Spiritual Warfare Testimonies | A Breakthrough
Spiritual Warfare Testimonies | A Breakthrough
At first, I thought that handing the book of God’s words back to Sister Zhang would mean that my father would stop harassing me and that the tranquil life I once had would resume. In fact, things turned out just the opposite: Not only did I feel no peace in my heart, but instead I actually felt an inexplicable emptiness there. I was lackluster in whatever I did, and the words of Almighty God and the hymns of God’s words kept finding their way into my head at all times of the day and night. I knew Almighty God to be the Lord Jesus returned, and that the words expressed by Almighty God are the truth; however, the things the church leader said to me, and the scenes of my father and the others harassing and attacking me also kept on flashing through my mind. I was suffering badly, and I felt as if I’d fallen into a deep abyss from which I couldn’t climb out. I couldn’t eat or sleep properly, and I felt so stressed out, as if my head was about to explode. In the midst of all this pain, I knelt and beseeched God: “O God, the one true God who created the heavens and earth and all living things! I’m in a lot of pain and feel very lost right now. I know that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus, but my stature is so small and whenever I think about the harassment and attacks my father heaps upon me, I get too afraid to follow You. O God, I’m stuck at a crossroads, unable to make a decision. I don’t know what to do, so please guide me and lead me….” During the prayer, without realizing it, I suddenly started to think of these words of Almighty God: “You shouldn’t be afraid of this and that. No matter how many difficulties and dangers you face, you shall remain steady before Me; do not be obstructed by anything, so that My will can be carried out. … Be not afraid; with My support, who could ever block the road? Remember this! Remember!” (“Chapter 10” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words gave me a burst of strength that was enough to make my timid heart strong. “Yes!” I thought. “With God as my backup, what on earth is there to be afraid of? Since I’ve already determined that this is the true way, then I shouldn’t be restricted by any person, event, or thing. I must break through the forces of darkness and follow God with an unwavering determination. As a believer in God, if I’m not even able to admit my faith when confronted with the hostile forces of Satan then what kind of a believer am I? Aren’t I just surrendering to Satan and betraying God?” I then remembered how, during her fellowship, Sister Zhang had told me that the harassment from my family and the church leader was all part of a spiritual battle, and that if I chose to stand with them, then I would be falling precisely into Satan’s cunning trap. That would mean that I’d totally lose any chance of being saved and entering the kingdom of heaven. I then thought about the spiritual suffering that I’d gone through since Sister Zhang had taken the book of God’s words back. I felt that I couldn’t not have God in my life and that leaving God was even more painful than being abandoned by my family and my former church. So I picked up the phone and called Sister Zhang, and arranged a place to meet her so that I could get the book of God’s words back.
After that, whenever my husband was not at home, I’d take the opportunity to avidly read God’s words and sing hymns. The more I read the words the more I enjoyed them, and the more I sang hymns, the more relaxed and at ease I felt. My original faith was restored, and all my pain and troubles vanished like the morning mist. I felt intimately that God’s words could sustain my life, and that I could do without anything except God. Three months later, Sister Zhang took me to The Church of Almighty God to attend meetings.
Unexpectedly, my husband found out about my attending meetings at The Church of Almighty God and told my father. One evening, I was upstairs when I suddenly heard a great commotion down in the yard. I opened the curtains and broke into a cold sweat when I saw my father and four or five of his church co-workers rushing in looking like they were ready for trouble. My heart started pounding, and I quickly knelt down and called out to God: “O Almighty God, my father has brought those church guys to harass me again and I’m really afraid. O God, You know that my stature is small, so please give me faith and courage….” These words of God suddenly came to me: “You must have My courage within you and you must have principles when facing relatives who do not believe. But for My sake, you must also not yield to any of the dark forces. Rely on My wisdom to walk the perfect way; do not allow the conspiracies of Satan to take hold. Put all your efforts into placing your heart before Me and I shall comfort you and give you peace and happiness in your heart” (“Chapter 10” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words gave me faith and strength, and I no longer felt timid and afraid. I thought: “No matter how much they harass me I’m not going to fall into Satan’s trap again and be deceived by them. I was created by God. Having faith in God and following God are unalterable laws of both heaven and earth, and nobody has the right to interfere, not even the people closest to me.” Consequently, I was able to go downstairs and greet my father and his co-workers in a calm manner. As soon as they saw me, they all started talking at once. A female co-worker among them had a look of “loving concern” on her face as she said, “Fangfang, you’re such a smart person, so how come you can’t understand how we feel? We all have your best interests at heart. Don’t be so stubborn. Come before the Lord and repent, OK?” Very calmly I replied, “Sister, none of you have listened to the sermons of Eastern Lightning, neither have you read the words of Almighty God. I urge you all to investigate it properly and not just blindly condemn and resist Almighty God. All you need to do is read the words of Almighty God and then you’ll know whether or not Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus.” She replied, “We don’t dare to read that book because the content really has too much power to draw people in. It’s so easy to get sucked into it.” I said, “It’s exactly because what Almighty God expresses are all truths and because His words are the voice of God that it has the power to subdue people. Only God’s words have this kind of authority and power. The reason why people are drawn in by God’s words when they read them is because they can understand truths and gain life sustenance from reading them. Who would leave the wellspring of living water of life after finding it?” They had no reply to that, but just said a lot of stuff that blasphemed Almighty God and tried to scare me by saying I would be judged in hell if I didn’t repent. In a steely tone, I said, “You slandered The Church of Almighty God by saying ‘People who join Eastern Lightning can never leave, and if they do escape they get their noses cut off and their eyes gouged out.’ There’s not a shred of actual evidence for such a claim. It’s all rumors and malicious slander! You find me one person who has had their nose cut off or their eyes gouged out. If you can’t produce factual evidence then you’re a bunch of liars who are just out to deceive people. Almighty God’s kingdom gospel has already spread far and wide throughout China, and everyone has now heard about it. There are at least a few million Christians in The Church of Almighty God now. Of course, when the gospel is being preached there are always some people who hate the truth and who don’t accept it. But have you ever seen anyone who has had their nose cut off or their eyes gouged out? If there had been even one, the media would have immediately reported it and it would have become a national sensation. My sister and I have been purposefully harassed by you until we gave up our belief. But we appear to be fine, don’t we? You’re telling lies in order to deceive people. By believing in Almighty God, I’m following God’s footsteps and choosing the true way. I’ve done nothing wrong, so I don’t have anything to repent. My faith in Almighty God will never waver, so if you don’t want to believe that’s fine, but at least don’t try to stop me from believing. As for what my end will be, no human being has the final say, because the fate of every single person is in God’s hands. Only by keeping pace with God’s work and accepting God’s work of the last days will people have a good final destination. So don’t come harassing me again.” No sooner were the words out of my mouth than my father stood up quickly and abruptly, and in an aggressive tone of voice issued this threat: “If you keep on believing in Almighty God, then you’re no daughter of mine!”
On hearing my father’s threat to end our relationship I felt quite upset, and thought: “The truths expressed by Almighty God are indeed what the Spirit says to the churches. So why don’t you listen to them, but instead listen to the rumors and lies spread by the church leaders? How could you be like them in hating me for believing in Almighty God, and even be willing to end our relationship?” The more I thought about it, the sadder I became, but then I suddenly thought of a passage of God’s words: “God created this world and brought man, a living being unto which He bestowed life, into it. Next, man came to have parents and kin, and was no longer alone. Ever since man first laid eyes on this material world, he was destined to exist within the ordination of God. The breath of life from God supports each and every living being throughout growth into adulthood. During this process, no one feels that man is growing up under the care of God; rather, they believe that man is doing so under the loving care of his parents, and that it is his own life instinct that directs his growing up. This is because man knows not who bestowed his life, or from whence it came, much less the way in which the instinct of life creates miracles” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words enabled me to understand that even though my physical body came from my parents, the source of my life is God. “Without God’s gift of life,” I thought, “my body would just be a piece of rotting flesh, and the fact that I’m alive today is all down to God’s care and protection, otherwise I would have been swallowed up by Satan long ago. God is the source of my life, not my parents, and I can break any relationship except the one with God. My parents are not only not interested in seeking or investigating the Lord’s return, they are also one hundred percent behind the church leaders in slandering and blaspheming God’s work and trying to force me to betray God. This proves that their essence is resistant to God and in enmity to God, but I’m not going to become tainted by them and resist God. I’m going to stand by God’s side, and even if my parents disown me, I’ll still follow God till the very end, and I will stand firm and bear witness for God.” So I said to my father, “Dad, when it comes to faith in God, I obey God, not people, and I’m not swayed by emotions, either. If what you said accorded with the truth and God’s will then I would listen to you. But if you tell me to betray God, then I’ll never do what you say!” When they saw how unyielding my attitude was, they all shook their heads, stood up, and left looking dejected. At that moment, I felt that I had won a victory and I couldn’t help but praise and thank God in my heart: “O Almighty God, You are so omnipotent. It was Your words that gave me faith and courage, and that brought this thorough and humiliating defeat to Satan.”
Although the people from the religious community didn’t come to bother me again, the church leader still continued to incite my parents to harass me. Every few days they would come over to my house to urge me to change my mind, and they always insisted that I go over to the leader’s place to repent. One day, my folks came over and my father tried to use arbitrary passages from the Bible to deceive me while my mother stood to one side and tearfully pleaded with me to go to the leader’s place to repent. It really saddened me to see my mother so upset. I thought about how she had lost her mother at the age of three and was then abused by her stepmother. She had suffered a lot in her life and was now getting on in years, and I hadn’t been a very filial daughter, especially in the way I was making her worry now. Then I looked at my father’s aged face and graying hair, and that made me even sadder, and I was soon in tears. Just as I was beginning to weaken, I thought of a passage of God’s words: “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 of work that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God — behind it all is a battle” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words helped me to understand that on the surface it seemed as if my parents were harassing me, but in the spirit realm it was Satan making a wager with God. It was like when Job was undergoing God’s trials, and his wife, who played the part of one of Satan’s servants, said to him: “Do you still retain your integrity? curse God, and die” (Job 2:9). But because Job feared God and shunned evil, he scolded his wife, calling her an ignorant and stubborn woman; he did not sin with his words. He stood witness for God in front of Satan, and in Jehovah God’s eyes he was a perfect man. Now I was being harassed by my parents, who had believed all of the outright lies that the leaders were saying, and this was one of Satan’s temptations too. Satan knew that I cared a lot about my parents and was taking advantage of the opportunity to try to get to me. Satan was vainly hoping to use my empathy for my parents to make me deny and betray God, which shows just how sinister and insidious Satan is! But I wasn’t going to give Satan the satisfaction of seeing its schemes come to fruition. I wasn’t going to disappoint and sadden God, so I resolved to stand by God’s side. Following that, whatever my parents said, however they urged me, my heart was not swayed in the slightest. Seeing that I was totally unmoved, my parents left, looking very dejected.
At a later date, the church leader made my father stand in front of all of the members of their church and announce that I had been expelled from the church. The leader also made my parents stay away from me. As a result of the harassment from the church leader and my parents, my husband began to frantically persecute me. Every time I returned home from fulfilling my duties for the church, he would either beat me or shout abuse at me, and sometimes he even locked me out of our home. He would damage my electric scooter or my bicycle, and one time he even took me to the police station. I was tormented by him until I felt physically exhausted and looked totally haggard, and our neighbors in the village also began to mock and slander me. Faced with this situation, my spirit weakened and I began to feel that faith in God was too hard. I didn’t know how to proceed, and so I often knelt before God and prayed and wept, begging God to give me faith and strength. And then, on one occasion, I read these words of God: “Those who God refers to as overcomers are those who are still able to stand witness, maintain their confidence, and their devotion to God when under the influence of Satan and under siege by Satan, that is, when within the forces of darkness. If you are still able to maintain a heart of purity and your genuine love for God no matter what, you stand witness in front of God, and this is what God refers to as being an overcomer. If your pursuit is excellent when God blesses you, but you retreat without His blessings, is this purity? Since you are certain that this way is true, you must follow it until the end; you must maintain your devotion to God. Since you have seen that God Himself has come to the earth to perfect you, you should give your heart entirely to Him. No matter what He does, even if He determines an unfavorable outcome for you at the very end, you can still follow Him. This is maintaining your purity in front of God” (“You Ought to Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From God’s words I came to understand that, during the last days, God will make a group of people into overcomers. God will allow Satan to tempt people, and whether it be the CCP government’s oppression, the harassment from the religious community, abandonment by relatives, or the mockery and insults received from the general public, we believers must undergo these trials practically, because only those believers who can obey God, stay loyal to God and bear witness to God in any situation will become the overcomers who have been made by God. God had arranged these difficult situations in order to perfect me, to see if I really had faith in Him, and to see if I really was someone who truly believed in Him, who truly obeyed Him, and who was truly loyal to Him. After understanding God’s will, I went before God and made this pledge: No matter what difficulties or oppression I face, I will always follow God with determination, I will always fulfill my duties as one of God’s creatures in order to satisfy God, and I will bear victorious testimony for God in front of Satan. After that, although my husband continued frantically to harass and disturb me, I still prayed to God frequently, looked to God, equipped myself with God’s words every day, and I no longer felt any suffering in my heart. God also opened up a way out for me: My husband was punished by God on a number of occasions for persecuting me so frenziedly, and after that he didn’t dare to beat me or tamper with my bicycle again. Through these experiences, I saw God’s almightiness and sovereignty and His wonderful deeds. I saw that there isn’t any dark force that can surpass God’s authority and power, and I personally experienced the fact that as long as we rely sincerely on God and face everything that comes by relying on God’s words, then God will open up a way forward for us and will lead us to overcome Satan’s dark influence. After experiencing all of this persecution and suffering, although my physical body had suffered a little, I still felt that I’d gained so much. My faith in God went from strength to strength, and this was all God’s blessing upon me. Thank You, Almighty God!
A year later, I went with Sister Zhang to my youngest sister’s workplace and bore witness to God’s work of the last days for her again. My sister accepted it, and when I saw her take the book of God’s words, I came to have a profound appreciation for just how difficult it is for a person to be saved by God. God’s desire to save man is so real! I couldn’t stop tears of gratitude from rolling down my face, and my heart soared with thanks and praise for God! In 2006, my youngest sister and I teamed up and preached the kingdom gospel to our other sister and, following that, we were able to bring some of our other relatives before Almighty God, too. This enabled me to see that regardless of how frantic religious leaders get in fabricating falsehoods and disturbing and harassing true believers, God’s kingdom gospel will spread, and no one can stop it. God’s lambs will surely hear His voice and return before His throne. As Almighty God says: “The kingdom is expanding in humanity’s midst, it is forming in humanity’s midst, it is standing up in humanity’s midst; there is no force that can destroy My kingdom” (“Chapter 19” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Source From: The Church of Almighty God