God Has Made a Group of Overcomers Before the Great Tribulation
“And I looked, and, see, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb” (Revelation 14:1–4).
Almighty God says, “Those who are made complete before the disaster are submissive to God. They live reliant on Christ, they bear witness to Him, and they exalt Him. They are the victorious male children and good soldiers of Christ.”
“Those whom God refers to as ‘overcomers’ are those who are still able to stand witness and maintain their confidence and devotion to God when under the influence of Satan and while being laid siege to by Satan, that is, when they find themselves amidst the forces of darkness. If you are still able to keep a pure heart before God and maintain your genuine love for God no matter what, then you are standing witness in front of God, and this is what God refers to as being an ‘overcomer.’”
Pledging My Life to Devotion
By Zhou Xuan, Shandong Province
April 3, 2003 was the most unforgettable day of my life. I went with a sister to preach the gospel to a potential believer. Little did I expect that she had been deceived by the rumors spread by the CCP, and she reported us to the police. As a result, four 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 there was a pager, a list of names of some of the members from our church, and a notepad in my bag. I was afraid that the 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 police.” Following this, I took my bag and quietly stuffed it into my waistband and said that my stomach was not feeling good and I had to use the restroom. The police swore at me saying: “You really are a bloody nuisance!” 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 waistband, 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. Later the police found the bag I had thrown away in the garbage can.
The police locked the sister and I up in a room and ordered us to 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 police separated us for 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 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.” Seeing how devilishly fierce they looked, I silently made a resolution: I will absolutely not be Judas, I will not sell out my brothers and sisters and I won’t sell out the interests of God’s family. After that, no matter how the police tried to force a confession out of me, I didn’t answer them. 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, they ordered me to sit on the ground, then they handcuffed my hands and twisted them behind my back and lifted up my hands. Then they placed a chair behind me and used a rope to bind my hands to the back of the chair. They exerted all their 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 tortured me like this without pause for a couple of hours. Afterward, I couldn’t bear it and twitched from head to toe. But 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?” Seeing that I was still twitching, one of the evil policemen 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; at that time I was foaming at the mouth and they saw that I was twitching, so they let me down from the seat. My entire body hurt unbearably like I had cramps from head to toe and I couldn’t help but yell in pain as I lay paralyzed on the floor. After a long period of time, my hands and arms began to move again and feeling came back to them. The evil police 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 out 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 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 awful 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, thus putting the brothers and sisters on the list in danger of being arrested. I hated even more that I didn’t listen to the arrangements of the church and brought these things when fulfilling my duty, which had brought the church such trouble. At that moment, I wished only to rely on God to face all that was ahead of me. More than that, I wished to rely on God to conquer Satan. At this time I thought of the hymn “Marching on the Path of Loving God”: “I don’t care how tough the path of belief in God is, I only carry out God’s will as my vocation; much less do I care whether I receive blessings or suffer misfortune in the future. Now that I am resolved to love God, I will be faithful to the end. No matter what dangers or hardships lurk behind me, no matter what my end will be, in order to welcome God’s day of glory, I closely follow God’s footsteps and strive onward” (Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). I silently hummed this song and I again had faith and power. They 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. 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 upper-level leader?” 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 again behind me to the chair and made me sit on the ground. They hit me and exerted their strength and pressed downward on my arms; all at once 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!” The evil police flew into a frenzied rage and roared at me: “If you don’t speak up we will kill you; if you don’t speak up then don’t expect to leave; 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 “I Wish to See the Day of God’s Glory”: “I’ll give my love and loyalty to God and complete my mission to glorify God. I’m determined to stand firm in testimony to God, and never give in to Satan. Oh, my head may break and blood may flow, but the mettle of God’s people can’t be lost. God’s exhortations rest on the heart, I determine to humiliate Satan the devil” (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. In the end, the evil police’s plot did not prevail; they tortured me until they were tired, then they sent me back to the cell.
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 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 police officers 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 a foul mouth, making me sit on the floor. He kicked me as hard as he could in the legs with leather shoes causing unbearable pain. At that time, another policeman came to ask him: “How is it going, is she talking?” He said: “She is pretty stubborn, and no matter how I beat her, she won’t talk.” The other one fiercely said to him: “If she doesn’t talk, then beat her to death!” Then he threatened me, saying: “Will you not talk? Then we will kill you!” I said: “I have said everything I need to, I know nothing else.” 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! Even if they beat me to death today, I will never be like Judas. Oh God, 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 “I Ask Only That God Be Satisfied”: “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. I pledge loyalty to the death to repay God’s love, I praise Him with my whole heart. My eyes have seen the Sun of righteousness, truth reigns supreme on earth. Righteous and holy is God’s disposition, worthy of mankind’s praise. I love Almighty God with all my heart, I love Him forever” (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 torture 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” (“Chapter 26” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning 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” (Mat 10:28). Indeed, the CCP is merely a paper tiger doomed to be defeated by God’s hands. If God didn’t allow it, it would never dare to harm my life and not a strand of my hair would be lost. At that time, I also thought of these words of God: “Have you ever accepted the blessings that you were given? Have you ever sought the promises that were made for you? You will surely, under the guidance of My 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 be the master of all creation. You will surely be an overcomer before Satan. You will surely, at the downfall of the kingdom of the great red dragon, stand up amid the myriad throngs to bear witness to My victory. You will surely stand firm and unwavering in the land of Sinim. Through the sufferings you endure, you will inherit My blessings, and will surely radiate My glory throughout the entire universe” (“Chapter 19” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). 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.” 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 all things and living beings…. His disposition is the symbol of authority … it is a symbol of Him who cannot be[a] overcome or invaded 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 CCP’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 CCP. And it made me see the desperate and battered image of the evil police. I saw through the demonic substance of the CCP’s inhumanness and disregard for life and I detested it and cursed it in my heart even more. 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 CCP devil 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 spoke up 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.
However, the evil police didn’t leave it at that—they sent a good-looking police officer 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. See, 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 use deplorable and vulgar methods without any sense of shame to obtain their own purpose; 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. If you persist in your faith, 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. I could only pray 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 out my brothers and sisters; I ask You 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? You’ve been gone for years and we haven’t heard anything from you. Your mom and dad are worried about you every day, they can’t eat or sleep well. You have to think about us and come back and live with us. Don’t believe in God. Look at what hardships you have suffered because of your belief; why do you bother?” Even though I was weak, I was protected by God and I recognized that this was a spiritual struggle and Satan’s tricks; God’s words reminded me in my heart: “… 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 know nothing else. They can treat me however they want to, it is up to them. Don’t worry about me. You should go back.” Seeing my firm attitude, the evil police had no other choice but to let my family go back. The evil police’s schemes and plots had failed once again, and they were so angry that they 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 sight of the Lord Jesus being crucified on the cross. In the past, the Lord Jesus was sneered at, slandered, and accused by the Pharisees and by those in power. They said: “If You be the Son of God, come down from the cross” (Mat 27:40). The CCP government is just the same as the Roman authorities and the Pharisees were—they are the devils and Satans who hate the truth and hate Christ, and they are the hated enemies of God. God is using this environment to test me and allow me to truly understand CCP’s 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 truly 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 tearing off its mask, and seeing 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” (“Chapter 41” of Interpretations of the Mysteries of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Finally, the evil police sent me to the detention house and detained me 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 in the end, it was still to no avail. The CCP 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 a xie jiao 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 devils were indeed Satans and evil spirits that thirsted for blood and human life. It was purely evil! This made me see more clearly that, in the country ruled by the CCP, simply nothing is done by the law; anything it opposes, it can slaughter and exploit at will; it can make criminal charges as it wishes to control people and persecute people. The CCP creates something out of nothing, unfairly labels people, frames and entraps people, and slaughters innocent people. It is an authentic and true cult, a group of organized criminals and a gangster that brings calamities and disasters upon mankind. For two years in the labor camp, I saw the CCP police basically abuse and order the laborers about like slaves. They made us eat steamed rolls and vegetable soup every day; day and night, they made us work overtime. We were unbearably exhausted every day and didn’t receive any compensation. If we didn’t do a good job, we would receive their stern criticism and punishment (such as extended sentences, withholding food, and being forced to stand still). During this time, the evil police would still not let me off, they interrogated me trying to make me confess the church’s information. 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 or 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 CCP’s inhumane torture and cruel treatment as well as unjustly living in prison for two years, I saw clearly that the substance of the CCP is lies, evil, arrogance, and viciousness. They are less than livestock. They are perverse and duplicitous; they put up banners saying “religious freedom,” and yet they go about pursuing and persecuting Christians 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 “greatness, glory and correctness.” In the end, their masks have been completely torn off through God’s wise work, and their malevolent demonic faces have been exposed in the light so that I can open my field of vision and wake up from my 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 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? 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 eternally wise, omnipotent, and wonderful, and Satan, the CCP devil, is eternally deplorable, filthy, and foolish. Regardless of how savage and unbridled, and regardless of how it struggles and rebels, it will always be a serving object 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 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 arouses us to completely betray it and have the faith and courage to follow God on the correct path of life. We 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 resolutely follow God to the end and bear resounding witness to Him.
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.
a. The original text reads “it is a symbol of being unable to be.”