89. Pledging My Life to Devotion
Zhou Xuan Shandong Province
On April 3, 2003, I went with a sister to visit a new believer. This new believer had still not been set in the truth and ended up reporting us. As a result, four evil plain-clothes police came and aggressively forced the two of us into their vehicle and took us to the police station. On the road, my heart was extremely nervous, because on my person was a pager, a partial list of names of members of our church, and a notepad. I was afraid that the evil police would discover these things and I was more afraid that my brothers and sisters would call my pager, therefore I continually and urgently prayed to God in my heart: “God, what am I supposed to do? I ask You to provide a way out for me and not let these things fall into the hands of the evil police.” Following this, I took the things from my bag and quietly moved them into my waist and said that my stomach was not feeling good and I had to use the restroom. The evil police swore at me saying: “You are full of shit!” Upon my repeated requests, they had a female police officer watch me as I went to the bathroom. When I removed my belt, the pager fell out and I easily picked it up and threw it into the sewer pipe. Because I was afraid at the time that the female officer would discover the bag in my waist, I didn’t throw it in the pipe, but rather placed it in the garbage can; I thought that I would use the bathroom again at night and then throw it in the toilet. As it turned out, I never went back to that bathroom. It turned out that the evil police found the bag I had thrown away in the garbage can.
The evil police locked the sister and I up in a room and made us take all our clothes off so they could search us. They even sifted through our hair to see if we were hiding anything. After they were done searching, they handcuffed us and locked us in the room. When night came, the evil police separated us for intense interrogation; they asked me: “Where are you from? What is your name? When did you come here? What are you doing here? Where do you live? What do you believe? What is the name of the person with you?” Because they were not satisfied with my answers, the evil police furiously said: “We show leniency to those who confess and sternness to those who resist. If you don’t tell the truth, you will have yourself to blame! Speak! Who is in charge of you? What are you doing? Speak and we will treat you leniently.” At the time I thought: I haven’t broken the law or committed any crimes, the police can’t do anything to me. Therefore, no matter how they tried to force a confession out of me, I didn’t answer them, because I had already made up my mind: I will absolutely not be Judas, I will not sell my brothers and sisters and I won’t sell the interests of God’s family. When they saw that they couldn’t get anything from me, they became flustered and began hitting and kicking me fiercely saying: “Since you are not saying anything, we will teach you a lesson by racking you into a spread eagle!” Then suddenly there was another burst of violent punching and kicking. Afterward, one of them ordered me to sit on the ground, and handcuffed my hands and twisted them toward my back as tight as he could. Then he placed a chair behind me and used a rope to bind my hands to the back of the chair. He used his hands and exerted all his strength downward, putting pressure on my arms. Immediately, my arms felt like they were going to break; it hurt so bad that I let out a shrilling yell. They went back and forth like this on my arms incessantly torturing me for a couple of hours. Afterward, I couldn’t bear it and twitched from head to toe. When they saw this, they said: “Don’t pretend like you’re crazy, we have seen this many times before. Who do you think you are scaring? Do you think that doing this will let you off the hook?” They saw that I was still twitching and one evil policeman said: “Go to the bathroom and put some feces in her mouth, see if she eats it or not.” They used a stick to get some feces and rubbed it in my mouth and made me eat it; I was still foaming at the mouth and they saw that I was still twitching, so they let me down from the seat. My entire body hurt unbearably like I had cramps from head to toe and I yelled in pain as I lay paralyzed on the floor. After a long period of time, my hands and arms began to move again. The demons were afraid that I would bash my head against the wall and kill myself, so they gave me a helmet. Afterward, they dragged me back to the small iron room. I cried and prayed to God: “Oh God, my flesh is too weak. I wish for You to protect me. No matter how Satan persecutes me, I would rather die than betray You like Judas. I won’t sell my brothers and sisters or the interest of God’s family. I am willing to stand testimony for You to shame that old Satan.”
On the third day, the evil police took the notepad and list of church member names that I had thrown into the garbage can and interrogated me. When I saw these things, I felt especially uncomfortable and full of self-blame and regret. I hated that I was so cowardly and timid and that I wasn’t courageous enough at the time to throw the bag into the sewer pipe, which resulted in this serious consequence. I hated even more that I didn’t listen to the arrangements of God’s family and brought these things when fulfilling my duty, which has caused the church this great loss. I deeply knew that I deserved the hardships I was suffering this day and that it was God’s chastisement and judgment coming upon me, and I was willing to accept it. I was also willing to rely on God to triumph over Satan. At this time I thought of a hymn of experience: “I do not care about the path ahead; only doing God’s will as my vocation. Neither do I care about my future. Since I’ve chosen to love God, I’ll be faithful to the end. No matter how great the dangers and hardships are, or how rough and rugged the path ahead, since I aim toward the day God gains glory, I’ll forsake everything and strive to go forward” (“Marching on the Path of Loving God” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). I silently hummed this song and my heart again had faith and power. The evil police asked me: “Are these things yours? Be honest with us, we won’t treat you unfairly. You are a victim and have been lied to. Your religion is an evil cult; the God you believe in is so vague and distant, it’s a pie in the sky. The communist party is good, and you should rely on the party and the government. If you have any trouble, you can come to us and we will help you resolve it. If you need help finding work, we can also help you. Just confess everything about your church; tell us what these people on your list are doing. Where do they live? Who is your superior?” I saw through their lying tricks and said: “These things are not mine, I don’t know.” When they saw that I wouldn’t reveal anything, then their true face was revealed and they ferociously beat me down to the ground and continued to violently beat me and exert all their strength to drag me about by my handcuffs. The more they dragged me, the tighter the handcuffs got and cut into my flesh. It hurt so bad I cried out loud and the evil police fiercely said: “We will make you talk, we will squeeze you a little bit at a time like toothpaste to make you talk!” Finally, they took both of my hands and bound them facing out on the back of the chair and made me sit on the ground. They hit me and exerted their strength and pressed downward on my arms; I felt an unbearable searing pain like my arms were going to break. The evil police tortured me and snarled at me: “Speak up!” I unhesitatingly said: “I don’t know!” “If you don’t speak up we will kill you; if you don’t speak up then don’t expect to live; we will imprison you for ten years, twenty years, your whole life; don’t expect to ever get out!” When I heard this, an idea flashed into my mind: I must resolve to be willing to go to prison for life. Afterward I thought of a hymn of experience: “Give the sweetest offering to God, save the most bitter for myself. Stand and firmly testify for God, don’t give in to Satan. Oh! Heads may break and blood may flow, but the dignity of God’s people can’t be lost. God’s trust rests on the heart, I must determine to humiliate the old Satan” (“I Wish to See the Day God Gains Glory” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). God enlightened me, making me firm and courageous and giving me the faith and determination to suffer everything and stand testimony for God. As a result, the evil police’s plot did not prevail; they tortured me until they were tired, then they sent me back to the iron room.
A few days later, I was tortured by the evil police until I had no strength. I was in a complete absent-minded trance and my hands and arms were numb. In facing this cruel and inhumane torture, I was especially afraid that the evil police would come back and interrogate me. As soon as I thought upon this, my heart couldn’t help but shiver with fright. I really didn’t know what else they would use to torture me with, and I didn’t know when this interrogation would end. I could only continue to pray in my heart to God and ask God to protect my heart and give me the will and power to endure the suffering so that I would be able to stand witness for God and make Satan fail in complete humiliation.
When the evil police saw that I wouldn’t confess, they joined with the National Security Brigade and the Public Security Bureau to interrogate me. There were over twenty people there taking turns interrogating me day and night trying to force me to confess. That day, two evil police from the National Security Brigade who had already interrogated me once before came to me and initially spoke kindly saying: “If you confess the truth, then we will let you go and we will guarantee your safety. … Only the communist party can save you, and God can’t save you….” When one of them saw that I wouldn’t utter a word, he became flustered and began yelling at me with foul mouths, making me sit on the floor. He kicked me as hard as he could in the legs with leather shoes causing unbearable pain. Another evil policeman asked him: “How is it going, is she talking?” He said: “She is pretty stubborn, no matter how you beat her and she won’t talk.” The person fiercely said: “If she doesn’t talk, then beat her to death!” The evil policeman threatened me saying: “Will you not talk? Then we will kill you!” I said: “I have said everything I need to, I don’t know!” He became so angry that he appeared completely crazy, then he roared like a wild beast and began beating and kicking me. Finally he became tired from beating me and found a rope about the thickness of a finger and wrapped it around his hand a few times. He ferociously whipped my face over and over saying: “Don’t you believe in God? You are suffering, so why doesn’t your God come and save you? Why doesn’t He come and open your handcuffs? Where is your God?” I gritted my teeth and endured the pain. I silently prayed in my heart to God: “Oh God, I am suffering this hardship because of my rebelliousness; it is what I deserve. God, You were crucified to redeem us; even if they beat me to death today, I will never be like Judas. I want You to be with me and protect my heart. I am willing to give my life to stand witness for You and humiliate the old Satan.” I thought of a hymn of experience: “There is no pity in death, and there is no surprise to it. God’s will surpasses all. … God saved me and has delivered me to Satan, this is God’s beautiful will; my heart will love my God forever” (“Return Love to God” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). I closed my eyes and endured Satan’s crazy torture and beatings. At that moment, it was as if I forgot about my pain. I didn’t know what time the punishment would end. I didn’t dare to think about it, and I couldn’t even think about it. The only thing that I could do was incessantly pray and cry to God. God’s words also gave me continual faith: “Do not fear, Almighty God of hosts will surely be with you; He has your back and He is your Shield” (“The Twenty-sixth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “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). I thought about how the great red dragon is merely a paper tiger doomed to be defeated by God’s hands. It is also under God’s feet. If God didn’t allow it, death would not come upon me; without God’s permission, not a strand of my hair would be lost. And if I share the bitter with God today, then I must share the sweet with God. I also thought of “Song of the Overcomers”: “Have you ever accepted the blessings that you were given? Have you ever sought the promises of God that you were made? You will surely, with the guidance of His light, break through the stranglehold of the forces of darkness. You’ll surely not, in the midst of darkness, lose the light guiding you. You’ll surely be the master of all creation. You’ll surely be an overcomer before Satan. You will surely stand up amid the myriad throngs to bear witness to His victory at the downfall of the great red dragon. You will surely be strong and steady in the land of Sinim. You’ll inherit the blessing that comes from God for the sufferings you endure, and will surely illuminate all in the universe with His glory.” The power of God’s word is boundless and caused my faith to multiply; I had the determination to fight Satan to the end. When the evil policeman was tired of beating me, he asked me again: “Will you speak?” I firmly said: “Even if you beat me to death, I still won’t know!” When the evil policeman heard that, he couldn’t do anything. He threw the rope and said: “You are damn stubborn, like a mule. You are really good, you won’t say anything even if you die. Where did you get this much strength and faith from? You are really more Liu Hulan than Liu Hulan, you are more CCP than the CCP!” When I heard him say this, it was as if I saw God sitting on His throne triumphantly, watching Satan being humiliated. I half cried and half praised God: Oh God, by relying on Your power, I can prevail over Satan, the demon! In light of the facts, I see that You are omnipotent and Satan is powerless; Satan will always be defeated under Your control. If You do not allow it, Satan will not be able to torture me to death. At this time, God’s words once again enlightened me: “The disposition of God is one that belongs to the Ruler of the living beings among all things…. His disposition is the symbol of authority … it is a symbol of how God cannot be[a] suppressed or attacked by the darkness and any enemy force …” (“It Is Very Important to Understand God’s Disposition” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Having experienced the great red dragon’s cruel persecution, I truly saw God’s love and salvation for me and I experienced the power and authority of God’s word. Without God’s word leading me every step of the way and by only relying on my own strength, it would have been impossible for me to overcome the torture and beatings of the great red dragon. Likewise, it made me see the vulnerable and battered image of the great red dragon. I saw through the demonic substance of its inhumanness and disregard for life and I detested it and cursed it in my heart. I wished to completely break all connections with it and follow Christ and serve Christ for eternity.
The next day, the evil police came and interrogated me again, they were really surprised and said: “What’s wrong with your face?” When I looked in the mirror, I couldn’t recognize myself; the evil police had whipped my face with a rope the day before and it had become so swollen and black and blue like a panda bear. When I saw my face had changed beyond recognition, I felt bitter hatred for the great red dragon and made my resolution to stand testimony. I could absolutely not allow its plot to prevail! My legs had been beaten so bad that I couldn’t walk and when I went to the bathroom, I could see that both of my legs had no normality left, everything was black and blue. One of the evil policemen said: “There is no need for you to suffer this; if you talked then you wouldn’t have to suffer; you are doing this to yourself! Think about it; confess and we will send you home to your husband and daughter.” After hearing him say this, I hated him to the core. Afterward, they changed their method and began taking shifts by not letting me sleep all day and all night. When I started falling asleep, they would yell and make loud noises to wake me up; they tried to break my will by not letting me sleep so that I would talk in an absent-minded, fuzzy-headed state of mind. I thanked God for protecting me. Even though the evil police kept me up for four days and four nights, it didn’t matter how they interrogated me, I relied on God for stamina and faith, and not only was I not absent-minded, but I was very alert. As the evil police interrogated me over and over, they became more and more low-spirited and discouraged. They started carrying out half-hearted interrogation; they cursed and grumbled, they resented that I had caused them to lose their appetite, to not get good rest, and be tormented with me, they felt that they were very unfortunate. Finally, all they did was ask casually me questions and no longer had the willpower to interrogate me. In this round of the fight Satan ended in failure again.
The evil police didn’t leave it at that, they tried to seduce me. One evil policeman came over and put his fingers under my chin, picked up my hand and said my name. In a “warm” voice he said: “You are so pretty; it isn’t worth it to suffer so much here. Whatever difficulties you have, I can help you resolve them. Your faith in God has gotten you nothing. I have two houses, one day, I will bring you there to have some fun; the two of us could form a partnership. If you confess, then you will be free. Whatever you want, I can help you. I won’t treat you unfairly….” When I heard his nasty, filthy lies, I felt nauseated and flat-out refused him. He had no other choice but to withdraw with his tail between his legs. This made me thoroughly understand these deplorable and shameless so-called “people’s police.” They sell their own souls to obtain their own purposes; they use deplorable and vulgar methods without any sense of shame; they don’t have any dignity or integrity; they are truly evil filthy spirits!
The evil police had one crafty plot after another and they exploited my family members to try to coerce me, saying: “You only believe in God, you are not thinking about your husband, daughter, parents, and other family members; your daughter will go to school some day and look for work. You believe in an evil cult and this will directly affect her future prospect. Will you let this happen to her? You are not thinking about her; do you have the heart to let her be involved in this?” Following this, they brought my husband, daughter, and aunt in to let them try and persuade me. When I saw my daughter whom I hadn’t seen in several years, my tears uncontrollably flowed down. At this moment, I prayed with all my might to God: “Oh God, I ask You to protect my heart, because my flesh is too weak. At this time, I can’t fall prey to Satan’s tricks and I can’t be tempted by Satan to fall into my emotions; I can’t betray God or sell my brothers and sisters; I only ask God to be with me and give me faith and power.” My aunt said to me: “Hurry and speak up, why are you so foolish? Is it worth suffering this for your belief in God? Who will take care of you if something happens? Your mom and dad are worried about you, they worry about you every day, they can’t eat or sleep well. You haven’t had any correspondence for years. You have to think about us and come back and live life with us. Don’t believe in God. Where is God? Look at what hardships you have suffered because of your belief in God; why do you bother?” Even though I was weak, I was protected by God and I recognized that this was a spiritual struggle and could see through Satan’s tricks; God’s words reminded me in my heart that: “… you must satisfy God in spite of any reluctance to part with something you love, or bitter weeping” (“Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). At that time, I said to her: “Auntie, don’t try to persuade me, I have said everything I should say to them. I don’t know what else I should say to them. They can treat me however they want to treat me, it is up to them. You shouldn’t worry about me. You should go back!” When the evil police saw my firm attitude, they had no other choice but to let my family go back. The evil police gritted their teeth and said: “You really are heartless! You are so selfish. You truly have no human nature. Where is your God? If He is so almighty, then why does He let you suffer here? Why doesn’t your God come and save you? If there really is a God, then why doesn’t He come and open your handcuffs and save you? Where is God? Don’t be fooled by these lies, don’t be foolish. It is not too late to wake up and see the truth. If you don’t confess, then we will send you to prison for years!” The evil police’s lies made me think of the vision of the Lord Jesus being crucified on the cross. God personally came and took on the flesh in order to redeem all mankind; everything He did was for the benefit of man; however, He was sneered at, slandered, accused, profaned, insulted, and slaughtered by the Pharisees and by those in power. God suffered extreme humiliation in order to save mankind, and was ultimately crucified on the cross for the sins of mankind. All the pain God suffered was for mankind and today the pain I am suffering is what I am supposed to suffer. Because I have the poison of the great red dragon, God is using this environment on one hand to test me, and on the other hand to allow me to truly understand the evil nature of the great red dragon and, to despise and betray the great red dragon, and to wholeheartedly follow God. Just like the word of God says: “God intends to use a portion of evil spirits’ work to perfect a portion of man, so that these people can completely see through demons’ deeds, and allow everyone to understand their “ancestors.” Only then can humans completely break free, not only forsaking the posterity of the demons, but even more so their ancestors. This is the original intent of God completely defeating the great red dragon, to make it so that all of man knows the great red dragon’s true form, completely tears off its mask, and sees its true form. This is what God wants to achieve, and it is His final goal on earth for which He has done so much work; He aims to accomplish this in all of man. This is known as the maneuver of all things for God’s purpose” (“Interpretation of the Forty-first Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Finally, the evil police sent me to the detention center and detained me as a criminal for one month. During this month, they interrogated me one more time. For two days and two nights, they didn’t let me sleep and didn’t give me enough to eat. Sometimes they wouldn’t give me any food, but it was still to no avail. The great red dragon tortures and afflicts people like this without end! When my detention came to an end, they sentenced me to two years of reform through labor for “believing in an evil cult and disturbing the order of society” without any evidence. Before I went to the labor camp, my family sent me 2,000 yuan for living expenses, but it was all embezzled by them. These demons were indeed Satans and evil spirits that thirsted for blood and human life. It was purely evil! In the great red dragon’s country, there is no law; anything it opposes, it can slaughter and exploit at will; it can make criminal charges as it wishes to control people and trap people. The great red dragon frames and entraps people, it slaughters innocent people, it creates something out of nothing, and it unfairly labels people. They are an authentic and true cult, they are a group of organized criminals and gangsters that bring calamities and disasters upon mankind. For two years in the labor camp, I saw the evil police of the Chinese government basically abuse and order the laborers about like slaves. They made people eat steamed rolls and vegetable soup every day; day and night, they made us work overtime. I was unbearably exhausted every day and didn’t receive any compensation. If I didn’t do a good job, I would receive their stern criticism and punishment (longer work periods, withholding food, forced to stand still). During this time, the evil police would still not let me go, they interrogated me trying to make me confess the church’s circumstances. I hated it bitterly, relying on faith and power from God, I indignantly said: “You have beaten me and punished me; what else do you want? I have said everything I am supposed to say; you can interrogate me for ten, twenty years, and I still won’t know anything. You can forget about it!” When they heard this, they said exasperatedly: “You are incurable, you can just wait here!” Finally, the evil policemen left with their tails between their legs.
After experiencing the great red dragon’s inhumane torture and cruel treatment as well as unjustly living in prison for two years, I saw clearly that the substance of the great red dragon is lies, evil, arrogance, and viciousness. It is less than livestock. They go as far as to put up banners saying “religious freedom,” then they go about pursuing and persecuting God’s chosen people in every way possible. They are frantically disturbing and dismantling God’s work. They are murderers who kill without batting an eye, they are looting bandits under the cloak of “charity, justice, peace, and righteousness.” In the end, their masks have been completely torn off through the wisdom of God’s work, and their malevolent demonic faces have been exposed in the light so that we can open our field of vision and wake up from our dreams. Just as the word of God says: “For thousands of years this has been the land of filth, it is unbearably dirty, misery abounds, ghosts roam its every corner, tricking and deceiving, making groundless accusations,[b] being ruthless and vicious, trampling this ghost town and leaving it littered with dead bodies; the stench of decay covers the land and pervades the air, and it is heavily guarded.[c] Who can see the world beyond the skies? The devil tightly trusses all of man’s body, it puts out both his eyes, and seals his lips firmly shut. The king of devils has rampaged for several thousand years, right up until today, when it still keeps a close watch on the ghost town, as if it were an impenetrable ‘palace of demons’; this pack of watchdogs, meanwhile, stare with glaring eyes, deeply fearful that God will catch them unawares and wipe them all out, leaving them without a place of ‘peace and happiness.’ How could the people of a ghost town such as this have ever seen God? Have they ever enjoyed the dearness and loveliness of God? What appreciation have they of the matters of the human world? Who of them can understand God’s eager will? Small wonder, then, that God incarnate remains completely hidden: In a dark society such as this, where the demons are merciless and inhumane, how could the king of devils, who kills people in the blink of an eye, tolerate the existence of a God who is lovely, kind, and also holy? How could it applaud and cheer the arrival of God? These lackeys! They repay kindness with hate, they have long since disdained God, they abuse God, they are savage in the extreme, they have not the slightest regard for God, they plunder and pillage, they have lost all conscience, and have not a trace of kindness, and they tempt the innocent into senselessness. Forefathers of the ancient? Beloved leaders? They all oppose God! Their meddling has left all beneath heaven in a state of darkness and chaos! Religious freedom? The legitimate rights and interests of citizens? They are all tricks for covering up sin!” (“Work and Entry (8)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Almighty God is an eternally wise, omnipotent and wonderful victor, and Satan, the great red dragon, is an eternally deplorable, filthy, and incapable loser. Regardless of how savage and unbridled, and regardless of how it struggles and rebels, it will always be a tool for God to train His chosen people. Moreover, it is doomed to be struck down to hell by God as an everlasting punishment. It attempts to break the will of people through its inhuman persecution so that people will distance themselves from God and forsake God. But it is wrong! Its persecution precisely makes us thoroughly see the substance of the demon and recognize Almighty God’s love and salvation. It arouses us to completely betray it and have the faith and courage to follow God on the correct path of life. This tricky old demon is unaware and doesn’t realize that it is actually stupid, weak-minded, and blind! I will always rely on the wise and almighty God. From now on, no matter what untold dangers and difficulties are on the road ahead, I will never reconcile or coexist with the great red dragon. I will resolutely follow God to the end and through the reality of my actions, I will proclaim the doomsday of the great red dragon and curse it to perish forever in the hell that God has prepared for it.
a. The original text reads “being unable to be.”
b. “Making groundless accusations” refers to the methods by which the devil harms people.
c. “Heavily guarded” indicates that the methods by which the devil afflicts people