United Pentecostal Church Mannheim
Short Messages

Message from the Monthly Flyer from February 2008

Follow the signposts

Proverbs 22:28 Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.

Between the north east part of Texas and the south west part of New Mexico there is a large area which is called the Llano Estacado. It is a very hot and dry area with only a little amount of water, most of the rivers are dried out in the summertime. This region is about 250 kilometers wide from the east to the west and over 400 kilometers long from the north to the south.There are many small bushes, hardly any grass, the sand is red-colored, there are some small hills, but apart from that, it is a very flat land. The Pecos River flows only in the western part from the north to the south through this region. It was the dream of the pioneers in the 18th Century to go to the West to start a new life. California was a dream for them which they really wanted to see for themselves. They heard about gold, fertile ground and a free land. All kinds of people set off on their way to go there, there were thousands and thousands of them that did so.

They forsook everything which they had, they bought wagons, animals to pull the wagons etc., oxen, horses, and goods which they needed for the journey. Often entire groups moved out immediately after winter to go the West, in order to get there before the next winter. The majority of them emigrated from St.Louis to the West. Several of them took the northern route, others the southern route, this is the one which we are presently talking about. From St.Louis the route went to Oklahoma City, and from there, 250 kilometers further to the west, to Amarillo. It was here where they had to cross through the Llano; a way which was over 250 kilometers long through dry, hot desert area with scarcely any water and no clear pathway, generally speaking, it was a dangerous area full of snakes and scorpions. It was not an easy way, for there were no roads, the land was still wild, the tracks were sometimes blown away and there was hardly any water for man and beast.

Many on these tracks who were on their way to try and cross the Llano, lost their direction and were very thirsty and ended up dying. They never made it out of this area. It was a journey which took almost 3 weeks. So many people died and got lost on the way, that something was done about it - big signposts were put in the ground for the border and others to point the way . As a result, it was easier for the travelers to cross through the area without ending up losing their lives. Due to the signposts which were placed in the ground at that time, this large area was called the “Llano Estacado” or “Staked Plains”.

There was also a time in which the bandits moved these signposts, in order to lead certain tracks into an area where they would get lost, and then they were attacked and robbed.

It is a very similar situation to many people today. At the beginning they hear about Christ and about faith in God, they want to get close to Him, they pray and are generally seeking. They read in the Bible, however, all of a sudden, they are no longer following the Scriptures; but rather, they are following the signposts of the robbers who take God’s Word away, and instead, have set up signposts of tradition. They strongly believe that they are on the right way, for they can see for themselves that many are following the signposts. However, does that mean that it is the right way just because many are going that way? No, for in the end they will be robbed before they even reach their goal, which is eternal life.

They die in the desert. Our country is a large, spiritual desert, in which there is barely any water. Follow the Word of God, look for a church which preaches the whole truth like the “first church” did. Nothing else will save you, nothing else will bring you to your destination. Follow theWord of God and not human tradition! Be baptized in the name of Jesus and receive the Holy Ghost. Live a life in the power of God, separated from sin and worldliness. rw

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