Following the Lord Resolutely

By Chen Geng

My name is Chen Geng. I believed in the Lord Jesus in 1992 and am an ordinary believer in the church. My elder brother was a famous preacher. Because he preached everywhere, he became the one to be arrested by the Chinese government. Because of my brother, I also had suffered a great many cruel persecutions from the Chinese government. Yet in its persecution, I experienced the Lord’s protection and leading, which strengthened my resolution to follow the Lord to the end.

In the beginning when I believed in the Lord, brothers and sisters would gather to observe the Sabbath and have grand meetings every Sunday. Over time, as more and more people believed in the Lord, the Chinese government didn’t permit the existence of our house churches and forced us to go to the Three-Self Church to attend meetings; it persecuted our house churches more and more seriously. We had to change a place every time when we had a meeting, and we had meetings by stages and in groups. One day in April, 1998, my wife and I went to have a meeting. Toward that evening, after brothers and sisters from different places arrived, someone said, “Are we all here? If so, we’ll close the door.” Just then, a man suddenly shouted, “Nobody move!” All brothers and sisters were dumbfounded by it, not knowing what happened. Nobody else spoke. I turned back my head, finding that a strange man standing at the door was aiming at us with a pistol, and that another three men rushed among us and roared, “Behave yourselves! Come with us!” Before realizing what happened, we had been forced into their vehicle. Not until then, did I suddenly awaken that we were arrested by the police. The four policemen were all in plain clothes and they drove a common vehicle with a local license plate. They infiltrated us ahead of time, and didn’t arrest us until we all gathered there. In that way, they took a group of 46 of us to the police station in the town.

At around ten at night, they began to interrogate us one by one. When it was my turn, I was taken into an office by a policeman. After I entered the room, a ferocious-looking policeman sitting behind a desk asked me in a ghastly tone, “What’s your name? Where do you live?” I answered him honestly. At my words, he let me raise my head and asked, “Is XX your brother?” “Yes.” I answered. Without speaking any more, the policeman came up and gave me two slaps on both cheeks. Immediately, my ears buzzed, unable to hear anything clearly; I saw stars and was dizzy; and I staggered and almost fell to the ground. Then, he roared, “Come clean! Where is your brother now?” I didn’t answer. He continued, “It is you who have nothing better to do. Why must you believe in God? Tell me, where is God? Who has seen God? You’re really a gang of fools without knowledge. Now the state provides you things to eat or drink, so you should serve the state sincerely. Since the state doesn’t allow you to believe in God, you can’t believe. If you believe in God, you are acting against the state; you are a lawbreaker and a counter-revolutionist. Do you understand? From now on, you are forbidden to believe in God or have gatherings. If you want to believe, believe in the Communist Party. This time, we just arrest you and educate you. If we find you go on believing in Jesus and have grand gatherings, we won’t be easy on you, especially your brother, who takes the lead to preach the gospel all day. You go home and warn him not to preach everywhere. China is a single-party country; you can only believe in the Communist Party. Understand? If your brother insists on preaching everywhere, once we arrest him, he will face the consequences. This time, we will fine each of you two hundred yuan and then let you go home.” After getting a sum of money from us, they released us.

Soon it came to March 11, 2002. We one hundred people, including some co-workers in the church, had a gathering in my brother’s home. Unexpectedly, our gathering place was found by the Chinese government again. On the morning of the fourteenth day, a gang of policemen barged into my brother’s house to arrest us. Thank the Lord for His protection. That morning after we finished our meeting, brothers and sisters, including my brother, all left before dawn. The police didn’t capture any brother or sister; they were enraged and took my nephew to the police station. In order to question my nephew closely about my brother’s news and something about our gathering that day, they weren’t even soft on a child under 18 years of age. Within less than a day, they beat my nephew cruelly three times, and each time they wouldn’t stop until he fainted. After he woke up, they continued to beat him up. At last, my nephew really couldn’t bear the policemen’s beating and torture, so he told the truth to them. On the morning of the fifteenth day, they let my nephew go home. That afternoon, while I was moving bricks, a tall and strong policeman, about 90 kilograms, came to my home and said irritably, “Now you must come with me to the commune.” I knew it had something to do with my belief in the Lord. Since he came to catch me, it was impossible to not go with him. So I didn’t refuse and followed him to the commune’s police station. When I entered the office, several people were already waiting for me. I didn’t know how they would treat me; I could only pray to the Lord silently. I had hardly sat down when a policeman asked me coldly, “Did you go to your brother’s home two days ago?” “Yes, I did.” I answered. “Why did you go there?” He continued. “I just went to watch TV.” I said calmly. Hearing my answer, the policeman jumped to his feet and pounded the table, roaring, “You still refuse to tell and dare to cheat me. I’ll let you not tell the truth.” He came up and gave me two slaps. I immediately felt dizzy and almost fell to the ground. I thought: This guy is too savage. He beats me so cruelly. I prayed to the Lord in my heart, “O Lord! May You give me faith! No matter how they treat me, I can never be a Judas.” After my prayer, I raised my head and stared at him. He saw me staring at him, and then said, “You must be tired of sitting. Now stand up!” He asked me to face a wall and walk backward one step, with my head up against the wall and my hands hanging down. Before long, my neck couldn’t bear it, so I couldn’t keep standing and fell to the ground. “Speak or not?” he asked viciously, “What the hell did you go to your brother’s for? Weren’t you having a grand gathering? Did your leaders go there? Where are they from? Speak quickly!” I still gave them the same answer. He roared ferociously, “How dare you be dishonest! Stand up!” I felt weak all over, so I couldn’t stand up on my own. He dragged me up and ordered me to stand straight. I stood like a stick for eight hours; my legs turned numb, without any feeling. I burned with anger and hated this devilish policeman bitterly. It’s perfectly justified for us to believe in the Lord Jesus. Why did they use such cruel means to torment us? The more I thought, the angrier I grew; I just wanted to fight it out with them. Just then, however, I thought of the Lord’s teachings, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16). I realized that I couldn’t act against them out of emotion but should have wisdom. Then it occurred to me that the Lord Jesus was brutally crucified by the Judaism and Roman government in order to redeem us, and that the saints throughout the ages shed their blood or sacrificed their lives in the preaching of the gospel of the Lord Jesus. Since we follow the Lord today, we are walking the path of the cross, and even more the way of tribulation. I should take the cross the Lord gives me.

After a while, I could hardly stand up and fell to the ground. They dragged me up and made me “fly a plane” (This is a means by which they torture people: Standing with two arms spreading backward, two legs apart, and the head looking forward). Shortly after, I couldn’t bear it and fell to the ground heavily again. They dragged me up one more time and let me stand still, but my legs had become numb and without any sensation. Just like this, they tormented me several times for nearly an hour. Finally, I lay on the ground and couldn’t stand up anymore. At that sight, they crowded around me, pressed my head and my body, pulled my moustache, and burned my beard and ears with a lighter. All at once, I felt such great pain on my cheeks that I screamed loudly. They heard my scream and just burst out laughing by my side. After tormenting me for more than ten hours, they were tired and called in a young man to continue to torture me. As soon as the young man came up, he immediately gave me a good kick and beating, and then administered to me a volley of blows on the face, so that I could hardly breathe and felt that I was dying. I could only cry out to the Lord in my heart, “O Lord! Save me. Lord! Save me.” Then the Lord’s word recurred to me, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mat 5:10). I understood: If I want to be a child of the Lord, I must suffer with the Lord; only then can I be with the Lord forever. The Lord has long since suffered the hardship that I am suffering; He is testing whether I can stand testimony for Him. So, instead of being weak, I should bear testimony for the Lord. Therefore, I kept crying out to the Lord in my heart and asking Him to give me faith, by which I could endure their cruel torture and would rather die than become a Judas. After the policemen tortured me without cease for 24 hours, they didn’t get anything and then set me free.

I had thought that things would get over like this. But on the third day, the police took me to the police station again. A minority nationality policeman, who looked more vicious, threatened me and said, “As long as you confess what you did in your brother’s home that day, we’ll release you right away. Otherwise, you’ll be dead meat.” “I only went there to watch TV.” I said. “So, you aren’t ready to tell the truth.” Another policeman said, “Do you think we don’t know the truth if you don’t tell? Humph! We have investigated that you attended a grand gathering in your brother’s home that day.” Hearing his words, I kept silent. The policeman was so angry that he violently jabbed me time after time with an electric baton. At once, the electric current passed through my body as if needles were stabbing me all over. I felt unbearably painful and called out to the Lord in my heart, “O Lord! Please keep my mouth from speaking carelessly. I don’t want to be a Judas. May You give me faith and strength!” At that moment, I thought of the Lord’s word, “And he that takes not his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me. He that finds his life shall lose it: and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it” (Mat 10:38–39). The Lord’s word gave me faith. Faced with their cruel torment, only those who give up their lives can gain life. I feared no more and my body didn’t feel that painful. Just then, a policeman roared and hit me on both sides of my chest; I instantly fell to the ground. Subsequently, two policemen kicked me back and forth between them as if they were playing football. Even so, they still didn’t slake their hatred. They untied my belt from my waist and whipped me violently. Until the belt was broken, they still didn’t stop. Next, they whipped me with a torture device, which sounded like a clang of iron. I didn’t clearly see what it was, but just felt it landed heavily on my body. I felt a heart-piercing pain, and fainted immediately. After I woke up, I felt it was difficult to move the right side of my chest; even the slightest movement would produce a gnawing pain. Then I prayed to the Lord, “O Lord! In order to redeem us, You were nailed to the cross until Your blood drained away. Today, since I follow You, I’m willing to suffer and drink the bitter cup with You. They hate and persecute us; it is because they hate You. The saints in the past ages all bore testimonies for You in persecutions and tribulations. Lord! Please give me faith so that I can overcome fleshly weakness and stand testimony for You in the Chinese government’s persecution. Amen!”

Looking at my agony, those policemen said with sinister smiles, “Just confess! As long as you tell us everything, we’ll let you go home.” I thought: Even if you beat me to death, I’ll never be a Judas. Then, I heard another policeman said, “We probably disabled him just now.” They saw I suffered so much that sweat dripped from my face and that I huddled up on the ground. And they also didn’t get any news from me. They were afraid that I would bring trouble to them once something happened to me. So they left me on the icy floor and let me go home on my own. I kept praying to the Lord and asking Him to give me faith and strength. I staggered to my feet with the help of the wall, but I just couldn’t move my legs. Then I leaned against the wall for quite a while and after that, I limped home slowly. The moment I got home, I fell right into bed, unable to move. I took a rest for seven or eight days, while my whole body still extremely ached. Afterward, when I went to the hospital for an examination, I learned that three of my ribs were broken. I had to lie in bed at home for treatment. Thereafter, I couldn’t do any labor and even have a serious sequela—once the climate changes, my body will be in great pain.

Recalling all that I experienced, though I suffered much hardship, it allowed me to see the true face of the Chinese government. The Procedure of Handling the Criminal Cases by Public Security Organs issued by the Chinese Communist Party states explicitly that: “It is forbidden to … through continuous summons” and “extorting confessions by torture is strictly banned.” But the fact is that they use all types of extremely cruel torture devices and means to torment people. It can be seen that all the laws and regulations made by the CCP are just for show, and only apply to common people. In truth, there is not any law in China; the Chinese government is the law. They are simply so lawless that they can do whatever they want. In addition, the Constitution stipulates the freedom of religious belief, but in fact they wantonly arrest Christians and torment them with brutal and inhumane tortures. I also suffered their arrest or tortures many times. In such persecutions and tribulations, it was the Lord’s word that led me to overcome the Chinese government’s cruel tortures. Though the way of the cross is accompanied by persecution and tribulation, it even achieves our resolution and faith of following the Lord. No matter how hard the path ahead, I will follow the Lord to the end and never turn back.

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