My whole night I passed walking through and through this cell. I didn’t have shoes. Every night I begin by meditating on the word of God, the verses which I remembered by heart. I meditated so much that through meditation I began to see the scenes which the Bible speaks. I saw Abraham, and I saw Jesus surrounded by multitudes and preaching to them. I saw St. Paul traveling. I saw the angels about whom the Bible speaks. Everything in the Bible became a reality to me. Then I would pass hours praying. Praying for the whole world. I traveled in my spirit from one country to another. Every night I would pray for America, Britain, for Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France. I would pray for your churches. I would pray for your children. As I’m very sure that you pass a good time of your night praying for the prisoners in communist countries.
Every night I would end with a sermon. There was no visible audience, but I preached to God, I preached to the angels. They’re also interested to know what I think and what I have to say. I would prepare a regular sermon and I would deliver it.
Sometimes we would be handcuffed with the handcuffs like this [he shows on the video] to the back…the hands tied to the back. We could not move them. For bowls of water we had to lap it exactly like the dogs [shows lapping with his tongue]. We could not move our hands.
The human body has many necessities. The hands were tied to the back day and night. But who can tie a soul? The soul can fly to the Lord. It has not even to fly because the Lord is everywhere. We forgot that we are with our hands tied, and we beat the communists. They have killed many Christians…millions. They have tried to kill us. How stupid. They can kill only bodies. We are not bodies. We are spirits and the spirit can’t be killed to die. For Christ, loving Christ, means to go to glory…means to go to Christ.
You wonder probably why I smile. It is because I wish to convey to you the joy of those who suffer for Christ in communist prisons. We think about their sufferings. And their sufferings are really huge. In Red China Christians are burned with iron pokers. They’re pelted with stones while tied on crosses. Others are burned alive. In Russia, prisoners are compelled to stand the whole day barefoot on the ice (in Northern Siberia, where the ice never melts). All kinds of physical tortures are used…the sophisticated methods of brainwashing. But this is only one side of the story.
Prison is not hell. In hell there is no water. We have water. We have rivers of living water. I was in a cell like this [shows cell]. During 3 years, I and many other prisoners, Christians, we are kept in such solitary cells, 30 feet below the earth. During 3 years, out of my 14 years of prison, I never saw sun, moon, snow, stars, flowers, trees. I had forgotten that these exist. You never heard a noise in that prison. People would believe that it has been only deep suffering. But when I remember that time, I remember it as a glorious time. The bride was in the embraces of the heavenly bridegroom. We received his holy kiss. We knew his caresses. It has been one of the most beautiful times of my life.
…I am free now. Hundreds of thousands are in prison today [names many he knows]…they sit in cells exactly like this, alone. Alone isn’t really alone. God is there, Christ is with them, and the holy angels feel this cell. And for the first time, being in solitary confinement, we realized the truth of what is written in Hebrews, that a cloud of witnesses (those who have suffered for Christ’s sake in times before) encompass around us. They’re not somewhere far away. They were with us in our cells, giving us strength, encouraging us by their beautiful examples. Feel with those in chains as if you yourself would be bound together with them [Hebrews 13:3]. Share their suffering, but share also their joy…
…But these sufferings are not hell, because it is suffering with Jesus. He is with the sufferers. He blesses them. He gives them the grace of His presence. Hell means to be without Jesus in eternity. And it’s a conclusion of everything which you have seen. I would tell you flee from hell. Seek paradise. And whatever you have done in your life, the gates of paradise are open for you. Only repent of your sins. The blood of Jesus Christ has washed your sins away. Believe in Him and you will be saved. And being saved, remember your brethren and sisters in faith who suffer because they love the Lord. And remember the hundreds of millions who are under communist oppression and have no possibility to hear the saving word of the gospel. And remember the poor souls of the communist torturers, they also have to be saved. They must hear the gospel. Pray for them that the gospel might be known for them, too.