24. Rising Up From Dark Oppression
By Mo Zhijian, Guangdong Province
I was born in a poor, remote mountain area where we have burned incense and worshiped Buddha for many generations. There are Buddhist temples all over the land where all the families would go to burn incense; no one had ever believed in God. In 1995, my wife and I were working in another part of the country where we started believing in the Lord Jesus; after we returned we began sharing the gospel and the number of people who accepted it slowly grew to over 100 people. Because more and more people were believing in God, it alarmed the local government. One day in 1997, the police summoned me to go to the local police station, where the chief of the County Public Security Bureau, the chief of the Security Bureau, the chief of the Bureau of Religion and the head of the police station as well as a few police officers were waiting for me. The chief of the Public Security Bureau asked me: “Why do you believe in God? Who do you have contact with? Where did the Bibles come from? Why don’t you go to the Three-Self Church for gatherings?” I said: “People were created by God, everything they enjoy is created by God, such as the sunlight, air and water; it is the law of heaven and earth that people believe in God and worship Him. The national constitution also expressly stipulates that citizens have freedom of religion; why don’t you permit us to freely believe in God?” The chief of the Bureau of Religion said: “There are limits to religious freedom, just like a little bird inside a cage; even though its wings and feet are not bound, it can only move within the cage.” When I heard him speak these fallacies, I became indignant and angrily said: “Then the national government is lying to its people!” When they heard me say this, they knew that they were wrong and didn’t have anything to say, so they just let me go home. I wasn’t aware of the substance of the CCP government’s resistance to God until 1999 when I accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days. Only through reading God’s words and experiencing even more cruel persecution from the CCP government was I able to see clearly that the CCP was the embodiment of Satan the evil spirit; it was the enemy of God as spoken of in the Bible: “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9).
Just after 5:00 in the morning of June 28, 2002, I was preparing for a gathering with some brothers and sisters when suddenly we heard a pounding noise on the door. We quickly hid the books of God’s word and then opened the door. Unexpectedly, when the door opened, a dozen or so police came rushing in. They had electric batons and guns in their hands and forced us together, making us squat down and put our hands on our heads. After these policemen restrained us, like bandits entering a village, they went into each room and made a mess of everything; they took our bedding and clothes and threw them all over the floor. In the past I had watched scenes on TV of organized crime and bandits looting and robbing, but I never expected that the “people’s police” would act just like the evil tyrants and bandits on TV. At that time I was extremely afraid and worried that they would discover the books of God’s word. I continuously prayed in my heart and asked God to watch over and protect us. After praying, I saw the marvelous deeds of God. They rummaged through the entire house and searched and confiscated our personal belongings, but they didn’t find the books of God’s word. I knew that this was God’s almightiness and protection and I knew that God was with us, and my faith in God increased. Afterward, they took us to the police station and at night, they transferred us to a detention education center and locked us up. Three days later, without any evidence, the police gave each of us a 300 yuan fine that we had to pay in order to be released. In seeing the CCP government act like such perverse predators that stripped people of their freedom of religion, I felt deep resentment and I couldn’t help but think of God’s words: “For thousands of years this has been the land of filth, it is unbearably dirty, misery abounds, ghosts run rampant everywhere, tricking and deceiving, making groundless accusations, being ruthless and vicious, trampling this ghost town and leaving it littered with dead bodies; the stench of decay covers the land and pervades the air, and it is heavily guarded. Who can see the world beyond the skies? … Religious freedom? The legitimate rights and interests of citizens? They are all tricks for covering up sin!” (“Work and Entry (8)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). In this demon metropolis that is China, the CCP government hangs banners promoting “freedom of religion and freedom of human rights,” but they wantonly arrest and persecute people who believe in God. They don’t allow people to believe in God or walk the correct path of life; they are itching to eliminate all the believers in one fell swoop. In our faith in God, we had not broken the law or done anything bad; all we did was share the gospel to allow people to come to know God and worship God, so that they could obtain the truth, be free from Satan’s affliction, and break away from their lives of darkness and pain. Yet the CCP government wouldn’t permit us to preach the gospel and wanted to arrest us, detain us and fine us, rather than do something about those evil people involved in prostitution, murder and arson, and fraud and swindling; they allowed these evil people to get away with their crimes. In light of the facts, I was able to see clearly the wicked substance of the CCP government that hates the truth, resists God, blinds people, and cheats people; they are the enemy of God.
On November 28 of that same year, a few brothers and sisters and I were sharing the gospel with a religious leader. But we were reported by a wicked person and a dozen or so police surrounded our building and broke through the door. They had guns and batons in their hands and they yelled: “Nobody move! Put your hands up!” Then, they searched our bodies and robbed of our money and valuables worth over 5,000 yuan. They ordered us to put our hands on our heads and squat facing the wall. At that time, two young sisters were afraid and I said to them: “We haven’t done anything bad, don’t be afraid.” As soon as I said that, several policemen immediately rushed upon me and beat me with their fists and feet, knocking me onto the floor. They ransacked all the rooms and turned them upside down, scattering everything around in a mess. They were more barbaric and ferocious than bandits looting a village. One sister in the room didn’t come out and a policeman rushed over and grabbed her tightly and pulled her out. Another evil policeman saw that she was quite pretty and started molesting her by groping her all over. The sister helplessly wailed, and fortunately the landlord arrived just in time to put a stop to it, which allowed the sister to escape the coercion. At this time, I could clearly see that slogans such as “The people’s police are for the people” and “The police are the guardians of the people” were all lies. These evil policemen were purely a gang of local ruffians and gangsters! From the bottom of my heart I felt even more disgust and hatred for these beasts!
Afterward, they locked us up in the police vehicle and took us to the police station. They then handcuffed us in the corridor for two days and two nights, giving us nothing to eat or drink. I could only persistently pray in my heart and ask God to guide us and give us faith and strength so that we would be able to stand witness for Him in this environment. Later, the police interrogated a brother, and when they were not satisfied with his answers, a few policemen firmly pushed him down to the ground while one evil policeman stuffed dog feces into his mouth. The brother’s mental state had been severely provoked. In seeing this miserable situation, my heart became extremely distressed and a rage flared up inside of me. I wished I could charge up and tear them to pieces, but God’s words guided me within: “I feel a bit of sympathy for My brothers and sisters also living in this land of filth, so I have developed a hatred for the great red dragon. … All of us are its victims. For this reason, I hate it from My very core and I cannot wait to destroy it. However, when I think again, this would be to no avail and it would only bring trouble to God, so I come back to these words—I set My heart on doing His will—loving God. … [T]hus live out a life full of meaning and brilliance. In this, I will be able to die without regrets, with a heart full of gratification and comfort. Would you like to do that? Are you someone with that kind of resolution?” (“The Path … (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words caused me to cool down, and in pondering God’s words, I understood God’s will. God already extremely despises these evil devils, He wishes to immediately destroy them all, but in order to make us complete, He needs to utilize the efforts of Satan. God uses its persecution to allow us to discern it, allowing us to thoroughly see the repulsive face and demonic substance of the CCP government. Thereby we can break relations with it and completely turn our sincere hearts to God. God is always enduring the CCP government’s frantic pursuit in order to obtain better results in His work, so what is it that I should suffer a little hardship so that I can obtain salvation as a created being? The enlightenment and guidance of God’s words have given me faith and strength; I want to emulate Christ and be firmly resolved to satisfy God! At this time, I only wished that God would lead and preserve us to stand witness for God through the persecutions of Satan; I wished that we could take practical action to counterattack Satan’s tricks so that it would fail shamefully.
On the third night, the police transferred us to the County Public Security Bureau and interrogated us through the night. A deputy director first used flattering words to entice me, saying: “Speak up! You have wife, kids, and parents at home who need you to take care of them; if you hurry and speak up, then you can go home, OK?” After hearing these words, I was somewhat tempted, and I thought: “If I tell them some insignificant things, then I can go and wouldn’t have to stay here and suffer.” At that moment, I was awakened by God’s words: “Toward those who showed Me not the slightest loyalty during times of tribulation, I shall be merciful no more, for My mercy only extends so far. I have no liking, furthermore, for anyone who has once betrayed Me, much less do I like to associate with those who sell out the interests of their friends. This is My disposition, regardless of who the person may be” (“Prepare Sufficient Good Deeds for Your Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Through God’s majestic words, I felt like God was gazing down at me, waiting for me to reply. This also made me realize that my thoughts were betraying God. Consequently, I quickly wiped out the thought and in stern righteousness I said: “I haven’t planned on leaving since I got here!” When the policeman saw that his trick wasn’t working, he exposed his original demonic face, and the deputy director lifted a bucket of pig slops over my head as if to pour it on me. I said to him: “This is the torture you are using to extort a confession.” When he heard me say this, he suddenly stopped and put the slops down without pouring it on me. Another evil policeman wearing leather shoes stomped on my big toe with his heel and rolled it around and around with as much pressure as he could. The acute pain transmitted throughout my entire body and I couldn’t help but cry out in pain. My clothes were soaked in sweat, but the evil policeman fumed with rage and continued to stomp and roll until my big toenail was ripped loose. By this time, my toe was already mutilated and bloody. In my extreme pain, I persistently cried out to God, asking God to protect my heart so that I wouldn’t give in to Satan and so that I would be able to stand witness for Him. Thanks be to God’s guidance and protection, in the end I said nothing. The evil police got none of the information they wanted from me, but were unwilling to give up. Later, they took me with a brother and a sister to the city’s SWAT team for further interrogation.
When we arrived at the SWAT team, the evil police forced us to strip all of our clothes off and then they handcuffed our hands and put shackles around our feet. They then forced us to skip three laps around the courtyard to humiliate us. Afterward, they separated us into prison cells. The people locked up in the prison cells were all murderers, they were all like demons and monsters. The evil police commanded the prisoners to torment me, so I kept praying to God in my heart. Because of God’s protection, the prisoners not only wouldn’t bully me, they actually took care of me. After four days, the evil police tried to force me to betray God and sell out my brothers and sisters, but I wouldn’t talk. They took me and another brother and dragged us into the courtyard where they handcuffed us and put fetters around our feet. Black bags were placed over our heads and they suspended us from a tree in the center of the courtyard. In a craze of cruelty, they placed ants all over the tree, which continuously crawled on our bodies biting us. The torture of thousands of ant bites was similar to the torture of thousands of arrows through the heart, which made death seem more appealing than living. I felt like I couldn’t hold on any longer and I didn’t know when this pain would end. In such terrible suffering, I could only pray to God to protect my heart and spirit with all my might, so that He would give me strength and the will to suffer, and keep me from betraying Him. At this time, God’s words appeared in my mind: “[S]o that My glory may fill the cosmos, all people suffer the last hardship for Me. Do you understand My will? This is the final requirement I make of man, which is to say, I hope that all people can bear strong, resounding testimony to Me before the great red dragon, that they can offer themselves up for Me a final time, and fulfill My requirements one last instance. Can you truly do this? You were incapable of satisfying My heart in the past—could you break this pattern in the final instance?” (“Chapter 34” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words caused my heart to be filled with strength. I thought about how God had become flesh and had come to earth and suffered being pursued in every possible way by the CCP government in order to save us. He had no place to call home. Today I am able to suffer with Christ; this is God’s love and is God’s exaltation for me. As long as I am able to give glory to God, I will be happy and willing to die. I relied on God’s word to get through each minute and second of the pain. We were suspended on the tree for two days and two nights. On the third day, I really couldn’t take it anymore. It was early winter at the time and it was raining and all I was wearing was a single unlined garment. I was hung from the tree by my bare feet and I had not had anything to eat or drink and was in great pain. The suffering of starvation and cold as well as the unbearable pain made me want to die; all I could do was pray to God with all my might. I was deeply afraid that because of the weaknesses of the flesh, I wouldn’t be able to handle the torment and would betray God like Judas. In the midst of my pain, I remembered the apostle Stephen from the Age of Grace. He was stoned to death by the multitude because of spreading the gospel of the Lord Jesus. Before he died, he asked God to accept his spirit. Then, I prayed to God: “Oh God, my flesh is too weak and now I have taken on more pain than I can bear. I desire that You would take my spirit, for I would rather die than betray You.” After praying, the most unexpected miracle happened: I actually had an out-of-body experience and I was brought to a field of grass. There was lush, green grass everywhere and cattle and sheep all around. My frame of mind was especially at ease and I couldn’t help but praise God aloud: “God incarnate has appeared in China, expressing the truth to judge and cleanse people. Like a sharp sword, His words are replete with authority, judging, cleansing, and bringing salvation to His people. Praise God’s almightiness and wisdom for using the great red dragon in His service, making a group of overcomers, and defeating the forces of Satan. Praise God’s righteous disposition for having been completely revealed. Praise Almighty God for being humbly hidden and so lovable! Praise Almighty God! Your deeds truly are wonderful! Praise Almighty God for the glory He has gained. The lightning flashes from the East to the West, and wise virgins are drawn to the light. People of every nation and land return before God, bowing down to worship God and accepting His judgment. Praise God for returning in the last days to bestow upon humanity the way of eternal life. Praise God’s righteous judgment for cleansing and bringing salvation to humankind. Praise God for having completed His great work and for His words having accomplished everything. All nations and all peoples are singing praise to dear Almighty God. God’s every creation comes to praise Almighty God. Praise You, Almighty God! All come to praise You! Praise You! Praise Almighty God!” (“All Nations and All Peoples Praise Almighty God” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). While I completely immersed myself in this incomparable joy and lived in the boundaries of freedom, the pain, hunger and cold of being hung from the tree as well as the pain of the biting of the ants all disappeared. When I awoke, it was already the third night and the evil police took me down from the tree. I was hung for three days and not only didn’t die, I was also full of spirit. This truly was the almighty power and miraculous protection of God! I gave heartfelt thanks and praise to God.
On the fourth day, the evil police interrogated me again and tried to force me to sell out my brothers and sisters; they also forced me to admit that I believed in a xie jiao, making me betray God and abandon the true way. Under the enlightenment of God, I thought of God’s words: “While undergoing trials, it’s normal for people to be weak, or have negativity within them, or to lack clarity on God’s will or their path for practice. But in any case, you must have faith in God’s work, and not deny God, like Job” (“Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words gave me the courage to put truth into practice and to testify of God. No matter what, I couldn’t resist God or blaspheme against God. I was undaunted and calmly said: “I believe in Almighty God, who is the only true God ruling over all things! I don’t believe in a xie jiao, you are distorting the truth and framing me!” After hearing this, one evil policeman flew into a rage and grabbed a long wooden stool and began crazily beating me to death with it. He hit me to the point that I was spitting out blood. I lay paralyzed and knocked out on the floor. Then, they splashed cold water on me to wake me up and continue beating me. During this demonic and inhuman beating, the front of my chest and my back were completely black and blue and I had suffered much internal damage. One week later, my urine was all blood and my right kidney was seriously damaged (even today it is still very painful). One month later, the evil police couldn’t find any evidence, so they made up some false materials and forced me to sign it. Then they locked me up in the city detention house. Three months later, they charged me with “undermining the enforcement of the law” and sentenced me to a year of reform through labor. At the labor camp, I lived an inhuman life. Every day I was hungry and I had to work a dozen or so hours a day. I was frequently bullied and insulted by the prison police; they were either using electric batons on me or locking me up in a small, dark room. If it were not for God watching over and protecting me, I would have been tormented to death by the evil police. On November 7, 2003, my sentence was fulfilled and I was released from the hell on earth.
After experiencing that cruel persecution, I finally saw clearly that the CCP government’s proclamations “The Communist Party is great, glorious and correct” and “China has freedom of religion” among other sayings, are really expressions in a sinister plot to deceive the public and fool the citizens. It speaks fine words and does extremely evil things. In order to ban God’s work of the last days and make China an atheistic place, it pursues and harms believers without restraint. Its level of cruelty has already reached great heights and has made people boil with anger! I really hate this old devil from the depths of my heart. I think back about how I was constantly cruelly tortured and forced into confession and cruelly tormented by demons during my interrogation process. I was knocked out on several occasions and if it weren’t for God’s protection, I would have been tortured to death by those demons. In the time of my greatest weakness, Almighty God’s words continually encouraged me: “Have you ever accepted the blessings that you were given? Have you ever sought the promises that were made for you? You will surely, under the guidance of My light, break through the stranglehold of the forces of darkness. You will surely not, in the midst of darkness, lose the light guiding you. You will surely be the master of all creation. You will surely be an overcomer before Satan. You will surely, at the downfall of the kingdom of the great red dragon, stand up amid the myriad throngs to bear witness to My victory. You will surely stand firm and unwavering in the land of Sinim. Through the sufferings you endure, you will inherit My blessings, and will surely radiate My glory throughout the entire universe” (“Chapter 19” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words became a firm shoulder for me to lean on. The enlightenment and guidance of God’s words helped me through those darkest days that dragged on and on. Even though I have experienced being arrested and persecuted multiple times by the CCP government, and my flesh has suffered ruthless cruelty and torment, I truly understand many truths that I didn’t understand in the past and I see clearly the CCP government’s reactionary, evil, and demonic substance. I have also experienced God’s true love for me and have tasted of God’s almightiness and wisdom and wonderful deeds. Furthermore, it arouses me to seek to love God and satisfy God. Today, I still fulfill my duty in the church as I did in the past; I follow God on the correct path of life, I pursue truth and seek to live a meaningful life!