How can I describe to you the strange sense of destiny I felt? To know that I was standing before the elite of Hell, hearing their plans, sensing their fears, and yet be totally hidden from their view? I listened with intense anticipation to what Satan would admit next.
“One authentic Christian,” he wailed, “in which Christ works without resistance is all that it would take to disrupt everything.” The Father of Lies contorted as if he was having a momentary seizure. His minions reeled for they had never heard him concede to saying the name of the Lord.
Lucifer continued, “One true Christian, rightly fitted for war, will be the ruin of us. And few things would aid this more than what is written in The Twelve.
Then a demon said, “But, Your Majesty, the writing has been stopped.”
“You fool!” Satan shot back, as he flung the pathetic being clear across the crater. “It is not the writing of The Twelve that brings me dread. We already have an infinitely more dangerous writing, and it is everywhere The Bible!” When he mentioned the scriptures it induced another seizure. “The danger, my misinformed warrior,” said Satan, “is the meaning of The Twelve and the horrible way in which they show exactly what is wrong, why our enemy’s followers do not obey. It awakens a keen insight into their holy book. These Twelve expose the exact points on which we have so effectively divided them. It tells them how to arm the places of their vulnerability. Listen, you banal beasts, if just one could read and discover how to ask and then receive, if just one would embrace their potential . . . but most of all if just one were to discover the One who is ever with them to make them strong, wise, and miraculous, then . . .” At the mention of God’s Spirit, the entire company involuntarily dropped and ducked for cover.
“But Master,” braved another evil spirit, “you have rid the Earth of the author of The Twelve, have you not?”
“Yes, but his writings still live, and I live in constant threat that someone will find them, “answered Lucifer.
‘”But why don’t we simply find the thesis and destroy it?” This apparently was a particularly stupid and enraging query that caused the Devil to grab this hapless demon by the throat and hold him aloft.
“Because, you idiot!” Satan said as he dangled the demon, “there is a sentinel, an angel, that has remained outside the author’s home to this very moment guarding the document.” Then he flung the leathery critter with such force that he rolled and bounced almost all the way up the same stairs I had just descended.
Next Satan recounted the story of Martin, the author of The Twelve. He painted a picture of a man who had been a mighty leader of the gospel in China. With intense animosity, Satan described the awesome effectiveness of this simple man. He had blasted revivals of righteousness into village after village in the remotest parts of China and won entire regions to Christ. He told how this missionary had an amazing gift of creating leaders who would carry fire to even more places. This unique expression of awakening alarmed Satan, who had seen nothing like it before and knew that it represented a model for the entire Church.
It became Satan’s ambition to stop Martin. The Enemy understood that he could not assault this dedicated vessel of God from without, for that would have strengthened the resolve of his coworkers. Instead he used his religious demons to infiltrate and divide. Satan called upon his tried and true tools for halting the church: jealousy and politics, and the mismanagement tendencies of church hierarchy. But it was when Martin set to paper The Twelve keys to his breakthroughs in China, that Lucifer stepped up his assault against him.
Criticism from Martin’s American missions board broke his heart. Powerless representatives were sent to police his activities. They returned with false reports.
The stress of seeing her husband so unfairly treated broke his wife’s health and she died. He reluctantly agreed, several years later, to return home with his two sons and young daughter. His sons refused to return home with the family, so he and his daughter left to come back to America alone. There Martin was attached to his denomination’s college to teach future ministers.
Martin finished his writing of The Twelve in America and prepared to teach it as a college level course. Before he could do so, Satan arose in great wrath and provoked Martin’s superiors, who had never even tried to study his thesis, to brand him an extremist. The hypocrisy of their own lives is what was truly at risk. Satan used their fear of being exposed to cause them to exert pressure on Martin to renounce a document they knew nothing about.
As I stood there listening to Satan’s story, my heart grieved for and bonded with this missionary. He was so loyal that he agreed to all the unreasonable demands of his leadership. His sons remained on the front lines of the mission field, but soon they too passed away from the exhaustion of their great work. Martin was left with a little cottage and a young daughter to raise. He taught for a few years, but soon the loss of his loved ones and the grief of having his life’s work rejected took its toll, and he also died.
While Satan angrily rehashed all of these facts, I saw visions of what Martin looked like. As Satan ended his diatribe against this holy man, one more scene was vividly portrayed before me. It was of a more hopeful and relieved man.
Rather than destroy his treatise, Martin decided to place it in a strongbox for safekeeping. He went to the corner of his basement, removed some floorboards, and lovingly placed the metal box under the floor. He had a God given hope that one day it would be found. The fact that Satan could not get to the box gave him the greatest agony.
The self-pitying wranglings of Lucifer now ended. An uneasy silence fell upon these gates of Hell. Watching Belial slump in his chair, I sensed that possibly this world wide attack could be called off.
Whatever hope of this I nursed was soon dashed by the appearance of yet one more fallen angel. This time it was truly an insidious and cunning being. The demons made way for this spirit as it made its grand entrance. The fiend that approached Satan was none other than the Devil of Discouragement. He had shipwrecked more vessels of God in history than any other. He could breathe upon a man’s soul and kill a vision like a frost upon tender vegetation. He was always sent in as the final option to those who troubled the Prince of Darkness most.
What a grotesque ghoul! He bowed in deference to his king and waived his freakish hand for all to listen to him.
Lord, Mephistopheles,” he began, “I am your obedient slave. I fear that you have entertained too bleak of an assessment of your situation. You are the Monarch of the Earth. Your achievements speak for themselves. Will your master plan prevail? Of course it will! It is the supreme invention, born of your eternal wisdom. It is your destiny, that for which you have existed for all time.”
He proceeded to project new images upon that grisly floating screen. The triumph of Lucifer, appearing from the moment he purloined Adam’s rights over the Earth, to victories of every sort, here was a nefarious demon putting on the show of his career. His viperous words infused life into the Lord of Vermin. Satan’s atrocities were blazed before us. My sick soul reeled in vexation.
The fiendish frenzy continued. The demon elite rose in wave after wave of roaring praises as diabolical schemes and exploits were celebrated.
Presently, this Demon of Discouragement turned to address the core fear of Beelzebub. “Your Omnipotence, let me ask, do you really believe that the dreaded one will be created? You know what buffoons these mortals are. Even if the twelve secrets were found, the mediocre will never permit their comfortable lifestyles to be disturbed by their content. How many times has our Enemy’s Spirit energized one of them to speak warnings, only to have his fire doused by their love of the world which we feed to them? Do you suppose that I would permit the writings of The Twelve to actually take hold? If one even attempts to pursue the document, will I not step in to wither his will? Will I not dredge up his past and prove that they are ineligible to ever be a vessel of honor? Or, I could gently whisper the impossibility of his task in such imperceptible doses that he will not notice that he has been numbed with doubt?”
Amid his dissertation, Satan was ignited with courage. His countenance regained its ignoble luster. He roared his approval.
The demon continued with abominable words cascading from his mouth. He turned into an obnoxious cheerleader who began to deride the faith of all believers in general. His voice made me seethe, and his accusations incited me as nothing had before. He had mocked and ridiculed everything holy. This began to build up a firestorm within me.
“Remember, Master,” he drooled, “how much we enjoy toying with these wretched creatures who try to bring revival. When one of them gets a grip on a neglected truth, we wound them until their message is full of rancor and hurt and stripped of its potency. When a secular idea pervades a generation, we get preachers to concoct a Christian version of it and inject it into their gospel so that its power to transform is neutralized. When they get excited and are dangerously close to a massive breakthrough, we merely step behind it and push their excitement into emotional extremes. That way they are discredited by their fellow believers. But above all. you must recall how they do us proud when we teach them how to mask their cruelty under the pretense of zeal for truth. Hence, they shoot their own wounded and show no mercy.
“I could listen no more. I was consumed by wrath and fury. I called out in prayer pleading to my God. Why should I be tortured by these abominations if I had no power to avenge my Lord? That inward impression that aided me so much, once more counseled me. I knew that I was to wait for a moment yet to come. I was not to waste my raging, but allow it instead, to become concentrated. I would look for the perfectly timed, divine moment.
The Demon of Discouragement’s words grew even more monstrous as he boasted that Satan’s final attack would not only ruin Earth, but Heaven as well. He stated that the Holy One would be dethroned and that Lucifer would own the glory.
The volcano within me rumbled anew. Something astonishing was rising in my soul. A deep and thunderous roar came out of my mouth that was louder than a million combined thunderclaps. Now the Devil could see me and hear me! The whole company was blown away like leaves in a hurricane. Satan was smashed against his throne by the roar. The mocking Demon of Discouragement was flattened against a pillar.
Now I was permitted to respond to this blasphemer. I walked right up to him and roared again, “You have counted out the believers. You have dismissed the Church’s power. Let me ask you, you cursed devil bound for damnation, do you know me? Do you know who I am? Do you really think that no one will find The Twelve and that no one in all the Church will become one of those you dread? Think again. Do you know who I really am? I slowly put my face near his and pointed in the direction of Satan and said, “I am the Christian the Devil warned you about!”
TOMORROW CHAPTER FOUR: THE TWELVE ARE FOUND.