Jesus held me at arm’s length, studying my face. He smiled, turned, and led the way toward the building.
The atmosphere in the valley was red as though the building was catching the light from a distant forest fire. It was eerie. It cast long shadows across the valley.
The shadows traveled up the building until they reached two enormous black marble dragons on top. These dragons were facing each other with their wings uplifted and touching like the cherubim over the mercy seat.
The building was a mockery of the ark of the covenant. It was deathly dark as if it were made from antimatter. The black marble exterior was wet, and the overbearing humidity made it difficult to breathe.
Thousands of soldiers were standing shoulder to shoulder on all four sides of the building. They wore an ancient style of armor whose design I had never seen. These warriors were camped around the building, just as the Levites were instructed to camp around the desert tabernacle. None of them moved when we passed through their numbers, however.
“Why?” I wondered. I glanced down their ranks to see if I could discern the reason for their inaction. The faces within the helmets were shadow. But their eyes tracked us.
I suddenly remembered how the two angels that were sent to rescue Lot had temporarily blinded the men of Sodom. Jesus, I thought, must have rendered these demons inert. They were alert. But they were incapable of action. They held their ranks like clay soldiers buried with early Chinese emperors.
After passing through most of the ranks of the soldiers, Jesus approached the building. The structure had the appearance of a gigantic mausoleum. As we drew near, I could see that the black marble dragons were breathing. So were the black marble monkeys that formed a decoration around the top of the building. These leered down at us.
The massive double doors unlatched as we approached. They opened slowly. Each door was of great weight. They pictured satan ’s supposed conquests. They were executed in bronze relief and were similar to the doors of European cathedrals that often depict the life of Christ.
The doors opened outwardly to give us entry to a large, windowless room. The smell within the room was odious. The room, like the valley, seemed lit by distant fires. My eyes traveled up to a heavy raised cornice. It formed a crown around the top of the room. A text was written upon it in an ancient language of wedges and triangles.
Jesus waved His hand, and the lettering changed so that I was able to read the inscription. The text proclaimed satan ’s five “I wills” with which he intended to vault himself above the throne of God and crown himself king of the universe. I shuddered.
Hanging upside down from this cornice were half-female, half-batlike demonsthe Lilith, the vampire demons that hunt at night. They were repugnant. I dropped my gaze and saw the reason for the stench in the room. Bat guano.
Display tables flanked either side of the room. These were covered with what seemed to be black velvet. The objects on display were shining with light from within. The objects were beautiful, not because of exquisite workmanship nor because they were encrusted with jewels. Instead, they seemed to have some beauty bestowed upon them by God. They were His, for His people had used them. Now they sat on display like war mementos. I quickly glanced over the tables in astonishment. This was a trophy room.
Stolen From God
Each article was labeled with a clay marker. The same wedges and triangular-shaped writing was on these markers as was on the cornice. Again, Jesus waved His hand. The language changed so that I could read the labels.
On display were the just measure, Miriam’s tambourine, Bezalel’s renderings for the workers (of the patterns given to Moses on the mount), the widow’s bowl, various musical instruments of ancient design, and on and on. We passed article after article that had been used by God in some extraordinary way and then stolen from Him. I could only suppose that these had been taken into the enemy camp because of the sins of God’s people.
I was heartened, however, by the empty spaces on the tables. The labels showed articles that apparently had been rescued to be used by God’s people again. Goliath’s sword that was used by David was missing. David’s harp had been retrieved. There was an empty space where once a banner had been displayed. As we neared the rear of the trophy room, I saw a white embroidered robe on a black clothes stand. It was luminescent. satan had displayed it by itself, as if it were a prized acquisition.
Beyond this article on the rear wall was a vivid fresco.” Before the fresco burned black candles. The flickering lights from the candles seemed to give the fresco a life of its own.
The fresco began at its base with recounting after recounting of brutal tortures of some of God’s people. Those being tortured still seemed alive. The fresco was like none I had ever seen. It was similar to a hologram. Light from the candles caused the pictures to have progressive action, so that those suffering suffered again, with satan supposedly gaining the victory again and again. Barbarous.
The Throne of Skulls
My eyes traveled up this mountain of slaughter to about one-third of the way to the ceiling. Here the fresco began to depict a mound of skulls. This mound rose to a throne of skulls upon which sat the goat-like legs of a satyr.
The enthroned creature had the torso and arms of a human but the head and horns of a goat. In this goat/man's left hand was held a picture of the world. In his other hand was the location for two keys. The outline of the keys was still there, but the keys of death and of Hades had been removed from his hand.
The fresco vaulted up until it covered the first half of the ceiling like a frightful canopy. It was satan , goatlike, enthroned upon a mountainous pile of human skulls. He was gloating in sinister splendor. As God the Father is enthroned upon the praises of His people, satan is enthroned upon his murderous savageries and sadistic cruelties.
A chill ran through me. Flickering light from the black candles caused satan ’s face to move, seemingly to change before my eyes. His snake-like eyes glared at me.
The Embroidered Robe
Jesus touched my shoulder. I flinched. We began to walk toward the acquisition at the very backthe embroidered robe.
It was fall length with long sleeves. The design of the garment was simple. A man or woman could have worn it. Its richness lay in the embroidered work that was executed in white gold of exceptional purity The embroidery arose from the robe. The pattern was intricate and exceptionally beautiful. As I moved a little before the garment, all the colors within the radiance of the Father seemed to play across its surface.
The weight and thickness of the various gold threads seemed to symbolize attributes of the Lord. The robe reflected these as if they had been woven into the garment.
I had no idea a garment could communicate that which was of the character of Christ. Still, I wanted to move slightly before the embroidery to ascertain what was woven into the fabric.
I received the impression of “a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” The garment also reflected “bearing with one another” and “forgiving each other.”’ The thread that had the greatest weight and was the most frequently used was “love.”
These were part of the character of Christ that Paul enumerated in Colossians 3:1214. He had told the body of Christ alive at that time to “put on” this garment. If he had told them to put it on, they must have had it in their possession but were not wearing it. I gathered that sin had eventually allowed the garment to be taken from God’s children. Sad. We had great need of it.
Jesus spoke to me quietly. “The garment is for the soul and heart. It is an inner garment that becomes visible through actions, through decisions that effect unity [oneness in Christ].”
He continued, “I am the new, inner garmentothers rather than self. The supreme Other is God [the Father] HimselfHis rights, His needs, and His desires before all. I have purchased you for our Father. I have washed you and clothed you with garments of holiness and beauty, garments of salvation and righteousness. Anna, clothe yourself in Megarments of salvation for the whole person [body, soul, heart, and spirit]. Clothe yourself in Meattributes of righteousness that are beautiful to God [the Father].”
I turned back to look at the robe. It was exquisite. The Lord’s virtues woven into the garment had brought the body of Christ into “the perfect bond of unity.” Paul had said this. How we needed it now.
He continued, “The embroidered garment is to be worn by those who are the bride. It was handed down in our family. Those who were entering into fuller union with Me wore it. There is none like it. It belongs to our household.”
As I looked at the robe, I realized that to enter into a deeper relationship with Christ meant to enter into a deeper covenant with His body. The two are inseparable.
“Carefully listen to Me,” Jesus said softly. “I want you to remove the garment, then quickly climb onto My back.” Without hesitation He placed His hand on the top of the velvet clothes rack.
I did not have time to think. Instantly I obeyed and began to remove the robe. The more I disengaged the garment, the harder He pressed on the top of the rack. I supposed He was compensating for some weight of glory in it. He continued to press on the top of the rack as I folded the embroidered robe so that it could be carried.
When the garment had been secured, I looked at Jesus. He gave the flicker of a smile, winked at me, and then removed His hand from the rack.
Screams, sirens, and alarms of all kinds immediately arose together. All restraints were removed from everything within this realm.
Quickly the Lord became the white Eagle. Nervously I scrambled onto His back.
The vampire bat demons unfolded their huge wings. Their eyes were bloodred. They hissed through their fanged mouths. They were deranged with fury.
The doors to the front of the trophy room began to close. The white Eagle had to fly with His wings perpendicular to the floor to pass through the narrow opening. I tightened my arms and legs around Him, pressing the robe between my flattened body and His back. We passed through the opening like a single unit. With searing screams everythingbats, monkeys, dragons, soldierswrenched awake.
It seemed as though everything in the corrupted stratum breathed down upon us in the chasescreeching, squalling, shrieking, a cacophony of blood-curdling sounds raised behind us. They were a frenzied juggernaut.
The marble dragons wrenched free from the top of the building with all the cracking and tearing that accompany a structure being torn apart. The black marble monkeys violently ripped free to join in the hunt. The Lilith and shadow warriors rabidly pursued. Whether hoofed, winged, clawed, flightless, or airborne, they pressed us. They were a murderous horde of frenzy and rage.
Quickly demons from elsewhere in the second heaven joined these in the chase. The whole second heaven sounded like one dangerous, wounded animal. The bone-chilling cries that went up from that place made my blood run cold. Horrific.
I clung to the white Eagle. It was a wild ride. Wild!
but exhilarating. I threw back my head, gulping air and laughing silently. Let them roar. That was all that it was, a roar. A show. I was with Jesus, and Jesus had won the victory! Let them roar!