18. The Light of Life Shining in the Devil’s Dark Den
Lin Ying Shandong Province
My name is Lin Ying. I’m a Christian in the Church of Almighty God. Before I believed in Almighty God, I always tried to work with my own ability for a better life. But things ran counter to my wish; I got into trouble and was frustrated everywhere. Having fully experienced life’s hardships, I felt exhausted mentally and physically and felt extremely miserable. Just when I was distressed and helpless, a sister preached Almighty God’s end-time gospel to me. I read God’s words, “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) I couldn’t help shedding tears. The motherly words of Almighty God greatly comforted me. I felt that I, like an orphan wandering for years, returned to the bosom of my family and was no longer lonely and helpless. From then on, I thirstily read God’s word every day. Through having meetings and fellowshipping with the brothers and sisters in the Church of Almighty God, I saw that they were so kind and honest. There was no jealousy, dispute, or intrigue among them. No matter who met any difficulty, others would sincerely fellowship about the truth and help him solve it, without making bargains or seeking rewards. What they lived out was God’s love. There, I received the release and happiness that I had never had. I deeply felt that the Church of Almighty God is a holy pure land and became certain that Almighty God is the only true God who can save men from the abyss of misery. Just when I was enjoying God’s love, the CCP government arrested and persecuted me illegally, breaking my joyful and pleasant life.
It was deep in the night on August 12, 2003. I had been asleep. Suddenly, I was woken up by a violent knocking on the door and heard someone shouting, “Open the door! Open the door! We’re the police!” Before I could put on some clothes, I heard some thumping sounds and the door was suddenly kicked open. Six extremely ferocious policemen broke in. I asked them in a panic, “What do you want?” The head of the vicious policemen shouted, “Don’t play dumb!” And then he waved his hand and roared, “Search carefully!” Several policemen began to ransack boxes and chests here and there like bandits. Immediately, the pots and pans, clothes, quilts, foodstuffs, and so on were thrown all over the floor. It was a complete mess in the house. After searching my house, the vicious policemen pushed and pulled me into a police car. They also took away my newly-purchased CD player worth 240 yuan, 80 yuan in cash, and a bucket of books of God’s word. I had never imagined that the scene which I only saw on TV actually happened to me then. I was very scared and my heart was thumping, so I prayed to God unceasingly. Suddenly I remembered Almighty God’s words, “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. … Remove your fear. With me as your rear guard, who can block the way? Remember! Remember!” (from “The Tenth Piece of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) God’s words gave me great comfort, making my heart gradually calm down. I realized this: The One I believe in is the Ruler who created the heavens and the earth and all things. All things and all matters are in God’s hand, and satan and the devils are all under God’s feet. As long as I truly rely on God, satan can do nothing to me. Now is the crucial moment God is waging a war against satan, is the time God needs me to stand testimony, and is the time for me to experience God’s word and gain the truth. I must stand the ground and practice according to God’s word and never give in to satan!
The police car whistled into the courtyard of the police station. The car had barely stopped when the vicious policemen pushed me out of the car abruptly. I staggered a few steps, and only when my hands hit the wall did I stop. They roared with laughter behind me. After that, those vicious policemen shoved me into a small room. Before I could keep my balance, they surrounded me and struck and kicked me. While beating me, they said, “This is what you get for doing improper things! …” A vicious policeman grabbed my hair and pulled me up and fiercely slapped my face twice. I was beaten senseless and blood flowed from the corners of my mouth. After that, a vicious policeman flung a piece of cardboard before me and said venomously, “You know the names of these people, right? What’s your name?” At that time, I ached too much to say a word. Seeing that I said nothing, three vicious policemen rushed forward and punched and kicked me until I fainted. Later, I sobered up a little. I heard one of them say, “These people are likely to play dead.” And then they left.
Early the next morning, the vicious policemen took me to the interrogation room of the Criminal Investigation Section in the Public Security Bureau. On entering the room, I saw several big guys with murderous looks staring at me. Various kinds of torture devices were placed in the room. The scene before me caused my heart to fly into my mouth instantly. I felt as if I had suddenly fallen into the devils’ den. Immediately, I was overwhelmed with horror. Fear and uneasiness rushed upon me again, “Yesterday, they didn’t formally start the interrogation, but they tortured me like that. Surely, today it’s impossible for me to escape the affliction. If they cruelly torture me, can I pull through?” I prayed in my heart urgently, “God, I’m very scared now. I’m afraid that I can’t endure these demons’ tortures and thus lose testimony. May you keep my heart. I’d rather be beaten to death than betray you.” Then, God’s words came to my mind, “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) God’s words are authority and strength, making me strong within at once. With God’s presence, I should fear nothing. Actually, no matter how they show their ferocity, they are just paper tigers strong in appearance but weak in reality, which are not dreadful at all. They have long been defeated before God. Then, a vicious policeman shouted, “Speak up quickly. Who are you? Who is your leader?” With God’s words as my reliance, I answered fearlessly, “I’m a Christian.” He questioned closely, “Where is Christ?” “In my heart!” Hearing that word, he roared like an infuriated beast, “Lift this bitch up! Make her stand on tiptoe. Let her have a good taste!” Immediately, two vicious policemen pounced upon me, twisted my arms behind sharply, and lifted me up. All at once, a heart-piercing pain made me utter a heartrending cry, and then I lost my consciousness…. After I woke up, I found that I was lying face down on the floor and that my nose was bleeding. Obviously, after I passed out, those vicious policemen directly threw me to the floor. Seeing me wake up, they dragged me into a small pitch-dark room. The room was gloomy, cold, damp, and foul, and it was simply suffocating. As he shut the door, a vicious policeman said with an indescribable tone, “This is a special cell for locking up the prisoners who are going to be executed. You’d better think it over!” I sat limply on the cold floor. With the pain all over, I couldn’t help feeling weak and sad, thinking, “What’s wrong with my believing in Almighty God? They even treat me as a condemned prisoner! It’s really intolerable to Heaven!” In misery, a hymn of God’s word resounded in my ears, “No one can take away the work done on you and the blessing bestowed upon you. No one can take away anything that is given to you. … Because of this, you should offer up your whole being for God and be faithful to God all the more; for the sake of God’s uplifting you should strive even harder, and ready your stature to receive God’s commission. Stand in the position given by God, pursue to be the people, accept the kingdom, accept the kingdom exercise, and be gained by God and eventually become God’s glorious testimony. If you have such resolutions, you will surely be gained by God and become God’s glorious testimony in the end. You should understand that the most crucial commission is to be gained by God and become his glorious testimony. This is God’s will, this is God’s will, this is God’s will.” (from “Don’t Fail God’s Will” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs) As I sang it, a wave of warmth surged through my body. I felt as if God was standing by my side and comforting and encouraging me like a tender mother, fearing that I might become weak and stumble and lose faith. Besides, he admonished me earnestly and patiently, letting me know that the adverse environment was the kingdom exercise and the evidence of overcoming satan for inheriting God’s eternal blessings, and that it was the most precious wealth of life God bestowed to me and the good testimony forged for my entering the kingdom. I was moved to tears, “O Almighty God! I’ll keep your charge in mind, accept this exercise, actively cooperate with you, and bear a glorious testimony for you to be gained by you. I’ll never be a coward to be ridiculed by satan!”
On the third morning, several vicious policemen took me into the interrogation room again. A vicious police officer knocked my head with a baton, saying with a half grin, “Have you thought it over?” Meanwhile, he took a list of the names of the church members and asked me to identify them. I prayed to God silently, “Almighty God, satan comes to tempt me again, trying to make me betray you and sell out the brothers and sisters. I’ll never live ignobly and be a Judas. Please keep my heart and bridle my tongue. If I do anything that betrays you, may you curse me!” Immediately, strength was produced in my heart. I said resolutely, “I don’t know.” He went on the rampage, swiftly kicking me down to the floor, and he roared, “Come on. Serve this bitch!” As soon as he finished the words, two vicious policemen darted toward me. Each of them pulled one of my legs and stomped on my knees fiercely with their leather shoes. While stomping, they shouted maliciously, “You don’t know? You don’t know? …” The acute pain made me pass out again. I didn’t know how long had passed when I was awoken by the cold water they poured on me. As I looked at those vicious policemen’s ferocious features, a flame of anger of hatred surged in my heart. I asked them loudly, “What crime have I committed by believing in Almighty God? Why do you torment me like this?” A vicious policeman swung his fist and hit me hard in the chest, snarling, “How dare you not plead guilty! Cultist!” It took me a long time to get back my breath. Right after that, another one grabbed my hair and dragged me to the iron chair. He handcuffed me there and I couldn’t move a bit. Then he got a dirty rag to cover my eyes. One moment they held my ears and lifted them up with force; next they ground my feet hard with their feet. The heart-piercing pain made me screech from time to time. Seeing me overwhelmed with pain, those vicious policemen laughed wildly. The laughter seemed to come from hell, which was bloodcurdling and horrifying. In the face of the cruel fact, I truly saw clearly that the “people’s police” proclaimed by the CCP government are all wolves and beasts and are all evil demons that specialize in afflicting people! In the past, I always thought that the policemen were heroes that “uphold justice and suppress the evil and pacify the good,” and that when one was in danger or trouble, he could turn to the police. Although I had been persecuted and hunted by them since I believed in God, I didn’t regard them as devils and satans in my heart. Today, it was Almighty God who personally revealed the true fact to me, so that I saw clearly their ferocious and savage features of satan the devil. I thanked Almighty God silently in my heart for making me open my spiritual eyes and have a clear distinction between right and wrong eventually. I felt that such suffering was worth it; otherwise, I would never shake off the lies and deceptions of satan the devil and be saved by God.
After a while, the vicious officer shouted, “Will you still be tight-lipped? Speak or not?” “Even if you beat me to death, I won’t tell you.” I said in a firm tone. He was so angry that his voice was distorted, “Since you don’t cooperate, let’s play something fresh. I don’t believe I can’t subdue you!” Two vicious policemen came to me and held my head and plucked my eyebrows. While doing it, they jeered, “We’ll pluck both your eyebrows and paint lime there; then, you can be a Wonder Woman with white eyebrows…. Where’s your God? Why doesn’t he come to save you? You beg me, and I’ll let you go. Ha ha….” I was boiling with anger and yelled, “You devils!” One of them fiercely slapped me twice, and I was beaten senseless. Humiliation and pain aroused my grief and hatred. I clenched my teeth and said nothing more. Tears of humiliation gushed out. I bitterly hated those beasts that blasphemed Heaven and were utterly devoid of conscience. In misery, I thought of the scene when the Lord Jesus, for redeeming us, endured the soldiers’ humiliation, sneer, and scourging and was nailed onto the cross at that time, and I thought of God’s exhortation and charge, “‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.’ In the past, you all heard this word, but none of you understood its true meaning. Today, you deeply know its real meaning.” (from “Is God’s Work So Simple as People Imagine?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) My heart was greatly comforted. I realized this: The humiliation and suffering I undergo today are remembered by God. I suffer for the sake of gaining the truth. Such suffering is the glorious testimony and the blessing of life. Since I believe in Almighty God, I should have the faith and the courage to receive God’s blessing and should have the backbone to be God’s overcoming testimony. At that moment, the rag covering my eyes fell down by itself. I glared hatred at the indecent officer. He couldn’t help backing up a few paces, saying, “Enough, enough. Let go of her….” And he changed for another look, saying, “As long as you tell me, I’ll release you right now.” I looked at him with contempt, saying, “No way!” He pointed at me and cursed in a frenzy of rage, “Bitch, you’re really incorrigible! I have plenty of methods. I’ll see which is tougher, your bones or my torture devices. Drag her away!” Two policemen dragged me back to the dark room again.
After being cruelly tortured several times, I was covered with wounds and was weak and limp. Especially my arms and legs were so swollen and painful that I dared not move. I huddled feebly there, like a lamb waiting to be slaughtered at any time. When I thought of those vicious policemen’s ferocious look of holding the torture devices and their heinous grin, my heart tightened in spite of myself. Especially when I heard the sound of footsteps coming closer from far away, my heart would keep thumping all the more. At that time, horror and fear surrounded me, making me feel awfully helpless and forlorn. I cried and cried my eyes out. I poured out to God, “O Almighty God! I’m terribly scared and very weak now. I’m kind of at a loss. Please save me. I really don’t want to stay at this disgusting place any longer.” Just when I was weak and depressed, God’s words encouraged and comforted me within, “In the boundless world, who personally receives my inspection? … Why do I mention Job many times? Why do I mention Peter many times? Have you touched my hope for you? You should ponder these more.” (from “The Eighth Piece of Word” of God’s Utterance to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh) God’s words made me have faith and strength within. Right! Among the heavens and the earth and all things, who can be the same as us, this group of people, personally receiving God’s test in the den of satan the devil? Who can be uplifted by God, having the honor to experience the fiery trial of being besieged by a gang of devils? But today, I, weak and incapable, have the honor to receive such great love from God, being chosen and predestined by him, and this is my blessing in this life and my honor forever. I can’t escape or evade it. I should act like Job and Peter, standing strongly with dignity before satan, safeguarding and testifying God with my life, and no longer grieving or disappointing God. Then, I was filled with gratitude and pride in my heart, feeling that it was so extraordinary and worthy that I could have the honor to experience such a tribulation and test in my life.
On the fourth day, the vicious police officer again held the list of the names of the church members and pointed at me, saying, “Tell me all the ones you know. Who on earth is your leader? Say it, and I’ll set you free; otherwise, you’ll die here.” I answered, “Even if you beat me to death, I still don’t know.” He was so angry that he pulled my hair and threatened, “If you still refuse to say, I’ll torment you to death slowly!” I gasped, “You’re delusional!” “Come on. Tie her hands backward and hang her up. Fix her to death!” He snarled. Two lackeys pulled my hands backward and tied them with a rope and then hung me up, only letting my tiptoes touch the floor. They threatened and tempted me, “Why do you hold on here? I advise you to act according to the times. This is the world of the CCP. We’re the boss. If you tell us, we’ll release you right away. And we can arrange a job for you. Otherwise, we’ll ask the school your son is in to expel him….” Hearing his devilish words, I was grieved and indignant. In order to ruin our opportunity to be saved and demolish God’s work, the CCP government adopts all possible means and does every evil thing! I spontaneously thought of Almighty God’s words, “In such a dark society where devils are brutal and inhuman, how could the murderous king of devils allow the existence of the lovely, kind, and holy God? How could it clap its hands and cheer for God’s coming? This gang of lackeys! They requite evil for good and have long had no regard for God. They mistreat God in a most atrocious way, having no regard for God at all. They commit assaults and robberies, being entirely heartless and completely conscienceless, and lure the innocent mankind to be unconscious. … 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) Checking the fact against God’s words, I saw clearly the CCP government’s ugly face and saw its towering crimes of running counter to right principles and going against Heaven. It’s God’s enemy which hates God and is implacably opposed to God, and it’s also my irreconcilable deadly enemy. I’ll never submit to it! So I refused him with all my strength, “I tell you clearly. A believer in Almighty God will never yield to you!” “This bitch is incorrigible. Today, even if you say nothing, we can sentence you all the same. You just wait for death!” They slammed the door and left in rage. I was hung there by that gang of vicious policemen. Gradually, I lost consciousness. Like that, I was hung for a whole day and a whole night. When they put me down, I felt that someone came to feel my breath. Knowing that I was still breathing, they threw me on the floor. In haziness, I heard them say, “I’m done with her. I never expected that this rustic bitch would be so tough, even tougher than the CCP members. The believers in Almighty God are really extraordinary!” Hearing those words, I was unspeakably excited and couldn’t help giving my inner thanks and praises to God.
I was detained for eight days in the dark room of the Public Security Bureau. The CCP government racked their brains and used every possible means, but they failed to get anything they wanted from me. In the end, that gang of vicious policemen could only send me to the detention house. During that period, when my family came to visit me, they seized the opportunity to extort 3,000 yuan from my husband. I thought that the detention house could be a little better, but I was wrong. In China, a country that regards God as its enemy, every corner is dark and is filled with violence, affliction, and slaughter. The truth isn’t allowed to exist here at all, much less do the believers in Almighty God have a footing. Staying there, I seemed to enter a den of wolves after getting out of a cave of tigers. After I entered the detention house, the vicious policemen ordered the prisoners to take off my clothes and throw them into the dustbin, and ordered me to put on a suit of thin prison clothes that was dirty and smelly. It was in the dead of winter. The cold pierced men to the bone. Shortly afterward, I was shivering with cold. Because of failing to obtain a confession from me, the vicious officer wasn’t resigned to being defeated and went on to interrogate me. He forced me to admit that I was a cultist, attempting to convict me with a false charge. I said in indignation, “The One I believe in is the true God whom everyone should worship!” He roared with rage, “Fix her hard! How dare she be sharp-lipped!” Immediately, three vicious policemen rushed toward me and punched and kicked me. My old wounds weren’t healed but fresh wounds appeared. I was beaten within an inch of my life, lying prone on the floor, unable to move. The head of the vicious policemen squatted down and prodded my head with his finger, threatening, “If you don’t confess, don’t expect to get out of here alive! You dare to show your courage before me. Taste my toughness!” A vicious policeman came up and kicked me twice fiercely. Then, two lackeys dragged me to the yard and tied me to a wire pole. I was bound there a whole day without drinking a drop of water. Additionally, with wounds all over and being hungry and painful, I went into a coma again. The vicious policemen were afraid that I might die, so they threw me into the cell. Just when I was at death’s door, being extremely weak, two sisters believing in Almighty God who were detained there hurriedly came to me. They opened their clothes and held me to their bosoms, warming me with their body. Though we didn’t know each other, God’s love linked our hearts closely together. I faintly heard the sisters’ weeping and the prisoners’ talk, “The policemen are too ruthless! The believers in Almighty God are overflowing with love. I thought you were related. So you don’t know each other.” And I heard the two sisters say, “Man was created by God. We all are a family….” Later, I began to run a high fever. I was very ill as if I was going to die, but the vicious policemen simply paid no attention to me. The two sisters bought me some clothes and medicine at a high price from them, and carefully cured my wounds and took care of my living. Under their good care, my condition gradually improved. I knew that was God’s love. Although God allowed the tribulation to befall me, he was always showing consideration for my weakness and pain and was secretly arranging everything for me, manipulating the two sisters to look after me and comfort me. During that period, although the sisters were also often cruelly tortured by the vicious policemen, and were beaten black and blue, they always carefully took care of me. We encouraged and comforted each other; for the same goal and for the same wish, we prayed for each other silently; we endured all that for bearing the overcoming testimony for God in the devils’ den. Seeing what we did, the vicious policemen thought it inconceivable, saying, “You see, the believers in Almighty God are so united. They even spend money helping a stranger.” Those vicious policemen were dark and full of evil and atrocity in their heart, so they could never understand why we could do so and they were never worthy of getting the answer!
In the detention house, it was as if I had entered the hell on earth. We lived an inhuman life there. We couldn’t eat our fill and had to do hard labor every day. We worked from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. before we went back to the cell. I was so tired that I felt weak and limp all day long. However, because the two sisters and I often fellowshipped about God’s words, though my flesh felt painful and tired, my heart felt assured and brightened. During that time, I often thought of a hymn of God’s Word, “I can receive chastisement and judgment, and this is a special favor and is God’s grace to man. As far as man is concerned, he deserves nothing but only curses. It is God’s greatest grace to us that we can live until now. … I should dedicate and sacrifice myself for God and consecrate my all to God and should not reserve anything, because I am one who was created by God and have been corrupted by satan, but today I have received God’s salvation. Now I have known that it is not that my nature is good, oh … but that God’s mercy and love have come upon me, have come upon me. In the last days, I should bear testimony for God. No matter how difficult, I must do my best to live, and no matter how great the sufferings, I should walk to the end. Even if I have just one breath left, I should be faithful to God. This is, this is truly loving God, and this is a strong and resounding testimony. Oh … loving God and satisfying God is the most worthy and meaningful life, and loving God and satisfying God is most meaningful.” (from “It’s God’s Grace to Receive God’s Judgment and Chastisement” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs) Whenever I sang the hymn, I had a great strength supporting me so that my tiredness, depression, and distress within disappeared unknowingly. I realized this: I can accept God’s judgment and chastisement and undergo the sufferings today, and this is God’s greatest grace and blessing to me. No matter how great the sufferings, I should walk to the end. Even if I have only one breath left, I’ll pursue to love and satisfy God. Under the encouragement of God’s love, I went through the unbearable twenty days in the detention house. In that devil’s dark den, it was Almighty God’s light of life that dispelled the darkness in the devil’s den so that I could still praise God and enjoy the life supply of God’s word. That was God’s great love and salvation to me. When I was released, the vicious policemen threatened me shamelessly, “You mustn’t mention the sufferings you’ve undergone here after you go home!” I saw their brutal heart and their ugly face of not daring to admit what they had done, and it even more stirred up my faith and will to rebel against satan and follow and testify God. I made a resolution to cooperate with God to preach the gospel widely, so that more spiritual siblings living under satan the devil’s domain could come to the light and enjoy the love and salvation the Creator bestows to mankind.
In that cruel persecution of the CCP government, it was Almighty God who led me to overcome the devils’ siege and walk out of satan’s den step by step. That made me truly realize that no matter how ferocious and aggressive satan is, it is forever the loser in God’s hand, and that only Almighty God is the highest authority, can be man’s strong rear guard, and can lead man to overcome satan and death, causing man to live tenaciously in God’s light. Just as Almighty God says, “God’s life force can vanquish all power and even more surpass all power. His life is perpetual, and his power is transcendent. No created being and no hostile force can overpower his life force. At any moment and in any place his life force exists and shines with brilliant radiance. Heaven and earth may change tremendously, but God’s life will never change; all things may pass away, but God’s life will still exist. This is because God is the origin of the existence of all things and the foundation for the existence of all things.” (from “Only the Last Christ Can Bestow to Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) From now on, I’m willing to follow Almighty God unswervingly and try my best to pursue the truth to gain the everlasting life God bestows to man.