At the Brink of Death, Almighty God Came to My Aid
By Wang Cheng, Hebei Province
During my time as a believer in theChrist, I was persecuted by the CCP government. The government used the “crime” of my belief in the Lord Jesus as a reason to often give me a hard time and oppress me. They even ordered the village cadres to make frequent visits to my house to inquire into my belief practices. In 1998, I accepted the work of in the last days. When I heard the words of the Creator uttered in person, I was excited and moved in a way that I can’t even describe. With the encouragement of God’s love, I made a resolution: I would follow Almighty God to the very end, no matter what. During that time, I enthusiastically attended meetings and spread the gospel, which once again attracted the attention of the CCP government. This time, their persecution of me was worse than ever. It got so bad that I couldn’t practice my faith normally in my own house and was forced to leave my home in order to fulfill my duties.
In 2006, I was responsible for the printing operations for books of. One time while transporting books, a few brothers and sisters and the printing company’s driver were unfortunately apprehended by the CCP police. All ten-thousand copies of which were in the truck were confiscated. Later on, the driver ratted out more than ten other brothers and sisters and they were all taken into custody one after another. This event caused a major stir in two provinces and the case was directly overseen by the central authorities. When the CCP government found out that I was the leader, they spared no expense, deploying the armed police force to investigate all areas of operation related to my work. They confiscated two cars and one van from the printing company we worked with and also misappropriated 65,500 RMB from the company on top of the more than 3,000 RMB they stole from the sisters and brothers who were in the truck that day. Additionally, the police also came and searched my house twice. Each time they came, they would kick down the front door, smash and break my belongings and turn my whole house inside out. They were worse than a band of roving bandits! Afterward, because the CCP government was unable to find me, they rounded up all my neighbors, friends and relatives and interrogated them about my whereabouts.
I was forced to escape to a far-flung relative’s house to evade being arrested and persecuted by the CCP government. It was beyond my wildest reckoning that the CCP police would continue to track me over such a vast distance in order to make my arrest. Yet, on the night of the third day after I had arrived at my relative’s house, a detail of around 100 officers comprised of a police unit from my home town in cooperation with the local criminal police and armed police completely surrounded my relative’s house and then proceeded to apprehend and arrest all my relatives. I was surrounded by over ten armed police officers, all with guns aimed at my head, shouting angrily, “One move and you’re dead!” Next, a few of the police officers jumped on me and all began trying to handcuff my arms behind my back. They pulled my right hand over my shoulder and then manipulated my left arm behind my back and viciously yanked my hand upward. When they were unable to cuff my hands together, they stomped down on my back and pulled even harder until my hands were finally forced together. The searing, excruciating pain was more than I could stand, but no matter how I yelled, “I can’t take the pain,” the officers showed no concern, and all I could do was pray to God to give me strength. They seized 650 RMB from me and then grilled me about where the church kept its money, demanding that I turn all funds over to them. I was absolutely irate and thought contemptuously to myself, “They call themselves ‘the People’s Police’ and ‘the protectors of people’s life and property,’ and yet the reason they’ve deployed a detail of this magnitude on such a long-distance manhunt to arrest me is not only to obstruct God’s work, but also to plunder and pocket church funds! These evil police have an insatiable lust for money. They wrack their brains and stop at nothing to fill their coffers. Who knows how many unconscionable acts they’ve committed in the pursuit of wealth or how many innocent people’s lives they’ve ruined to enrich themselves?” The more I thought about it, the angrier I became, and I vowed to myself that I would sooner die than betray God. I swore to myself that I would fight these demons until the bitter end. When one of the officers saw how I was angrily staring at them in silence, he came over and smacked me twice in the face, which caused my lips to become swollen and bleed profusely. Not satisfied with that, however, the evil policemen followed up by kicking me savagely in the legs and swearing at me until I fell to the ground. They continued to kick me around like a soccer ball as I lay on the ground until, after some indeterminate period of time, I finally passed out. When I awoke, I was already in a car headed for my hometown. They had shackled me with an enormous steel chain that attached my neck to my ankles so that I was unable to sit upright, but was forced to face downward, curled up into a fetal position, barely supported by my chest and head. When the officers saw that I was in obvious pain, they just cackled with laughter and sarcastically remarked, “Let’s see if your God can save you now!” along with some other humiliating remarks. I clearly understood that the reason they were treating me in this way was because I was a believer of Almighty God. It was just as God had said in the Age of Grace: “If the world hate you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18). The more they humiliated me, the more clearly I saw their demonic substance as enemies of God and their God-hating evil nature, which made me despise them even more. At the same time, I continually called out to God, praying, “Dear Almighty God! It is certainly by Your good intentions that You have allowed me to be apprehended by the police, and I am willing to submit to You. Today, though my fleshly body is in pain, I am willing to stand witness for You to shame the old devil. I will not submit to it under any circumstance. I pray that You give me faith and wisdom.” After finishing my prayer, I thought of this passage of God’s words: “Be quiet within Me, for I am your God, your only Redeemer. You must quiet your hearts at all times, live within Me; I am your rock, your backer” (“Chapter 26” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words gave me even greater strength and resolve. God rules sovereign over all things and man’s life and death are in His hands. With Almighty God as my staunch backup, I had nothing to fear! After this, I had renewed faith and a path to practice, and I was prepared to face the cruel torture that awaited me.
During that 18-hour-long escort back to my hometown, I lost count of how many times I passed out from the pain, but none of those police thugs showed the least bit of concern. When we finally arrived, it was past two in the morning. I felt as if all the blood in my body had congealed—my arms and legs were all swollen and numb and I couldn’t move. I heard one of the policemen say, “I think he’s dead.” One of them grabbed the steel chain and yanked down on it with brute force, causing the serrated edges to bite into my flesh. I tumbled out of the car and passed out once again from the pain. The policemen kicked me until I woke up and then yelled, “Damnit! Trying to fake death, eh? Once we’re rested up, you’re in for it!” Then they violently dragged me into a cell on death row and, as they left, said, “We arranged this cell especially for you.” Several inmates were disturbed from their sleep as I was dragged in and their vicious stares had me so scared that I cowered in a corner, afraid to move. It felt as though I had walked into some kind of hell on earth. At daybreak, the other inmates all crowded around me, looking at me as if I were some kind of alien. They all pounced at me, frightening me so much that I promptly squatted down on the floor. The commotion woke up the head prisoner—he took one look at me and said coldly, “Have your way with him, just don’t beat him to death.” The inmates responded to the head prisoner as if he had issued an imperial decree. They surged forward, ready to give me a beating. I thought to myself, “Now you’re in for it. The cops handed me over to these death-row inmates to do their dirty work—they are intentionally sending me to my death.” I felt utterly terrified and helpless, and all I could do was entrust my life to God and accept His orchestrations. Just as I was bracing myself for the beating, something incredible happened: I heard someone urgently shout, “Hold up!” The head prisoner came running over, hauled me up and looked at me for what seemed like a couple minutes. I was so scared that I didn’t even dare to look back at him. “How does a good guy like you find yourself in a place like this?” he asked. When I heard him speak to me, I took a close look at him and realized that he was a friend of a friend that I’d met one time in the past. He then addressed the other inmates, saying, “This man is my friend. If anyone touches him, you’ll have to answer to me!” Next, he hurried off to buy me a meal and helped me to get hold of various toiletries and everyday items I would need in jail. After that, none of the other inmates dared pick on me. I knew that everything that had happened was the result of God’s love and that it was God’s wise arrangement. The police had originally wanted to use the other inmates to torture me mercilessly, but they never imagined that God would move the head prisoner to help me dodge this bullet. I was moved to the point of tears and couldn’t help but cry out in praise of God in my heart, saying, “Dear God! Thanks be to You for showing me Your mercy! It was You who came to my aid through this friend when I was at my most fearful, helpless and weak, allowing me to witness Your deeds. It is You who mobilizes all things to render service to You so that those who believe in You may benefit.” In that moment, mygrew even greater, because I had personally experienced His love. Though I had been cast into the belly of the beast, God did not desert me. With God at my side, what was there to fear? My friend comforted me, saying, “Don’t be sad. No matter what you did, don’t tell them a word, even if it kills you. But you must prepare yourself mentally, and know that, given that they’ve put you in here with a bunch of death-row inmates, they’re not going to let you off easy.” From my friend’s words I felt even more that God was guiding me at every moment and that He had spoken through my cellmate to warn me of what was to come. I fully prepared myself mentally and silently vowed to myself: No matter how those demons torture me, I will never betray God!
On the second day, over ten armed police arrived and escorted me from the detention house like I was a prisoner on death row to a remote location in the countryside. The facility they took me to was a high-walled compound with a large courtyard that was heavily guarded by armed police. A placard on the main door read, “Police Dog Training Base.” Every room was filled with all different kinds of instruments of torture. It seemed that they had brought me to one of the CCP government’s secret interrogation and torture facilities. As I looked around me, my hair stood on end and I trembled with fear. The evil policemen made me stand still in the middle of the courtyard and then they released four vicious-looking, abnormally large hounds from a steel cage, pointed at me and ordered the well-trained police dogs, saying, “Go kill!” Immediately, the dogs came charging at me like a pack of wolves. I was so terrified that I squeezed my eyes shut. My ears began to ring and my mind went blank—the only thought in my head was, “O God! Please save me!” I continuously called out to God for help and, after around ten minutes, I could only feel the dogs biting at my clothes. One particularly large hound stood on my shoulders, sniffed me and then licked at my face, but he never bit me. I suddenly remembered a Bible story in which the prophet Daniel was cast into a pit of hungry lions because he worshiped God, but the lions didn’t harm him. Because God was with him, God sent an angel to close the jaws of the lions. Suddenly, a deep sense of faith welled up within me and dispelled all the fear in my heart. I had the deep conviction that all is orchestrated by God and man’s life and death are in God’s hands. Besides, if I were to be bitten to death by vicious dogs for my belief in God and die a martyr, this would be a great honor and I would have absolutely no complaints. When I was no longer constrained by fear of death and was willing to give my life to bear testimony to God, I once again witnessed God’s almightiness and miraculous deeds. This time the police rushed over to the dogs in utter hysterics, yelling, “Kill! Kill!” However, all of a sudden it was as if these highly trained hounds couldn’t understand their masters’ commands. All they did was tear at my clothes a little bit, lick at my face and then disperse. Some of the evil police tried to stop the dogs and send them to attack me again, but the dogs suddenly got scared and scattered away in all directions. When the police saw what had happened, they were all astonished and said, “How strange, none of the dogs would bite him!” I was suddenly reminded of God’s words as follows: “Man’s heart and spirit are held in the hand of God, everything of his life is beheld in the eyes of God. Regardless of whether or not you believe this, any and all things, whether living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear in accordance with God’s thoughts. Such is the way in which God presides over all things” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “God created all things, and so He makes all creation come under His dominion, and submit to His dominion; He will command all things, so that all things are in His hands. All creation of God, including animals, plants, mankind, the mountains and rivers, and the lakes—all must come under His dominion. All things in the skies and on the ground must come under His dominion” (“Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From my own experience, I had seen in real life how all things—no matter whether they are living or dead—are all subject to God’s orchestrations and all move and change with God’s thoughts. I was able to survive unscathed after being attacked by the police hounds because Almighty God had sealed their mouths shut and made it so that they didn’t dare bite me. I was profoundly aware that this had come about through God’s immense power and that God had revealed one of His miraculous deeds. Be it those police thugs, or the trained police dogs, they all had to submit to God’s authority. No one can supersede God’s sovereignty. That I had fallen into the diabolical hands of the CCP government and had experienced a trial similar to that of the prophet Daniel was no doubt because God had made an exception to exalt me and bestow His grace upon me. Through witnessing God’s almighty deeds, I came to have even greater faith in Him and vowed to fight the devil to the very end. I swore to believe in andforever and bring glory and honor to Him!
When the police were unable to achieve their desired goal using the attack dogs, they brought me to the interrogation room. They hung me by my handcuffs on the wall and I instantly felt a searing pain in my wrists, as if my hands were about to be severed off entirely. Big beads of sweat began dripping down my face. However, those police thugs weren’t done yet, and began raining savage kicks and punches down on me. As they beat me, they angrily barked, “Let’s see if your God can save you now!” They took turns beating me—when one of them got tired, another would set right in. They beat me until I was covered from head to toe with gashes and bruises and I was bleeding profusely. That night, they still hadn’t let me down from the wall and wouldn’t allow me to close my eyes. They had assigned two subordinates with tasers to watch over me. Whenever I closed my eyes, they would tase me to keep me from falling asleep. They tortured me the entire night in this way. While one of the subordinates was beating me, he stared me down with beady eyes and yelled, “When they beat you till you pass out, I’ll beat you till you wake up again!” Because of God’s enlightenment, I was completely aware of what was going on: Satan was trying to use all different kinds of torture techniques to get me to compromise myself. The idea was to torture me until my spirit was broken and I lost control of my mental faculties, at which point I might divulge the information they were looking for. Then they could arrest God’s chosen people, disrupt God’s work in the last days, and plunder and seize’s assets to enrich their own coffers—these were the wild ambitions of their beastly nature. I gritted my teeth and withstood the pain. I swore to myself that I wouldn’t make a compromise with them even if it meant my being hung to death. The next morning, at daybreak, they still showed no signs that they would be letting me down and I was already completely exhausted; I felt as though I’d be better off dead, and I no longer had the willpower to keep going. All I could do was to call out to God for help, praying, “O God! I know that I deserve to suffer, but my body is so weak and I really can’t last much longer. While I’m still breathing and conscious, I want to ask that You escort my soul from this world. I don’t want to become a Judas and betray You.” Just as I was on the verge of breaking down, God’s word once again enlightened and guided me: “‘Coming into flesh this time is like falling into the tiger’s den.’ What this means is that because this round of God’s work has God coming into flesh and being born in the dwelling place of the great red dragon, His coming to earth this time is accompanied even more so with extreme dangers. What He faces are knives and guns and clubs; what He faces is temptation; what He faces are crowds wearing murderous looks. He risks being killed at any moment” (“Work and Entry (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God is the supreme Sovereign of all creation—coming down amongst the most profoundly corrupted of all mankind in order to save us was already an incredible humiliation, but He also had to endure all manner of persecution at the hands of the CCP government. The suffering that God has undergone is truly immense. If God has endured all this pain and suffering, why couldn’t I sacrifice myself for Him? The only reason I was still alive was because of God’s protection and care, without which I would have been tortured to death by this demonic band long ago. In that demon’s den, though those fiends used every method at their disposal to inflict cruel torture upon me, yet God was with me, and every time I made it through one bout of torture I would witness God’s miraculous deeds, as well as His salvation and protection. I thought to myself, “God has done so much for me, how ought I to comfort His heart? Given that God has granted me this opportunity today, I should continue to live for God!” At that moment, God’s love reawakened my conscience and I deeply felt that I must satisfy God no matter what. I affirmed to myself, “It is my honor to suffer alongside Christ today!” Seeing that I still wasn’t talking and hadn’t begged for mercy, but afraid that I might die in this place without divulging any information and they would then be in trouble with their superiors, the evil policemen stopped beating me. After that, I was hung from a wall by my handcuffs and left there for another two days and two nights.
During that time, it was bitterly cold, I was soaked to the skin, my clothes were too thin to provide any insulation, I hadn’t eaten for several days and I was hungry and cold—I really couldn’t take it anymore. Just as I was on the verge of breaking down, that gang of police thugs seized on my diminished state to hatch another conniving plot: They brought in a psychologist to try to brainwash me. He said, “You’re still young and you’ve got your parents and children to support. After you were brought in, your fellow believers, and especially the leaders of your church, haven’t shown the slightest bit of concern and yet here you are suffering for them. Don’t you think you’re being a bit foolish? These police have had no choice but to torture you….” Listening to his lies, I thought to myself, “If my brothers and sisters were to come see me here, wouldn’t that be tantamount to turning themselves in? You’re just saying this to deceive me, to sow discord between me and my brothers and sisters, and to make me misunderstand, blame and abandon God. I’m not going to fall for it!” After that, they brought out food and drink for me, trying to woo me with their apparent generosity. Faced with the sudden “kindness” of these police thugs, my heart clung even closer to God, because I knew that I was at my weakest in that moment, and Satan was ready to pounce whenever the opportunity presented itself. My experiences during those days allowed me to see through to the substance of the CCP government. No matter how it pretended to be kind and caring, its evil, reactionary and demonic substance was unchanging. The devil’s strategy of “conversion through loving compassion” only further exposed the depths of its treachery and deceitfulness. Thanks be to God, for guiding me to see through Satan’s cunning plot. In the end, the psychologist failed to make any headway and shook his head, saying, “I can’t get anything out of him. He’s stubborn as a mule, a hopeless case!” With that, he left in dejection. Seeing Satan flee in defeat, my heart filled with an indescribable joy!
When those wicked policemen saw that their soft tactics had failed, they immediately revealed their true colors, once again hanging me from the wall for another whole day. That night, as I hung there shaking in the cold, my hands in such pain that it felt as if they would break off, I thought to myself in my delirium that I really might not make it. Just then, several officers entered and I was once again left wondering what kind of torment they had in store for me. In my weakness, I again prayed to God, saying, “O God, You know I am weak and I really can’t take it any longer. Please take my life right now. I would rather die than be a Judas and betray You. I will not allow the cunning plot of these demons to succeed!” The policemen brandished their clubs which were a little less than a meter long, and began striking the joints of my legs and feet. Some of them laughed maniacally as they hit me, others tried to tempt me, saying, “Well aren’t you just a glutton for punishment. You haven’t committed any major crime, you haven’t murdered anyone or committed arson. Just tell us what you know and we’ll let you down.” When I still wouldn’t speak, they became apoplectic and yelled, “Do you think the dozens of policemen standing in front of you right now are all incompetent? We’ve questioned countless death-row inmates here and we always get a confession out of them, even if they’ve done nothing wrong. When we tell them to talk, they talk. What makes you think you’re any different?” Some of them then came up to me and began pinching and twisting my legs and waist until I was covered in bruises. In some places they pinched me so hard that it drew blood. After having been hung from the wall for so long, I was already incredibly weak, and this exacerbated the pain from their wanton beatings to the point that I yearned for my own death. At that moment, I was completely broken—I couldn’t take it any longer and I at last broke down in tears. As the tears flowed, thoughts of betrayal sprung up in my mind: “Maybe I should just tell them something. As long as it doesn’t get any of my brothers and sisters in trouble, even if they charge me or execute me, then so be it!” When that gang of evil police saw me crying, they roared with laughter and, thoroughly pleased with themselves, said, “If you had said something sooner, we wouldn’t have had to beat you like that.” They took me down from the wall and had me lie on the ground. They gave me some water and allowed me to rest for a moment. Then they took the pen and paper that had been prepared all along and got ready to record my statement. Just as I was falling prey to Satan’s temptation and was on the verge of betraying God, God’s words once again clearly appeared in my mind: “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. I must tell you this: Anyone who breaks My heart shall not receive clemency from Me a second time, and anyone who has been faithful to Me shall forever remain in My heart” (“Prepare Sufficient Good Deeds for Your Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). In God’s words, I saw God’s disposition that brooks no offense and the consequences of betraying God. I also became aware of my own rebelliousness. My faith in God was far too weak and I had no real understanding of Him, much less was I truly obedient to Him. As such, I was sure to betray God. I thought of how Judas had sold Jesus out for a mere thirty silver coins and how, right now, I was ready to betray God just for a moment’s comfort and ease. If it hadn’t been for the timely enlightenment of God’s words, I would have become one of God’s betrayers to be condemned for all time! After understanding God’s will, I came to see that God had made the best possible arrangements. I thought to myself, “If God permits me to suffer or die, I am willing to submit and put my life and death in God’s hands. I have no say in the matter. Even if I have only one remaining breath, I must endeavor to satisfy God and stand witness for Him.” At that moment, a churchcame to mind: “[M]y head may break and blood may flow, but the mettle of God’s people can’t be lost. God’s exhortations rest on the heart, I determine to humiliate Satan the devil” (“I Wish to See the Day of God’s Glory” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). As I hummed the hymn to myself in my mind, my faith was reinvigorated, and I resolved that if I were to die, it would be for God. No matter what, I couldn’t give in to that old devil, the CCP government. Seeing that I just lay there on the ground without moving, the evil police began to tempt me, saying, “Is all this suffering worth it? We’re giving you the opportunity to do a good deed here. Tell us everything you know. Even if you don’t say anything, we’ve got all the witness testimony and evidence we need to convict you.” Seeing how these man-eating demons were attempting to make me betray God and sell out my brothers and sisters to ruin God’s work, I could no longer contain the rage that boiled within me and I shouted back at them, “If you already know everything, then I guess there’s no reason to question me. Even if I knew everything, I’d never tell you!” The police furiously fired back, yelling, “If you don’t fess up, we’ll torture you to death! Don’t think you’ll be getting out of here alive! We make all those death-row inmates talk, you think you’re harder than them?” I responded, saying, “Now that you have me captive, I don’t plan on leaving with my life!” Without saying another word, the policeman charged over to me and kicked me square in the stomach. It hurt so bad that it felt like my intestines had been severed in two. With that, the remaining officers all surged toward me and beat me until I passed out again…. When I came to, I found that they had hung me up like before, but this time they had hung me even higher. My entire body was swollen and I couldn’t speak, but because of God’s protection, I didn’t feel the slightest amount of pain. That night, most of the officers left and the four that were assigned to keep watch on me had fallen fast asleep. All of a sudden, my handcuffs miraculously opened and I fell lightly to the floor. At that moment, I snapped back into awareness and suddenly thought of how Peter had been saved by the Lord’s angel during his incarceration. The chains fell from Peter’s hands and the iron gate of his cell opened by itself. It was by God’s great exaltation and grace that I could experience God’s miraculous deeds as Peter had. I immediately knelt to the floor and offered up a prayer of thanks to God, saying, “Dear God! Thank You for Your mercy and tender care. Thank You for the ceaseless vigil which You keep over me. When my life was on the line and death was at hand, You guarded me in secret. It was Your great power that protected me and allowed me to witness once again Your wondrous deeds and almighty sovereignty. If I hadn’t experienced this myself, I never would have believed that this was real!” Through my suffering, I had once again witnessed God’s salvation and I was deeply moved and filled with an infinite warmth. I wanted to leave that place, but I was so hurt that I couldn’t move and so I just went to sleep right there on the floor and slept until I was kicked awake at daybreak. When the wicked policemen saw me lying on the floor, they began to argue amongst themselves, trying to ascertain who had let me down. The four policemen that had been responsible for watching me overnight all said that they didn’t have the keys to my handcuffs. They all stood around the handcuffs staring blankly—they all looked over the handcuffs one by one, but couldn’t find any trace of a crack in them. They asked me how the handcuffs had opened and I said, “They opened by themselves!” They didn’t believe me, but in my heart I knew: This was due to the great power of God, and it was one of His miraculous deeds.
Later on, seeing that I was so weak that I might perish at any moment, the wicked police didn’t dare hang me up any longer, and so they switched to a different form of torture. They dragged me into a room and made me sit on a torture chair. My head and neck were held down with a metal clamp and my arms and legs were all tied up so that I couldn’t move a muscle. In my heart, I prayed to God, saying, “O God! All is within Your control. I have already made it through several life-or-death tests and now I entrust myself to You once again. I am willing to cooperate with You to stand witness and humiliate Satan.” After concluding my prayer, I felt calm, composed, and without the slightest hint of fear. At that moment, one of the officers flipped on the power switch, and all the underlings looked on with bated breath to see how I would be electrocuted. When I made not the slightest reaction, they went to check the connection. When I still didn’t react, they could only look at each other in disbelief, unable to believe their eyes. Finally, one of the underlings said, “Maybe there’s a faulty connection in the torture chair.” Having said this, he walked over to me and as soon as his hand touched me, he let out a scream—the electric shock knocked him back a full meter and he fell to the ground, crying out in pain. When the dozen or so other lackeys saw what had happened, they were all scared half to death and dashed out of the room. One of them was in such a state of fright that he slipped and went crashing to the ground. A long while passed before two of the underlings came in to unbind me, trembling with the dread of being shocked themselves. In the whole half hour that I spent tied to the torture chair, I never once felt any electric current. It was as if I was sitting on just a regular chair. I had once again witnessed God’s great power and I gained a profound sense of His loveliness and kindness. Even if I lost everything I had, including my own life, as long as I had God with me, I had everything I needed.
After that, the wicked police then took me back to the detention house. I was covered from head to toe in cuts, bruises and injuries, my arms and legs were swollen terribly—I was utterly debilitated and couldn’t even stand up, sit down, or even eat. I was utterly on the verge of collapse. When the other death-row inmates in the cell learned that I hadn’t sold anyone out, they looked at me in a new light and said approvingly, “You’re the real hero, we’re fake heroes!” They even vied with each other to give me food and clothes to wear…. When the wicked policemen saw how God had worked within me, they no longer dared to torture me and even took off my handcuffs and shackles. From that time on, no one dared interrogate me again. Despite that, the police still hadn’t given up, and so, in order to extract information about the church from me, they tried to incite the other inmates to get me to give in. They tried to instigate the other inmates by saying, “Those who believe in Almighty God should be beaten!” However, to their surprise, one of the prisoners who was a murderer said, “I’ll never do what you say. Not only will I not beat him, no one in this cell is going to beat him! We’re all in here because someone else sold us out. If everyone was as loyal as this guy, none of us would have been sentenced to death.” Another of the death-row inmates said, “We were all arrested because we did some really bad stuff, and so we deserve to suffer. But this guy is a believer in God and has committed no crime, yet you’ve rendered him nearly unrecognizable with your torture!” One by one, the inmates all spoke up against the injustices I had suffered. Seeing what was happening, the police didn’t want things to get out of hand and so they didn’t say anything else, but just slumped off dejectedly. In that moment, I thought of a passage from the Bible, which reads, “The king’s heart is in the hand of Jehovah, as the rivers of water: He turns it wherever He will” (Proverbs 21:1). Witnessing how God had moved the other inmates to come to my aid, I had the deep conviction that these were all God’s deeds and my faith in Him grew even stronger!
When one strategy didn’t work, those evil police hatched yet another plot. This time, they had the detention house warden assign me the most back-breaking labor: I was made to make two whole rolls of paper money per day (paper money is part of a Chinese tradition in which people burn the money to give to their deceased ancestors. One roll of paper money is made of 1,600 sheets of tin foil and 1,600 sheets of flammable paper stuck together). My workload was twice that of the other inmates and, at the time, my arms and legs were in such unbearable pain that I could barely lift or hold anything. So even if I were to work all night, there was no way I could complete my assignment. The police used my inability to complete my work as an excuse to inflict corporal punishment upon me in all kinds of ways. They forced me to take cold showers when the temperature was –4 degrees Fahrenheit; they made me work late into the night or stand guard and, as a result, I never got more than three hours of sleep per night. If I was continually unable to complete my work, they would round up all of the inmates from my cell, take us outside, surround us with their guns in hand and make us squat on the ground with our hands behind our heads. If anyone was unable to hold the position, they would shock them with an electroshock baton. Those wicked cops used every method at their disposal to make the other inmates hate me and abuse me. Faced with this situation, all I could do was come before God in prayer: “Dear God, I know that these wicked policemen are provoking the other inmates with the aim of making them hate me and torture me so that I will betray You. This is a spiritual war! O God! No matter how the other inmates treat me, I am willing to submit to Your orchestrations and arrangements and I pray that You grant me the resolve to endure this suffering. I wish to stand witness for You!” After that, I once again witnessed God’s deeds. Not only did those death-row inmates not hate me, they even organized a strike on my behalf and demanded that the officers halve my workload. Ultimately, the police had no choice but to relent to the inmates’ demands.
Even though they were forced to halve my workload, the police still had other tricks up their sleeves. A few days later, a new “inmate” would arrive in the cell. He was very kind to me, he bought me anything I needed, he got me food, inquired after my well-being and also asked why I had been arrested. At first, I didn’t think anything of it and told him that I was a believer in God and had been arrested for printing religious materials. He kept asking me about the specifics of my book-printing operation and, when I saw how he kept pressing me with questions, I began to feel uneasy and prayed to God saying, “Dear God, all people, things and situations that surround us are permitted by You. If this man is an informant sent by the police, I pray that You reveal his true identity to me.” After finishing my prayer, I remained quiet before God and a passage of His words came into my mind: “Remain quiet in My presence and live according to My word, and you will indeed remain watchful and exercise discernment in the spirit. When Satan arrives, you will be able to guard against it at once, as well as sense its coming; you will sense real uneasiness in your spirit” (“Chapter 19” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I pondered over and over the questions that the supposed “new inmate” had asked me and realized that they had all been exactly about what the police had wanted to know from me. At that moment, it was as if I had awoken from a dream: This had all been another one of the wicked police’s plots and this man was an informant. The “inmate” saw that I had suddenly gone quiet and asked me if I was feeling alright. I said I was feeling just fine and then, both sternly and justly, I told him, “Let me just save you the trouble and let you know you’re wasting your time. Even if I knew everything, I wouldn’t tell you!” The other inmates all lauded my behavior, saying, “We could all learn from you believers. You have real backbone!” The informant couldn’t think of anything to say in reply and, two days later, he snuck away.
I survived through one year and eight months in that detention house. Though those police thugs thought up every way possible to make life difficult for me, God moved the death-row inmates to take care of me. The head prisoner was later transferred and the inmates elected me as the new head prisoner. Whenever any of the inmates ran into trouble, I did my best to help them. I told them, “I am one of God’s faithful. God demands that we live with humanity. Even though we’ve been imprisoned, as long as we’re alive, we must live with a semblance of humanity.” After I had made this statement, those death-row inmates stopped bullying new inmates. The name “cell number 7” had once struck fear in the hearts of inmates, but, under my tenure, it had become a civilized cell. The inmates all said, “These people from The Church of Almighty God are a good bunch. If we ever get out of here, we’ll definitely put our faith in Almighty God!” My experience in the detention house reminded me of the story of Joseph. During his imprisonment in Egypt, God was with him, God bestowed him with grace, and everything went very smoothly for Joseph. During this time, all I’d done was to act in accordance with God’s requirements and submit to His orchestrations and arrangements. God was therefore with me and He enabled me to head off disaster at every turn. I thanked God from the bottom of my heart for the grace He had bestowed upon me!
Later on, without the slightest shred of evidence, the CCP government cooked up false charges and sentenced me to a three-year fixed term imprisonment, only finally releasing me in 2009. After I got out of jail, the local police kept a very close watch on me and required that I be at their beck and call. My every movement became subject to the control of the CCP government and I had no personal freedom whatsoever. I was forced to flee my hometown and fulfill my duties elsewhere. What’s more, because I was one of God’s faithful, the CCP government refused to process my family’s household registration records (to this day, my two sons’ registration records are still being processed). This made it even more clear to me that life under the rule of the CCP government is a living hell. I will never, ever forget the cruel torment that the CCP government inflicted upon me. I despise it with all my being and would rather die than be held by it in bondage. I completely renounce it!
This experience has given me a much greater understanding of God. I have witnessed His almightiness and wisdom and the substance of His goodness. I have also seen that no matter how much the demonic CCP government persecutes God’s chosen people, it remains nothing more than a serving object and foil to God’s work. The CCP government is and will always be God’s vanquished foe. So many times, God’s miraculous protection saved me in times of desperation, allowing me to break free from the clutches of Satan’s claws and regain life on the brink of death; so many times, God’s words comforted and revived me, and became my backup and support when I was at my weakest and most hopeless, allowing me to transcend my flesh and wrest myself from the clutches of death; and so many times, when I was at my last gasp, God’s life force propped me up and gave me the strength to go on living. It is just as God’s words say, “God’s life force can prevail over any power; moreover, it exceeds any power. His life is eternal, His power extraordinary, and His life force cannot be overwhelmed by any created being or enemy force. The life force of God exists and shines its brilliant radiance regardless of time or place. Heaven and earth may undergo great changes, but God’s life is forever the same. All things may pass away, but God’s life will still remain, for God is the source of the existence of all things and the root of their existence” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). All glory be to the almighty true God!
I Come to Clearly Distinguish Love and Hate by Undergoing the Bitterness of Persecution
“Faith is a single-plank bridge. Whoever fears death can hardly cross it. Whoever gives up his life can cross it securely. When man has the thought of timidity and fear, it is just the fooling of satan. It fears that we might pass the bridge of faith into God.” (from in The Word Appears in the Flesh) God’s words inspired and enlightened me: Yes! My being so afraid means that I have fallen into satan’s scheme.
God’s Word Is My Strength in Life
Not long after I believed in God, I was wanted by the CCP, but God’s great power and God’s tender love have been keeping me till today. That time, I was arrested out of God’s permission and personally experienced the devils’ torture, which was even more a great edification and perfection to my life.
A Song of Life Amidst the Ruin
At that moment, God’s words resounded in my ears, “…in the last days, you should bear testimony for God. No matter how great the sufferings, you should walk to the end. Even if you have just one breath left, you should be faithful to God and submit to God’s manipulation. This is truly loving God, and this is a strong and resounding testimony.” (from “Only After Experiencing Painful Trials Will One Know that God Is Lovely” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) Every word of God, with encouragement and expectation, warmed and encouraged my heart, making me feel greatly moved and have the courage to live on.
Tribulation Inspired My Love for God
Although that experience made me suffer a little physically, it benefited me a lot. It’s a turning point as well as a new start on my way of believing in God. I deeply feel that having believed in God for ten years, I have never, as I do today, tasted God’s love so deeply and truly experienced that the value and meaning of believing in God, following God, and worshiping God are so great.