19. The Glimmering Light of Life in the Dark Monsters’ Den
By Lin Ying, Shandong Province
My name is Lin Ying, and I am a Christian in The Church of Almighty God. Before I started believing in Almighty God, I always wanted to rely on my own abilities and work hard in order to make my life better, but things did not turn out the way I wanted; instead, I ran up against wall after wall, and suffered setback after setback. Having had my fill of the bitter hardships of life, I felt exhausted in both body and mind and I suffered unspeakably. In the midst of my pain and despair, a sister preached Almighty God’s gospel of the last days to me. When I read God’s words that said, “When you are weary and when you begin to feel something of the bleak desolation of this world, do not be lost, do not cry. Almighty God, the Watcher, will embrace your arrival at any time” (“The Sighing of the Almighty” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I couldn’t stop my tears from flowing. Almighty God’s motherly words consoled me greatly, and I felt like an orphan who had wandered for many years and finally found her way back to her mother’s embrace—I no longer felt lonely and helpless. From that day on, I avidly read God’s words every day. Through attending meetings and fellowshiping with the brothers and sisters in The Church of Almighty God, I came to understand many truths, and I saw that these people were all so good and so honest. There were no jealous disputes between them and no scheming against each other, and whenever someone had a problem, all the brothers and sisters would fellowship about the truth in earnest to help them resolve it. Help was always given unconditionally, and no one ever asked for anything in return, and among them I felt a sense of liberation and joy I had never felt before. I had a deep sense that The Church of Almighty God was a place of purity, and I became certain that Almighty God is the one true God who can save mankind from the sea of suffering! Just when I was enjoying God’s love, however, the CCP government arrested and persecuted me unlawfully, and it destroyed my happy, joyful life.
In the middle of the night on August 12, 2003, I was sleeping soundly when I was suddenly startled awake by a tremendous banging on the door, and I heard someone shouting, “Open up! Open up!” Before I’d even managed to get dressed, I heard a loud thumping sound, the door to my apartment burst open, and six violent and brutish policemen came charging in. Shocked, I asked, “What’s all this about?” The lead policeman scolded me, saying, “Don’t play dumb!” Then with a wave of his hand, he yelled, “Turn this place upside down!” Several policemen then began rummaging through my closets and cupboards like they were robbers. Within moments, my pots and pans, my clothes, my bedsheets, my food—all of it was thrown all over the floor, and my apartment was in a total mess. After they’d searched my home, they shoved and dragged me into a police car. They took a CD player I’d only just bought that was worth 240 yuan, and they took 80 yuan in cash and a stack of books of God’s words. Not even in my dreams could I have imagined such a scene: This was something that only happened in TV programs, and yet now it was happening to me. I felt incredibly panicked and afraid, and my heart was beating hard. I prayed constantly to God, asking Him to protect me so that I might stand witness for Him, and so that I might die before ever selling out my brothers and sisters and becoming a Judas. Just then, Almighty God’s words suddenly sprang to mind: “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. … Be not afraid; with My support, who could ever block this road? Remember this! Do not forget!” (“Chapter 10” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words comforted me a great deal and they helped my heart to gradually calm down. They made me realize that the One I believed in was the Ruler who created all things in heaven and on earth, that all things are in His hands, that Satan and demons are beneath His feet and that, without God’s permission, there was nothing Satan could do to me. I now found myself at a crucial moment in God’s battle with Satan: This was when God needed me to stand witness, and it was time for me to experience God’s words and gain the truth; I knew I had to make a stand and practice according to God’s words, and never would I kowtow or give way to Satan!
The police car wailed and screamed into the courtyard of the police station. No sooner had we stopped than the police roughly pushed me out of the car. I went careening forward with hands outstretched and only stopped when I slammed into a wall. I could hear them laughing hysterically behind me. They then shoved me into a small room and, before I’d had time to catch my breath, one of the policemen read out a list of names and asked me if I knew any of them. Seeing that I made no response, they proceeded to surround me, punching and kicking me, and calling me names as they did so. A wicked policeman then grabbed hold of my hair and dragged me up, then slapped me hard twice across the face. My head spun and my eyes grew blurry, and bright red blood trickled from the corner of my mouth.
One of the policemen then took out a piece of paper with a list of names and threw it before me, saying fiercely, “You know these people’s names, don’t you? What’s your name?” I was in such pain right then that I couldn’t even speak and, seeing that I wasn’t going to reply, three wicked policemen pounced on me and beat and kicked me again until I fell unconscious.
Early the next morning, the wicked police took me to an interrogation room at the Criminal Investigation Section of the Public Security Bureau. When I was taken into the room, I saw several burly men all staring at me as though they wanted to kill me. The room was filled with all sorts of implements of torture, and the scene that confronted me instantly made me feel anxious—I felt as though I had fallen into a pit of demons. I was absolutely terrified, and feelings of fear and insecurity hit me again. I thought to myself: “Yesterday, they tortured me like that and that wasn’t even the official interrogation. It looks like there’s no way to escape what’s going to happen today. Will I be able to withstand it if they put me to cruel torture?” I said a sincere prayer to God: “O God, I’m so scared right now, and I’m afraid that I won’t be able to bear the torture these demons will put me through and that I will lose my testimony. Please protect my heart. I would rather be beaten to death than betray You!” A line of God’s words then appeared in my mind: “Those in power may seem vicious from the outside, but do not be afraid, for this is because you have little faith. As long as your faith grows, nothing will be too difficult” (“Chapter 75” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words carry authority and power. They instantly filled me with inner strength, and I thought: “With God beside me, I shall fear nothing. No matter how they may throw their weight around, they are just paper tigers who only look fierce on the outside. There is nothing to fear from them, as they have already been defeated by God.” Just then, one of the wicked policemen yelled, “Tell us what your position is in the church! Who do you report to?” Because I had God’s words as my support, I didn’t feel afraid at all, and so I didn’t answer his questions. Seeing how I refused to answer, he roared at me like an enraged beast: “Get this stinking bitch on her feet! Get her on her tiptoes so she gets a sharp taste of how serious we are!” Two wicked policemen then descended upon me and roughly twisted my arms behind my back and lifted them up. I instantly felt a tearing pain and let out a scream, and then I passed out…. When I awoke, I saw that I was lying on the floor and that my nose had been bleeding. It was clear to me that, after I fell unconscious, the wicked police had simply flung me to the floor. Seeing that I had woken up, they then dragged me into a room that was so dark I couldn’t even see my hand in front of my face. The room was pitch black, cold and damp, it stank of urine and I could hardly breathe. One of the wicked policemen said acidly as he shut the door, “Think it over. If you don’t fess up, we’ll starve you to death.” I slumped to the freezing floor. My body hurt all over, and I couldn’t help but feel weak and sick at heart. I thought: “It’s an unalterable law for a created being to believe in God and worship God, so what could be wrong with believing in Almighty God? Believing in God allows us to walk the right path, and this is neither illegal nor is it a crime. And yet this gang of devils is treating me as though I’ve committed a crime worthy of the death sentence. This is simply intolerable!” As I suffered in my pain, I thought of a hymn of God’s words: “No one can take away the work that has been done in you, and the blessings that have been bestowed upon you, and no one can take away all that has been given to you. … Because of this, you must be even more dedicated to God, and even more loyal to God. Because God raises you up, you must bolster your efforts, and must ready your stature to accept the commissions of God. You must stand firm in the place God has given you, pursue becoming one of the people of God, accept the training of the kingdom, be gained by God and ultimately become a glorious testimony to God. If you are possessed of such resolves, then ultimately you are sure to be gained by God, and will become a glorious testimony to God. You should understand that the principal commission is being gained by God and becoming a glorious testimony to God. This is the will of God” (“You Cannot Disappoint God’s Will” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). I kept on singing it in my head and warmth spread throughout my whole body. I felt as though God was standing right beside me, comforting me and encouraging me like a loving mother, afraid that I might become weak, fall down, and lose my faith, and tenderly admonishing and enjoining me. It was as though He was telling me that this painful situation I was in was training for the kingdom, that it was a testimony of victory over Satan in order to receive God’s eternal blessing, that it was the most precious wealth in life that God could ever give, and that it was a beautiful testimony borne especially for entry into the kingdom. I was so moved that tears fell from my eyes, and I thought: “O Almighty God, I will remember well what You have entrusted me to do and I accept to undertake this training. I shall cooperate with You in earnest and bear glorious testimony for You, and I shall not be spineless and allow myself to become Satan’s laughingstock!”
On the morning of the third day, several policemen took me into the interrogation room once again. A wicked police official rapped me on the head with his baton, and said with a false smile, “Have you thought it over?” He then showed me a list of names of church members and asked me to identify them. I said a silent prayer to God: “O Almighty God, Satan has come to tempt me once again, and is trying to make me betray You and sell out my brothers and sisters. I absolutely refuse to drag out an ignoble life as a Judas. I ask only that You protect my heart, and may You curse me if I do anything to betray You!” I instantly felt strength rise up within me, and I said staunchly, “I don’t know any of them!” No sooner had I said this than two wicked policemen pounced on me. One of them pulled at one of my legs, and the other stomped on my knee with a hard leather shoe. As he stomped, he said fiercely, “Don’t know anyone, huh? You really don’t know anyone?” The exquisite pain caused me to fall unconscious again. I don’t know for how long I was unconscious before they woke me up by throwing freezing water over me. As soon as I awoke, a wicked policeman raised his fist and thumped me in the chest, and he hit me so hard that it was a long time before I was able to draw breath again. Another wicked policeman then grabbed me by the hair, dragged me over to a metal chair and handcuffed me to it so that I couldn’t move. He then blindfolded me with a filthy rag. They alternated between pulling upward on my ears with all their might, and stomping on my feet as hard as they could—the rending pain of it all made me cry out spasmodically. Seeing me overcome with pain and grief, the gang of wicked police laughed uproariously. Their laughter sounded as if it rang out from the bowels of hell—it was terrible to hear, and it made my heart quake. Faced with such cruelty, I truly saw clearly that these “People’s Police,” as they were proclaimed to be by the CCP government, were all just cruel, evil beasts. They were just ghouls who were only out to hurt people! I always used to think of the police as heroes who championed justice, who locked away the bad people and kept the good people safe, and that people could look to the police whenever they were in danger or in trouble. Even though I had been subject to being arrested and persecuted by them ever since I began to believe in God, I never really thought of them as devils of Satan. Now, Almighty God had personally revealed to me the factual truth, and only then did I see that they wore the fierce and malevolent faces of satanic demons. In my heart, I silently thanked Almighty God for opening my spiritual eyes at last and enabling me to see clearly the difference between right and wrong; I felt that suffering all this pain was worth it to know this! If God hadn’t done this, I never would have woken from the lies and deception of Satan, and it would have been nigh impossible for me to escape the dark influence of Satan and attain God’s salvation.
After a while, the wicked police official asked, “Still not talking? Will you talk or not?” Seeing that I said nothing, two wicked policemen came toward me, held my head and began to pluck out my eyebrows. One of the men who held me slapped me hard a couple of times, hitting me so hard that I became dizzy. The humiliation and pain caused me to feel both sadness and hatred, and I burst into tears from the shame of it all. Oh, how I hated these conscienceless brutes who blasphemed God! In my pain, I thought about how the Lord Jesus endured the humiliation, the scorn and the beatings meted out by the soldiers in order to redeem mankind, and how He was crucified on the cross, and I thought about God’s repeated warnings and exhortations: “Perhaps you all remember these words: ‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.’ You have all heard these words before, yet none of you understood their true meaning. Today, you are profoundly aware of their true significance” (“Is the Work of God As Simple As Man Imagines?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words brought great comfort to my heart, and I realized that the humiliation and pain I was suffering now would be remembered by God; this pain was being suffered to attain the truth, it was a glorious testimony, and it was a blessing in my life. “Seeing as I believe in God,” I thought, “then I must have the faith and the courage to accept God’s blessing, and I must have the backbone to be a testimony for God’s victory.” Just then, the police official’s facial expression changed, and he said, “Tell us what we want to know and I’ll let you go right now.” I looked at him with contempt and said, “Over my dead body!” Incandescent with rage, he instructed the two wicked policemen to drag me back to the dark cell.
After several sessions of cruel torture, I was battered and bruised, and had no strength left. My arms and legs in particular had become so badly swollen that I dared not move them at all. Without any strength, I huddled there, like a lamb waiting to be slaughtered. Whenever I thought of the wicked policemen’s brutish faces and hideous grins when they wielded those implements of torture, my mind would inevitably flood with anxiety. Especially when I heard footsteps approaching my cell, my heart would thump faster and faster. Terror and fear were all about me then, and I felt helpless and forlorn. I wept; oh how I wept! And I confided in God: “O Almighty God! I’m so scared right now, and I feel very weak. I don’t know which way to turn. Please save me. I really don’t want to be in this hellish place any longer.” Just as I was feeling weak and dispirited, God’s words rose up within me, encouraging me and comforting me: “In this vast world, who has personally been examined by Me? … Why have I repeatedly mentioned Job? Why have I referred to Peter so many times? Have you ever ascertained what My hopes for you are? You should spend more time pondering such things” (“Chapter 8” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words brought me faith and strength. “Yes!” I thought. “In all of heaven and earth, who among mankind can do as we do and personally accept God’s test in this lair of devils? Who can be raised up by God and have the fortune to undergo this trial of fire, beleaguered on all sides by legions of devils? I am so weak and impotent, and yet today God is giving me such love. To be chosen by God is the blessing of my life and it is my honor. I cannot evade this trial, nor should I try to get out of it. Instead, I must have dignity, take a firm stand before Satan like Job and Peter did, use my life to bear witness for God and to uphold God’s name, and not cause God to be grieved or disappointed.” At that moment, my heart was filled with gratitude and pride. I felt like my having been fortunate enough in this life to undergo this kind of suffering and trial was so incredibly extraordinary and worthwhile!
The fourth day came and, once again grasping the list of church members, the wicked police official stabbed his finger at me, saying, “Tell me all the ones you know and tell me who your leader is. If you tell me, I’ll let you go. If not, then you’ll die here!” He saw that I was still not going to tell him anything, so he roared, “Come on, hang her up with her hands behind her back. Just kill her already!” Two underlings immediately tied my hands behind my back and hung me up by them with a rope so that I could only stand on tiptoes. The police official then used both threats and inducements on me, saying, “Why bother holding out like this? You need to understand the reality of the situation you’re in. China belongs to the Communist Party and what we say goes. If you tell us what we want to know, I’ll let you go straight away, and I can even fix you up with a job. If not, I’ll tell your son’s school about you and get him expelled….” As I listened to his shameless words, I felt both grieved and indignant. In order to interrupt and destroy God’s work and to ruin our chances to attain salvation, the CCP government will go to any length and commit any evil! Just as the words of Almighty God say: “In a dark society such as this, where the demons are merciless and inhumane, how could the king of devils, who kills people without batting 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, they go against all conscience, and they tempt the innocent into senselessness. … 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). Just then, I got a crystal-clear view of the ugly countenance of the CCP government, and I saw its perverse and heinous crimes against Heaven. The CCP government is the enemy that hates God and that is implacably opposed to God, and it is my absolutely irreconcilable arch enemy—I could never give in to it! Seeing that I stayed silent, they left me hanging there and I slowly lost consciousness: They left me hanging there for one whole day and one whole night. When they got me down, all I could feel was someone touching my nose. When whoever it was saw that I was still breathing, he just left me there on the floor. Through the fog clouding my mind, I heard them say, “I’m all out of ideas. I’m surprised this bitch has been so tough. She’s tougher than the Communist Party. These believers in Almighty God really are something else!” When I heard them say this, I felt an inexpressible feeling stirring within me, and I couldn’t help but express my thanks and praise to God, for it was God who had led me to overcome Satan.
I was locked up in the dark cell at the Public Security Bureau for eight days. The CCP government thought up every ploy and used every trick in the book, and yet still they didn’t get any of the information they wanted out of me. In the end, all the wicked police could do was send me to the detention house. During this time, they took the opportunities afforded by my family visiting me to extort 3,000 yuan out of my husband. I had thought that the detention house would be a little better, but I was wrong. In this God-hating nation of China, every corner is pitch black and filled with violence, cruelty and murder. Such a place as this simply does not allow the truth to exist, much less is there any place for a believer in Almighty God to gain a foothold. Being in the detention house was like escaping the frying pan only to fall into the fire. The wicked police were still unwilling to admit defeat, and so they continued to question me after I got there. Because they hadn’t gotten any of the information they wanted out of me, three policemen immediately stormed over to me and gave me a good beating. I was left with new cuts and bruises on top of the old ones that had yet to heal, and I was beaten very badly until they left me prostrate on the floor and unable to move. The police chief squatted down, pointed at my head and threatened me, saying, “If you don’t confess, then don’t expect to survive in here!” A wicked policeman came over to me and kicked me hard a few more times, then two underlings dragged me into the courtyard and tied me to a telephone pole. I was left tied up there for a whole day without taking even a drop of water, and my body was covered in cuts and bruises. Afraid that I might die there, they threw me into a cell. Just when I was at death’s door and I was feeling at my weakest, two sisters who believed in Almighty God and who were also imprisoned at the detention house rushed over to me. They unzipped their clothes, opening them up and holding me close, using their own body warmth to warm me up. Though we were total strangers to each other, God’s love brought our hearts close together. I could hear the indistinct cries of my sisters, and the other prisoners discussing us, saying, “These police are so ruthless! The people who believe in Almighty God are so compassionate. I thought you all belonged to the same family, but actually you don’t know each other at all.” I also heard the two sisters say, “God created man and we are all one family….” I ended up getting a high fever, I became very sick and felt like I was close to death. The wicked police took no notice whatsoever, but the sisters paid an extortionate price to buy some clothes and medicine from them. Carefully, they treated my wounds and took care of me every day. Under their attentive care, I slowly began to get better. I knew this to be God’s love: Although God had permitted tribulation to befall me, He was always mindful of my weakness and pain, and He had arranged everything for me in secret, and orchestrated these two sisters to take care of me and comfort me. We comforted and encouraged one another, and with the same wishes and goals in mind, we each prayed in secret for the others, asking God to give us faith and strength so that we may become testimonies to God’s victory in this lair of demons.
Going into the detention house was like entering a hell on earth; inside those walls, we lived an inhuman life. We never had enough to eat and we had to work ourselves ragged, working from seven in the morning till ten at night before being able to go back to our cells—every day we were utterly exhausted and all our energy was spent. But because I was able to fellowship often about God’s words with the two sisters, although my flesh suffered greatly and was always exhausted, my heart felt at ease and filled with light. Often during that time, I thought of this hymn of God’s words: “Thus, during these last days you must bear testimony to God. No matter how great your suffering, you should walk until the very end, and even at your last breath, still you must be faithful to God and at the mercy of God; only this is truly loving God, and only this is the strong and resounding testimony” (“Seek to Love God No Matter How Great Your Suffering” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). Whenever I sang this hymn, I felt an incredible power supporting me, and without being aware of it, the exhaustion, the depression, and the pain I felt inside me would all vanish. At the same time, I also came to realize that my being able to suffer this pain was the greatest kindness and the greatest blessing God could bestow on me. No matter how great my suffering became, I was determined to follow God till the end, and even if I had just one breath left, I would seek to love God and satisfy God. Encouraged by God’s love, I lasted 20 almost unendurable days in the detention house. In that dark den of monsters, it was the light of life from Almighty God that dispelled the darkness and which enabled me to continue praising God and enjoying the supply of life from God’s words—this was the greatest love and salvation God could give me. When I was finally being released, the wicked police still threatened me shamelessly, saying, “Don’t even think about telling anyone what happened to you here when you get home!” Looking at the wicked police with their human faces and beastly hearts, the ugliness of their being willing to do evil things but not to accept responsibility for them, further strengthened my faith and my resolve to forsake Satan and to follow God and bear witness for God. I made a resolution to cooperate with God and spread the gospel, to bring more fellow souls living under the domain of Satan the devil into the light, so that they, too, might receive the love and salvation of the Creator.
Throughout this experience of being cruelly persecuted by the CCP government, it was Almighty God who led me one step at a time to overcome the demons’ siege, and led me out of Satan’s den of monsters. This made me come to an earnest realization: No matter how savage, cruel and rampant Satan may be, it will forever be God’s vanquished foe, and only Almighty God is the highest authority who can be our staunch backup, who can lead us to be victorious over Satan and victorious over death, and who can enable us to live with tenacity in God’s light. Just as Almighty God says: “God’s life force can prevail over any power; moreover, it exceeds any power. His life is eternal, His power extraordinary, and His life force cannot be overwhelmed by any created being or enemy force. The life force of God exists and shines its brilliant radiance regardless of time or place. Heaven and earth may undergo great changes, but God’s life is forever the same. All things may pass away, but God’s life will still remain, for God is the source of the existence of all things and the root of their existence” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From this day forth, I wish to steadfastly follow Almighty God, do my utmost to pursue the truth, and win the eternal life which God bestows on man.