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MM#98.  THE BROAD AND THE NARROW WAY

 

 

An allegorical story

 

By  DON  E. STANTON

MARANATHA REVIVAL CRUSADE

 

                                                                                                                      

THE PERSONALITIES IN THE STORY

Three names in this parable are the names of actual, real, living personalities.

1. Satan, the created being who was beguiled by the seed of arrogance in his own mind. He subsequently rebelled against God, and became the Devil, the Destroyer, and the sovereign of demons. 

2. Yeshua the Messiah  (Jesus Christ), the Eternal Word, the Creator, who came to earth, as a Man, to redeem mankind from Satan’s kingdom of darkness. Yeshua is the Anointed One (the Messiah) who saves all who call upon His Name. He is the King of Kings.  (Yeshua is the original Hebrew Name of Jesus.)

3. Almighty God, the Eternal One, who is the all-powerful and all-knowing Source of life, light, love and wisdom.  He is filled with holiness and grace, and His eternal plans are being fulfilled through His eternal Son, Yeshua the Messiah.

All other names in this parable are fictitious and are not intended to represent particular living persons. They are allegorical names of people in general.

 

The small numbers superscript that appear in the text, relate to the Bible references listed at the end of the book.

THE BROAD AND THE NARROW WAY

LOOK AT THE CROWD!  The road is crammed. Look at the types of people in the throng! See how they surge along! Some seem very busy, while others just meander along.  Many of them are light-hearted, and others seem bent over with heavy burdens.     

Where are they all going? They seem to be going in the same direction. Let’s go and join the crowd for a moment.

Just look at the signs!  They are flashing in coloured lights, each one vying for our attention. Look, one sign says, “THIS IS THE LIFE.” Another one says, “ENJOY LIFE NOW.”

Listen to the people as they pass by:

“What is life?” quips a golden-haired girl.

A companion shrugs and replies, “Life is what you make it!”

“Nonsense!” another scolds. “Life is a lucky dip.”

“Life,” adds a third, “is a play, a drama, a merry-go-round. You are stuck with it, so enjoy it.”

“But there must be some purpose in life,” a young man in a small group reasons. “Life can’t be just a meaningless existence!”

“Well, if you ever find out the purpose for life, darling,” the golden-haired girl jeers, “then kindly let me know.”

The group does not seem to know where they are going. But look! They stop for a moment. They are looking into a glass showcase that is attached to the wall. They are reading the pages of an open book inside the case.

Each one reads the words underlin­ed in red. They seem to be pondering the words, and yet they all appear confused. Their smiles disappear for a time, but then they shrug and laugh again. They move on, down the brightly-lit road.

What was it that caused a moment of serious thought? Let us draw near. Let us also read the words of the book:

                                               

“Enter through the NARROW GATE, for wide is the gate, and spacious and BROAD is the way that leads to DESTRUCTION and many are those who are entering it.  But the GATE is SMALL, and the WAY is NARROW and COMPRESSED that leads to LIFE; and there are few who find it.”                 (The Bible - Matthew 7:13-14)

Truly strange words!  But can it be true? Look, over there! It is indeed a gate we see - a wide gate. Can this be the gate referred to? Surely it must be, for there is a sign spanning the entrance. The words are quite clear ... 

                                                                                                        

“The Way that leads to Destruction!”

                                                               

Look closer at the gate. Do you notice how many people swarm through the gate, with scarcely a glance at the sign-board? They flock into the Broad Way with barely a thought as to where it leads.

Notice that group that has paused at the entrance. They are looking at the signboard. They’re looking at the crowds entering. Some are shrugging their shoulders, and saying, “Well, let’s give it a go.” Others are saying, “Well, the crowd can’t be wrong. Let’s take our chance.”

THE BROAD WAY DOES LOOK INVITING

 

Others are looking about them. “What alternative is there?” they ask. And seeing none, they follow the crowd through the wide gate.

“The signboard can’t really mean what it says,” they reason. “How can anyone know what the end of the way is?”

And see that young man standing there? He can’t decide. His name is Manohar. He evidently is inclined to believe the signboard. But listen! There is a voice behind him: “Come, young man. There’s no harm.  This is the only way to gain the security you need, and to have a good time.”

It’s a devilish voice, for sure, for there is no mistaking the sign spanning the entrance to this way ...

“THE WAY THAT LEADS TO DESTRUCTION!”

 

Manohar hesitates. “This way does look inviting,” he thinks, “but then … I’ve heard that ...”

“Why wait, young man?” the voice echoes. “You are quite young. You will have plenty of time to think about those matters later. On this road, you can attain the desires of your heart. Come on!”

Manohar slowly steps forward. He is soon joined by a group of friendly young people who introduce themselves as Edwin Envy; Proud Peter, Cultured Cornelius, and Jessica Jealousy.

“These seem to be good people,” Manohar says to himself. In fact, he meets quite a few friendly people out of the millions of people who are going along the way. 

The Broad Way is mostly going downhill, and Manohar finds there’s no difficulty in walking down hill. He goes along with the crowd, and with his friends, and stops here and there to make new acquaintances, and to talk.

Do you see that gentleman over there? He smiles so kindly at Manohar, and says, “Good morning, young man. My name is Ramesh Respectable. May I have the pleasure of your acquaintance?”

“Certainly, sir,” the young man replies. “I am Manohar Made-up-my-mind.”

“Oh, really, Manohar! What have you decided?”

“Well, Mr Respectable, I’ve really made up my mind to enjoy myself while I can.”

“Good for you, my boy. I wish you well. But be careful! There’s all types on this way.  I try to be very respectable and do the best I can. I would not harm a soul ...  not like some of the scoundrels in this way. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you - that’s my motto.”

“That sounds very good, sir,” replies Manohar. You should end up well, and gain the blessing of God.”

“I hope so, Manohar. I’m trusting in my good works, and I think He should be happy with me. I wish you well too.”

 

The young man moved on down the road a little. “This must be the right way,” he thought. “There’s so many good people here.”

But he soon discovered that there are all types of people on this way.

He came to a corner known as Kings Cross. There's a group of teenagers lazing about near the street corner. They peer at Manohar as he approaches.

“Hi, handsome,” says one of the girls. “Where have you been all my life?”

Before he could answer, a young man caught his hand and drew him into the circle of the staring young people.

“Let’s introduce ourselves,’’ said the young fellow. “My name is Larry Liar. This is Theodore Thief. And that is Samuel Seducer. The small guy over there is Religious Joe. Next to him is Max Manslayer.  The girls are Caroline Freelover, Penelope Pro, Helen Heroin, and Wendee Witchery.  Why don’t you join our gang?’’

“Well, you seem to be quite a select group, but not quite my line, I’m afraid?”

 

"YOU SEEM TO BE QUITE A SELECT GROUP"

 

 “And what might your line be?” Samuel Seducer asked with a sneer.

“I’m just out to have a good time while I can.”

“Well, we will help you do that,” suggested Caroline.

“Many of you seem to have Christian names. I thought Christians had a different way.”

The girls burst out laughing. “Oh, none of us are religious ... except Religious Joe, here.”

“I’m religious also,” interrupted Wendee. “But I’m not a Christian! I follow the true path.”

“And what is that path?” Manohar asked.

“It’s the way of Satan.”

“What? But Satan is the devil?”

“No, no,” replied Wendee. “Satan is God.”

“But that’s not true,” shouted Religious Joe.

 Manohar turned his attention to the young man.

“Are you really religious, Joe?”      

“Of course he is,” interjected the others. “He even prays and reads the Bible.”

“But you are still on this Broad Way?” asked Manohar.

“I’m not sure,” Joe answered. “I mean ... I’m thinking of returning and getting off this way.”

“Why? Isn’t this way all right?”

“They say it leads to destruction.”

Again the others burst into laughter. “We’ve been telling him, when you are dead, you’re dead. But he keeps dreaming about hell, and all that nonsense!”

Joe looked down for a while, and then lifted his eyes.

“But what if it is true?”

“Then you are going to sizzle, you pork chop!” giggled Penelope.

“And all of you will!” retorted Joe.

“Then why don’t you run back and squeeze through that little Narrow Gate, if you are scared?” countered Theodore with a wide grin.

Joe paused for a moment. “I think you are right. For once you have advised me right. Yes! I’m going back. Goodbye friends.”

Joe turned and walked briskly back along the Broad Way.

“Have a cool time,” called out Larry. “But we’re going to have lots of fun.”

Manohar looked on. “Who is right?” he wondered. He started to walk away.

“Hey, where are you going?” called Larry. “Join our gang. Take Joe’s place, will you?”

“Are you really sure this way does not lead to destruction?” he asked.

“Oh no! Don’t you start worrying about silly questions like that,” Penelope scolded. “You want to have a good time don’t you?”

“Yes, of course, but ...”

“Then don’t think anything about it. Look at me. I have a good time. I have plenty of money. I buy lots of clothes, and I flash a few diamonds and rubies. And I also have plenty of company.”

“Where do you work?”

“At a sex club. I get good business.”

“Is that why you are called Pro?”

“Of course. I’m a professional prostitute ... or if you don’t like that word, just say I’m a high class sex worker!”

“Oh! Aren’t you ashamed of that?”

“No! It’s my business! I’ll take you to the Club tonight, sweetheart. Okay?”

“No, I don’t think so. No thanks, I don’t think that is what I want.”

“Then what do you want?”

“I don’t know really - but I do want to have a good time.”

“Oh! That’s a man for you - never knows what he wants. Well, keep looking, sweetheart. You will find something you like along this way, sooner or later. This is a very Broad Way.”

Manohar moved on.  That’s not quite the type of company he really wants. 

 

 

QUITE a long way from where Manohar is looking for a good time, another young man stands gazing at a Small Gate. He has been standing there for ages, reading the sign above the gate, again and again.

 

“THE NARROW WAY THAT LEADS TO LIFE!” 1

Standing at the gate is a man in white clothes. He is speaking to a few souls - a few who show some interest in what he is saying.  Most of the crowd never even notice the preacher.

“Enter the way to life eternal,” he cries. “Turn out of the Broad Way, for why will you perish?”

A few of the people reason with him. “But sir, we are not bad sinners. We are all right as we are.”

“My friends,” cries the preacher, “unless you repent you will all likewise perish. The wages of sin is death.2 The Broad Way leads to destruction and hell! 3 It is sure! 

 

“WHY WILL YOU PERISH?” ASKED THE PREACHER

 

Now is the time to be saved. Now is the day of salvation.4 Enter the Narrow Way while you have the opportunity.”

The young man who was keenly listening, stepped forward. “Sir,” he says, “My name is Religious Joe. I have been thinking a lot. I have been reading the Bible and praying. I have left my bad friends, and I’m doing my best to live a good life. Am I not saved?”

“My boy,” replied the preacher. “You are not saved unless you actually enter through the Narrow Gate.”

“Then how do I go through the Narrow Gate?”

“The Narrow Gate is the Heavenly Master, Yeshua the Messiah. Hear His Word: ‘I am the Door, by Me if any man enters in, he shall be saved.’ 5  Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ - He is Yeshua the Messiah - and you will be saved.” 6

“I wish I could believe that,” replied Joe.

“You can. Just take the step of faith,” replied the preacher.

“But isn’t that a rather narrow way?” interjected a listener. “There are many ways. Surely all religions lead to heaven?”

“My friend, there are many ways that make up the Broad Way. They are the ways of self, and sin, and death.7  The Narrow Way is the way of life and truth. It is the way of faith. It is indeed a narrow way, for this way is the Way of the Heavenly Master, Yeshua the Messiah. Hear His Word; ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one can come to the Father, except through Me.’ 8  

“Yes, Yeshua is the Narrow Way, because He does not accommodate sin. You must leave your sin at the foot of the cross before you enter this Way.  Young lady, look at the load of sin on your back! You have accumulated much sin in your life. You can’t enter the Way while you are so laden down!

“Repent and believe the Gospel so that your sins might be taken away,” 9 the preacher continued. “Humble yourselves and come like a child, in simple faith, to the Saviour.”10

“But,” interrupts another listener. “I was born in a Christian family. My uncle was a bishop! I should be all right as I am!”

“My friend, unless you personally enter the Narrow Way, you are doomed. Have you not seen thousands of ‘born Christians’ along the Broad Way? You don’t need to be a ‘born Christian’; but you must be a born again believer in the Messiah!”11

“Born again?” shouts a woman. “Let me tell you, my father was a ‘born again’ Christian. But he was a pain! He wouldn’t listen to anyone, but tried to bash them with the Bible. He was so hot-headed and aggressive that everyone avoided him. And when he died, they said, ‘Thank God, he’s dead’!”

“That’s sad, lady. Maybe your father had a deep concern for your lost soul, and you wouldn’t listen. Maybe he was a bad advertisement for the Narrow Way. But it is not your father’s word, but the Word of the Messiah - ‘Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’.”12

“How can we be born again? Do we have to come back into this life as a baby?” asks the listeners.

“No, no, my friends! That which is born of flesh is flesh. You must be born again spiritually. You need life from God. The gift of God is eternal life through Yeshua the Messiah, the Heavenly Master. For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but should have everlasting life. He who has the Son has life, and he who does not have the Son of God does not have life, but the wrath of God is heavy upon him.”13

“But how can believing in Yeshua the Messiah give us eternal life?”

“When you receive the Messiah as your personal Saviour, God gives you His righteousness.14 Yeshua died for your sins. Look here at the cross. When you receive Christ - the Messiah - as your Saviour, your sins roll away, for He paid the penalty for all your sins. When you receive God’s provision, He will accept you and make you His child. For as many as receive Yeshua the Messiah, to them God gives the right to become His children, even to those who believe in His Name.”15

Do you see a small group of listeners? They are tossing the matter over in their minds. Some are very conscious of the heavy burden of their sin resting on them. Some of them shrink away. The cost is too great. They love their sin and don’t mind carrying their burden. And they prefer their companions in worldliness, rather than the love of the Almighty.16

The preacher continues; “Choose this day whom you will serve. Let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet, they will be as white as wool.17  

“Who will enter the Narrow Gate?”

“I will,” cries a young man. It is Religious Joe.

“Bow down, my friend, and confess you are a sinner before God.18 Ask Him to save you in Yeshua’s Name. Receive the Messiah as your Saviour and Master, and enter the Narrow Way right now.”

Joe bowed before the Saviour; he believed from his heart, and asked for forgiveness. He concluded his prayer with the simple words, “Yeshua, come into my life. Come in today, come in to stay.”

He now stands erect, and goes through the Narrow Gate. A miracle has taken place. Now he is no longer bent over with the burden of sin. His load has been lifted. Do you see now how joyful his face is? He thanks the preacher from the bottom of his heart, and then presses on to discover the upward Narrow Way.

 

 

MANOHAR Made-up-my-mind was seeking enjoyment. When he passed an Entertainment Centre, the posters outside caught his eye. “A good action film,” he thought. “Just what I need to take my mind off these other questions.” But as the film progressed, his mind became more confused. The violence on the screen irritated him. He should have found a comedy instead! He jumped up hurriedly, and stumbled out of the crowded cinema.

The street outside was darkening. Manohar thought about his evening, and how he should make the most of his time.  Should he try his luck in gambling at the casino? Or should he attend a dance hall, or a sports gym; or just go for a drink?

“Yes, let me first have a drink,” he told himself.

Look, there is a hotel. There’s a crowd inside, and loud music and singing can be heard.

Manohar stepped in unnoticed through the swing doors, and made his way to the counter to order a drink.

Before he could take two sips, a quarrel started nearby. The music stopped. Two men seemed to be fighting over a gaudily painted woman. “What a thing to fight over,” Manohar thought. The woman tried to stop the fight, but was thrown to the floor. A mug of beer flew through the air and smashed near Manohar’s feet, spraying his pants.

“Oh, why did I come here,” he thought. He quickly finished his drink, and pushed his way to the door.  He paused outside for a breath of cool air, and then moved down the street.

He came to a bookstall, and glanced at the titles. “Ahh!  Let me buy a book ... about love.” He put his hand into his pocket.

“My wallet!” he cried. “It’s gone! Who’s the thief? Must have been that Theodore. Oh hell!”

 

“WHO'S THE THIEF?”  MANOHAR WONDERS

 

A voice spoke from behind him. “Did you call for my help?”

“Who are you?”

“I’m one of hell’s great force of guiding angels.”19

“What! Angels from hell?”

“Yes, of course. We used to be angels. You can call me a demon if you like. But I’m a good demon.”

“What! A good demon?”

“Sure! I’ll give you some help. You lost your wallet. Never mind. Put your hand into your pocket. See, you have 50 cents.”

“Yes, but what use is 50 cents?”

“Come, I’ll show you.” His new guide took him by the hand and led him down a back street. He took him into a gambling den, where he was welcomed warmly.

“Come, try your luck at the wheel of fortune.”

Manohar placed his 50 cents down on the table, and made a bet. In a couple of minutes he had doubled it.

“Didn’t I tell you, Manohar?” said the voice behind his shoulder.

“Sure,” replied Manohar. “You really are a good demon. What do I do now?”

“Keep going.”

Soon he had fifty dollars in his pocket. With a wide grin and a happy heart, he decided to withdraw from the saloon while his luck was good. “Now to get that love book!”

“Wasn’t I right?” his companion asked.

“Yes, you were. How can I ever thank you?”

“Oh, don’t worry. I’m here to help people along the Broad Way. You can pay your thanks to me later. Call me whenever you need me ... and I hope you enjoy the nice love story.  It should give you some exciting dreams. See you later.”

Manohar bought his book, and headed back to his home. He read till late in the night. The book really excited him. It gave him a great craze.  Tomorrow, he decided, he was going to find that street gang again. He was thinking of Caroline Freelover.

“She’s the one for me. I should have joined the gang there and then.”

   

 

The moment Joe stepped through the Narrow Gate, he became a new person. He knew instantly that he now belonged to the Messiah. The Narrow Way, he found, was such a contrast to the Broad Way. Here there were none of the crowded bars, entertainment centres and video parlours. There was an absence of bustling crowds seeking fun and frolic.

Joe stopped now and then to talk to others, and found sincere, joyous fellowship with those he met. One day an older man was able to explain to him much of what had happened when he entered the Narrow Way.

“My name is Perseverance,” the man said. “I’ve been travelling this road for many a year, and soon I’ll reach home.”

“I’m glad to meet you, Perseverance. My name is New Joe. I was called Religious Joe, but now I’m saved.  I used to think that I could be saved by being religious, but now I know I needed to trust in the Saviour.”

“That’s right, New Joe. And now you have a long way to go. You notice this road is mostly upward.”

“Yes, indeed. And the Broad Way always seemed to be going downwards.”

“That’s true. The Broad Way leads down to the pit. I used to be on that way also.”

“And how were you saved, Perseverance?”

“Just the same way as you, my boy. If anyone is on this Way, it is because he came through the Narrow Gate. Of course, there are those who try to get into this Way by some other entrance. They try to climb in by a less restricted way. But they are thieves and robbers, and do not succeed.20 Some of them soon realize that the Narrow Way is the way of holiness. And unless they have their sins forgiven and have received a new heart from our Father, they soon get irritated by this Way.”

“This is indeed a peaceful way, sir.”

“Yes, my boy. But there are also difficulties; there are obstacles, and there’s a lot of climbing to do on this Way. But we are not alone. This Way is Yeshua, and He is always with us to strengthen us; and He is preparing us for His glorious Mansion which you see on that distant High Mountain.  That is Mount Zion, the Heavenly City.” 21

“I hope I can reach there, Perseverance.”

“You will, my son. But beware of pitfalls. And if you should fall along the Way, cry out to your Saviour. He is always with you. Watch and pray. Feed on the Living Bread. Yeshua is the Bread from Heaven.22 Feed on Him and on His Word and you will grow strong in Him. Never cast your eyes back to where you came from, except to remember the grace that delivered you from your futile past.” 23

“Yes, Perseverance, I praise the Master for snatching me from the Broad Way ... it leads to destruction, doesn’t it?”

“It certainly does, my brother. But most of the people heading for destruction imagine that when they come to the end of that way, they will simply go to sleep for ever.”

“What is the destruction?” Joe asked. “The preacher said it is a lake of fire.”

“Yes, New Joe. That’s what the Messiah has warned about. He said, ‘If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into fiery hell’.” 24

“That’s dreadful, Perseverance. A lot of my old friends just laugh at the mention of Hell.”

“Yes, New Joe. And we need to try and save them from that fate.  Did you notice that no one ever laughs at a funeral?”

‘Yes, there’s always such a sense of finality ... of hopelessness when someone dies.”

“But not for those who have been saved by the Messiah’s grace. We know that our redeemed souls step out of these bodies, and immediately enter the Celestial City.25 So my young friend, let's press on. Remember, be persistent.”

“Yes, Persistence, whenever I think of your name, I’ll be reminded to persist.  I want to be like you ... a persistent follower of the Messiah.”

“Better still, New Joe, be like your Heavenly Master Himself. ‘Fix your eyes on Yeshua, the Author and Perfector of your faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God’.” 26

Old Perseverance taught Joe much of the Narrow Way and its dangers, and of the new life he had received.  And Joe was so glad to learn more and more of his Saviour day by day. But Perseverance could not stay with him all the time, he had other assignments from the Master to complete.

So New Joe pressed on, often alone. Sometimes he became faint and fell discouraged by the way. But as he rested his head on the ground, he felt a loving arm resting on his shoulder.

“My friend, what is it? Why are you weary?”

Joe cried a little. “The Way is so difficult.”

“Mr friend, I am here with you.”

Joe turned his head upward and gazed into the face of his Saviour. “Master ... Yeshua  ... I must have forgotten You. Please forgive me.”

The Master put His arms under Joe and raised him up. “My friend, you are unnecessarily carrying a heavy load of care. Let me carry it for you.” 27

“But Master, You have so many loads to carry.”

“Never mind, New Joe. I am strong. Cast all your cares on Me.”

Joe gladly gave his load to the Master, who, as he found, was well able to take care of it. Now New Joe kept close to Yeshua, and he found deep joy in walking with the Messiah.

 

 

WENDEE WITCHERY looked at her friend who was lying on her bed in a lot of pain.

Penelope Pro had been ravaged a couple of nights earlier, by one of her customers. He had abused her so badly that she could not get herself home. Another prostitute had brought her by car to her flat, and had contacted Wendee by phone.

Wendee came over and did all she could to bathe her injured friend, and to bind up her wounds. Penelope looked ghastly. Her face was contorted with pain, and her mind was distraught, and filled with hatred for the man who had all but killed her.  She knew his name - or thought she did - Brutal Bob. It was no doubt a false name.

“Brutal Beast would be a better name for him,” Wendee said.

“I will kill him, Wendee. I’ll kill him if it is the last thing I do!”

“How will you do it?” Wendee asked.

“I don’t know ... I’ll get a gun ... maybe. But I’ll get my revenge.”

Wendee leaned over closer and said in a low, deliberate voice. “A bullet would be too good for him, Penny, and besides, it would be more dangerous. There’s a better way. We will make him suffer in agony so that he will wish he was dead.”

“Yes? How can we do that?”

“I’ll explain to you later. But Penny, you must first recover from this terrible ordeal.”

“Okay ... as long as it works.”

“It will work, Penny. I promise you.”

 

 

NEW JOE LOOKED AHEAD. His eyes swept over the breathtaking landscape, taking in the meadows, the rivers of the plains, the foothills, and the towering mountains behind. What grandeur! He stood spellbound at all that was before him. But look! Over there beyond that distant mountain!

 “It’s glorious,” Joe exclaimed, although from such a distance he could not make out the details.

 “It’s the Celestial City,” a voice said from behind him.

 “Is that where we are going?” Joe asked.

“Yes, my brother.  That’s Heaven. It’s more glorious than we can imagine.”

“Why is it so sparkling, so radiant?”

“That’s because the Messiah, Yeshua is there. He’s the glory of the eternal city. There’s no night there, because He is the perpetual light.28  There’s no sickness, no sadness, no crying, and no dying there. It really is glorious.” 29  

“Oh, it must be worth everything!” Joe replied, glancing for the first time at his companion. “Have you been there?”

“No brother, not yet!  I’m on the way like you. I’ve been travelling this Way for quite some time. We need to keep our eyes lifted up. There’s a glorious reward ahead of us.30 It’s awaiting us when we reach that city ... By the way, my name is Faithful. What’s yours?”

“I’m Joe - New Joe. Glad to meet you Faithful. Actually I used to be Religious Joe. I was on the Broad Way, but recently I realized my mistake. I was religious, but I had never entered the Narrow Way. So I sought out the Narrow Gate, and heard how to enter through the Messiah, Yeshua.31 I’m so glad I entered this Way, Faithful. The terrible load of sin and guilt fell off me. I’m so glad I’ve left the Broad Way. I’ve such peace in my heart now .... Oh! Look at that Celestial City! I’m longing to reach that glorious place.”

“Yes,” replied Faithful, “me too! I’m getting older now, and I may reach there soon. But you know, New Joe, we need to be on guard. There are pitfalls; there are enemies. There are dangers of all types, and we need to learn very much while travelling on this Way.  My Master has been teaching me so much, but still there is so much to learn.”

“I think the Master wants to teach us much on the Way so that we’ll be prepared for the Celestial City?”

“Exactly!” replied Faithful. “You know, New Joe, it’s on the Way to the City that we have a perfect environment to learn the lessons God wants to teach us.”

“You mean, the Way to the City has no problems? ... But you just said there are pitfalls?”

“I don’t mean there’s no problems. I mean ... we have a wonderful opportunity under such difficult circumstances, to learn to apply the spiritual resources that the Master has made available to us. Yes, there are very many difficulties on the Way; there are wars to be fought, and victories to be won; there are sufferings to be borne, and trials to be endured, but it is as we learn to overcome in all these things, that we understand more of God’s Ways, and reach towards spiritual maturity.”

“Then it’s quite a dangerous Way!”

“It could be if you do not live in the Master. But you need not be afraid, New Joe; our Master is with you. He has promised, ‘I am with you always, even to the end of the world.’ 32 But do be careful, my young brother. Be watchful; be on your guard! There are dangers and enemies almost every mile of the Way. There are mountains to conquer where you will find every inch of your progress contested.

“There are three main enemies you will face. The first is the World.33 Oh, it is a subtle enemy. It will try to deceive you in every possible way. This enemy parades in all types of garments, so that it looks very respectable, and you will even think it is a friend ...

“The second enemy is Fleshly Desire! 34  Oh, Joe! It is a very tormenting enemy, and will not give you rest. You must learn to mortify it.

“The third enemy is Satan.35  He is the devil. And not only is Satan himself out to hinder your journey, but he has a legion of helpers. They are all experts, having been engaged in their sabotage work for thousands of years.

“Be wary of these enemies, New Joe. They will attack you brazenly and openly without warning, or they may tempt you so subtly that you won’t realize they are doing so, until you fall. You know, Joe, Satan even parades as an angel of light.36

“These enemies will lay traps for you, and will try to bind you in chains of sin again, and make you a slave to Satan. Be careful my boy! Be watchful! Be prayerful! And always remember, the Master is with you, and has made every provision for your victory.

“Remember, New Joe, in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For neither death, nor life, nor angels, not principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, can separate us from the love of God which is in the Messiah, Yeshua our Master.” 37

“Thank you, dear Faithful brother. I’ll try to remember all you have told me. I won’t be afraid.”

 

 

IT DIDN’T TAKE VERY LONG for Manohar Made-up-his-mind to find some of the girls at Kings Cross. Four of them were huddled together in serious conversation. They didn’t notice Manohar at first. But he kept on passing them until they finally saw him. It was Penelope Pro who called out to him.

“Hey! I’ve seen you before.”

Manohar moved close to the group. “Hi there. I met your group once, on this same corner ... you’re Caroline Freelover, aren’t you?” he asked, pointing to a dark-haired girl.

“Yes.”

“And who am I?” asked another.

“Oh ... you’re the one who follows ... Satan?”

“Yes ... I’m Wendee Witchery. And you were interested in Penelope last time you came by.  Well, here is another of our lovely friends. Her name is Fleshly Desire.”

Fleshly Desire was a blonde, and she smiled at Manohar.

“Hi,” she said sweetly.

“And where are you going ... what was your name again?” Penelope asked.

“Manohar Made-up-my-mind.”

“Ah yes. And last time you couldn’t make up your mind about anything. What have you decided now?”

“Well ... I thought ... I thought I’d just say hello if you all happened to be around.”

“Well that’s nice of you. And we were just talking about putting our claws into a nice guy like you.”

Manohar thought about backing off.

“Seriously ... Manohar ... we need a little help from a man. Could you do us a favor?”

“Well, if it’s possible, I don’t mind helping.”

“Good! Manohar ... look, just come over with us to my apartment,” said Penelope, “and we’ll tell you all about it.”

Manohar felt he should escape from these four women, but he had committed himself, and so now he felt he had to go along.

In Penelope’s apartment they all took strong drinks, and then Wendee explained the help they needed of Manohar.

“We want you to locate a man by the name of Brutal Bob. That may not be his correct name, but we know he is a footballer who attends the club in Park Street. He’s a big guy - 6 ft tall. He has a scar on his forehead, and a couple of gold-filled upper teeth. We want you to locate him. Just make an acquaintance with him to start.

“Okay, that should not be hard for me. And then what?”

“We’ll decide what comes next after you locate him. But try to get something personal from him – even a lock of his hair.”

“Okay, I’ll do my best,” he said.  

“Thank you Manohar. And if any, or all of us, can do anything for you, we’ll be delighted.”

Manohar was a bit embarrassed as he looked at each of them. Earlier he had thoughts about Caroline, but now his attention focused on Fleshy Desire. The blonde kept smiling at him, and her eyebrows raised into a question mark.  He smiled back. She was very attractive, and Manohar was being drawn to her. She was quite irresistible, he thought. But the blonde had a confidence that almost unnerved him.

Fleshly Desire was determined to win a man of her choice.

After quite a time of talking, eating and drinking, Manohar took leave to go on his errand. He gave each of the young women a hug, and also a kiss to Desire.

 

 

LEAVING his friend FAITHFUL, New Joe eagerly pressed on towards the mountains. The Celestial City was before him. It was thrilling to be on this Narrow Way, and he was going to make as much progress towards the goal as he could, without delay.

For several weeks the young believer travelled the upward way. He met many pilgrims who were also pressing on towards the Celestial City. But sometimes he met those who just sat by the Wayside, wearied by the journey. He spoke to them and found them very discouraged.

“Oh wait, young man,” some would say, “until you have been on the Way for some time. It’s not an easy road! You should not tire yourself too quickly.”

“But we’re heading for the Celestial City,” Joe reasoned. “We have much to learn. We cannot be complacent. We must press on.’’ 38

Once, a believer who seemed so kind, invited New Joe to stay with him. His name was Christopher Careless.

“Oh Joe,” he implored, “stay with me here for some time. This Way is the right one, no doubt. We’re pressing on towards the Heavenly City, but we don’t have to kill ourselves getting there. We should also have a bit of fun on the Way!”    

“But Christopher,” Joe replied, “I’m keen to reach the Celestial City. We can’t afford to delay on the Way. We must press on and learn what we can.”

“Yes, sure,” the new acquaintance said. “You’ll reach the city, Joe - but you won’t reach it in one day. So you can afford to stay with me for one day. And I have a few friends. I’ll introduce them to you ... look ... here comes one of my close friends now.”

New Joe looked at the young man approaching. He was a fine looking fellow about his own age.

“Hi there, Worldly Wesley,” called Christopher cheerfully. “Come, meet a new friend. This is New Joe.”

“Hello, New Joe,” greeted Wesley, clasping his hand. “I’m really glad to meet you.”

New Joe was really struck by the warmth of Wesley’s handshake, and his winsome smile. He liked him instantly.39

“What are you doing tonight, Chris?” Wesley asked.

“Oh, nothing in particular.”

“Good! Then you must come over home. There’s a terrific show on the television tonight. Bring Joe over with you.”

“Oh!” exclaimed Joe. “I don’t think I’ll come.”

“Why not?” asked Wesley.

“Well ... I am anxious to continue on the Narrow Way that leads to the Celestial City.”

“Oh! But just one show won’t hurt you, or delay you much. It’s really a terrif­ic show that’s been advertised for tonight. Please let us have your company.”

“Well ... ”

“Good! Come on! Let’s go now ... the sun’s starting to go down. We’ll have a drink while we’re waiting for the show.”

“I’m sorry, Wesley, I don’t drink,” replied Joe as they walked down an alley way.

“Why? Why not?  A drink never hurts anyone, does it, Chris?”

“But I have left the Broad Way,” said Joe. “I’m following the Messiah, Yeshua.”

“That’s okay, Joe,” Christopher re­torted. “We’re good Christians too, but as I’ve been telling you, there’s no reason to deny yourself every bit of pleasure. There’s nothing in the Bible to stop you from drinking. The Apostle Paul even says to take a little wine for your stomach’s sake.”

“Maybe,” Joe replied hesitatingly, “but ...”

“Oh, cut out all the buts!” scolded Worldly Wesley. “Here’s my home.”

The three men entered the house, and soon Wesley was pouring the drinks. New Joe felt uneasy. He didn’t want to turn to drinking - he had tried it on the Broad Way, and had felt it getting a grip on him. Since entering the Narrow Way, he had lost the appetite for it altogether.   

“I’d rather not,” he blurted out.

“Come on; for company’s sake,” insisted Wesley. “Here’s a weak one. Mostly soda. No harm!”

Joe reluctantly accepted. “Yes, it’s mostly soda,” he thought, “so it won’t really matter. It’s only this once.” 40

It wasn’t long before the show started. It was a travel adventure film, and Joe was feeling rather pleased that he had agreed to see it. He really saw some wonderful sights. It was like travelling all around the world, and gaining a lot of experience.  He would never have the opportunity to do so in person. It was rather disappointing when the two-hour-long show was over.  

 

JOE WAS FEELING RATHER GLAD HE HAD AGREED

TO ACCEPT WESLEY'S INVITATION

“Now I had better be getting along,” Joe told his host.   

“So soon?” Wesley asked in surprise. “My friend, I’m just beginning to enjoy your company. Just wait a bit. Let’s see what the next show is.”

In a few minutes the second show started. It was a comedy, and soon the three men were bursting their sides laughing.  Joe had not seen anything so funny in all his life.

“Nothing like a good laugh to keep your spirits up,” Christopher said as the show came to a conclusion.

New Joe was in good spirits as he returned that night to Christopher’s home - “Careless Lodge.”  He decided to stay with his new acquaintance a couple of days after all. He didn’t quite feel the same New Joe, though, that he had been since entering the Narrow Gate. And that night he was rather tired, and was very glad to get to bed.

Joe had been making a practice of reading his Bible and praying every night since he came to the Master. The preacher had urged him to do this. Tonight he closed his eyes, thinking, “It won’t matter if I miss for once.  I’ll read an extra chapter in the morning.”

 

 

PENELOPE AND Wendee sat together discussing their plan to take revenge on Brutal Bob.

“We’ll make that man sorry that he ever lived,” Wendee was saying. “Now that you have become a devotee of Satan, Penny, you have tremendous power on your side. We will invoke that power, and place a curse on the beast who ravaged you. Just be patient, and believe in Satan. He’s concerned for you.

“Manohar is in our employ now. He’s a dumb male, but as long as he serves our purpose, we will use him. See, he’s already hooked on Desire. She’s just using him, of course ... but that’s fine, because it will make him a prisoner to our coven, and to our master. Soon Manohar also will be a servant of Satan.”

There was a knock at the door. It was the man they were talking about. He came in, and looked around the room.

“Desire is not here?” he asked.

“She’ll be here, shortly, comrade. How did you go? Did you succeed?”

“Yes.”

“Did you get anything of his?”

“Yes, his hair.”

“Good! How did you get it?

“He invited me to his flat. During the time we casually mentioned his long hair, and the need to have it trimmed. I offered to trim it. He agreed. It was easy then to bring it. Here it is - is this what you want?”

“Yes, it will do fine. Well done,” Wendee said, taking the bag.

“What will you do with it?”

“We’ll offer it to our master, and invoke his power to discipline that brutal man.”

“You’re not going to kill him?”

“No! We just want to see him regret the day he was born, before he goes to hell.  Manohar, we all appreciate you. You have done a great service, and we want to give you an invitation to join our coven tonight.”

“Oh! Thank you. But I don’t know about that. I’ve fulfilled my promise to you. I think I should leave it at that.”

“But, we really appreciate what you have done, Manohar. And, there is just so much more awaiting you. You can have power, wealth, influence and absolute fulfilment.”

“Well, I certainly need all that ... but ...”

“But what?”

“Well, I’m not sure about the end of all this. I mean ... isn’t Satan an enemy of souls?”

“Oh, so that’s what you’re worried about! Manohar, Satan is the enemy of his enemies.41  He’s definitely an enemy of  Christians. But he loves his own people. He gives them power and fulfils their heart’s desires. If you’re on his side, you’re on the winning side. Believe me!  Jesus was a weakling - that’s why they crucified him. Satan is the ultimate reality.”

“But what about the end of this Broad Way. Some people say it leads to destruction - to hell. Isn’t Satan in charge of hell?”

“Sure, he’s in charge of hell. He’s the King of Hell, and those of us who embrace him, will reign with him for ever. We’ll have power and enjoyment in his presence in hell. Hell doesn’t terrify me. It’s a place that never freezes over. It’s the Christians' idea of Heaven that is so weird. There’s no fire there, and so it means it’s a very cold place. There’s no real life, no enjoyment in the boring place they call paradise.”

“Are you sure Satan will give us eternal happiness?”

“Yes, Manohar, I’m sure. You just ask him, and he will give you your heart’s desire.  Tonight, if you are ready, why don’t you ask him for Fleshly Desire?  She will be given to you.”

Manohar’s eyes widened. He was speechless.

“You love her, don’t you?”

“Yes ... she’s my heart’s desire.”

“Then be one with her, and one with us all. Be one with Satan. Tonight we’ll unite you and Desire.”

“You mean ... marry us?”

“Yes Manohar. You want her as your inseparable companion, don’t you?”

“Yes ... she is all I want.”

“Right ... Then tonight is the night for you.”

“But does she want to marry me?”

“You should ask her that. But I can tell you, she is more interested in you, than you are in her!”

Manohar’s feelings overwhelmed him.  This was to be his big day. He made up in mind once and for all. He was willing for whatever it took - he would fulfil his heart’s desire - tonight!”

 

THAT NIGHT a group of youngish men and women met on a farm outside the city. There were 13 members, and also four new recruits - Manohar; a young man of 17 years named Lucis Bondage; and two girls of about 13 and 15 years. Wendee Witchery was the head witch of the coven

All the members donned their robes and hoods. They stood around a large circle with a pentagram inside it. Candles were lit, and the ceremonies began.

The four initiates were prepared for the induction ceremony. Each one pledged themselves to be servants of Satan, and with their own blood they signed their lives over to the King of Hell.

The Satanists then performed a marriage ceremony for Manohar and Desire, and proclaimed them one. Manohar hugged his wife and kissed her passionately.

After elaborate rituals of worship to the ‘King of demons,’ the coven waited some minutes for the stroke of midnight. They then began the solemn invocation of Satan’s power. Brutal Bob’s hair was placed in the midst of a hexagram, a six-pointed star, and a curse was placed on the footballer.

After these ceremonies the members gave themselves to drinking, and “enjoyment.” But Manohar left early, taking his bride home with him. His heart’s desire was fulfilled, and he felt that he had at last experienced the joy of living. It was like a “new life” for Mr Made-up-his-mind.  Fleshly Desire became his obedient servant. She took care of all his needs, and urged him on in a life of pleasure, sensuality, business and prosperity.

 

 

A COUPLE OF DAYS after Manohar’s initiation, he and Desire received the news that the curse on Brutal Bob was successful. The man was involved in a head-on motor collision. While three people were killed in the accident, Brutal Bob suffered terrible injuries. Nearly every bone in his body was broken, many internal organs were damaged, and one arm was completely severed. The man was jammed in the vehicle for hours in great agony before he was taken to hospital.  He would never walk again.

Wendee and Penelope rejoiced when they heard the news, and congratulated themselves. “It’s what he deserved,” they said.

Several days later they both went to the hospital where Brutal Bob lay in a critical condition. He was still in great agony. The two women stood at the end of his bed.

“Remember me?” asked Penelope.

Bob’s face was covered with bandages, but his eyes filled with horror as the witch snarled at him: “As you have done to others, so let it be done to you. May Satan multiply your agony, now and for evermore.”

 

 

THE DAYS SLIPPED BY.  New Joe did not intend to stay for more than a couple of days at Careless Lodge, but now it was more than three weeks since he had met up with Chris and Worldly Wesley. He enjoyed their company, and it had now become his habit to take in the TV shows every day. There were all types of programs, and some that stirred his passions.

At first he felt uneasy, but after some time he became rather accustomed to the movies that were actually depicting the Broad Way. “They are really true-to-life movies,” he thought.

But Someone kept pricking his conscience.

“You left the Broad Way, New Joe. Why should you now return to that way? Return to Me.”

“Oh, I won’t be watching these things for very long. I must press on the Upward Way. Very soon, I’ll leave these compan­ions, and will catch up on the ground I’ve lost.”

The days kept whizzing by. Joe had met so many friends at Christopher’s house, and he enjoyed the company of some of them very much. There was Ernest Enjoyment, Sporting Stephen, Felix Fashion, Megabucks Matilda, Barrabas Littlevice, Freddy Funlover, and many others. They all had quite an influence on New Joe.

Now the young pilgrim started to take drinks heavier than “mostly soda.” He started smoking too, and found that he did not have the peace or the joy he had before. Sure, he had some fun, but he found that his real joy was being exchanged for a fleeting, hollow happiness called “pleasure.” He also found himself becoming irritable, and using indecent language again.

Worst of all, Joe was losing his appetite for the Word of God, and his prayers had reduced from fellowship with the Master, to a repetition of certain phrases. He began to feel empty. Things began to go wrong, and he began to wonder whether he was really New Joe at all. He began to wonder if he was actually on the Narrow Way, or whether he had drifted back to the Broad Way.

Not only did he lose his joy, but day by day he was becoming more miserable. Sometimes he was thinking that he should have stayed on the Broad Way in the first place. Maybe he had made a mistake in entering the Narrow Way. A sinister voice kept nagging him; “Turn back. You’ve made the wrong decision. You can have a much easier time on the Broad Way.”

And yet, at the same time, another voice kept striving with him: “Keep on! Follow Me! New Joe, I have redeemed you! Press on the upward way! I am with you.”

He recognised the voice of the Master, but there was now a battle going on inside him. He had not counted on this type of warfare.  If it was an enemy he could see, he would not have minded so much.

It was in this condition that Joe eventually decided to leave his companions, Christopher and Worldly Wesley.

“My friends,” he said, “I’ve got to press on the upward way. I’m getting more miserable by staying here. I’ve enjoyed your company, and hate to leave you. But I must go on.”

The two companions looked rather amazed, and in their usual manner protested:  “Joe! We’re surprised!  Aren’t we also on the Narrow Way? Why do you take things so seriously? You have plenty of time to progress. We are also going to move further up the road soon. So wait a bit longer.”

 “No my friends; I must leave now. Farewell.”

And he moved on towards the mountains. He trudged on for some time, but he found, due to lack of exercise over the past several weeks, that he wasn’t in good physical or spiritual shape. The walk was not easy. He tired easily. No amount of determination could carry him forward with ease.

“Oh dear, it’s too much today. I’d better go back, and start again early tomorrow.”

So Joe retraced his steps. “I really want to climb the upward way,” he told himself, “but it is difficult. I’ll probably feel better tomorrow.”

As it was, Joe found himself back at Careless Lodge for another ten days. Then once again he made a fresh start.

He started out quite cheerfully. He had really “turned over a new leaf,” and was resolved to make good progress this time.

He kept on all day, climbing the low hills until he came to the River Doubt. It was a wide river, with fast-flow­ing torrents.

“Oh, how to get across?” he wondered. “I’ll have to swim, I suppose.”

Without much hesitation, and want­ing to make good progress, he plunged in­to the icy waters.

To cross the fast-flowing river, how­ever, was not as easy as he imagined. His strength was not nearly as great as he thought it was. And the river was wider than it looked from the bank.

“I can’t make it,” Joe cried within himself. “My strength is gone. I’ve really made a wrong decis­ion. I should have stayed with Christo­pher. Maybe this Narrow Way doesn’t really lead to the Celestial City. Maybe I should have gone back to the Broad Way. That was an easy way. Now it is too late! I’m drowning ... Oh Master,” he cried. “Save me or I die!”

Those were his last words before sinking into the waters of unconsciousness.

 

 

LUCIS BONDAGE was 17 YEARS OLD when he was initiated into Satanism. His interest in the occult had been growing since he had been introduced into the world of magic and witches through a number of books that had been given to him by his brother, Larry Liar. They fascinated him.

Lucis had, in fact, come under the influence of the whole gang at Kings Cross, and very early, he had started to follow Larry’s lying ways. He was now greatly influenced by Helen Heroin who had introduced him to a variety of drugs.  It wasn’t long before he was addicted to heavier drugs, and then, inevitably, he turned to thievery to acquire money for his addiction. When he was 15 and 16 he had been caught several times by the police. By 17 years he was becoming more desperate. His brother and the gang helped him only to go deeper into a wretched existence.

Helen herself was already in trouble with the law. After a time in jail, she was placed in a rehabilitation centre, but she fled from there, and went back into the world of drugs and vice. She was compelled to sell her body to earn the price for her drugs.

Lucis was following in her orbit. He had been a nice looking young fellow, but now, as he descended into a “hell of a life,” the smiles totally disappeared from his face, and his eyes became glazed. He seemed to have a remote, vague look about him.

None of the group could help him. In fact, they were least bothered about him, as they were all into their own thing.  But Wendee did kept her eyes on him. She taught him to dabble in the occult, and urged him on until he was ready to give himself to Satan.  And so he was initiated at the age of 17.

By this time, most of the Kings Cross group had been inducted, and Lucis thought his initiation had given him the recognition he wanted. He was now tapping into the very source of power. Satan would take care of all his needs. He had magical feelings surging through him. And his drugs were acquired with ease. His spirits soared high.

He found he now had a constant companion within him - an invisible friend who spoke to him quite often. The friend called himself, Apollyon, and introduced himself as one of Satan’s closest confidants.

Lucis was thrilled that such a high spiritual dignitary was taking such interest in him, and had become his personal guide.

“You are a chosen vessel, Lucis,” he whispered. “Now that you belong to Satan, a tremendous future awaits you.”

“It’s my privilege to be in his service,” Lucis replied.

“My friend, we will walk together. I’ll guide you all the way. I will be your source of power. But I need control of your body and of your mind.”

“I’m willing, Apollyon, I am yours.”

“Good! Now what are your needs?”

“I only need money, Apollyon, and your power, and love.”

“Done! All are yours. We’re in business together, Lucis. Now listen, we must enlist heaps of young people into our movement.”

“Where do I start?”

“Wendee and Penelope are doing a good job - you saw those two young girls they inducted along with you and Manohar? Well, it’s easier to induct girls because they are more emotional, and they become fascinated with religion and mysticism. But you, I will use to enlist a heap of men. There’s a lot of young men out there.  They’re our target! We want heaps of them in our movement.

“Now this is your commission, Lucis. Whatever you have to do to hook them, do it!  And when you have hooked them, not only will they pay you well, but you will be able to reel them in, and we’ll multiply our covens. Once they’re hooked, they’ll fulfil our plans to bring millions into bondage to Satan.”

“Will I also be brought into bondage, Apollyon?”

“No Lucis ... you’re our partner. You’re a chosen one. Though you are his servant, Satan has set you free -  free to enjoy yourself, free to make friends, and money, and free to indulge in your heart’s desire. Our blessing is upon you ... Go in my name, and make disciples for our master!”

 

 

SOME DISTANCE FROM THE RIVER DOUBT, a young man named Surrender, was listening intently to Apostle as they walked along the Way.

“Soon we will come to the great River Doubt,” Apostle was saying. “I’ve cross­ed this river a number of times young man. There’s a bridge called Faith, by which we can cross the river.  That’s the only way of crossing safely.” 42

 

"THE FAITH BRIDGE IS THE ONLY ONE WAY ACROSS THE RIVER DOUBT

 

 

“Then there is no problem with the river?” Surrender asked.

“Well, there need not be a problem. But I have sometimes seen people almost drown­ed in the river. They have either not seen the Faith Bridge, or else they thought that it was not a reliable way of crossing. Actually, at first, the Bridge does not seem very secure; so some people take a canoe from a boating company called Intellect & Reason Sailing Co., and they try to paddle across. But there are so many rocks in the river, and the water is so swift, that they are bound to end up ship-wrecked.  Some people even try to use their own strength to swim across. Oh, a lot of people fall victim to the River Doubt.”

“I am glad you have explained this to me, Apostle. I probably would have tried to swim the river, also. You really are an experienced apostle.”

For some time the Apostle did not reply. He was an older man and had learned very much on the Way. His deep study of the Word of God had shown him how to walk in the Way, and how to meet the dangers on the Way. He had faced many battles, and at times he thought he was a complete failure. At times he imagined that he would never reach the Celestial City. He sometimes had thoughts of returning, but the Master had always held on to him, and raised him up whenever he fell into discouragement.

 

Depending on one’s own strength

is not the Way to Victory

 

“Surrender,” he replied very seriously, “it’s so important for us to learn the lessons on this Way. Our Master is always with us, but sometimes we forget Him. Sometimes we take so long to make any progress because we don’t keep our eyes on Him. Sometimes we are so self-confident that we rush ahead of the Master. He tells us to follow Him, not to rush ahead. But neither should we lag behind! 43 He does not take us beyond what we are able to endure, but He does give us strength for each step of the Way.  And He does not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to resist.” 44

WHY THE TRIALS?

“But Apostle,” Surrender interrupted. “Why does the Master allow us to have temptations and trials at all? Wouldn’t it be better if He saved us from all these things ... then we would never fail at all?”

“Well, Surrender, at first we all would like an easy way to Heaven. That’s because we think that so long as we reach the Celestial City, all is well. But we don’t think how we should reach, or what maturity we should have by the time we arrive. I can look back over my years of walking with the Master, and I can say He has taught me so much through the trials I’ve had. I’m sure I would not have learnt so much of the Master if it had not been for the trials.45

“You see, Surrender, it is in trials and temptations that we can prove the faithfulness and sufficiency of Yeshua, our Saviour.46 That’s why He allows things in our lives - to teach us to depend more upon Him. This is what the Scriptures teach us - all things work together for good to those who love God and who are called according to His purpose.” 47

“I can see that many things work together for good, Apostle, but what about the bad things?”

“Well, even seemingly fatal events, God will work together for our learning. Many things happen on this Way which we think could never bring any good. But later we see God’s hand working - not working for our comfort, mind you! But working for our maturity, for the conformity of our lives to the likeness of our Master.48 Always remember, the Master could prevent an evil circumstance - and many times He does. But the things He does permit, are allowed for our ultimate benefit. Do you understand, Surrender?”

“I think so, Apostle. It means we should accept all things as being in the will of God for our lives.”

“Yes, that’s about it. But always remember, God permits all things, and will use all things - but not all things are His specific will and purpose. There is what we may call the directive will of God and the permissive will of God.

“For instance, this River Doubt we are coming to - as I said, some people almost drown in it. Now it is God’s direct will - His purpose, that these pilgrims should cross over by way of the Faith Bridge. But He does permit some to go ahead in their own strength, to try to swim and keep themselves afloat. Now God permits that, although His special will is that the travellers should cross over on the Bridge. And even though they sometimes nearly drown, yet the Master can teach them much through these experiences. Really, if a person learns the lesson, he will never try to swim over this river again.”

“I’m beginning to see,” the younger man replied. “That explains some of the experiences I’ve had ... Look Apostle! There’s the River Doubt now, isn’t it?  It’s so wide.”

“Yes, my friend. But don’t be afraid. We’re not going to row over in a canoe belonging to Intellect & Reason Sailing Co. 49 Let’s learn the lesson that’s ahead, by using the Faith Bridge.

 

AFTER MANOHAR WAS INDUCTED into Satanism, and took Fleshly Desire to be his wife, he had tremendous success in his business, and satisfaction in his personal life. He was still in his twenties, but he gained the type of maturity that belonged to a 45-year-old.

He climbed the ladder of success, and fame, and collected a lot of influential friends. He earned good money, and bought a new home, a car, and everything he wanted. He now had servants and friends waiting on him. “I’m quite a success,” he mused. “This is the life. I’m a self-made man. But I must thank my patron demon, too.”

“No, no!” replied a voice. “Not yet. You can thank me at the end.”

As the weeks passed, however, Manohar felt pressures building up in his life and home. It was incumbent upon him, for one thing, to attend regular ceremonies at the coven. And he was under orders always, to use his business as a means of enlisting new members. Manohar, in fact, helped to establish more than twenty new covens in two years.

 

ONE NIGHT, Manohar was called urgently to the home of Penelope Pro. Along with Desire, he raced over to her flat, knowing only that the prostitute was in a serious condition. A doctor was attending to Penny, and he was very solemn. He also was  a  Satanist,  and  was  doing  his  best  to  arrest  her temperature.  It was a fight against the sexually-transmitted diseases that had caught up with her. Penny was not responding to the treatment.

Wendee, Caroline, Lucis and several others were seated on the floor around her bed. Manohar and Desire sat with them.

It was late at night. The group instantly began to supplicate Satan, calling on his power to heal the young woman. There was no satisfactory response. Rather, she began to shake with rigour. Her teeth chattered.

The hands of the clock approached midnight.

While the group continued invoking the devil, Wendee stood up in their midst. An awesome hue covered her, and a deathly odour filtered through the room. Wendee spoke, but it was not her voice - it was a deep, husky voice ...

“It is time for my servant to come to me. Her time is up - no longer supplicate for her. She invoked me to ruin that Brutal Bob. I granted her demand, but she has been an unworthy servant. She no longer does my bidding. She’s been rebelling against me. There is a price to pay. Now she must pay the cost.  Let her go, my servants.  Say farewell.”

It was midnight. Penelope began shaking, and then she cried out. “They’re all around me ... I see them ... they’ve come for me ... demons …  Ahhhh!  Help me.”

She sat upright, and screamed out - a blood-curdling cry ... “HELPPPP!”  And then her body dropped back onto the bed. She was gone.

Wendee stood dazed, as indeed all the group were.  Finally the doctor spoke:

“Cohorts,” he said, “the time comes for us all to meet our master. Let us be faithful to him so that we might join him as his faithful servants, and share his eternal reign. Let us beware of unfaithfulness, and negligence in serving the majestic King of Hell!”

 

 

“OH!” SIGHED NEW JOE.  “Where am I?”  He felt a hand gently shaking him. “Where am I?”

“You’ll be all right, young man!” a voice replied.

He opened his eyes slowly, but the light was too bright to keep them open. “Where am I? Is this the Celestial City, or am I in the place called Destruction?” he cried.

“No, no, young man. You are in neither. You are still on earth - on the Narrow Way. You have had a sad experience, but the Master will lift you up again. You will climb the Narrow Way again. Try to sit up.”

Joe looked up into a kind face. It reminded him of the old pilgrim he had met some time ago.

“Are you Faithful?” he asked, sitting up.

“No, my friend. I’m Apostle. And here is another pilgrim on the Narrow Way ... Surrender.”

“Glad to meet you both.  I’m ... Joe. It is good of you to help me.”

“No, no!  It is the Master who has helped you, Joe.”

“I can’t remember what happened ... Oh yes! I was trying to cross the river. I thought I was quite strong enough to swim across.”

“My brother, many people try to do that. But this is the River Doubt. If you try to swim across, you will be overcome by torrents of doubt. There is only one way to cross the river - that’s by the Faith Bridge. Come with us; we’ll go across the Bridge together.”

“Oh, I can’t,” signed Joe. “I’ve failed so badly. I didn’t even know that there was a Faith Bridge. I had better go back to Careless Lodge and to my old companions Christopher Careless and Worldly Wesley.”

“No, no, young man! You can’t go back. I know both those men. They will never help you progress. They themselves have never made an inch of progress on this Way in years.”

“Oh! I’m so confused,” replied Joe. “I don’t know where I am. I started on the Way joyfully after I left Careless Lodge - I spent quite some time with Worldly Wesley; and I had become quite miserable there. But yesterday I turned over a new leaf, and was determined to get back on track on the Narrow Way. But now I have failed again. I can’t go on.”

“You have made mistakes, Joe, and so have we all. You have sinned against the Master by yielding to the temptations of worldliness and carelessness. But how can you go back to living in sin? 50  And turning over a new leaf is not the answer. No! Recognise your failure, Joe, and confess your sins, and then watch against those temptations.

“You must avoid going into a place where you will tempted. Flee from those places. Don’t look at any book or movie, or program that is likely to draw you away from the Master.  Beware of any friendship that is likely to drag you down. Now forget the things that are behind, and press towards the goal. Let’s all keep on travelling the upward Way. The Celestial City and our glorious Master are before us.”

“Yes, I’ve sinned; I know. But the Master won’t want me back again. I’ve failed Him miserably.”

“You are wrong, Joe. This reason­ing is because you have taken your eyes off the Saviour.”

“Yes!” Surrender joined in. “The Master never ceases to love His people. He Himself has pledged to keep you right through to the end.51 He even turns your failure into good. This is what He promises in Romans 8:28:

‘All things work together for good to those who love God and who are called according to His purpose’.”

“I wish I could believe that, Surrender. But I still feel miserable. I’m not good enough to reach the Celestial City.”

“My young brother,” Apostle replied. “You are depending on your feelings, and letting Satan accuse you. You must simply confess your sin and failure to God, and then trust Him to continue leading you onward.”

“But how can I just simply ask God to forgive me? What if I fail again?”

“What do the Scriptures say?

‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ 52

“And besides that, the Master taught us to forgive our brothers at least 490 times. So if we must always forgive others, do you think God would do the opposite to what He taught us? 53 It’s true what Surrender has just said. God will work even your failures together for good. He is seeking to teach you a lesson though this sad experience. But you won’t learn the lesson by doubting God, and by continuing to resist His Spirit, who is striving within you.”

“I guess you are right, Apostle. But if only I could be sure I won’t be tempted again, I’d have confidence.”

“Listen, Joe, you are afraid of temptation! You have to face it. The Master will not remove temptations, but rather He wants you to learn to be an overcomer. Temptation is common to all men, Joe.54 Even the people on the Broad Way are tempted. There is quite a difference though. On the Broad Way, Satan is like a friend to the perishing ... although he deserts them at the end!  To us who travel the Narrow Way, Satan is a terrible enemy because we seek to obey God.55 Do you remember reading how our Saviour was also tempted by the devil, when He was on earth?” 56

“Yes, I remember,” Joe replied. “It was in the wilderness.”

“Yes, that’s right. And the Scriptures say that He was tempted in all points like we are.” 57

“Does that mean He was tempted to doubt ... and by worldliness, and carelessness, too?”

“Yes, Joe. But the Master never once yielded to temptations. You see, temptation itself is not sin. It is when we yield, that temptation produces sin. If you meditate on a temptation, or give in to it, then it becomes sin.58  When it comes, we should resist it, just like the Master did.”

“But Yeshua the Master was God ... so He could not sin anyway,” retorted Joe.

“Yes, as God, that’s true. But as a Man, He won the victory in the same way as we do - by using the Word of God.59 This is one of the secrets of Victory. We must do two things, young man!  First, we must hide God’s Word in our hearts by meditating on it regularly. The Scriptures say,

‘How can a young man keep His way pure? By keeping it according to Your Word.  Your Word I have treasured in my heart that I may not sin against You ...’ 60

“Secondly, we must use the Word in times of battle and temptation, for the Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit.61  And if you have the Word stored up in your heart and mind, it will be there as a power supply, at the right time. This is a lesson we need to learn thoroughly ...

“May I ask, Joe, have you been meditating in the Word, and letting the Master speak to you through it?”

“Well ... no, I haven’t. At Careless Lodge I really neglected the Word. It was television that was demanding my attention. That was wrong. I realize this now.”

“And that’s why you have been defeated here at the River Doubt. You attempted to cross such a great barrier on the Way, but were not prepared in your heart.”

“You are right, Apostle. I should go back to the beginning until I learn how to win the victory,” said Joe thoughtfully.

NEVER GO BACK!

“Well, there is another thing to remember, Joe. You can’t learn by going back. You must learn by going ahead.62 You learn by experience, and by facing the enemy in the strength of the Master. Won’t you go ahead now?”

“Yes ... I will!” responded Joe.

“Then have a talk with the Master, confess your sins and mistakes, and ask Him to take your hand again.”

There and then Joe bowed before the Saviour. It was his first real talk with the Master for many weeks, and the joy of Yeshua became his portion once more.63

Now the three men set off together towards the Faith Bridge, singing joyfully:

    

     I have decided to follow Yeshua,

     No turning back, no turning back!

     The cross before me, the world behind me.

     With the Word of God, and through faith in the Messiah,

     We will win the fight. No turning back, no turning back.

ALTHOUGH THE GHASTLY DEATH of Penelope had such a shattering effect on Lucis, he continued on in his life as a Satanic agent, a drug addict, and a prostitute.  He really did not see any alternative. He was locked into all the three bondages of his 20-year-old life.

It was a life that brought him turmoil and distress. At times he contemplated suicide, but he was scared of what the outcome of that might be. He knew Satan and his guide Apollyon would not tolerate rebellion, or an attempt to break away from their grip.

It was true, he had received certain powers, and he was earning a lot of money. But his money kept him in bondage to drugs, and drugs took him out of his senses. Sometimes he even seemed to be out of his body. His soul seemed to travel the universe.

At the Satanic coven, he had become an important figure. In three years he had recruited dozens of young men and women, and some older ones as well, into the movement. He certainly had credit in Satan’s accounts.

But his life was wretched. As a demonic agent, he was tops. As a human being, he was as low as you could get. Not only a liar, he was also a blasphemer of God and all that is holy.

Another tragedy that shocked Lucis deeply was the death of Helen Heroin. She literally killed herself with drugs. By the end she had become a veritable zombie; her mind was totally blown, and her body reeked of disease. 

Lucis did not have respect for her, but he did see himself reflected in her descent into disaster. He himself did not expect to live long - and neither did he want to. His “enjoyment” always had a tragic downside. Friendships were as transient as a wispy cloud. One of his cobbers, Damien, came as close to being a true friend as anyone had ever done in his whole life. But Damien died a hideous death through AIDS. That tragedy really shattered Lucis. With all the power he possessed, Lucis had been totally powerless to help his friend. 

After Damien’s death, his life sank even deeper into the bitter, cruel nether world of drugs, sex and occultism.

 

 

One day, Lucis was IN A ‘reasonable’ state of mind, and was out on his usual business of recruiting young men. As he walked along a crowded street, a stranger, a strange type of man, accosted him. The man stood in front of him, put a hand on his shoulder, looked him direct in the eyes, and blurted out a question.

“Young man, when you die, where will you spend eternity?”

And then he disappeared. Lucis shook his head. Was this real? Or was it a hallucination from the new drug he was taking? He walked on, but the question kept coming back. “Where will you spend eternity?”

Lucis knew the answer. With Satan, of course! But he was nagged by certain doubts - was that eternity going to be to his liking? Would it be any better than the hell that he was already living in? Or would it simply be an eternal extension of his present wretched, hopeless, mind-blowing, depraved life?

Lucis tried not to think too loud. Apollyon had a way of knowing his thoughts. He walked a little further, and then decided to stop off in a cafe for coffee. He went upstairs to a quiet section, and took a seat. He ordered coffee.

He looked around - there was a man drinking coffee at another table. 

The man looked up. Lucis’ heart jumped. It was the same strange man who had accosted him in the street. He felt an urge to jump up and flee, but he was glued to his seat.

The man saw him. He left his table and came straight over to Lucis. He sat down directly in front of the young man, and looked into his eyes.

“Tell me young man, where will you spend eternity?”

“In Hell,” said Lucis in a matter of fact way.

“And how will that be?”

“I will reign at the right hand of Satan.”

“And take glee in presiding over a sea of eternal misery, cursing, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth?”

“Yes, of course.”

“Young man ... do you realize that Satan himself will be in eternal misery in the Lake of Fire. He will not be the king of Hell as you evidently believe. He’s doomed!”

“You’re wrong, mister. Satan is the most powerful force in the whole universe.”

“He is a powerful evil force. But Satan is a created being. He rebelled against Almighty God and became the King of Demons.”

“But Satan is God.”

“He is called ‘the god of this world’ 64 because he has brought millions of people into bondage. But he is not the Almighty.  Do you know what ‘Satan’ means?”

“No.”

“No?  Because he doesn’t tell you that! Satan means ‘the Accuser.’ And he is also called Apollyon, and ‘the Angel of the Abyss.’  Apollyon means ‘Destroyer’.” 65

“Of course, he destroys his enemies, like he has already destroyed Jesus Christ.”

“Far from it.”

“Yeh? Then why did Jesus get crucified? Because he was a weakling! He couldn’t save anyone, not even himself.”

“Young man! Jesus Christ died for the sins of the whole world. That’s why He died. He died for your sins!”

“Ha! What is sin?”

“Sin is darkness - everything that cannot stand in the Presence of holiness. That is why you Satanists meet at midnight - in darkness.”

“Why do you presume I am a Satanist?”

“Because the Spirit of the Living God lives in me. He has revealed it to me.”

“Ha! What does your God do for you?”

“He has saved my soul. He has delivered me from the Broad Way, and from a wretched life of hate and greed.66 He sent His Son to redeem me from the clutches of Satan. And He can do the same for you.”

“I can’t believe that. There’s no way you can escape the clutches of Satan.”

“Yes there is! It is through the blood of Messiah. ‘In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace’.” 67

Lucis recoiled at the mention of the blood of the Messiah.

“We Satanists sacrifice, and we offer our own blood to appease our Master. But I’ve never heard a word about forgiveness of sins. Our master won’t let you get away with sin.”

“Really? And what sin are you talking about?”

“To us, sin is anything that displeases Satan.”

“But sin is anything of darkness, and Satan himself is darkness. The Almighty is Light, and He is ready to forgive. When we believe and call on Him, He cleanses us from all sin, and makes us a new people. He makes us born again.”

“That’s not necessary!” replied Lucis. “We just need to keep in Satan’s good books, and be his obedient servants.”

“Young man, you’re heading for eternal misery. The Lake of Fire was prepared for Satan and his angels.68 It is the realm of no return for all who have not been redeemed by the blood of Yeshua the Messiah ... Do you realize there is no friendship in Hell - none whatsoever?”

Lucis shuddered.

“Friendship! What is that?” he spat out. “I’ve never known real friendship - in all my life - until recently. I had a friend; his name was Damien ... he was snatched from my arms - by AIDS - a hideous death. Don’t talk to me about friendship!”

“Young man, Yeshua is the Friend of sinners ... He loves you, and will be your Friend for ever ... if you will receive His grace and love.”

“Grace? What is that? The name of his girl friend?”

“No. Grace is His mercy, His kindness, and His favour towards you.  It will lift you up from the pit of depravity.  It will cause you to experience His love.”

“Love?  Was Yeshua a homosexual?”

“No! He was absolutely holy!”

“Then how could He be a friend of mine?”

“He will make you a new creature.69 You need a new life young man. It’s possible - if you call upon Him and receive His grace.”

“Mister, you’re wasting your time. I’m a Satanist, a prostitute, and a drug addict. And I’m in the clutches of Satan. There’s no way I can escape from all that!”

“It is written, ‘Whoever will call on the Name of the Heavenly Master will be saved’.” 70

“And you think Satan will release me just like that!”

“Satan has been defeated by the victory of the Messiah on the cross.71 And now the Almighty rescues all who call on Him, from the domain of darkness; and He transfers them to the kingdom of His Beloved Son.” 72

“Satan has already been condemned,” the man continued. “He has limited freedom at present, while God demonstrates His power by redeeming souls, and setting them free from Satanic bondage.”

Lucis was silent. He was recalling the hideous death of Penelope, and the tragic end of Helen Heroin.

“By the way, my name is Faithful. What’s yours?”

“I’m Lucis Bondage.”

“Lucis? Do you know the meaning of that name?”

“No.”

“Lucis is a form of Lucifer, which is another name for Satan. ... And your other name describes your condition. Your name describes your bondage to Lucifer.73 It may well be that your parents dedicated you to Lucifer at your birth.”

“If that is so, then I’ll always belong to Satan.”

“Maybe, but that dedication can be broken by the power of the blood of the Almighty when you renounce your past, and embrace the Redeemer.”

Lucis did not answer. Inside he was wishing that all that Faithful was saying was true.

Faithful continued. “Listen ... listen to the end of the story. It is written in the Word of God:

‘Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and hurled him into the bottomless pit, and shut and sealed it over him, so that he could not deceive the nations any longer.’ 74

That’s the fate of Satan, Lucis. And as for his people ... listen:

‘But as for the cowardly and unbelieving; and as for the depraved, for murderers, immoral persons and sorcerers (practisers of magic arts and occultic mind sciences); and as for idolaters and all liars - their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulphur, which is the second death.’ 75

“That’s your end too, Lucis, if you are not redeemed by Messiah’s blood.”

“Well, that means there is no hope for me – I told you I’m a depraved drug addict; I’m a sorcerer, a prostitute; and I’m a liar, and I’ve led hundreds of people to Satan.”

“That’s what you are right now, Lucis, but if you believe in Yeshua the Messiah who died and shed His blood to cleanse you, you will become a new creature.76 Believe me ... it happened to me some years ago. And in my life, I have proved that the amazing grace of God can save a wretch. And He will also do it for you.”

“I wish I could believe that ... but I can’t. Your Messiah was crucified. He could not even save Himself.”

“The truth is, Lucis ... Yeshua rose from the dead. Listen!

‘The Messiah died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and He was buried, and He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.’ 77

“He’s the living Saviour, Lucis. And the Almighty wants you to know and experience ‘the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who are believing.’

These are in accordance with the working of His mighty strength which He exerted in the Messiah, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.’ 78

“And listen to these words also from the Word of God:

‘But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, the Messiah died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.’ 79

“These words are true, Lucis. I’ve experienced them!”

“But they would kill me if I started following Yeshua the Messiah.”

“Satan will certainly destroy you if you continue on in your present life. The only possible deliverance for you is through the Saviour. Yeshua is the Anointed One of God. He is God manifest in human form. He is the One whose Name is exalted above all names.

“Listen to these words:

‘The Messiah, Yeshua, who, although existing in the form of God - being in very nature God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself (still further) by becoming obedient to the extreme of death, even death on a cross. Therefore (because He stooped so low), God exalted Him to the highest place, and gave Him the Name that is above every name, that at the Name of Yeshua every knee should bow - in heaven and on earth and under the earth - and every tongue confess that Yeshua the Messiah is the Heavenly Master, to the glory of God the Father.’ 80

Lucis was left speechless. Inwardly he knew it must be true. He held his head in his hands. Penelope! Helen! The viciousness of Wendee! The warning of Apollyon! The voice of Satan! It was all flooding through his mind.  He knew he was on the verge of suicide ... or madness. Oh, if only he could believe! If only he could be delivered from his hopeless life – and from Satan!

“If only I could start all over again,” he whispered.

“You can Lucis. You can! Just call on His Name.”

“But I must do something, somehow, to get out of my present quagmire. I must do something to earn or warrant God’s grace!”

“No Lucis. You can never warrant or earn God’s grace. It’s a gift from God.81 Come just as you are, and call upon Him. Believe His Word. Trust Him. He will receive you and deliver you. The Word of God says:

‘To one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted as righteousness.’ 82

‘For by grace you are saved, through faith - and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God - not as a result of works, lest anyone should boast.’ 83

“Faith is your part, Lucis. Simple faith.”

Faithful was acutely aware of  the struggle going on inside the young man, and his spirit was all the time crying out to the Almighty for His grace to break through in the heart of this young man who was bound by sin and Satan.

The struggle continued for a long time ... and finally Lucis whispered:

“Yeshua, have mercy on me. I believe. I believe You are the truth, and that You died for me. I hand my life over to You, and I trust You to deliver me from my wretched life, and from the bondage of Satan. I renounce all my vows to Satan, and my dedication by my parents to Satan. I receive You as my new Master and my Saviour, and trust You for a new life, and to protect me, and to keep me by Your power. Thank You, Master.”

Tears began to run down his cheeks. Cleansing and release were working deep within him.  Finally, he looked up into the eyes of Faithful, with a light upon his face.

“He’s done it, Faithful. My burden has been lifted. I now believe with all my heart that Yeshua is the Saviour. He is my Saviour, my Master and my God.”

“Blessed be His Name.”

“How can I thank you, Faithful?”

“Don’t thank me, my son.  Just thank the Messiah. He sent me to you.”

“Thank You, Yeshua. Oh thank you, Master. Thank You for sending Faithful to me. Fill me with Your love and power, and purity. Thank You for this new life.”

Faithful then prayed for Lucis - for his complete deliverance from drugs, his sinful life, and from Satan.

“My son, you will no longer be called Lucis Bondage. From now on you will be called Shamuel Setfree.  Shamuel means ‘heard of God.’ God has heard your prayer, and has set you free. Now let’s leave this place immediately.”

 

 

SURRENDER AND NEW JOE continued their journey together. The Apostle had to leave them as he had much work to do, and was constantly helping pilgrims to understand the Way.

New Joe was very careful now, never to neglect meditation on the Word of God. He and Surrender began to grow stronger in the Master, and were learning to conquer by faith and the Word.

Sometimes they met travellers coming back along the Way. “Why are you returning?” they would enquire.  So often the answer was the same ... “There is a mountain range ahead, and it’s impossible for us to cross it. There are many mountains in the Range, and if you conquer one, you are bound to fall on the next.”

“What mountain range is this?” they would ask.

“Haven’t you heard of the Besetting Sin Mountain Range?  There are mountains there that you will try a hundred times to climb, and you’ll fail every time.” 84

The two young men would reason:  “But by faith we can conquer every mountain.”

“Well, you try,” they would reply. “But we’re giving up. If it were not for this mountain range, we could reach the Celestial City without too much difficulty.”

Surrender and New Joe felt so sorry for the many defeated travellers they came across. There was such a frustration about them all. “Surely there must be some secret of victory that all these pilgrims are missing,” they said to each other.

Soon they were within sight of the infamous Besetting Sin Mountain Range. Yes, it did look like a forbidding task - to cross this range. And there was no other way to cross over than by the Narrow Way which led right through these mountains.

At the foot of this awesome range there was a signboard, with instructions for travellers to read before proceeding. The two young men studied these instructions carefully, but they noticed some pilgrims who confidently started their climb with barely a glance at the signs or instruction board.

The signboard indicated that there were many mountains in the way, and that each one had its own name. The board listed the main peaks:

 

Surrender looked at NEW JOE. “It seems that there is a Besetting Sin Mountain to break even the most prepared heart,” he said.

“Yes, it sure does. Now I remember old Faithful telling me that there are mountains to climb where every inch of the Way will be contested.”

                                                                       

"IT SEEMS THERE IS A MOUNTAIN TO BREAK EVEN

THE MOST PREPARED HEART"

 

“Let us make sure we know the instructions, New Joe, and keep them in our minds.”

They looked at the board carefully. They read the rules over and over, and noted them in a pocket book. They both were determined that they would conquer this mountain range, and not turn back as so many others had done.

Surrender and New Joe spent much time in prayer, committing their way to the Master, and seeking His guidance and enabling for all that was ahead of them.

They then checked all the instructions on the board.

 

IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS for pilgrims crossing

the besetting sin mountain range

 

1    Don’t attempt to conquer these mountains with an attitude of defeat and doubt. If you expect to fail, you will fail. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. 85

2    Start from Victory Ground. Your Master has conquered all mountains. He has conquered even death. Your Master is your Victory. 86

3    Never trust in your own stamina and strength to cross this range. You will fail if you do. 87

4    Present your body a living sacrifice unto God, and be filled with the power of His Holy Spirit. Keep your body in subjection to Christ. Buffet your body, and don’t give way to it. 88

5    Always be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and obey His leading immediately. 89

6    Walk in the Spirit, and you will not obey the desire of the flesh. Always mortify the enemy, Fleshly Desire. 90

7    Be wary of the deadly enemy called Pride. Cast down every thing in your life that exalts itself against God. 91

8    Bring your every thought into captivity so that it obeys Christ. Don’t let your thoughts run wild with vain imaginations. Think on the things that are lovely, pure and of good report. Meditate on your Example and Master, Yeshua. Keep your eyes on Him at all times. 92

 

Surrender and New Joe looked again at the mountain range ahead. “Let’s press on,” said Joe.

The way was indeed contested, but the young men kept the instructions in their minds, and focused their eyes on the Saviour. They climbed the Hill of Dishonesty without suffering any real setback, and they were feeling happy in their progress.

Surrender reached the pass first and was beaming with confidence. “I’ve made it! Come on, New Joe,” he called, looking behind him. “We are doing fine. We’ll show those defeated travellers that we can climb and pass right over this Besetting Sin Range.”

Joe glanced up, and saw Surrender suddenly disappear from view. He gasped. In a couple of minutes he reached the place. He could see that Surrender had stepped on some boulders which had given way. He had fallen down the side of the mountain, and was lying in a heap some distance below.

New Joe hurried down to the aid of his companion. He found him bruised and nursing his pride.

“What happened, Surrender?” he asked.

“I don’t know, Joe. I was feeling really victorious, but something gave beneath me. I guess it must have been pride.”

“Oh, we must watch against that enemy, Surrender. Remember? It was on the instruction board - the deadly enemy Pride. I remember reading also, that Pride goes before a fall.” 93

 

PRIDE IS A DEADLY ENEMY THAT

LEADS TO MANY A FALL

 

“Yes, you are right. I was thinking that we have succeeded in climbing Dishonesty Hill. But it was the Master who conquered it for us. I’ll confess my sin to Him.”

Soon the travellers came to Mt Dissension. It was a great hill indeed. Many pilgrims seemed to be “hung up” on this hill. They could not make much progress at all. Joe and Surrender noticed at once, the quarrelsome nature of those who were forever falling back down the hill.94

They stopped to help some of them. They reasoned with them. “Brothers and sisters, the Scriptures exhort us to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.95  We must walk in the Spirit; the fruit of the Spirit is love.” 96

“What do you know about love?” some of the defeated cried. “You are just youngsters. How can we love these people who are always teaching doctrines that don’t fit in with our ideas?”

“Yes, what do you know about walking in the Spirit,” shouted some others. “Have you been baptized in the Spirit in the way we think you ought to?”

Before New Joe or Surrender could reply, someone else had joined in the discussion, which threatened to become more of a battle with every new contribu­tion.

“Oh, these people are altogether wrong! They don’t hold the same views as I do,” went the arguments.

“Your prophecy interpretation is altogether wrong!”

“But you teach that your denomination is the only one holding the truth!”

“We do not!  We say that we hold a monopoly of the truth. But you say believers can be lost!”

“We say we must save ourselves. But you say you can do anything you like.”

“We do not say that. We say like this!”

“But you say something else. And we can’t be wrong in our views!”

“Well, we have studied a lot and know so much more Greek and Hebrew than you do.”

“Well, we would not even call you Christians!”

“But you don’t even follow the Scriptures!”

“Yes we do!  And we are more holy than you!”

“But you are full of dissension!”

“No we’re not. You are!”   

“No! We are simply contending for the truth.”

It was becoming quite a din. Joe wanted to put in a word, but just couldn’t get a chance.

“Come on,” said Surrender, “Let us press on. We cannot help these people while they’re in this frame of mind. We can only pray for them. If we stay here, we’ll only fall down the mountain with them!”

 

Dissension and an Unruly Tongue

will rob of Joy and Victory

 

They kept on travelling mountain after mountain. On Lying Hill they met people who were constantly defeated because of lies. These ones so often gave excuses for their lies. “It is mostly just little lies that upset us. It is just the ‘white lies’ - you know, in our work and profession. We are compelled to tell ‘white lies.’ They don’t mean anything really. They are not serious.” 97

And yet, as Surrender told them, “If these ‘little’ lies are not serious, how is it then that you make no progress, but are defeated on this mountain?”

“Yes,” added Joe, “You must make a stand with our Master. You must make a stand against this subtle temptation. Our Master is Truth, and He has said, ‘You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free!’” 98

Some would argue, “Truth is relative. We can’t be sure of anything, or whether it is absolute truth. Even some of the modern preachers have told us that we can’t believe the Bible entirely.”

“Oh, my friends,” Joe replied. “You have not understood Truth. Truth is a Person. Truth is Yeshua. He will set you free if you yield yourselves to Him.”

Some of the defeated immediately saw the Truth, and yielded fully to Him. They then went on to conquer Lying Hill. Their Master was the Truth.

Soon the two young travellers came to Temper Peak. This was very high indeed, and the air was so thin. They met some pilgrims who simply could not conquer this Peak. They had tried a hundred times, but failed again and again. This Peak was very similar - a twin - to the Un­ruly Tongue Peak.99

On these two peaks, everything was set up to make the pilgrims trip again and again. The jagged sides of these moun­tains and the rough path, irritated the climbers constantly. They tried so hard to conquer Temper and Unruly Tongue. Some almost succeeded, but were thrown down at the last minute.

Some made excuses, saying, “This is the fault of our temperaments. We can’t conquer such peaks while we have these temperaments. We will never succeed. It’s useless to even attempt it, unless we can somehow change these peaks.”

Surrender and New Joe looked sadly at these ones defeated by the twin peaks. “There must be a way for them,” they thought. “Surely the Master does not want them to be defeated by temperament.”

“Maybe there is some way to change these peaks,” Joe was saying.

“Let’s look on our instruction list,” Surrender suggested. “There must be some secret to help them conquer these peaks.”

They looked carefully over each point.

“The first point, I think is most important,” Joe said. “These defeated ones are blaming their temperaments. They don’t expect to win. They are defeated before they start. I see what it means, don’t you, Surrender? We have to start from victory ground. The Master has conquered everything, and He is our Victor. Just as He is the Truth, so He is the Victory.”

“Yes, sure,” replied Surrender.  “He is the Victor over these twin peaks. No wonder so many of these pilgrims are defeated. They are trying to be the victors themselves. They are trying to change their temperament, but what they need is a Victor to control these temperamental peaks that are so unruly. Only the Master can conquer them.”

 

The Master, Yeshua Himself, is the Victory

 

When some pilgrims realized the truth, they stopped trying to get victory - they stopped trying to change themselves, and they trusted the Master to be their Victory. They entered into the Truth, and found that the Saviour was sufficient for all their temperamental problems. 

The two young pilgrims constantly shared the truths and were able to help others climb the Mountain Range.100 They were soon to discover, however, that their “own particular mountains” were not so easy to conquer as some of those behind them.

It was New Joe who found Depression Hill so difficult to conquer. Time and time again he tried, but failed as often as he tried. This was no hillock. This was a savage, ragged mountain that would throw him down into despair.

He could not understand why this hill should so defeat him. He tried to remember the instructions he had read earlier. He was not trusting in his own strength. He had presented his body a living sacrifice to the Master. He was asking the Master to be his Victor - and yet, he failed again and again.

Not only did the pressures of the Way weigh down heavily upon him, but even the fact that he was despondent, made him more depressed.

“It’s no use! I just can’t conquer this terrible mountain of depression,” he said at last to Surrender.

“There’s a lesson the Master is seeking to teach all of us, New Joe. You know we have met many believers on this Range, and they have all had some particular trouble - some mountain - sometimes temper, or unruly tongue, or envy, jealousy, or lying, or dishonesty. And we have seen that the Master has made every provision for their victory. So he has an answer for us also, New Joe.”                 

“Don’t call me New Joe any more, Surrender.” The young pilgrim wept. “I feel so weighed down, it is just like I was back on the Broad Way, carrying my load of sin. It’s too heavy. Everything is a fog up here. I must go back.”

“No, no, Joe!” Surrender cried. “The Master is allowing this for a reason. Don’t you remember what Apostle told us? God uses all things for our good.”

“God couldn’t possibly use all these distressing circumstances for my good. I’ve had too many falls on this mountain.”

“Joe, remember, faith is the victory.”

“But I can’t!” Joe snapped. “My faith is too weak. Leave me, I’m going back. I won’t try anymore. The Master doesn’t need me.”

“Joe,” Surrender replied sternly. “Remember how you were defeated at the River Doubt. You wanted to return then, but the Master saved you, and has led you all the Way till the present time.”

“But I tried to swim in my own strength then. This is different. On this mountain I’m failing again and again. I can’t go on! I’m a failure - a failure! I haven’t any faith left.”

“You must let the Master ...”

“Leave me alone,” shouted Joe. “I can’t. I’m going back!” And the young man started running down the mountain while his companion gazed after him with sadness. 

Surrender dropped onto his knees; “Master, Yeshua, meet my brother in his depression. You are sufficient for his need. Thank You, Master.”

Joe kept on running - trying to run away from his depression, and from the Master. Then suddenly, his foot tripped, and he was flat on his face. This was one of his heaviest falls, and the young man sobbed.  “I can’t take any more. I’m finished - finished.”

Joe’s sobbing continued for quite some time, until exhausted, he lapsed into semi-consciousness.  

“New Joe!” a voice just above him whispered kindly. “New Joe!” The young man was startled.                  

“New Joe! I’m your Master. I love you.”101

“Master!  Yeshua ... I’ve failed You so badly.”

“I know, New Joe. But I have chosen you and will not cast you away.” 102

The young man started weeping again.

“Master, the Way is so difficult. I can’t conquer this depressing mountain.”

“Of course you can’t, New Joe!”

The young pilgrim felt the loving arms of Yeshua draw him closer.

 

TRUST the master WITH EVERY CARE!

 

“It’s a heavy load you have been carrying. Won’t you let me take it for you?” 103

“But Master, You have so many loads to bear.”

“And I’m able to carry yours, also!”

“Master, I have sinned against You. How can You still care for me? I’m a failure ... a failure ... Master, forgive me.”

“New Joe! Your sins are forgiven. I carried them all when I died on the cross for you.”104

“Yes, thank You, Master. But how can I be of any use to You? I get so defeated by depression. It’s terrible!”

“I know, New Joe. And I know how to deliver you from temptation and from your depression.105 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me. I will give you rest.”106

“How, Master?  I can’t understand.”

“My disciple, don’t try to understand. Just trust Me! I am the Author and Perfector of your faith. Will you believe I can deliver you?” 107

“Yes, Master, I will believe.”

“Then do not be anxious for a thing. Don’t be afraid.108 I am with you. Your depressions are springing up from fears and doubts. You are afraid of circumstances. You are afraid of yourself. You are afraid of failure. I am with you, and I will keep you. I will deliver you. I will take your cloak of heaviness, and give you a garment of praise to God.109  Will you let Me?”

“Yes, Master. Please take my heavy cloak. Give me Your garment of praise. I will trust You. I will not be afraid if You are always with me.”

“New Joe, there is not a moment that I am not with you. Arise, walk in the power of My Spirit. Praise God, and let us press on, on the Upward Way!”

The young man gazed up into the Face of his Saviour, with tears of thankfulness and joy streaming down his face, “Thank You, Master. Thank You, my Saviour.”

 

 

“WHERE ARE WE GOING NOW?” Shamuel Setfree asked.

It was the very same day when Lucis Bondage was delivered from the chains of Satan, and became a new man - Shamuel Setfree.

“We’re on the Narrow Way that leads to the Celestial City, my friend,” replied his old companion.

“I’m afraid, Faithful. I know they won’t leave me so easily. Satan cannot bear to see one of his devotees defecting.”

“Yes, Shamuel, I know. That’s why I want to be with you at this crucial time. Satan will attack, but do not be afraid. You now belong to a new Master, and your new Master is the Almighty!”

“Yes Faithful, but Satan is powerful. And he’s very subtle, and brutal.”

“True, my son. But the important thing is to remember that you are now in the Messiah.  The Scripture says:

‘Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the Messiah, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; see, all things have become new.’ 110

“You are now born again, Shamuel, and the Scripture says:

‘We know that every one who has been born of God does not sin; but the One begotten of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.’ 111

“You are also protected by your Master, son. Listen:

‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Master, Y’shua Messiah, who, by His great mercy, has caused us, through the resurrection of Y’shua the Messiah from the dead, to be born again into a living hope, into an inheritance which can never perish, or be corrupted, or fade away, that is kept safe in heaven for you, and for all who, through faith, are being protected by the power of Almighty God until the coming of the ultimate deliverance that is ready to be revealed in the last time.’ 112

“That’s a tremendous encouragement to me, Faithful.”

“But don’t forget, Shamuel, your part is FAITH ...

 

Believing + trusting = faith

 

“And you have been provided with a shield to ward off the attacks of the evil one. It’s the Shield of Faith.113 And you also have been provided with the Sword of the Spirit.114  It is very, very powerful, Shamuel. It is the very Word of God. It is not merely words. It is the Word of your Almighty Master. You know ... Yeshua is the Eternal Word who became a Man to redeem us. One of His titles is The Word of God.115  By His Word the Universe came into being.116  By His Word all things hold together.117

“Believers in Yeshua are always targets of Satan, but the Scriptures say:

‘And the believers overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love and cling to their lives, right up to their very death.’ 118

“The Lamb here is the Lamb of God - Yeshua. The blood of His sacrifice brings atonement for all believers. It spells the end of Satan’s right to enslave sinners. It makes us accepted by God ...

“Remember how you cringed at the mention of the blood of Messiah? You hated it, right?”

Shamuel nodded.

“Well now you love Messiah, and can rejoice in the power in His blood. You have been redeemed, bought by His blood.

‘For you know that it was not with perishable things like silver or gold that you were redeemed from the futile way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of the Messiah, a Lamb without blemish or defect.’ 119

“‘The word of your testimony’ is your testimony concerning your steadfast faith in Messiah, and His work at Calvary, and the reality of what He is in your life.”

“And what does it mean about ‘not loving their lives unto death’?” the young new believer asked.

“This means, Shamuel, that you no longer fear death, for you know your Master is the Resurrection and the Life.120  If we are in the Messiah we are secure, both in life and in death.121  And our primary concern is that we glorify our Master by our life, and also by our death if we are called to lay down our life.

“Even if Satan could orchestrate your death, he would have no power over your soul. But the fact is that as a believer in Messiah, your times and your life is in the hand of the Heavenly Master.

“Nothing can touch you unless God permits. The Master will allow you to be tested, and even buffeted - but only when He allows. Testings are necessary for our buildup and spiritual growth, but we need not fear the testing times.122

“I expect, Shamuel, we will see a satanic encounter very soon. He will attack me as well as you because the Master has used me to bring you to Himself.”

“Yes, I expect it soon also - knowing Satan, I know he will be enraged because I’ve defected. The worst sin in Satanism is to defect and go over to the enemy’s side.”

“True ... but ... hey ... what do we have here?”

Faithful and Shamuel stopped in their tracks.

 

“There is something peculiar about that figure coming towards us.”

“Oh!  ... this is it!” Shamuel whispered. “It’s a female ... I know her. She’s a witch - the leader of the coven I’ve left. She led me into the occult. She’s an extremely dangerous servant of Satan.”

“It doesn’t take long for the news to get around. Be strong, Shamuel! Don’t be afraid. Remember the Blood, the Shield of Faith, the Word of God, and your Testimony concerning Messiah!”

The woman came straight up and stood in front of them. It was Wendee Witchery. Her eyes were aflame, and when she spoke, it was not her own voice. Shamuel recognized the same voice of Satan that he had heard on a number of occasions, such as when the soul of Penelope was claimed by the devil.

The deep husky voice spoke through Wendee.

“I’ve come to take you back to safety, Lucis Bondage. You are being led in a wrong path!”

“You’ve got the wrong man. I’m no longer Lucis Bondage. I’m a new man in Messiah.123 My name is Shamuel Setfree.”

“You are deluded, Lucis. I am your friend and Master.”

“No! You are no longer my master. I now belong to Yeshua the Messiah who is above all. He is the Living God, and He’s my Redeemer.” 124

“You’re being a fool, Lucis. You cannot simply switch sides like that. You are mine, and I will not let you go. Your parents dedicated you to me when you were born, and you yourself pledged to serve me all the days of your life. You cannot break that pledge! I have come to take you back to where you belong.”

“No!” replied Shamuel emphatically. “I’m now on the right path, and I belong to the Messiah.”

“You are mine!”

“No! I have been redeemed by the Messiah.”

“He cannot save you!”

“Yes He can! And He has!”

“Ha, ha, ha,” the voice laughed. “Imaginations! You are mine, and nothing can pluck you out of my hand!”

“I’ve been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb of God.125 Now I follow Him. I no longer belong to you.”

“Ahh!” screamed the devil. “I hate that blood. It’s vile. It causes so much damage.”

Faithful joined in here. “Yes, the blood of Yeshua the Messiah has cleansed us from our sins.126 We are now in the Kingdom of Light.”127

“You cannot withstand my power - neither of you!”

“But we do,” shouted Faithful. “We resist you in the Name of Yeshua the Messiah, the Living God.”128

The body of Wendee seemed to enlarge on the spot. Her teeth bared like fangs; with her arms raised up, her finger nails like giant claws threatened the two men. The demon launched out to attack Shamuel ... but it couldn’t touch him. It was as if an invisible shield covered the young believer.

The witch recoiled as if stung by a powerful ray of light. She snarled:

“The curse of Satan be on you both.”

“Your master is defeated by the blood of Messiah,” Shamuel cried out. “We are protected by the Heavenly Master, and Satan’s curse can have no effect upon us at all!” 129

“You’ll see!” scowled the witch as she stepped back a few paces.

“Wendee! ... You are deceived,” Shamuel called out. “Yeshua can save you also from your path to Hell.”

“I’m a winner, Lucis. You’re the loser. You cannot escape. We’ll be back!”

And she disappeared with curses and blasphemies.

“She’s gone,” said Faithful. “Let’s praise our Master for His protection. And let’s keep close to Him all along the way. The enemy will strike again and again. But we are secure in Messiah!”

 

 

SURRENDER WAS SO SAD to see New Joe leave him in such haste and discouragement. He prayed for him, but felt there was nothing more he could do at that time. For himself, he had to press on. He did feel somewhat proud of his progress. He had conquered quite a few mountains without many falls at all. Yes, Yeshua had been his Victor.

Now Surrender stood before a new mountain. It seemed to be a towering Himalayan giant. He felt a shiver of trepidation as he looked at it for a long time. This was Mt. Lustful.

The young pilgrim started the climb. Yes, he would conquer this mountain too. “Master, help me,” he sighed. He was determined he would not be defeated like a number of pilgrims he met on this same mountain. He remembered clearly that temptation could come openly or subtly. He avoided letting his eyes gaze on anything that could trip him up. He tried to bring every thought into captivity so that no lustful boulder or crag would influence his victory.

As he progressed, however, Surrender began to feel a tremendous battle going on inside him. There were just so many rugged steps on this mountain - any one of them could cause him to fall. There were vines that could easily entangle his feet. There were cliffs where one false step could be fatal. The battle for this mountain was becoming more fierce every step of the climb. None of the other mountains were so rigid, so unassailable as this one.

Then it happened. Surrender could not face the battle any longer. He looked down, and as he did, his foot slipped, and he was falling - not just to the ground – but down the mountainside. He was part of a landslide, and within a few minutes he was lying, crushed and brokenhearted. So much for determination to conquer Mt Lustful.

But Surrender was not finished yet. He was not going to give up so easily. After feeling a little better, he started the assault again, this time with even more vigour and carefulness. He knew this time there would be a great battle, and he was prepared for it. And this time he was even more resolved to conquer. Again the battle started, and it grew more fierce, the further he climbed. It began to tear him apart again, but he was not going to give in. He was watching every step of the way - and then, wham! bang! He was down again.

“Oh no!” he cried, holding his head in shame. “Why can’t I conquer this Lustful Mountain?”

He was now experiencing defeat like New Joe had. “All that advice on victory I gave to Joe,” Surrender thought. “I can’t even remember what I told him now. But it all seems theoretical anyway. I know I should trust the Master to be my Victor. I’ve been starting from victory ground, and expecting to win. But look what has happened!”

“It was quite some time before the young climber felt like trying again. But eventually he did. “The new assault began, and it also ended in failure. So did the fourth and a fifth attempt.

 

"I CAN'T CONQUER THIS LUSTFUL MOUNTAIN"

 

“I just can’t conquer this mountain,” Surrender sighed. “There must be some secret I haven’t discovered.”

He asked the advice of several other travellers whom he met on the mountain, but they couldn’t give him much help. They were in the same position as himself!

One of the travellers named Hopeful, did come up with a suggestion though. “You know,” she said, “I’ve been reading the Scriptures, and there is the promise of the Master, that if we have faith, will be able to say to the mountain, ‘Be removed!’ and it will be cast into the sea. So why don’t we try to remove this Mt Lustful?”

“Yes, that must be the secret, and especially if two or three of us agree on the matter,” replied another pilgrim.

So the travellers gathered for a prayer meeting to beseech the Master to remove the mountain. After they finished, they looked up, hoping to see the mountain removed. But oh!  It was still there.

Then Hopeful turned to her companions. “You know, I think we have not done it right. We should speak to the mountain itself, and not just pray about it. We must command it!”

“Yes, maybe you are right,” the others replied. “Let us work up our faith, and then, on the count of three, let’s all command the mountain, in the Lord’s Name, to depart.”

They then tried this method. “One! Two! Three! In the Name of the Lord we command you, O Mt Lustful ... depart!”

They waited, expecting to see the mountain disappear. But still nothing happened.

“Oh, I knew nothing would happen,” burst out a young woman named Pessimism.

“No! No!” replied Hopeful. “Let us wait a while. The mountain will go in the Lord’s time.” She really seemed full of faith. So they waited a while longer; but still the mountain did not go. They were all quite discouraged, and confused, until they saw an older man coming across the range.

“It’s Apostle,” cried Surrender. “He should be able to help us.”

“No one will help us,” returned Pessimism.

As the elderly pilgrim drew near, he called out, “What’s wrong young people?  Why are you sitting here looking so dejected?”

“Oh Apostle, we’re so defeated,” answered Surrender on behalf of them all. “We just can’t conquer this mountain ... do you remember me, Apostle? You helped me some time ago, and gave me much advice. But I can’t remember everything.”

“Yes, sure I remember you, Surrender. I have been praying for you too.”

“Thank you, Apostle. But nothing seems to help me on this mountain. The other mountains I conquered without many falls. But this one ...”

“Yes, Apostle,” joined in Hopeful. “We thought we could remove this mountain by commanding it in the Name of the Lord to be removed, but it remains unmoved. Why doesn’t it go away?”

 

MOUNTAINS are TO be CONQUERed

 

“Oh, young pilgrims! Come and sit here together. I’ll explain. You see, you can’t remove this type of mountain by commanding it. There are other types of mountains you come across on the Way to the Celestial City which you can remove. But this Besetting Sin Mountain Range cannot be moved. It can only be conquered. God has allowed these mountains to be part of our path so that we will learn victory in the realm of the flesh.”

“But,” interrupted Surrender. “What if we fail again?”

“Well, the reason could be one of several things: 

1    There could be some sin in your life that you have not confessed to God, that is keeping you defeated.

2    It could be because of the monster Pride which you feed. Remember, never feed anything that can help destroy you!

3    It could be because of wrong companionships that you keep.

4    It may be because of some lack in your dedication to Messiah - you may be holding something back from Him.

5    It may be that you have failed to obey the Master on some point, and there­by have robbed yourself of His power that works on your behalf. 

6    Or it is quite likely that you have not understood the battle of the two natures in your life.”

“Oh Apostle, I feel at times I am being pulled apart. There seems to be a terrible battle going on inside me,” Surrender confessed.

“Do you find that you want to do the right thing, but you don’t do it; and that you want to avoid the wrong but find yourself doing wrong?”

“Yes, that is just how I feel, Apos­tle,” answered Surrender.

“Yes, we also feel like that,” added the others.

“Well, young people,” said Apostle, “this is called the Battle of the Two Natures. The apostle Paul explained about it in Romans chapter seven.130   You see, when you enter the Narrow Way, you are born again, and you receive a new nature, a spiritual nature which is created in you by God.  This is what the Bible calls the New Man.” 131

“But,” interrupted Pessimism, “I seem to have my old nature still in me. Maybe I’m not born again?”

“No, no!” replied Apostle. “That’s not the thing. You see, we all still have our old nature in us, even though we are born again. That is why we have falls on these ranges. That’s why there is a fight that goes on inside us.”

“Have you had that battle too?” asked Hopeful.

“Yes, I have had!” replied Apostle. “And I have to watch even now, after travelling the Upward Way for many years, that I don’t give way to the Old Man - that old sinful nature. You see, the Old Man will never yield meekly to the Master. We can’t even train him to be obedient to our will, nor to the Master’s will.” 132

“Can’t we starve him?” asked Hopeful.

“No, that won’t work. The Old Man has such an appetite, and the more you starve him, the more angry and vicious he becomes.”

“Then what do we do about him?”

“The only solution for the Old Man is death!” 133

“Oh no! Do we have to suicide?” the bewildered young people asked.

“No! That’s not the answer, for then the New Man could not live to God. The Scriptures tell us that our Old Man was crucified with Yeshua when He died on the cross.”

“Then it means our Old Man is dead already?” asked Hopeful.

“How can that be, when we feel him alive inside us?” snapped Pessimism.

 

OUR Old Man was crucified with Christ

WE WERE raised AS A New MAn IN Christ

- Our Position 134

 

“It’s like this,” Apostle explained.  “There’s two things you must recognize - your position in Messiah, and your experience in Messiah. As a believer you know that the Saviour is your Representative. When He died, He died in your place - as your Substitute - so you were in Him.

“Even though you were not actually existing at that time, the Heavenly Father knew you, and you were counted as being ‘in Messiah.’ Your Old sinful Man was placed on the cross in the Person of your Substitute.  That is your position.  That is what the Word means when it says, ‘our Old Man was crucified with Christ.’ 134

“So now we must recognise and confess that the Old Sinful Man has no right to control our lives. We therefore reckon that we are dead to sin, and no longer under its control. Do you understand this? I repeat, the Old Man has no right to control us, because the Messiah has broken the claims that the sinful nature had upon us.135

“And remember this also, young people; not only was your Old Man judged in Messiah, but you came alive as a New Man in Messiah, when He rose from the dead.”

 

THE NEW LIFE IN CHRIST

- our EXPERIENCE 136

 

“Young people,” Apostle asked, “isn’t it true that since you believed in the Messiah, you have experienced a new life?”

“Yes, Apostle,” replied Surrender. “But when I climb this mountain, the battle grows so great that I feel I am compelled to obey the old nature.”

“Yes, that is your Old Man demanding to be obeyed! While we were on the Broad Way, we were slaves, and were always required to obey the Old Man. But now we belong to Messiah, Yeshua our Deliverer,137 and we are no longer compelled to obey the dictates of the sinful Old Man.

“A conflict develops in our lives, though, when we forget that our New Master has freed us from that slave master.

“It’s true, our old sinful nature is dead in position; it’s true also that we find it is still alive in our experience. To bring our experience into line with our position, we must render the Old Man inactive through submitting ourselves to God.

“So my friends, before you go any further, renounce the claim of the Old Man on you, and reckon yourselves dead to him. Then present your body - every part of it - to God, so that every part of you is an instrument of righteousness.138

“Now, I say, young people, we must present every part of our body to God. It is not much use presenting your hands, if you don’t present your feet.  And on this Lustful Mountain, especially, you must present your eyes, and also your private parts, as instruments of righteousness to the Master.

“On the Broad Way, most people present their bodies as instruments of unrighteousness and selfish gratification. That’s why there’s so much fornication, abuse, perversion and unholiness on that way.

“Now, young man, your name is Surrender, and I want you to remember, as well as you remember your name, that you are to be wholly surrendered to the Master, and to the will of God. That goes for all of you. You all should say, ‘My name is Surrender, because I have given myself entirely to the Master’ ...

“It’s often the failure to surrender to the Master that causes pilgrims to be defeated. Do you remember that verse of Scripture …

‘I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service’? 138

“And there is another Scripture which says that we are not our own, but we have been bought with a price - even the precious blood of Yeshua.139 So therefore we belong to Him - every part of us. He has purchased us, and now we are to yield ourselves in willing obedience to Him ...

“Remember also, my young brothers and sisters, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit who lives within us. We cannot defile our bodies - and especially our minds.140 It is very important, young folks, to yield your minds to the Master, for the mind is where battles are waged, and crucial decisions are made.”

“I can’t seem to keep my mind clean ... so many bad temptations keep coming into my mind,” said one of the group.

“Young man,” Apostle replied. “Remember, temptation itself is not sin. But if you meditate on the thoughts, they will become sin.141 When evil thoughts come into your mind, pray to the Master, ‘My mind belongs to You. O Master, drive out these thoughts.’ And then turn your mind to the things that are wholesome, pure and lovely.142  Meditate on your Master Himself. But make sure there is no sin you are hanging on it, such as bitterness or unforgiveness. And beware of anything, or any companion that may lead you into temptation.”

“But what if we fail again, even after knowing all this?” persisted Pessimism.

“Then you must confess your failure again to the Master. And do it immediately, otherwise you will remain weak and out of fellowship.”

“But how many times will He forgive us?”

“Well, He told us to forgive our brothers at least 490 times. So don’t you think He would forgive us even more than that? The Master is more ready to forgive than you are ready to be forgiven.”

“If He will forgive us every time,” someone asked, “then it doesn’t really matter if we sin and fail often, does it?”

“My brother, remember the Holy Spirit is living within you. He is not imaginary, but real.  And we are told not to grieve the Holy Spirit, and not to quench His power in us.143  We cannot make ‘terms’ with sin, or treat it casually. But we should count on the power of the Holy Spirit in us to overcome.

“If you surrender yourself wholly to the Master, He will fill you with the power of His Spirit so that you are enabled to walk ‘in the Spirit,’ and in victory.

“So friends, to start again, confess any sin you are aware of, and surrender yourself to Your Master, and be filled with His Spirit.” 144

The young pilgrims were encouraged by the teaching of the old Apostle. They realized their mistakes and their lack of understanding. They realized that it was not their determination that would take them over the mountain, but the Messiah in them. He would empower them as they continued to yield their body and all to Him.145

What a vast difference the truth made in their climb after that. They experienced in a new way, the Master’s words, “You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free.”  

 

 

It was on the descent into a valley that Surrender met up with New Joe again. They were happy to share each other’s experiences, and to press on together in the Way. They had matured very much through the crossing of the Mountain Range, and had come to know the Saviour much more deeply. They could really praise the Master that they had had the opportunity of being tested in many ways, and for the victory the Messiah had given them. They could praise the Master now even for the falls, because these had brought them into a deeper relationship with Yeshua.

As the two walked along joyfully, suddenly they were attacked by an unseen enemy. Bullet-like missiles were falling all around them. They instantly jumped behind a tree. “What’s this?” Surrender asked.

“I don’t know,” replied New Joe with a shaky voice.

They waited for some time until things seemed clear again. Then slowly they ventured out from their hiding place, and took a few cautious steps along the Way. And then  ... bang! zing!  The pilgrims dropped to the ground.

“Oh, I’ve been hit,” moaned Surrender.

“Oh no!  Surrender ... let’s crawl back out of range.”

The embattled pilgrims inched their way backwards to a place where they felt safe.

“What was it?” Surrender queried. “I didn’t see anyone. It was just like being fired upon by an unseen enemy.”

“It is definitely an enemy of some type. Are you hurt badly?” New Joe asked.

“I don’t know. My shoulder pains. I wish I could get help.”

“We’ll ask the Master to send help, Surren­der?”

 

 

THE YEARS PASSED BY, and hardly before he knew it, Manohar discovered his greying hair. He stood one day in his comfortable mansion, and looked into the mirror. His eyes were dark and tired. “I’m getting on,” he thought. “But I’ve been quite a success over the years.”

His physical involvement in the Satanic coven had reduced somewhat, but his financial support for the movement kept him in very good standing. He and his wife, Fleshly Desire, were still very much in love, but Manohar was always plagued with doubts about the Broad Way. Many times he had passed the entrance to the Narrow Way, and had heard preachers talking about salvation. But because of his wife, he never had much time or desire to learn more about the Narrow Way.

This day he decided to take an evening walk. He groomed himself, and kissed his wife as he left his house. He went in a different direction to his usual walks, and he happened to pass a building with a sign outside that read:

                                                              

“THE WORLD FEDERATION OF THE

RELIGIONS OF LOVE”

 

“This is something new,” he said to himself.  “I still get some religious feelings and doubts. Let me see what they say here.”

He stepped into the building cautiously, and discovered that a large group of people were seated in a circle. One of them got up and welcomed Manohar. “Welcome to this Love Centre,” he said.

 

MANNOHAR FINDS A RELIGION OF LOVE

 

Manohar glanced at the group and immediately discerned that there were people from many walks of life, and from various nations.

“I thought I’d call in to ask your ideas as to this Broad Way on which we travel. My name is Manohar Made-up-my-mind. I am growing older, and I wonder at times. about the end of this way.”

“Come, join our circle, friend. We are from many places, and have various ideas and philosophies, but we agree on the matter of love. We believe it does not matter so much what you believe, or even what you do, as long as you love.  We believe that Love is God.”

Manohar was introduced to the group, and he found that they were truly a world federation. Some of the members were: the Right Rev Samuel Masih, the Rector of Broadway United Church; the Left Reverend Raphael Singh of the Grand Temple of Babylon; Mother Maraiah Maximus; Abdubulah Qan, Rabbi  Eskhol Levi; Father Jose Fernandes, Krishna  Swamiji,  Ming  Choi  Lee,  Dr  Babu  Bai,  Elder Morman  Smyth,  Prof.  Unitari  Josh,  Sir  Russell  Witness, and Comrade Lenin S Marx.

“You are certainly a distinguished group of people,” says Manohar. “With all your knowledge and experience, I am sure you can give me light on this Broad Way.”

“We believe one should not be too dogmatic, friend,” replied the leader. “There are many ways, but all the ways converge in this wonderful way of tolerance and love.”

“Tell me, sir, what do you know of the end of this Way, for once I heard that this Broad Way leads to destruction.”

“Oh no, Mr Made-up-your-mind. There is no such thing as that. The Almighty is far too kind to allow any wholesale destruction of the human race. Did He not make us all? Is He not the God of love? As long as we try to love and do the best we can, there is a glorious future for us.  For those who don’t love, of course, there may be a less reward.”

“But I heard once that there is a Narrow Way that leads to life eternal!”

“Narrow Way?” asked the leader. “I don’t know about that. Does anyone in the group know of that way?”

Samuel Masih straightened himself. “There is a small group of people who preach about a Narrow Way, I believe, but no one takes much notice of them. They are so narrow-minded, so exclusive ... not worth thinking about.”

“Yes, yes!” agrees Eskhol Levi. “They really are an extreme sect. They follow the Galilean. We crucified him as an imposter 2000 years ago, but these sectarians make all types of claims for him. It is all right if you want to follow some of his teachings, but he certainly is not the way to life, as some claim.”

“What’s his name?” Manohar asked.

“Oh! We don’t like speaking his name ... it’s Yeshua. The name is okay, but the man himself was a terrible deceiver, and led Israel astray. That’s why Israel was destroyed. Later the English changed his name to Jesus, and made a cult around him.”

“Yes, I’ve heard about him!” said Manohar, “I believe he is the enemy of God.”

“Yes, many do,” agreed Eshkol Levi.

“And what about the way of Satan?”

“Well, we have to understand this,” said Morman Smyth, “Jesus and Satan were brothers, and there’s always been competition between them. Jesus initiated a very narrow-minded way because he wanted his followers to renounce all the joys of life.  Satan on the other hand introduced a very broad way that would accommodate the various types of people, and their customs. He wanted to set them free from religious dogmatism and puritanical restrictions. He encouraged them to enjoy the many pleasures of life. So you see it is a matter of narrowness as against broadness.  Both ways lead to the same ultimate goal of utopia. You can choose either way, according to your own preference.”

“Yes, that’s right,” said the leader to Manohar, “and we encourage you not to be narrow in your thinking.  Don’t think much about the after-life. It is the present you have with you, so make the most of this time. Certainly don’t go off and follow a deceiver. Take the best of all the religions, philosophies and thoughts, and live for today.  Look, here is Lenin S Marx. He is a communist, but he shares the many beautiful thoughts of Mao with us. We each contribute to the intellectual and spiritual experience of the group. We believe we are sowing wonderful seeds for the race, and that the religions of love will lead us all to the ultimate goal.”

“Excuse me, sir,” says Manohar, “but I have met many wicked people on this Broad Way. What about these? Maybe they are going to destruction?”

“Well, I’m sure they will be given another chance, somewhere along the way - either here or in a future life. They may not reach the goal as soon as we do, but surely they will, sooner or later.”

“Then I need not worry about the end of this Way. Things will turn out all right, after all?”

“Yes, of course. Just try to improve your soul, and follow love. You’ll be all right, dear friend.”

“Oh, thank you, sirs,” replied Manohar. “You have certainly relieved my fears. I was a little worried. I’ll try to come regularly to your meetings and learn more of your noble path.”

The greying man leaves the group, and returns to his home.

“I’m glad I made up my mind years ago to have a good time. There’s nothing to worry about. No doubt, Satan is the better master, as he encourages everyone to be happy and to enjoy life. I’m sure Penelope has been given another chance, and has been restored to favour with the master.  And I myself am very much in his good books, with all the financial support I give to the movement.”

 

THE SOLDIER WAS FULLY EQUIPPED

SURRENDER AND NEW JOE looked down the road as a distant figure gradually approached them. It was an intriguing figure. As it drew near, they could see it was a soldier. He seemed to be an old-time warring man, fully equipped with sword, shield and armour.

As he came up to the two young men seated on the ground, he stopped to enquire about them.

“Why are you two sitting here looking bewildered?”

“Oh sir, we’ve just had a bad experience up the road a bit. We were travelling, and then suddenly we were attacked by an unseen enemy.”

“Ah ha!” he exclaimed. “That’s not surprising! There are many enemies along this way.146  Were you not prepared for them?”

“Evidently not, sir,” replied New Joe, “and my friend Surrender ... this is Surrender ... I’m New Joe ...”

“Glad to meet you Surrender and New Joe. My name is Warrior.”

“Well Warrior,” Joe continued, “Surrender has been hit by the enemy, and has pain in his shoulder.”

“That’s sad, Surrender,” said Warrior, looking at the young man’s shoulder. “It’s not fatal. The Great Physician will heal it. Just pray and trust Him ... but tell me, why were you not prepared for such attacks? This injury could have been avoided if you had used a shield.  We must always carry a shield.”

The two younger men looked puzzled.

“We did not expect an unseen enemy, sir.”

“My boys, most of our enemies are unseen. You have heard of Satan, haven’t you?”

“Yes, of course, sir.”

“Well Satan is the chief devil, but he is not alone. He leads a mighty host of evil spirits who fulfil his evil designs. On this Narrow Way we come up against them many times. They come in various guises. The Scriptures say our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.147 These are enemies of God, and enemies of everyone who walks the Narrow Way. They will attack openly; or tempt subtly. Sometimes their attack will develop into a full-scale war.”

“Warrior, we faced a lot of temptations on Besetting Sin Mountain Range. Could Satan have had anything to do with them?”

“Why, sure he can. Actually he is the brains behind all those temptations. He is such an expert at tripping people up. He’ll discover your weaknesses quite early, and work upon them to bring you down. And when you learn the secrets of victory, then he’ll study you even more carefully, to find out any vulnerable or weak points you have. That’s why you need the whole Armour of God, like I’m wearing, to walk this Way.”

“Please tell us more of the Armour of God, Warrior.”

“First of all, remember that this armour, and also the weapons we use, are provided by the Master. They are not carnal, or natural equipment. They are spiritual and mighty. It is only these weapons that can be effective against spiritual enemies.148  Some travellers rely upon their own strength, or on their intelligence, human wisdom, education, culture, strategy, or money, to fight the battle. These things will never do! ...

“Look at what the Scriptures say ...

‘Take up the full armour of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm, therefore, having girded your loins with Truth, and having put on the Breastplate of Righteousness, and having shod your feet with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace; in addition to all, taking up the Shield of Faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming  missiles of the evil one. And take the Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit; which is the Word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all saints’.” 149

“Please explain the full armour to us,” the two young pilgrims requested.

“Then let’s start with the Belt of Truth. You see, truth must completely encircle us. We are following the Heavenly Master, aren’t we? And He is Truth - just like He is the Way, the Life, and the Victory. So His truth must encircle us. We are to be full of the truth in our walk. Don’t let any deceit, or lie, or untruth come into your lives, young men! If you do, you will allow a spiritual enemy to gain a foothold in your life.150

“The second thing is the Breastplate of Righteousness. You know, when we entered the Narrow Way, God forgave all our sins, and He gave us a garment of righteousness, which is actually the worthiness of the Messiah, Yeshua.151  The Breastplate we wear is the righteousness of Yeshua. And just as He is Truth, and our Victory, so He is our Righteousness. But what we have to remember, is that we need to continuously and effectively wear this Breastplate ...

“Sometimes a devil from the legions of darkness will accuse you because of some failure or sin you have committed. He will whisper and accuse you on any point, big or small, to make you feel guilty and discour­aged.” 152

“Oh, we understand that,” Surrender and New Joe said together. “We experienced that very much on the Besetting Sin Range.”

“So,” continued Warrior, “you must recognise that Messiah is your Righteousness, and He’s forgiven your sin, and covers you with His Righteousness. Never try to impress anyone with your own righteousness, and don’t depend upon it for your right standing with God. Resist this subtle attack of the enemy. He has no right to touch your heart, and if you wear this Breastplate correctly, he won’t be able to do so.

“Next is the Boots of the Gospel of Peace. You see, soldiers have to have proper footwear, as they are constantly on the move. Now we are on the Narrow Way, and we have to press on, not only to reach the Celestial City ourselves, but also to take the Gospel of Peace to whoever we meet.  If we stop still too long, we are going to become soft and flabby, and ready for defeat. We have to be on the move with the Gospel.153

“The fourth is the Shield of Faith which is needed to ward off the fiery missiles like those that hit you, Surrender. These wicked enemies are good at launching missiles. They will find their mark if you don’t use the Shield of Faith. When the enemy attacks, don’t be afraid. Lift up your shield. Faith, mighty faith takes hold of the protection and promises of God and deflects those missiles and renders them powerless. But don’t you dare leave your Shield of Faith aside even for a moment.  This is warfare we’re in, you know.”

“And what about the Helmet?” asked New Joe.

“Well, the Helmet of Salvation protects our head and our mind. Yeshua is our Helmet, for He is our Salvation. We have been saved by the Master, and we need to continually live in the good of His salvation. The knowledge and experience of the Master is our helmet.

“The enemy will naturally try to afflict our mind, if he can. He will cause doubts, unbelief, intellectual ideas, modern ‘scholarship,’ and so many types of deceptions to disturb our minds, if he can. This is why we are told to, ‘Let the mind of Christ be in you,’ and again, ‘Set your mind on the things above.’ 154

“The sixth part of your armour is the Sword of the Spirit. This Sword is for offence, and it is the Word of God. It is a mighty weapon indeed, and you must wield it in faith.155 You have been learning the Word of God, and storing it up in your minds and hearts. That’s good! Now, use it! Use it, I say! You have been given authority to use the Word. Look how our Master used it when He was tempted. Satan just had to give up. That Sword really cut him off short in his temptings.156

“Now the final thing to remember is to pray at all times in the Spirit. Let your prayers be Spirit-guided. Don’t think of prayers as something to be practised twice or thrice a day, but seek to have continual communication with your Master. Never be too late in calling to Him. Prayer itself is a weapon!

“Always remember too, that after you have won a victory, you must watch for a counter-attack. These spiritual enemies are experts at counter-attacks. They know that although they may lose a first round, they can often win the second round, because of our failure to watch.

“Now let us go ahead to the battle. Those enemies up the road we will defeat in the Name of Yeshua the Messiah.”

The three soldiers marched along the valley, anticipating a renewed attack from the unseen enemy. It wasn’t long in coming. A ferocious barrage of fiery missiles came hurtling at them. It was as if the enemy knew all that Warrior had told the young soldiers, and of their preparation for battle.

“Hold up the shield, boys!” Warrior cried. “Keep yourself behind your shield. Ward off the missiles. Right. Keep it up! They will not touch us. Keep moving ahead steadily. They will give way. The Victory is the Messiah’s.” 157

This time the young soldiers went right through the enemies’ fire. It was a thrilling experience.

“I don’t feel afraid now,” said Surrender. “And my shoulder has already completely healed.”

“Yes,” replied Warrior, “now let’s be careful of any renewed attack.”

They continued the journey for some time, until they came to a two-way junction.

“Which way should we go?” asked New Joe.

Before either of the others could suggest, a voice near them spoke softly: “Come this way.”

The warriors looked to their left, and were astonished to see a radiant white figure.

“Who are you?” asked Warrior.

“I am an angel of light,” was the reply.

“Which way should we go?” asked Surrender.

“Come this way to the left,” replied the angel.

“And what’s in that direction?” asked Warrior.

“Oh, this is a wonderful way. You will have much success here. You will fulfil your ambitions. I will guide you and help you along the way. Come!”

The two younger soldiers started to follow the dazzling figure.

 

Satan attacks as a subtle angel of light

-  Know your enemy!

 

“Wait,” commanded Warrior. “Are you an angel of Yeshua the Heavenly Master?”

“Of course I am. I am an angel of light.” 158

“Do you confess,” demanded Warrior, “that Yeshua is the Son of God, the Saviour of the World? Do you confess Him as such. In Yeshua’s Name, answer me!”

“Ah ...!” the angel cried. “I do not confess Yeshua as the Son of God.”

“Then be gone, you demon of darkness!” 159

The young soldiers watched the disappearing ‘angel,’ and then gazed at Warrior in amazement.

“Try the spirits, young men,” Warrior said after some time. “Don’t believe every spirit.160  Evil spirits come in every form - as angels like this one, or as false prophets, false-christs, or in any one of a hundred ways. And they often play on your legitimate desires. Watch at all times!” 161

It was later in the day that the warriors came to a narrow gorge in the Valley. On one side was a sheer wall of the mountain. On the other side, a deep precipice. It was a dangerous section of the Way.

Suddenly rocks started falling from above. A landslide. The warriors immediately lifted their shields to ward off the falling rocks. As they looked ahead, they saw a great heap blocking the way; and standing astride the boulders was an evil-looking figure.

Surrender and New Joe shrunk in fear before this awesome figure.

“Don’t be afraid,” said Warrior. “It is Satan himself. We will resist him in the Master’s Name. Let us move ahead.” 162

The three moved several steps towards the pile of boulders and the menacing figure.

“Ha, ha, ha!” laughed the devil. “I’ve stopped your progress. Turn back before it is too late.”

“We will press on,” replied Warrior in a firm voice.

“You will not succeed,” sneered the devil. “I’ll block you every step of the Way. What can those two youngsters do to resist me? They have failed many times.”

“But Yeshua the Heavenly Master is our Victor,” Surrender cried out.

“We’ll see. Your Master will let you down!”

“No, there has not failed one word of His promises!” countered New Joe, brandishing His Sword.163

“Maybe,” admitted the devil, “but I’m far stronger than all of you put together. And I will not let you proceed.”

“You have been conquered at Calvary,” replied Warrior.164

“We’ll not talk about that!”

“Oh yes we will! Yeshua the Messiah died to deliver us from your snares and kingdom. He shed His blood for the remission of our sins.” 165

“Don’t you talk about the blood!” shouted Satan in anger.

“Yes we will!” replied Warrior. “The blood of Yeshua the Messiah, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin, and it has atoned for our souls.” 166

 

Satan PROWLs about as a roaring lion 

- Resist him!

 

New Joe, remembering the instructions to pray at all times, was earnestly supplicating the Master as the Warrior resisted the devil.

“But I will destroy you all.”

“You will do nothing of the kind. Yeshua will keep all that we have committed to Him. And in His Name we resist you, Satan.”

“I warn you - if you dare step one foot forward, I will finish you off!”

“You cannot! We are born again and the evil one cannot touch us,” replied Warrior.167  “We resist you in the Name of Yeshua. Be gone!”

Warrior moved purposefully towards the evil figure.

“I won’t move!” screamed the devil.

“We resist you Satan in the Name of the Heavenly Master, Yeshua the Messiah. Be gone!”

Warrior kept moving towards the road block, with shield in position and Sword raised. The other two warriors followed him closely. There was no turning back.

The devil seemed determined to hold his ground, but as the three faith-filled warriors with brandished swords, stepped onto the boulders, the devil let out a curse and fled into the shadows of the gorge.

The warriors praised God for the victory. Yes, they were victorious because long ago, Yeshua defeated Satan on the cross at Calvary.  And now they were learning the power of the mighty Name of their Master, Yeshua the Messiah.

They journeyed on, knowing that there would be renewed conflicts with the powers of darkness, more mountain ranges to cross, and more subtle temptations to reject before they finally reached the glorious Celestial City.

Then Warrior burst into song - a song which the two younger men soon learned, and joined in singing enthusiastically:

 

         In the mighty Name of Yeshua,

         When I bow before the throne,
         Many a deadly foe is vanquished,
         Many a victory is won.

                   When I plead the Name of Yeshua,
                   Satan and his hosts must flee.
                   Yeshua!  Precious Yeshua!
                   In Your Name is victory.

         Yeshua!  Name most precious,
         Balm in pain or mighty sword,
         In Your Name we live and conquer,
         Blessed, glorious, coming Lord.

                   Mighty Name!  In that Name alone we win.

                   Mighty Name!  Conquering Satan, death and sin.

 

MANOHAR STANDS IN FRONT of the mirror once more, and congratulates himself on his success in life.

“Manohar, you have done well. Now just store up a little more wealth for your old age. With the security of riches, you will enjoy quite a few more years of a wonderful life.” 168

Suddenly he feels dizzy. He clutches the edge of a chair. “What’s this? Oh this pain in my chest!” He collapses onto the floor. “Oh hell!” he cries. “What’s happening?”

He hears a voice behind him. “Yes, Manohar. I’m here, your patron demon.”

“Help me, I beg you. This terrible pain. I’m afraid. What is it?”

“This is your last journey, Manohar.”

“Do you mean this is my end?”

“This is where the Broad Way terminates for you, Manohar.”

“Do I reach the ultimate goal now?”

“I’m afraid not, Manohar! The end of the Broad Way is destruction.”

“What!  But those noble people at the Love Centre told me that we all reach the ultimate goal, sooner or later.”

“Oh no Manohar!  They are deceived. They are all heading for destruction.  There is only one way to life eternal, but it is too late for you, Manohar!”

“No! No!  I will return to the Narrow Gate. Please help me.”

“I’m sorry, Manohar. I can only help you progress down the Broad Way. This is the payoff! You have had your good times. You have had abundance of good things.169 You have lived for yourself and fleshly desires, and I have been glad to help you along this way.”

“You mean, you want me to go to destruction?”

“Of course, Manohar. I want to take as many as I can to hell with me!”

“Why?”

“Because I hate God.”

“And you are going to Hell, too?”

“Of course. All us demons have been condemned to the Lake of Fire. The Almighty has made this place for us.170  It’s not fair of Him. So we take our revenge early, by snatching as many people as possible from His Way, and by damning them.”

“Oh, you wicked demon! I thought you were my friend.”

“Manohar, you will never know any type of friendship again. Look, the Lake awaits you.”

“Oh no!” screams Manohar. “Please give me just this one chance to return to the Narrow Gate. I beg of you!”

“No way! Time is up for you, old man. No more making up your mind - about anything!”

“Ahh!” Manohar cried. “Will I be destroyed quickly?”

“Manohar, this is eternal destruction. This is the Lake that burns for ever and ever, and where the smoke of your torment will ascend for ever and ever. Look!  See the sign over the entrance to Hell ...

 

‘Abandon hope all yE who enter here!’

 

"IT CAN'T BE TRUE !  YOU'RE LYING!"

 

 

“You mean, I will be in the Lake of Fire for ever?”

“That’s right! Look! See the souls of men and women there, tossing to and fro in the ocean of flames. See how they weep and wail.171  Hear how they curse God, and the demons, and their friends.  See how they beg for a drop of water to cool their thirst!” 172  

“It can’t be true. You’re lying!”

“Of course I’m a liar, Manohar. But this is true!”

Manohar feels his feet slipping. He is sinking. He is being drawn down, down, down. “No! No!” he screams. “It can’t be true! It can’t be true! ... Another chance, please God. Please, God, just one more chance.”

But his wailing goes unanswered as he slips into the fiery ocean where his pleas turn to despair and cursing.

 “And unbelievers, the depraved, and murderers, and
 adulterers and immoral persons, and sorcerers, (practicers
 of witchcraft, magic arts and occultic mind sciences); and
 idolaters, and all liars will have their part in the fiery lake of
 burning sulphur, which is the second death.”

 (Revelation 21:8)

A LONG WAY OFF, an old pilgrim climbs the steep ascents to the Heavenly City. He must pause to rest awhile. After he has caught his breath, he whispers, “Oh wonderful Master, I long to see You face to face.”

And then he bursts out into song ….

         Amazing Grace; how sweet the sound,

         that saved a wretch like me.

         I once was lost but now I’m found;

         was blind, but now I see.

                 Through many dangers, toils and snares

                 I have already come.

                 ’Tis grace that brought me safe thus far,

                 And grace will lead me home.

 

He is joined by several other pilgrims. They talk of their common Object - their gracious Saviour; and of the wonderful expectation of seeing Him before long.

New Joe has come through many trials. Many times he has faced the roaring lion, Satan, but the weapons which the Master provided, were quite sufficient to defend him. He has had some sorrows, he has had some falls. He has been persecuted; he has been cast down, but time and time again, he has proved the promise of his Master …

 

“I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU.”

 

There are some young believers sitting with New Joe, and he seeks to encourage them. “Yes, my young friends, the Saviour has given us many precious promises. How wonderful He is. Oh the joy of seeing Him. He endured the cross of Calvary for us. Would we refuse to share His sufferings? If we suffer with Him, we shall reign with Him.173 To be with Him - it will be worth all the troubles and trials we have on this upward Way. Who would ever think to go back to the Broad Way with all its shallow glitter and vanishing joys? How unattractive it all is now!

“I beseech you, young people, present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your reasonable service. He will transform you, as you learn of Him. He will conform you to His likeness, more and more, as you behold His glory, and dwell in his Presence. Look to Yeshua, the Author and Finisher of your faith.174  Don’t take your eyes off Him. Redeem the time. Be of good courage.”

The young pilgrims drink in the words of New Joe. They admire his deep love for his Saviour, and his steady, faithful climb up the Narrow Road to eternal life.

Suddenly New Joe sits erect. “My friends,” he says, “it is time for me to leave you. I hear my Master calling me. I see Him coming for me ...  Yes, my Master, here I am.  I’m ready.”

“Come, my faithful servant,” replies the Saviour. “It is time for you to come home. Let me take your hand. There is one more gulf to cross. Lean on Me. I’ll take you across. Be not be afraid.”

Joe closes his eyes. Underneath him are the everlasting arms. “My friend,” whispers the Saviour. “Now open your eyes. See Me as I am. I have brought you safely home.”

Joe opens his eyes, and gazes into the face of his Saviour. “Master, Yeshua,” he gasps, “Master, Yeshua ... I never dreamed that the sight of You would be so glorious. Those marks on Your forehead ...”

“Yes, my son  ... they are from the thorny crown I wore. And see My hands?”

“Yes, Master. The marks ... You were nailed to the cross for me. Thank You, Master, for paying my penalty. Thank You for bringing me home.”

“Come, faithful servant” the Master says so lovingly that it fills the heart of Joe with rapture. “Come into My Father’s House, to the place I have prepared for you.” 175

The Master carries Joe into the magnificent palace. He hears the strains of instruments and singing, the most glorious music he has ever heard. He recognises the words of the song which fills the House like exquisite perfume:

 

     “To Him who loved us, and washed us from our sins

 by His own blood, to Him be the glory and power,

for ever and ever.  Amen!”  176

 

 

 

And so New Joe arrives home  -  AND to the beginning

of a life of eternal blessedness in fellowship

with Yeshua, his beloved Master and Saviour.

 

 

 

POSTSCRIPT

THIS STORY is incomplete. Insufficient space prevents a fuller account of the experiences and progress of all the individuals in the story. A brief mention of a few details of some of them, I feel is needed.

WENDEE WITCHERY’S life ended up in great agony. She was tortured in soul and body for many months, before slipping into the Lake of Fire to share the doom of her evil master.

FLESHLY DESIRE lives on after the death of Manohar. She married again, and is now bringing increasing bondage to her new partner.

LUCIS BONDAGE who became SHAMUEL SETFREE is now safe in the Presence of His Master in the Heavenly City. He experienced tremendous deliverance from his several addictions, and he was used mightily by the Master to bring many lives out of the drug, illicit sex, and occult worlds. He endured countless attacks by satanic forces, but he never ever regretted his defection from Satan. He was a trophy of grace!

SURRENDER became a powerful instrument in the hands of the Heavenly Master. As a thorough Bible teacher, he has helped countless pilgrims on the Narrow Way. He continues his ministry, but is looking forward with great joy to his imminent home-call.

The pilgrim PESSIMISM made very little progress on the Way. The Master called her home early.

CHRISTOPHER CARELESS and WORLDLY WESLEY never did leave their carnal ways. They reached heaven, but there was no, "Well done, good and faithful servant," awaiting them.

FAITHFUL, APOSTLE and WARRIOR all reached home long ago. They each built up many pilgrims in their faith - pilgrims who in turn have helped others on the Way

SATAN continues his nefarious work and has become more urgent, knowing that his time is almost up. He’s still influencing millions of people towards evil. Of late he is targeting children and young people with popular books on magic, as well as TV and Video games, through which he entices them into drugs and hardcore occultism.

YESHUA THE MESSIAH is reaching out in mighty grace to the furthest parts of the earth, and into the darkest of continents with His saving power. His amazing grace is delivering many thousands of souls from satanic bondage every day. The Master is awaiting the completion of the ages when He will put an end to all demonic rule, authority and power, and then He will reign worldwide in righteousness. Finally He will hand over the Kingdom to the Heavenly Father, and will reign in glory, in Him, for ever and ever.177

 

CONCLUSION

My reader, where does this message find you today? Are you on the Narrow Way that leads to life eternal, or are you still on the Broad Way, with all its lures and snares?

If you are standing just outside the Narrow Gate, undecided, listen carefully to the call of the Messiah - to you:

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But because the gate is narrow and the way difficult that leads to life, only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

“I tell you the truth, he who hears My Word, and believes in Him who sent Me, has eternal life and will not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (John 5:24)

You have read this message today. Yes, it is God who is calling you with tenderness and in mercy. Hear His call, and enter the Narrow Way, right now. Why delay? Receive Yeshua the Messiah as your Saviour and Master, while you may.

The loving Saviour is tenderly calling you today!

Will you come to Him, and settle once and for all, the most important question of your eternal destiny? Will you make the following stanzas, your sincere prayer?

 

Decision to enter the Narrow Way

 

            Just as I am, without one plea,

            But that Your blood was shed for me,

            And that You bid me come to You.

            Messiah Yeshua, I come.

                                    Just as I am, though tossed about,

                                    With many a conflict, many a doubt;

                                    Fightings within, and fears without,

                                    Messiah Yeshua, I come.

            Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind,

            Sight, riches, healing of the mind.

            Yes, all I need, in You to find,

            Messiah Yeshua, I come.

                                    Just as I am, You will receive,

                                    Will welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve.

                                    Because Your promises I believe,

                                    Messiah Yeshua, I come.

            Just as I am, Your love unknown

            Has broken every barrier down.

            Now to be Yours, yes, Yours alone;

            Messiah Yeshua, I come.

 

Yeshua, Jesus, I believe You are the Saviour who died for me, and rose again from the dead. Thank You for dying for me. I ask You to forgive all my sin, as right now, I receive You as my Saviour, my Master and my God. By Your grace, I will follow You all the days of my life, on the Narrow Way. Thank You, Master.  Amen

 

 

                  Signed ................................................          Date ...............

 

Reader, if you have made your decision today to enter the Narrow Way of Yeshua the Messiah, will you write and let me know, so that my co-workers and I may pray for you and encourage you in your walk with the loving Master. 

 

     Write to Don Stanton, Maranatha Revival Crusade ...  addresses on contact page.

Bible references to the truths set out in this story,

for Bible study and meditation.

1     Matthew 7:13-14

2     Luke 13:3

       Romans 6:23

3     Matthew 7:13-14

4     2 Corinthians 6:2

5     John 10:9

6     Acts 16:31

7     Proverbs 14:12

8     John 14:6

9     Mark 1:15

       Acts 3:19

10   Matthew 18:3

11   John 3:7

12   John 3:3

13   John 3:16, 36

14   Romans 5:19

15   John 1:12

16   2 Timothy 3:4

17   Joshua 24:15

       Isaiah 1:18

18   Luke 18:13

19   2 Peter 2:4

20   John 10:1

21   Hebrews 12:22

       Revelation 21:2

22   John 6:32-35

23   Ephesians 2:8-9

       1 Peter 1:18

24   Matthew 18:9

25  2 Corinthians 5:1-8

26   Hebrews 12:2

27   Matthew 11:28-30

28   Revelation 21:23

          Revelation 22:5     

29   Revelation 21:10-27

30   Matthew 5:12     

31   Matthew 7:13-14                        

       John 14:6                   

32   Matthew 28:20   

33   1 John. 2:15        

34   1 John 2:16         

35   1 Peter 5:8                       

36   2 Corinthians 11:14

37   Romans 8:37-39  

38   Hebrews 12:1      

39   1 John 2:15-16    

40   Proverbs 20:1      

41   1 Peter 5:8

42   Hebrews 11:29                

        1 John 5:4, 5  

43   Matthew 4:19     

44   1 Corinthians 10:13

45   I Peter 1:6-9        

46   Hebrews 10:23

       1 Thessalonians 5:24

       2 Corinthians 12:9          

47   Romans 8:28       

48   Ephesians 4:13-16           

49   Proverbs 3:5        

50   Hebrews 10:38-39           

51   Hebrews 13:5      

52   1 John 1:9                       

53   Matthew 18:20-22

54   1 Corinthians 10:13

55   1 Peter 5:8

56   Matthew 4:1-11

57   Hebrews 4.15

58   Hebrews 4:15

59   Matthew 4:1-11

60   Psalm 119:11

61   Ephesians 6:I7

62   Hebrews 6:1.1:2

63   Nehemiah 8:10

64   2 Corinthians 4:4

65   Revelation12:9. Revelation 9:11

66   Romans 8:2

67   Ephesians 1:7

68   Matthew 25:41

69   2 Corinthians 5:17

70   Romans 10:13

71   Colossians 2:15

72   Colossians 1:13

73   2 Timothy 2:26

74   Revelation 20:1-3

75   Revelation 21:8

76   1 John 1:7

       2 Corinthians 5:17

77   1 Corinthians 15:3-4

78   Ephesians 1:19-21

79   Romans 5:8-10

80   Philippians 2:5-11

81   Ephesians 2:8-9

82   Romans 4:5

83   Ephesians 2:8-9

84   Hebrews.12:1

85   Philippians 4:13

86   1 Corinthians 15:57

       2 Timothy 1:10

87   Psalm 28:7

88   Romans 12:1

       Ephesians 5:18

       1 Corinthians 9:27

89   Galatians 5:16, 25

       Romans 8:1-4

90   Galatians 5:16

       Romans 8:13

91   1 John 2:16         

       2 Corinthians 10:5

92   2 Corinthians 10:5

93   Proverbs 16:18

94   Romans 16:17

95   I Timothy 2:8

96   Galatians 5:16, 22

97   Colossians 3:9

98   John 8:32

99   James 3:6-12

100 1 Corinthians 16:16

101      Isaiah 43:4

102 Isaiah 41:9           

       John 15:16

103 Palms 68:19

104 Isaiah 53:4, 12

105 2 Peter 2:9

106 Matthew 11:29

107 Hebrews 12:2

108 John 14:1

109 Isaiah 61:3

110 2 Corinthians 5:17

111 1 John 5:18

112 1 Peter 1:3-5

113 Ephesians 6:16

114 Ephesians 6:17

115 Revelation 19:13

116 John 1:3.

       Colossians 1:16

117 Colossians 1:17

118 Revelation 12:11

119 1 Peter 1:18-19

120 John 11:25

121 1 Peter 1:5

122 1 Peter 1:6-7

       Hebrews 12:7-11

123 2 Corinthians 5:17

124 Isaiah 43:14

125 Romans 3:24.

       Ephesians 1:7

126 1 John 1:7

127 Colossians 1:13

128 James 4:7

129 1 Peter 1:5

130 Romans 7:15-25

131 Ephesians 4:24

       2 Corinthians 5:17

132 Romans 8:7

133 Romans 8:13

       Colossians 3: 5

134 Romans 6:4-11

135 Romans 6:14, 22

136 Ephesians 6:6

       Romans 6:4,19

137 2 Corinthians 1:9-10

138 Romans 6:13; 12:1

139 1 Peter 1:18-19

140 1 Corinthians 6:19

141 James 1:14,15

142 Philippians 4:8

143 John 14:17

       Ephesians 4:30

       1 Thessalonians 5:19

144 1 John 1:9

       Romans 12:1

       Ephesians 5:18

145 Colossians 1:27

146 I Corinthians 16:9

147 Ephesians 6:12

148 Ephesians 6:13

149 Ephesians 6:14-18

150 Ephesians 6:14

       Ephesians 4:27

151 Ephesians 6:14

152 Revelation 12.10             

        l  Peter 5:8

153 Ephesians 6:15

154 Philippians 2:5

       1 Corinthians 2:16

155 Ephesians 6:17

156 Matthew 4:11

157 1 John 5:4

       1 Corinthians 15:57

158 2 Corinthians 11:14

159 2 Corinthians 11:14

160 1 John 4:2

161 Matthew 26:41

162 James 4:7

163 1 Kings 8:56

164 Colossians 2:15

165 1 John 1:7

166 1 John 1:7

167 1 John 5:18

168 Luke 12:18-20

169 Luke 16:25

170 Matthew 25:41

171 Matthew 25:30

172 Luke 16:24

173 2 Timothy 2:12

174 Hebrews 12:2

175 John 14:1-3

176 Revelation 1:5-6

177 1 Corinthians 15:24

 
 
 

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The One who is coming will come, He will not delay