Exposing the False Teachers of the 21st Century (Titus 1:10) (Hyper Grace)

Exposing the False Teachers of the 21st Century (Titus 1:10) (Hyper Grace) [ Print Document ] Titus 1:10-11 “[10] For there ...

Saturday, September 23, 2017

■ Steven’s Amazing Adventures, and the Future of the World ■ (PART 15) - "Encouragement" - (A STORY about the END TIMES, with Messages from God) (PART 15)


Steven’s Amazing Adventures,
and the Future of the World

(A Story about the End Times 
with Messages from God)

(Click here to open a safe website that reads text for free

You can copy and paste this post to have this story read aloud.)

(Click to Read PART 1.)



(This story chronicles the adventures of Steven O'Neill, his wife Sarah, and their friends during the End Times. Judgment has already struck the U.S., and Steve and his friends have reached the vast continent of Asia. Witness the amazing things God will reveal about the coming kingdom of the Beast (or the Antichrist), the Mark of the Beast, and the Tribulation period. This story should keep you fascinated, as a realistic account of the future unfolds in the form of a fictional story.


But, this story is not just a story. It contains messages from God and prophecies that actually shall happen. It is written as fiction with fictional characters, but the message of the story is very real, and the cataclysmic events, touched on in this story, will actually impact this earth as God’s Holy Bible and its prophecies unfold. The world will soon enter a time much like that portrayed in this story. I encourage you to seek God about this to see what He will show you.)


_________________________________________

PART 15: Encouragement"




orthodox church
(In the future, Russian Orthodox churches and
pro-communist liturgical churches
will be allowed in Russia,
but true Christian worship will not be allowed.
Click for picture source.)
The five friends stood on a woven rug that rested on a hardwood floor in Steve’s living room. Steve was praying for the group and requesting that their Heavenly Father God would guide them and lead them in the ministry in communistic Russia, where suspicion and fear were rampant. Under the new Russian government no Christians could worship together, except in Russian Orthodox churches or in liturgical churches that were controlled by the communistic government.

Any other churches were outlawed and the members were to be arrested and put into labor camps. Steve prayed for the Christians in the labor camps and for the people in the small town of Medvedski where Sergey came from, requesting that their eyes might be opened to see that Jesus Christ is Lord, and that only Jesus Christ can save them from their sins.

After Steve finished praying, Sergey (a burly, middle-aged Russian with a longish brown beard) cleared his throat and said, “I feel God is showing me to pray for my old coworker, Vasily Volvakov. God showed me that Vasily is now a believer in Jesus Christ and that he is in a difficult time in his life.”

Alexei, a red-bearded Russian man in his late thirties, looked at Sergey with a questioning look, combined with surprise. “Really? Vasily is saved?”

“Yes,” Sergey said to Alexei. “I don’t know what happened after God had translated me and the other people staying at my house, but I know Vasily was not with our group. He also had expressed skepticism about Christianity. And, God had showed me that Vasily had reported me to the communist authorities, but God had translated us away from Medvedski before the Russian soldiers could reach my izba home.”

“Did God show you where Vasily is now?” Jason Harper (a clean-shaven Caucasian American in his thirties) said.

“No,” Sergey said, shaking his head. “I don’t know, but I know that Vasily needs our prayers.”


“Let’s pray then,” Steven (a man in his mid-thirties with a short, brown beard) said.

Together they prayed for Vasily. Sergey opened the prayer session, and Sarah (a brunette who was in her mid-thirties, who was married to Steve) was the last to pray. Sarah prayed for Vasily to seek God and turn to Him with all his heart and soul, believing that God would show Vasily what God’s direction for his life would be.

When they were done praying an hour and a half later, Steve looked at the group, smiling. “God has shown me that He wants to give a message to the group.”

All eyes looked at Steve as he continued, “I will only speak what God has me to say.”

Then, Steve began speaking as the Holy Spirit prompted him, putting the words into his mouth:

“‘My children,’ says God, ‘I am your God and your Abba Father, and I love you all very much. You will be going to the village of Medvedski very soon. I will protect you from Russian guards and from evil people. The village needs to hear the Gospel message and see Me work signs and wonders.

“I will bless you as you depend on Me, and do My will. I will protect all of you like I have already been doing. You remember how I protected you from the Chinese soldiers that sought your life? I will do the same for you in Russia as I did for you in China. I will never leave you nor forsake you, and I will never leave nor forsake anyone who seeks Me and does My will. I will bless all who seek Me, and I will guide them into all truth. I love you all very much. Keep your eyes and ears on Me, and you will do well.

“Meditate in My Word to get the food your souls and spirits need, and I will greatly bless you. I love you all very much. And, I the Lord your God and Abba Father have spoken.’”

“Wow,” Alexei said. “Praise God that He will protect us and provide for us even in the heart my country.”

“God is good,” Jason said, smiling, looking up toward the front door. “I can see Jesus Christ smiling at us, standing beside the door.”

“How do you see Him?” Sergey asked, confused.

“I don’t actually see Jesus the way I see you,” Jason said, “but I sense His presence and love, and I can get the faintest hint of his appearance. It is like God puts this into my mind and spirit. It is not a vision, but I can detect Him standing over beside your doorway.”

“That is amazing,” Sergey said, looking at the door. “I wish I could see Jesus like you do. But, I don’t know if Jesus would let me sense Him like that.”

“Oh,” Jason said, smiling, “He certainly will let you sense Him and picture His appearance because He has no favorites. He loves us all equally. Romans chapter 2, verse 11, says, ‘For there is no respect of persons with God.’”

Sergey just grunted and scratched his longish, brown beard.

Jason said, “In Deuteronomy chapter 10, verses 17 and 18, we read: ‘[17] For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: [18] He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.’ The word terrible means awesome or inspiring awe. God does not have anyone who He regards higher than others. He treats us equally to His love and compassion, and He desires to have an intimate relationship with all of us.”

Sergey continued stroking his beard, in thought, while he listened and pondered Jason’s words.

“Now,” Jason continued, “we will not experience God’s love and intimate closeness, unless we truly desire it and ask Him for it. In James chapter 4, verse 8, says: ‘Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.’ God is not asking us to work for His love. Rather, He is asking us to desire His love.”

“Please explain,” Alexei said, entering the conversation.

open door
(Click for source.)
Jason said: “Our choice may be either to shut the door of our hearts to having closeness with God’s heart, or to open the door of our hearts to experience God’s closeness and compassionate love. We have to decide whether we will believe God’s Holy Word, the Bible, and desire close fellowship with God, or whether we will be content with what we already have.”

“How do we desire closeness with God?” Sergey said.

“When we want to know a friend better, we would like to spend more time with him or her, correct? When Steve and Sarah were dating, they wanted to spend much time together…” Jason looked at the couple saying, “Didn’t you?”

“That’s right,” Steve said, glancing at his wife.

Sarah smiled at Steve and said, “I couldn’t actually love Steve if I didn’t want to spend plenty of time with him.”

“You see,” Jason continued, “God loves us and desires that we spend time with Him, but it is about fellowship with God, not performing for God.”

Looking at his friend, Jason said, “Steve, do you perform for Sarah to love you?”

“No,” Steve chuckled. “I don’t do works to make her love me. I know she loves me. It’s the reason we’re married. She loves me in spite of my faults. She knows I’m not perfect and that I mess up, but she knows that I tell her I’m sorry, and repent, and show love to her.”

“Now,” Jason said, turning toward Sergey, “marriage is not a perfect example of the relationship we can have with our loving Abba Father God, but it is a picture. God desires to have close fellowship with His creation. That’s us. And, a good marriage is a creation of God to give us a picture of the relationship He wants with us.”

“Thank you for sharing that information with me,” Sergey said. “I will think about it. I want to have a deeper walk with God.”

Sergey took a white, ceramic cup of water from a coffee table and drank from it. Then, he said, “I realize that I need that now, especially with all the trials I expect to go through in the near future.”

“But,” Jason said, “that close, personal relationship with God will bless you, whether you are having trials and difficulties, or not.”

“I feel that God wants to speak to us another message,” Steven said.

“Go ahead,” Jason said, looking at his friend.

“Here’s what God is saying now,” Steve said before he let God’s Spirit speak through his mouth. “‘My children, I am the Lord your God, and I love you all very much,’ says God. ‘I will guide you into all truth, for I am the Truth, and all My ways are true, and righteous, and good. Seek to know Me better than you do now, and I will help you to grow, and I will help you to get to know Me much better than you have ever known Me before. Some of you have had wrongful beliefs about Me, but I will help those to change as you look to Me, and meditate on My Word, the Bible.

“The Bible is your book of blessing, for through its pages I will reveal nuggets of gold that will help your souls and spirits to grow, and to know Me much better. That is why I preserved My Word, and that is why I still preserve it for you so that you can be benefited and blessed. Obey My Word, the Bible, and you will prosper. Look to Me, and you will live. Now, rest, My children, and I will meet all your needs. And, I the Lord your God and Abba Father have spoken.’”

When Steve was finished speaking as the Holy Spirit guided him, a calm and peaceful atmosphere settled over the group. Faces looked up and eyes closed as the members of this small team quietly prayed and sought God. After a while had passed, Alexei said, “I believe God is showing me that He would like us to prepare for being translated to the village of Medvedski tomorrow.”

“Praise God,” Steve said.

“I’m grateful for your prayers and encouragement,” Sergey said. “I have struggled in trying to believe that God really is fully here to love and care for me. But, I will choose to believe that truth. I’m also grateful for your hospitality, Steve, and for your delicious apple pie, Sarah.”

“You’re welcome,” Steve and Sarah said in unison, smiling cheerfully.

____________________


“Meeting”


jungle
(Click for photo source.)
Hu Zheng and Cheng Yuan had heard a loud snap and a rustling of bushes coming from a place in the dense, Yunnan jungle some distance behind Hu. The young Chinese man stood to his feet, feeling fear tighten around his mid-section as he gazed into the bushes in the afternoon sunlight. The rustling had stopped suddenly and the jungle remained fairly still, except for the occasional chirping of birds and distant hooting of macaques and other monkeys.

“Who goes there?” Hu said, tensely, in Chinese, hoping it wasn’t a tiger or a Chinese soldier.

At last, the bushes parted, and a man shoved his way through. He appeared to be ethnic Vietnamese and smiled at the two other men and said, “Greetings.”

Dressed in black trousers, sandals, and a blue collared shirt, which was un-tucked, the man appeared to be in his forties, about the age of Cheng Yuan. He carried a backpack and a walking stick, like the other Asian men.

“Who are you?” Hu asked him, feeling a little more relieved that he wasn’t a Chinese soldier.

“I am Nguyen Duc Quang. My surname is Nguyen. Duc is my middle name. But, you can just call me Quang,” the Vietnamese man said in perfect Mandarin Chinese. “You must be Christians.”

“How do you know?” Cheng asked, approaching Quang. 

“My Father God told me that there were Christians heading south through the jungle,” Quang said. “I was to go meet you and bring you back to the city of refuge.”

“A city of refuge?” Hu said, confused. “What city are you speaking of?”

“It is called The City of Blessing. God has miraculously provided this large town in a jungle of Mainland Southeast Asia,” Quang said. “I cannot tell you exactly which country it lies within, because God doesn’t want me to reveal its exact location, but I came from that town just yesterday. I was translated into the jungle some distance from the town and spent part of a day walking along animal trails. People from all over Southeast Asia have come or been miraculously transported to that city of refuge.”

“I look forward to going there,” Hu said. “My family has turned on me and will not have anything to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They despise me. My aunt threatened to turn me in to the communistic authorities if I didn’t renounce my faith in Jesus Christ.”

“That must be also why God sent me to you,” Quang said.

“I know I am basically a stranger to you,” Quang said, glancing from one man to another, “but I feel God has been showing me something. The Spirit of God has revealed to me that very soon the Antichrist and the False prophet will come to the earth to lead the world into the worship of Satan and the New Age religion of humanism, sorcery, and Satanism. All this will be cleverly disguised to look legitimate to the world, but it will be very deceptive.”

“Wow,” Hu said, shaking his head in amazement as he listened.

“People must start seeking God like never before,” Quang continued, “and must go where God sends them to go. If they remain part of this world system, they could be greatly deceived. I understand that everyone on this planet will worship the Antichrist and receive the mark of the beast, unless their names are written in the book of life, or unless they are in the most remote parts of the world (where no electricity and modern infrastructure is to be found) and they do not follow evil spirits to their own destruction.”

empty cities in China
(Click for source.)
“The Antichrist is coming soon,” Cheng said, agreeing. “I have heard how the Chinese government is just starting to force people to move to large cities, and is taking them off their land, and away from their villages. Any who resist the change are being beaten into submission or are being bribed with extra benefits. But, many willingly go because they will have better access to healthcare and better access to the job market.”

“I haven’t paid much attention to the news,” Hu said. “So, what happens to the villages they leave behind?”

“The villages are either bulldozed or left abandoned,” Cheng said.

“This is all to prepare for the new world order and the mark of the beast that the book of Revelation speaks about,” Quang said as he removed his backpack and set it on the ground. Then, he opened the top flap and reached into the sack. Pulling a red-leather Bible from within, the Vietnamese man flipped through the pages until he came to a certain spot.

“Here is Revelation chapter 13, verses 1 and 2,” Quang said. “It says: ‘[1] And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. [2] And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.’ The dragon is referred to in Revelation chapter 12, verse 9, as Satan. Satan gives this beast power, a throne, and great authority. This beast is the Antichrist, as he commonly is called.”

A distant droning cry of jet engines reached their ears from miles away as a passenger airliner approached from high in the atmosphere.

“So, doesn’t the Antichrist die and rise back to life,” Hu said, ignoring the sound of the distant jet engines.

“That is what appears to happen,” Quang said. “Now, Revelation chapter 13, in verses 3 and 4, speaks of the Antichrist dying and appearing to rise to life. It says: ‘[3] And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. [4] And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?’ 

a satellite orbiting earth
(The mark of the beast will allow the
new world government to spy on and
control the people who take this mark.)
(Click for photo source.)
“So, the Antichrist is killed, but he rises to life again, as it seems. And, the whole world worships him and marvels over his supposed ‘resurrection.’ Now, people that live in very remote areas will not worship the Antichrist or know exactly what is going on in the world beyond their isolated homes because they do not have access to the internet, satellite TV, or radios.”

“Why do you say that people in remote parts won’t worship the Antichrist or know about him?” Hu said. “I thought it said in the scripture that all the world worshipped the dragon and the beast.”

Quang said: “When the Bible says that all the world wondered after the beast and worshiped the beast, it obviously excludes true Christians because we are not part of the world system. Revelation chapter 13, verse 8, says: ‘And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.’ I memorized that verse because of its importance in understanding this scripture. So, all who are not written in the book of life, and who dwell on the earth, shall worship the Antichrist.”

“That’s interesting,” Hu said, scratching his clean-shaven face.

“We know that God sees the future,” Quang continued. “I believe that all the people who dwell in remote areas of the world will either be saved and be born again, or will leave their remote regions and join cities and towns where they will willingly accept the mark of the beast. Then, it is certain that those ones will never be written in the book of life.

“But, the ones who are not saved in our time, who dwell in the jungles, if they choose to make Jesus Christ their Savior and Lord, they will be saved, even after the Antichrist arrives on the scene. Their names will be written in the book of life. So, even when the Antichrist is ruling over the earth, those ones, who will eventually turn to God in the future, will not know about the Antichrist or serve him. But, if their neighbors greatly resist God’s Spirit calling out to them, I believe they will listen to the enemy, and will leave their villages and jungles, and will enter the towns and cities where they will willingly receive the mark of the beast. I believe that demons will draw them into those towns and cities so that they can receive the mark of the beast.”

“I never thought about it like that,” Hu said. “So, the Bible itself is not saying that every person on the planet will actually worship the Antichrist, unless God sees that those people will never make Jesus Christ their Savior and Lord.”

“For life,” Quang added.

Seeing Hu’s confused expression, Quang said, “Some people will not make Jesus their Lord and Savior for life. At some point, some Christians will turn from their faith, and serve their flesh, and serve their own will, instead of God and His will.”

“But, I remember a Bible verse where Jesus said –” Hu said as he reached for his backpack. Within twenty seconds, he pulled out his Bible and flipped through the pages until he reached a certain spot he had bookmarked.

“Jesus said to some people who claimed to do miracles,” Hu continued, “that He never knew them. Listen to what He said in Matthew 7:22. Jesus said: 'Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?’ But, In verse 23, Jesus said: ‘And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.' So, you see right there, Jesus was saying that He never knew them, even though they called him Lord and claimed to do miracles in His Name.”

“That is a good point you make, Hu, but God showed me something interesting about this scripture I think you will find interesting,” Quang said.

“Yes,” Hu said, listening curiously.

 “I encourage you to seek God about it for yourself,” Quang said. “But God showed me an example of a pillar in the temple of God. In the book of Revelation, chapter 3, verse 12, Jesus says that those who overcome will be made into a pillar in the temple of God in Heaven. This is figuratively saying that we will be part of the temple of God and will never leave it, meaning the body of Christ.”

“Hmm,” Hu said, nodding in agreement. “That makes sense.”

pillars
(Click for photo source.)
“Now, a person who falls away is not a pillar in God’s temple because he or she did not overcome in the end,” Quang said. “But, the person who overcomes is said to be a pillar in God’s temple. Now, God showed me that if a person were to live 900 years and serve God for 90 percent of that time, or 810 years, and if he were to fall away from the faith, his service to God would still be nothing compared to eternity.

"If you divide any number by infinity, you will only get zero. So, the time that the 900 year old man spent serving God is still zero compared to eternity. But, I was bothered by the fact that God said He never knew him. So, I asked God about that verse. Do you want to know what He showed me?”

“Yes,” Hu said. Cheng, standing nearby, nodded in agreement.

“If we imagine that we saw time from God’s eternal perspective,” Quang said, “we could picture that every person’s life is like a column of some material.”

Quang turned and looked around at the jungle. Spotting a long stick, he took it and jammed it vertically into the soft dirt so that it stood upright.

“What are you doing?” Cheng asked, knitting his brow in wonderment at the Vietnamese’s actions.

“You’ll see,” Quang said as he walked a short distance away from the others.

Quang looked around until he saw some rocks the size of basket balls. He grunted as he lifted and carried the stones, one at a time, and stacked three of them into a column beside the upright stick.

Dusting his hands off, Quang said, “Again, every person’s life is like a column of some material. As people go through life, the column grows in height, from their limited perspective. God sees the whole picture and sees all time. So, God sees the end result of their life and all their decisions. A person who once served God only
has a nanometer-thin section of granite. The rest of their column of life, which stretches into the infinite future, is not granite or any stone. Instead, it is rotten wood.” He gestured toward the vertical stick.

“Okay,” Cheng said, nodding.

“Now, the Christian, who does not fall away from his faith, is a pillar of solid granite,” Quang said, motioning toward the column of stacked rocks. “The nanometer-thin section of rotten wood that was their sinful past has been removed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and they are a beautiful granite pillar that stretches into eternity, like a ray. You are familiar with a mathematical ray?”

“Yes,” Hu said. “It is a point with an infinite line shooting from it.”

(the infinite pillar)
“That is how God sees each person’s existence,” Quang said. “We all know that human spirits and souls cannot cease to exist. Since we are made in God’s image, we exist for ever. So, if we serve God during our life on earth, after we are saved by Jesus Christ, we are a pillar of granite in God’s temple. But, if we serve God for some or most of our life on earth, but fall away from the faith at the end, we would only have served God for a length of time comparable to a nanometer or a nanosecond of eternity.

“A person whose life is a rotten log, with only a very thin section of granite, is not a pillar. Such a person is not one of God’s elect, who He knows will stay with Him to the end (by way of their own free will choosing to obey Him). You see what I’m saying?”

“That makes sense,” Hu said. “But, I wonder if there are scriptures speaking of the falling away of former Christians.”


“Yes,” Quang said, “there are many scriptures. One example is in Hebrews chapter 3, verse 13, which says: 'But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.' Sin is deceitful, and we can harden ourselves against God’s conviction by sinning against His Word and His Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments were never removed.

“The book of Galatians, Romans, Ephesians, Philippians, and all of the New Testament books reiterate the Ten Commandments in different ways. Sinning against God will make us hardened against Him. And, the next verse in Hebrews 3 (verse 14) says: 'For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;’ We can only be partakers of Jesus Christ if we are faithful to His Word and faithful to repent when we are convicted of sin.” [See the “Footnote” at the end.]

“That is very sobering,” Hu said. “I guess I never read that verse carefully. I should look at the book of Hebrews again.”


“Another scripture contains the very words Jesus spoke to his disciples in Matthew 13,” Quang said. “In Matthew chapter 13, verse 22, Jesus said: ‘He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’”

“Who is this speaking of?” Cheng asked.

Quang walked over to a wild pomelo tree ten yards away. Reaching down to a rotting  pomelo fruit,* which had fallen to the ground, Quang picked it up and returned to his friends. (*A type of large citrus fruit with green skin.)

“The man who hears God’s word, and allows the ways of the world to choke out his spiritual life, so that he becomes unfruitful, is a man who once had spiritual life to begin with,” Quang said, holding the rotten fruit. Flies were buzzing around it. “He becomes unfruitful. That means, of course, that he was fruitful at one time, but he lost that fruitfulness. The only way he could have fruit was that he was at one time a branch connected to Jesus Christ, the tree.*” (* See John chapter 15.)

“That is a good point,” Hu said, thinking deeply about what Quang said.

“In Matthew chapter 7, verse 21, Jesus said: ‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.’ People will call Jesus ‘Lord,’ but they will not obey His will. Getting back to the parable about the ground or soils, Jesus taught that different people received salvation, which is represented by a seed.”

Quang dropped the fruit and picked up his Bible. He flipped through the pages until he reached a certain place, and said, “In Luke chapter 8, Jesus spoke of a sower sowing seed in different types of ground. The soils in which the seed was sown represent believers or temporary believers, while the footpath represents unbelievers who reject God’s Word immediately.”

“Some people rejected the Gospel once they heard it,” Quang said, looking from Hu to Cheng. “They are the path Jesus speaks of in verse 5 of Luke 8. Jesus said: ‘A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.’ Birds came and snatched away the seed because it was rejected by the people with that type of heart.”

Hu nodded solemnly, thinking of his uncle Bo, his aunt Li, and his parents. He hoped they would receive Jesus Christ soon. He wanted to pray for them regularly that their eyes would be opened to the Gospel and to God’s love for them.

“Other people,” Quang continued, “are the rocky soil that had shallow depth of earth. They receive the Gospel seed, and the seed sprouts into a plant. They are saved, but when trials and hardships come, they reject Jesus Christ, and turn away from Him. Their plant withers up.”

“That is very sobering,” Cheng said quietly while he listened.

“Still others are like the weed-filled soil, as I mentioned earlier,” Quang said. “They may start out good, being born-again, but weeds creep into their hearts and choke out the life of God in their hearts. Then, they reject Jesus Christ in favor of the cares of this life and other things of a worldly nature. There is no more room for Jesus in their hearts, and they cease to produce fruit. Jesus said that those who produce no fruit, or bad fruit, are to be cut down and cast into the fire.”

“Where did Jesus say that?” Hu asked, reaching for his Bible, which he had set down on his backpack.

“Matthew 7:19,” Quang said. “In Matthew chapter 7, verse 19, Jesus said: ‘Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.’ Then He says this in verse 21, which I quoted earlier: ‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.’”

“That is concerning to me,” Cheng said, swallowing.

Both Quang and Hu looked at him, wondering what he’d say next.

“I must confess that I lied to you earlier, Hu,” Cheng said, looking down.

“Huh?” Hu said. “When?”

“I told you earlier that my wife and young children are not Christians, but I lied to you,” Cheng said with sadness in his voice. “In actuality, My wife is a Christian, but she didn’t want to come with me into the jungle. She preferred to stay put and tell the authorities a lie that she was not a Christian.

“I was ashamed to tell you about this earlier, but the Holy Spirit has been convicting me about lying to you. My wife even took down papers with scripture verses, which we had posted up in our house, because she was afraid someone might see it and know she was a Christian.”

“Oh,” Hu said, a little surprised.

“I wanted her to leave all and come with me,” Cheng continued, “but she didn’t believe that God would provide for us in the jungle, and she said she would miss her parents and her friends. I told her that if she refused to honor God and confess that she was a Christian, God would eventually have to deny her.

“But, she wouldn’t listen to me. I told her that she had to refuse to deny her faith in God and that God would help her, but she said I should not tell her what to do. I left with my backpack early that morning, long before the sun rose. The last I know is that she still believes that she should lie about her faith.”

“That is hard, very hard,” Hu said. “I’ll pray for her.”

“Do you forgive me for lying to you?” Cheng said. “I was wrong for doing that.”

“I forgive you,” Hu said, smiling reassuringly.

“So, does what I shared with you two make sense, scripturally?” Quang asked.

“I need to study the Bible passages you shared and seek God about it, but I am starting to see what you are saying,” Hu said.

____________________





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EXCERPT from Part 16:

... Finally, Sergey headed toward the door, struggling with fearful thoughts, but trying to maintain his composure.


He opened the door to see a man dressed in a warm, dark-blue jacket with a wide, furry collar; a ushanka hat; wool trousers; and shiny, black boots.

“Are you Sergey Ulanov?” the police officer asked coldly.

A black leather belt strapped around his waist held gun magazines, a pistol holster, a flashlight, a truncheon, a two-way radio, handcuffs, and other police gear. Sergey felt his heart sink into his stomach, but he silently began giving his fears to God, and a sense of peace slowly returned to him.

“Yes, I am,” Sergey said. “What is this about?”

“I hereby place you under arrest for conducting illegal activities in your home,” the officer said, reaching for his handcuffs.

“What?” Sergey said, dumbfounded. ...





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Footnote: Here is Hebrews chapter 3, verses 7-19, for context. These speak of the falling away. Please pay attention to verse 13.


Hebrews 3:7-19

7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.
11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.
17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. 




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