23. Rise Up in the Dark Oppression
Mo Zhijian Guangdong Province
I was born in a poor remote mountain village. People there burned incense and worshiped Buddha for generations. Temples were everywhere, and each household burned incense. No one believed in God. In 1995, my wife and I believed in the Lord Jesus in another place. After returning home, we began to preach the gospel. Later, the number of the believers gradually increased to over one hundred. Because more and more people believed in God, the local government was alarmed. One day in 1997, the police asked me to go to the local police station. The director of the County Public Security Bureau, the director of the County Bureau for State Security, the director of the County Administration of Religious Affairs, the chief of the local police station, and some policemen had already been waiting there. The director of the County Public Security Bureau questioned me, “Why do you believe in God? Who do you get in touch with? Where do you get the Bibles? Why don’t you go to the church to have meetings?” I answered, “The constitution stipulates explicitly that the citizens enjoy freedom of belief. Why don’t you allow us to believe in God freely?” The director of the County Administration of Religious Affairs said, “There is a scope for the freedom of religious belief. It’s just like a bird in a cage. Although its wings and feet are not bound, it can only move around in the cage.” Hearing his fallacy, I was very indignant. I said angrily, “Then the government is deceiving the common people!” Hearing my word, they knew they were in the wrong, so they had nothing to say and could only let me go home. At that time I had no knowledge of the CCP government’s substance of persecuting people in believing in God. In 1999, I accepted Almighty God’s end-time work. Only through reading God’s word and experiencing the crueler persecution of the CCP government did I see clearly that it is exactly the embodiment of satan the evil spirit and is God’s enemy. It is just as the Bible says, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world.” (Revelation 12:9)
At past 5 a.m. of June 28, 2002, several brothers and sisters and I were about to have a meeting. Suddenly we heard “bam bam bam” from the door. We hurriedly hid the books of God’s word and then opened the door. Unexpectedly, a dozen or so policemen rushed in as soon as the door was opened. With electric batons and guns in hands, they shoved us together, ordering us all to squat down with our hands holding our heads. After they got us under control, they, like the bandits entering a village, rummaged through every corner of each room, throwing our sheets and clothes all over the floor. I had only seen the scene of the underworld thugs and bandits robbing on TV, but never had I expected that the “people’s police” were the same as the bandits on TV. At that time, I was very afraid, fearing that they might search out the books of God’s word, so I kept praying to God in my heart, asking God to care for and keep us. After praying, I saw God’s wonderful deed. They ransacked the whole house and searched out all of our belongings and confiscated them, but they didn’t find the books of God’s word. I deeply knew that it was God’s almightiness and keeping. Knowing that God was with us, I had more faith in God. After that, they took us to the police station. In the evening, they transferred us to the detention jail. Three days later, each of us was fined 300 yuan and then we were set free. Seeing that the CCP government was so arbitrary and unreasonable, robbed by force, and deprived people of their freedom of belief, I was full of indignation and thought of these words of God, “The filthy land of thousands of years is so sordid that it is unbearable to the eye and miserable states are everywhere. Ghosts run amuck everywhere, swindle and bluff, make groundless accusations, and strike vicious blows mercilessly, so that this fortress of demons is trodden so severely that corpses are everywhere and the rotten smell fills the air over the whole land, and it is heavily guarded. Who can see the world outside the sky? … The freedom of religious belief, the legal rights and interests of citizens, and whatever are all the tricks to cover up its crimes!” (from “Work and Entering In (8)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) In China, this fortress of demons, China’s ruling party frenziedly persecutes God and arrests and persecutes the followers of God under the cover of “everyone enjoys freedom of belief and freedom of human rights,” not allowing us to believe in God and walk the right way of human life. And it even wishes to catch all of us at one swoop. We don’t act against the law or do anything wrong. We just preach the gospel to people so that they can come to know and worship God and break away from the dark and miserable life, but the CCP police arrest, detain, and fine us. However, to those vicious ones who prostitute or whore, murder or commit arson, swindle or bluff, they pay no heed and let them go scot-free. In the face of the facts, I saw that the CCP government is a group of devils that resist God, blind people, and deceive people, and is exactly God’s enemy.
On November 28 of the same year, several brothers and sisters and I were preaching the gospel to a denominational leader. Because of a wicked person’s report, a dozen or so policemen surrounded the building where we stayed and then they broke in. With guns and electric batons in hands, they shouted, “Nobody move! Hands up!” Then they searched us, taking away more than 5000 yuan and the things we had on us, and ordered us to squat down facing the wall with our hands holding our heads. Two young sisters were kind of afraid, so I said to them, “We’ve done nothing wrong. Don’t be afraid of them!” I had barely finished the words when several evil policemen came up to punch and kick me. Then and there I was beaten to the ground. They tore all the rooms apart, turning the house into a mess. They were more savage and ferocious than bandits who enter a village and pillage. A sister didn’t come out of the room. An evil policeman rushed in and forcefully pulled her out. Another one saw that the sister was beautiful, so he molested her, feeling her all over. The sister was unable to resist and could only cry loudly. Luckily, the landlord arrived in time and stopped him, so that the sister escaped the disaster. Then, I saw clearly that the words such as “the people’s police work for the people, and ask the police for help if in trouble” and “the police is the guard of the people” are all lies. These evil policemen were sheerly a gang of ruffians and hoodlums! Afterward, they forced us into the car and took us to the police station. There, they handcuffed us in the corridor for two days and nights, giving us nothing to eat or drink. I could only pray to God unceasingly in my heart, asking God to guide us and give us faith and strength so that we could stand testimony in such circumstance. Later, when a brother was interrogated, because of being dissatisfied with his answers, several evil policemen pressed him down on the floor, and one of them forcibly stuck dog poop into his mouth. The brother was severely shocked mentally. Seeing that miserable scene, I felt heartbroken, and anger spontaneously arose. How I wished to rush forward and fight against them! But God’s words guided me within, “I have some sympathy for the brothers and sisters who live in this filthy place with me, so I have hatred for the great red dragon. … We all are its victims, so I hate its guts, wishing to destroy it right away. But on the second thought, doing so is to no avail, and will only bring trouble to God. Therefore, still that word—to make a firm resolve to carry out God’s will—to love God … live out a meaningful and bright and brilliant life. … Are you willing to do so? Are you one who has such a resolution?” (from “The Way… (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) God’s words calmed me down. Pondering God’s words, I understood God’s will. God hates this gang of devils to the extreme and wishes to destroy them all right away. But in order to complete the end-time work and perfect us, God needs to use satan as a serving object. Through its persecution, God makes us have discernment, so that we can completely see through the ugly face and the devilish substance of the CCP government, and thus reject it and thoroughly break with it, and fully turn a genuine heart to God. For the purpose that his work can achieve better results, God has been enduring being crazily hunted by the CCP in power. Isn’t it nothing for me, a created being, to suffer this for being saved? God’s revelation gave me faith and strength. I’ll imitate Christ, resolving to carry out God’s will—pursuing to love God! At that time, I only hoped that God would guide and keep us so that we could stand testimony for God in satan’s persecution and counterattack satan’s scheme with the reality of loving God, putting it to shame and defeating it.
On the third evening, the evil policemen transferred us to the County Public Security Bureau and interrogated us that very night. A deputy director first coaxed me, “Speak it out. Your wife, kids, and parents need your care. Tell us and you can go home!” Hearing these, I was kind of shaky, thinking: If I say something unimportant and get out, I won’t have to suffer here. Then God’s words suddenly warned me, “To those who were not faithful to me in the least in the tribulation, I will show no more mercy, because my mercy only goes so far. Moreover, I do not like anyone who has ever betrayed me, much less like to associate with a person who sells out the interests of his friends, which is my disposition, no matter who he is.” (from “You Should Prepare Enough Good Deeds for the Sake of Your Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) In God’s majestic words, I seemed to see that he was watching me and waiting for my answer. Then I forsook the thought at once and said solemnly with justice, “Since I’ve come here, I haven’t expected to get out!” The evil policemen saw that the soft tactic didn’t work, so they showed their true devil face. The deputy director lifted a bucket of swill above my head, wanting to pour it. I said to him, “You’re interrogating me by tortures.” After hearing it, he suddenly stopped and put down the bucket. Another evil policeman stomped savagely on my big toe with his heel and ground it with force. The fierce pain swept over me. I couldn’t help crying out, and my clothes were soaked with sweat. But the evil policeman kept stomping and grinding heavily while gnashing his teeth, and he didn’t stop until my big toenail fell off. At that time, my foot was already bloody. In anguish, I called on God in my heart desperately, asking him to keep my heart, so that I wouldn’t yield to satan and could stand testimony for him. The devils were far more ferocious than that. I saw that when a brother was back from interrogation, he had been tormented within an inch of his life. Wounded all over, he was dying. The evil policemen were afraid that he might die, so they had to release him. Afterward, they transferred a brother, a sister, and me to the Municipal SWAT team to be interrogated.
After we were taken there, the evil policemen forced us to strip naked, handcuffed and fettered us, and had us jump three rounds in the yard to humiliate us. Then, they put us into separate cells. The prisoners there were all murderers, looking ferocious. The evil policemen told them to torture me. Because of God’s keeping, they not only didn’t bully me, but they took care of me instead. Four days later, the evil policemen forced me to betray God and sell out the brothers and sisters. I refused, so they dragged a brother and me to the yard, handcuffed and fettered us, covered our heads with black bags, and hung us to a big tree in the middle of the yard. Moreover, with viciousness they put many ants in the tree. The ants continuously crawled all over our bodies and bit us wildly. Being gnawed by the ants, I felt as if I were being pierced by countless arrows, which was really worse than death. I could only cry to God desperately, asking him to keep my heart and my spirit and give me the will and strength to endure the suffering, so that I wouldn’t do things of betraying him. At that time, God’s words came into my mind, “…for my glory to manifest throughout the expanse, everyone should undergo the last ‘suffering’ for me. Do you understand my will? This is my last requirement for people. In other words, I hope everyone can bear a strong and resounding testimony for me before the great red dragon, offer up yourselves for me for the last time, and meet my requirement for the last time. Can you really achieve this? In the past you could not satisfy my heart; can you ‘break with convention’ at the last time?” (from “The Thirty-fourth Piece of Word” of God’s Utterance to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh) God’s words made me full of strength within. In order to save us, God has been hunted by the CCP government in every possible way, having no place to lay his head and no place to stay. Today I can suffer with Christ, and this is God’s love for me, much more God’s uplifting of me. As long as God can gain glory, I’m perfectly willing even if I’ll have to die. Like that, I spent every miserable second by relying on God’s words. I was hung to the tree for two days and nights. On the third day, I really couldn’t bear anymore. It was early winter and was raining. I only wore a thin layer of clothing and was hung to the tree with bare feet, and I had not eaten or drunk anything. The mixed feelings of cold and hunger and unbearable pain caused me to feel extremely miserable. The only thing I could do was to pray desperately, for the fear that I couldn’t stand the torment due to the weakness of the flesh and would become a Judas and betray God. In pain, I thought of the apostle Stephen in the Age of the Grace. Because of preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus, he was stoned to death. Before his last breath, he asked God to receive his soul. So I prayed to God, “God, the function of my flesh is too little. Now I really cannot bear the suffering. May you take my soul as well. I would rather die than betray you.” After the prayer, an unexpected miracle happened. My soul went out of my body. I went to a vast grassland. Green grass was everywhere and cattle and sheep were all over the field. I was especially happy and couldn’t help praising God aloud, “Praise Almighty God aloud. All things in heaven and on earth praise you, praise you. Let all praise you. Let all your angels praise you. Let all your hosts praise you. The universe and the expanse praise you—Almighty God! The shining stars praise you. The heavens and the earth and the waters praise you, praise you. Let all praise you. Let the mountains and hills praise Almighty God. Let the waves and billows praise you. Praise you—Almighty God, in the highest place! Praise Almighty God in the Most Holy Place. Praise you, praise you with tambourines and dances. Praise you aloud! Praise Almighty God with musical instruments and the sounding of trumpet. Let all the holy people in Zion praise you. Let all the peoples praise you—Almighty God! Praise you aloud, Almighty God! The loud peals of thunder praise you, praise you. Praise you aloud! The mighty expanse praises Almighty God. Let everything that has breath praise you. The singing of praising shakes the ends of the earth. Praise God!” (from “Praise Almighty God Aloud” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs) I was completely immersed in that incomparable joy and living in a free realm. The pain of being hung to the tree and the hunger and cold and the painful feeling of being gnawed by numerous ants totally disappeared. When I woke up, it was the third night. The evil policemen took me down from the tree. Hung for three days, I not only wasn’t dead, but I was spirited instead. That was really God’s almightiness and wonderful keeping! I thanked and praised God from my heart.
On the fourth day, the evil policemen interrogated me again, forcing me to sell out the brothers and sisters and acknowledge what I believed in was a cult, trying to make me betray God and forsake the true way. Inspired by God, I thought of God’s words, “When you are experiencing trials, whether you are weak or are passive within, or whether you do not understand God’s will or are not very clear about the ways of practice, it is normal. But in any case you should have faith in God’s work and not deny God as Job did not.” (from “All Those to Be Perfected Have to Undergo Refining” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) God’s words gave me the courage to practice the truth and testify God. No matter what, I couldn’t do things of resisting God or blaspheming God. So I said justly, “I believe in Almighty God, who is the only true God ruling over all things! I’m not a cultist. You are confusing right and wrong and framing me!” Hearing these, an evil policeman flew into a rage. He took a bench and struck me frantically, seemingly wishing to beat me to death. I spit out blood and collapsed on the floor and fainted. Seeing that, they poured cold water to sober me, and then dragged me up and beat me again. Beaten by the devils in such a brutal and inhuman way, I became purple-black in my chest and back and was seriously injured internally. A week later, I pissed blood, and my right kidney was seriously damaged. (Even now it often hurts.) A month later, the evil policemen didn’t find any evidence. So they forged a document and forced me to sign on it. Then they put me in the city detention house. Three months later, on the charge of “disrupting the society and the enforcement of the law,” they put me into one year of hard labor. In the labor camp, I lived an inhuman life. I never had a full meal, but had to labor for more than ten hours every day. The prison guards often bullied and insulted me, either beating me with the electric baton or locking me up in a small dark room. If not for God’s care and keeping, I would have long been tormented to death by that gang of devils. On November 7, 2003, I was released and finally got out of that hell on earth.
After undergoing the cruel persecution, I finally saw clearly that the slogans proclaimed by the CCP government such as “the Communist Party is great, glorious and correct” and “in China everyone enjoys freedom of belief” are actually the tricks to deceive the world to build up its fame and fool the people. I hate bitterly this old devil from my heart. It speaks every fine word but does every evil thing. In order to abolish God’s end-time work and make China a region without God, it tries every possible means to hunt and torture believers in God. The means are cruel to the utmost and heinous! In retrospect, I was endlessly interrogated by severe tortures and cruelly tormented and fainted several times. Without God’s keeping, I would have long been devoured by the devils. When I was most weak, Almighty God’s words constantly encouraged me, “Have you ever accepted the blessings for you? Have you ever pursued the promises to you? You will surely break through the suppression of the forces of darkness under the guidance of my light, will surely not lose the guidance of the light in darkness, will surely be the master among all things, will surely be overcomers before satan, and will surely stand among all men and be the proof of my overcoming when the country of the great red dragon collapses. In the land of Sinim you will surely be strong and unwavering, and you will inherit the blessings from me because of the sufferings you undergo and will surely shine forth my glory in the entire universe.” (from “The Nineteenth Piece of Word” of God’s Utterance to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh) God’s words were my solid support! And I received the revelation and guidance of God’s words in agony and weakness, so that I could pass through that darkest and lengthy period. Though I was arrested and persecuted by the CCP government several times and suffered ruthless damage and torment in the flesh, I understood many truths I hadn’t understood before, saw clearly the Chinese government’s devilish substance of being reactionary and evil, tasted Almighty God’s true love for me, and experienced God’s almightiness and wisdom and wonderful deeds, which even more stirred up my heart to pursue to love God and satisfy God. Now, I’m still performing my duty in the church as before, following God and walking the right way of human life, and pursuing the truth and pursuing to live out a meaningful life.