". . . For  You  are  with  me."

Paul S. Wong

 

". . . . . Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me" (Psm. 23:4).

 

It was an anointed evening service at the Church of Jesus Christ in Salinas, California on June 13, 1993. Praise the Lord, my message on the "Seven Truths of Baptism into the Lord Jesus Christ" was very well received by the congregation. The Twenty Third Psalm was chosen as their closing hymn. In his usual strong voice, the senior pastor Efraim Valverde reminded the brothers and sisters to remain faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ in times of extreme danger, even at the point of facing death. While singing this hymn, there was no thought in my mind that just a few hours from that moment, Brother Samuel Liu, his wife Angela, and I would "walk through the valley of the shadow of death."

 

The Lord saved us during the automobile accident

 

By the time we had finished supper with the younger Valverde's family at Denny's restaurant in North Salinas, it was almost midnight. The date had already changed to June 14 when we crossed over to South San Francisco. The three sisters from the Church in Pacifica that came with us were safely home. Brother Samuel, driving his Mercury Sable with his wife Angela sitting behind him, was eager to get home. I was sitting in the front passenger seat.

 

It was nearly 2:00 a.m. as we came to the last major intersection that is about one block from the Liu's home. We were driving uphill on La Salle Street. As our car began to turn left on Cashmere, an automobile came speeding from the opposite direction. It was traveling so fast that we did not have time to turn completely. Everything happened very quickly. It hit our car on the passenger side rear panel. The impact was so great that it pushed our vehicle against the roadside curb. Needless to say, our automobile was badly damaged, and the three of us were jolted, but we escaped unhurt. We remained in our car for a while, and continued to praise and thank the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

The Lord saved us during the armed robbery

 

A young man in a battle fatigue jacket emerged from the other automobile and walked towards our wrecked vehicle. On the opposite side of the street was another man. The first man came to my side and began to shout obscenities. When he saw that I was not responding, he walked over to the driver's side and shouted the foul language again. He did not get any response either. Suddenly he pulled out a hand gun and pointed it at Samuel. He demanded that we give him all our money. Angela brought out three $20.00 bills. Samuel rolled the window down about an inch and slid the bills through the opening. Unsatisfied with what he received from us, he became furious and demanded more money.

 

Just at that moment, I thought I needed to do something about it. Maybe I could calm him down by talking to him. I got out and walked towards the robber who was standing right in front of our automobile. As soon as he saw me, he rushed towards me. I did not realize it, but both Samuel and Angela saw him pressing the gun on my head. I remember the robber reaching with his left hand for my right jacket pocket while pointing the gun at me and shouting at the same time. He demanded, "Give me all your money." I stepped back and pleaded, "Please calm down and let's talk" but he insisted, "I want all your money!" I quickly retreated and said, "I don't have money on me." He shoved me backwards and stuck the hand gun right on my chest and shouted, "Give me all your money, now!"

 

I had come to the point where I could no longer rely on my human ability anymore. It required a supernatural intervention. I realized that my life was in extreme danger, but I was also confident that Jesus Christ would deliver me from the evil one (1 Jn. 5:18; Jn.17:15). I placed my life completely in His hands as I prayed quietly, "Lord Jesus Christ, save me." It was wonderful! The moment I called upon His Name and put all my faith and trust in Him, my natural fears completely vanished (Psm. 91:14-16). The LORD gave me the full assurance that He was with me and would protect me.

 

" I will fear no evil; For You are with me" (Psm. 23:4).

"If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Rom. 8:31).

"Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (Jas. 4:7)

 

 With the confidence of a triumphant soldier for Christ, I did what was taught in the Word of God and confronted the adversary with the Name of the LORD. I looked squarely at the thug and shouted right to his face, "In the Name of the LORD JESUS CHRIST, I command Satan to leave". The thug retreated. At that moment he was baffled, confused and shocked. He asked me, "What are you saying?" He could not believe what I did. Instead of handing him the money, which most people would do, I rebuked him in the Name of the LORD JESUS CHRIST. There is mighty power in the Name of the LORD. Would you believe it? He immediately left the scene without saying a word. He and his accomplice went away so quickly that all of a sudden I found myself standing alone beside the wrecked vehicle. It was a chilling experience.

 

The Fourth Person inside our automobile

 

The Lord Jesus Christ had promised all His disciples:

 

"For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, I am in the midst of them" (Mt. 18:20).

"Look! he answered, 'I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God" (Dan. 3:25).

 

I quickly entered the automobile and Samuel began to start the engine, but it would not start. I felt the thugs would return; they had been momentarily shocked, but they would regroup and attack us again. We were frantic and nervous because the engine would not start. As Samuel suggested that we walk home, suddenly "POW!" the windshield was shot. We did not have time to duck or take cover. We instinctively call upon the Name of the LORD. I could hear Angela praying in a loud voice: "JESUS, save us." All three of us were praying to Jesus Christ and calling upon Him "HALLELUJAH" as shots were fired at us. I distinctly heard my door and glass window being shot at. It was scary to be the target of gunshots.

We continued to pray. There was no time to think of what to say in our prayers. We just prayed in the Spirit. As we were calling on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I definitely felt His presence in our midst. There was a big crash in the rear window. One of the thugs threw a large rock and smashed the glass. After some shots were fired from various directions, everything on the outside became very quiet. It was eerie! We continued to pray fervently.

Then a huge army-type boot began kicking at the driver's window. It was the thug in the battle fatigue. He was using the Karate-style side kick. Boom! Boom! He must have kicked over ten times. The window vibrated violently from the assault, but thank the Lord Jesus Christ, the glass did not break. After cursing and swearing for failing to gain entry into the car and killing us, the gansters left. Praise the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

You may think that we were lucky that time, but for the three of us who were inside the wrecked vehicle, being subject to such a violent assault by the gangsters, without sustaining even a single scratch on our bodies, requires more than luck. It is God's divine protection. There was a Fourth Person inside the automobile. True to His promise, our LORD JESUS CHRIST was among us inside the automobile when we called upon His Name. Praise His Holy Name YAHSHUA!

 

  After the gansters left the vicinity, we walked uphill about a block away to the Liu's home and immediately called the police who also received two other calls. They responded promptly and arrived in less than ten minutes. We were told that someone had been arrested and the police wanted us to identify him. They brought Samuel and I back to the scene of the accident. There he was, the man in battle fatigue, being handcuffed at the back. The police made him stand twenty feet away with the headlights beaming at him. "Is he the person who robbed you? Was he the one who tried to kill you?" These were two of the many questions the police asked us. Our positive identification of the criminal and willingness to testify before the San Francisco Court of Law enabled the police to indict the man on at least two serious charges - armed robbery and attempted murder. When he was tried in the court in San Francisco he pleaded guilty. I want to thank the LORD for protecting His servants and also dealing with the criminal. All glory, honor and praise be given only to the LORD JESUS CHRIST!

 

 Comments: Throughout the robbery incident the three of us were praying in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in the English transliteration of "Jesus" and Mandarin Chinese "Yesu" and never in the Hebrew "Yahshua." This shows that our Lord Jesus Christ still answers our prayers regardless of what transliteration of His name we invoke. Praise Yahshua the Messiah.

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