God’s Love Was With Me in the Devil’s Dark Prison
By Yang Yi, Jiangsu Province
I am a Christian ofand I have been a follower of for over ten years. During this time, one thing I’ll never forget is the awful tribulation when I was arrested by the CCP police a decade ago. Back then, despite my being tortured and trampled on by evil demons, and coming close to death several times, Almighty God used His mighty hand to guide and protect me, to bring me back to life, and return me to safety…. Through this, I truly experienced the transcendence and greatness of God’s life force, and gained the precious wealth of life conferred upon me by God.
It was January 23, 2004 (the second day of Chinese New Year). I needed to go and visit a sister from the church, as she was in trouble and in urgent need of help. As she lived a long way away, I had to get up early to get a taxi, so I’d be back the same day. I left home just as it was getting light. There was hardly anyone on the streets, just the workers cleaning up rubbish. I anxiously searched for a taxi, but there were none about. I went to a taxi rank to wait and stepped into the road to flag one down when I saw it coming—but it turned out to be a vehicle belonging to the Environmental Protection Bureau. They asked me why I’d flagged them down. “I’m sorry, it was a mistake, I thought you were a taxi,” I said. “We think you were putting up illegal posters,” they replied. “Did you see me doing that? Where are the posters I was putting up?” I said. Without giving me the chance to defend myself, the three of them rushed forward and forcibly searched my bag. They rifled through everything in my bag—a copy of a sermon, a notepad, a purse, a cell phone and a pager I no longer used, and so on. Then they took a closer look at the copy of the sermon and the notepad. Seeing there were no posters in my bag, they held up the copy of the sermon and said: “You might not have been putting up illegal posters, but you believe in Almighty God.” Next, they rang the National Security Brigade’s Religion Division. Soon after, four people from the National Security Brigade arrived. They knew I was a believer in Almighty God as soon as they saw the things in my bag. Without letting me say anything, they bundled me into their vehicle, then locked the door to stop me running away.
When we arrived at the Public Security Bureau, the police led me into a room. One of them fiddled with my pager and cell phone, looking for clues. He turned on the phone but it showed low battery, then the battery was completely dead. Try as he might, he couldn’t get it to turn on. Holding the phone, he looked worried. I was puzzled too—I’d just charged the phone that morning. How could it have no power? I suddenly realized that God had miraculously arranged this to stop the police from finding any information about the other brothers and sisters. I also understood the words spoken by God: “[A]ny 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). Truly, all things and all events are in God’s hands. Whether living or dead, all things undergo change according to God’s thoughts. In this moment, I gained a true understanding of how God holds sovereignty over and orchestrates all things. What’s more, I gained the confidence I needed to rely upon God to face the coming interrogation. Pointing at the things in the bag, the police officer asked accusingly: “These show that you’re clearly no ordinary church member. You must be one of the senior leadership, someone important, as junior leaders don’t have pagers or cell phones. Am I right?” “I don’t understand what you’re saying,” I replied. “You’re pretending you don’t!” he roared, then ordered me to squat down and start talking. Seeing I wasn’t going to play ball, they surrounded me and began punching and kicking me—as though they wanted to kill me. With my face bloody and swollen, my whole body aching unbearably, I collapsed on the floor. I was incensed. I wanted to talk reason to them, to argue my case: What have I done wrong? Why did you beat me like that? But I had no way of talking sense with them, because the CCP government doesn’t talk sense. I was confused, but I didn’t want to give in to their beatings. Just as I was at a loss, I suddenly thought of how, since these evil officers of the CCP government were being so absurd, since they weren’t letting me speak any words of reason, I needn’t say anything to them. I was better off keeping silent—that way I’d be of no use to them. When I thought of this, I stopped paying any attention to what they were saying.
Seeing that this approach had no effect on me, the evil policemen flew into a rage and grew even more barbaric: They turned to torture to extract a confession. They handcuffed me to a metal chair screwed to the ground in such a position that I could neither squat nor stand. One of them placed my uncuffed hand on the chair and struck it with a shoe, only stopping when the back of my hand had gone black and blue, while another stamped on my feet with his leather shoes, rolling his shoes around on my toes to crush them, which is when I experienced an incredible, shooting pain that went straight to my heart. After that, six or seven policemen took turns at me. One of them concentrated on my joints, and pinched them so hard that a month later I still couldn’t bend my arm. Another grabbed my hair and shook my head from side to side, then wrenched it back so I was looking up. “Look at the sky and see if there’s a God!” he said viciously. They carried on until nightfall. Seeing that they weren’t going to get anything out of me, and because it was Chinese New Year, they sent me straight to the detention house.
When I arrived at the detention house, a guard ordered a female prisoner to take all my clothes off and throw them in the trash can. Then they made me put on a dirty, foul-smelling prison uniform. The guards put me in a cell and then lied to the other prisoners, saying: “She went out of her way to break up other people’s families. A lot of families have been ruined by her. She’s a liar, she deceives honest people, and upsets the public order….” “Why does she look like a simpleton?” one of the prisoners asked. To which the guards replied: “She’s putting on an act to avoid being sentenced. None of you would have been clever enough to think of doing that. Anyone who thinks she’s a fool is the biggest idiot of all.” Thus deceived by the guards, all the other prisoners said I was being let off too easily, and that the only thing good for someone as bad as me was the firing squad! Hearing this enraged me—but there was nothing I could do. My attempts at resistance had been to no avail, they had only brought more torture and savagery. In the detention house, the guards made the prisoners recite the rules every day: “Confess your crimes and submit to the law. Inciting others to commit crimes is not allowed. Forming gangs is not allowed. Fighting is not allowed. Bullying or insulting others is not allowed. Making false charges against others is not allowed. Taking others’ food or possessions is not allowed. Playing tricks on others is not allowed. Prison bullies will be cracked down on. Any violation of the rules should be reported to the correctional officers or roundsmen immediately. You must not cover up the facts or try to protect prisoners who have violated the regulations, and the prison rules must be implemented in a humane way. …” In reality, the guards encouraged the other prisoners to torment me, allowing them to play tricks on me every day: When it was 8 or 9 degrees below zero, they soaked my shoes; they secretly poured water in my food; in the evening, when I was asleep, they drenched my cotton-padded jacket; they made me sleep next to the toilet, and they often pulled off my quilt in the night and pulled my hair to keep me from sleep; they snatched my steamed buns; they forced me to clean the toilet, and forced their leftover medicine into my mouth, they didn’t let me relieve myself…. If I didn’t do anything they said, they’d gang up and beat me—and often at such times the correctional officers or the roundsmen would hurry out of view or pretend they hadn’t seen anything; sometimes they’d even hide a little way off and watch. If the prisoners went a few days without tormenting me, the correctional officers and the roundsmen would ask them: “That stupid bitch has smartened up these last few days, yes? Meanwhile, you lot have gone soft in the head. Anyone who brings that stupid bitch around will have their sentence reduced.” The guards’ brutal torment filled me with hatred for them. If I hadn’t witnessed this with my own eyes and personally experienced it, I would never believe that the CCP government, which is supposed to be full of benevolence and morality, could be so dark, fearful, and horrible—I would never have seen its true face, a face that is deceitful and duplicitous. All its talk of “serving the people, creating a civilized and harmonious society”—these are lies designed to deceive and hoodwink people, they are a means, a trick, of beautifying itself and gaining kudos it does not deserve. At that time, I thought of the words of God: “Small wonder, then, that God incarnate remains completely hidden: In a dark society such as this, where the demons are merciless and inhumane, how could the king of devils, who kills people in the blink of an eye, tolerate the existence of a God who is lovely, kind, and also holy? How could it applaud and cheer the arrival of God? These lackeys! They repay kindness with hate, they have long since disdained God, they abuse God, they are savage in the extreme, they have not the slightest regard for God, they plunder and pillage, they have lost all conscience, and have not a trace of kindness, and they tempt the innocent into senselessness. Forefathers of the ancient? Beloved leaders? They all oppose God! Their meddling has left all beneath heaven in a state of darkness and chaos! 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). Comparingto the reality, I saw the dark and evil demonic substance of the CCP government in perfect clarity. To maintain its dark rule, it keeps a tight grip on its people, and stops at nothing to delude and deceive them. Superficially, it purports to provide religious freedom—but in secret, it arrests, oppresses, persecutes, and murders people across the country who . It even tries to put them all to death. How evil, brutal, and reactionary the devil is! Where is the freedom? Where are the human rights? Are these not all tricks by which to deceive people? Can people glimpse any hope or light living beneath its dark rule? How can they be free to believe in God and pursue the truth? Only then did I recognize that God had permitted this persecution and tribulation to befall me, that He had used it to show me the viciousness and brutality of the CCP government, to show me its demonic substance that is in enmity to the truth and hostile to God, and to show me that the people’s police, whom the government vigorously promotes and touts as punishing evil, advocating good, and promoting justice, are the accomplices and minions it has meticulously nurtured, a bunch of executioners who have the faces of men but the hearts of beasts, and who would kill someone without blinking an eye. To force me to reject and betray God and yield to its despotic power, the CCP government stopped at nothing in torturing and ravaging me—yet little did it know that the more it tortured me, the more clearly I saw its devilish face, and the more I despised and rejected it from the depths of my heart, making me truly yearn for God and trust in God. What’s more, it was precisely because of the guards’ torture that I unwittingly came to understand what it truly means to love what God loves, and hate what God hates, what it means to turn one’s back on Satan and turn one’s heart to God, what it is to be barbaric, what the forces of darkness are, and, furthermore, what it is to be malicious and insidious, false and deceitful. I was grateful to God for letting me experience this environment, for allowing me to tell right from wrong and even more so, determine the right path of life to take. My heart—which had been duped by Satan for so long—was finally awakened by God’s love. I felt that there was great meaning in my having the fortune to experience this tribulation and trial, and that I had truly been shown special favor.
After trying everything else, the evil police came up with another plan: They found a Judas who had sold out my church. She said I believed in Almighty God and she also attempted to get me to turn my back on God. Seeing this evil servant who had reported many brothers and sisters who spread the gospel, and hearing all the wicked words that spilled from her mouth—words that vilified, slandered, and blasphemed against God—my heart was filled with fury. I wanted to shout at her, asking why she was so unconscionably hostile to God. Why was it that she had enjoyed so much of God’s grace, yet had joined forces with evil demons to persecute God’s chosen ones? In my heart, there was unspeakable sadness and pain. I also felt a great sense of remorse and indebtedness; I truly hated myself for how, in the past, I had not tried to pursue the truth, and had never known anything but the enjoyment of God’s grace and blessings like a naive child, giving no thought to the pain and humiliation God had endured for the sake of our salvation. Only now, when I was deep in this den of fiends, did I sense just how hard it was for God to work in this filthy, corrupt country, and just how great the pain He had suffered was! Truly, God’s love of man carries great pain. He does the work of saving mankind whilst enduring man’s betrayal. Man’s betrayal has brought Him nothing but pain and hurt. No wonder God once said: “Even in the space of just one night, they may go from a smiling, ‘kind-hearted’ person to an ugly-looking and ferocious killer, suddenly treating their benefactor of yesterday as their mortal enemy, without rhyme or reason” (“God’s Work and Man’s Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Today, although I had fallen into the clutches of the devil, I would not betray God no matter what. Regardless of how great the hardship I suffered, I would not be a Judas for the sake of saving my own skin, and I would not cause pain and grief for God. As a result of my being sold out by that Judas, the evil police stepped up their torture. She, meanwhile, stood to one side and said: “You don’t know good from bad. You deserve this! You don’t appreciate my kindness. You deserve to be tortured to death!” Hearing these vicious, evil words incensed me—but I also felt an inexplicable sense of sadness. I wanted to cry, but I knew I must not; I didn’t want to let Satan see my weakness. In my heart, I secretly prayed: “O God! I wish for You to gain my heart. Although I can’t do anything for You at the moment, I wish to bear victorious testimony to You before Satan and this wicked person, utterly shaming them, and through this bringing comfort to Your heart. O God! May You protect my heart, and make me stronger. If I have tears, may they flow inward—I cannot let them see my tears. I should be happy because I understand the truth, for You have blown the dust from my eyes, giving me the ability to differentiate, and clearly see the nature and substance of Satan, which is to oppose You, and betray You. Amid refinement, I have also seen how Your wise hand arranges all. I wish to rely on You to face the following interrogation and defeat Satan, that You may be glorified in me.” After praying, in my heart there was the strength to not rest until I had completed my testimony to God. I knew that this had been given to me by God, that God had given me great protection and greatly moved me. The evil police wanted to use this wicked woman to make me betray God, but God is a wise God, and He employed this wicked woman as a foil to show me the rebellious nature of corrupt mankind, thus stimulating my resolve and faith to satisfy God. What’s more, I had some knowledge of God’s wise work, and I saw that God rules and maneuvers all that there is in service to perfecting the people of God. This is the indisputable fact of God using wisdom to defeat Satan.
Seeing that they weren’t going to get me to say anything they wanted, they spared no expense—be it manpower, or material and financial resources—to go up hill and down dale asking for proof that I was a believer in God. Three months later, all their rushing about had come to nothing. In the end, they played their trump card: They found a master interrogator. It was said that everyone who was brought to him was subjected to his three forms of torture, and no one had ever not confessed. One day, four police officers came and said to me: “Today we’re taking you to a new home.” Next, they pushed me into a prisoner transport van, cuffed my hands behind my back, and put a hood over my head. The situation made me think they were taking me out to secretly execute me. In my heart, I couldn’t help but panic. But afterward I thought of the [a] had been. “What an eye-opener, how impressive!” they said. “She’s even tougher than Liu Hulan was!” Hearing this, my heart surged with excitement. I saw that by leaning on faith and relying on God there definitely would be victory over Satan, that Satan was under God’s feet! I thanked and praised God. At this moment, I forgot the pain. I felt tremendously gratified to be glorifying God.I used to sing when I believed in Jesus: “Since the earliest times of the church, those who follow the Lord have had to pay a high price. Tens of thousands of spiritual kinfolk have sacrificed themselves for the gospel, and thus they have gained everlasting life. Be a martyr for the Lord, be a martyr for the Lord, I am prepared to be a martyr for the Lord.” That day, I finally understood the line in that hymn: Those who follow the Lord must pay a high price. I too was prepared to die for God. To my surprise, after getting in the van, I inadvertently overheard a conversation between the evil police. It seemed they were taking me somewhere else to be interrogated. Ah! They weren’t taking me to be executed—and I’d been preparing to die a martyr for God! Just as I was thinking this, for some unknown reason one of the police tightened the strings of the hood over my head. Soon after, I started feeling uncomfortable—it felt like I was being suffocated. I found myself wondering if they really were going to torture me to death. At that moment, I thought of how Jesus’ disciples had sacrificed themselves to spread the gospel. I wasn’t going to be a coward. Even if I died, I wouldn’t beg them to loosen it, much less would I admit defeat. But I couldn’t control myself: I passed out and collapsed onto them. Seeing what was happening, the police quickly loosened the hood. I started foaming at the mouth, then couldn’t stop vomiting. It felt like I was going to vomit my insides out. I felt dizzy, my head empty, and I couldn’t open my eyes. I had no strength anywhere in my body, as if I’d been paralyzed. It felt like there was something sticky in my mouth that I couldn’t get out. I’d always been frail, and after being abused like this I sensed I was in trouble, and that I might stop breathing at any time. Amidst the pain, I prayed to God: “O God! Whether I live or die, I am willing to obey You. I trust that whatever You do, it is righteous, and I ask that You protect my heart, so that I may submit to all that You orchestrate and arrange.” Sometime later, the van arrived at a hotel. At that time, my whole body felt weak and I couldn’t open my eyes. They carried me to a sealed room. All I could hear was the sound of many minions of the CCP government standing around discussing me, saying that seeing me was like seeing how Liu Hulan
Soon after, the “interrogation expert” the police had spoken of arrived. As soon as he entered, he shouted: “Where is that stupid bitch? Let me have a look!” He walked in front of me and grabbed me. After slapping me dozens of times on the face, he gave me several hard punches to the chest and back, then took off one of his leather shoes and hit me across the face with it. After being beaten by him like this, I lost the feeling that there was something I couldn’t get out of my mouth or stomach. I no longer felt so dazed and I could open my eyes. Feeling gradually came back to my limbs, and strength started to return to my body. Next, he roughly grabbed my shoulders and pushed me back against the wall, ordering me to look at him and answer his questions. Seeing I wasn’t paying him any attention enraged him, and he tried to get a reaction from me by vilifying, slandering and blaspheming God. He used the most contemptible, despicable means to bait me, and said ominously, “I’m deliberately tormenting you with what is unbearable to your flesh and soul, to make you suffer pain that no normal person could suffer—you’re going to wish you were dead. In the end, you’ll beg me to let you go, and that’s when you’ll speak sense, and say that your fate isn’t in God’s hands—it’s in mine. If I want you to die, it’ll happen straight away. If I want you to live, you’ll live, and whatever hardship I want you to suffer, that’s what you’ll suffer. Your Almighty God can’t save you—you’ll only live if you beg us to save you.” Faced with these despicable, shameless, contemptible thugs, these wild animals, these evil demons, I really wanted to fight them. “All things in heaven and on earth are created by God and controlled by Him,” I thought. “My fate is also subject to God’s sovereignty and arrangements. God is the Arbiter of life and death; do you think I’ll die just because you want me to?” At that moment, my heart was filled with fury. I felt like I couldn’t contain it; I wanted to cry out, to fight back, to declare to them: “A human would never beg for mercy from a dog!” I believed that this was me developing my sense of justice—but to my surprise, the more I thought this way, the darker I became inside. I found myself without words of prayer, unable to think of any hymns. My thoughts grew cloudy, I didn’t know what to do, and at that point I started to feel a little afraid. I quickly quietened myself before God. I reflected upon myself, and tried to know myself, and at that moment God’s words of judgment came to me: “What you admire is not the humility of Christ…. You do not adore the loveliness or wisdom of Christ …” (“Are You a True Believer in God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Yes—I had seen Christ as too insignificant, and I had admired power and influence, not the humility of Christ, much less had I admired the wisdom of God’s hidden work. God uses His wisdom to defeat Satan, He uses His humility and hiddenness to reveal the true face of Satan, and to gather evidence to punish the wicked. So too, all the despicable acts the policemen had perpetrated against me and all the blasphemous and God-resisting things they had said today clearly exposed their demonic substance as haters of the truth and resisters of God, and this would be the evidence needed to warrant God’s condemnation, punishment and destruction. Yet, I failed to see Christ’s wisdom and humility, and, thinking that “a kind person is liable to be bullied, just as a tame horse is often ridden,” I wasn’t content to be humiliated and oppressed. I even believed that fighting back was the most just, dignified and courageous thing I could do. Little did I know that Satan wished to incite me to fight back against them, forcing me to acknowledge the fact of my belief in God in order to convict me. If I really did fight them with impulsive courage, would I not have fallen prey to their deceitful schemes? I was truly thankful to God for His timely chastisement and judgment of me, which gave me protection amidst my rebelliousness, so that I saw through the deceitful schemes of Satan, recognized the venom of Satan within myself, and gained a little knowledge of what God is and the humble and hidden life essence of God. I thought of how Christ faced being persecuted, hunted, and killed by the CCP devil, and how all mankind passed judgment on Him, and condemned Him, and slandered Him, and abandoned Him. Throughout, He bore all this silently, enduring all this pain to carry out His work of salvation, and never complaining. I saw just how kind, and beautiful, and honorable God’s disposition is! Meanwhile, I—a filthy, corrupt person—had wanted to use my impulsive courage to uphold my supposed dignity, to fight for my own justice based on my own will when persecuted by the evil demons. Where was the sense of justice in this? And where was the strength of character and dignity? In this, was I not showing my ugly satanic face? Was I not revealing my arrogant nature? Thinking this, my heart was filled with remorse. I made up my mind to imitate Christ. I became willing to submit to this environment and to try my best to cooperate with God, leaving no opportunity for Satan.
My heart grew calm, and I silently waited for the next round of this battle with the demons. My refusal to confess had cost the supposed expert a lot of face. He furiously twisted one of my arms behind my back and pulled the other behind my shoulder, then tightly cuffed my hands together. After less than half an hour, big drops of sweat were rolling down my face and into my eyes, preventing me from opening them. Seeing I still wasn’t going to reply to his questions, he threw me to the ground, then lifted me up by the handcuffs behind my back. I instantly felt a tearing pain in my arms, as if they’d been broken. It hurt so much I could hardly breathe. Next, he hurled me against the wall and made me stand against it. Sweat was blurring my eyes. It hurt so much my whole body was covered with sweat—even my shoes were soaked. I’d always been frail, and at this moment I collapsed. All I could do was pant through my mouth. The demon stood to one side watching me. I didn’t know what he saw—maybe he was afraid he’d be blamed if I died—he quickly grabbed a handful of tissues to wipe away my sweat, then fed me a cup of water. He did this every half an hour or so. I don’t know what I looked like at that time. I guess it must have been very frightful, because I could only pant with my mouth open; it seemed I had lost the ability to breathe through my nose. My lips were dry and cracked and it took all the strength I had just to breathe. I felt death once more drawing near—maybe this time I really would die. But at that moment,enlightened me. I thought of Luke, one of Jesus’ disciples, and his experience of being hanged to death. In my heart, I spontaneously regained my strength, and kept saying the same thing over and over to remind myself: “Luke died by being hanged. I, too, must be Luke, I must be Luke, be Luke…. I willingly obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements, and I wish to be loyal to God unto death like Luke.” Just as the pain became unbearable and I was on the verge of death, I suddenly heard one of the evil police say that several brothers and sisters who believed in Almighty God had been arrested. In my heart, I was shocked: Several more brothers and sisters were to be tortured. They were bound to be especially hard on the brothers. My heart was filled with worry. I kept silently praying for them, asking God to guard them and allow them to bear victorious testimony before Satan and never betray God, for I did not wish for any other brother or sister to suffer as I had. Perhaps I was touched by the Holy Spirit; I prayed without cease, and the more I prayed, the more inspired I was. I unconsciously forgot my pain. I knew full well that these were the wise arrangements of God; God was mindful of my weakness and was leading me through my most painful time. That night, I no longer cared how the evil police treated me, and paid not the slightest attention to their questions. Seeing what was happening, the evil police used their fists to savagely beat my face, then wound the hair at my temple around their fingers and wrenched it. My ears were swollen from being twisted, my face was unrecognizable, my bottom and my thighs had been left bruised and torn when they beat me with a thick piece of wood, and my toes, too, had been left black and blue after being smashed with a piece of wood. After hanging me up by handcuffs for six hours, when the evil police opened the handcuffs, the flesh below my left thumb had been rubbed clean off—there was only a thin layer left covering the bone. The handcuffs had also left my wrists covered in yellow blisters, and there was no way of getting them back on again. At that moment, an important-looking female police officer walked in. She looked me up and down, then said to them: “You can’t beat this one anymore—she looks like she’s about to die.”
The police locked me in one of the hotel rooms. Its curtains were pulled tightly shut twenty-four hours a day. Someone was assigned to guard the door, and none of the service personnel were allowed to enter, nor was anyone allowed to see the scenes of them torturing and savaging me within. They took turns at interrogating me without respite. For five days and nights, they didn’t let me sleep, they didn’t let me sit or squat, nor did they allow me to eat my fill of food. I was only allowed to stand leaning against the wall. One day, an official came to interrogate me. Seeing that I was ignoring him, he flew into a rage and sent me flying under the table with a kick. Next, he pulled me out and punched me, causing blood to flow from the corner of my mouth. To cover up his savagery, he quickly closed the door to stop anyone coming in. Then he tore off a handful of tissues and wiped away my blood, washing the blood off my face with water and cleaning the blood off the floor. I deliberately left some of the blood on my white sweater. When I returned to the detention house, however, the evil police told the other prisoners that the blood on my clothing was from when I was being certified at the mental hospital and said that was where I’d been for the last several days. The wounds and blood on my body had been caused by the patients—they, the police, hadn’t touched me…. These cruel facts showed me the ruthlessness, insidious cunning, and inhumanity of the people’s police, and I felt the helplessness and despair of those who fall into their hands. At the same time, I gained a deep appreciation of the righteousness, holiness, brightness, and goodness of God, and felt that everything that comes from God is love, protection, enlightenment, provision, comfort, and support. Every time my pain was at its worst, God would always keep enlightening and guiding me, increasing my faith and strength, allowing me to emulate the spirit of the saints who had been martyred for the Lord throughout the ages, thus giving me the courage to stand for the truth. When the evil police’s savagery left me at death’s door, God allowed me to hear news of other brothers’ and sisters’ arrest, using this to further move me to pray for them, so that I forgot my own pain and unwittingly overcame the constraints of death. Thanks to Satan acting as the evil, vicious foil, I saw that only God is the truth, the way, and the life, and that only God’s disposition is the symbol of righteousness and goodness. Only God rules everything, and arranges everything, and He used His great power and wisdom to lead my every step in defeating the siege of the demon legions, in overcoming the weakness of the flesh and constraints of death, thereby allowing me to tenaciously survive in this dark lair. As I thought about God’s love and salvation, I felt greatly inspired, and I resolved to fight Satan to the very end. Even if I rotted in jail, I would stand firm in my testimony and satisfy God.
One day, many evil police I had never met before came to look at me and discuss my case. Without meaning to, I overheard the supposed expert say, “Of all the interrogations I’ve done, I’ve never been so hard on anyone as that stupid bitch. I had her hung up by handcuffs for eight hours (it was actually six hours, but he wanted to show off, afraid that his superior would say he was useless) and still she didn’t confess.” I heard a female voice say, “How could you beat that woman so badly? You’re brutal.” It turned out that among everyone who had been arrested, I had suffered the most. Why had I suffered so much? Was I more corrupt than other people? Was what I’d suffered God’s punishment of me? Maybe there was too much corruption in me, and I’d already reached the point of punishment? Thinking of this, I couldn’t hold back my tears. I knew that I mustn’t cry. I couldn’t let Satan see my tears—if it did, it would believe I’d been defeated. Yet I couldn’t contain the feeling of grievance in my heart, and the tears flowed beyond my control. Amidst my desperation, I could only call out to God: “O God! At the moment, I feel deeply aggrieved. I keep wanting to cry. Please protect me, stop me from bowing my head before Satan—I can’t let it see my tears. I know that the state I’m in is wrong. I am making demands of You and complaining. And I know that no matter what You do, it is the best—but my stature is too small, my rebellious disposition is too great, and I am incapable of gladly accepting this fact, nor do I know what I should do to get out of this wrong state. I ask that You guide me, and allow me to obey Your orchestrations and arrangements, and never again misunderstand or blame You.” As I prayed, a passage of God’s words floated into my head: “You too must drink from the bitter cup I have drunk from (this is what He said after the resurrection), you too must walk the path I have walked, you must lay down your life for Me” (“How Peter Came to Know Jesus” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). My tears immediately stopped. Christ’s suffering was incomparable to that of any created being, nor was it bearable to any created being—whereas here I was feeling wronged and complaining to God that it was unfair after suffering a little hardship. Where was the conscience and reason in this? How was I fit to be called human? After that, I thought of what God said: “[B]ut the corruption in their nature must be resolved through trials. In whichever aspects you are not purified, these are the aspects in which you must be refined—this is God’s arrangement. God creates an environment for you, forcing you to be refined there so that you can know your own corruption” (“How to Satisfy God in the Midst of Trials” in Records of Christ’s Talks). Pondering God’s words and reflecting upon myself, I understood that what was arranged by God was aimed at my corruption and deficiencies—and this was precisely what my life needed. It was only through this inhuman suffering and torment that I was able to realize that I pander far too much to my flesh, that I am selfish, lowly, demanding of God and am not content to suffer for God and be a shining testimony for Him. If I hadn’t gone through this suffering, I would have continued under the mistaken impression that I had already satisfied God; I never would have realized that I still have so much corruption and rebelliousness within me, much less would I have gained firsthand experience of how arduous it is for God to do His work among corrupted mankind to save them. I also never would have truly abandoned Satan and come back before God. This hardship was God’s love for me, it was His special blessing upon me. Having understood God’s will, my heart suddenly felt clear and bright. My misunderstanding of God disappeared. I felt there was great value and meaning in my being able to suffer hardship that day!
After trying everything they could, the evil police had gotten nothing from me. In the end, they said with conviction: “The CCP is made of steel, but those who believe in Almighty God are made of diamond—they’re one better than the CCP in every regard.” After hearing these words, in my heart I couldn’t help but cheer and praise God: “O God, I thank and praise You! With Your almightiness and wisdom, You have overcome Satan and defeated Your enemies. You are the highest authority and may glory be to You!” Only at this moment did I see that no matter how cruel the CCP is, it is controlled and orchestrated by God’s hands. Just as God’s words say: “All things in the skies and on the ground must come under His dominion. They cannot have any choice, and must all submit to His orchestrations. This was decreed by God, and is the authority of God” (“Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
One day, the evil police came to interrogate me once again. This time they all seemed a little strange. They looked at me when they spoke, but it didn’t seem they were talking to me. They appeared to be discussing something. Like the previous times, this interrogation ended in failure. Later, the evil police took me back to my cell. On the way, I suddenly heard them saying that it looked like I would be released on the first of the next month. Hearing this, my heart almost burst with excitement: “This means I’ll be out in three days!” I thought. “I can finally leave this demonic hell!” Suppressing the delight in my heart, I expected and waited as every second passed. Three days felt more like three years. Finally, the first of the month arrived! That day, I kept staring at the door, waiting for someone to call out my name. The morning went by, and nothing happened. I put all my hopes in leaving in the afternoon—but when evening arrived, still nothing happened. When it was time for the evening meal, I didn’t feel like eating. In my heart, I had a sense of loss; at that moment, it was like my heart had fallen from heaven into hell. “Why isn’t she eating?” the correctional officer asked the other prisoners. “She hasn’t eaten much since she came back from being interrogated that day,” one of the prisoners replied. “Feel her forehead; is she sick?” the correctional officer said. A prisoner came up and felt my forehead. She said it was very hot, that I was running a fever. I really was. The illness had come on very suddenly, and it was very severe. At that moment, I collapsed. Over the course of two hours, the fever got worse and worse. I cried! All of them, including the correctional officer, watched me crying. They were all nonplussed: Their view of me was as someone who was neither enticed by the carrot nor browbeaten by the stick, who had not shed a single tear each time she was faced with grievous torture, and who had been hung up by handcuffs for six hours without a groan. Yet today, without any torture, I cried. They didn’t know where my tears came from—they simply thought I must be very ill. In fact, only God and I knew the reason. It was all because of my rebelliousness and disobedience. These tears flowed because I felt despair when my expectations had come to nothing and my hopes had been dashed. They were tears of rebelliousness and grievance. At that moment, I no longer wanted to set my resolve to bear testimony to God. I didn’t even have the courage to be tested like this again. That evening, I wept tears of misery, because I’d had enough of life in prison and I despised these demons—and even more than that, I hated being in this terrible place. I didn’t want to spend another second there. The more I thought about it, the more dispirited I became, and the more I felt a great sense of grievance, piteousness, and loneliness. I felt I was like a lonesome boat upon the sea, one that could be engulfed by the water at any time; moreover, I felt those around me were so insidious and awful that they might vent their anger on me at any time. I couldn’t stop myself from crying out: “O God! I beg You to save me. I’m at the point of collapse, I could betray You anytime and anywhere. I ask that You take hold of my heart and enable me to return before You once more, and I ask that You take pity on me once more, and allow me to accept Your orchestrations and arrangements. Although I cannot understand what You are doing now, I know that all You do is good, and I ask You to save me once more, and allow my heart to turn to You.” After praying, I stopped feeling afraid. I began to calm down and reflect upon myself, and at that moment God’s words of judgment and revelation came to me: “Do you want the flesh, or do you want the truth? Do you wish for judgment, or comfort? Having experienced so much of God’s work, and having beheld the holiness and righteousness of God, how should you pursue? How should you walk this path? How should you put yourinto practice? Has God’s chastisement and judgment achieved any effect in you? Whether or not you have a knowledge of God’s chastisement and judgment depends on what you live out, and to what extent you love God! Your lips say you love God, yet what you live out is the old, corrupt disposition; you have no fear of God, much less do you have a conscience. Do such people love God? Are such people loyal to God? … Could someone such as this be Peter? Do those who are like Peter only have the knowledge, but not the living out?” (“The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s every word of judgment was like a two-edged sword striking at my Achilles’ heel, heaping condemnation upon me: Yes, many were the times that I had made solemn oaths before God, saying that I’d forsake everything and endure every hardship for the sake of the truth. Yet today, when God used reality to ask something of me, when He needed me to actually suffer and pay a price in order to satisfy Him, I hadn’t chosen the truth or the life, but had blindly been ridden with anxiety, distress and worry because of the interests and prospects of the flesh. I didn’t even have the slightest . How could I meet God’s will by doing this? God wanted what I lived out to be fruitful. He did not want flowery, empty oaths. Yet before God I had knowledge but no reality, and toward God, I had neither loyalty nor true love, much less did I have any obedience; I lived out nothing but deceit, rebelliousness, and opposition. In this, was I not someone who betrayed God? Was I not someone who broke God’s heart? At that moment, I thought of when the was arrested and nailed on the cross. One after the other, those who had often enjoyed His graces abandoned Him. In my heart, I couldn’t help but be overcome with remorse. I hated my rebelliousness, I hated my lack of humanity, I wanted to once again stand up, to use real actions to make my promises to God a reality. Even if I rotted in jail, I would never again hurt God’s heart. I could never again betray the price of blood that God had paid in me. I stopped crying, and in my heart I silently prayed to God: “O God, thank You for enlightening and guiding me, and for allowing me to understand Your will. I see that my stature is so small, and that I have not the slightest love or obedience toward You. O God, right now I wish to give myself completely to You. Even if I spend my whole life in prison, I will never make concessions to Satan. I wish only to use my real actions to satisfy You.”
After a while, there were more rumors that I was to be released. They said it would only be a few days. Because of the lesson I’d learned last time, this time I was somewhat more rational and coolheaded. Though I felt very excited, I wished to pray and seek before God, to never again make choices for myself. I would only ask God to protect me so I might obey all of His orchestrations and arrangements. A few days later, the rumors had once more come to nothing. What’s more, I heard the correctional officer say that even if I died in prison, they wouldn’t let me go, the reason being that I wouldn’t tell them my home address and name—so I would be imprisoned forever. Hearing this was really hard, but I knew that this was the pain that I ought to suffer. God wanted me to bear this testimony for Him, and I was willing to obey God, and bow to God’s will, and I trusted that all matters and all things are in God’s hands. This was God showing me special grace and raising me up. Before, though I’d said I would rot in jail, that was just my own aspirations and desires—I did not have this reality. Today, I was willing to bear this testimony through the life I lived out in reality and allow God to find comfort in me. When I became full of hate toward Satan and resolved to do battle with Satan to the very end, to truly bear a genuine testimony to rotting in jail, I saw God’s almighty and miraculous deeds. On December 6, 2005, the prison van took me from the detention house and left me by the side of the road. Thus, my two-year life in prison came to an end.
After experiencing this awful tribulation, although my flesh had endured some hardship, I had gained a hundred—a thousand—times more: I had not only developed insight and discernment, and truly seen that the CCP government is the embodiment of Satan the devil, a band of murderers that would kill people without blinking an eye, but I had also come to understand God’s omnipotence and wisdom, as well as His righteousness and holiness; I had come to appreciate God’s good intentions in saving me, and His care and protection toward me, thereby allowing me, during Satan’s savagery, to overcome Satan one step at a time, and stand firm in my testimony. From this day onward, I wish to give my entire being completely to God, and I will staunchly follow God, that I might be gained by Him as soon as can be.
a. Liu Hulan was a teenage female spy who worked for the Communists during China’s civil war in the 1940s. She did not survive the war, but was later touted as a symbol of sacrifice and courage by the Communist Party, and was praised as a heroine.
God’s Words Led Me to Bear Witness
During those unbearable days and nights, I called out to God desperately. God’s words led me, “Do not fear this or that. No matter how many difficulties and dangers there are, you should be stable before me and not be hindered by anything, letting my will be carried out smoothly. This is your duty. … ” (from “The Tenth Piece of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh)
A Youth Without Regret
“‘Love’ means a pure and unblemished affection, to love with the heart, to feel with the heart, and to care with the heart; in ‘love’ there is no condition, no barrier, and no distance; in ‘love’ there is no suspicion; in ‘love’ there is no cheat, no deal, and no cunning; in ‘love’ there is no choice; and in ‘love’ there is not any mixture.” (from “Pure and Unblemished Love” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs) This hymn of God’s word accompanied me through the long and painful seven years and four months of prison life. The CCP government deprived me of the best years of my youth, yet from Almighty God I got the most precious and practical truths. So I have no regrets!
From Suffering Is Emitted the Fragrance of Love
God’s words awakened my heart and made me understand that the pain of persecution I was suffering now for my belief in God was of the utmost value and of the utmost significance. I understood that God was using this environment of suffering to show me clearly Satan’s essence that is in enmity to God, so that I would be able to forsake it utterly and thereby turn my heart back to God and achieve a true love for God.
At the Brink of Death, Almighty God Came to My Aid
Due to the experience in the detention house, I thought of Joseph spontaneously. When he was in Egypt’s prison, God was with him and bestowed grace to him so that what he did all went well. Today I just conducted myself according to God’s requirements and obeyed God’s manipulation and arrangement, and then God was with me, helping me come safely out of danger in every aspect. I thanked God for his grace from the bottom of my heart!