The Night of My Arrest
By Guo Li, China
It was a day in April of 2011, past 8:00 pm. Sister Liu and I were reading God’s words in our room when we suddenly heard pounding on the door and several police officers burst in. Two of them grabbed me and violently twisted my arms, pinning them behind my back. The other officers ransacked the room. They found a copy of The Word Appears in the Flesh and an MP4 player. I was terrified. I didn’t know what the officers would do to me. In all my years, I had never endured real hardship. If the police tortured me, would I be able to bear it? The entire time, I was praying in my heart. I said, “God! My stature is so small. Please give me faith and strength, and guide me to withstand the police’s brutal torture.” After praying, a clear idea came to mind: I would rather die than become like Judas. I would not betray God. Around 10:00, the police took Sister Liu and me to the local police station, where they interrogated us separately. Two officers shouted at me: “Are you the leader? Do you go out to evangelize a lot? Where are you from?” I didn’t utter a word. I just thought in my heart, “If I just don’t admit to leading the church, maybe they won’t torture me too severely. It won’t be long before they let me go.” I was surprised to hear one of the officers order me to kneel down. When I refused, he kicked me violently in the crook of my knee, and then my legs bent. After forcing me into a kneeling position, he continued interrogating me. My knees started feeling sore after 20 minutes of kneeling, so I shifted my weight a little, but the officer slapped me across the face with a book. I felt a scorching pain on my face. My ears were ringing, and I couldn’t open my eyes. Soon, both of my legs were numb. Unable to take it any longer, I squatted back a little, and they kicked me in the back and behind. I had been continuously kneeling for about two hours while they hit me over and over, more than 10 times. I was so dizzy from being hit severely that I nearly collapsed onto the floor. Both of my legs were numb to the point that I couldn’t feel anything. Then, I heard Sister Liu’s screams coming from the other room. I was so worried for her, and I didn’t know what they’d done to her with their torture. Would she be able to endure this cruel torture? I just prayed silently to God in my heart, asking Him to give us faith and strength, and lead us to stand witness. After some time, the police said to me: “Do you know why you’re the last one to be interrogated? It’s because we’re saving the most severe torture for you. I want to see how tightly sealed your lips really are! You go everywhere evangelizing. You must be a great leader.” Hearing him say this was frightening for me. They had already taken me for a great leader, so there was no way they’d let me go. I didn’t know what cruel methods they would use to torture me. I thought of other brothers’ and sisters’ experiences of arrest. The police would use all sorts of brutal torture tactics and I was afraid that was about to happen to me too … The more I thought, the more afraid I became. I could only desperately plead with God in my heart. I said, “God! I’m afraid that the police could torture and kill me at any moment. Please lead me, give me faith.” After praying, I thought of these words of God: “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; … Be not afraid; with My support, who could ever block this road?” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 10). Yes. If God is with me, what do I have to fear? My life and death are in God’s hands. Without God’s permission, Satan would be unable to steal my life from me. As I thought about this, I wasn’t that scared anymore. I also became overcome with the resolve to sacrifice my life to stand witness for God.
Then police demanded to know about the church again. When I didn’t answer, they kicked me to the ground again. Five or six of them surrounded me, beating and kicking me. They struck me on my waist, head, and lower legs while screaming and yelling at me. I had been beaten so severely that I was dizzy and my head was spinning. While hitting me, they yelled: “You’re awfully quiet, but I bet I can take care of you!” After saying this, they put handcuffs on me and made me hug my knees as I squatted on the ground. Two officers took an iron rod and passed it underneath my knees and said threateningly: “If you don’t talk, we’ll hang you up and torture you to death!” I felt more anxiety and fear in my heart: Could I endure their torture and cruel treatment? In my heart, I could only urgently cry out to God. I said, “God! Please help me overcome this cruel treatment. No matter how much I must bear, I absolutely will not yield to Satan.” After the police officers passed the iron rod underneath my knees, they placed one of its ends on a window sill and the other on a table, leaving me hanging like that, with my body huddled in a ball. One officer shoved me, making me swing back and forth. Then, I felt a splitting pain. It felt as if my wrists had just fractured. All of the blood rushed to my head, my face swelled up like a balloon, and my eyes were swollen shut—I couldn’t open them. Still, they wouldn’t stop swinging me back and forth. I felt sick. I wanted to vomit. My heart was pounding and I was gasping for air, and it felt like my heart was about to leap out of my chest. I felt like I was about to stop breathing. They kept swinging me like that. Truly unable to take it anymore, I screamed, “It’s too much! Put me down!” One of the officers threatened me, saying, “Too much? You’d better confess. If you don’t speak, we’ll hang you until you die!” Another officer yelled, “You’re always running around doing things for your God. Why doesn’t He come save you now?” After saying this, they started laughing wildly. Seeing the savage looks on their faces infuriated me. I hated the fact that I didn’t have backbone. I regretted begging them for mercy. They kept shaking me back and forth. I felt dizzy and light-headed. I could only cry out to God incessantly in my heart. I said, “God! Save me! I won’t be able to endure this for much longer! Please protect me …” After around half an hour, the police officers let me down. Because the iron bar hadn’t been removed, I could only squat down. I couldn’t move. My legs were numb and had no feeling at all, and I was weak and limp all over. The police kept demanding information on the church, but I still didn’t say anything. They punched me in the head and back again and kicked me, beating and interrogating me nonstop. I hurt all over. One police officer yelled, “Will you talk or what? If you don’t, we have our ways of taking care of you! We’ll hang you up again until you open your mouth.” To be honest, just thinking about being hung again made me panic. I really didn’t want to go through that again. I was so conflicted. Should I talk, or remain silent? If I didn’t, there’s no way the police would let me go. I’d probably die there that night. But talking would be turning my back on God. At this moment, I thought of these words from God: “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” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Prepare Sufficient Good Deeds for Your Destination). At this, I could feel that God’s righteous disposition will tolerate no offense. God would not be pleased with someone who betrays friends. If I betrayed God and turned my back on brothers and sisters to escape this temporary physical pain, God would despise me and it would be an offense against His disposition. I would end up being punished and damned like Judas. I absolutely couldn’t become this kind of a person. Even if I was tortured to death, I still needed to stand witness for God.
I felt empowered by these thoughts, and I knew I could endure the pain. They hung me up again and swung me around like a swing. My wrists and knees felt like they’d snapped, and I was crying out from the pain. I thought, “No one has a heart made of stone. If I cry, they might pity me and let me down.” To my horror, they swung me even more violently. I felt sick, and I wanted to vomit. I felt as if I was suffocating. It was agonizing. Seeing how savage, how malicious they really were, I realized how foolish and devoid of discernment I’d been. At first, I had thought that if I just didn’t admit to being a church leader, they might not torture me too severely. I had also tried to use my tears to get empathy. I finally realized that they were devoid of all humanity. These beasts looked like men, but they were demons with malicious hearts! The police continued swinging me while shouting: “Confess! If you talk, we’ll let you down. You’ll hang until you talk. But if you keep quiet, you’ll die here!” Hearing this was really frightening, and I thought, “I’m still young—I’m only in my 30s—am I really going to be tortured to death tonight?” The entire time, I was pleading with God in my heart, saying, “God, please save me! I really can’t take it anymore! I’m so scared of losing my resolve and betraying You. Please help me overcome the devils’ torture.” After praying, I thought of these words from God: “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). God’s words gave me faith and strength. Yes. The police could only kill my body, but they wouldn’t be able to destroy my soul. My whole being was in God’s hands. No matter how these men tortured me, unless God allowed it, they would be unable to kill me. I also realized that because I loved my own life too dearly, Satan was using my weaknesses against me. It was trying to pressure me to betray God. If I betrayed God, becoming like Judas, I’d be condemned for all eternity. But if I stood witness for God, even if I was to be tortured to death, that would be persecution for righteousness’ sake and my death would be meaningful. As I thought about this, I was no longer afraid. The police saw my head hanging limply, and how I couldn’t even open my eyes. Afraid of being held responsible for my death, they let me down. Weak and limp all over, I felt like I was on the verge of death. Still, they kept demanding answers about the church. I was terrified. I was afraid they’d hang me up again. The thought of this was absolutely horrible and my heart was gripped with fear. I’d seen how brutal and evil they were and I had no idea how many times they’d suspend me. If they kept on doing that, I wouldn’t live to see another day. Praying to God with everything I had, a hymn of experience came to mind: “I’ll offer up my love and loyalty to God and complete my mission to glorify Him. I’m determined to stand firm in my testimony to God, and never give in to Satan. Oh, though our heads may break and our blood may flow, the backbones of God’s people can’t be bent. With God’s exhortations strapped to my heart, I determine to humiliate Satan the devil. Pain and hardships are predestined by God. I will be faithful and obedient to Him unto death. I will never again cause God to weep and never again cause Him to worry. …” (Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs, I Wish to See the Day of God’s Glory). As I started singing this song in my heart, I resolved that I would absolutely not be a coward. I had to have the backbone of one of God’s people, and by no means yield to Satan. No matter how much I had to endure, I was determined to stand witness for God. I thought about how, through all my years of faith, I’d enjoyed the watering and provision of God’s words. God had paid a great price in order to purify and transform me. But when I was expected to endure hardships and weariness in duties, I was only concerned about the flesh. I had not fulfilled my duty. In my heart, I felt indebted to God. If I could make it out alive, I absolutely had to fulfill my duty and repay God’s love.
The third time the police suspended me, I felt as if my head was about to split open. A splintering pain surged through my arms and legs. At this moment, the local police chief said hypocritically, “Say something. If you tell us everything you know, I guarantee nothing bad will happen to you.” I didn’t answer him. One officer took an iron rod and smashed it against my ankle. I screamed because of the pain. They kept swinging me back and forth. It was so painful—a fate worse than death. I really couldn’t take it anymore and I had thoughts of death. I longed for death to release me from this intense suffering. An officer saw how I was closing my eyes. He said, “Look at her praying to her God!” Hearing this brought me to my senses and I thought, “Why didn’t I think to rely on God?” I hurried to come before God. I prayed, “God! When I endure suffering, I just want it to end. I even unreasonably asked You to take my life. God, thank You for reminding me with this officer’s words. I won’t seek death anymore. I’ll rely on You to face whatever comes next.” After praying, I remembered these words from God: Almighty God says, “My work among the group of people of the last days is an unprecedented enterprise, and thus, so 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?” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Words to the Entire Universe, Chapter 34). I understood that by enduring these hardships today, God’s will was that I bear witness for Him in front of Satan to humiliate Satan. But just wanting to alleviate my physical suffering, I asked God to take my life. I asked for release through death. There would be no witness in this. I felt I had disappointed God. Satan was trying to use this cruel torture to break me, to make me betray God, so that ultimately I’d go to hell and be destroyed along with it. Wasn’t seeking death falling prey to Satan’s scheme? Thinking about this gave me the resolve that today, I would satisfy God for once. No matter how the police tortured me, I would firmly trust and rely on God to stand witness and humiliate Satan. I came before God and resolved, “God, no matter how many times the police hang me up, I will rely on You to stand witness.” About half an hour later, the officers let me down.
Next, the police used tricks in an attempt to entice me. They said, “That person we arrested with you told us everything ages ago. It’s just you left here—go ahead and talk.” I knew Satan was cunning. It was trying to use this tactic to trick me into betraying my brothers and sisters. I thought, “I absolutely won’t betray them and let them endure this inhumane torture.” I clenched my teeth and remained silent. After a few minutes, I asked to go to the toilet. One officer shouted maliciously, “Hold it!” Another officer laughed and said, “If you really can’t hold it, pee on the floor!” Over the next twenty minutes, I asked to use the toilet four times. The police didn’t let me go. Finally, I couldn’t hold it any longer. I peed in my pants. Five officers surrounded me and said, “Look! This woman has peed in her pants!” Hearing their insults and mockery made me feel completely humiliated. One of the officers took a copy of The Word Appears in the Flesh, and threw it into the puddle of urine, and tried to make me stomp and spit on God’s words. I absolutely refused to do that. So he stepped on it, grinding the balls of his feet on it, and grinned obscenely, saying, “Look! I stepped on it, and nothing happened! If you step on this, I’ll let you go, and I’ll never investigate whatever you do with your faith in God.” When I saw him stepping on God’s word and blaspheming God, my heart was filled with hatred for the devil Satan. I shouted, “I will not spit or step on it!” He said, “If you won’t spit, you can curse. I’ll say a sentence, and you repeat after me. If you just curse, I’ll let you go.” I became especially indignant. I said, “I won’t curse!” An officer yelled, “You want to be martyred? Who cares about you people getting killed? If you don’t talk, it will be the end of you. You’ll get eight to ten years. Are you going to talk or not?” I thought, “Even if I get an eight to ten year sentence, I still won’t betray my brothers and sisters. I won’t turn my back on God.” As soon as I had managed to muster this resolve, an officer suddenly said, “No more interrogation.” Lifting my head and seeing the dejected looks on their faces, I was overcome with emotions. In the moment when I had resolved not to betray God, even if it would mean sacrificing my life, Satan was thoroughly defeated and humiliated.
In the end, they detained me for ten days for “disturbing public order.” When I was released, one officer threatened me, saying, “After you’re released, stop believing in God. If you’re caught again, you’ll be sentenced.” I felt indignant. I thought, “I believe in God, and I walk the right path in life. You took me and tortured me. You tried to force me to deny God and turn my back on Him. I’m being let out, but you still aren’t really freeing me. You’re evil and malicious!” I have seen through the devilish nature of the Communist Party—how they resist God and hurt people. I have become more discerning—they won’t be able to deceive me again. And I was able to personally experience God’s love and salvation for me. When I was subjected to these devils’ cruel torture and I couldn’t physically take it any longer, it was God’s words that enlightened me and guided me to triumph over their brutality. I feel that my faith is much stronger and I’ve seen how incredibly wise God is. God doesn’t just supply us and guide us with His words, but He also orchestrates people, events, and circumstances to teach us lessons. He uses Satan’s efforts to train us so we can gain insight and become discerning. I’ve also gotten a real taste of God’s kind, earnest efforts to save me. I deeply feel that going through all of this was God’s special blessing for me. No matter what circumstances I may face in the future, I’m resolute in my faith and I will follow God until the end. I am resolved to fulfill my duty, and repay God’s love!
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