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 From a Loaf of Bread

Acts 20:32

And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and then give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.


Romans 15:4

But whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.


_____________________________________


Last night I got into a moment and watched a fictional pre-trib video. Granted the time would have been better spent listening to the audio New Testament.  But even in that video God spoke something to my heart. [And no this is not an endorsement that one should get their spiritual truth from pre-trib videos.:)  And this is not to say that brother Blaine believes in the pre-trib rapture:)]

But in the ending scene of this particular video I watched, the hero of the movie had found faith in Christ after the rapture.  As such he is imprisoned by the forces of Antichrist.  At the end of the video the hero is given his prison meal. As he opens up the loaf of bread there is a page from a Bible with certain underline or highliglighted passages. This caused me to think about the reality of the persecuted church.

This morning as I thought about that particular scene in the video. Where the hero had received a Bible page of the precious word of God in a loaf of bread. I was reminded of the words that Jesus in Matthew 4. "Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."

What this particular video portrayed is not far from the truth of our persecuted brothers and sisters. In places like Eritrea, saints are are imprisoned in shipping containers for their faith in Christ.  These precious saints find much encouragement from scriptures that are printed on scraps of paper. These scraps of paper are passed from one saint to another. This saint will memorize that verse, hide it in their heart. And then secretly pass that scrap of paper on to another saints.  If the prison guards find any Eritrean believer with a scrap of scripture paper. That believe it will be beaten mercilessly. Even to the point of death.

Such was the case of Helen Berhane. The sister was imprisoned for her faith in Christ in Eritrea. She would write scripture on scraps of paper and pass them to others in the prison. When the guards found out. She was beaten to almost within an inch of her life. They would keep asking her where is the Bible that you have. She would simply respond that the scripture was stored in her heart and mind. Then the guard said we will have to beat it out of you. Thankfully God spared her life from that beating.

In an interview Nik Ripken said that it is dangerous to carry a Bible in Somalia. He said the scriptures they depended on were what was stored in their hearts. The scriptures would be told in story and song.  But to carry an open Bible, even a digital Bible, is very dangerous in Somalia.  Yet parts of the world believers in Christ are willing to pay the price to have a portion if not the whole Bible in their possession.

Our brothers and sisters in persecuted nations are not sustained by systematic theologies or expositions.  They are not sustained by recorded sermons. They are sustained only by the Living Word of Jesus himself. They are only sustained by His Words stored in their hearts.

One wonders what does this say to us in the West. Even on a forum like this with many good sermons. Is it possible that the sermons detract from actually hearing the pure word of God itself? Does this actually distract us from hearing the pure Word of God, Himself?

There have been many debates in this forum over the KJV. I know there are many that love the KJV and grew up with it. But there are those that are adamant that this is the only translation to use.

Often in these threads I wanted to ask the KJV proponents. How much time do you spend reading your KJV? How much time do you spend memorizing and meditating in your KJV? How much time do you spend learning how to accurately handle your weapon?

But whether it be a particular translation of the Bible? Or whether it be books about the Bible?  Whether it be a new particular software package concerning the Bible? My question. Are we actually in the Bible itself?

Our brothers and sisters in restricted nation do not have access to the latest software packages about the Bible or books on the Bible. They just consider it a blessing if they can have access to the Bible if not to parts of it. As those in Eritrea they considered a blessing to even have a scripture on a scrap of paper.

Certainly let us pray our brothers and sisters have access to the word of God. But let us also learn from them and hide the word of God in our hearts. Let us take this time that God gives us to really immerse ourselves in the word of God.

I speak more to myself than to others in this forum. I realize now I must get more in the word of God and stop watching apocalyptic movies about the rapture. Even though God may speak to me through such movies.

As such I think it is time that I go to listen to my audio New Testament.


Posted from the foot of His cross.

 2016/8/22 9:17









 Re: From a Loaf of Bread

And that one scene in and of itself would have sufficed to make the entire point of The Gospel...What a budget saver, as it sums up the whole point beyond the film's theme of "Pre-Post-Anti_Pro_Bert and Ernie "Can you you tell me how to get to Sesame Street" Trib...etc.

That was all it took...

 2016/9/5 21:34









 Re: Ravi's Account

According to Ravi's Account:

Shortly after Vietnam fell, Hien was imprisoned on accusations of helping the Americans. His jailers tried to indoctrinate him against democratic ideals and the Christian faith. He was restricted to communist propaganda in French or Vietnamese, and the daily deluge of Marx and Engels began to take its toll. "Maybe," he thought, "I have been lied to. Maybe God does not exist. Maybe the West has deceived me." So Hien determined that when he awakened the next day, he would not pray anymore or think of his faith.

The next morning, he was assigned the dreaded chore of cleaning the prison latrines. As he cleaned out a tin can overflowing with toilet paper, his eye caught what seemed to be English printed on one piece of paper. He hurriedly grabbed it, washed it, and after his roommates had retired that night, he retrieved the paper and read the words, "Romans, Chapter 8." Trembling, he began to read, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him….for I am convinced that nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Hien wept. He knew His Bible, and knew that there was not a more relevant passage for one on the verge of surrender. He cried out to God, asking forgiveness, for this was to have been the first day that he would not pray. Evidently God had other plans. What his tormentors were using for refuse—the Scriptures—could not be more treasured to Hien.

When Vietnam fell, he was imprisoned and indoctrinated, and had decided to abandon his Christian faith. Then he came across a page from Romans 8 that had been used as toilet paper while cleaning the prison latrines. After finding the Scripture, Hien asked the commander if he could clean the latrines regularly, because he discovered that some official was using a Bible as toilet paper. Each day Hien picked up a portion of Scripture, cleaned it off, and added it to his collection of nightly reading.

The day came when, through an equally providential set of circumstances, Hien was released from prison. He promptly began to make plans to leave the country and to construct a boat for the escape of him and fifty-three others. All was going according to plan until days before their departure. Four Vietcong knocked on Hien's door and said they had heard of his escape. He denied it and they left. Hien felt relieved, but at the same time disappointed with himself. He made a promise to God—fervently hoping that God would not take him up on it—that if the Vietcong returned, he would tell them the truth. He was thoroughly shaken when only a few hours before they were to set sail, the four men returned. When questioned again, Hien confessed the truth. To Hien's astonishment, the men leaned forward and in hushed tones, asked if they could go with him!

 2016/9/5 21:38









 Re:

Amazing these brothers finding truth on a piece of toilet paper. :-) Believers in Eritrea write scripture on scraps of paper and pass them around in a shipping container and other containers. These scraps of paper or what sustains and encourages them in their imprisonment.

 2016/9/6 0:20
Jeremy221
Member



Joined: 2009/11/7
Posts: 1447


 Re: From a Loaf of Bread

Thank you for these bear and Katina. They were such an encouragement.

 2016/9/6 5:26Profile









 Re:

I remember hearing Nik Ripken say that it was dangerous to carry a Bible in Somalia. It is even dangerous to carry a Bible today. Even a digital Bible.

Nick said that the only Bible they had was what was stored in their hearts. The Bible that was stored in their hearts could be quoted. It could be in song. It came out in the stories that were told.

To understand the New Testament in light of the persecuted gives new meaning to Colossians 3:16,

Let the word of Christ richky dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.


Brothers and sisters simply my thoughts.

 2016/9/6 9:02
sermonindex
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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37185
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

Online!
 Re:

Quote:
I remember hearing Nik Ripken say that it was dangerous to carry a Bible in Somalia. It is even dangerous to carry a Bible today. Even a digital Bible.



What a sobering thought. We take so much for granted in our Western culture. I told my wife we should pray about putting a few small bibles in a metal case with zip lock bags and bury it in the ground in a few secret locations! Who knows what tomorrow would bring in North America.


_________________
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2016/9/6 11:23Profile









 Re:

Yeah, amen. Sobering stuff for sure

 2016/9/6 11:26









 Re:

Amen. Very sobering. Also some of us are sensing the Holy Spirit leading us to store the word of God into our hearts and minds. To try to get as much of His word into us as possible. For we may very well be the only Bible for those around us that do not have a Bible. Should things go downhill in North America.


Brothers and sisters simply my thoughts.

 2016/9/6 11:46









 Re: What a great idea!!!

What the Moderator describes may be a relevant (though harrowing) ministry idea...for not only such a "time", but rather, such a "nation" as this...

...Hmmm...(and yet, "tsk, tsk, tsk")...

Love-in-Christ,

kyp

 2016/9/6 19:38





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