me to overcome my flesh.” After praying, I would feel a little energized, but when I took up my book of God’s words to read again, I would get sleepy again. I thought to myself: “I think this might be happening because I’ve been looking after my children all day long. I’ll read God’s words tomorrow.” But sure enough, the next day I would feel just the same. I wondered at this, and thought: “What’s wrong with me? I’m reading words of life expressed by the second coming of Jesus, so how can I be dozing off? When I believed in the Lord as a Catholic, I could close my eyes and recite passages from the Bible and not doze off, but now as soon as I start to read God’s new utterances, I get so sleepy! Could it be … I have gone astray in my faith?” But then I thought, “No, through reading Almighty God’s words and listening to Brother Liu’s fellowships over the past few days, I’ve become certain that Almighty God is the second coming of Jesus. I cannot doubt God’s work just because I doze off when I read God’s words. But how come I get so sleepy when I read God’s words?” As I pondered this, I suddenly recalled to mind a passage of God’s words a sister had read out at a gathering a few days before: “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. … As God works, Satan harasses. In the last days, it will finish its harassment; likewise, God’s work will be finished, and the kind of person God wishes to complete will be completed. God directs people positively; His life is living water, immeasurable and without limits. Satan has corrupted man to a certain degree; in the end, the living water of life will complete man, and it will be impossible for Satan to interfere and carry out its work. Thus, God will completely obtain these people. Satan still refuses to accept this now; it continuously pits itself against God, but God pays it no attention. He has said, I will be victorious over all of Satan’s dark forces and over all dark influences” (“You Should Know How the Whole of Humanity Has Developed to the Present Day” in).
The sister had given fellowship, saying, “God works to save man, but Satan dogs His steps and causes interruptions and disturbances to God’s work. Especially in this final stage of God’s work, we have been so deeply corrupted by Satan and, fettered by our sinful nature, we frequently commit sins and resist God. God expresses His words and judges us according to our needs in order to eliminate our sinful nature and to thoroughly purify and change us, and finally He leads us into our beautiful destination. Satan, however, is unwilling to admit defeat and it doesn’t want to let us turn to God and attain God’s salvation. It therefore does everything it can and employs all manner of deceitful schemes to disturb us, and it uses the weaknesses of our flesh to attack us and tempt us, like making us feel vexed or sleepy when we read God’s words, making us get sick, or causing disruptions in our families, and so on. Satan wants to make us doubt God to the point where we complain to God and betray Him, and ultimately return under the domain of Satan so that we can continue to be harmed and devoured by it—this is Satan’s sinister motive. If we encounter anything like this, we should know that it is the temptation of Satan, and we have to pray more to God and ask God to guide us and lead us. We also have to seek God’s will more and rely on God to overcome Satan’s temptations—we must not doubt God’s work. For example, when we doze off reading God’s words, we have to pray more to God and look to God and commit to Him our practical difficulties, but we also have to practically forsake our flesh, stand and sing hymns and dance in praise of God. God is almighty, and I believe that as long as we rely sincerely on God and are resolved to forsake Satan, then God will lead us to overcome Satan’s disturbances and temptations, and we will stand witness for God.”
As I recalled God’s words and the sister’s fellowship, I finally realized that my dozing off whilst reading God’s words was actually Satan trying to disturb me. It wanted to make me doubt God’s work and thereby leave God. That was a close call; I’d almost been duped by Satan! And so, at once I announced to Satan in my heart: “Satan, the more you try to disturb me, the more this proves that what I believe in is the true way, and the more I need to read God’s words. No matter how you try to disturb me, I will never fall foul of your deceitful schemes again!” Afterward, I did as the sister had said and, when I began to feel sleepy when reading God’s words, I stood up and sang some hymns, and pretty soon I didn’t feel so tired anymore. When I began to doze off again, I hurriedly knelt and prayed to God, asking God to give me strength and faith, and asking that He lead me to overcome Satan’s disturbances. This went on for many days. During this time, I prayed to God over and over, asking Him to guide me. To my surprise, God actually heard my prayers and, after a few more days, I no longer felt sleepy when reading God’s words. Moreover, the more I read them, the more I wanted to read them, and the more I read, the more I understood God’s will.
I was overjoyed, and I felt incredibly honored and fortunate to have accepted God’s work of the last days, and to have obtained the shepherding and watering of God’s words. I began to thirst even more for God’s words, hoping to arm myself with more truths, and I hoped to be able to preach the gospel and bear witness to God with my brothers and sisters in the future, so that I could bring before God all those brothers and sisters who truly believed in God and who desperately longed for the Lord’s return.