"One great lesson arose from all the beatings, tortures and butchery of the communists: that the spirit is master of the body. Often, when tortured, we felt the tortures, but it seemed as something distant and far removed from the spirit which was lost in the glory of Christ and His presence with us.
"When we were given one slice of bread a week and dirty soup every day, we decided we would faithfully "tithe" even then. Every tenth week we took the slice of bread and gave it to the weaker brethren as our "tithe" to the Master.
"A Christian was sentenced to death. Before being executed, he was allowed to see his wife. His last words to his wife were, "you must know that I die loving those who kill me. They don't know what they do and my last request of you is to love them, too. Don't have bitterness in your heart because they kill your beloved one. We will meet in heaven." These words impressed the officer of the secret police who attended the discussion between the two. Afterword he told me the story in prison, where he had been put for becoming a Christian." p. 45.
"I don't feel frustrated to have lost many years in prison. I have seen beautiful things. I myself have been among the weak and insignificant ones in prison, but have had the privilege to be in the same jail with great saints, heroes of the faith who equalled the Christians of the first centuries. They went gladly to die for Christ. The spiritual beauty of such saints and heroes of faith can never be described...The Underground Church is the Church which has come back to the first love...Before entering prison, I loved Christ very much. Now, after having seen the Bride of Christ"-His spiritual Body-in prison, I would say that I love the Underground Church as much as I love Christ Himself. I have seen her beauty, her spirit of sacrifice." p.47
"In solitary confinement, we could not pray any more as before. We were unimaginably hungry; we had been doped until we became as idiots. We were as weak as skeletons. The Lord's Prayer was much too long for us. We could not concentrate long enough to say it. My only prayer repeated again and again, was "Jesus, I love Thee.
And then, one glorious day I got the answer from Jesus: "You love me? Now I will show you how much I love you." At once, I felt a flame in my heart which burned like the coronal streamers of the sun. The disciples on the way to Emmaus said that their hearts burned when Jesus spoke with them. So it was with me. I knew the love of the One Who gave His life on the cross for us all. Such love cannot exclude the communists, however grave their sins...As the grave insists on having all-rich and poor, young and old, men of all races, nations and political convictions, saints and criminals-so love is all embracing. Christ, the Incarnate Love, will never cease until He wins the communists too." p.58.
"God is "the Truth." The Bible is the "truth about the Truth." Theology is the "truth about the truth about the Truth." Fundamentalism is the "truth about the truth about the truth about the Truth." Christian people live in these many truths about the Truth, and because of them, have not "the Truth." Hungry, beaten and doped, we had forgotten theology and the Bible. We had forgotten the "truths about the Truth," therefore we lived in "the Truth." It is written,"The Son of Man will come in the hour when you do not think and on a day you do not know." We could not think anymore. In our darkest hours of torture the Son of Man came to us, making the prison walls shine like diamonds and filling the cells with light. Somewhere, far away, were the torturers below us in the sphere of the body. But the Spirit rejoiced in the Lord. We would not have given up this joy for that of kingly palaces." p. 72-73.
"I have decided to denounce "communism," though I love the "communists." I don't find it to be right to preach the Gospel without denouncing communism.
"Some tell me "Preach the pure Gospel!" This reminds me that the communist secret police also told me to preach Christ, but not to mention communism. Is it really so, that those who are for what is called "a pure Gospel" are inspired by the same spirit as those of the communist secret police?
"I don't know what this so-called pure Gospel is. Was the preaching of St. John the Baptist pure? He did say only "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near." He said also "You, Herod are bad." He was beheaded because he didn't confine himself to abstract teaching. Jesus did not preach only the "pure" Sermon on the Mount, but also what some actual church leaders would have called a negative sermon: "Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites...generation of vipers!" It was for such "unpure" preaching that he was crucified. The Pharisees would not have bothered about the Sermon on the Mount." p. 78.
Part III of the witness of the late Richard Wurmbrand will appear in January. For information about Wurmbrand and how to purchase "Tortured for Christ," please see Part I in the November archives of The Right Hand of Fellowship.