After careful consideration as to the direction of this blog, I have decided—with no small amount of trepidation—to return to the dark recesses of the abyss and once again stand face to face with the most insidious and vile creature in all of creation. This will be a most difficult journey, fraught with peril and I urge you to consider carefully the path that is set before you.
While not for the faint of heart, I am confident that should you choose to join me in this journey, you will by the grace of God be able to stand by my side in the face of this terrible creature and live to tell about it.
If you are ready then, let’s be off. If not, please find the EXIT nearest you.
The Scribe –
The Interview Continues …
The great fallen angel had withdrawn to himself. He entered suddenly into a respite from the interview while I sat there, having finished writing the first couple of hours this morning’s discussion—waiting. He lounged on his throne with his head teetering backward, his eyes closed and his mouth gaping. A moment later his mouth slammed shut and his eyes went on full alert as his neck stiffened and his head popped up.
“Have my senses been sullied by the sensory deprivation of this portion of the underworld? Are they being wielded by an unknown hand—twisting and manipulating them in such a way as to trick me into believing something that is not true? Or is my vision yet undimmed by the passage of time? Can my smell pierce the thickest fog and the darkest fog finding the scent of an approaching foe or a fleeing target?
“Could it be after all the carnage weighed centuries that he has finally come out of hiding and into my presence?” The devil leaned forward from his abysmal throne and grinned. “Is it possible?”
“It is possible,” came a soft but hesitant free response from the obscure gloominess at the edge of the pit.
“Then step out,” Lucifer said as he pulled his massive frame to his feet. “Step out from hiding in the shadows of the abyss and come closer to me for I wish to gaze upon the great apostle Paul one more time.” Satan lunged forward with excitement, his chains rattling across the rough ground behind him. He stopped at the limit of his chains just as a sandaled foot slipped from the darkness into the eerie light. “There you are,” he chuckled as the rest of the apostle emerged. “You are looking much better than the last time I saw you with your neck parting under the blade.”
Paul stood there, his hair dark and curly resting on the shoulders of his mantel which covered most of his linen tunic. In his hand, he gripped a long staff
“But why are you silent? And why do you stare as you do?” Lucifer asked, anxiously prancing side to side.
Paul’s eyes dropped for a moment as he leaned heavily on the staff. “You really are quite magnificent,” he said gaily with a widening grin as ground trembled beneath his feet. “I never thought I would have the opportunity to meet my adversary face to face.”
“Bah! Adversary indeed.” The prancing abruptly stopped as the devil spat in Paul’s direction. “We were never adversaries,” he snarled, “at least not in the truest sense of the word.”
“I must agree with you, for with God on my side there was never any equal footing.” Paul looked up into the dark eyes of the dragon. “But despite all of your shortcomings, if we were standing as we are now in the bright glare of the noonday, I dare say that you would block out the sun. How tall would you say that you are for it must truly hurt when you fall?”
“I have never fallen.”
“From the light you have,” Paul jabbed. “From righteousness, holiness—from the throne room of God, oh yes, but you have fallen.”
“You know nothing!” Satan snapped.
“Oh, but I think I do,” he chuckled. “And I cannot wait to hear your explanation as to why you are no longer the mighteous of the angels held in the highest confidence of God. I cannot wait to hear how you ended up a defeated creature chained up in God’s underworld prison.”
“Scribe!” the devil screamed.
Up to that moment I had been sitting quietly at my desk, recording the events as they unfolded. “I am here.”
“Do you still have that extra chair—the one that Enoch uses from time to time?
“I have it here by my desk.”
“Would you be so kind as to bring it out here so that the apostle may take a seat. I believe that we will be having a bit of a chat.”
Standing up, I reached for the chair as I listened to their continued conversation.
“I hoped that we could have a lively conversation and not get bogged down reading that,” Satan said, his outstretched arm and hand pointing to the small leather bound bible Paul pulled from his pocket and opened.
Arriving with the chair, I placed it on the ground next to the apostle.
“Thank you,” Paul said as he sat down. “Will you be joining us?”
“I’ll bring my desk and chair a little closer.”
“Not too close,” Lucifer said flatly before turning his attention and conversation back to Paul. “I see that you are no longer encumbered by your thorn in the flesh.”
The apostle looked up from his reading with a gleam in his eyes. “It was a God ordained encumbrance which provided a much needed purpose in my life. But I must say that I am thankful that those days are behind me and for the glorified body which I now have without any limitations or suffering.”
“A body like unto the Lord’s glorious body,” I added as I placed the desk just behind the apostle.
“Yes my brother, just like his,”
“Yes, yes, yes,” the devil interrupted. “We are all very happy that you have your glorious resurrection body, but my question to you is what is your real purpose for being here today?”
“It was through common friends,” Paul said as he turned and looked at the scribe, “that I first heard about what was occurring here. I immediately knew that if it was possible, I wanted to be included. I met with the scribe, the apostle John, Enoch and the angel Paga over lunch one afternoon—”
“Just last week,” the scribe added.
“Yes, last week,” Paul agreed, “and when I found out that the subject of the interviews had turned to propaganda, well—” The Apostle turned and looked into the eyes of the scribe. “I knew I had to come for myself, and do so quickly.”
“Religion,” Satan stated.
“Religious theater,” I muttered, my head down and my pen scurrying along the parchment.
“Just keep to what you are doing scribe—the writing,” Lucifer snorted.
“Disinformation,” Paul said, “whether in the political realm or in the realm of faith is propaganda—wicked, evil propaganda, which in matters of faith has deadly, eternal consequences.”
“It seems as if you have all the answers,” Lucifer quipped.
“I have all the answers that I and every other human being needs, so yes, I do.”
“Now there’s the voice of cocky arrogance I once knew. There’s the voice of the hypocrite which stands before me, who once heralded my religious propaganda and once meted out my persecution. There’s the man who was once my right hand on earth.”
“While it is true that before meeting my Lord Jesus Christ on the Damascus road I was a zealot, caught up in the darkness of your agenda Satan, that man is no longer. For I in my flesh was crucified with our Lord as certainly as if I had been nailed there myself. For it was not only my sins that were dealt with—paid for by the shedding of his precious blood, but also my irreconcilable nature in Adam.”
“A fine nature as far as I was concerned,” Lucifer injected. “Suitable for my purpose and I would never have required you to change a thing.”
“But unsuitable to God in every way,” Paul answered. “Which is why, by his grace I received a new creation life in Christ, a wild branch grafted into the olive—a partaker of the Lord’s divine nature. While it has long been your goal confuse people into believing that they could atone for their own sins and tame the beast of their fleshly nature becoming good, moral people, the Word of our Lord says quite the opposite and labels you rightly as the god of this world who blinds people to the gospel of Christ.”
“Ridiculous,” Satan grumbled. “Tired old arguments made by a tired old apostle. Please take a moment and look back into history and see the result of Christ’s gospel. Look back at the darkness of the church—of its intolerance, its abusiveness and its wickedness. Look back at the days prior to the tribulation and try to convince me that the collapsing church was made up of new creations where old things had passed away and all things were made new. Convince me that those people were righteous. For that matter, convince me that the scribe sitting behind you is a righteous man.”
The apostle chuckled as he rubbed his face with his hands. “There is no reason for me to try to convince you for you Satan made your choice long ago, sealing your eternal fate.”
“How dare you! ” Lucifer shouted as he defiantly shook his fist, rattling the links of his chains and causing me to jump in my chair. “You believe you have the answers, but you know nothing. You see me here like this in chains and believe that my future is set. Your faith is misplaced in a dusty old book.”
Paul closed his bible and drew it to his chest. “This dusty old book tells me that you Lucifer will soon be joining the company of your monstrous seed and his false prophet in the lake of fire.”
“As will scores of those human pests that he loves so much,” he snapped. “And it gives me a sense of great satisfaction knowing that it is I who have stolen them away from him.”
“Short lived satisfaction,” Paul softly spoke as he stood from his chair, “consumed in the flames of torments and falling as ash upon your tongue. Eternal bitterness in the midst of unrelenting flames.”
The electrifying moment had captured my attention longer than I anticipated as I scrambled to catch up with the dialogue.
“We will see apostle, we will see.”
“Indeed we will,” Paul agreed. “In fact we will all see the great dragon brought down into the pit of torments, into the lake of fire and brimstone. We will witness and wonder if it was really you who caused the earth to tremble and did cause all the kingdoms to shake.”
“Again apostle, we will see. But until that day comes, whatever shall we do?”
Paul stepped forward with a wide grin on his face. “Well, now that you ask, I was hoping to settle a few issues.”
“Issues?” Satan asked with a perplexed look.
“There are particular truths in Scripture which you have skillfully manipulated and distorted, resulting in chaos in the church.”
“Such as?” Satan pondered as he walked back to his throne and sat down.
“Such as the inspiration of the biblical text which includes its inerrancy and its authority.”
“Hah!” He leaned back with a smile. “And I thought you were going to delve into something important.”
“There are many topics I wish to clarify, from the simple but clear message of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the hope of the resurrection. But all of them are subject to a proper understanding of the biblical text and the understanding that all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable. Such a simple declaration and yet you have twisted the minds of believers for centuries into believing a lie.”
“What you call a lie, I call an alternative perspective,” Satan chuckled. “After all, isn’t the Word of God alive and powerful? Yes, yes I do believe that is what the bible says in the letter to the Hebrews. Yes alive and powerful,” he continued. “Sharper than any two edged sword and other such nonsense. Now to my point. If the bible is truly alive as it declares itself to be then isn’t it logical that it will grow and change, particularly in light of an ever changing world?”
Paul shook his head before turning to face me. “Scribe, could we get a pitcher of something cold to drink along with a couple of glasses? I think we are going to be here for some time.”
With the last sweep of my pen I looked up at him. “Do you like lemonade?”
“His hand pointed behind me and I turned to see the emptiness of the heavens quickly filling with a massive wave of white, silver and gray angelic wings. They bore down on us like a torrential flood, twisting, turning and rolling in the sky. Their numbers swelled dramatically before my eyes, and soon there were so many of them that all that I could see was a vast sea of angels—my warriors.
“It was not long before my great liberated army stood behind me, facing God and those angels who remained loyal to him. Between us lay a great expanse of heavenly sky, a chasm formed not by distance, but by will. It would prove to be a rift that would forever divide those who were once united in purpose.
“As our forces faced each other, tension rippled its way through the ranks of my newly formed legion. Their demeanor changed along with their allegiance, and soon they were growling and snarling at those who just moments before were called friends and allies.
“A line had been drawn scribe,” Lucifer said. “It was a line drawn from heaven to earth and from the beginning of days until the end of time. It was a line between the forces of God and my own; between light and the darkness. It was a line which would separate not only heavenly angels and fallen ones, but separate friend from friend and brother from brother.
“Both armies remained in position, poised and ready to strike. But all eyes and ears were trained on God himself. Everyone waited for God to do or say something. But as the silence dragged on, God continued to reinforce his weakness and amplify my strength.
“Drunk with their new-found power, my angelic army broke the silence with a steady beat of Lucifer—Lucifer—Lucifer. Again and again they chanted my name, waving their fists in defiant synchronicity. Each stanza grew louder and more boisterous than the previous one. Eventually they gave way to an eruption of ferocious threats and wrathful taunts.”
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The Scribe –