Bible Reading Made Easy

Coming Out of the Devil’s Snare

Li Jie

As a child, I often paid visits to a witch in a neighboring village with my mom to have our fortunes told and ask for peace and security. Unknowingly, I put my trust in the evil spirits. Once, I remember, when my mother was quarreling with my father, I went to ask the witch for help. She said that at our gate there was an elm tree with “something unclean” in it and that my parents would stop quarreling if a basin of cold water was thrown on it. I thought what she said was very right. After I got home, I immediately followed what she had told me, and my parents really stopped quarreling. Since then, whenever my parents quarreled, I would throw a basin of cold water on that tree.

When I was getting married, in order for me to be safe and sound and become rich after my marriage, my family went to ask the witch and a fortune teller for guidance. And we followed their advice. I thought, “So my marriage will surely bring peace to my family and I will be successful in my career.” But two years after my marriage, my family’s coke works closed down, which left us laden with a debt of more than 200,000 yuan. I hurriedly asked one of my friends to find a first-rate physiognomist for me. When the physiognomist read my palm carefully, I was all at sixes and sevens with each change of expression on his face. After a while, he said, “It’s all right.” At his words, my overwrought heart was relieved, but I was still somewhat in doubt and so asked him whether it was really all right. He said, “Don’t worry. You are too nervous. Your family’s fortune will improve before long. But you should pay attention to one of the lines on that finger of your right hand, for when it is longer than another line, you will quarrel or fight with others. You must often watch it because it is changeable.” I impressed his words on my mind. From then on, I often observed the line on my finger, deeply fearing that something unexpected would happen and bring misfortune on me. Sometimes, when I rode on my bike, I also held out my right hand and had a look at the line; I did the same when I worked. Besides, I dealt with every person around me cautiously, deeply afraid that if not careful, I might offend someone and quarrel with him, which would put me at a disadvantage. I was so cautious, but my family’s fortune declined more than ever instead of improving.

When my son was three years old, he began to cry at midnights. No matter how we coaxed him, he just wouldn’t stop, which threw us into confusion. So I went to ask the witch for help in a hurry. After the witch did some magic on him, he didn’t cry anymore. But not long after, he began to cry again. Helpless, I took my son to the hospital, but the doctors couldn’t cure him either. So I placed my hopes on those with supernatural power again. I went everywhere inquiring where I could find such ones possessed of extraordinary healing power. Once I found one, I would call him in. During this time, I spent lots of money and expended much effort, but my son never got a radical cure and instead relapsed with increasing frequency. I thought, “Why can’t they cure my son or keep him safe and sound? Who can cure my son’s illness?”

Later, I learned that a cousin of my mother’s could provide a radical cure for this illness, so I invited him to my home. He told me many fantastic stories, and that sent a chill through me. “Never fear! I have brought the heavenly hosts and they will help you at any time,” said he. Then he ordered me to stand alone in the room, turn off the light, lift up my hand as if holding a sword, assume a commanding posture, and shout, “Hocus pocus, all gods, perform your miracles; the heavenly hosts, perform your miracles; level all demons and ghosts.” After doing this, I came out of the room and found that my whole body had broken out in a cold sweat. But when I thought that my son could get a radical cure, I felt it was worthwhile suffering this.

However, the reality countered my wish again. My son still often suffered a relapse. Seeing him cry every day, I felt very distressed, thinking, “Will my son always be like this?” During those two years, I went from place to place in search of someone to cure my son’s illness, and I called in many witches, fortune tellers, and sorcerers and spent amounts of money. But my son didn’t get any better; on the contrary, he became steadily worse.

One day, one of my good friends advised me to go and worship a (dead) locust tree on the west of our village. For his granddaughter had been in poor health, but now she was beginning to pick up, as they had carried her there and worshiped the tree. Upon hearing this, I immediately led my son before the tree and worshiped it. After that, on the first and fifteenth days of every lunar month, I would bring my son before this magic tree to burn incense and worship it on bended knees. But my son was at times well and at times ill, which exhausted me both mentally and physically. And I did not know what to do next.

Then, one of my former classmates preached Almighty God’s work of the last days to me. I told him my experience of going everywhere seeking a cure for my son’s illness in those years, and he fellowshiped with me about the differences between the true God and false gods. He also read me two passages of Almighty God’s words: “Mankind does not know who is the Sovereign of all things in the universe, much less does he know the beginning and future of mankind. Mankind merely lives, perforce, amidst this law. None can escape it and none can change it, for among all things and in the heavens there is but One from everlasting to everlasting who holds sovereignty over everything. He is the One who has never been beheld by man, the One whom mankind has never known, in whose existence mankind has never believed, yet He is the One who breathed the breath into mankind’s ancestors and gave life to mankind. He is the One who supplies and nourishes mankind for its existence, and guides mankind up to the present day. Moreover, He and He alone is whom mankind depends on for its survival. He holds sovereignty over all things and rules all living beings beneath the universe. He commands the four seasons, and it is He who calls forth wind, frost, snow, and rain. He gives mankind sunshine and brings the coming of night. It was He who laid out the heavens and earth, providing man with mountains, lakes and rivers and all the living things within them. His deed is everywhere, His power is everywhere, His wisdom is everywhere, and His authority is everywhere. … Only He knows man’s past, present and future, and only He can determine the fate of mankind” (“Man Can Only Be Saved Amidst the Management of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).

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” (“You Should Know How the Whole of Humanity Has Developed to the Present Day” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).

From God’s words, I came to know this: There is only one true God. He can create the heavens and earth and all things as well as dominate them, and moreover, He can bestow life upon man and arrange everything necessary for man’s survival. He determined laws for all things so that man can survive, reproduce, and live within these laws. His deed is everywhere; no person and no thing can go beyond His sovereignty. God has led man to this day, and He has done an infinite amount of work to save man, and has supplied man with all that he needs. The evil spirits and unclean spirits are the fallen angels that rebelled against God. After they came to the human world, some of them forcefully attached themselves to some people or things, attempting to deceive man into worshiping them as God by performing some miracles. Those fortune tellers, witches, and sorcerers are evil spirits reincarnated or people possessed by devils; they wish all men would listen to them, submit to them, and worship them as God. Such are false gods.

I thought, “In the past over ten years, whatever difficulty I met in my life, I turned to them for help. When my family’s business went broke, I relied on them for a turnaround in our fortune; when my son suffered from illness, I trusted them to heal him. But unexpectedly, the more I worshiped them, the more troubles my family had. This didn’t wake me, and I even foolishly believed that a tree could cure my son, depending on it to cure his illness.” Only at that moment did I perceive myself to be pitiful, blind, foolish, and ignorant. I was so grateful to Almighty God that His words had allowed me to see through Satan’s schemes and realize that it is by these contemptible tricks that Satan the devil deceives people, making them worship and follow it, and ultimately possessing and devouring them. I saw that these evil spirits can neither keep man safe and sound nor give man peace, and that they can only afflict, fool, and bind man, so I made up my mind not to worship them any longer. However, since I had worshiped them for more than ten years, I was still often controlled and disturbed by them when encountering problems.

On the first day of the Chinese New Year, my mother asked me, “Will you take your son to worship the locust tree this year?” At that moment, there was a fierce battle in my heart. I thought, “I didn’t take him there on the usual days. But today is the first day of the year. If I don’t go, will the evil spirits afflict us? What if my son has a relapse?” I was torn between the two alternatives inside. But then I thought, “Now I have believed in Almighty God. Only Almighty God is the one true God. The demons and Satan are in His hands. Without God’s permission, they can’t even harm a hair of my head. I should rely on God.” So I said to my mother resolutely, “No, I won’t go. It is a means by which the evil spirits and false gods do harm to us. Now I have believed in Almighty God, and I will never again worship them.” She cast me a glance and said unhappily, “If you don’t go, I will take him there.” Watching my mother take my son out, I had a wishful thinking that nothing would happen to her, so I didn’t stop her. But in less than twenty minutes after their return, my son ran to tell me, “Grandma falls ill! She lies on the bed, and half of her body is unable to move.” Hearing that, I immediately rushed to her room and found her lying on the bed motionless. Her condition was later diagnosed as cerebral thrombosis by the doctor. When I heard that, tears rolled down my face. I truly witnessed Satan’s hideous countenance: It tempts people to worship it to receive peace and protection, but the more they worship it, the more troubles they have. I thought, “In the past, I used to obey its words as the edicts of an emperor, afraid lest misfortunes befall me due to my disobedience. Now I know that its essence is to harm man, and the more man worships it, the more he will be afflicted and fooled by it. When I saw my mother take my son to the tree to worship it, I had that wishful thinking. Didn’t it show that I still doubted the almightiness and sovereignty of God? I had read so many words of God and knew clearly that there is only one true God in heaven and on earth and among all things, but I still trusted to luck. I was really too disobedient. I still wanted to worship Satan and the evil spirits while believing in God. Such deceitful nature which tries never to offend both sides is indeed detestable to God. God said, ‘On earth, all manner of evil spirits are endlessly on the prowl for a place to rest, are ceaselessly searching for the corpses of men to eat up. My people! You must remain inside My care and protection. Never behave dissolutely! Never behave recklessly! Rather, offer up your loyalty in My house, and only with loyalty can you mount a countercharge against the devil’s cunning. Under no circumstances must you behave as in the past, doing one thing before My face and another behind My back—that way you are already beyond redemption. Surely I have uttered more than enough of words like these, have I not?’ (‘The Tenth Utterance’ of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Now as Satan is frantically searching for souls to devour, I must retain my loyalty to God. Only by standing testimony for God can I humiliate Satan.” After knowing God’s will, I hastened to pray to God, “Almighty God, I thank You! From what happened to my mother, I have seen Satan’s abuse of mankind and that there are too many satanic poisons deeply rooted within me. But for Your revelation today, I would still do things that resist You though believing in You. In that case, I would be afflicted and eaten up by Satan or the evil spirits. O God! Through my experience I saw that You are a holy and righteous God, and even more, a jealous God. O God! May You keep my heart. I am determined to stand testimony for You and frustrate Satan’s plots. I’m willing to bring my mother before You through praying to and cooperating with You practically, so that she can recognize that You are the only true God, the only object of worship for man.”

In the days that followed, I often read God’s words to my mother and taught her to pray. As the days went by, she began to pick up, and before long, she was fully recovered. Since then, I have pursued the truth with diligence, attending church meetings on time and reading God’s words every day. I also committed my son’s illness into God’s hands, laying him at God’s mercy. Contrary to all expectations, he gradually got better. I felt from my heart that only by worshiping the true God can man enjoy true peace and happiness.

Thank God for His grace. Under the guidance of His words, I have come out of the devil’s snare. I have witnessed the sovereignty of Almighty God and received peace and joy that I had never had. I am no longer in a state of anxiety, no longer fearing that Satan and the evil spirits will harm us, for I know that everything of man is in God’s hands and that it is God who rules over and arranges everything of us. All that God does is salvation and love for us.

God said, “Because the essence of God is holy, that means that only through God can you walk the bright, right road through life; only through God can you know the meaning of life, only through God can you live out a real life, possess the truth, know the truth, and only through God can you obtain life from the truth. Only God Himself can help you shun evil and deliver you from the harm and control of Satan. Besides God, no one and nothing can save you from the sea of suffering so that you suffer no longer: This is determined by the essence of God. Only God Himself saves you so selflessly, only God is ultimately responsible for your future, for your destiny and for your life, and He arranges all things for you. This is something that nothing created or non-created can achieve. Because nothing created or non-created possesses an essence of God such as this, no person or thing has the ability to save you or to lead you. This is the importance of God’s essence to man” (“God Himself, the Unique VI” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words deeply touched my heart and made me see His love and compassion for man: Only God supplies man so selflessly and protects man from the harm and control of Satan and the evil spirits, so that we can grow up normally and live safely to today. And God has been laboring and preparing everything for our destiny and future. This is the unique authority and power of the Creator and Ruler of all things, which is not possessed by any created being. Only the almighty and one true God can bring man the truth, show man the bright way, and bestow eternal life upon man!

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