I read this story today and it blessed my soul. Just thought I would share it with ya'll.
A Demonstration of Gods Power -by V. Miller
A true account from Communist Romania
So you think anyone would be stupid enough to come if you did open a house of prayer? the officer sneered at the small group of Romanian villagers waiting before him. Our state records show that the number of Christians - worthless parasites, all of them -is decreasing. So what makes you think anyone would come if you got this permit you are pestering me for? He glared with contempt at the men who stood silently waiting. How many times had they been in this office before, requesting a building permit for a new prayer house?
In spite of the many times their request had been refused, these men persisted in asking. They well knew that to start building without a permit would be a waste of time and precious recourses. Christians were under constant surveillance, and any attempt to build would be wrecked - unless, of course, they could miraculously obtain the permit they were requesting. The officers jibe about the number of Christians decreasing was far from the truth. It was quite the opposite, as more and more of their countrymen, driven by spiritual hunger, crowded into the few existing prayer houses to hear the Word of God. The group of men, accompanied by the pastor of a distant city church, represented a village where there was no church.
All right, I have a question for you, the officer abruptly changed the subject. Do you believe everything it says in the Bible?
Yes, we believe Gods Word, they all answered.
Do you believe the verse that says, And these signs shall follow them that believe
they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. Do you believe that? he challenged.
We believe, they repeated, wondering what he meant by this question..
Then come with me, he directed, leading the way out of the office. Heres your chance to prove your faith. If you pass this test, you will have your permit. Come on., he insisted, if you really want it, get into my car.
The men looked at each other questioningly as they got in and the officer drove out onto the main road. Soon they found themselves at the entrance to the zoo. The snakes are over this way, the officer directed.
With a flourish, he pointed out a large snake coiled around a branch in a spacious cage. see that big one? It is the most deadly kind in Romania. Now, do you believe that verse I quoted to you? he taunted. If you really want me to give you a building permit, go pick up that big poisonous snake.. He unlocked the door to the cage and stepped back, challenge and contempt in his eyes.
Well sir, the pastor of the city church began, We believe Gods Word, but that particular verse is not for us today. That was for the apostles that Jesus sent out preaching.
As if he had not heard the pastor, a villager named Daniel stepped forward, saying firmly, I believe. Stooping, he entered the cage. Gently and quietly, he extended his arm, reaching his hand toward the coiled snake on the branch. Softly, as if calling a kitten, he began to talk to the snake. Hello, snake. I wont hurt you. But I want you to come to me. In the name of Jesus, I ask you to come to my hand.
The group outside watched in amazement as Daniel stood still and the snake began to unwrap itself from the branch. It eased its head over and slid onto the mans arm until its weight was almost more than he could hold on one arm. Thank-you , snake, Daniel continued in the same friendly tone. You may go back now. Good snake!
As if it understood his words, the snake turned its head back toward the branch. When its whole body was again resting on the branch, Daniel quietly retreated from the cage. Looking at the officer in the eyes he said, You see, sir, God can still protect! He is still powerful today. This is why we must build a house of prayer for his people. Now please give us the permit you promised, he requested firmly.
Without a word, the officer turned and led the way to the car. The group rode in silence back to his office. Inwardly, the believers were full of praise to the LORD for showing His great power, and were asking Him to do another miracle and give them the building permit.
Back at the office, the others waited outside while Daniel went in with the officer. Soon he rejoined them, holding the authorized permit. He still does not like to see us building a prayer house, but the demonstration of Gods power has touched him mightily! Daniel rejoiced. Now we can get on with building. Praise the name of the Lord - it has triumphed again!
NOTE: A Romanian named Trian Biscos told me this story that he remembered from his youth in Romania.
Printed in Feb. 24, 2008 issue of Companions. No copyright noted.