A Spy among Brethren
Christian Short Story
Series: Glorious Life in Christ
By Achille Bérenger Doungméné
Copyrights 2017 Tâ-Shalom Editions, The books to liberty
Distributed by Shakespir
Illustrations by Meli Metino Cedric Gael
Translated from French by Shalomed
Link to the French Version :
ISBN of the Printed Version: Not yet available
Publisher: Tâ-Shalom Editions
Book code: 0011-TSE-ABD-I-EN-02
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
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Christian Short Stories
By A. B. Doungméné at Shakespir:
Series: Glorious Life in Christ
Series: Faith and Traditions
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.”
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”
(John 10:1, 10-11, KJV)
John is spiritually trapped by his colleagues and works beside them without the slightest suspicion of what they really are. His situation degrades and gets worse to the point he hallucinates and receives help from the Invisible. Not understanding who is willing to rescue him, he makes no case however.
After God deliver him from death, he discovers, at the turn of a corridor, what were the intentions of his co-workers. What will he do?
“You know, betraying his friend is the worst decision a man can make,” I said.
“Sadly to say! Mr. Latin replied, “Where are you going to find fidelity? It is now common to see intimate friends betray each other without scruple. Times have changed and the hypocrites make up better.”
“I tell you! God is the only friend that never disappoints,” I added.
“Who betrayed Jesus? Wasn’t his treasurer? Wasn’t the one who was nearby? The world turns upside down and a man murderer is sometimes so close and so disguised to the point you will suspect everybody but him not; they are demons posing as angels,” he observed.
“Treason is a serious disease; one must be foolish to betray his friend or brother, for God’s righteousness sooner or later prevails. May God deliver His children from false friends and false brethren!” I said.
“Amen! And I assure you that treason has even entered the Church of God. Jesus should come quickly because wickedness is growing uncontrollably! Where will we finally find men of confidence?
“Yesterday when you had a Christian brother before you, your heart was appeased inside. Today, many wolves are called brothers in Christ; May God have mercy!” he observed.
“Judas Iscariot who betrays Jesus is in the Church! Alexander, the blacksmith, who hurts Apostle Paul, is in the Church! May God be pitiful and protect his children,” I added.
Mr. Latin is our Sales Manager and we were hence chatting at the canteen during the break. Carefully follow the story and let me know your judgments; should man trust in man?
On the very day I talked freely with Mr. Latin, my private life was critical. I was harassed day and night and my life was hardly pleasant. For nearly a year my nights had been agitated.
I was now anxious at the approach of bedtime and feared the inevitable rendezvous with awful nightmares. For very long, my dreams had been announcing nothing but hardship, distress, and death.
Six month after the start of my sufferings, a sister aggravated my fears by a revelation she had received in her dream. On this type of question, her reputation preceded her.
“Her revelations always come to pass,” people were used to saying at church. She said that day she had seen me in a dream going through an inhuman distress. With frightened eyes, she said precisely:
“Brother John, what are you going through exactly? Are you OK? Are you fine? I had a serious dream two days ago and in this dream, I saw you suffer terribly. Your afflictions were great and appalling; and you encountered adversity and rejection everywhere. Oh! Jesus! I pray the Lord will come to your aid.”
“The Lord is faithful,” I replied.
Her alert sounded like a threat; it sounded as an omen of defeat and I needed calm myself down. However, I felt strong pressure on my thoughts and lips. Despite her frightened mood, I couldn’t submit to her fame. Therefore, I tried to reject her threats asking:
“What makes you think your dream comes from God?”
“Ah! Ah! I have no intention frightening you! I say things as I receive them; up to you to question the Lord,” she explained.
“Questioning the Lord for what? Jesus Christ asks to walk according to His Word and not according to dreams.”
“Peace be with you brother. I seek only the will of God. Let that dream be for your enemies and not the indication of any future concerning you. Jesus is faithful and the Bible declares that God does nothing without warning his children.
“God Himself will lead you,” she continued. “If the dream comes from Him, He will prepare you beforehand and strengthen you; if not, you need not worry.”
“Don’t talk of being worry!” I retorted. “You know what kind of afflictions I’ve been living for months and you talk of worrying? What do you know about worries? You are a false prophetess as I see. God says, “Let not your heart be troubled,” and you have confused mine. God forbids worry; and now you sow fear in me. The Word of God asks every woman to be silent in the Church of God; you would have done better keeping this principle.”
Sister Linda started trembling at my words; but dared again, this time with a vacillating voice:
“Excuse me, brother, if I have offended you; it was not my intention…”
“You are forgiven,” I replied, “I know you have an unbeatable reputation. Perhaps would I have understood you if you had presented your revelation in another way! I beg you to excuse me too. May God help us!”
I felt very sick after this conversation. Her friend had listened silently, without saying a word. Was Sister Linda dream trustable or not? At that time, I was fed up. On that precise date, I needed encouragements, not depressors.
That precise day, my bitterness obviously betrayed me. For even if her revelations were fake; I needed not resist her, especially since she had tried to mitigate, “If the dream comes from Him, He will prepare you beforehand and strengthen you,” had she added. Even so, trusting her was not an easy task! Can man mitigate God’s prophecies? Will a true prophet speak of the source of his message in the conditional mood?
The sister knew what I was going through. Months before her revelation, I was already battling hard with the unknown; I had already solicited many times the prayer group and I remember having asked during one of the meetings:
“Pray again for me because things are still going wrong. Until now in my dreams, I see my door wide open, people enter, pass and leave freely and I wake up completely confused. These nightmares might be trivial for somebody, but they worry me. I scare bed times now; I am frequently frightened and my heart beats fast even for nothing; I doze at work and even now at church.”
This umpteenth request had taken place only two weeks before Sister Linda’s revelations. Did her dream come to pass? I cannot say. The distress I went through afterwards was certainly intense and painful; but it did not meet the characteristics of the foretold hardship. Or rather, the framework of Sister Linda’s vision was not precise enough as to help evaluate its accomplishment.
After the clash with Sister Linda, I preferred to focus more on the Word of God. Before the incident, God’s Word was already my first recourse. Nothing but the Word of God could help me come out of confusions caused by nightmares. By using it, I could get arguments enough to dilute the nocturnal attacks and detach myself from the pressure of its contents. Even though I had no understanding of how to apply bible verses to stop nightmares and their oppressions, reading the Scriptures could help me restore my confidence in God.
In my readings, I could fall at times on the supplications of King David in the psalms; at other times on the sufferings of Job who says for example:
“When I think my bed will comfort me and my couch will ease my complaint, even then you frighten me with dreams and terrify me with visions, so that I prefer strangling and death, rather than this body of mine.” (Job 7.13-15)
The texts about these two servants are those that frequently helped me overcome my fears and my doubts. How fragile man is! Every day, I needed go back to their texts in order to survive, for my awakenings were quite equal in frights. Every morning, I woke up scared, weak and undermined. Nightmares had such devastating effects on my soul and readjustment to real life was to be remade. Every awakening had its own demands and my soul had to seek fresh support in the Word of God at every wake up.
The experiences of David and Job were used to teaching me that what I was living was human. Their victories in tribulations used to teach me that the Mighty God who delivered them will give me full victory some day. Even so, because of my depleted faith, the fight against nocturnal frights seemed long and impossible.
Three months after Sister Linda’s alert, my situation worsened and I began to be late at the office. Previously jovial and fervent of mind, I was now sad, shy and worried. The oppressions of the invisible world seemed to have a hold on my soul; were my invisible enemies already jubilating?
I felt guilty now, guilty of what, I could not know. In the first weeks of my distress, authorized voices had suggested that I put my life in order. According to them, a hidden or ignored sin was the cause of my distress. Convinced of my innocence as Job was, I had rejected those suggestions without hesitation, “God knows everything,” I frequently supported.
But at this present dates, I could not stand it anymore. My assurance had gone weak and the resistance of my troubles compelled me to self-judgment. After doubt had gained the upper hand, I began to reconsider the alternative of a hidden sin.
I scrutinized my conscience for days. I judged my deeds and actions at work, in church, in my relationships, in my family. “What sin have I neglected that would block God’s intervention in my distress?”
I followed this step for nearly ten days and abandoned it. During the examination I did not detect any thought, attitude or guilty behavior. The recollection of an author’s teachings on false guilt resulted to putting aside this search. According to his teachings, the guilt that comes from the Holy Spirit points directly to an existent fault, because it intends the healing of the soul. Confession of such sin produces immediate healing. On the other hand, false guilt does not come from God and has the mission of disturbing, confusing, creating discomfort and embarrassment; what God won’t beget in the lives of his children. God is of peace.
After this episode, I resorted to the internet for other possible solution. After three days search, Hatha Yoga caught my attention.
For an excellent sleep comfort, the site suggested doing some body workouts on a daily basis (the yogis call them asana). I tried them immediately. The asana were easy. I did them in the morning for thirty minutes and in the evening after the office or the church (for we had fellowship on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings). Besides these physical exercises, I practiced breathing and relaxation exercises fifteen to twenty minutes before bedtime (the yogi call them pranayama).
My sleep became pleasant during the first two weeks. At the end of the third week something strange was happening. Not only were the nightmares more frequent but they were more frightening. They were Hindus that I saw, who threatened me. They were Hindu yogis who tortured me with serpents; it was I, seeing myself in dreams being lost in Buddhist temples.
Two months after this turn of nightmares, I simply gave the topic of prayer as it was usual for me, adding this aspect of change in the content of dreams. A brother immediately intervened before anyone had prayed:
“Yoga is not advised to Christians; it is a pagan practice that opposes the salvation of God in Jesus Christ,” he said.
“But how do you explain Christian Yoga?” I asked.
“Buddha is a false prophet; more exactly a false Christ. His teachings cannot accommodate Christian doctrine. The Bible does not speak of karma as a way of salvation; it nowhere speaks of the need for personal spirit guides to lead us to spiritual elevation. As you may have come to know, spiritual guides are unlimited in number in yoga,” he explained.
“Let’s admit you are right; but there is the Holy Ghost among the Christians who is their guide too! There are saints and angels; there are resemblances!” I tried to prove.
“I correct,” the brother said,” all Christians around the world have one guide only: Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, also called the Spirit of truth. This Holy Spirit is one and because He is omnipresent, He dwells all Christians and teaches them to obey the teachings of Christ. As for angels, they do only the will of the Holy Spirit; no more no less. Be careful of yoga and you will be good,” he exhorted.
I said no more word; but dissatisfied, I was. I was shocked and I judged the words of the brother as extremist, even sectarian; I found him archaic. I lost my peace after his explanations.
To soothe my restless mind, I questioned him at the end of the meeting and his testimony was more troubling. He informed me that he had practiced Hatha yoga for more than three years, until his initiation to transcendental meditation. He had also practiced Tantra yoga. In a short time, the brother gave me so many arguments worth of consideration.
For example, he explained that some yoga postures are gestural incantations; that during initiation to transcendental meditation, a spirit guide is invoked to come incorporate the initiate body. According to his saying, he received a Hindu name after his initiation, and such name might be the name given to him by the spirit invited into him. By that new name, he was called by his yogis’ peers. He concluded his dissuasion by confessing that he had to pass through a session of deliverance after his conversion; exorcism during which several demons with Hindu names were driven out.
After considering his say, I understood that I had no choice but to confess my error and ask forgiveness from God. After being reconciled to God, my night was calm and I slept well. I had lost such comfort for six good weeks! Since this happened after my repentance, I hurriedly interpreted my sweet night as a definite triumph over nightmares.
During the day that followed the peaceful night, I had lunch with Mr. Latin, our Sales Manager. The respite of the night kept me from evoking my troubles. We talked about general social issues. It was during this conversation that we deplored the duplicity and the wickedness of men. (Excerpts of the conversation are reported at the beginning of this narration.)
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John is spiritually trapped by his colleagues and works beside them without the slightest suspicion of what they really are. His situation degrades and gets worse to the point he hallucinates and receives help from the Invisible. Not understanding who is willing to rescue him, he makes no case however. After God gives deliver him from death, he discovers, at the turn of a corridor, what were the intentions of his collaborators.