Doing My Duty in the Face of Danger

July 21, 2022

By Zhongxin, China

In July 2002, several high-up leaders in the three northeastern provinces were arrested. Then, the Communist Party began a frantic campaign to arrest more brothers and sisters. In my church, many were arrested, one after another. Because the arrests were too intense at the time, I had no choice but to leave home and go to a church in another place to perform my duty. One day, not long after I went there, Sister Zhao hurriedly came to me and said, “Several sisters in our church who were spreading the gospel were arrested last night. It was the landlord who reported it. The landlord also gave the police your description and said you often go to that house, so you must be the one in charge. You need to be careful when you go out from now on!” When I heard the news, I was stunned. I thought, “All of those sisters were arrested, and the police will certainly torture them in ways I can’t even imagine. The police already know my description. This is a rural area, there aren’t many people here, and I’m an outsider. If the police investigate, they will easily find me. When I go to several group gatherings, I have to pass through the gate of the police station. If I continue going to gatherings and performing my duty, who knows what kind of dangerous situations I may encounter. The sisters who are arrested know me, so what if they break under the torture and give me up? If the police learn that I’m the church leader, they will definitely torture me if they catch me!” The more I thought about it, the more frightened I felt. It felt impossible to stay where I was, so I thought I’d speak to my superior and ask to be arranged to do my duty elsewhere. But then I thought, “There are still some newcomers who’ve just accepted God’s work and urgently need watering. If I just leave like this, they won’t be able to live the church life. What if they withdraw from the church? But if I stay, it’s too dangerous to perform my duty here.” Those days, I had no appetite, I couldn’t sleep well, and I didn’t dare to take off my clothes at night out of fear that the police would suddenly break into the house and arrest me. Although I outwardly performed my duty, I felt no real sense of burden. When brothers and sisters had problems, I didn’t look for relevant parts of God’s word to solve them, and I avoided group gatherings when I could. I knew this wasn’t in line with God’s will, but I felt very timid, and didn’t dare to perform my duty in that place. So, I prayed to God, asking Him to enlighten and guide me.

Later, I read some of God’s words. “What I desire is your loyalty and obedience now, your love and testimony now. Even if you do not know at this moment what testimony is or what love is, you should bring to Me your all, and turn over to Me the only treasures you have: your loyalty and obedience. You should know that the testimony to My defeat of Satan lies within the loyalty and obedience of man, as does the testimony to My complete conquest of man. The duty of your faith in Me is to bear witness to Me, to be loyal to Me and none other, and to be obedient to the end. Before I begin the next step of My work, how will you bear witness to Me? How will you be loyal and obedient to Me? Do you devote all your loyalty to your function, or will you simply give up?” (“What Do You Know of Faith?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Each of you believes yourself to be so compatible with Me, but if that were the case, then to whom would such irrefutable evidence apply? You believe yourselves to possess the utmost sincerity and loyalty toward Me. You think that you are so kindhearted, so compassionate, and have devoted so much to Me. You think that you have done more than enough for Me. But have you ever held this up against your actions? … When you perform your duty, you are thinking of your own interests, of your own personal safety, of the members of your family. What have you ever done that was for Me? When have you ever thought of Me? When have you ever devoted yourself, at any cost, to Me and My work? Where is the evidence of your compatibility with Me? Where is the reality of your loyalty to Me? Where is the reality of your obedience to Me?” (“You Should Seek the Way of Compatibility With Christ” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Facing with God’s questions, I felt ashamed. It felt that God was asking me face-to-face: Can you be faithful to God at this critical time? Can you satisfy God this time, without considering your own fleshly interests? Can you safeguard the interests of God’s house? I remembered I had previously sworn an oath in God’s presence that no matter what kind of dangers and tribulations I faced, I would be loyal in my duty, not consider my own life or death, and never betray God at any time. But now the actual situation had come, many brothers and sisters in the church had been arrested, and newcomers who’d just accepted God’s work didn’t understand much truth. If they didn’t receive watering in time, they might be deceived by the CCP’s rumors, or might be afraid of being arrested, withdraw, and lose their chance at salvation. At this critical moment, I was not at all considerate of God’s will, and I wasn’t thinking about the lives of my brothers and sisters and whether they could live the church life. I only thought about my own safety. Because I feared being arrested and imprisoned, I even wanted to flee this dangerous place as soon as I could. In the face of adversity, I realized I had no loyalty to God at all, and that I was selfish and despicable. I felt I had no conscience, so I prayed to God, “God, I don’t consider the work of God’s house at the critical moment. I only think about whether I will be arrested. I am too selfish. I wish to turn to You and rely on You to perform my duty.”

Later, I came to God to seek and contemplate how I could no longer be timid and perform my duty in dangerous environments. I thought of God’s word, “Of everything that occurs in the universe, there is nothing in which I do not have the final say. Is there anything that is not in My hands? Whatever I say is done, and who among human beings can change My mind? Could it be the covenant I made on the earth? Nothing can hinder My plan from going forward; I am ever present in My work as well as in the plan of My management. Who among human beings can put his hand in to meddle? Is it not I who have personally made these arrangements?” (“Chapter 1” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Indeed, God is almighty, God is sovereign over all things, and everything is in God’s hands. Weren’t the police also in God’s hands? No matter how adverse the environment or how frantic the CCP became, the police couldn’t capture me without God’s permission. If I was meant to experience such an environment, even if I escaped to another place, I would eventually be arrested. I had always been timid and afraid that I would be arrested and tortured. This was because I didn’t know God’s almighty sovereignty and had too little faith in God, and so I was always controlled by the forces of darkness and wanted to escape such environments. God knew my stature and what environments were most beneficial and edifying for my growth in life. I needed to calm myself and rely on God to water the newcomers, handle the aftermath of the arrests, and fulfill my responsibilities and duties. Even if I were arrested, it would be with God’s permission, and there’d be lessons for me to learn. And crucially, I realized this adverse environment was the best to perfect my faith and will to suffer. I had to stay, perform my duty well, and get through the difficulties together with the others. Thinking of this, my heart was no longer governed by the power of darkness, I no longer wanted to escape this environment, and I felt very relieved. After that, I disguised myself and continued to water my brothers and sisters.

During the gathering, I saw that the newcomers lived in cowardice and fear of arrest by the CCP police, so I read God’s word about God’s authority and sovereignty over all things with them. This gave them an understanding of God’s work, and they became ever more confident. One sister didn’t dare fulfill her duty because she was persecuted and constrained by her family. I read God’s words with her and fellowshiped about my experience and knowledge, and how to be faithful in our duties. She understood God’s will, and began to fulfill her duty. During that time, I kept hearing news of brothers and sisters around me being arrested, but I didn’t feel as afraid, and was able to calm myself and perform my duty normally. Through reading God’s word, the brothers and sisters grasped the truth and gained confidence in God. Little by little, church life returned to normal. Through this, I saw God’s almighty sovereignty and blessings, and I became more confident in performing my duty, for which I was especially grateful to God. After going through that period of time, I felt I had gained stature and faith in God, but when the facts revealed me, I realized I still had too little faith.

It was 2003. One day, Sister Wang hurriedly came to me and said in a panicked voice, “The leaders of several churches were all arrested by the police at the co-worker meeting. One of them, Xiaohe, couldn’t stand the torture and turned Judas. Right now, she is taking the police to identify the brothers’ and sisters’ homes. Xiaohe is very familiar with the situations at these churches, so we need to notify these churches to promptly deal with the aftermath.” When I heard the news, I was kind of at a loss and very nervous. The leaders of several churches were arrested, and Xiaohe had turned Judas. Now, the environment was even more dangerous. Xiaohe knew my home address, and she knew where my host home was, and was well acquainted with my church. Would she bring the police to identify me? The landlord had already provided the police with my physical description last time. If they caught me this time, the police were certain to torture me! They were ruthless and vicious with believers. They’d kill us without consequence. If I ended up in their hands, I knew they would brutally torture me. I heard that after one leader was arrested, she was electrocuted, made to sit in a tiger chair, and tortured in many other ways. The police even injured her eyes with the soles of her shoes and made her eat feces from the toilet. Her interrogation continued for more than 70 days. The more I thought about it, the more afraid I felt, so I wanted to tell other people to inform these churches. But then I thought, “Only I can directly locate the deacons of these churches. If I don’t notify them in time, more brothers and sisters will be arrested, and that means they will all be tortured. Then I’ll be committing a transgression, an evil deed before God, and it’ll weigh on my conscience for the rest of my life!” So, I raced to disguise myself and rode a bicycle to the nearby church.

On the road, even after a long while, I wasn’t able to calm myself. Suddenly, I remembered Xiaohe knew of a home where books were stored. The books had to be moved immediately, too. But now, Xiaohe was taking the police to identify the brothers and sisters. If I went to transfer the books and the police caught me, the police were certain not to go easy on me. During interrogation, they would definitely use torture, and I might even die. I felt it was too dangerous to move the books, and I wanted others to go. But then, I recalled God’s word. “Today, what you are required to achieve are not additional demands, but the duty of man, and that which should be done by all people. If you are incapable of even doing your duty, or of doing it well, then are you not bringing trouble upon yourselves? Are you not courting death? How could you still expect to have a future and prospects? The work of God is done for the sake of mankind, and the cooperation of man is given for the sake of God’s management. After God has done all that He is supposed to do, man is required to be unstinting in his practice, and to cooperate with God. In the work of God, man should spare no effort, should offer up his loyalty, and should not indulge in numerous notions, or sit passively and await death. God can sacrifice Himself for man, so why can man not offer his loyalty to God? God is of one heart and mind toward man, so why can man not offer a little cooperation? God works for mankind, so why can man not perform some of his duty for the sake of God’s management? God’s work has come this far, yet still you see but do not act, you hear but do not move. Are not such people the objects of perdition? God has already devoted His all to man, so why, today, is man incapable of earnestly performing his duty? For God, His work is His first priority, and the work of His management is of the utmost importance. For man, putting God’s words into practice and fulfilling God’s requirements are his first priority. This you should all understand” (“God’s Work and Man’s Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). As I contemplated God’s words, I felt very guilty. Although the current environment was dangerous, the work of God’s house was more important, as was protecting the books and my brothers and sisters. As a church leader, I had to be considerate of God’s burden and fulfill my responsibilities and duty. In particular, brothers and sisters had risked their lives to bring these books of God’s word here for the others to read. God’s word is the lifeblood of His chosen people. No matter how great the risk, I must protect the books of God’s word. Only doing so was being loyal to God. But I was too selfish and despicable. At the critical moment, I could only consider my own interests and gains, and I didn’t think about the work of God’s house at all. How could I be said to be loyal to God? I thought of the disciples and apostles of the Lord Jesus. To spread the Lord’s gospel, they were persecuted by the rulers and authorities. Some were stoned to death, some were burned to death, and some were pulled apart by horses. To fulfill God’s commission, they sacrificed their lives, creating beautiful testimony for God. Their deeds earned God’s approval, and their lives were valuable and meaningful. I had heard so many of God’s words, and had received so much supply of truth, yet I still wasn’t considerate of God’s will. When faced with a bad environment, I feared death and couldn’t safeguard the church’s interests. I was truly lacking in conscience and humanity!

After notifying the brothers and sisters and returning home, I read another passage of God’s words, “In the nation of the great red dragon, I have carried out a stage of work unfathomable to human beings, causing them to sway in the wind, after which many quietly drift away with the blowing of the wind. Truly, this is the ‘threshing floor’ I am about to clear; it is what I yearn for and it is also My plan. For many wicked ones have crept in while I am at work, but I am in no hurry to drive them away. Rather, I shall disperse them when the time is right. Only after that shall I be the fountain of life, allowing those who truly love Me to receive from Me the fruit of the fig tree and the fragrance of the lily” (“The Seven Thunders Peal—Prophesying That the Gospel of the Kingdom Shall Spread Throughout the Universe” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From God’s words, I understood there is God’s wisdom in His working in the country of the great red dragon in the last days. The CCP’s frantic arrests and persecution reveal and test every believer in God. Some don’t dare believe due to cowardice, some fear being arrested and can’t perform their duties, while some can’t stand the torture after being arrested, betray God, and become Judas. These people are all revealed as tares and chaff by God’s work, and must be cast out by God. However, some brothers and sisters, no matter how bad the environment, persevere in performing their duties and safeguarding the work of God’s house. Even if they are arrested and tortured, they would rather die than become Judas. They rely on God’s word and stand firm in their witness, and their faith and love are perfected. They are those who genuinely believe in and are loyal to God. The service of the great red dragon reveals the true and false believers, as well as the tares and wheat in the church, and divides people according to their kind. Now, the leaders of several churches had been arrested, and someone had become Judas, which outwardly didn’t seem to be a good thing. However, through this environment, the evil people who infiltrated the church were exposed, which helped us gain discernment, and God also inspected whether we had faith and loyalty to Him. I could no longer be selfish and despicable, nor only live for myself. No matter how dangerous the environment, or whether I’d be arrested, I had to rely on God and find a way to quickly transfer these books of God’s word to a safe place.

Afterward, I discussed with the sister hosting me how to transfer the books. Because Xiaohe knew most of the brothers’ and sisters’ houses, we couldn’t find a suitable place to keep the books. We prayed to God about this difficulty and asked Him to open up a way for us. After that, the sister remembered she had a relative who was kind and reliable, and we could temporarily store the books in her home. At that time, I was very grateful to God, but when I thought about the fact that I still had to move the books, I was still a little apprehensive. “This isn’t one or two books, this is several boxes of them. If I get caught, I will be sentenced to at least 8–10 years. What if I am tortured and killed?” These thoughts made me more and more frightened, so I prayed to God. Later, I read in God’s word, “You should not be afraid of this and that; no matter how many difficulties and dangers you might face, you are capable of remaining steady before Me, unobstructed by any hindrance, so that My will may be carried out unimpeded. This is your duty…. You must endure all; for Me, you must be ready to relinquish everything you possess and do everything you can to follow Me, and be ready to expend your all. Now is the time that I shall test you: Will you offer your loyalty to Me? Can you loyally follow Me to the end of the road? Be not afraid; with My support, who could ever block this road?” (“Chapter 10” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words gave me confidence and strength. With God as my support, what did I have to fear? My life was in God’s hands, and Satan couldn’t do anything to me without God’s permission. Even if I really were arrested and beaten to death, it would be meaningful to testify for God. Even though those who become Judases may temporarily save their own lives, they betray the brothers and sisters and even serve Satan by leading the police to arrest them. They seriously offend God’s disposition and their bodies, spirits, and souls ultimately suffer eternal punishment. As the Lord Jesus said, “For whoever will save his life shall lose it: and whoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:25). Becoming a martyr to satisfy God is meaningful and God commemorates it. Even if the body dies, the soul does not die. If I feared death, and didn’t move the books of God’s word as soon as possible, then even if I managed to drag out an existence, I would have no dignity, and I would live as a walking corpse, which is a shameful thing. I thought of Peter. After Peter was arrested, he escaped from Jerusalem and the Lord Jesus appeared to him. When the Lord said He would be crucified again for him, Peter understood that God’s intention was for him to testify for the Lord, so he returned to the prison without hesitation. He knew that if he went back, he would sacrifice his life, but he didn’t consider his flesh, and was willing to be crucified upside down for God, creating beautiful and resounding testimony. With this in mind, I felt very inspired and had faith in my heart. My breath was given to me by God. My life was also given to me by God. Even if it put my life at risk, I had to move the books of God’s word. And even if I was arrested and beaten to death, I wouldn’t yield to Satan, nor become a Judas living without dignity.

After that, my sister and I packed the books together and delivered them to her relative on our bicycles. On the way, a police car came up alongside us and drove along very slowly as the police eyed us up. At that time, my heart was in my throat and my legs felt weak. I thought, “Did the police notice us carrying books of God’s word? Are they here to arrest us?” I kept crying out to God in my heart, and I suddenly thought of God’s word, “When people are ready to sacrifice their lives, everything becomes trifling, and no one can get the better of them. What could be more important than life?” (“Chapter 36” of Interpretations of the Mysteries of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Truly, if we’re ready to put our life on the line, we will not feel constrained. Even if we are arrested or beaten to death by the police, becoming a martyr for God is something commemorated by God. With God’s words to guide and lead me, I calmed down a little bit. Whether or not I was arrested, I was willing to submit to God’s sovereignty. At this moment, the police car drove away slowly. I couldn’t stop thanking God in my heart. After that, my sister and I successfully moved away all the books of God’s word. Once we were finished, I felt a great sense of peace and release.

Believing in God and doing our duty in China, we will be arrested at any moment. Faced with adversity, I obviously had too little stature and too little devotion to God. It was God’s words that repeatedly led me through difficult times. Thanks to God’s almighty sovereignty and wondrous deeds, I had more faith in God. That I could do my duty to safeguard the interests of God’s house and be more loyal was the result of the judgment and chastisement of God’s words. Thanks be to Almighty God!

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