Rising Up From Dark Oppression
By Mo Zhijian, China
Almighty God says, “In many places, God has prophesied that He will be gaining a group of overcomers in the land of Sinim. Since it is in the world’s East that overcomers are to be gained, so the place where God sets foot in His second incarnation is without a doubt the land of Sinim, the exact spot where the great red dragon lies coiled. There, God will gain the descendants of the great red dragon so that it is thoroughly defeated and shamed. God is going to awaken these people, heavily burdened with suffering, to rouse them till they are fully awake, and to make them walk out of the fog and reject the great red dragon. They will wake from their dream, recognize the great red dragon for what it really is, become able to give their whole heart to God, rise up from the oppression of the dark forces, stand up in the East of the world, and become proof of God’s victory. Only in this way will God gain glory” (“Work and Entry (6)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I’d like to share an experience related to these words of God.
On November 28, 2002, I was preaching the gospel with some others to a leader of a Christian church, when a dozen or so police burst into the room. Some had guns, some batons, and they yelled at us to put our hands on our heads, and to squat facing the wall. They searched us and took over 5,000 yuan and some other things. Two of the younger sisters were frightened so I whispered, “Don’t be afraid. We just need to lean on God.” A few officers immediately stormed over to give me a beating. They totally ransacked the place. A sister was then hiding in another room, one officer barged in and violently dragged her out. Another noticed she was pretty and groped her all over. She couldn’t fight it, but just cried and screamed. Luckily, the landlord put a stop to it, so she was left alone. I was enraged at the police’s shameless behavior. They then got us all into a van and took us to the police station where they cuffed us and left us in a hallway with no food or water for 48 hours. They later tried to force information on the church out of a brother. When he wouldn’t talk, they pinned him to the floor and forced dog excrement into his mouth. It was more than his spirit could take. Seeing him tortured like this infuriated me. These police weren’t humans, they were devils! I said a silent prayer to God asking Him to guide us to stand witness through Satan’s tortures and not give in to it.
We spent the third night being interrogated at the county Public Security Bureau. The vice chief of the bureau tried to entice me, saying, “Tell us who your church leaders are and where the church keeps its money and you can go home. Your family needs you. If not for yourself, then do it for your family.” My heart was swayed a little, and I thought, “If I just tell them some unimportant things, maybe they’ll let me go. I wouldn’t have to suffer here anymore. I could go home and look after my family.” Just then, God’s words came to 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” (“Prepare Sufficient Good Deeds for Your Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I came to my senses. Wasn’t I thinking of betraying God and being a Judas? I realized I’d fallen into Satan’s trap. If I worried about my flesh, family, and fleeting comforts, and became a Judas, betraying God and selling out my brothers and sisters, that would be most hateful to God and would offend His disposition! I prayed to God, saying, “Even if I’m crippled or killed, I will never betray You or be a shameful Judas.” Seeing that soft tactics weren’t working, the police showed their true demonic colors. One officer stamped on my big toe with the heel of his shoe and ground down with all his might. I was hit by a flash of incredible pain and cried out. My clothes were soaked in sweat. I just kept praying to God through my pain, asking Him to protect my heart, to give me the faith and strength to not give in to Satan. When the officer finally stopped, my big toe was a bloody mess and my toenail had come right off. The police hadn’t gotten any information from me, but they weren’t done yet. They sent me, one brother and one sister to the municipal SWAT team for further questioning.
When we got there, the police made us all strip naked then they cuffed our hands and shackled our feet. They forced us to do jumps in the yard to humiliate us. Lots of police gathered around, pointing and laughing. I felt so degraded. Every time I jumped, the rage and fury grew within me. If I hadn’t been through it myself I never would’ve believed that the “people’s police” could torture us in such evil and vile ways. I came to hate those devils, those beasts in man’s clothing. It’s just as God’s words say: “For thousands of years this has been the land of filth. It is unbearably dirty, misery abounds, ghosts run rampant everywhere, tricking and deceiving, making groundless accusations, being ruthless and vicious, trampling this ghost town and leaving it littered with dead bodies; the stench of decay covers the land and pervades the air, and it is heavily guarded. Who can see the world beyond the skies? … Religious freedom? The legitimate rights and interests of citizens? They are all tricks for covering up sin!” (“Work and Entry (8)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). We believers don’t break the law or do anything wrong. All we do is preach the gospel so that others can worship God, gain the truth, be freed from Satan’s affliction, and be saved by God. But the CCP won’t let us believe in God and walk the right path in life, much less preach the gospel and bear witness to God. It does all it can to arrest, persecute, and cruelly torture us, desperate to kill all who believe in God. Now faced with these facts, I saw the CCP’s evil essence that hates the truth and opposes God. I hated and rejected it from the bottom of my heart and resolved to stand witness, to shame and defeat Satan.
The police questioned me again four days later, wanting information on the church. I said nothing, so they dragged me and the other brother out into the yard. Chained hand and foot, with black bags over our heads, they hung us from a big tree in the center. Totally deranged, they released lots of ants onto the tree which climbed up, swarming us and biting us all over. It felt like they were boring down into my bones and I wished for death. I knew I couldn’t hold on, so I prayed desperately to God, asking Him to grant me the will and strength to endure, so I wouldn’t betray Him. I thought of God’s words that say: “[S]o that My glory may fill the cosmos, all people must suffer the last hardship for Me. Do you understand My will? This is the final requirement I make of man, which is to say, I hope that all people can bear strong, resounding testimony to Me before the great red dragon, that they can offer themselves up for Me a final time, and fulfill My requirements one last instance. Can you truly do this? You were incapable of satisfying My heart in the past—could you break this pattern in the final instance?” (“Chapter 34” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words left me ashamed. I’d never satisfied God before, and now that I needed to bear witness before Satan, I knew I couldn’t betray God or break His heart because of my physical pain. God is the Creator and is above all things. To save us, He personally became flesh and suffered terrible humiliation, hounded by the CCP and rejected by the world, but still He expresses the truth to provide for us. God has paid such a price for mankind. What did my small suffering amount to? I decided I would be willing to die to satisfy and glorify God. My strength was renewed with these thoughts. This is how I leaned on God to get through this torture, second by second. After two more days of this, I was really at breaking point. It was early winter and raining. I was just wearing a thin top and was hanging from the tree with bare feet. I hadn’t eaten or drunk water for 48 hours and I hurt all over. I was in agony and wanted to die. So I kept praying to God, afraid that my fleshly weakness might make me betray Him. In my pain, I thought of the apostle Stephen in the Age of Grace who was stoned to death by a mob for preaching the Lord’s gospel. As he was about to die, he asked God to take his spirit, so I said this prayer to God: “Dear God, I really can’t take this pain anymore. Please take my spirit. I’d rather die than betray You!” After praying, an amazing miracle occurred: My spirit left my body! I found myself on a wide-open grassy plain, with lush green grass and cows and sheep as far as the eye could see. I felt incredibly peaceful, and couldn’t help but sing out a hymn praising God: “Praise Almighty God aloud, all things in heaven and earth praise You, praise You, all will praise You. Let all Your angels praise You. Let all Your heavenly hosts praise You, the expanse of the universe praises You, Almighty God! The shining stars praise You. The heavens and the earth and the waters praise You, praise You, all will praise You. Let the mountains and hills praise You, Almighty God. Let the waves and billows praise You. Praise You in the highest place, Almighty God! … Praise You aloud, Almighty God! The loud peals of thunder praise You, praise You, praise You aloud. The mighty expanse praises Almighty God. Let everything that has breath praise You. The singing of praise shakes the ends of the earth. Praise God!” I was completely immersed in incomparable bliss, in a state of total freedom. The pain, hunger and cold I felt while hanging in the tree, along with the agony of being bitten by the ants, all disappeared. When I came to, it was night, and the police had taken me down. Not only was I still alive after being hung up for three days, but my spirit was renewed. This was truly God’s almightiness and wondrous protection! I thanked and praised Almighty God. I saw that our lives and deaths are in God’s hands, and my faith in Him grew. I also became more resolved to stand witness for God.
The next day, the police questioned me again, trying to get me to sell out my brothers and sisters, and blaspheme and betray God. Indignant, I said, “Almighty God is the Creator. He’s the one true God who rules over all things! You just say black is white and incriminate the innocent.” One policeman got really mad at this and started beating me with a wooden bench like a madman. Blood poured from my mouth and I passed out unconscious on the floor. They woke me with freezing cold water, pulled me up and began beating me again. I began to weaken then, and thought of God’s words: “Have you ever accepted the blessings that you were given? Have you ever sought the promises that were made for you? You will surely, under the guidance of My light, break through the stranglehold of the forces of darkness. You will surely not, in the midst of darkness, lose the light guiding you. You will surely be the master of all creation. You will surely be an overcomer before Satan. You will surely, at the downfall of the kingdom of the great red dragon, stand up amid the myriad throngs to bear witness to My victory. You will surely stand firm and unwavering in the land of Sinim. Through the sufferings you endure, you will inherit My blessings, and will surely radiate My glory throughout the entire universe” (“Chapter 19” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I felt so moved and said this prayer to God: “They can beat me to death, but I’ll still never betray You.” After such a savage beating from the police, my chest and back were covered in bruises and I’d suffered severe internal injuries. Even a week later, my urine was still red with blood. My right kidney was so damaged that it still hurts today.
A month after my arrest, the police hadn’t gotten any evidence, so they fabricated some and forced me to sign my name to it before locking me up in the municipal detention house. Three months later, the CCP charged me with “undermining the enforcement of the law” and sentenced me to a year of re-education through labor. At the labor camp, there was never enough to eat and I had to work over ten hours a day. The guards bullied and insulted me, using their electric batons on me or locking me up in a dark cell. Without God’s care and protection, that gang of devils would have tortured me to death. On November 7, 2003, I was released and finally walked free from that living hell.
Though my flesh had suffered after being arrested and persecuted by the CCP, I had gained discernment. I saw the CCP’s demonic essence that hates the truth and resists God, and after witnessing God’s almightiness, sovereignty, and wondrous deeds, my faith in God grew stronger. I also sensed the power of God’s words. It was God’s words that guided me to see through Satan’s schemes, and when I was at my weakest, God’s words gave me faith and strength until I finally won out over the devils and survived that lair of CCP demons. This experience made me reject the great red dragon and it strengthened my faith to follow God.