33. God’s Love Is Boundless
Li Qing Shandong Province
I suffered many hardships in the world. My husband died a few years after we married, and since then, the family burden completely fell on me. I lived a hard life with my young child and was always cold-shouldered and bullied by others. Weak and helpless, I was in tears every day, feeling it so hard to live in the world…. Just when I was in depression and despair, a sister preached Almighty God’s end-time work to me. Almighty God says, “When you feel tired and when you slightly feel a sense of desolation of this world, do not feel perplexed and do not weep. Almighty God, the Watcher, is ready to embrace your coming at any time.” (from “The Sighs of the Almighty” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) When I read it, I felt very warm in my heart. God’s motherly calling gave me the feeling that I had finally found my home, found my reliance, and found the destination of my heart. From then on, I read God’s word every day. From it, I knew that God is the source of the life of all things, and God is sovereign over everyone’s destiny, and Almighty God is the only reliance and salvation of mankind. In order to understand more truths, I actively attended meetings. In the Church of Almighty God, I saw that all the brothers and sisters were simple and open. Being together with them, I felt very secure and released in my heart and enjoyed the happiness and joy I had never had in the world. Thus, I was full of confidence and hope in my future life. To repay God’s love, I began to perform duty in the church. Unexpectedly, the CCP government simply didn’t allow people to believe in the true God and walk the right way, and I was arrested and persecuted inhumanly by the CCP government because of believing in God.
One afternoon in the twelfth lunar month of 2009, I was washing clothes at home. Suddenly, five or six undercover cops rushed into my yard. One of them roared, “We’re the criminal police. We specially crack down on believers in Almighty God!” Before I knew what was happening, they began to rummage everywhere like bandits and robbers. They had a thorough search inside and outside the house and confiscated the books on believing in God, a DVD player, and two CD players. Then, they pushed me into a police car and took me to the police station. On the way, I thought of the scene of one who was cruelly tortured after being arrested by the evil cops the brothers and sisters described before. I was very scared and felt as if my heart flew into my mouth. In anxiety, I prayed to God urgently, “Almighty God! Now I’m very weak. I feel scared at the thought of cruel tortures. May you give me faith and strength and remove my fear.” After the prayer, I thought of two passages of God’s words, “Those in power look ferocious in appearance, but do not be afraid. That is because you have little faith. As long as your faith rises, nothing will be difficult.” (from “The Seventy-fifth Piece of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) “In all my plan, the great red dragon serves as a setoff to me and becomes my ‘enemy,’ but it is also my ‘servant.’ Thus, I am never loose in my ‘requirements’ for it.” (from “The Twenty-ninth Piece of Word” of God’s Utterance to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh) Pondering God’s words, I understood: I’m afraid of satan’s torture, which means that I don’t have true faith in God. Satan is a setoff in God’s work. No matter how ferocious it is, it is in God’s hand. Moreover, the more ferocious satan is, the more I need to bear testimony for God by faith. At the crucial moment, I shall never be frightened by satan’s despotic power. I’ll overcome satan by the faith and strength God gives me. Thinking of that, I was not so afraid in my heart.
After arriving at the police station, without a word, two evil cops handcuffed me and kicked and pushed me to the second floor. Then, they said venomously, “A person like you deserves ‘superior treatment’!” I knew in my heart that the “superior treatment” they mentioned referred to cruel tortures. At that time, I kept praying to God inwardly and dared not leave God for a single moment, fearing that I might lose God’s care and keeping and thus be taken captive by satan the devil. As soon as I entered the interrogation room, an evil cop forced me to kneel down. Seeing that I refused, he suddenly kicked me in the bends of my legs. I flopped down on my knees despite myself. After that, they gathered around me punching and kicking me, and I got dizzy and my mouth and nose bled. They still thought it wasn’t enough and ordered me to sit on the floor and put a chair in front of me. An evil cop beat my back violently. Every blow knocked my head and face on the chair heavily. My head buzzed and ached unbearably. One evil cop laughed viciously, saying, “Someone has already sold you out. If you still don’t tell me, I’ll beat you to death.” As he said that, he punched my chest hard. It ached so much that I was short of breath for a long time. Then, another evil cop roared, “Do you really think you’re Liu Hulan? Sooner or later, I’ll beat the truth out of you.” Those devils tortured me by various means and they didn’t stop until they were tired. When I just wanted to take a breath, an evil cop over fifty years old came and used soft tactics to coax me, “Now someone has confessed that you’re a church leader. Do you think we won’t convict you if you don’t tell us? We’ve followed you for a long time. Since we had evidence, we arrested you. Speak quickly!” Hearing his words, I was astounded: Is it true? If someone really became a Judas and sold me out, wouldn’t they have known everything about me? Is it possible that I keep silent? What should I do? At the critical moment, Almighty God’s words guided me, “Think about so much grace you have received. You have heard so many words; can you hear them in vain? Even if others run away, you cannot run away. Even if others give up believing, you should still believe. If others reject God, you should safeguard God and testify God. If others slander God, you cannot slander God. However unkind God is to you, you should be worthy of him. You should repay his love. You should have conscience, for God is innocent. When he comes to earth from heaven and works among men, he has suffered great humiliations. He is holy, without any filthiness, but comes to the filthy land. How great humiliations does he have to endure? He works on you still for you. …” (from “The Significance of Saving the Descendants of Moab” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) Every word of God knocked my numb heart, and I was sharply rebuked in my conscience. Having followed Almighty God for years, I’ve enjoyed God’s infinite love and warmth, gained God’s rich supply of life, understood the truth that no one in the past ages could understand, known the meaning and value of man’s existence, and broken away from the painful, desolate, and helpless dark life of the past. God has given me so great love and grace; how could I forget it? How could I be at a loss and even want to betray God on hearing that someone has betrayed God? Thinking of that, I was already tearful. I hated myself for having no conscience and humanity. When a person grants me a favor, I even try my best to repay him. God has given me so much grace and blessing and bestowed upon me so great salvation, but I’m numb in conscience, not only not knowing to repay him but instead wanting to betray him at the time of danger. Don’t I grieve God too much? Then, I felt extremely miserable for my hesitation just now. If someone has truly betrayed God, it is exactly the time God is saddest and most painful. At that moment I should comfort God with my faithfulness. However, the selfish and base me not only didn’t stand on God’s side, but instead wanted to forsake God for an ignoble existence. I simply lost my conscience and sense and my thoughts were all for myself. I’ve grieved God too much and I’m so loathsome to God! In self-reproach and remorse, I prayed to God silently, “Almighty God! I’m too devoid of conscience and humanity. What I bring you in return is always hurt and pain, but what you give me is all mercy and love. O God! Thank you for letting me know what I should do. Now I’m willing to satisfy you once with my actual actions. No matter how satan may torture me, I’ll stand testimony for you even at the cost of my life and never betray you.” Seeing my tearful face, an evil cop thought that I wavered, so he walked up to me and said “gently,” “Speak quickly! If you tell me, I’ll release you.” I gave him a glare and said indignantly, “Want me to betray God? No way!” Hearing it, he was hopping mad. While slapping my face wildly, he roared hysterically, “You refuse a toast only to drink a forfeit. What a cheek! Do you think we are good-for-nothings? If you don’t confess honestly, we’ll sentence you to five years of imprisonment and won’t allow your child to attend school….” Then, they forced me to sit on the floor with my legs stretched. One evil cop stomped on one of my legs, while the other held my back with his knee, and seized my arms firmly and pulled them back forcefully. Immediately, my arms ached unbearably as if they were broken. My head involuntarily bent forward and banged against the desk. Then, I got a bump. At that time, it was a severe winter. The wind was so piercing and it was freezing cold. However, I was tortured by those evil cops so severely that I sweat all over and my clothes were drenched through. Seeing that I still didn’t yield, they forcibly stripped off my winter jacket, had me lie face up on the cold floor with thin clothes, and continued to interrogate me. Since I didn’t answer their questions, they kicked me wildly. Torturing me until evening, the evil cops were all exhausted, but they still got nothing. When they went for supper, they threatened me, “If tonight you still refuse to speak, you’ll be handcuffed onto the torture-rack and be frozen into the ice or even to death.” With that word, they left in anger. Then, I felt a thrill of fear: What other means will these devils use to torture me? Can I hold on? Especially when I thought of the evil cops’ ferocious faces and the scenes of their torturing me, I even more felt painful and helpless, deeply fearing that I would betray God because of being unable to endure the cruel tortures. So I prayed to God unceasingly. Just at that time, God’s words reminded me, “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 made me clear-minded. I knew that I was fooled by satan and lost faith in God. I also came to know that in this environment of suffering, I wasn’t warring alone, and I had Almighty God as my strong rear guard. Thus, I became strong in my heart and was no longer so timid and scared. Besides, I realized that I had too little faith in God and really needed to experience such an environment to be tempered and edified. Otherwise, I would never have true faith in God. Then, I remembered that when the Israelites came out of Egypt, they were chased by the Egyptian soldiers to the Red Sea and had no retreat. They followed God’s word to cross the Red Sea by faith. Out of their expectation, the Red Sea became a dry land, and they got out of the danger and escaped from the chase of the Egyptian soldiers. Today, as long as I have faith, I can also defeat satan by relying on God. Then, I prayed to God in my heart, “Almighty God! I’ll war against satan by relying on you and never be intimidated by the devil’s despotic power! I’ll stand testimony for you.” At the time of danger, Almighty God not only became my strong and powerful rear guard, but sympathized with my weakness. That night, the evil cops didn’t come to interrogate me. I passed through the night securely.
The next morning, several ferocious cops came. They threatened me, “If you still don’t confess, there’ll be a lot for you! We’ll let you taste death! Today even the almighty God can’t save you. Even if you’re Liu Hulan, it’s of no use. If you don’t speak, never expect to get out alive….” After that, they forced me to take off my winter jacket and lie on the freezing cold floor and interrogated me. Looking at their evil eyes, I could only call to God desperately, asking God to keep me so that I could stand testimony. Seeing that I kept silent all along, they became furious. One of them struck the top of my head with a folder so hard that my head spinned. While beating me, he shouted abuses and threatened me, “Let her have a taste of being beheaded today. Where does her child study? Inform the headmaster to bring him here. Let him know how it feels to be worse than death….” After that, they interrogated me about the things they searched out. As they were dissatisfied with my answer, they again used the folder to hit my mouth violently so that the corners of my mouth split and bled. Then, they beat me all over wildly and didn’t stop until they were tired. At that time, an evil cop came in from outside. As I didn’t confess, four or five guys including him came over together, unlocked my handcuffs, and then handcuffed my hands behind my back. They had me sit in front of a big desk, with my face parallel with the edge of the desk and my legs straightened. When my legs were not straightened, they trod on them, held my shoulders, and lifted up my arms and handcuffs for a long time. I was forced to sit still as they required. If I moved forward, I would hit my face. If I moved to the sides or backward, I would be severely tortured. Due to their base means, I felt extremely miserable and screamed incessantly. Seeing that I was dying, they put me down slowly and let me lie on the floor. After a while, those inhuman devils continued to torture and afflict me. Four or five evil cops stomped on my legs and arms so that I couldn’t move. Then they pinched my nose and cheeks and poured cold water into my mouth without stop. I was suffocated and struggled hard, yet they still didn’t let go. Gradually, I lost consciousness…. Not knowing how long had passed, I suddenly woke up because of being choked by water and I coughed violently. Water flowed out from my mouth, nose, and ears, and my chest ached sharply. I felt it was murky around and my eyeballs seemed to burst. Due to choking, I could only exhale but not inhale with my eyes fixed, and I felt as if I would die immediately…. Just when my life was at stake, suddenly I coughed and twitched violently and spat some more water. Afterward, I didn’t feel so awful. At that time, an evil cop seized my hair and sat me up, and he swayed my handcuffs wildly. Also, he ordered a lackey to get an electric baton to shock me. Unexpectedly, that lackey came back in a short time. He said, “I only found four electric batons. Two of them don’t work, and the other two have dead batteries….” On hearing that, the devil roared furiously, “You rubbish. Bring chili water!” I kept praying to God in my heart, asking him to keep me so that I could overcome the devil’s various tortures. Just then, an unexpected thing happened. One evil cop said, “That thing is too strong. We’ve tortured her so badly. Don’t use it.” At his words, the devil had to give it up. At that time, I truly felt that God is sovereign over everything and rules over everything and that it was God who kept me from the affliction. However, those devils still didn’t let me off. They handcuffed my hands behind my back, stomped on my legs, and forcefully lifted the handcuffs. I felt that my arms ached as if they were broken, and I screamed on and on. I kept calling to Almighty God in my heart, and involuntarily I cried out, “Al…” At once, I softened my tone and said, “All things, I’ll tell you….” Those devils thought that I would really tell them everything, so they stopped and roared at me, “We’re specialized in handling cases. Never expect to deceive us. Today if you don’t confess honestly, don’t expect to get out of here alive. We give you some time to think it over!” Facing the devils’ torture and threat, I was very distressed: I don’t want to die here, much less betray God or sell out the church. What should I do? How about telling a brother or a sister? Immediately, I realized that I couldn’t do it. If I said it, it would mean that I betrayed God and became a Judas. In agony, I prayed to God, “God, what should I do? May you inspire and lead me and give me strength.” After the prayer, God’s words appeared to me, “The church is my heart. … Safeguard my testimony at any cost; this should be the principle of your doing things. Don’t forget.” (from “The Forty-first Piece of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) Right! The church is God’s heart. If I sell out the brothers and sisters, it means that I disturb the church, which grieves and hurts God most. I should never do anything that demolishes the church. God comes from heaven to earth and does the work to save us. Satan is always fiercely looking at this group of people God has chosen, attempting to exterminate all of them and demolish God’s church. If I sell out the brothers and sisters, won’t I allow satan’s scheme to succeed? God is so beautiful and good, and what he does on man is all love. I can’t grieve God’s heart. Today, I can do nothing for God. I only wish to stand testimony to repay God’s love, and this is the only thing I can do now. After understanding God’s will, I prayed to God, “God, I don’t know how they will torture me. You know my stature is too small and I’m always timid and afraid, but I believe everything is in your hand. I’m willing to make a resolution before you that I’ll stand testimony even if I have to give up my life….” Right then, a devil roared angrily, “Have you thought it over? If you still don’t confess honestly, I’ll let you die here today! Even the almighty God can’t save you!” I kept my eyes closed and said nothing, with the resolution that I would stand testimony even if I had to die. Gnashing their teeth in anger, the devils rushed forward and kept insulting and torturing me by stomping, beating, and so on like before. They beat my head wildly until I felt dizzy and blacked out, feeling as if my head split. Gradually, I felt that my eyeballs couldn’t move. I couldn’t feel pain or hear anything clearly, only feeling that their voices seemed to come from afar. But I was very clear in my heart and kept repeating a word silently: I won’t be a Judas even if I die…. Not knowing how long had passed, I woke up. I found myself wet all over. Four or five evil cops were crouching around me, seemingly checking whether I was alive or dead. Looking at those evil cops worse than beasts, I was very indignant: Are they the “people’s police” who “love the people as if they were their children”? Are they the law enforcement officials “upholding justice and punishing evil and promoting good”? They are a gang of evil demons and beasts from hell! Then, I remembered these words in Fellowship and Preaching About Life Entering In, “… The great red dragon is most malicious and frenzied in resisting and attacking God. It is most cruel and severe in afflicting God’s chosen people. This is the fact. What is the great red dragon’s purpose to oppress and persecute God’s chosen people? It wants to abolish God’s end-time work and God’s coming again. This is its maliciousness and is also satan’s scheme.” Checking against the facts before my eyes, I saw clearly that the CCP government is the embodiment of satan and is the evil one that has been hostile to God from the beginning. It is because only satan the devil hates the truth and fears the true light, banishes the coming of the true God, and can so inhumanly afflict and torture people who follow God to walk the right way of human life. Today, God is incarnated and comes to its nest to work, so that I, most deeply blinded by it, know that it is satan the devil that afflicts and devours man, and that outside its dark rule, there is light and there is a true God who cares for and supplies us day and night. It is Almighty God’s coming that brings me the truth and the light, so that I can finally see clearly the devilish face of the CCP government which claims itself to be “great, glorious, and correct” every day, have bitter hatred of it, and know the meaning and value of man’s pursuing the truth. The more I pondered, the brighter I became. I felt a strength supporting me within, and I didn’t feel so painful when tortured by the evil cops. I deeply knew that God kept me so that I overcame the cruel tortures in that interrogation.
In the end, failing to get any result, they imposed on me the charge of “disturbing the social order” and took me to the detention house. There, the CCP government took the prisoners as working machines, forcing them to work without stop from morning till night. Every day, I rested for less than five hours and was exhausted all day as if torn apart. Even so, the prison guards didn’t give me enough food. For each meal, they only gave me two small steamed buns, and there wasn’t any oil in the food. During my detention, the evil cops interrogated me several times. In the last interrogation, they said that they would sentence me to two years of hard labor. I questioned them justly, “Don’t I have freedom of belief? Why do you sentence me to two years of hard labor? I have sickness. If I die here, how can my children and parents live? They will starve to death without anyone’s care.” An evil cop around fifty years old said harshly, “Because you have broken the law and we have conclusive evidence!” I refuted, “It is a good thing for me to believe in God. I don’t murder or commit arson, nor do bad things, but pursue to be a good person. Why don’t you allow me to believe?” Seeing me refute them, they got furious. One of them came forward and slapped me, and then he knocked me down with one punch. They forced me to lie on the floor. One of them held my shoulders, another one held my legs, and the third one trod on my face forcefully with his leather shoe. And he said shamelessly, “Today is the time for a market fair. We can strip you naked and parade you through the streets!” As he said, he stomped and rubbed my private parts and breasts with force. Additionally, he stomped one of his feet on my breast and lifted the other suddenly, and repeatedly did so. Also, he stomped and ground my thighs every now and then. My trousers were thus torn, and the crotch was also split. My tears of humiliation kept flowing, and I felt that I would break down: O God, I really can’t stand such humiliation of the devils. It’s too miserable to live like this. May you let me die soon. Just when I felt so miserable and couldn’t restrain myself, I remembered God’s words, “Now is the time for us to repay God’s love. Although we have suffered much ridicule, slander, and persecution because of walking the way of believing in God, I think this is a meaningful thing, and it is glory, not humiliation. And anyway, we have enjoyed much blessing.” (from “The Way… (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) Then, I thought of the words of the Lord Jesus, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake…. Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven….” (Matthew 5:10-12) God’s words corrected my erroneous viewpoint. I realized: These sufferings and humiliations I undergo today are most valuable and meaningful. I suffer for believing in God and walking the right way of human life and for gaining the truth and the life. Such suffering is not humiliation but God’s blessing. I should feel happy and proud for it. As I’m too disobedient and my heart is too hardened, I always regard my own gain or loss and honor or disgrace so important. Once I’m mistreated, I will make complaints and want to resist God with death, so I can’t see God’s love and blessing at all. Then, how can I not grieve God? In remorse and self-rebuke, I thought about my experience in those days. Gradually, I understood: My experiencing such a tribulation of persecution is God’s deeper love and salvation for me. God wants to remove my fragility through this environment and work true faith and love into me, so that I can learn to obey in adverse circumstances, become strong in spirit, withstand storms, and be of one heart and one mind with God unswervingly in any cases, and thus inherit God’s blessing and promises in the end. Facing God’s love and reflecting on my disobedience, I came before God to repent deeply, “Almighty God, I’m too blind and ignorant. I didn’t know your love and blessing but always thought that suffering wasn’t a good thing. Now I’ve known that everything that comes upon me today is your blessing. Although this blessing is discordant with my notion and outwardly my flesh is humiliated and suffering, actually all this is the most precious treasure of life you’ve bestowed to me, is the evidence of overcoming satan, and is even more your most true and real love for me. O God! I really hate myself for being too absurd. Instead of purely understanding the work you do on me, I always misunderstand and complain against you, bringing too great hurt to you. Now facing your love and salvation, I have nothing to repay you. The only thing I can do is to hand over my heart to you, obey this environment with a heart of loving you, and endure all sufferings and humiliations to stand testimony for you.”
When I was prepared for imprisonment and made a firm resolution to satisfy God, God’s love surpassed what I asked and thought and God made a way out for me. Unexpectedly, on the thirteenth day of my detention, God raised up my brother-in-law to rescue me. After spending 3,000 yuan greasing the wheels and handing over 5,000 yuan to the police, he bailed me out, and my sentence would be executed outside the prison. After I went back home, I found that the flesh on my legs was stomped so hard that it became dead, hard and black. It didn’t recover until over three months later. The evil cops’ torture damaged my brain and heart seriously. Even now, I’m still suffering from sickness. If not for God’s keeping, I would have long been paralyzed in bed. Today, it is all because of God’s great love and keeping that I can live like a normal person.
Having experienced that tribulation of persecution, I’ve truly seen clearly the CCP government’s devilish substance of resisting God, and seen clearly that it is the enemy and the evil one irreconcilable with God, thus having a bitter hatred for it. Meanwhile, I have a deeper knowledge of God’s love than before. I’ve understood that all the work God does on man is salvation and love for man, and that not only grace and blessing are God’s love, but suffering and tribulation are even more God’s love. Moreover, I’ve truly experienced that I could still stand firm when cruelly tortured and humiliated by swarms of devils and walk out of the devil’s den, and it was all because Almighty God’s words gave me faith and strength, and even more because Almighty God’s love encouraged me, so that I could overcome satan and walk out of the devils’ den step by step. Thank God for his love and salvation for me. I’ll give the glory and praise to Almighty God!