Christianity Oasis Ministry
Saga of Darkness Vision of Light
by Dennis R. Cook
Once inside Old Blackgoat's rustic dwelling we maneuvered Steven into the kitchen. It had the best light. We had taken enough chances for one evening. There was no point in losing Steven in the middle of the night because we overlooked some damning injury. We found swelling above the left ear, and one shoulder was severely bruised. A tinge of drying blood from nose and mouth made Steven look worse, perhaps, than he was, but I couldn't be sure.
Old Blackgoat wasn't taking any chances. Sensing Steven's need for medical attention, he wrestled the boot black can of lamb oil from Steven's hip pocket, and anointed our compadre with the stuff. If nothing else, Steven's bedazzled gaze disappeared; it hopped on my face. The rapidity of Steven's recovery was astounding. I thought about asking Old Blackgoat for an application of that stuff, but something on the inside of me said not to. Instead, I directed my attention to the big fella' who had saved our bacon in the bowels of the cavern.
What were we going to do with him, I wondered, while listening to Old Blackgoat explain to Steven how big foot had stormed out of the pit of hell to rob Death of its newest presents. In my excitement, I interrupted him.
"Our moving the lamb oil away from the fire pit and cracking the sarcophagus in which he (I pointed to the big fella') was imprisoned, must have done the trick. It broke the spell on him," I said, trying to seem disaffected by everything. "Our main problem is a tad more complex. Now that we have mighty man of old, what are we going to do with him? He is too tall, too broad, and too heavy to stand, sit or lie down comfortably in this trailer.
"And his comforts are just the beginning of our problem," I continued. "I don't want to seem faithless, but what will people think of our giant companion? What are we going to tell them? How will our friend adjust to life in our quaint surroundings?Will he always be gentle? Will he talk normally? There will be the problem of his origin. What kind of lies are we going to concoct? Let's face it, our new friend is not human. So.., what are we going to tell people....we accidentally rescued an alien being from the clutches of fallen angels? Everyone from NASA to the Weekly Reader will be in Old Blackgoat's front yard from now till the cows come home."
"I think those are all valid concerns," Steven said, "but I think the more immediate threat will not come from health workers wanting to know if the big fella' has been vaccinated, although," Steven laughed, "I doubt they will be far behind.
"No, Steven said, locking eyes with me to let me know he wasn't joking, "the occupants of those thrones in the belly of that mountain must have had mighty good reasons for wanting to keep our big buddy captive, and I don't think they'll take his escape lightly. Every black-hearted thing that ever inhabited a human body from here to Tucumcari will be after us long before big brother. I can't imagine to what lengths the devil will go to to get their captive back. We had all better brush up on our understanding of the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony, put on the whole armor of God, and take up our cross, because we're going to have some overcoming to do!"
"Just imagine," Old Blackgoat said, "what this man could do for the faith of countless millions all over the world. His very presence at prayer meetings and revivals worldwide could convert the very masses of humanity to Christianity. He could inspire them to practice what they preach..., you know,..., faith, hope, and love!"
"You are both right on target," I said, "but," pointing at the big fella', who, at that time had managed to find floor space for his tremendous torso, "perhaps our friend will help us out a little. Would you mind answering a few questions for us?" I asked, taking great care not to overextend eye contact with the big fella.
"I am Prometheus, the Cherub, born of the creation of the Almighty One that was before man," the creature thundered, but in a tone devoid of malice. "There is no need for you to verbalize your intentions to question me. I know your thoughts. They have been as paintings before my eyes since you entered the shrine of my captivity. For you see, mine is the sum of all vision, as Lucifer's was the sum of all wisdom. From the beginning of the creation of God, I have seen all things as through the Great One's eyes. I have tasted the limitless riches of His glory. For eons beyond your wildest dreams I communed with the King of all creation. I was rich with treasures men cannot fathom.
"In that day Lucifer was like unto me. Our playground was the expanse of the universe and realms far beyond your comprehension provided our dominion.Agelessness and timelessness were ours, perhaps to our own destruction. For there came a day, it seemed, when we could be no longer satisfied with who we had been made in God, and broke away from Him.
"Lucifer was the first to break fellowship with the Father. He became enraged when I revealed to him that I had envisioned the Almighty issue a new proclamation heralding the challenge of salvation. There would be a competition held to determine status and power in heaven. Lucifer would no longer be the anointed Cherub of all favor unless he fulfilled the conditions of the covenant. The thought of being less than the most favored anointed Cherub was more than Lucifer could stand. He devised a plan to set up a Kingdom of his own that would be greater than that of God, tempting many with false visions of greater freedom and power beyond what they had ever tasted by the hand of the Father. Those false visions were created my me! Prometheus!
"I joined Lucifer's mad scheme, never realizing my very actions had, as with Lucifer and many other great ones, disqualified us from the very prize the blessed God was so lovingly desiring to bestow upon us. We esteemed ourselves wise, and became fools. As much as we were corrupted by the nightmare of our own creative abilities, we failed to see the justness of the Holy One's offer, and that cut us down. The challenge was merely to remain sinless...a state we had maintained since the dawn of creation. How simple! But as you say, hindsight is always twenty- twenty.
"I became enraged at Lucifer when his anger turned toward man, and though second in command of all his dominion, favored even in power above the arch angels Hell and Death, the lingering compassion of love toward God in me, compelled me to stand for man. I longed much to help man overcome his pitiful estate after his murder by ruthless Lucifer, but in so doing earned exile from the evil ones. I was told there was no room for compassion in their 'new world order,' only survival of the fittest. I was deemed unfit.
I attempted to rejoin with those of God, but received such stern rebuke from the blessed Gabriel, that I dared not, choosing rather to suffer with my shame alone, than be made to feel shame at the hands of all.
"On the earth in that day were many valiant warriors and mighty men, men who had been sired by the dark ones of Lucifer's hoard, a ploy to seal man's destruction. I saw my chance to blend in with the other giants of that day, and so, I took a mortal woman as my bride and lived as a mortal, but I dared not sire any children. What I did not know of my deed, was that the heavenly high council, the 'Watchers,' had decreed, as they had been given the law with which to guide the affairs of men, that should any son of God be found in the company of a mortal woman, the same would be chained in darkness for a thousand years.
"The decree had come too late, for already the seed of Lucifer's dark ones had corrupted the earth. The good seed of God could scarcely be found, save crying out from murderous blows inflicted without mercy by the wicked. Ultimately, the servants of Lucifer succeeded in bringing the wrath of God upon man through unholy intercourse, and the continual violence that was perpetuated by the seed of the devil.
"When the flood came upon the Earth for the violence in it, I was caught and chained a thousand years in the depths of the netherworld for my marriage to a mortal woman. Though I sired no children, it did not matter.
"I had many days to contemplate my wickedness. How could I have been so insane? How could I have been so foolish to leave my first estate and forfeit my place in the Kingdom of Heaven? I was not bitter. I had sinned the great sin and was without remedy. At the end of my thousand year imprisonment I strode upon the earth seeking an answer to my dilemma, when Lucifer again confronted me with a proposition.
"Help me destroy God and the man He has made to take our place," Lucifer said.
"Go away Lucifer," was my swift retort, "I've had part in your schemes of glory, but they always come to naught."
"And I walked away. I knew Lucifer was not one to be turned down lightly, but I had no idea how he would punish me, and I did not care. After all, was my wretched existence worth so much as a piece of gold? I thought not!
"On my journey I chanced upon the region of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and there came upon the great high tower of Babel. A great celebration was in progress, and I was cheered by the knowledge I could drown my sorrows in the depths of a flask of wine, but I should have known that would mean trouble. An immortal diva named Astarte feigned my seduction while I was woefully drunken, and led me into the trap Lucifer had set for my imprisonment in that sarcophagus where you found me. She was a demi- goddess drawn by Lucifer at the time of our fall into his mad scheme of world destruction. When I refused to use my visionary powers against mankind as Lucifer willed, Astarte took my place. Her orders were to create traps and pitfalls for man using any means necessary. The lamb oil was her invention. Thus, I have been kept bound..., bound by words of that substance you, Steven, have well named, pure faith, lo, these thousands of years.
"Do you see my friends, how it pays to follow Lucifer? I will follow him no more!
"But what of you three?" Prometheus queried, "how is it I detect the Spirit of the Living God within you? After the flood it was not so except for a few chosen of God."
"Please allow me to put things into perspective for you." Steven said. "The heavenly competition for the "most anointed" has been won by a man. But that is all I am going to say about that right now. We still want to hear more about you. For example, why was Death so afraid of you in it's own sanctuary?"
"Weren't you listening?" I scoffed at Steven. "He said that he, at one time, was second in command, subject only to Lucifer himself."
"Oh, yes," Steven said, putting his hands to his forehead which was apparently still smarting, "I guess I'm not quite a hundred percent, yet."
"I guess we will forgive you this time," Old Blackgoat said.
"I know my next question isn't redundant," Steven said, "but how could you have been kept bound by the substance of faith in that sarcophagus three thousand years?"
"Is it not known in this day that words of faith can bind or heal, curse or cure, build up or destroy? Pure faith has no equal in power among all earthly authorities when activated with words that are void of doubt. Is it not common knowledge that the very fabric of all creation is pure faith, and that faith is the womb of all creation?"
"Well, er, umm," Steven stumbled for words, "we do have that knowledge, but I can't think of many who have become persuaded faith is as powerful as all that."
"I see," Prometheus said, "your world must be in terrible darkness without such power and knowledge. It explains much why Lucifer has chosen the earth as his battleground. There is so little resistance. Faith is the only shield, the only weapon that can keep him at bay.
"I do not believe that my freedom at your hands was mere coincidence," Prometheus continued. "I see it as a sign that the one we call Father has granted me the right of repentance, though I know not how. I believe it is the Father's will that I serve you, and learn, at the same time, how I might regain His Spirit and His grace."
Old Blackgoat laughed and rose from his chair. "Well," the old sage said, "you certainly have come to the right place."
"All this sounds great," I said, "but what are we going to do about the problems discussed earlier? We don't have much time."
"Just let me ask one more question," Steven interrupted, "and then we'll tackle those issues. How can a corrupt being like Lucifer use the pure substance of faith?"
"Faith is of the heart," Prometheus instructed, "whether of the heart of Lucifer to destruction, or the blessings of God to eternal life. The great monuments to the faith of man, though they are of faith, if they are not a blessing of God, are they not thrown down or scattered by the winds of heaven? And if man build a thing, and God blesses it, shall it not endure the ravages of time and stand forever?
"And as for your questions, Joseph," Prometheus said, surprising me that he had remembered them, "I shall address them now. Don't worry,...I have many talents that will enable me to remain unnoticed in your realm of existence. I do not have to eat. Neither do I have to sleep. My body is self regenerating. Unless I ingest food or drink, I give off no waste. I do not need to bathe, for I do not stink with body odor. I do not need clothes. My body adjusts to keep my frame comfortable in cold or heat. However, I recognize I must wear them should I travel with you as you see me now. But observe..., as spirit, I can, at my will, disappear from your sight."
"Where did he go?" I questioned with amazement.
"I am sitting right here," Prometheus explained, reappearing as miraculously as he had disappeared. "You see," Prometheus continued, "I have no need for a wardrobe. I can go with you all places and not be seen or heard. I shall talk with no one, and I shall do no violence to a human being.
"As to your most difficult problem," Prometheus said, "of now having to contend with three dangerous devils for having violated their sanctuary, I shall be your defense. Whether together as one, or apart as one, I can travel to any spot on planet Earth in moments. And if I stay sober, I will always know when trouble is brewing.
"I must teach the three of you how to use the substance of faith with power which will enable you to stand any attack of the evil ones whether we are apart or together. You see, I desire to accompany you, Joseph, and you, Steven, on your upcoming journey to this city that is of the angels."
"What?" Steven said, "city of....oh, you mean Los Angeles. Now I get it." Steven batted his eye lashes a few times on that one.
"Yes, that is the city," Prometheus said. "I desire to accompany you and Joseph. I will be like your, uh," Prometheus paused, seeming to search for the right word, "uh,...spy. I will spy for you.
"But, Old Blackgoat," Prometheus addressed the old sage, "since you will be here alone, I cannot leave you defenseless, so if I should sense that you are in greater danger than you are capable of dealing with, I will leave Steven and Joseph and come to your aid."
Steven, Old Blackgoat, and I powwowed for a moment. "What do you think? Do we have any alternatives to Prometheus' offer that seem more logical?" I asked Steven and Old Blackgoat.
"Not in my mind," Steven said. "Finding Prometheus has leveled the playing field. I mean, considering what we know about our adversaries that we didn't know before, what have we got to lose?"
Old Blackgoat remained silent for the moment, choosing to look within before answering. "I cannot find a restraining check in my spirit," the old sagesaid. "But those kinds of smoke signals from theLord have been hard to come by lately."
I knew what he meant..., we had been caught in Death's sanctuary without so much as a hint in our spirit's that danger lurked near.
"Is it agreed, then?" Steven asked Old Blackgoat and me.
We both nodded our approval, but Blackgoat summarized.
"We are agreed," the old one said. "Joseph, you and Steven will take Prometheus with you to Los Angeles tomorrow evening, but, if things get out of hand, here, he will return and help me."
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