The Eagle Returns
Before I could puzzle over what he meant, I saw the white Eagle fly across the path. My heart leaped when I saw Him. I began to run after Him, calling, “Lord! Lord, please come back, please.”
He must have heard me, for He made a wide bank in flight and landed before me. I was so overjoyed to see Him whom my heart adores that I hugged Him around the neck, clinging to Him. “I want to fly with You. I want to eat from the hand of God.”
He became the Lord. I buried my face in His shoulder. He held me, returning my embrace, more like a lover than a friend. This amazed me. Did He long for me as I longed for Him?
“Forgive me, Lord,” I said. “I want to be with You. I long for You. I want to be and do whatever You want, as long as we are together.”
“Anna,” He said, pulling me away from Him so that He could look into my eyes, “do you trust Me?”
“Why, yes, Lord,” I answered, surprised.
He became the white Eagle. I quickly climbed onto His back, and He began to fly. I put my arms around His neck and buried my face in the fragrant feathers of His head.
He flew. . . and flew. . . and flew. . . until He flew into deep darkness.
The Corrupted Strata
I could not discern if it was densely dark or if it only seemed that dark because we had come from a place so permeated with light.
The white eagle flew down into a walled-in area that had a shelter within it. The wall was of uncut stones and fairly high. On top of the wall were branches brandishing large, painful- looking thorns.
It was a sheepfold.’ It was Christ’s outpost in that corrupted strata occupied by Satan. The enclosed area had but one gate. It appeared that the thorns were not so much to make entry by the demons impossible, but to serve as a warning. NO TRESPASSINGa visible command from Christ Himself. The sheepfold was His territory.
It occurred to me that perhaps one of the reasons the crown of thorns was crammed into Jesus’ skull before His crucifixion was as a private slap in the face from Satan, for the sheepfold was crowned with thorns. Christ had dared to establish a place of safety within the enemy’s hostile kingdom. That crown of thorns was an affront before His crucifixion; now, after His resurrection, it was an ever-present reminder of Christ’s victory and His eternal lordship.
The white Eagle changed into the Lord.
There was scant light except for that which came from Him. “Stay with Me’ He said. He had a tall staff in His hand.
By the gate were two pairs of porpoise shoes that were dyed red. He put on a pair, and so did I.
“Touch nothing here, Anna; all is defiled.” We walked out the gate into the darkness. Jesus Himself was the light on our way.
Weeping and sardonic laughter came from the darkness. They were human voices, but they sounded as if they were coming from animals. Alarm gripped me. I stayed close to the Lord, walking in His footsteps. Although it was dark, I began to see dimly.
The Outskirts of the Strata
The surface on which we were walking was dank and sticky. There was a slight suction created on the bottoms of my shoes as we walked, as though I might become glued to the spot if I did not keep moving. Huge, slimy creatures would half roar, then lift themselves up and move threateningly toward us. They looked like giant slugs, but acted more like bull seals protecting their territory. They tried to frighten us, but they ended up bowing before Jesus, a begrudging acknowledgment of His lordship.
The River of Filth
We came to a levee that sloped down to a black lagoon. The water was filthy, sluggish, and stagnant. The smell was putrid.
Jesus helped me into a long pirogue. I sat down, but He stood and poled us across this narrow waterway with His staff. The water boiled and emitted steam every time His staff plunged into it.
Jesus said, “This is a river of filth. As the river of life is clear, so this one is putrid and defiling. It issues from the mouths of sinful man. As rivers of living water come from the belly of My righteous ones, so out of the blackened heart, through the mouth, comes this watery filth.”
I could see creatures lying on the banks and hear them breathing. They appeared to be crocodiles, but they made blowing sounds through their nostrils like hippos.’° Their eyes shone in the dark.
The Chained Ones
Caves lined the levees, and an occasional cry or moan came from them. I felt that the sounds I had heard when we walked through the gate came from these caves. They looked like dungeons with demons guarding the entrances. But who or what was imprisoned there?
The demons uttered low, guttural chuckles at the obvious pain of those imprisoned. They enjoyed someone else’s pain.’
“Observe the misery,” the Lord said. “My people participate in this, enjoying the downfall of another, laughing at the mistakes of others, and holding them in their chains instead of setting the captives free.”
I looked toward the dark entrances of the caves. Within these dungeons the enemy held captive certain areas in the lives of humans on earth. Christians, instead of helping to set the captive free, were tightening the chains of condemnation that held them in bondage. Christians were siding with the jailers against the Lord by nullifying the provision of forgiveness and reconciliation that He had made for them through His shed blood.
We stepped onto the opposite bank and began to walk up a wide path to the crest of that levee. Moans came from every demon we passed. Christ’s appearance among the demons tormented them, and they ran away from Him.’
“Light is very painful to them,” Jesus said, indicating the fleeing demons. “They suck up darkness and breathe out venomlost, corrupted forever, darkness inside and out. These who once ate the food of angels, these who stood in My Father’s light, these who knew the companionship of the trustworthynow they slither and cringe from the light, cursing the darkness and cursing the lightthey are doubly damned. They eat vomitthree or four times over.” (I felt that He was equating vomit with slander.) “In community with those of their kind, they laugh at each other’s misery and deny each other reliefturning, forever turning upon one another, therefore always alone.”
“Leave us,” a voice said, and a hyena giggled.
As we topped the levee, the land as far as I could see was slimy mud, a murky wasteland.’
“Wet,” Jesus said, “for they fear the fire. They are tormented even by dry places.”
Numerous dead trees stood within the mud.
“The trees are a memorial to the vile groves of false gods. Here these trees are seen for what they actually are: broken, bare, without lifethe home of snakes and birds of prey.”
Indeed, black snakes were in these dead trees, as well as covering the brackish mire. They were hissing and writhing, constantly moving over one another as if mating.’ A false unity, a joining in the black mind, I thought. It occurred to me that as the Lord is bringing together a oneness in Himself, so the devil is birthing a counterfeit unity.
Jesus spoke, “The spawn of demons. How Satan promotes his imitation fruit. These goad tormented souls to vomit forth slanders, lies, and cursingrivers of putrid water in which the demons swim.”