26. The Transcendence and Greatness of God’s Life Force
By Lin Ling, Shandong Province
I was born into a poor rural family, and because our family lacked power or status, I was looked down on by others from a young age, and was often bullied. Each time this happened, I felt especially humiliated and miserable, and I longed for the day a savior would come to change my fate. After I got married, because life was difficult, and my son was often sick, my neighbors talked to me about believing in Jesus, and when I learned that the Lord Jesus could save those in torment from their suffering and troubles, I was very moved. I felt I had finally found my Savior, and so from then on I believed in Jesus, and passionately attended meetings and listened to sermons everywhere I could. But afterward, I realized that the churches were ever more desolate, and that the jealousy, disputes, and scheming within believers were becoming ever more serious. It was no different than the wider society. I couldn’t help but be greatly disappointed, the faith I felt at first gradually faded, and I no longer went to meetings.
In the year 2000, a sister preached Almighty God’s last-days’ gospel to me. When I learned that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus, words could not express the joy I felt in my heart. Every day, whenever I had time, I held God’s word in my hand and read it as a starving man eats. The sincerity in God’s words warmed and consoled me. I felt the Creator’s care, mercy, and salvation for me, and my thirsty spirit gained watering and provision. After that, I lived among the large family of The Church of Almighty God, where I attended meetings and performed my duties alongside my brothers and sisters. We all strove to pursue the truth amidst the watering and provision of Almighty God’s word, there was love between my brothers and sisters, and we all helped one another. There was no scheming, deceit, or disdain of poverty and love of wealth, and much less was there abuse or oppression. In The Church of Almighty God, I genuinely enjoyed a happiness and joy I had never experienced before. However, because I believed in Almighty God, I was arrested and brutally tortured by the CCP government, and then imprisoned for a year. In that dark demon’s lair, it was Almighty God’s word which gave me faith and strength, and which step by step led me to overcome Satan and rise above the constraints of death.
On the night of August 24, 2009, I had just gone to sleep, when I was suddenly awakened by a furious rapping at the door. Before I had time to react, 7–8 police broke down the door and entered the room. As soon as they entered, they shouted, “Don’t move! Get out of bed and come with us!” Before I even had time to put on my clothes, I heard the click of a camera shutter as my photo was taken. The police then turned the house upside down as they searched it, not missing a single scrap of paper. Before long, the house was a mess, as if it had been rummaged through by bandits. Everything was on the floor, and there was no place to walk. Afterward, three police forcibly brought me to a van waiting outside.
After bringing me to the police station, they forced me to stand facing a wall. One police officer interrogated me in a stern voice, saying, “Tell us the truth about your belief in Almighty God! What is your role in the church? Who is your leader? Where is he? Tell us everything!” I said, without fear, “I don’t know anything!” Their frustration immediately turned to rage. They kicked me as they shouted abuse at me and viciously threatened me, “If you tell us, we’ll let you go, but if not, we’ll beat you to death!” As they spoke, they pushed me into a metal chair with a large restraining bar, which they then locked in place. Seeing the way these evil police arrested me with such a show of force, as well as the fiendish expressions and angry gazes they directed at me, and how they treated me, a defenseless woman, as if I had committed a horrendous crime, I couldn’t help but feel panicked and afraid. I thought, “How do they plan to torment me? If they actually torture or beat me, what will I do?” I couldn’t help but pray frantically to God in my heart, “Almighty God! My stature truly is too small, and, surrounded by Satan’s forces of evil, I’ve become frightened. I beg You to give me faith and strength. Protect me, so that I don’t bow my head to Satan and these demons, and so that I can stand firm and testify for You!” This is when I recalled God’s words, “You should know that all things in the environment around you are there by My permission, I arrange it all. See clearly and satisfy My heart in the environment I have given to you. Do not fear, Almighty God of hosts will surely be with you; He has your back and He is your shield” (“Chapter 26” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Yes, everything happening to me that day had the permission of God’s throne, so although I was trapped in a demon’s lair and faced a pack of vicious, demonic fiends, I was not fighting alone; Almighty God was with me. I could rely on Him, and He was my strong support, so what did I have to fear? Thinking of these things, I no longer felt timid or afraid, I had the strength to battle Satan to the end, and I swore that I would stand firm and testify for God even if it cost me my life!
After that, the police began trying to extort a confession from me through torture. The morning of the first day, they handcuffed me, and when the police brought me for a blood test, they pulled me forcefully along, causing the sharp edges of the handcuffs to bite into my flesh. Before long, the skin on my wrists was punctured, and the pain was cutting and intense. After that, they handcuffed me to a radiator, and fearing I would run away, they tightened the handcuffs so much that my wrists were ground into a bloody mess. These evil police officers questioned me time and again, vainly attempting to force me to divulge church information, but because each time I said I didn’t know anything, they became furious and lost their tempers. One of them angrily marched forward and slapped me heavily across the face. I instantly saw stars, I nearly passed out, my teeth rattled in my gums, and tears involuntarily streamed from my eyes. When the police officer saw me crying but still refusing to talk, he grimaced in rage, callously grabbed several strands of my hair on my forehead and wound them around his hand, and then forcefully slammed the back of my head into the wall. This vicious blow made me dizzy and my ears ring. His rage still not sated, he slapped me several times in a row and shouted angrily, “I’ll make you cry! This is what you get for not talking!” As he spoke, he ferociously stomped down on my foot with his shoe. After being subjected to the vicious beatings and torment of these devils, I was in pain and limp all over. I laid on the floor, unmoving, as if I were about to die. Seeing my condition, the police let fly a stream of expletives and marched off, slamming the door on their way out. In the afternoon, they subjected me to more of the same vicious beatings as they tried to force me to divulge church information. After several rounds of this, I felt dizzy and nauseous, and my body hurt so much it felt ready to simply come apart. I felt as though I might die at any moment. But those evil police didn’t scale back their interrogation in the slightest. With an utter lack of humanity, they used a lighter to burn my feet, causing two large blisters to form immediately. It hurt so much I couldn’t stop myself from crying. In pain, I sat down on the floor and looked at these evil police, every one of them glaring at me with beastly rage like underworld demons who wanted nothing more than to rip me to shreds, and I couldn’t help but begin to feel weak. I silently complained to God, “Almighty God, when will these evil police stop tormenting me? I really can’t hold on any longer….” I felt so weak I was ready to collapse, and I couldn’t help but think, “What if I just tell them one thing? Then I won’t have to suffer….” But then I immediately thought, “If I say even one thing, I’m a Judas, which means I’m betraying God.” A bitter struggle raged in my heart, and it was then that I remembered God’s words, “[Y]ou should do that which is pleasing to all, that which brings benefit to all, and that which benefits your own destination, otherwise the one who suffers in the midst of disaster will be none other than yourself” (“Prepare Sufficient Good Deeds for Your Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “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). God’s words were a sudden flash of awareness. I couldn’t help but be startled by my previous thoughts. I reflected, “Satan’s persecution has befallen me today, and rather than think about how to rely on God to overcome these devils and stand firm and testify for Him, I was instead concerned for my own flesh. Doesn’t that make me selfish and despicable? God is righteous and holy, and if I were to sell out my brothers and sisters and become a deplorable Judas, wouldn’t I be offending God’s disposition, and thereby sending myself to destruction? God’s will in allowing these evil police to torture me today is to allow me to clearly see the CCP government’s demonic essence of wildly resisting God and making an enemy of God, so that I am more able to turn my heart to God, maintain my loyalty to God, and stand firm and testify for God.” Having come to these conclusions, I felt regret and guilt for my disobedience. I wished to repent to God. No matter how the police harmed or tortured me, I would refuse to pander to my flesh. I only wanted to obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements, bear all suffering, and stand firm and testify for God to prove my loyalty to Him through my actions. Even if it cost me my life, I would not become a Judas and betray God! As long as I had a single breath left within me, I would never surrender or give in to Satan! That evening, these evil police ordered me to sit on the floor with my legs outstretched, and then forcefully lifted my arms, handcuffed behind me, up into the air, and I immediately felt an intense pain in my arms and my already wounded wrists. The police, mad with rage, set a fan on high and aimed it at me, blowing a stream of chilly air over my body. I was so cold I shivered constantly, and my teeth clattered in my mouth. I was currently menstruating, and rather than allow me to change my pad, these evil police demanded I “resolve” it in my pants. But even with that, these evil police didn’t stop. They brought a switch of soft tree branch and whipped me with it everywhere, each stroke leaving a bloody imprint. It was so painful I tried to squirm out of the way, but when they saw me dodging the blows, the police beat me even more viciously, as they did so saying, “Let’s see if you’ll talk now! I’ll leave you a crippled wreck tonight!” The cruelty and viciousness of these evil police officers was abominable, but thanks to God’s guidance and protection, I didn’t submit to them, and they gained nothing from that round of interrogation.
In the midst of several days of brutal interrogation, an officer from the National Security Brigade kept pretending to be a “good cop,” vainly trying to make me sell out the church with soft tactics. He had a sweet, gentle expression, poured water for me, brought me an apple, and with false kindness said, “It’s such a shame to suffer like this at such a young age. Just tell us what we want to know, and it can stop. You can go home. Your husband and son are looking forward to seeing you!” I originally thought he seemed nice, but he was more vicious and sinister than any of them. When he saw that I wasn’t going to tell him, his expression twisted into a ferocious snarl, completely revealing his true beastly nature, and he began to torture me even more cruelly and mercilessly. He brought me into the police station’s main hall, where he forced me to sit alone in the corner for two hours in the freezing air, and then after he came back and shouted for me, he thought I hadn’t answered loudly enough, so he forced me to extend my legs, and then viciously stomped on my kneecaps, then roughly lifted up my hands which were handcuffed behind my back. I heard a crack from my waist, then I felt a heart-splitting pain and screamed, after which I lost all feeling in my waist. I never imagined my scream would enrage this devil. He furiously bellowed at one of his lackeys, “Get a rag and stuff it in her mouth so she doesn’t scream again!” They brought a stinking, filthy rag and stuffed it into my mouth, which made me want to vomit. He shouted at me, “Hold it with your teeth! Don’t you dare drop the rag!” as he continued to stuff it in my mouth. Faced with these vile animals, there was nothing in my heart but bitter hatred. I hated them so deeply I had no tears left. Next, this devil officer continued to interrogate me, and when he saw that I still wouldn’t tell him, he again pressed down on my legs as he lifted my handcuffed arms into the air. It was so painful that I broke out in a cold sweat, and involuntarily screamed again. When he saw that I still wouldn’t talk, he said to his lackeys, “Take her away!” Two evil police lifted me up from the ground, but by this point my waist couldn’t stand up straight. I had to walk slowly, back bent, one step at a time. In extreme pain, weakness, hopelessness, and helplessness again crept into my mind. I didn’t know how much longer I could hold on, so time and again I prayed to God in my heart, calling out for Almighty God’s protection, so that even if I had to die, I wouldn’t betray Him.
After that, I saw that Almighty God understood my weakness in every way, and had been merciful and protected me in secret the entire time. When these evil police again came to interrogate me, they threatened me, “If you don’t talk, we’ll take you to another place and put you in an electric chair. Once we turn on the power, you’ll pass out, and even if you don’t die, you’ll be crippled!” Hearing the evil officer’s words, I couldn’t help but be afraid. I thought I really couldn’t withstand such inhumane treatment, so I urgently prayed to God, and at that moment, I remembered God’s words, “When people are ready to sacrifice their lives, everything becomes trifling, and no one can get the better of them. What could be more important than life?” (“Chapter 36” of Interpretations of the Mysteries of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Yes, my life was in God’s hands. God controls and rules over it, and whether I lived or died wasn’t up to the police. If I truly put my life on the line, I could overcome Satan. At that moment, I was filled with faith, and willing to put my life on the line, to put it in God’s hands, and to obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements. I never imagined that just then, I would hear one of those evil police say that the electric chair was actually broken, and that the power couldn’t be turned on. At that moment, I deeply felt that Almighty God was with me at every moment. Even though I was in a lair of demons, God remained by my side. He allowed me to experience suffering, but He didn’t allow these satanic demons to take my life. I thanked Almighty God for His miraculous protection, and for allowing me to escape! My faith became firmer, and I was willing to bear any suffering to stand firm and testify for God. These frenzied evil police tortured and interrogated me for six days and five nights, not allowing me to eat, drink water, or sleep. This allowed me to see clearly that the CCP government is nothing but a group of thugs and mobsters. Being in their grip meant being in the grip of cruel, violent devils, and without Almighty God’s care and protection, they would have tortured me to death. Despite the fact that these evil police didn’t allow me to eat, drink, or sleep for several days, and also tortured me in all manner of ways, I never felt thirsty, hungry, or tired at all. The National Security Brigade officers said they had never seen someone young make it through so many days. I understood deeply that this was Almighty God’s immense life force supporting my fleshly husk, providing me with life, and giving me the strength to persist to the end. Just as the Lord Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Almighty God’s words say, “God uses His life to supply all things, both living and lifeless, bringing all to good order by virtue of His might and authority. This is a truth that can be conceived or comprehended by none, and these incomprehensible truths are the very manifestation of, and testament to, the life force of God” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
After that, when the police saw that hard tactics weren’t working, they decided to try soft tactics. The National Security Brigade chief came himself to interrogate me. He ingratiatingly and gently took off my handcuffs, invited me to sit, and said in a “gentle” voice, “You’re very foolish. You aren’t any kind of officer or authority in the church. They sold you out, and you’re here resisting us on their behalf. Is it really worth it? Also, if you believe in Almighty God, in the future your son will be limited from testing into university, joining the army, or becoming a public servant. And your husband doesn’t care about you. He may have already found someone else and abandoned you…. The fact is, we already know everything about your situation. Even if you don’t tell us anything, we can charge you with a crime all the same, because this is the CCP’s country. We decide what happens. We also decide how many days to detain you. Even if you die here, nothing will happen to us, so you might as well confess! China is different from other countries. Even if you don’t tell us anything, we can still charge you with a crime and sentence you.” Hearing all the different ways he tried to tempt me with kindness, my heart leaped and fell in turns, and I was especially miserable. I didn’t know what to do, so I called out in my heart, “Almighty God! You know my stature is too small and that I lack so much. I don’t know how to experience or face such circumstances. I beg for Your guidance.” That was when I again found direction in God’s words: “At all times, My people must be on guard against the cunning schemes of Satan…, which will stop you falling into Satan’s trap, at which time it will be too late for regrets” (“Chapter 3” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “[F]or My sake, you must also not yield to any of the dark forces. Rely on My wisdom to walk the perfect way; do not allow the conspiracies of Satan to take hold” (“Chapter 10” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words brightened my heart, and I found a path of practice. I thought to myself, “Of course! This was Satan using emotional hooks to mislead and deceive me. I should see through its tricks, defeat it with wisdom, and not allow myself to be fooled. All things and all affairs are in God’s hands. Even if I sit in jail so long the bars rust away, I must never submit to Satan and betray God!” Now, I was much more clear about what to do. In the face of his provocations and temptations, I sat in silence, prayed, and quieted my heart in God’s presence. Then, I angrily said to him, “I’m going to sue you! Not only have you tried to torture me into a confession, you’ve also falsely accused me of a crime!” With a sinister chuckle he said, “Well, I didn’t hit you. Go ahead and sue. This is the CCP’s country. No one will speak up for you.” His words made me despise the evil CCP government to my bones. And this old devil truly had no regard for the law or morality. After that, he brought out a large pile of ID cards of my brothers and sisters for me to identify, asking me if I knew them and hoping in vain that I would sell them out. I bitterly answered, “I don’t know a single one of them!” When he heard that, his face turned purple with rage. He saw that I really wouldn’t tell him anything, and he left in a huff. That afternoon, they brought me to the detention house, and viciously threatened me, saying, “At the detention house we’ll make you squat by the water and peel garlic, and after a few days of that, your hands will be all rotted!” They sneered and laughed with pride as they spoke, and in their beastly expressions, I saw Satan’s demonic face, cruel and vicious!
After being kept for a month at the detention house, the police claimed that if I paid 20,000 yuan, I could go home. I said I didn’t have it, and as if to bargain, they said 10,000 would do just as well. When I said I didn’t have a penny, their annoyance immediately turned to anger, and they said with a sneer, “If you don’t have any money, it’s reeducation through labor for you! When you come out, your husband won’t even want you!” I resolutely said, “Fine then, I don’t care!” And so, without a second thought, they charged me with the crimes of “disturbing social order” and “obstructing the enforcement of the law” and sentenced me to a year of reeducation through labor. This showed me even more clearly that the CCP government is a satanic devil with no regard for human lives that makes an enemy of God! In this hell on earth ruled by demons, where God is viewed as a mortal enemy, the party in power is divine writ and law, and those who live under its power have no human rights or freedom at all, to say nothing of religious freedom! At that moment, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Almighty God’s words, “[I]t is to give vent, without reservation, to the hate that swells your breast, to eradicate those moldy germs, to allow you to leave this life that is no different from an ox or horse’s, to no longer be a slave, to no longer be freely trampled upon or ordered about by the great red dragon; you will no longer be of this failed nation, will no longer belong to the heinous great red dragon, you will no longer be enslaved by it. The demons’ nest will surely be torn to pieces by God, and you will stand beside God—you belong to God, and do not belong to this empire of slaves. God has long since loathed this dark society to His very bones. He gnashes His teeth, desperate to plant His feet upon this wicked, heinous old serpent, so that it may never rise again, and will never again abuse man; He will not excuse its actions in the past, He will not tolerate its deceit of man, He will settle the score for every one of its sins throughout the ages; God will not be in the least bit lenient toward this ringleader of all evil, He will utterly destroy it” (“Work and Entry (8)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). At that moment, I was filled with both sorrow and anger, because I saw how truly insidious, cunning, and deceitful the Chinese government was. It claims to abide by such slogans as “freedom of religious belief, safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of citizens,” but underneath, it unscrupulously disturbs and destroys God’s work, arrests, beats, fines, and kills those who believe in Almighty God whenever it likes, and ruthlessly forces people to reject God, betray God, and submit to its dark governance. Humankind was made by God, and it is natural and right to believe in God and worship Him, but the reactionary CCP government goes against Heaven and nature, trying to drive away the coming of the true God. It inhumanly persecutes believers in God, using threats, inducements, false incriminations, extorted confessions, and torture. Its crimes are heinous, horrible, and hateful! Its baseness and evil made me loathe it to the core, and I became more determined than ever to die before I followed it, and my faith and resolve to follow Almighty God and walk the correct path in life were firmer than ever.
In August 2010, I was released after fulfilling my sentence. When I returned home, I learned that while I was serving my sentence, my husband was also under police surveillance for a year. During that year, in the evening there would often be plainclothes police monitoring his actions behind our house, snooping on him, and surveilling the house, making it impossible for my husband to return home or have a place where he could feel safe. During the day, he had to work outside, and at night he had to sleep in the pile of firewood near our home, making it impossible for him to sleep soundly. After I was released, I discovered that these police lackeys also spread rumors about me in the village, incited everyone in the village to abandon me, and sent the Village Women’s director to keep watch on me. They also asked me to write a statement promising that I wouldn’t leave the city. They denied me all personal freedom. After staying at home for a month, I was again forced by 3–4 police officers to go to the National Security Brigade for an interrogation. They again locked me to a metal chair and tried to force me to tell them information about The Church of Almighty God. When my family members came to get me out, they arrogantly stated, “If you want her released, you’ll need to pay a fine of 20,000 yuan, or make her tell us information about The Church of Almighty God. Otherwise, she’ll be sentenced to five years of reeducation through labor!” My family didn’t have that much money, so they had to return home in helpless frustration. I understood deeply that these demons again wanted to use their arrest to force me to betray God, so in my heart I called out urgently to God in prayer, “Almighty God, Satan is playing its tricks again today, hoping in vain to force me to betray You, but I won’t let them fool me. No matter how many years of labor I have to do, I will stand testimony to satisfy You.” Just as I swore the oath in my heart to stand testimony no matter how much I had to suffer, I saw God’s miraculous works: When these evil police saw that they would gain nothing from their interrogation, they released me that evening. I thanked Almighty God for opening a path for me, and again saving me from the clutches of Satan.
In the midst of cruel persecution by the CCP government, I never dared imagine I would emerge with my life. Without the guidance of Almighty God’s word, without Almighty God’s care and protection, and without the endless strength given to me by God, my own weak life could have been snuffed out and swallowed at any time by these inhumane devils, and I never would have been able to stand firm before Satan. This made me genuinely understand the authority and power of Almighty God’s words, allowed me to feel the transcendence and greatness of Almighty God’s life force, and allowed me to experience God’s real love and selfless provision of life for me! It was Almighty God who led me time and again to overcome Satan’s temptations, rise above my fear of death, and emerge from that hell on earth. I deeply experienced that only Almighty God’s love for humankind is genuine, that Almighty God is the only One I can rely on, and that He is my only salvation. I have made a mortal oath to forsake and reject Satan, pursue the truth, and eternally follow Almighty God and walk the bright, right path in life!