Clash of the Worlds: Lambs in the Midst of Wolves
Continued from Those Monday Morning Blues
Jessi Recalls a Childhood Memory
Young Timothy and Jessi perched on that ottoman, make ready for another imagined adventure induced by another of Grammy's Bible story times to them.
The two children reflect as usual as Grammy begins her story, witnessing Jesus appointing seventy-two of His followers, instructing them to go into various cities ahead of Him to preach the good news of Elohim's Kingdom.
He points out to them, Timothy and Jessi included, how "the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few... I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves," He said to them. "Stay in a city as long as you are welcomed, but should a place not welcome you, wipe your feet off in protest and leave, assuring them that Elohim's Kingdom is near. Those who listen to you they listen to me. If anyone rejects you, they not only reject me but rejects the One who sent me as well…."
Encouraged Even Through Troubling Times
Under Ms. Santos' reign as supervisor, all goes well normally at first as far as management was concerned. Yet, gradually, changes begin to creep in, seemingly unnoticed by some. But for Jessi, there was definitely something noticeably different taking shape in the attitudes of some of her hospital teammates.
The Surer Foundation Fellowship does continue their weekly meetings as usual, however, yet with a prayer for the spiritual warfare that was also intensifying.
Being more harassed by the other side, some participants began attending irregularly; some have dropped out completely. Perhaps, however, they have simply been like stony ground or thorns and weeds where "seeds" of Elohim's truth have been sown. For such, His Word is unable to take root, or the cares of that other world have choked out what was planted.
Still, the Surer Foundation idea, of Jessi and Carol's imagination, has been "catching wind" throughout Mid-central and suburbs as well – even as a small group home ministry through Jessi's church, Pastor Jacobs, Jr., being so impressed.
But, the enemy's terror also rises, trying to stomp out anything of Elohim's blessing. As he has always attempted since the beginning of time, having deceived humanity in Eden's garden, when mankind decided it had a better idea for life than his Creator.
In the hospital of Jessi's employment, not only Surer Foundation Fellowship but also her faith in Elohim and the character of Jesus was being defamed by gossips and rumors, quietly circulating among the hospital team. Who was behind it physically? It really made no difference. If it hadn't been obvious before, now for sure it was evident that there were definitely two distinct "worlds" clashing with one another.
Work did continue without interference, however, the one world simply disliked by the other, not wanting anything to do with such "religious" ideas. That other world – the world of darkness – not realizing their ways were the religious ideas, they try to reach that state of immortality purely through human effort.
Jessi does get frustrated at times with the seemingly indifferent attitudes of her teammates; they become more and more estranged to her faith. She could not so much as speak of her faith to others outside the Kingdom, in the workplace anyway.
Nevertheless, the weekly gathering of the Surer Foundation Fellowship is such a blessing and keeps her encouraged with a song in her heart, always praising Elohim who gives her strength. Her omniscient Lord, too, does indeed know how to encourage His children.
Ah, the children. And she is such an encouragement to the children she attends to in the hospital Child Care Center, as they are to her in seeing their smiling faces.
Pastor Jacobs’ sermon, that Sunday morning before that "blue Monday," was an example of such, also, as her mind reflected upon a bit one day while caring for the children.
In A Place of Serenity and Joy
"Come into His presence singing, 'Hallelujah, Hallelujah. "Come into His Presence singing, 'Hallelujah..." the worship team sang softly as worshipers enter Faith Fellowship's sanctuary, either just arriving at church that Sunday morning, or entering the Worship Center from their respective Sunday school classes.
As was the custom at Faith Fellowship, to prepare their hearts for worship, upon entering the circular auditorium, talking ceased, cell phones silenced. Coming into Elohim's presence, the place they were entering is "holy ground."
In so doing, they joined the worship team in singing, as the Word says, "…with hymns and spiritual songs. Singing and making music in their hearts to the Lord, and always giving thanks to Elohim for everything …"
After a while, the worship leader welcomes the congregation, and announces the morning's worship theme, "Today we worship Elohim whose Word is the truth.'" For about a half hour the worship continues with music, singing, the Word read and prayers spoken from persons in the congregation feeling so led by Elohim.
How blessed it is to be a part of Elohim's Kingdom, Jessi thought, standing there amidst the congregation, beside her parents and Thomas-John, and his parents and siblings. It is such a different world from what she experiences during her week at work these days. The family of Elohim's Kingdom is of one mind and heart, knowing Jesus as the true reality of all life.
Looking about the congregation, observing their faces, she realized how it was quite unlike many others who had not experienced life's true reality.
That world, she observes, as well as reading from Elohim's Word of Truth – the Bible – seems to be ordered by disarray, chaos, and confusion, yet just trying themselves to "feel good" anyway.
In Elohim's Kingdom, however, Jessi is in a place and attitude, even amidst perhaps troubling circumstances, of serenity and joy; it is a world that is orderly, harmonious and peaceful, with Jesus at the helm.
The singing having concluded there followed a brief moment of silent contemplation. Then, Pastor Jacobs, Jr., rose to speak.
".... For sure most of you, if not all, are aware of that erroneous movie that's making its way around the theaters these days," he said, "and that novel on which that movie is based. Erroneous, I dare say, and defaming the faith.
" Now I'm not going to speak to you about either of them, as much has already been written and said in refute of them both. To hear about that movie myself is rather disheartening and discouraging.
"There are many other deceptive heresies as well in the world today, as an attempt to lead astray even those of Elohim's Kingdom, if that were possible.
"This morning I want to speak to you words of encouragement, in the light of what all we're hearing otherwise in the world today, to strengthen you and build you up that you may be able to stand your guard against such lies and untruths, and be better witnesses – better light bearers – of the Truth.
"My friends, we need not be discouraged, as we serve Elohim who keeps us safe through these troubling times. In it all, I believe there is a word from Elohim for His reason for allowing such errors to come about.
"Listen now and consider as I read from His Word, '... For this reason, Elohim sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness…'"
After a brief pause, the pastor continued, "Mankind is being deceived and naturally falling for such lies and deceptive talk. In other words, mankind is prone to falsehood and evil; only the work of Elohim through His Holy Spirit can lift a person out of this mindset, and into a love for and understanding of the truth. And Elohim's Word is Truth, the ultimate and absolute Truth.
"Quoting our own Grammy Maggie O'Brien, stating her own determined trust in the Bible as the authoritative Word of Elohim, ‘If you see it here, then it is so,'" he said, holding up his Bible. "You can all read that for yourself, as perhaps many of you have, upon entering this church building. I'm sure many of you have noticed Grammy's picture in the foyer, and that very quote displayed beneath her picture.
"My friends let no one deceive you, this Book is indeed worthy of our complete trust – every ‘jot and title' – it's all about Jesus, the living Word, who became flesh. It's all about real life, as Jesus has stated of Himself, ‘[He] is the Way, the Truth, and the Life..."
The pastor concludes, "Again, let me reiterate. We, therefore, as children of the Kingdom, are to be as lights, as Jesus has said, to carry the light of Elohim's truth into a world of darkness. Our job is to present the Truth, through our lives, and words as Elohim gives us the opportunity. We simply give the information and let Elohim work..."
Ah, how refreshing, Jessi considers, while at work, caring for the children, to dwell on the good things of her Creator, what she reads from His Word and takes in through fellowship with her fellow believers. What enjoyment in recognizing the Lord's presence. It makes for her joyful countenance and readying herself to speak to others of the reason for her joy.
How devastating, that evil one, too, aspiring that hateful glare sneers at it all, "I'm not finished with her yet." In desperate contemplation of her demise, he looks on with pleasure at the thickening of his destructive plot.
Go to the next chapter.
Or begin again at Premier Episode: Preface and Prologue
© 2018 Charles Newcombe