28. Experiencing the Suffering of Persecution, I Know More Clearly What to Love or Hate
Gao Jun Hebei Province
My name is Gao Jun. I’m 52 years old. I’ve followed Almighty God for fourteen years. Before I believed in God, I did business in the world and was often busy giving dinners or sending gifts and socializing. Every day I went in and out of places of entertainment such as the KTVs and the gambling houses…. My wife quarreled with me constantly because of that, and finally she was so angry that she would divorce me and left home. However, I had sunk in the mire and was unable to extricate myself at that time. I tried hard to maintain my family but couldn’t make it, feeling it very miserable and tiring to live. In June, 1999, Almighty God’s salvation came upon us. Through the fellowship of the brothers and sisters and the revelation of God’s word, my wife got to know the root of the world’s darkness and mankind’s corruption, and then she showed understanding for my situation and fellowshipped with me with an open heart. Led by God’s word, I saw that I indulged in the sinful dye vat and was loathed and hated by God, and even more saw that I completely had no human likeness in my doings. I felt regretful and guilty, so I made a resolution to start a new life before God. From then on, my wife and I prayed and read God’s word every day, and we often had meetings and fellowshipped with the brothers and sisters together. The conflict between us and our distress disappeared unconsciously. Our life was full of peace and joy. I deeply knew that it was Almighty God who saved our family from the verge of breaking and brought us a new life. In gratitude, I made a resolution inwardly: I’ll consecrate my whole being to repay God’s grace. From then on, I began to perform duty and preach the gospel actively, so that more people could receive the salvation brought by God in the end time. However, the CCP government didn’t allow people to worship God and walk the right way….
It was one day in the spring of 2002. When a brother and I were preaching the gospel in a village, we were reported by an evil person. Immediately the cops came. Without asking about anything, they forcibly handcuffed me, pulled and pushed me into a police car, and took me to the police station. On entering the interrogation room, before I knew what was happening, an evil cop rushed to me, seized my collar, and gave me several hard slaps. Immediately I became disoriented and saw stars. I couldn’t help staggering and fell headlong to the ground. My nose and mouth bled, and my face felt hot pain. Seeing that, he kicked me hard and pointed at me and cursed through gnashing teeth, “Damn you! Don’t pretend. Get up!” Immediately after that, another two cops came up to me. They seized my arms and dragged me up and threw me aside. After that, the three of them punched and kicked me. I felt unbearable pain all over and fell to the ground, having no strength to get up. They stared at me fiercely with hard eyes. One of them shouted harshly, “What’s your name? Where are you from? What did you go to his home for? If you don’t tell me, see how I’ll fix you!” I prayed to God silently in my heart, asking God to keep my heart quiet before him and give me faith and courage, so that I wouldn’t be intimidated by the evil cops’ threat. Seeing me silent, a ferocious-looking evil cop brandished an electric baton before me, and he purposely made it sputter and pointed it at me, threatening, “Speak up or not? If you don’t tell me, I’ll shock you to death with the electric baton.” I was somewhat scared and hurriedly prayed to God, “O God! All matters and all things are in your hand. These evil cops are also in your hand. No matter how they will treat me, there is your permission, and I’m willing to obey your manipulation and arrangement. It’s only that my stature is too small and I’m timid and scared in my heart. May you give me faith and strength, and keep me from becoming a Judas, so that I won’t lose testimony before satan.” After the prayer, a passage of God’s words floated into my mind, “There is the resurrected life of Christ within us. We really lack faith before God. May God add the true faith within us. God’s word is really sweet! God’s word is a sovereign remedy! Shame the devils and satan! Touch God’s word and we will have support. God’s word remedies our heart instantly! Nothing will go wrong and everything will go peaceful. Faith is a single-plank bridge. Whoever fears death can hardly cross it. Whoever gives up his life can cross it securely. When man has the thought of timidity and fear, it is just the fooling of satan. It fears that we might pass the bridge of faith into God.” (from “The Sixth Piece of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) God’s words inspired and enlightened me: Yes! My being so afraid means that I have fallen into satan’s scheme. Although the evil cops look ferocious, everything is in God’s hand, and God is my rear guard. I should overcome satan by faith and by God’s word! Seeing that I still didn’t speak, the evil cop took the electric baton and jabbed me wildly. I tightly closed my eyes and clenched my teeth, preparing myself to endure the torment of the sharp pain. Unexpectedly, although he jabbed me time after time with the electric baton, I felt no pain. The evil cops all thought it strange and said in perplexity, “Why doesn’t the electric baton work today? Is there anything wrong with it? Get another one and try again!” Then, they brought another one to shock me. However, it still didn’t work. At that time, I couldn’t help exclaiming in my heart, “O God, thank you! You have heard my prayer and are keeping me in secret. You are so lovely and faithful! O God! No matter what cruel tortures I will encounter next, I’ll trust in you with a true heart and resolutely stand testimony!” Seeing that the electric baton didn’t work on me, the evil cops didn’t give up easily. They handcuffed and shackled me, put me into a police car, and drove me to a two-story building far from the village.
After I was taken into a room, an evil cop laughed grimly and threatened me, “You see? No one can find this place. Today we’ve brought you here. If you still don’t tell, we’ll put you to death and bury you here. Anyway, no one will know it. Think it over! If you are smart, come clean with me.” After I heard his words, my heart suddenly flew into my mouth. I really couldn’t imagine how this gang of murderous “cops,” like underworld thugs, would fix me. I hurriedly called to God in my heart to give me strength and the will to suffer, so that I could endure the cruel tortures next. Seeing that I still said nothing, two evil cops pounced upon me fiercely, stripped my clothes, and ordered me to stand aside. One of them pointed at my nose and insulted me, “Look at yourself. Don’t you feel shameful?” The other searched my clothes inside and outside, like a hungry wolf looking for food. Finally he found thirty yuan, and turned around and cursed me nastily, “Poor wretch!” Then, he pocketed the money. Seeing that, I was burning with anger and hatred: Are they policemen “serving the people”? They are simply a gang of gangsters and bandits bullying and exploiting the people! Today if I didn’t see with my own eyes, I wouldn’t know how long I would be deceived and blinded by the lies of the CCP! Then, I realized that there was God’s good purpose in my being arrested; instead of purposely making me suffer, he did so for making me see clearly the ugly face of the CCP in power. After about ten minutes, another evil cop brought two wires and swung them before me with a sinister smile, threatening, “Are you afraid? I tell you, the year before last, a prisoner was also very tight-lipped, but he couldn’t withstand the electric shock and finally confessed. I don’t believe that I can’t pry your mouth open!” Seeing that they wanted to shock me with electric wires, I felt hatred and fear in my heart. After such a cruel torture, I’ll surely be fixed to death by them. So, I hurriedly prayed to God, “O God! This gang of evil cops are too fierce. I’m afraid that I can’t overcome it. May you keep me and give me strength, so that I won’t become a Judas and betray you due to the weakness of my flesh.” After the prayer, God inspired me to think of a hymn of life experience, “Head can be cut off and blood can be shed, but the backbone of God’s people cannot be bent; God’s charge is on my mind. I resolve to shame the old satan. Let tears shed in my heart; I’d rather endure great humiliations than cause God’s heart to be worried.” (from “I Wish to See the Day God Gains Glory” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs) Yes. Kingdom people should have the backbone of kingdom people. Whoever fears death is a coward. Satan attempts to force me to betray God by cruel tortures, thus ruining my opportunity of being saved and disturbing and destroying God’s plan of saving man. I’ll never allow its scheme to succeed or let God’s name be humiliated because of me! Thinking of these, I spontaneously had strength in my heart, so that I had the courage to face the cruel tortures. While I was thinking, two evil cops rushed to me, pressed me face down on the floor, and then put a chair on my back. Immediately after that, another two evil cops came up, each stomping on one of my hands with force. Like being nailed on a board, I couldn’t move at all. The evil cop with wires in his hands tied the two wires on the electric box to two of my fingers separately, and then he switched it on. Instantly an electric current swept through every nerve of my body, and I felt numb and painful. My whole body involuntarily cramped and twitched. It was so painful that I screamed loudly. Then the gang of evil cops stuffed a foam slipper into my mouth. Like that, I was shocked time and again, and it was so painful that I sweated all over. After a short time, my clothes were drenched with sweat, as if they had been washed with water. While shocking me, the evil cops shouted at me, “Say or not? If you don’t tell us, today we’ll shock you to death! How dare you be tight-lipped!” Clenching my teeth, I fought the pain and didn’t let out a sound. Seeing that, they increased the duration of the shock. In the end, I really couldn’t hold on, so I thought of death. Then, with all my might, I toppled down the two evil cops who held me under the chair, and slammed my head against the floor forcefully. But strangely, the hard concrete floor suddenly became as soft as cotton. No matter how hard I slammed my head, it was useless. At that moment, these words of God often fellowshipped about before suddenly arose in my mind clearly, “Some of them feel so distressed that they even think of dying. This is not truly loving God. Such people are cowards without willpower and are weak and useless ones!” (from “Only After Experiencing Painful Trials Will One Know that God Is Lovely” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) “Although the flesh suffers, you have God’s word and God’s blessing, and you will not die even if you want to. Are you willing to die before you know God and gain the truth?” (from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers) God’s words woke me up all of a sudden: Yes. I seek death because I can’t endure the pain. This isn’t bearing a testimony of death for God, but putting God to shame and betraying God and being a coward and good-for-nothing, which can’t shame satan. God’s revelation made me realize that the floor suddenly became soft because God hindered and kept me in secret. God didn’t want me to die, but expected me to stand testimony in such an adversity and thus shame satan and let God gain testimony. Facing God’s love and keeping, I was greatly encouraged. I made a resolution inwardly: No matter how these devils torture me, I’ll hold on. Even if I have only one breath left, I’ll live and bear testimony for God and never disappoint God. Full of strength all over, I clenched my teeth and got ready to receive more fierce electric shocks. Seeing that I still didn’t yield, they all got so irritated that blue veins stood out on their foreheads and their eyes blazed with menace. They clenched their fists while gnashing their teeth, and it seemed that they even wished to devour me. Suddenly, an evil cop exasperatedly rushed to me, seized my hair, and forcibly pulled up my head. He bent over me and shouted fiercely, “Damn you! Say or not? If you still don’t tell me, I’ll skin you, leaving you between death and life! How dare you be tight-lipped!” After he finished the words, he loosened my hair and shouted to another evil cop in exasperation, “Shock him to death!” This time, I passed out because of being unable to endure the more powerful electricity. They sobered me up by pouring cold water on me and continued to torture me. After several shocks, I was unbearably painful all over and really couldn’t hold on, feeling that I might die at any moment. In danger, God again guided me within to think of a hymn of life experience, “Though my body is broken, my heart is much stronger. The opportunity to be faithful to God is hard to come by. The last opportunity cannot be missed. If indebted to God, I will regret all my life. Man of eternal guilt is of satan. My heart will be faithful to God, and I will no longer be muddled and grieve God’s heart.” (from “The Opportunity to Be Faithful to God Is Hard to Come by” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs) Then, I thought of God’s word, “As long as you have one breath left, God will not let you die.” (from “The Sixth Piece of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) Under the leading of God’s word, my weak heart became strong once again. I thought to myself: No matter how cruel you devils are, you can only torture my body, making me feel worse than death, but you can never change my heart of following God. The more you afflict me like this, the more clearly I see your ugly face, and the more I’m resolved to follow God. Never expect to make me sell out any brother or sister. Today even if I have to die, I’ll satisfy God once! When I was ready to give up my life, once again I saw God’s almightiness and his authority in ruling over and manipulating all things. After several shocks, seeing that my whole body cramped and twitched severely, the evil cops were afraid that they would take the blame if I died, so they dared not shock me anymore. But they didn’t give up. They dragged me up from the ground, pulled my arms and twisted them backward forcefully, and tied them tightly with a rope. My wrists ached so much from being tied. After a while, my hands became cold, swollen, and numb and senseless. The evil cops wanted to hang me up to torture me. But every time they pulled the rope upward, it loosened. They failed after trying several times. They wondered, “What the hell is this today? Even the rope doesn’t work. It’s really weird! Perhaps this guy isn’t fated to die?” One of them said, “Cut it out. That’s enough for today. It’s late.” The evil cop who wanted to hang me up had to give up, and he pointed at me and cursed fiercely, “You are lucky today. See how I’ll fix you tomorrow!” I knew it was God who kept me again, and thanked God unceasingly in my heart. Then, I thought of God’s words, “All things in the universe are in my hand. I speak and it comes to be and I command and it stands firm. Satan is under my feet, and is in the bottomless pit!” (from “The Fifteenth Piece of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) “I am your rear guard. You should have the mettle of a man-child. Satan is making its last struggle desperately, but it cannot escape my judgment. Satan is under my feet, and is also under your feet. It is just so real!” (from “The Seventeenth Piece of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) Today I saw with my own eyes God’s wonderful keeping for me. I experienced that God is indeed almighty and rules over all things, the heavens and the earth and all things are in God’s hand, both the dead and the living are ruled by God, and these evil cops are even more in God’s manipulation. Although they look ferocious, without God’s permission, they can do nothing to me. As long as I have faith in God, and I’m willing to give up my life to satisfy God and stand testimony for God, these devils will surely be ashamed and defeated. This is just the manifestation of God’s being almighty and all-conquering!
In the two-story building, those evil cops tortured me from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m., and then they took me back to the police station. There, they locked me in an iron cage and didn’t give me food or water. Cold and hungry, I feebly leaned against the concrete iron bars of the cage. When I recalled what happened during the day, I couldn’t help thinking of God’s words, “This gang of accomplices! They come down to the human world to make merry and stir up troubles, disturbing so much that the world becomes cold and compassionless and people live in anxiety. They fool people so much that they become ox-headed and horse-faced, extremely ugly, and do not have any trace of the original holy men. They even want to rule and dominate in the world, and they hinder God’s work so much that it can hardly move a single step and seal people up so much that they are like walls of brass and iron. Having done so many iniquities and caused so many disasters, can’t they just wait to be chastised?” (from “Work and Entering In (7)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) Checking the facts against God’s words, I saw clearly that the cops I admired before are actually so cruel and malicious. They look gentlemanly outwardly, with their mouths full of kindheartedness and justice, and give a pretense of being “people’s good and kind servants,” but actually they are a gang of inhuman beasts and devils that kill without blinking an eye. What’s wrong with my believing in God and worshiping God? However, this gang of evil cops regard me as their enemy and use such extremely brutal tortures on me, trying to put me to death. A man can by no means do such a thing. Isn’t it the thing only the devil can do? At that time, I came to realize that these evil cops are humans in appearance, but in substance they are devils and evil spirits which hate the truth and God and are hostile to God by nature, and are living ghosts that specially come to the world to afflict and devour men. So they lay such violent hands on us believers in God. I bitterly hated this gang of devils in my heart. Meanwhile, I deeply felt God’s amiableness and loveliness. Although I was stuck in the devil’s talons, God was with me all the time, keeping me in secret, encouraging and comforting me with his words, and giving me faith and strength, so that I could tough it out in the devils’ cruel tortures time after time. Even several times when I was on the verge of death, God supported me by his great power and saved me from death. God’s love for me was so real! I told myself inwardly: No matter how these devils may torture me next, I’ll stand testimony to satisfy God. Inspired and led by God’s words, I was comforted within, and the pain of my body was much relieved. Accompanied by God’s love, I passed through the long night.
The next day, two evil cops came before the cage after their breakfast. One of them laughed viciously and said, “How do you feel? Have you thought it over during the night? Speak up or not?” I glanced at him but didn’t answer him. Seeing that, he immediately changed his countenance. He reached into the cage and seized my hair, pulled me toward him, burned my nose with his cigarette, and stared at me, saying venomously, “I tell you. I’ve dealt with many prisoners here. However tough they are, they can’t escape from my hand. Even if you don’t die, I’ll make you suffer a lot!” After a while, another two evil cops came. They unlocked the cage and dragged me out. Then, with my legs weak and limp, I couldn’t stand up, so I just collapsed to the ground. An evil cop thought that I was pretending, so he came up to me and gave me several hard kicks and abused, “How dare you play dead!” Another two evil cops carried me up, swung their fists, and struck my face and upper body unceasingly. After beating me for quite a while, they saw that I hung my head like a dead man, blood flowed from my nose and mouth, my face was like a blood gourd, and I had no reaction at all. One of them said, “Well. Stop beating him. It seems that he is going to die. If he dies in our hands, it’ll be troublesome.” Only then did they stop doing violence to me and leave me aside. I heard them talking in a low voice. Someone said, “Since I became a cop, I’ve never seen such an iron man like him, saying nothing from beginning to end. He’s really something!” From the evil cop’s words, I seemed to hear satan’s sigh in despondency, see its discomfiture of being badly defeated, and see God’s smiling face after gaining glory. I was joyful beyond description in my heart and thanked God silently. I couldn’t help humming the hymn of life experience “The Kingdom” in my heart, “Out of the tribulation come so many overcoming soldiers, overcoming with God and becoming God’s testimony. We look forward to the day God gains glory, which will definitely come. We will reign with God and severely punish satan the enemy. All peoples are streaming to this mountain, walking in God’s light. The unprecedented grand state of the kingdom will surely appear on the whole earth. All peoples are streaming to this mountain, walking in God’s light. The unprecedented grand state of the kingdom will surely appear on the whole earth. God is my rear guard; what shall I fear? I will war against satan to the end. God uplifts us, so we should give up everything and have a part in Christ’s sufferings. I will ready my love and offer it all to God to descend with God in glory. I will ready my love and offer it all to God to descend with God in glory. All peoples are streaming to this mountain, walking in God’s light. The unprecedented grand state of the kingdom will surely appear on the whole earth. All peoples are streaming to this mountain, walking in God’s light. The unprecedented grand state of the kingdom will surely appear on the whole earth. The unprecedented grand state of the kingdom will surely appear on the whole earth.” The more I sang it, the more strength I had. I felt it was really my honor that I could be fortunate to experience such adversity of persecution in following God. I had greater faith spontaneously. I made a firm resolution: I’ll pledge my life to fight satan to the end! Just like that, I went through another day.
Around 9 a.m. on the third day, a cop came in. After entering the room, he made a self-introduction first, saying that he was the chief of the police station. He walked up to me and said to me with feigned kindness, “You have suffered. I’ve been to the county to have a meeting for a few days. I heard about your matter as soon as I came back. I’ve criticized them severely. How could they beat you arbitrarily without knowing the situation clearly? They’ve really gone too far.” Facing the evil cop’s sudden “mildness,” I was somewhat bewildered. At that time, God’s word “My people should guard against satan’s schemes all the time” reminded me. I realized that this was satan’s scheme. Seeing that hard tactics didn’t work, satan resorted to soft tactics, attempting to make me fall into its trap and thus betray God and sell out the church. I was brightened in my heart and had my own judgment, thinking: God’s wisdom is based on satan’s schemes; no matter how sinister and cunning you old satan are, with God’s word leading me, your scheme will never succeed! In the end, the evil cop gained nothing and could only leave. After that, another two evil cops came in. They abused me exasperatedly, “You bastard wait! If you still don’t tell, don’t expect to get out in your life! Even if we have no evidence, we can convict you all the same. Let’s see!” In the face of the evil cops’ threat, I was very calm in my heart, thinking: I believe everything is in God’s hand. Whether I will be sentenced is also in God’s hand, and it isn’t decided by the devil but by God. Whatever the result may be, I believe that everything God does is meaningful, and I’m willing to obey to the end.
Though having no evidence to convict me, the evil cops still didn’t intend to release me. They didn’t give me food or water for several days. That night, I was so hungry that I didn’t have any strength. I thought: If this continues, will I be starved to death? Just then, I thought of a word in the Bible, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) Suddenly I had strength within. Yes. Man’s destiny is in God’s hand. If God doesn’t allow me to die, I won’t die. I should just obey God, and God will surely reveal his almighty deeds to me. After a while, the cops caught six gamblers. The six gamblers asked a cop to buy half a kilo of dumplings for each of them, but the cop bought them three and a half kilos. Later, they handed over the fine and were released soon. Before they left, they gave me the remaining half kilo of dumplings, which the cops didn’t know. Once again I saw God’s almightiness and sovereignty and that all people, matters, and things are manipulated in God’s hand. With tears brimming in my eyes, I had an inexpressible moving in my heart, and I felt that God is so lovely, so wonderful, and so almighty! Although I was stuck in the devils’ den, God had been caring for and keeping me by my side, acting as my inner life force and supporting me to overcome satan’s temptations one after another. Meanwhile, he was sympathizing with my weakness, helping me get out of the difficulty. God is so practical! God’s love is so real!
On the sixth day, the evil cops just couldn’t find any evidence to convict me, so in the end, they released me after fining me 200 yuan. I deeply knew that all this was ruled by God. How many sufferings I should undergo and how many paths I should walk had been predestinated by God. God wouldn’t let me undergo unnecessary sufferings, not even one more day. Today the evil cops’ releasing me wasn’t decided by them, because according to their sinister and malicious nature, they would by no means let me off lightly. However, without God’s permission, they could do nothing to me. This even more made me see that satans the devils are doing service for God’s perfecting his chosen people. Although they look ferocious, God rules over all things, and as long as we genuinely rely on God and obey God, God will keep us so that we can overcome all devilish forces and turn from danger to safety.
I was tortured in the police station for six whole days. The unusual experience of the six days made me see clearly the ugly face of the CCP government and its evil and reactionary nature and substance. I saw that it is the devil hostile to God and a clique of gangsters. Meanwhile, I tasted God’s almightiness and sovereignty and wonderfulness and wisdom, and experienced God’s love and salvation. I knew that God is an almighty, faithful, great, and lovely God, is the One worthy to be trusted and worshiped by man forever, and is even more the One worthy of man’s love. Such an experience has become a turning point in my life of believing in God. Without that experience, I would have no true hatred of satan or true knowledge of God. Thus, my faith in God would be very hollow, and I couldn’t possibly be saved. After experiencing the devils’ cruel persecution, I know what satan and the devil are, what hell on earth is, and what darkness and evil ruling is. I feel that living in China, this dark, evil, and filthy land, I can escape from satan’s talons, walk the way of believing in God, and pursue the light of human life, and this is indeed God’s great grace and mercy! Meanwhile, I have seen God’s almightiness and sovereignty, and experienced the authority and power of God’s word. God’s word can indeed be man’s life, and can save man from satan’s influence and help man overcome the bondage of death and Hades. And I have truly tasted that only God truly loves man and saves man in a practical way, while satan the devil can only deceive, afflict, and devour man. I thank God for making me discern right from wrong and see clearly good and evil through the devil’s persecution. From now on, I’m willing to pursue to understand and gain more truths so as to truly know God, and actively preach God’s gospel and testify God’s name, so that God will become the most holy, most honored, and most high and only object of worship among more people.