God’s Light Led Me in the Tribulation
Zhao Xin Sichuan Province
From childhood, I lived in the mountain. I didn’t see much of the world or have higher expectations. After I got married and had children, both my sons were sensible and obedient and my husband was hardworking. Although our family wasn’t very well-off, we lived together harmoniously, feeling very happy and satisfied. In 1996, I suddenly had a serious illness, so I began to believe in Jesus. From then on, I often read the Bible and actively attended meetings. Unexpectedly, my illness got better gradually. Since then, I had greater faith in following Jesus.
Out of my expectation, in 1999, because of believing in Jesus, I was arrested by the police and was detained for a whole day. Moreover, I was fined 240 yuan. The money, though little, was a small fortune for us farmers living in the poor mountainous area. To scrape together enough for the fine, I sold one Chinese acre of peanuts that I worked hard to plant. What puzzled me more was that the CCP imposed on me a charge of “taking part in a counterrevolutionary organization,” and they threatened my whole family, saying that as long as I believed in God, my son wouldn’t be offered a job in the future even if he entered the university and graduated. Just because of that word, my husband, parents, relatives, and friends all began to attack me and persecute me. I became a guilty person in my family. They asked me to do all the hard and tiring work and I had to endure it silently.
In 2003, I fortunately accepted’s end-time work. From God’s word, I was certain that Almighty God is the returned Jesus. I was very excited in my heart, feeling it was indeed a great blessing that I could meet God again in my life. However, from then on, I suffered greater persecutions from the government and my family. Facing such an environment, I made a resolution to God, “I’ll follow God to the end no matter how hard and difficult it is!” Later, the CCP evil cops came to my house and scolded me, “Do you know? You have broken the law by believing in God! You’re opposing the state and the government! If you continue believing, you’ll be sentenced and imprisoned!” After my husband heard those words, he persecuted me more and more fiercely. He often beat and scolded me and even didn’t allow me to go back home. Because of that, I was very distressed in my heart, thinking, “Why doesn’t my husband understand me? Won’t I be able to go back home?” Having no choice, I could only bear the pain in my heart and leave my home to perform duty so as to escape the government’s persecution and arrest. At that time, I only hated my family for not understanding me, but had no knowledge of the vicious one behind the scenes that caused my family to reject me. It was not until after personally experiencing a prison life that I had the true knowledge of the CCP government’s reactionary substance of going against Heaven and saw clearly that it is the root of all kinds of evil that ruins people’s happy family and brings them so many disasters!
On December 16, 2012, when five brothers and sisters and I were preaching the, we were forcibly arrested by four cops who drove there suddenly. At the police station, after an evil cop handcuffed me, he cursed, “I tell you, whether you steal or rob, murder or commit arson, or prostitute yourself, we don’t care. But only believing in God is not allowed. You’re opposing the CCP by doing so. You deserve a beating!” While saying that, he slapped my face hard and kicked me fiercely. After a fierce beating, I felt that I could hardly hold on. So I kept calling to God in my heart, “O God, I don’t know how long these devils will torture me. I can hardly hold on. But I’d rather die than be a Judas and betray you. May you care for and keep me and lead me.” After the prayer, I made a firm resolution inwardly, “Even if I have one breath left, I’ll be faithful to God, fight against satan to the end, and stand to satisfy God once.” Afterward, one evil cop searched out 230 yuan from me. He grinned hideously, saying, “This is stolen money and should be confiscated.” While saying that, he stuffed the money into his pocket and kept it for himself. Soon afterward, the evil cops began to interrogate us, “Where are you from? What’re your names? Who sent you here?” After learning my name and address, they soon found out the information about my whole family on the computer. Except for my basic information, I refused to answer their questions about the church matters.
The evil cops used a trick. They got more than ten unbelievers from the street and told them that I preached the heresy, and asked them to allege it. Those people sneered at me and slandered and insulted me. I felt badly mistreated, not knowing how to experience that environment. So, I just kept crying to God in my heart, asking him to give me faith and strength. Then, a passage from a hymn of God’s word came into my mind, “The God in the flesh suffers the ridicule, abuse, judgment, and condemnation of all sorts of people, the hunting by the devil, and the rejection and hostility of the religious world. The wound in his heart cannot be remedied by anyone! He saves corrupt mankind with great endurance, and he loves man with wounds, loves man with wounds. This is the most painful work. Mankind’s fierceness and resistance, condemnation and slander, framing and persecution, and hunting and slaughter, make God’s flesh take a great risk to do this work. Who understands his sufferings and can comfort him?” (from “God Loves Man with Wounds” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs) In the past, I only had some superficial understanding of God’s suffering for saving mankind. Today, in such a practical environment, I experienced a bit that the sufferings God undergoes are so great! The righteous and holy God is incarnated and lives with us, the filthy and corrupt men. He endures the ridicule, abuse, condemnation, slander, hunting, and slaughter of all sorts of people to save us. Even we believers in God often don’t understand God, or even misunderstand and complain against God. These various kinds of blows hurt God’s heart so greatly. However, God still loves man with wounds. God’s disposition is so great and so honorable! Before, I read these words in the Bible, “For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.” (Luke 17: 24-25) Today I saw that these words were indeed being fulfilled! Thinking of that, I was very distressed in my heart. I felt remorseful for not caring forbefore…. Before I came to myself, the evil cops hung a sign around my neck, on which was written “cultist,” and took photos of me. Then, they ordered me to squat down and point my finger at the gospel materials and took some photos. My legs were unbearably painful and I simply couldn’t squat down. At that time, my cell phone suddenly rang. I was startled, “It must be from the brothers and sisters. I mustn’t get them into trouble.” So I grabbed the phone and threw it hard on the floor. The phone broke. My action immediately infuriated those evil cops. They seized me by the collar like mad and lifted me up and slapped my face violently several times. Instantly, my face ached as if being burned by fire. My ears buzzed for a while and then couldn’t hear anything. Then, they kicked my legs hard. The evil cops still felt dissatisfied. They dragged me into a dark room, had me stand against the wall, and slapped my face violently. After that, they kicked and struck me. At that time, I forcibly held back my tears and prayed to God silently, “O Almighty God, I believe that there is your good purpose in all this. All that you do is good. No matter how you manipulate, I’m willing to obey. This suffering is what I should undergo. May your will be done!” Unexpectedly, after I prayed, my ears suddenly could hear. I heard an evil cop saying, “This woman is too stubborn. She hasn’t dropped a single tear or let out a cry. We haven’t fixed her hard enough for her to feel the pain. Bring an electric baton. Let’s see if she cries!” Another evil cop jabbed my thighs violently with the electric baton. Instantly, the sharp pain pierced my heart. I ached so badly that I fell to the floor and banged my head against the wall. Blood immediately streamed down from my head. Those evil cops pointed at me and roared, “Drop the act. Get up! You have three minutes. If you don’t get up, we’ll go on beating you. You wanna play dead?” However, no matter how they shouted, I really couldn’t move. In the end, they stopped after kicking me savagely for a while.
Facing the evil cops’ inhuman tortures, I really couldn’t hold on. So I prayed to God earnestly, “Almighty God, I can hardly hold on. May you give me faith and strength.” When I was extremely distressed, a hymn of God’s word rang in my ears, “Since you, you should present your heart before God. If you offer up your heart and present it before God, then you will surely not deny God in refining. … One day when God’s trial suddenly comes upon you, you will not only be able to stand on God’s side, but will also be able to bear testimony for God. At that time, you will be like Job and like Peter. As you have borne testimony for God, you will be a person who truly loves God and a person who willingly lays down his life, and you will be God’s witness. Only a refined love will be strong, not fragile. No matter when and how God tries you, if you can give no thought to your life and willingly give up everything for God and endure everything for God, your love will be pure and your belief will have reality. Only at that time will you be a person truly loved by God and a person truly perfected by God, a person perfected by God.” (from “Since You Believe in God, You Have to Put Your Heart Before God” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs) God’s revelation made me understand his will. Then, I prayed to God, “O God! I believe that today everything I encounter is out of your permission. Now I see clearly that the law enforcement agency under the CCP system is an agency of violence. I’m willing to give my heart to you and present it before you. O God, I know that only after I experience such a trial and refining can my heart of loving you be stronger. If today satan puts me to death, I’ll make no complaint. It’s my honor that I, a created being, can bear testimony for you. In the past, I didn’t perform my duty properly and was indebted to you too much. It’s most meaningful that I can have the opportunity to die for you today. I’m willing to obey.” After the prayer, I was greatly moved in my heart, feeling that it was so meaningful for me to suffer this for following God, and that even if I died, it was worthy. God’s words gave me infinite faith and strength.
About over ten minutes later, a female cop came over and got me up, and said hypocritically, “You’re at such an age. Your child has been in college. Is it worthwhile to suffer this? If you tell, you can get out immediately. You see, you dress like a poor beggar. What good is it?” Seeing that I didn’t have any reaction, she continued, “As a mother, you should think for your son. This matter will influence several generations of your family: your parents, your husband, your son, and your grandchildren. In the future, not to mention joining the army, rising as a cadre, or being a public servant, even being a security guard is impossible. Do you want your son to labor hard and do odd jobs living a poor life like you when he grows up?” Just when satan was carrying out its scheme, God’s words flashed within me, “Everything in the whole universe, without exception, is decided by me. Is there anything that is not in my hand? I’ll accomplish as I say. Among men, who can change my will?” (from “The First Piece of Word” of God’s Utterance to the Entire Universe in) God’s words made me see through satan’s scheme. I knew that they were threatening me with my child’s future. But I knew that man’s destiny is not in his own hand, nor in their hands, but in God’s hand. I wasn’t in the least restrained by them in my heart. The guidance of God’s words made me truly feel that God was with me and was keeping me. I had a firmer trust in God. Then I turned my head aside and kept silent. The female cop abused me and then went away angrily.
A Youth Spent Without Regret
“‘Love’ means a pure and unblemished affection, to love with the heart, to feel with the heart, and to care with the heart; in ‘love’ there is no condition, no barrier, and no distance; in ‘love’ there is no suspicion; in ‘love’ there is no cheat, no deal, and no cunning; in ‘love’ there is no choice; and in ‘love’ there is not any mixture.” (from “Pure and Unblemished Love” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs) This hymn of God’s word accompanied me through the long and painful seven years and four months of prison life. The CCP government deprived me of the best years of my youth, yet from Almighty God I got the most precious and practical truths. So I have no regrets!
The Song of Life in Tortures
At that moment, God’s words resounded in my ears, “…in the last days, you should bear testimony for God. No matter how great the sufferings, you should walk to the end. Even if you have just one breath left, you should be faithful to God and submit to God’s manipulation. This is truly loving God, and this is a strong and resounding testimony.” (from “Only After Experiencing Painful Trials Will One Know that God Is Lovely” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) Every word of God, with encouragement and expectation, warmed and encouraged my heart, making me feel greatly moved and have the courage to live on.
Rise Up in the Dark Oppression
“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.” (from “The Nineteenth Piece of Word” of God’s Utterance to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh)
On the Way of Tribulation, God’s Word Encouraged Me
God deeply knew my suffering and always encouraged me through his words when I was most helpless, “Don’t be disheartened. Don’t be weak. I will reveal to you. It is not so smooth on the way to the kingdom. There is not so easy a thing to gain blessings in a breeze, is there? Today, everyone will have painful trials. Otherwise, your hearts of loving me will not be strengthened, and you will not have a true love for me. …” (from “The Forty-first Piece of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh)