Van Yandell

Revelation 20:10“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

Of the seven continents and 195 countries identified on earth in 2020, God has given me opportunities to end up in some really strange places. The varied experiences must have been beyond normal (Jeremiah 29: 11). In Brazil in the city of Vila Velha, I helped celebrate a World Cup win for Brazil. The sport was futebol, (football-American soccer) about which I knew absolutely nothing. The Brazilians left the construction site to celebrate and the Americans went with them.

In Bhaktapur, Nepal, I was told not to step on a bug on a sidewalk because it might be someone’s reincarnated grandmother. In Kathmandu, I sat on a river bank and watched a Hindu cremation. I have spun prayer wheels in a Buddhist temple and removed my shoes to walk in a mosque on Mt. Moriah.

In Lakoni, Kenya, East Africa, a witch doctor tried to run us out of his village with a club. In Keragoya, I tried to eat a plantain, thinking it was some type of banana. It puckered me up like a green persimmon. The Africans got a good laugh from that. I suppose it was kind of funny. I did manage to laugh at myself.

In Jerusalem, I drank wine at a Communion at the Garden Tomb. At Tiberus I picked up a rock off the shore of the Sea of Galilee that had been washing around for well over two thousand years.

I’ve been in monasteries high in the Himalaya (Tengboche Monastery) and at sea level in Korea (Donghae Temple), in cathedrals from Rome to Oslo to Halifax. I saw Pope John Paul twice and my second visit to the Sistine Chapel, realized it was built to the dimensions of King Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 6: 2). I was denied entrance to a cathedral in Venice because I was not wearing long pants.

I have walked around sacred cats in Cairo, Egypt, sacred cattle in several Asian cities (even their droppings are sacred) and ran the 10K in the Mombasa marathon. I was taught by an Australian Aborigine how to correctly throw a boomerang.

But, the one place I will remember forever is Sagana, a little town about 100 miles north of Nairobi, Kenya. We traveled up highway A2 to Kabati and turned left at Wamuru and then back a dirt and mud road out through the bush for miles. We camped in tents with local guards armed with bows and arrows standing guard during the nights.

One morning I awoke before the others and went into town looking for pineapples for our breakfast. That morning in Sagana will be etched in my mind forever. I was walking down a street, more like an alley, when I saw a sign over a witch doctor’s door. I stood for several minutes reading the very interesting sign; it was a list of the services he offered. He could rid one of all kinds of ailments, including any mental illness one may have. For 30 schillings, he could cast a spell on your neighbor. Then, the neighbor would pay him another 30 schillings to remove the curse. He could make your wife more submissive and passionate and stop her nagging. American doctors would die of envy.

And above all, Mr. Witch Doctor was a very highly respected member of the community. Or, maybe that’s Dr. Witch Doctor? He was capable of handling most any problem one might have. I wondered where he did his residency. One in Harambe did not respond very well when I tried to tell him about Jesus.

Jesus said in Matthew 24, in verses 4, 11, and 24, “Beware of false prophets and false teachers.” You do not have to go to Sagana or Cairo to find false teachings. There is a church within four miles of where I’m sitting teaching people they can go to Heaven because of what they do. In Luke 18: 18 the young man ask Jesus, “What can I DO to have eternal life?” There was nothing he could do. Jesus would do the work on the cross. Ephesians 2: 8 “By grace are ye saved through faith, not of works that anyone should boast.” We are saved by what He did, not what we do! The shedding of His blood is what saves us (Hebrews 9: 22).

There is another church nearby that teaches that we can attain some kind of eternal bliss by believing in the natural world, the sun and the moon. Yes, God did create the universe, us and everything else, but God is God and His teachings take precedence over man’s notions and opinions. Never forget, everyone is a false prophet or infidel to someone.

Several religions calling themselves Christian are teaching there was no virgin birth. Without the virgin birth and Jesus being fathered by the Holy Spirit of God, He could not have lived a perfect sinless life (1 Peter 2: 22). His perfection was necessary for Him to have been an acceptable sacrifice for the atonement of sin. Deuteronomy 17: 1 “Thou shalt not sacrifice unto the LORD thy God any bullock, or sheep, wherein is blemish, or any evil favouredness: for that is an abomination unto the LORD thy God.” The sacrificial lamb had to be perfect!

In John 10: 30 “I and my Father are one” Jesus verified the fact He was and is God. Colossians 1: 16 “All things were created by Him and for Him.” John 1: 1 substantiates beyond any doubt who Jesus is.

The Bible proves itself from within itself. No other religious writing has accurately predicted the future as has God’s Holy Word, the Bible. It tells us science concepts that no person had any way of knowing 2500 years ago. The Bible gives indisputable information about life and living.

There are billions of people all over the world accepting the teachings of false prophets. One may live next door to you.

We are simply told that we are to believe Jesus was crucified for the remission of sin and resurrected from the dead. The Bible contains volumes of information, but this fundamental of the gospel means eternal life for those that believe.