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Monday, January 21, 2019

Pilgrim’s Journey: The Quest for Heaven: BOOK 1 (Chapters 7 and 8) (A Novel / Allegory)

This is a novel and an allegorical story about some knights who travel on a quest to reach a beautiful kingdom called the Kingdom of Heaven. As they go, they encounter giants, evil knights, swamps, perils, cliffs, dungeons, castles, evil Medieval lords, traps, dark forests, cunning enemies, and powerful weapons. They must fight for their lives and overcome all obstacles with the use of their weapons and armor, namely the Sword of the Spirit, and the Shield of Faith, and the power of God. 

Pilgrim’s Journey: The Quest for Heaven

- A Novel / Allegory -

By: Justin Brown (a pen name)
Date Created: Dec. 4, 2018

Chapter 7

Journeying Off the Path

The small group of 8 men merrily walked down the wide path leading toward the town of Hyper-Grace. In less than half an hour, the men reached the outskirts of what proved to be a large community of about 300 thousand. There were many banks, stores, shops, churches, and businesses in the town, spread out over a large area. Horse-drawn carriages jostled through the city and competed with the crowds of people walking about.

“This is a very large town,” William said to Dathan and Herod as they approached the busy main street.

“It certainly is,” Herod said as he avoided a horse-drawn wagon which rumbled past him.

“Where is a good inn I could stay at?” William said.

“We are getting close,” Dathan said. Then, he chuckled softly and added, “You’ll like the fun things we can do at that place.”

The men continued walking down the street until they reached a large, half-timbered inn which had four floors and a thatched roof. A painted sign hanging above the main entrance advertised gambling, drinking, and other ungodly activities.

Hours after the sun had risen and morning was waning, Herod, Dathan, and William were seen walking down a street toward one of the large church buildings in the town. It was a prominent structure and had lots of attention on Sundays and throughout the week. A large parking lot was full of hitching posts, horses, and wagons. People were flowing toward wide doors that opened into a huge foyer.
[Wane: To come to a close. Or, to get smaller or weaker.]

The Church of Hyper-Grace

Passing through the foyer, the men reached a huge auditorium, and William gasped in astonishment. He had never seen such a large room before. Thousands of people already filled the auditorium, but seating space was available for hundreds more. This was much larger than church buildings he had visited before. Chandeliers, hanging from different locations about the room, filled it with orange light.

The three men took a seat and chatted for several minutes. Then, a group of musicians climbed onto a large stage at the front of the room and began playing lively music. Flutes, mandolins, drums, and cymbals filled the air with mesmerizing notes, drumbeats, and harmonies. Before long, most of the audience was singing along with several of the performers, and swaying back and forth with the music.

When the singing time was over, half an hour later, a man stepped onto the platform and began pacing back and forth. As he did, he began speaking upbeat words to get people to feel cheerful and happy. His message was full of humor, whit, and themes about living for the self. He spoke about how God wants people to “live life” and “enjoy everything the world has to offer.” He said that in the old days people would speak about how God would hold them accountable for their actions and choices on this earth.

The man pacing on the stage said, “But, God is all about you just enjoying yourself and doing what you want to do. Love yourself. Live for yourself. And, don’t let anyone tell you that you need to repent from your sins. You are already forgiven. So, just live for yourself. It’s all about you. It’s not about doing God’s will because God is all about you doing your own will.”

As the man on the stage spoke, a Bible passage William had read suddenly came to his mind, which brought him conviction that what was being taught was simply not the truth. Luke 9:23-24 came with power and conviction into William’s mind. The words of Jesus Christ spoke to him with strength as if the Lord Jesus had said them just a moment ago:

“[23] And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. [24] For whosoever will save his life shall lose it : but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” [Luke 9:23-24]

‘I don’t need to hear the Bible,’ William thought to himself. ‘I like what this buoyant pastor is teaching.’ He tried to ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit and continued to listen to the speaker. The man walking back and forth on the stage spoke only of God’s love; God’s grace; some worldly advice for ‘advancing’ in society; being kind to others so one can be happy; and of living for the self.

“If you sin,” the pastor said, smiling and pausing for effect, “God will just give you more grace.”

But, scripture was now reaching into William’s mind and convicting him about the deception and terrible lies of the pastor. A passage from Mark 9:43-44 came suddenly to William’s mind. They were the words of the Lord Jesus to His disciples:

“[43] And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off : it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched : [44] where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” [Mark 9:43-44.]

William remembered that in verse 33 of Luke chapter 14, Jesus had said:

“[33] So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” [Luke 14:33.]

“God wants you to just be happy. Repenting is not going to make you happy,” the pastor said boldly, and with a touch of arrogance. “So, just forget about repenting from sin, and just say to yourself, ‘I am loved for who I am. I don’t need to repent. God will just give me more grace when I sin.’ Don’t listen to anyone tell you to repent.”

Many people in the audience clapped, and William joined them, clapping enthusiastically. His heart was getting colder toward God.

More Conviction

But, William felt God convict him again about the falsehood of the pastor’s message. A scripture came to William’s mind. Galatians 5:19-21 spoke to him with powerful words from the Holy Spirit:

“[19] Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, [20] idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, [21] envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like : of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” [Galatians 5:19-21.]

And, another scripture struck his mind like the ring of a hammer on an anvil. It was 2 Timothy 4:3-4:

“[3] For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine ; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears ; [4] and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” [2 Timothy 4:3-4.]

Angered that he was being convicted of sin, William stubbornly said to himself, “I don’t need to hear that. I like this pastor’s sermon.” More verses came to his mind, but each time they did, William tried his best to ignore them. As he did, his heart hardened further against God’s Word and against the Holy Spirit.

After about thirty minutes, the sermon was over, and William was mingling with the people and visiting. An hour later, he was seeing heading back to the inn with its evil diversions. He spent the rest of the day in the inn and enjoyed gambling, drinking, and living to please his flesh.

The Accident

Time began to pass. Days went by. Then, weeks. Then, a whole year had transpired since he first entered the town of Hyper-Grace. He took his armor and threw it away, complaining about how much of a nuisance it was. One day, six months after he had thrown away his armor, William was walking to a store to buy some groceries, and his heart suddenly shut down. He collapse to the ground, dead. A massive heart attack had taken his life.

Several men rushed toward him to see what had happened, but his spirit had left his body and was about to start a journey away from the surface of the earth. William was astonished to see his physical body lying on the ground beneath his feet. He held up his own hands and touched his skin. It felt real, just like real skin--somewhat smooth and somewhat rough.

Kneeling before the corpse, two men checked for a pulse, but feeling none, one said quietly, “This man’s dead. The grim reaper came for him.”

Astonished that he was out of his physical body, William gazed at the dead man at his feet. Then, he looked at his soul-body. His soul-body looked exactly like his physical body, but it was different. It could never cease to exist. But, like the earthly body, it could feel pain, see light, hear sounds, and make full use of all five senses. William stooped down and tried to grab his physical body, but his hands passed right through the corpse as if the dead body were made of vapor.

Terror seized him as he began to grasp the truth that he was actually dead, but still fully aware of his surroundings. Before 25 seconds had passed, two bat-winged, grey creatures flew toward him. William knew exactly what they were, and he screamed in terror, but no one heard his cries since he now only existed as a spirit in a soul-body.

The devilish creatures grabbed him in their warm, scaly hands, and flew off with him, beating their huge, bat-like wings rhythmically. One held his left arm, and the other clenched his right arm tightly with rough, cold hands. Up close, he could see that they had horns on their heads, long goatees hanging from their chins, and hoofs for feet.

One of the creatures looked at him and said, “You are our prisoner, and where we are taking you, you’ll never escape. Escape is impossible.” Then, the evil creature laughed hideously.

They were dressed in black robes. To his astonishment, William then noticed that he was wearing a similar garment. He had on a long black tunic which went from his neck down to just above his ankles.

“Let go of me!” he screamed.

“You belong to us,” the demon on his left said with a cruel smile.

William knew that he had willfully cast away his armor, which God had given him when he became a believer in Jesus Christ. Years ago, he had received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. But, his heart had grown very cold toward the Lord Jesus. And, William had pursued his own will and had sought to please his fleshly desires. He knew he had no interest in having a relationship with Jesus Christ even though he once had a love for Jesus.

The evil creatures flew up to a great altitude, far above the forest which lay spread out below him, and far above the town of Hyper-Grace. William then noticed a huge tornado rapidly revolving through the air. The one-mile-wide, spinning funnel touched down at a point in the depths of the forest far below.

The Vortex into the Abyss

In seconds, the evil beings had brought him into the vortex and down through the swirling mass toward a huge hole in the ground. A tunnel entrance was fast approaching him. In seconds, he was engulfed by the vertical tunnel and enveloped in darkness. Dark-grey, rock walls filled with niches, recesses, and holes passed by him in a blur of motion as he plunged down toward the center of the earth. He somehow knew that this was a supernatural dimension he was now in. And, he was beyond frightened.

He had been content to just go to Church, hang out with some Christians, and live selfishly and self-righteously. He had sinned on Saturday, and then went to church on Sunday to drop a large amount of money in an offering box.

He also had given hefty sums of money to Christian organizations to relieve his feeling of guilt for his willful sins. But, his conscience and the Holy Spirit would constantly convict him of his sin and hypocrisy.

The tunnel was not just foreboding and dark, it was foul-smelling. The odor was repulsive. But, as he descended, it got stronger and stronger. The smell became unbearably toxic and sulfurous like the smell of rotten eggs. It was worse than rotten eggs. It was so putrescent that words could not describe it properly. Then, as he fell through the shaft, he heard screams. It sounded like the screams of a multitude of people. They were the sounds of tortured souls howling in agony, anger, and despair. It was a cacophony of sound that struck his ears like a million hammers on a million anvils. The screaming was awful.

In the last few years of his life on earth, a deep relationship with God was the last thing William had wanted. Having a form of religion, without a holy, true, and loving God to fellowship with, was William’s preference.

In less than a minute, the evil creatures had brought him into a huge cavern at the bottom of the shaft. Pits filled with lava were scattered over the floor of the immense cavern. Around the pits were devilish creatures which were tormenting people inside the concavities. As William was brought closer to the ground, he saw--to his horror--thousands of people being burned alive in many small pits, which were like bowls filled with glowing, molten rock-- lava.

One of the lava pits was unoccupied, and he was being taken straight toward it. Trapped in the lava pits around it, people in the form of skeletons were writhing in torment. They screamed and cursed God as many evil beings taunted and tormented them. When they tried to climb out, the evil creatures would shove them back into the pits, laughing perversely. And, climbing out appeared very hard to do since the pits had very steep sides.

As the evil, winged creatures brought him up to the pit, William Castle-hill screamed and cursed the Lord Jesus, God the Father, and cursed the Holy Spirit. He shouted, “I hate you, God!” right before he was thrown into the lava pit. 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Scripture verses to think about:

“[10] And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain,
and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out
of heaven from God,” [Revelation 21:10.] {John, the apostle, was speaking here.}

“[27] And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie : but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” [Revelation 21:27.]   {Note: God’s sheep (people) will live in obedience to Him and in fellowship with Him. See John 10. Many people claiming to still be Christians are living in stubborn rebellion against God’s Word, the Bible. They will not enter Heaven.}

“[5] He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment ; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” [Revelation 3:5.]   {Note: The Lord Jesus was speaking here. Names can be blotted out of the book of life. Those who stubbornly forsake the Lord Jesus, after having served Him, will be blotted out. See Hebrews 10, Hebrews 3, Ezekiel 33:13, and Mark 9.}

“[15] And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast
into the lake of fire.” [Revelation 20:15.]

Chapter 8

Markus and His Friends Continue Their Journey

Meanwhile, Markus, Andrew, and Henry were praying with deep concern for William’s soul and for the souls of the other men who had left the right path. Minutes ago, William, Herod, Dathan, and five other knights had left the path of righteousness and had gone down the wide path to the town of Hyper-Grace. 

“I pray Father God that William and the other men will be convicted that they are walking down the wrong path and are turning away from you,” Andrew prayed.

When the praying had ended, Markus said, “Well, we have done what we can. Now, we will leave it up to God to convict these men and to call out to them. And, I know that He will.”

“God is the prayer-answering, wonder-working, Almighty God,” Henry said. “I believe He will even go beyond what we ask Him to do.”

“Amen. He will never fail His own Word,” Markus said.

“Let us continue our journey then,” Andrew said. “We can travel another mile or two and then set up camp for the night.”

“I think the eight other men are starting to move out,” Henry said, looking toward a group of knights which was a short distance from their circle.

The men started off and continued talking as they walked. A mile passed before they slowed to a stop and decided to set up camp.

The sun was now sliding below the horizon and shadows were lengthening. Camp fires began appearing under some towering oak trees in the forest. The weary men removed the haversacks and supplies from the pack mules and hitched the animals to some trees. Then, the men drew out some metal cases containing dried food. After eating supper, they unrolled their blankets and prepared to go to bed.

A few hours later, morning came. With the rising of the sun, the knights awoke and yawned. After stretching, most of them prayed, read from the Bible, and had breakfast. Then, once more, the men packed up their stuff in leather bags, fastened them to the mules, and continued their journey.

They had only gone half a mile from their last campsite before some men spotted a wide trail leading off to the right. And, down this wide path strode three men. But, the path the pilgrims were to go on clearly ran straight through the forest.

The three were wearing armor, but the color of their metal was not so silvery and shiny as the Christians’ armor. Like metal suits worn by Herod Blue-tree and Dathan Oak-hill, the armor worn by these three knights was dark grey.

Meeting Alexander Silver-Tongue

“Who are you?” Markus said, approaching one of the three strangers, whose helmet visors were raised.

“I am Alexander Silver-Tongue,” the stranger said. He had a clean-shaven face and a friendly smile.

“And, I am Caiaphas Self-Trust,” another stranger said as he approached the Christians. “We heard that a group of believers is coming this way, and we wanted to show you the correct path to take. We come from a lovely town called Self-Righteousness.”

“I have no intention of leaving this path,” Markus said. “This is the only way to Heaven.”

“But God wants you to do good works, doesn’t He?” Alexander Silver-Tongue said.

Markus replied calmly, “God’s Word says this truth in Galatians chapter 3:

‘[11] But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident : for, The just shall live by faith. [12] And the law is not of faith : but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. [13] Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us : for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree : [14] that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.’ [Galatians 3:11-14.]”

“So you’re going to preach at us?” Caiaphas said, scoffing. “Why do you tell us that?”

Markus said, “I am just answering you with the truth from God’s Word. Galatians 2:19-20 says:

‘[19] For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. [20] I am crucified with Christ : nevertheless I live ; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me : and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.’ [Galatians 2:19-20.]”

“I see that you are one of those people who won’t listen to reason,” Caiaphas said coldly, shaking his head, before he approached another Christian to begin a conversation.

“You people who don’t believe in serving God precisely to the letter of the law, and immediately, are uneducated and backward. There is no more point in talking to such as you,” Alexander said arrogantly, turning his face from Markus as he walked toward a group of five men. Soon, he began talking with them in a very animated and friendly manner.

“He doesn’t want to talk to us when he is confronted with the truth from the Bible,” Andrew said quietly to Markus. “Sadly, these men would rather ridicule us than seek God about these things.”

2 Thessalonians 2:10 says that many men will not receive the love of the truth,” Markus said, shaking his head with sadness. “They don’t love what is true. They prefer lies and deceptions instead of the truth.”

After some time had passed, the three strangers and four of the pilgrim knights left the rest behind and walked down the trail to the right. Before long, these wayward men had vanished from view in the dense profusion of forest undergrowth and thick tree trunks.

Now, of the 14 knights Markus had first seen on the path, only four remained with Markus and his friends. This was very troubling to him, and he began praying fervently for the men who had followed the false brethren toward the town of Self-Righteousness. He also interceded for William and the others who had left the group earlier.

But, just as he came to the end of his prayer, Henry suddenly pointed and exclaimed, “Look!” His eyes were wide open with alarm.

The Ominous Threat

Markus opened his eyes to see Henry pointing back toward the path that Caiaphas and Alexander had taken. And, as Markus’s eyes followed Henry’s finger, he saw a sight that caused his eyes to open wider. For, stomping down the path were 15 giant knights, the tallest of which appeared to be 20 feet in height. And, accompanying them were seven crossbow archers and two regular-sized knights. All were clad in dark-grey armor and wore the typical black and red surcoats of the enemy.

“We are well out-numbered,” Gregory White-peak (one of the four pilgrim knights) said with distress and anxiety in his voice. “The enemy has crossbow archers and more giants than you could shake a stick at. And, those 15 giants can outrun us. What do we do?”

“The Word of God, the Bible, tells us that we are not alone in our trials,” Andrew said. “Jesus is with us.”

“I don’t see Jesus right now,” Ahiezer Halibut, one of the knights, said fretfully.

“Remember how Jesus said in Matthew 28:20 that He would be with us always?” Andrew replied. “Jesus said, in part, ‘…I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. …’”

“He is with us, isn’t He?” Gregory said, trying to remain calm and believing.

“You humans will suffer greatly! And, your lives will soon be very miserable,” a deep, booming voice suddenly roared through the air, causing some of the Christians to tremble.

They turned to see the nearest giant holding a huge, iron hammer and a round shield. He was clad in armor from head to foot, and his face, like the other giants, was concealed by a metal visor. The large creature struck his hammer against his round shield, causing it to ring with a loud, metallic crash. He began to quicken his pace as he walked down the wide path. Every step brought this colossal beast closer to the little group of seven Christians.

“There are seven of us,” Markus started to say. “But, Jesus is with us too.”

The ominous clanging noises continued and grew louder. Clash. Clang. Clash.

“The triune God dwells within our hearts by His Spirit,” Markus added. “Jesus spoke of that in John chapter 14.”

“That is true. But, there are 15 giants, 7 crossbowmen, and 2 normal knights. We are greatly outnumbered,” Ahiezer said.

“We need to move into a circle with our shields facing the outside of the circle,” Markus said. “In this arrangement, we will be on the inside. The shields will protect us from all incoming crossbow bolts and attacks of the enemy, if we make sure we hold onto our shields and don’t let them slip.”

Clang. Clash. Bang. Clang. More of the giants’ shields began to clang and ring as they struck them in unison. It was a show of intimidation, and it’s effect was felt by every pilgrim.

“That plan of yours is probably the best we can do right now,” Gregory said. A moment later, he added, “I’m for that. Let’s form a circle now.”

The rest of the knights quickly joined the plan, and soon formed a circle with their backs facing each other, and their shields facing the outside. They had just got into the formation when the crossbow bolts began to fly. Ping. Ding. Ping. The metallic sounds of projectiles deflecting off the shields filled the air. It felt like hail was being thrown at them at 90 miles an hour. Thankfully, the bolts bounced off their shields and the crowns of their helmets without doing any damage.

The Giants Strike

At last, the rain of bolts stopped, and the 15 giants prepared to attack. Three huge, armor-clad monsters, each over a height of 13 feet, charged toward the pilgrim knights. The Christians held up their shields and prayed. As they did, the monsters all swung huge hammers toward the shields. Each hammer could snap a sizeable tree in half when properly wielded by a giant.

Bong! The sound of deep ringing came from the seven knights’ shields.

Due to something the giants weren’t fully aware of, their hammers could not break through or even dent the shields of the Christians. And the Christians, by God’s grace, were not injured by the powerful force of the heavy hammers.

However, the giants knew that several hard blows against a Christian’s helmet and breastplate would cause them to begin to fall off. So, the monsters continued their attack, swinging their hammers like blacksmiths working at an anvil. Still, the shields held, and the circular formation of the pilgrim knights kept the large hammers from striking their bodies.

Enraged that they were not succeeding, the giants dropped their hammers and grabbed some spears they had set beside some trees. They took aim and hurled their spears toward the Christians. Each spear, thrown by a strong giant, could penetrate through a two-foot-wide tree and make it part way out the other side.

“Umph,” a giant grunted as he hurled his spear toward Markus.

The huge spear sailed through the air toward Markus’s helmet, but he quickly moved his shield high enough to cover his head, and the powerful weapon bounced off the shield--pong, passed over the heads of his friends, and embedded itself into the ground a few yards away--chunk.

“Let us take our turn now. You three are not quite as good as us,” one of the larger giants said as he walked off the path and toward the circle of pilgrims. “We will make these Christians suffer.”

This beast’s head was a soaring 20 feet in height. And, each step almost made the ground shake. He stood well above his shorter fellow giants, who gave way to his demand.

“I will remove all their confidence in God!” he roared.

As the giant strode toward the Christians, they could see a word painted over his forehead: “Skepticism.”

Seeing him, the Christians prayed and sought God’s protection and strength as they watched the monster draw near.

“You Christians think you can stop us from destroying you,” Giant Skepticism said as he closed the distance to the pilgrims. He was carrying an enormous club with sharp spikes in one hand and a dagger in the other hand. The huge giant’s dagger was about the same size as a Markus’s sword.

They couldn’t see his face through his closed helmet visor. But, they could smell his terrible breath as he walked up to them with heavy, thumping footfalls.

“I will destroy your belief in the Bible and in Jesus Christ,” the 20-foot-tall monster roared. “I tell you that Jesus never rose from the dead.”

Then, he swung his huge, spiked club toward Markus, but as he did, Markus suddenly dropped his shield, feeling great fear rush through his chest. He quickly realized his folly, and reached for the shield. But just as he did, Andrew rushed in and placed himself and his own shield in front of Markus. The powerful blow struck Andrew’s shield, but it held together, and so did Andrew.

Challenging the Foe

“Jesus did rise from the dead!” Andrew shouted. “Dead people have been raised to life, lame and sick folks have been healed, and the Gospel has changed men’s lives forever. Skeptics have become believers in the Lord Jesus and in His resurrection from the dead. Paul, who once zealously persecuted the early Church, became a believer when he encountered the Lord Jesus in a vision. He went on to preach the Gospel all over Asia Minor, Greece, Macedonia, and elsewhere. History records it and history records the empty tomb of Jesus!”

“I’ve heard enough of that,” Giant Skepticism roared.

“Thank you for helping me,” Markus said quickly as he retrieved his shield. “I made a big mistake in dropping my shield of faith.”

“I am here to support you, my friend, and you also support me,” Andrew said kindly.

“You Christians will regret that you put your trust in the Bible,” the giant said as he prepared to swing his massive, spiked weapon.

“I will never regret it,” Markus shouted. “God’s Word says this truth about all the hardships Christians may face: ‘Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.’ [Romans 8:37.]”

“You will all perish,” Giant Skepticism said as he prepared to strike his target.

The huge club swung down toward Markus the next moment, but this time Markus held up his shield without dropping it, and the club bounced off it--clang, causing it to ring. Then, Markus quickly struck the club with his sharp sword, and a large chunk of the giant’s weapon fell to the ground.

“That is a lie,” Markus said, gritting his teeth.

The giant swung his club again, and Markus again blocked the blow and hit the club with his sword. Another large piece of the wooden weapon dropped into the grass.

“You will not reach Heaven,” the giant said coldly with his guttural voice.

“I will reach Heaven, for Jesus Himself told me that I am His sheep,” Markus said boldly. “And, the Bible says this truth for all who love Jesus and who continue to follow Him:

‘[27] My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me : and I give unto them eternal life ; and they shall never perish, [28] neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.’ [John 10:27-28.]”

“I will destroy you!” the giant shouted as he suddenly swung what remained of his club toward Markus.

But, Markus again blocked it with his shield and sliced it with his sword. And this time, the club was cut in half and was completely useless.

Enraged that his best weapon had been cut to pieces, the giant sheathed his dagger and ran toward Markus with his armored hands outstretched. It seemed that the beast desired to pick up Markus as if he were a piece of firewood.

But, Markus struck his attacker’s armored hand with a swift and powerful blow, and the metal glove cracked open and fell off the huge hand. A small cut appeared on one of the giant’s fingers. It seemed that the sword had managed to almost fully penetrate the giant’s gauntlet.

Seeing this, the enormous creature retreated and cursed Markus, and then cursed God. With a loud, booming voice, he ordered all the other giants and lesser soldiers to follow him as he headed back the way he had come from earlier.

When the giants, enemy knights, and archers were far away and out of earshot, the Christians broke their circular formation and rejoiced with great happiness. They shouted many ‘hallelujahs’ to God the Father and to His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who had given them the victory over all the warriors in Satan’s empire. Then, they had a time of worship and of singing praises to God.


Finally, the Christians continued on their journey down the path of life. More adventures awaited them as they traveled. But, it is certain that God would deliver them out of them all, just as Psalm 34:18 says He does.

Psalms 34:17-19 reveals God’s ever-present, unmerited favor for a believer:

“[17] The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
[18] The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart ; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. [18] Many are the afflictions of the righteous : but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.”

And, in the end, Markus and his companions will have passed from their mortal bodies and will have been caught up to the supernatural realm of Heaven that is beautifully described in the book of Revelation.

Reader, do you want to live in Heaven forever? If you trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to save you, and to cleanse you from sin by His blood, and to make you whole, you will be in Heaven too. I urge you to trust in Jesus today and to walk with Him the rest of your life. You don’t know if you will be here on planet earth tomorrow.

God will bless you as you seek to know Him through Jesus Christ.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

[The End of BOOK 1. See BOOK 2 here.]

[Read chapters 1 and 2 here.]


[Read "PILGRIM'S JOURNEY: THE QUEST FOR HEAVEN: BOOK 2Faith Challenged" here. (PDF)]

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