11. Life’s Miracles
By Yang Li, China
Almighty God says, “God’s life force can prevail over any power; moreover, it exceeds any power. His life is eternal, His power extraordinary, and His life force cannot be overwhelmed by any created being or enemy force. The life force of God exists and shines its brilliant radiance regardless of time or place. Heaven and earth may undergo great changes, but God’s life is forever the same. All things may pass away, but God’s life will still remain, for God is the source of the existence of all things and the root of their existence. Man’s life originates from God, the existence of heaven is because of God, and the existence of earth stems from the power of God’s life. No object possessed of vitality can transcend the sovereignty of God, and no thing with vigor can elude the domain of God’s authority. In this way, regardless of who they are, everyone must submit under the dominion of God, everyone must live under God’s command, and no one can escape from His hands” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). These words from God are so moving for me. When I was arrested and brutally tortured by CCP police for spreading the gospel, it was God’s words that guided me to triumph over those devils’ ravages and escape their lair. I really experienced the authority of God’s words and gained more faith to follow Him.
It was after 7 p.m. on November 23, 2005. I was in a gathering with two sisters when five officers suddenly barged in and surrounded us. They tore the place apart just like a pack of bandits and confiscated our bags and books of God’s words, then handcuffed us and took us to the police station. I was so frightened. I called out to God over and over, asking Him to protect us. I thought of these words from God: “You know that all things in the environment that surrounds you are there by My permission, all planned by Me. See clearly and satisfy My heart in the environment I have given to you. Do not fear, the Almighty God of hosts will surely be with you; He stands behind you and He is your shield” (“Chapter 26” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words gave me faith and strength. I knew that everything is in Almighty God’s hands, so with God as my backup, what did I have to fear? This gave me the confidence to stand witness by relying on God. The police handcuffed us to metal chairs after we got to the station. There were a dozen or so officers taking turns in pairs to question us. They demanded to know the church leader’s name and address. No matter what they asked, I wouldn’t say a word. They took all three of us to a detention house the following evening. It was snowing really heavily that night, but they took our coats, only letting us wear a thin layer of clothing. We were shivering from the cold the whole way there.
They took us into an underground cell where I could hear the sounds of prisoners being beaten and crying out. My hair stood on end. It was like hell on earth. The police shoved us into a cell and told the other prisoners to torment us, to give us a “nice welcome.” Before I knew it, the head prisoner kicked me to the ground, then kept on kicking me. It hurt so much that I couldn’t stop rolling around and crying out. Then they ripped all our clothing off and dragged us into the bathroom for a cold shower. The bone-chilling water poured down on me. I was shivering uncontrollably and my teeth were chattering. It was so painful, as if my flesh was being sliced off my body. I lost consciousness and passed out before long. They started beating me again after I came to, tossing me aside only after getting tired. My spirit began to weaken, and I wondered what else they were going to do to me, and if I could take it. In my pain, God enlightened me to think of this hymn of His words: “You will surely, under the guidance of God’s light, break through the stranglehold of the forces of darkness. You will surely not, in the midst of darkness, lose the light guiding you. … You will surely stand firm and unwavering in the land of Sinim. Through the sufferings you endure, you will inherit God’s blessings, and will surely radiate His glory throughout the entire universe” (Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). I silently sang this hymn to myself over and over, feeling more and more encouraged. Satan could hurt me, but as long as I truly looked to God and relied on Him, He would lead me to victory over the demons’ torture, and keep me standing firm. That was Satan’s attempt to have me deny and betray God. I knew I couldn’t let its ploy succeed, but had to stand witness for God and shame Satan.
After 21 days there, the police transferred me to the County Public Security Bureau. They put me in a metal chair for questioning. Seeing I wouldn’t talk, that evening they put handcuffs on me and hung me from the window grating, suspending me so I could barely reach the floor with my toes. One of them said, “I’ve got plenty of patience. I’ll make you beg me and offer up the name of your church’s leader.” After a little while my wrists were in unbearable pain. I prayed over and over, asking for God’s guidance so I’d never fold to Satan. I still kept quiet, so they took me into an interrogation room. The moment I went in I saw all sorts of torture instruments laid out. There was a row of police batons of all sizes hanging on the wall and leather rods, whips, and a tiger bench up against the wall. A few police were using electric batons and whips on a guy in his 20s. His flesh was lacerated from the beatings to the point of being practically unrecognizable. Right then, a female officer came over and kicked me viciously without saying a word, then grabbed me by the hair and slammed my head against the wall. My head was spinning, and it felt like it was going to split in two. As she continued to hit me, she said viciously, “If you don’t tell us what we want to know, you’re dead meat!” Two other officers joined in the threats: “We’ve got people coming from different stations. We have all the time in the world. A month, two months—we don’t care how long. We’ll question you until you talk.” Hearing them say that and considering their barbaric tactics against me and the way they’d been torturing that guy just now left me terrified. My heart was racing. I was so scared I wouldn’t be able to take whatever torture was awaiting me. I prayed to God urgently. Just then, I thought of this from His words: “When people are ready to sacrifice their lives, everything becomes trifling, and no one can get the better of them. What could be more important than life? Thus, Satan becomes incapable of doing any more in people, there is nothing it can do with man” (“Chapter 36” of Interpretations of the Mysteries of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words helped me to realize that Satan exploits our weakness of fearing death to get us to betray God. My life is in God’s hands, how could Satan possibly control whether I live or die? I had to offer up my life, stand witness for God, and shame Satan! This thought gave me faith and strength. Infuriated by my silence, an officer yelled, “I’ll show you what’s what. You think I can’t handle you?” They strung me up high from the window with those handcuffs again and started jabbing me with an electric baton. Intense waves of electricity coursed through my body, making me convulse all over. The more I struggled, the tighter the cuffs got until my hands felt like they were going to snap off. My whole body was in agony. Two officers took turns using their batons on me. I went into spasms and started to go completely numb. My consciousness started to go fuzzy and I ended up passing out. I was awoken by the cold at some point, frozen stiff from a cold wind blowing in. I started to lose consciousness again, but I had no doubt: I couldn’t break down. I would stand witness even if it meant my death. I thought about when the Lord Jesus was crucified to redeem mankind. He was whipped to a bloody pulp, then nailed to the cross alive and left there until He shed His last drop of blood. God has given so much for mankind’s salvation. Thinking of God’s love really moved me. I said this prayer: “Oh God! You have given me this very breath. If You would have me die, I will submit. Even if Satan does persecute me to death, I’ll stand witness for You and shame Satan!” I started to feel a little more clear-headed, and thought about how apostles like Peter and Stephen had been martyred. I couldn’t stop myself from quietly singing a hymn I knew well: “By God’s disposing and by His arranging, I meet adversity and undergo trials. How can I lose heart, how can I hide? God’s glory comes first. In adversity, God’s words guide me and my faith is perfected. To God I give my utmost devotion, what matter if I die, God’s will is higher than all. Unheeding the future, not reckoning gain or loss, I ask only that God be satisfied. I bear resounding witness and bring shame down on Satan, to God’s greater glory” (Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). Singing this was so moving and encouraging for me. I resolved that I had to stand witness for God no matter how much I was tortured.
The next morning an officer said menacingly, “You’re pretty lucky you didn’t freeze to death last night. If you don’t talk today, even your God can’t save you!” At this, I thought, “God created and rules all things. Our fate is in His hands. You have no say over my life—that’s up to God!” An officer jabbed me with his electric baton again and a strong electrical current shot through me. I was in incredible pain and I couldn’t help but thrash around and cry out, but they were all cackling, and said lots of blasphemous things. I was indignant. They really were a mad pack of God-resisting demons of Satan! They kept on electrocuting me. I felt like I couldn’t take it much longer and felt so weak, so I begged for God’s protection with everything I had. Just then, I thought of Almighty God’s words: “God’s life force can prevail over any power; moreover, it exceeds any power. His life is eternal, His power extraordinary, and His life force cannot be overwhelmed by any created being or enemy force. The life force of God exists and shines its brilliant radiance regardless of time or place. Heaven and earth may undergo great changes, but God’s life is forever the same. All things may pass away, but God’s life will still remain, for God is the source of the existence of all things and the root of their existence” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words gave me a burst of strength. The Lord Jesus resurrected Lazarus with a word and Lazarus then walked out from his tomb. If God didn’t want me to die that day, then Satan couldn’t touch me no matter how savage it got. I was willing to do anything that would bring God glory, even if it meant my death. Once I gave no thought to my own life or death, a miracle occurred. No matter how much they electrocuted me, I didn’t feel any pain or discomfort at all. I also felt really alert. I knew well that this was God’s care and protection. I personally experienced the authority of God’s words and my faith was bolstered.
That night the police found a new way to torture me. They handcuffed me in front of a window, then took shifts to make sure I didn’t sleep. They would smack me the second my eyes closed. I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for two days. I was totally sapped of strength and my eyes were swollen. The biting wind blowing on me left me shuddering. Seeing the police sitting there with legs crossed in their padded coats, glaring at me fiercely, I felt like I was seeing demons from Hades. I was so angry. God created man, so worshiping Him is right and natural, but the CCP doesn’t allow that. It frantically opposes God and brutally persecutes believers in despicable ways. I remembered a passage of God’s words: “For thousands of years this has been the land of filth. It is unbearably dirty, misery abounds, ghosts run rampant everywhere, tricking and deceiving, making groundless accusations, 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. Who can see the world beyond the skies? … 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). God’s words helped me see the CCP’s evil essence of resisting God even more clearly. I swore on my own life that I would forsake it. Inside, I was shouting, “You demons! How dare you think I’d betray God?” By the fifth night, my hands were congested with blood, totally numb and really swollen. It was like my whole body was falling apart. It felt like countless insects were gnawing at my insides. There’s no way to describe the pain. I was starving and parched after days without food or water. I was shivering from the cold and had no strength. I felt like I couldn’t hold on much longer. I figured I’d die of hunger or thirst if it went on. I prayed to God nonstop, asking Him to give me strength to triumph over Satan’s cruel torture. Just then, God enlightened me with His words: “Man’s life originates from God, the existence of heaven is because of God, and the existence of earth stems from the power of God’s life. No object possessed of vitality can transcend the sovereignty of God, and no thing with vigor can elude the domain of God’s authority” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “It’s true,” I thought. “My life comes from God and only God can take away this breath. None of Satan’s torture can kill me.” When that occurred to me, I was ashamed at how little faith and knowledge of God I had. I also saw that God wanted me to learn from that harsh environment that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). I said a silent prayer: “Almighty God, my life is in Your hands. I wish to submit to Your orchestrations and arrangements, whether I live or die!” I felt some strength return after my prayer and I didn’t feel as hungry or thirsty. The police came back at 8 that evening. Seeing I still wasn’t talking, they smacked me around until they wore themselves out. They kept an even closer eye on me after that, working in shifts so I was never out of their sight. If my eyelids started to droop, they’d whack me awake with a rolled-up magazine. I knew they were trying to break my spirit so I’d let something slip about the church while in a daze. I was totally physically depleted and in a stupor. I didn’t know how much longer I’d make it. I was so scared that I couldn’t take the pain and I’d betray God in spite of myself. I silently prayed to God: “God, I don’t think I can hold on much more. I’m afraid of betraying You. Please protect me. I’d rather die than be a Judas.” My mind was getting hazier. I couldn’t even tell if I was alive or dead. In my fog, I felt like my body was lighter and my handcuffs had loosened. Early morning on the sixth day the police smacked me awake and barked at me, “You’ve really messed with us. We all accompany you here, not even getting a good sleep. If you don’t open that mouth today, I’ll make sure you never can again! I’ll make you lose your mind. I’ll tell everyone that believing in your God gives you seizures, so they all give Him up!” I was so angry to hear these lies from such a sinister, evil demon! They immediately brought over a bowl filled with a black liquid and my heart jumped into my throat. They wanted to give me some drug to make me go crazy. I frantically called out to God, asking for His protection. I thought of these words from Almighty God right then: “His deeds are omnipresent, His power is omnipresent, His wisdom is omnipresent, and His authority is omnipresent. … All things exist beneath His gaze, and moreover, all things live under His sovereignty” (“Man Can Only Be Saved Amidst God’s Management” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words once again filled me with faith and strength. God rules all things. Everything in the universe is in His hands. Satan can just harm our flesh, but can never rule our lives. When Job was tested, Satan could only harm his body. God did not allow it to endanger Job’s life at all. Satan wanted me to take that drug so I’d become a lunatic, an idiot, to make me betray and reject God, bringing shame to His name. But that couldn’t happen without God’s permission. This thought calmed me. A deranged officer grabbed hold of my chin and poured the entire bowl of that bitter, sour potion into my mouth. It took effect quickly. I felt like my organs were being squeezed and torn apart. It was incredibly painful. My breathing became labored and I was gasping for breath. I couldn’t move my eyes. I was seeing double. I lost consciousness right after that. I don’t know how much time had passed, but I faintly heard someone say, “She’s definitely going to lose her mind after taking that stuff.” I knew then that I’d made it. It was a happy surprise for me that I hadn’t had seizures and I was still clear-headed. It truly was God’s almightiness and wondrousness. God saved me from peril once again! I truly felt God’s faithfulness. God is always there for me. In that dark demons’ lair, Almighty God’s words guided me and saved me from death time after time. I silently sang a hymn praising Him. And I was more resolved to stand witness for God.
The police tortured me for six days and nights. I was on the verge of collapse without any food or water. They locked me back into a cell, seeing I was at death’s door. A few days later they tried to get church information out of me again, but I refused. An officer yelled in anger, “You’re a real piece of work! I’ve hardly slept a wink in six days, but you’ve given me nothing.” They sent me back to the cell. I was thrilled to see that Satan had really been defeated. I thanked and praised God over and over. After four months in detention, the CCP government charged me with “using a xie jiao organization to undermine the enforcement of the law” and gave me an 18-month sentence.
I was sent to a women’s prison in March 2006 to serve my sentence. It was hell on earth for me. I was subjected to inhuman torture. I made it through those hard days in prison and walked out of that hell only with God’s care and protection, and the guidance of His words. After I was brutally persecuted by the CCP, I really saw its demonic essence of frantic resistance of God. I also experienced the authority and power of God’s words. In my pain and weakness, it was God’s words that gave me faith and strength and guided me to win out over the harm of those demons and stand witness. I’ve personally experienced that God is the sustenance for our lives, that He’s always there to help us and my faith to follow God is stronger than ever!
1. “Making groundless accusations” refers to the methods by which the devil harms people.
2. “Heavily guarded” indicates that the methods by which the devil afflicts people are especially vicious, and control people so much that they have no room to move.