I Will Ascend
“How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'” (Is 14:12-14)
“The generals are back with their reports from the four corners of the earth My lord; they are waiting in the council room to meet with you.” I watched as he turned to face me. “I am Prince of the Power of the Air, and lord over all that is,” he said as his eyes caught mine. It was a mantra that he repeated over and over as if assuring himself of a fact that all the rest of us knew to be the truth. He was an impressive, massively shouldered figure, towering above the rest of us with black hair down to his knees, piercing fiery-black eyes and fingernails that curved into menacing hooks on each hand. When he spoke his voice commanded your attention, superior and mocking, hateful and condescending, sometimes whining, when he needed to he could still sound like the melodious choirmaster of old, but that voice was seldom used.
“Take me to them,” he commanded as he swept past me, his long dark hair billowing out behind him. I hurried after him taking care to stay out of the way of those swinging arms. On more than one occasion I had seen him hook a hapless soul and then fling them off like so much filth on the fingers. “Well,” he snapped. I watched as the generals cowed under the obvious contempt implied in that one word.
“Since our last meeting, my lord when we strategized on how best to thwart the move of our enemy who calls himself the Most High, among the humans; as you know my assignment was prayer, I and my legions have implemented the following strategy. We have successfully turned the hearts of the followers of the Son of the one who calls himself the Most High by twisting the words He left them from ‘seeking Him first’ as they were commanded to do to ‘seeking all the things he would give’ first. It has turned out to be a very effective strategy as they consume themselves in worry about their lives and their weak hearts have no desire to wait on him who calls himself the Most High. They use prayer like a giant cosmic vending machine, pleading, pleading every day for things and more things. ‘Surely if I just plead long enough one day I’ll hit the jackpot,’ they have a Las Vegas relationship with their benevolent benefactor.” This general then laughed in scorn and derision as he laid his report on the table in front of his lord.
The general in charge of faith spoke up next. “My lord, Prince of the Power of the air and lord over all that is, corrupting faith, has been a simple task. When the Son of the one who calls himself the Most High walked our domain, he told the humans to have faith in the Most High, to trust Him to fulfill His word to them, to put their confidence in Him and His trustworthiness. My legions and I have twisted the words of the Son ever so slightly, and now the humans put their faith in their own ability to think positively about the words of the Most High. Get this, they believe they can create world peace by getting enough people to think positively about peace. Now they accept as truth that faith comes from their own ability to be good and decent and moral. They measure their faith by their own perceptions of success according to the standards of the world which of course are our standards. They think because of their confidence in this ‘truth,’ they will realize their full potential, or self-actualization as they call it. In reality, they are putting their trust in us, which is nothing but a house built on a foundation of sand, easily destroyed when the storms of life rage.”
The general in charge of love stood and bowed deeply before the Prince, his excitement over the success of his assignment was not readily apparent as he began to speak, but he grew more and more animated as he related the triumph of his mission. “My lord, love was a difficult assignment at first. The humans were so careful to forgive and not take offense and to love the Most High with all their heart, mind and soul and to love their neighbor as themselves that we had a difficult time making an inroad. But as you suggested we went at it from the angle of the law. As you know he who calls himself the Most High initially put His commandments in place as a standard and safety boundary for his created ones to understand how to live the way the one who calls himself the Most High lives. We worked at twisting the understanding of the law by highlighting it as the method of judgment, therefore the source of making people feel bad. We started planting thoughts that if you wanted to feel good, the law would have to be removed. The humans have come to believe that the commandments, statutes, and ordinances were abolished when the Son of the one who calls himself the Most High died on the execution stake, that love has replaced these instead of fulfilling them. We convinced them that love means allowing anything and everything. Love is no longer a principle but a feeling. They’ve given away their conscience concerning right and wrong for a tolerance of any and everything. If it feels good, do it, they say. The high moral road is now considered the path of bigots, they can no longer make the distinction between loving a person while at the same time not accepting their actions. This is their new definition: love is instant gratification of any and every desire, gone are the days of patient, kind, truthful, believing, and enduring love. They are so confused they actually accept anything because to do otherwise would mean that they were living under law and not love. White is now black and black is now white!”
The general in charge of righteousness was the last to give his report. He stood slowly and quietly said, “the humans worship you, my lord.” The Prince of the Power of the Air snapped at him, “Elaborate!”
“Sire, allow me to quote from the one who calls himself the Most High’s prophet, Isaiah, ‘But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteous deeds are like filthy rags. We all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away, and no one calls on Your name,’ meaning the one who calls himself the Most High.”
The excellent work of my esteemed colleague who executed the brilliant deception of love especially in the area of taking away the law since the law defined righteousness, now means no law, no righteousness, anything goes. The humans determine their own rightness, right is wrong and wrong is right, there are no absolutes, the truth is up to each individual, it’s whatever you want it to be. They don’t even go to the book the Most High left them to try and figure out truth anymore. And this is the feather for your cap sire, truth is now determined by feelings. Just think of it, how a human feels determines what he believes to be the truth. That old Jeremiah was so right when he said ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?’ The humans think they are worshipping the Most High, but they are really worshipping gods of their own making.” The generals sat in smug silence around the large table, waiting for their lord to speak. After a lengthy interval of impatient quiet, the Prince of the Power of the Air swiveled in his chair and directed a question to the four generals that they were loathed to hear. “Are they all on our side?” I watched the generals begin to fidget under the intense glare of the Prince’s eyes. What should they say? I guessed the truth as I watched them, and I empathized with them for not wanting to bear the brunt of the Prince’s wrath when they told him what they knew he did not want to hear.
“Tell me now, before I have you flogged,” he growled menacingly at them. “You see sire, it’s like this, there are isolated groups of believers that we just can’t seem to penetrate. They are small bands, hardly worth noticing. We’re sure they won’t disrupt the plans you have made. Sire, sire, please!” The Prince of the Power of the Air was on his feet and had the unfortunate general by the throat. He was shaking him ruthlessly. “I told you, everyone, do you understand,
everyone. There is not much time, everyone must be under my control for the coup to work. Everyone!” Then he threw the general to the floor where he collapsed in a heap gasping for breath. The other generals dared not move. They watched behind lowered heads and veiled eyes their lord pace the floor in long, angry strides, wondering who of them might be the next one to experience his wrath. He turned to them suddenly and asked, “How many?” Seeing their startled expressions, he clarified his question, “How many true believers are there in these isolated bands?”
The four generals took a collective breath and said, “Not many, a hundred in some, a thousand in a few, mostly a couple dozen in the rest; maybe a couple hundred bands altogether. They are very isolated and not of much account.” “Tell me about them, why can’t you penetrate them?” my lord scornfully requested of the generals. I could see their discomfort at this question. I knew they had been trying to gloss over the strategic importance of these bands of people and know they knew they had been caught in their own game. Only full disclosure would suffice, oh well as the saying goes, ‘dam the torpedoes, full speed ahead!’
“Lord, they have banded together in what they call communities of believers. The more we persecute them, the more they band together. They live together, eat together, they hold all things in common. We have not seen this since the days right after the Son of the one who calls himself the Most High died. They hold frequent prayer meetings and prayer vigils. They are accountable to each other and quickly repent when wrongs are suffered, they seek forgiveness, they make restitution, they don’t let the sun go down on any anger or hurtful action, they live by the book the one who calls himself the Most High gave them. They use His law as their standard, and everything they do is in the love of the Son of the one who calls himself the Most High. When we attack they just band together like the Roman legions of old and call on their God, the one who calls himself the Most High. He sends His angels, and we cannot stand against them. But they are few and unlike before when thousands were added to their number daily this time they are ridiculed and scoffed at, and the laws of the land that you were instrumental in initiating have sent them into isolation. We feel sure they will not be a threat to your plans. For as lawlessness increases the love of men’s hearts grows cold.”
The generals finished weakly, and the Prince of the Power of the Air continued to sit quietly as he had through their disclosure. He remembered Elijah and the Most High’s words to him, ‘there are 7000 that have not bowed the knee to Ba’al.’ And look what happened, the Son of the Most High was born into this world, the world that he, the Prince of the Power of the Air had dominion over and he had wrested the keys to the gates of hell from his, Lucifer’s hand. This, he knew was his last chance to ascend to the throne of the Most High, to become the Most High, but would his coup attempt work if he didn’t have absolute control? The hate and the greed were strong in him, fueling his rebellion against the Most High. “Come,” he said at length as he looked at his generals, “There isn’t much time.”
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left.
Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison, and you came to me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave me no food, I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger, and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison, and you did not visit me.’
Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?’
Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matt 25:31-46)
Let the one who does wrong still do wrong; let the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and let the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.
“Behold, I AM coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I Am the Aleph and the Tav, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Blessed are those who do YHVH’s commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside the city are those who have strayed away from God, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Rev 22:11-14, Author’s paraphrase)
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come,” and let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. (Rev 22:17, NASB)
Come, Yashua, Come!