Archive for the ‘Appendix’ Category

31a. Appendix Part Five

Appendix

Part Five

Main Events of Part Five:

  1. Men of the village meet with Rendezvous
  2. Fisher returns alone to village
  3. He and Sandy are bound and led to Bamah
  4. They escape and return to village
  5. They battle demons, come face to face with the Evil Man, and are rescued by people from Rendezvous and by angelic beings

Scripture References:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.7? ‘You shall have no other gods before Me. Deuteronomy 5: 6 – 7

Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. ?15? “And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24: 14 – 15

For 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. ?13? Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. ?14? Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, ?15? and having shod  your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; ?16? 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. ?17? And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6: 12 – 17

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. ?19? “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16: 18 – 19

Think about this:

The men of the village have witnessed first-hand the power of God and are ready to hear more. The Rendezvous team is ready and willing to accept them as brothers, and make plans to return to their families and hopefully, Fisher and Sandy the next morning. Fisher meanwhile, has gone back alone, anxious to rescue his bride. He finds her, only to be taken captive and led to the town center, where we learn that the two men supposedly killed by the demon warriors actually escaped and are now inciting the village to sacrifice Fisher and Sandy in place of Lisa.

How does fear play a role in the unfolding events we see at the village? Where does fear come from?

Sandy manages to cut through her bonds, and leaps over a bridge with a final word to Fisher to “Trust me.” He obeys, and leaps after her, in spite of the fact that he can’t swim, and that his hands are still tied behind him. She helps him to safety, then they must decide whether to return to the trail or to the village people who had just condoned their sacrifice. The decision is made easier when they see smoke coming from the village, indications that they are already under attack.

Outnumbered and nearly overwhelmed, they battle together against a demonic army, until Fisher is called out by the Evil Man himself. He and Sandy may leave unharmed, he is told, but leave the villagers to their fate. He refuses the offer, but just before the Evil Man can unleash his fury, the entire village comes out to face him, secure now in the knowledge that they too are covered by the blood of Christ. The situation only gets worse for the Evil Man and his followers, as once again the power of God is revealed.

When Jesus tells Peter that the “gates of Hell” shall not prevail against His church, do you see the church as being in an offensive or a defensive mode? In other words, who is attacking whom? If you are a Christian, do you see yourself safely sheltered within a fortress or on a battlefield, armored and equipped for battle?

Have you known people who have given up the journey because of failed perceptions of Who God really is? How can you help them back to the Way? Are you one of those, in fact, who has fallen victim to the enemy’s deceits? Turn to God’s truth, then show the enemy who he really is: a defeated and condemned rebel, destined for everlasting punishment.

May God bless you and the path He has set you upon. May you walk each day, confident of His love and care. May we meet one day, if not along the trail, then at the end of the journey.

17a. Appendix 4 Party Three

“For our newcomers: while Tony & I are on the road, please enjoy his book, ‘Leaving the Trail’ as a weekly series in condensed form. Be sure to go back to the beginning to understand the story! If you can’t stand the suspense, simply order a copy from Amazon or write toinfo@martonpublishing.com.”

Appendix 4

Party Three

Main Events of Part Three:

  1. 1. Conflict between Fisher and Rendezvous
  2. 2. Fisher and Sandy leave the trail, discover village

Scripture References:

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. ?19? “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Matthew 16: 18 – 19

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a certain man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” ?10? And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Acts 16: 9 – 10

Think about this:

Conflict develops in this section between Fisher, who is convinced of his call to leave the trail and seek out those who are lost, and Friend, who is equally convinced that Rendezvous (The Church) must under no circumstance be led away from the trail. By now, every pilgrim knows that he leaves the trail at his peril. Even Friend could attest to that truth, having lost, strayed or been frightened away on more than one occasion, each time suffering as a result.

Does this concept make sense to you? In other words, what “path” has been laid before you, and how might you step away from that path? What has God called His people to do? How important is it that the Church be a guiding light to every traveler? Have there been times in history when the Church has failed in this task?

Fisher and Sandy remain convinced of God’s call for them, and set out alone to find Lisa’s people who live in the wilderness away from the trail. Friend and the Rendezvous team pray for their safety and struggle with the decision to remain behind. Ralph especially believes that they should be more aggressive in seeking the lost. Do you see parallels in this chapter within the church today? Are there elements within your church who hold a “fortress mentality”, which says that God’s people must remain inside, away from the world? What about those who would say that the only legitimate church is the “reaching out” church, constantly looking beyond itself to people and places where the Gospel is not known?

Eventually, we meet Lisa’s aunt, uncle, grandparents and others who, as Fisher and Sandy suspected, have made their home in the wilderness. Memories of the trail are so far removed that they even deny its existence. Instead, they have fallen victim to a power more sinister than they could ever have imagined, the tragic consequences of which will become clear in the next chapter.

Try to imagine life in the Garden of Eden, when God would come in the “cool of the day” to walk with His creation (Genesis 3:8), and contrast that to the days of Enosh, when Adam’s grandchildren began to “call out to God” (Genesis 4:26). In the generations since, people have slipped farther and father away from that familiarity with the Creator, so that there now exist whole nations who can no longer recall those past days. Like Uncle Ken, Aunt Dorothy, Grandmother and Grandfather, they live their lives in quiet desperation, searching for truth in a darkened world. What responsibility does the church today have for those nations? How can you play a part?

13.a Devotional Appendix Part Two

“For our newcomers: while Tony & I are on the road, please enjoy his book, ‘Leaving the Trail’ as a weekly series in condensed form. Be sure to go back to the beginning to understand the story! If you can’t stand the suspense, simply order a copy from Amazon or write toinfo@martonpublishing.com.”

Devotional Appendix

Part Two

Main events of chapter two:

1. Introduction to Rendezvous

2. First conflict with demonic warriors

3. Encounter with Lisa, and learning of the lost

Background Scripture:

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more, as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10: 23 – 25

“Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.” ?30? Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. ?31? Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. Proverbs 31: 29 – 31

Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; Preserve me from violent men, who have purposed to trip up my feet Psalms 140: 4

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; ?5? and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly… 2 Peter 2: 4 – 5

And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day. ?7? Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example, in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. Jude 5-7

And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. ?2? And he opened the bottomless pit; and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. ?3? And out of the smoke came forth locusts upon the earth; and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. Revelation 9: 1 -3

And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him. ?31? And they were entreating Him not to command them to depart into the abyss. Luke 8: 30 -31

Think about this:

As this section opens, Fisher and Sandy are processing their first encounter with a demonic warrior. Using the testimonies of trusted Christians and gleanings from God’s Word, they piece together a possible scenario for what they’re experiencing. This of course is not the only possible interpretation, but does provide a place from which to begin. The basics which are presented here are as follows:

1. Demons are spiritual beings who sided with Satan in a great rebellion in Heaven

2. For their part in the rebellion, they were cast out of Heaven and promised a day of judgment.

3. Both Old and New Testaments point to a time when beings from the angelic realm “left their place” and brought about the Flood

4. If demons involved themselves with humanity once, they might do so again.

By now, especially if you read The Road Rising, you know that Rendezvous is a symbol for the Church. As Christians, we are called to a pilgrimage, seeking God’s path each day as we draw closer to His kingdom. For the most part, it is a personal journey which each individual must travel alone. However, God has built into us the need for community, and it is within the gathering of His people that we find strength and encouragement. Led by the main character of The Road Rising, the man known as Friend has been called to head up the Rendezvous team, seeing to it that travelers are provided with all they need, be it physical, social or spiritual help. What has been your own experience with “Rendezvous”? Is there a community of believers to which you turn in times of need? Do you have a role within that community, and how do you fill it? How would life’s journey be different without these “communities of light” along the way?

All through both The Road Rising and Leaving the Trail, the necessity for staying on the trail to which we’ve been called is demonstrated time and again. It is on the trail that we find our strength, and as the story suggests, our protection from the evil powers of this world which would lay claim to God’s children. Fisher and Sandy lose the trail in a storm, and as a result come face to face with the one known as “The Evil Man” (Satan, for lack of a better term), and one of his followers, a demonic warrior. As terrifying as the encounter is, the young couple learn through the experience two important truths: the Evil Man cannot touch them directly, and even his warriors can be defeated. How would you define “The Trail” in your own life? Are you walking on that trail now? In what ways has the Evil Man confronted you? What power does deception have in a person’s life?

But if Scripture points to the demonic, it also points to the angelic, and assures mankind of Divine protection against the “dark forces of this world”. While Fisher and Sandy are unable to see these forces directly, evidence of their existence and work abound. Can you recall a time in your own life when circumstances seemed to be at work protecting and guiding you? Can you look back on events and see there a pattern over which you had no control but which profoundly altered the course of your life? While people from all walks of life could probably answer “yes” to these questions, for the child of God such a relationship with the Divine is the expected norm, causing us to pray daily, “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one”. Fisher and Sandy must come to grips with this truth early on, as they are led literally head on into the arms of Lisa, a child who escapes from the Evil Man’s domain and to the safety of the trail. Her parents are not so fortunate, which might caused us to ask the questions, “why?”. Why is the innocent child rescued, while her adult parents fall victim? Answers to such dilemmas do not come easily in the face of so many cases of the innocent who suffer. If you cannot find reasonable solutions to these quandaries, take heart in the fact that some of the smartest men in the Bible have also struggled with them.

6a. Devotional Appendix Part One

“For our newcomers: while Tony & I are on the road, please enjoy his book, ‘Leaving the Trail’ as a weekly series in condensed form. Be sure to go back to the beginning to understand the story! If you can’t stand the suspense, simply order a copy from Amazon or write toinfo@martonpublishing.com.”

Devotional Appendix

Part One

Main events of this section:

1. The wedding of Fisher and Sandy

2. The honeymoon

3. The first hint of demonic threat

Background Scripture:

But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. ?Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. ?Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, ? that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored. Titus 2: 1 – 5

I am my beloved’s, And his desire is for me. Come, my beloved, let us go out into the country, Let us spend the night in the villages. “Let us rise early and go to the vineyards; Let us see whether the vine has budded And its blossoms have opened, And whether the pomegranates have bloomed. There I will give you my love.  “The mandrakes have given forth fragrance; And over our doors are all choice fruits, Both new and old, Which I have saved up for you, my beloved. Song of Solomon 7: 10 – 13

I sought the Lord, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.  They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces shall  never be ashamed. This poor man cried and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them. Psalms 34: 4 – 7

Think about this:

We first met Fisher and Sandy in The Road Rising, where the young man was pursuing the girl for all the wrong reasons. She and the group she traveled with tried to explain to him the meaning of the pilgrimage they were on, but it was not until he himself discovered God’s call for his life that he began to appreciate the journey. Until that time, Sandy was prepared to refuse Fisher’s advances in spite of her interest in him, but once he made the commitment to follow God’s leading then she expressed her willingness to follow him. Think about Christian marriages, and how they differ from others. What holds couples together in times of stress and uncertainty? How does God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ help us to forgive our spouse when things go wrong? What should a man or woman do when his or her spouse does not share the faith?

Sex is of course a vital part of any marriage, and Fisher and Sandy are no exception. As she expresses her anxiety before the marriage to her friend and mentor, Lizzie, Sandy is told that “One of the greatest joys a young husband and wife will ever know is getting to know each other, in every way.” Furthermore, she adds, “..it will be an experience that belongs to the two of you alone, not to be shared with anyone else. And keeping it between you will only make your love stronger.” How is a Christian couple’s sexual relationship different from any other? What does infidelity do to a marriage? How can it be mended? Is it important for couples to keep “secrets” between themselves, to be shared only with each other? Why?

In chapter one, we get the first hint of trouble to come, as Fisher and Sandy are observed from a distance by a creature unseen. We know by now that he is driven by his hatred for them, and would kill them then and there, except for another, unseen being who stands guard over them. What evidence do we find in Scripture for the existence of the spiritual world? How do we fit into the battle between the forces of Darkness and Light? Why do you think we are unable to see the presence of spiritual forces around us?