12. God’s Word Led Me to Forge Testimony
Xiao Min Shandong Province
I was born in a poor and backward village, and lived in poverty from childhood. After I got married, to make my little life become rich as soon as possible, I worked and labored like crazy. In the end, I fell sick from overwork. The previously healthy me got many illnesses. Since then, I lived in the affliction of illnesses and began to see doctors and seek remedies everywhere. I spent a lot of money, but my illnesses never got better. In the spring of 1999, two sisters preached Almighty God’s end-time work to me. Through reading Almighty God’s word, I knew that Almighty God is the returned Savior Jesus and He can save man from all the miseries. As I read more and more of God’s words, I understood some truths, my outlook on life and my values changed somewhat, and my distressed and oppressed heart was released. Gradually, I recovered from my illnesses. I was deeply grateful to God, so I preached the gospel to testify God’s end-time work actively.
However, not long afterward, I was arrested by the CCP government three times in succession because of that. Every time, I overcame satan’s persecution under the leading of Almighty God. In 2012, once when performing duty, I fell into the devil’s den again and was tortured cruelly by satan the devil….
On the evening of September 13, 2012, I went back to the host home. As usual, I rang the bell after parking my electric scooter. Unexpectedly, as soon as the door opened, four big men sprang on me like fierce wolves. They forcibly twisted my arms backward, handcuffed me, and pressed me onto a chair so that I couldn’t move. Immediately after that, several evil cops went to search my bag…. I was stunned by this sudden violence, feeling myself like a poor lamb falling into the hands of fierce wolves, without any strength to resist. Then, they forced me into a black car. In the car, the captain, with a look of a scoundrel who had realized his wish, turned around and laughed hideously, saying, “Huh, do you know how we managed to catch you?” Fearing that I might escape, two cops sat beside me separately, keeping me under guard as if I were a felon. I felt indignant and flustered in my heart, not knowing how those evil cops would fix and torture me. I was very afraid that I couldn’t overcome it and would become a Judas and betray God. Then, I thought of God’s words, “As long as you ask and pray more before me, I will bestow to you all the faith. 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) Almighty God’s words gave me faith and strength, so my heart calmed down gradually. Yes. No matter how rampant and vicious the evil cops are, they are only chessmen in God’s hand and are all in God’s manipulation. Since God is with me, nothing will be difficult. If these evil cops torture me cruelly, it will be that God wants to test my faith. No matter how they torment my flesh, they can’t in the least prevent my heart from looking to and calling to God. Even if they terminate my flesh, they can’t terminate my soul, for my everything is in God’s hand. At that time, I no longer feared satan the devil and resolved to stand testimony for God. Then, I prayed in my heart, “O Almighty God! No matter how satan treats me today, I’m willing to face it. Although I’m weak in my flesh, I’m willing to live by relying on you and give no chance to satan. May you keep me from betraying you and being a shameless Judas.” On the way, I kept singing a hymn of life experience silently, “The approaching of darkness and the arriving of God’s day are ruled and arranged by God. How can I withdraw, how can I escape, and what am I created for? It’s natural and right that I dedicate myself and sacrifice my life for God. By this I comfort God’s heart.” (from “Repay God with Love” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs) As I sang it, my heart was full of inexhaustible strength, and I resolved to fight against satan to the end by the wisdom and strength God gave me.
On entering the interrogation room, I saw that my work partner, the host sister, and a church leader were also there. Actually, they were all arrested! Seeing me look at the sisters, an evil cop stared at me, scolding, “What are you looking at? Go to that room!” To prevent us from talking with one another, the cops put us in different interrogation rooms. They forcibly searched me, and even untied my belt and groped me. At that moment, I felt greatly humiliated. I saw that those devilish lackeys of the CCP government were evil, base, and obscene to the extreme! I was very angry but was forced to keep my resentment to myself, because in the devil’s den, there was no place for me to reason at all. After confiscating the electric scooter of the church and over 600 yuan on me, they began to interrogate me. One questioned me, “What’s your name? What position do you hold in the church? Who’s your leader? Where’s he now?” I turned a deaf ear to him. The evil cop roared at me angrily, “Do you think we won’t know if you don’t tell? Remember what we are! I tell you, your upper leaders have also been arrested!” Then they spoke a succession of names and asked if I knew them. They also questioned me, “Where’s the Church’s money? Speak quickly!” I declined resolutely, “I know none of them! I know nothing!” After the first interrogation failed, they used a most mean way, “wheel combat,” to interrogate and torture me. The evil cops interrogated and tortured me for three days and four nights. During those unbearable days and nights, I called out to God desperately. God’s words led me, “Do not fear this or that. No matter how many difficulties and dangers there are, you should be stable before me and not be hindered by anything, letting my will be carried out smoothly. This is your duty. … Remove your fear. With me as your rear guard, who can block the way? Remember! Remember! In everything there is my good purpose, and it is I who search in it. …” (from “The Tenth Piece of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) Right! Almighty God is my strong tower. With Almighty God as my strong rear guard, I fear nothing! As long as I have faith to cooperate with God, I believe God will help me overcome satan’s temptation and go through the difficulty.
On the first day, as the evil cops failed to get what they wanted from my mouth, they flew into a rage. One captain said ferociously, “I’m not convinced of her toughness. Torture her!” Hearing the words, I became weak and frightened again, feeling that I couldn’t stand their tortures anymore. I could only call to God earnestly, “Almighty God! Now I’m very weak and have no strength at all, but the evil cops will torture me. I really don’t know if I can stand firm. May you be with me and give me strength.” The evil cops hung my hands which were handcuffed behind the back to a shabby table and forced me to half squat and half kneel. They glared at me fiercely and questioned me, “Where’s your leader? Where’s the money?” At the same time, they could hardly wait for the time when I couldn’t endure the cruel torture and thus yielded to them. After they tortured me like that for half an hour, my legs began to ache and shake, my heart went pit-a-pat, and my arms ached grievously. My endurance reached to its limit and I felt that I really couldn’t hold on anymore. Then I prayed anxiously in my heart, “Almighty God! Please save me! I really can’t stand it. I don’t want to betray you and become a Judas. May you keep me!” At that time, I thought of a passage of God’s words, “With every step of work God does on you, behind it satan is making a wager with God, and behind it there is a war. … When satan is warring against God in the spiritual realm, how should you satisfy God? How should you stand the testimony for God? You should know that every time a thing comes, it is a great trial to you, and it is the time God needs you to bear a testimony.” (from “Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) God’s words made me clear-minded. I realized this: Satan tortures me in this way just to make me betray God and give up pursuing the truth. This is a war in the spiritual realm, is satan’s temptation, and is also God’s trial to me. Now, it’s just the time God needs me to bear testimony. God is waiting for me, many angels are looking at me, and satan the devil is also looking at me. They’re all waiting for me to take sides. I can’t collapse or yield to satan. I should let God’s work be carried out on me so as to satisfy God’s will. This is a duty that I, a created being, should perform obligatorily and is my bounden duty. At this crucial moment, my attitude and manifestation are directly related to whether I can bear an overcoming testimony for God, and are even more related to whether I can be the proof of God’s defeating satan and gaining glory. I can never grieve and disappoint God and can’t allow the schemes of satan the devil that afflicts me to succeed. When I thought of that, a stream of strength rose up from my heart. I said firmly, “Even if you beat me to death, I still know nothing!” Just then, a female cop came in and had a look, saying, “Put her down quickly. Who’ll take the blame if something happens to her?” I knew clearly in my heart that Almighty God heard my prayer and kept me from the affliction at the time of danger. When the evil cops put me down, I collapsed on the floor right away, unable to stand up. My arms and legs had lost all feeling. I only had strength left to breathe and couldn’t feel my limbs. At that time, I was so scared and my tears ran down ceaselessly. I thought: Will I be disabled in future? Even so, the evil cops still didn’t let me off. Two evil cops took my arms and dragged me up like dragging a dead person and pressed me onto a shabby chair. One of them said venomously, “If she still doesn’t speak, hang her up with ropes!” Very soon, the other evil cop brought a thin nylon rope and hung my handcuffed hands to the heating pipe. My arms were pulled straight immediately. After a short time, my back and shoulders were extremely painful. They continued to interrogate me, saying, “Speak up or not?” I still didn’t answer them. Then they poured water on my face exasperatedly and said that it would help sober me up. At that moment, I was already tortured so badly that I didn’t have any strength at all. Seeing that I still said nothing, one evil cop even shamelessly lifted my eyelids with his fingers forcefully. Immediately, my eyes felt hot pain from tearing…. After several hours’ interrogation and torture, the evil cops exhausted their tricks and ended in failure.
Failing to get any result from me, the evil cops carried out another scheme. A man who called himself expert at interrogation was transferred from the city to deal with me. They took me into another room and ordered me to sit on the iron chair. Then they firmly shackled my ankles to the legs of the chair and handcuffed my hands to its arms. After a while, a man with glasses who looked well-mannered came in with his briefcase under his arm. He smiled at me and hypocritically unlocked the handcuffs and fetters and let me sit on the bed on the side for those on duty. He served me water one moment and unwrapped candies for me next. Then, he came over and said to me with hypocrisy, “Is it worth it? You’ve suffered so much. In fact, it’s nothing serious. You’ll be fine if you tell….” Facing such a situation, I didn’t know how to cooperate with God. So I hurried to pray in my heart, asking God to inspire and lead me. Then, I thought of Almighty God’s words, “Be able to withstand all trials and accept everything from me. Follow as the Holy Spirit leads. Be sensitive in spirit and have discernment, know people, and don’t follow others blindly. Your spiritual eyes should keep clear at all times and see through everything.” (from “The Eighteenth Piece of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) God’s words showed me the way of practice. I realized this: Devils are devils forever and they will never change their devilish substance of being ferocious and diabolic. Whether they use tough or soft tactics, their purpose is to make me betray God and forsake the true way. Reminded by God’s words, I became clear-minded and took a firm stand. Then, he said, “If you continue believing in Almighty God, your child’s future will be affected. You can’t be so selfish. You should have some consideration for your child….” Hearing those words, I again got somewhat confused within and was greatly disturbed. In my confusion, I suddenly thought of Peter’s successful experiences of standing testimony before satan: He always tried to know God when satan carried out its schemes. Then, I looked to God and committed myself to God in my heart to seek his will. Unknowingly, I remembered Almighty God’s words, “Only God has been consoling this mankind, and only God has been caring for this mankind day and night. The development and the progress of mankind cannot do without God’s sovereignty. The history and the future of mankind cannot escape from the arrangement of God’s hand. … Only God Godself knows what the destiny of any nation and race will be, and only God Godself is in control of what course this mankind will follow.” (from “God Is Sovereign over the Destiny of All Mankind” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) God’s words enlightened me within. Yes! God is the Creator. Man’s future and destiny are all in God’s hand. Satan the devil is the brood of resisting God. It can’t even change its own destiny of being doomed to hell. How could it control man’s destiny? Man’s destiny is preordained by Heaven. What work my child will do in the future and whether his future will be good or bad are all decided by God, and satan can’t control it at all. Thinking of that, I saw more clearly satan the devil’s baseness and shamelessness. To force me to deny and reject God, it even used the sinister means, “psychological tactics,” to tempt me to fall into its trap. Without Almighty God’s timely revelation and guidance, I would have long been defeated and taken captive by satan. Finally, the evil cop came to his wit’s end and could do nothing but leave in dejection.
On the third day, seeing that no result could be gained from the interrogation, the captain of the criminal police team became infuriated. He complained that those lackeys were too incapable. Then, he came over and ridiculed me with a half grin, saying, “Why do you still not confess? Do you want to be Liu Hulan? You are really a dead mouse that feels no cold! Why doesn’t your Almighty God come to save you? …” As he said that, he held a small electric baton before my eyes which gave off blue light with a sputtering sound to frighten me. And he pointed at a big electric baton being recharged and threatened me, “Do you see that? The battery of this small one almost runs down. In a while, I’ll use the big fully-charged one to shock you. I’ll see whether you tell or not! I don’t believe that you won’t speak!” Looking at that big electric baton, I couldn’t help panicking in my heart: These evil cops are so ferocious and ruthless. Won’t they fix me to death? Can I stand it? Will I be shocked to death? At that time, weakness, timidity, misery, and helplessness all came over me…. I called to God immediately, “O Almighty God! Although I feel extremely painful and weak in my flesh, I’m not willing to care for it. My flesh is low and worthless. I only wish that my heart could be gained and approved by you. May you keep me, so that I’ll never betray you and become the betrayer Judas.” In my praying, a hymn of God’s word came to my mind, “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, pass the bridge of faith into God’s word.” (from “Only If We Have True Faith Will We Have Testimony” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs) I also remembered the words of the Lord Jesus, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28) God’s words made me tearful and extremely moved. The strength in my heart was burning like flaming fire. I shall fear nothing even if I have to die today. It is a glory that I can die for God. Even if I have to give up everything, I’ll fight satan to the death! Just then, a hymn of God’s word appeared in my mind, “On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus felt extreme pain as if a knife were being twisted in his heart, but he did not have the slightest intention of turning back in his heart, and there was always a strong power directing him to walk toward the place of crucifixion. He became in the likeness of sinful flesh and was crucified, and accomplished the work of redeeming all mankind.” (from “Imitate the Lord Jesus” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs) While singing it in my heart, I couldn’t help shedding tears. The scenes of Jesus Christ being crucified rose before my eyes: Jesus was scoffed, reviled, and slandered by the Pharisees, and he was flogged by the executioners with iron barbed whips, wounded all over. In the end he was cruelly nailed onto the cross, but he didn’t say a word from beginning to end…. Jesus endured all that because of his love for mankind and such love surpassed the love for his own life. At that time, encouraged and moved by God’s love, I had great faith and strength within. I felt that I feared nothing and that it was a glory if I could die for God and it was a shame if I became a Judas. God helped me break away from the bondage of death again and made a way out for me at the same time. Just then, an evil cop ran in and said, “A disturbance is raised in the square. Quickly send out our men to suppress it and keep order!” Those evil cops hurried away. When they came back, it was already late at night. As they were too exhausted to interrogate me, they said fiercely, “Since you don’t confess, we’ll send you to the detention house!”
On the morning of the fourth day, the evil cops forcibly took my fingerprint and took photos of me. When I was photographed, an evil cop hung a big square signboard around my neck, on which my name was written with a writing brush. I was like a criminal being criticized and denounced. They scoffed and teased me aside. I felt myself greatly humiliated and became very weak and depressed in my heart. I realized that I was in a wrong state. Then, I hurriedly prayed to God silently, “O God! May you keep my heart so that I can understand your will and won’t fall into satan’s scheme.” After the prayer, a passage of God’s words clearly floated into my mind, “You are a created being, and you should worship God and pursue a meaningful life. … Since you are a man, you should spend for God and endure all sufferings! As for the little suffering you are undergoing now, you should accept it gladly and readily in your heart. You should live out a meaningful life…. You people are the ones who pursue the right way and pursue to make progress. You stand up in the country of the great red dragon and are the ones called righteous by God. Isn’t this the most meaningful life?” (from “Practice (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) God’s words, with authority and power, lighted up my heart and dispelled my inner darkness, making me understand the value and meaning of my living. I realized this: As a created being, I can pursue the truth and live for worshiping and satisfying God, and only this is the most valuable and meaningful human life. Today, I’m arrested and detained for believing in God and can have a part with Christ in his tribulation, which is not humiliation, but a glorious thing. Satan doesn’t worship God but instead tries every possible means to disrupt and hinder God’s work, and it is most base and shameless. Thinking of that, I was full of strength and joy within. Seeing that I had a smile on my face, an evil cop looked at me in surprise, saying, “Why are you so happy?” I said boldly, “It is right and proper to believe in and worship God. It’s not wrong. Why am I not happy?” Under God’s leading, I overcame satan by relying on God once again.
After that, I was taken to the detention house. Everything there was more ghastly and horrible. I felt as if I had fallen into Hades and hell: For each meal, there was only a small black steamed bun and a bowl of cabbage soup with few leaves. My stomach growled with hunger every day. Even so, I still had to labor like a beast of burden for more than ten hours a day. If I failed to fulfill the quota, I would be beaten or made to stand watch as punishment. Since I had been cruelly tortured for several days in succession, I was wounded all over and even had difficulty in walking, but the prison guards still forced me to carry very heavy steel wires. Because of the heavy work, my waist, hurt before, was unbearably painful. I had to climb into bed every day. During the night, the evil cops forced me to stand watch for the prisoners. I really couldn’t bear the over-exhaustion. One night, when I stood watch, I squatted down for a break while the evil cops were not around. However, an evil cop saw that in the monitor room and he rushed toward me and shouted venomously, “Who let you sit down?” One prisoner whispered to me, “Apologize to the officer quickly. Otherwise, he’ll let you ‘lie on the big bed.’ (That is, they carry a wooden plank into the cell, shackle the prisoner’s legs and feet, bind her wrists, and then tie her to the bed for half a month without letting her move.)” Hearing those, I was angry and full of hatred yet I couldn’t make the slightest resistance. I could only hold back my anger and say nothing. Facing such oppression and torture, I felt it hard to bear them. When I lay on the cold bed at night, tears of grievance streamed down unceasingly, and I was full of complaints and demands of God in my heart. I thought: When will such days come to an end? I’m really unwilling to stay in such a devilish place for one more day. Then, God’s words inspired me, “If you understand the meaning of human life and step onto the right way of human life, and no matter how God deals with you in the future, you submit to God’s manipulation, without any complaint or choice or any demand of God, then you will be of value.” (from “How Should You Walk the Final Part of the Journey” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) God’s words made me feel ashamed of myself. Before, I often said that I would endure everything for God and that no matter how great the sufferings and tribulations I encountered, I would obey God completely like Peter, without my own choice or requirement. However, when the persecution and tribulation came upon me and I needed to suffer and pay the price, I had no practical living out, being full of unreasonable demands and resistance to God, and always wanting to break free from the plight so that my flesh wouldn’t suffer any more. Then how could I gain the truth and life God bestows to man? Only then did I understand God’s thoughtful kind intention. God permits these afflictions to come upon me just to temper my will to suffer and make me learn to obey in the afflictions and submit to his manipulation, and thus inherit his promises. All that God does is love and salvation for me and is to transform me into a real man. From then on, my heart got released. I didn’t feel wronged or distressed any longer but only wanted to do my best to cooperate with God and pursue to gain the truth in such an environment.
One month later, the police set me free due to lack of evidence, but they restricted my personal freedom on the charge of “disrupting the enforcement of the law and joining a cult”: Within a year, I wasn’t allowed to go beyond the province or the city and I must be on call. After I went back home, I knew that all the possessions I left in the host home were plundered by the evil cops. Besides, the evil cops, like bandits, searched over my house and threatened my family that I wouldn’t be released until they handed over 25,000 yuan. My mother-in-law had a heart attack because of being frightened and she recovered from it after spending more than 2,000 yuan for treatment in hospital. Furthermore, because of the evil cops’ cruel tortures, I have serious sequelae. My arms and thighs often swell and ache from serious strain. I even can’t lift up vegetables weighing 2.5 kilograms or wash clothes. I’ve completely lost the ability to work. Because of the CCP government’s cruel persecution, I hated satan more bitterly, hating satan the devil that does things in a perverse way and goes against Heaven.
Through experiencing that persecution and affliction, I’ve truly experienced that God’s work is so practical and so wise! In that environment of suffering, God worked the truth into me little by little, so that I walked out of darkness, broke free from death, and saw the dawn of being saved. Just in that way, God led me to overcome time after time in satan’s persecution and tribulation, making me receive the watering and supply of his word, understand the truths, and gain discernments. Moreover, God tempered my willpower, perfected my faith, helped me learn to look to and rely on him, had my corrupt disposition gradually cleansed, and caused me to become mature in life gradually. I’ve truly seen that God has triumphed and satan has been defeated. Just as a hymn of God’s word goes, “The maturer the people become (the maturer the people become), the sooner it proves the great red dragon will collapse. The maturity of the people is the sign of the perishing of the enemies. This is ‘competition,’ ‘competition.’ When all people know God in the flesh and see, see God’s deeds in the flesh, the nest of the great red dragon (the nest of the great red dragon) will come to naught, come to naught and be reduced to ashes, come to naught and be reduced to ashes.” (from “The Maturer the People Become, the Sooner the Great Red Dragon Will Collapse” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs)