Through Satan’s coup d’état and by default, Adam and all future subjects on earth, were placed under the reign and authority of Satan and his angelic government.
Spiritual warfare has been fought between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness since the Garden of Eden. The King desires to reclaim His subjects under His righteous reign while Satan hopes to continue his government of enslavement, depravity, and sin. The battles still rages today.
For us believers, we are dual subjects while we live on earth, in that, we are royal sons of the King, but still live in a world ruled by Satan. Our dual citizenship poses daily problems for us.
Another example, Jesus answered the disciples’ questions about when things would happen by prophesying in Matthew 24: 4-31. The disciples would have thought Jesus was referring to the destruction of the Temple. Yet, when Roman soldiers destroyed the Temple in 70 A.D., not all of the scriptures were fulfilled. The complete fulfillment will occur during the tribulation.
And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So, the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Revelations 12:7-9)
If you read Revelations Chapter 11 and all of Chapter 12, the only conclusion you can reach is that this will happen during the tribulation. But I believe an early fulfillment of this prophecy happened when Satan and a third of God’s angels rebelled against God and were cast out of God’s third heaven. I believe these angels then became Satan’s demonic hierarchy in his kingdom of darkness.
I watched various students crisscrossing the Campanile Esplanade on their way to classes. They looked normal, wearing typical college apparel. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. My spiritual eyes then kicked in, and what appeared normal in the natural realm was not so normal in the spiritual one.
Have you ever seen pictures of a flying dinosaur known as a pterodactyl? It has a long, slender head with a mouth of sharp teeth, scaly-like body, web-like wings, and talons for feet. This sort of resembles the creatures I saw, sitting on the shoulders of almost every student walking below me. Each creature was the size of a large crow and had wolf hair on its body and a slender rat’s tail. They constantly whispered into the ears of students while holding a wing over the students’ other ears. The creatures also defecated and vomited on the students so that each person dripped with slop and sewage. It was ghastly and I yearned to warn the students.
“Follow those two over there,” said the angel, pointing toward two guys.
I focused on the two students. They continued talking to each other as they walked into a free speech area where a street evangelist preached the gospel of the kingdom of God. Both stopped and listened. I watched the pterodactyl-like creatures use their beaks to snatch the seeds of the gospel out of the twosome’s hearts with swift surgeon-like precision. The two students walked away after a few minutes, none the better for their experiences.
I wanted to shout and warn everyone. Someone needed to do it. Why not me?
The angel touched my shoulder again with his hand. I turned toward him.
“Now, it’s time for your spiritual ears to be opened.”
He reached up and touched both of my ears with his hands.
Wouldn’t you think it would be quiet in the spiritual realm over the University of California, Berkeley? Well, it is not. There is constant clamor, reverberating throughout the whole atmosphere, most of which comes from the ruling principality. But what really shocked me was the demonic principality’s words mirrored the liberal attitudes on the campus, from the deans down to the professors, and then, to the students. The religious principality constantly spewed out proclamations like:
“All white Americans are racists… All wars are immoral and wrong… Homosexuality is not a sin… Pro-choice is a woman’s right… Same-sex marriage is morally acceptable…Traditional Christianity is irrelevant, mean, hateful, judgmental, and dogmatic…Jesus never said anything about homosexuality…Jesus is the Way which is open to other ways, such as Hare Krishna, Buddha, and Mohammad…God is a God of love and not judgment… Satan and demons are fictional beings, thought up by fundamentalist nuts…The Bible contains no more authority than the Koran, Buddhist sutras, Veda, and other spiritual writings…Creating social justice is the main emphasis of the gospel…Global warming is a Christian stewardship concern…”
I stood there with my mouth open, drool running down my chin.
“Hey, many of these statements I agree with,” I muttered aloud, not realizing I had done so.
“And that’s why you are deceived.”
“Yes, you and most liberal Christians who believe such garbage.”
“But, but –”
“Not only are you deceived, but your faith is dead when it agrees with Satan’s agenda. He’s always a liar, even when his words sound like truth. Your faith, in order to have life, must be based on what the Lord has stated in Scripture and is presently saying to His church.”
I kept quiet as his words ripped my theology apart.
He paused for a beat or two.
“Not only is this IOU collection day, but it is your deliverance day,” he said in an authoritative voice. “Your past deception, your dead faith, and your deliverance from all of it will give you an understanding of the spiritual battles taking place on America’s college campuses, beginning with the University of California, Berkeley.”
His eyes locked on mine.
“But how –” I stopped myself. How could I complain when I did not know what I was talking about?
The angel almost grinned.
“Now, you’re starting to learn.”
He pointed down again.
There just below us, was a student resembling a fluorescent light bulb walking across the esplanade. She lit up the whole area around her as she hurried on her way. Unlike the others, she did not have a creature sitting on her shoulder, but instead, one hovered around her head, trying to alight on her, but for some reason, the creature could not land. Deep frustration etched a gully in the creature’s face.
“Listen,” said the angel.
My ears adjusted themselves to only listening to the girl. Her footsteps and the movement of her arms came through loud and clear, but also something else.
“Dee, dee, bah, bah, hooka mah hundae,” she whispered over and over.
She spoke in tongues as she walked along.
“Your message to Christians on college campuses is very simple,” said the angel. “It’s the same one Paul gave to the believers in Ephesus when he said, ‘Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, with all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” Then he added, “In case you have forgotten, these scriptures are located in Ephesians 6: 17-18.”
The dome of the San Francisco City Hall appeared directly ahead of us. It looked like we would crash into it. But before I could scream aloud, we passed through it and landed in the Supervisors’ meeting chamber on the second floor. A wooden bench somehow telescoped out of the wall, up near the ceiling, which he motioned for us to sit down on it.
The eleven supervisors sat in leather swivel-chairs down below us. Each had a laptop computer on the desk in front of them. They talked and carried on. It was the weekly San Francisco Supervisors’ meeting.
The angel turned toward me. His robe whispered softly as he pivoted around.
“Open your eyes and see,” he said with a quiet power filled with heavenly authority.
I looked down again. This time my spiritual eyes opened.
There I saw grotesque creatures sitting on the right shoulder of each of the eleven supervisors. The chimpanzee-size beings had a mixture of what looked like reptile, dragon, and wolf-like body parts with stubby tails, talons for feet, scale-covered wings, web-like hands, and misshapen faces which protruded into long snouts and were filled with sharp teeth. They resembled dingy, gray gargoyles.
Each creature held its right wing over their assigned supervisors’ eyes. Their right hands were curled into a megaphone shape so they could speak directly into the supervisors’ ears. Their left hands looped behind the supervisors’ heads and covered their left ears.
The creatures never rested. When they were not speaking into ears, they looked up, around and at each other, their heads constantly moved about, their eyes searching to and fro. They seemed to be driven by a deep dread, almost as if a cruel slave master’s power instilled a fear in them about possible future punishments.
What is this? I thought. Why am I here?
“Today is show and tell day, preparing you for your first assignment next week,” said the angel.
“First assignment, next week?”
“Quiet, I’m the teacher. You’re the student. Understand?” he whispered a stinging rebuke at me.
His voice contained no anger and love cushioned the blow, but yet, I felt the power behind the rebuke. I shuddered and nodded.
“Earlier today, you had a vision. In it, you saw yourself being used as a sword by the Lord Jesus against a brass gate. The brass gate you saw was a gate of Hell over this city. It must be attacked so the truth from heaven can be heard in San Francisco. You are His chosen weapon for the undertaking.”
I bit my tongue, but my brain continued to be plugged in. I wondered if His weapons ever suffered pain, especially with the vigorous way the Lord swung the sword against the gate. O Lord, will it hurt? I thought.
He paused a beat before continuing.
“Your spiritual eyes have only been dialed up two notches, but that’s more than enough for you to get an idea of what’s happening in the Supervisors’ meeting room,” he said. “As you can see, demons sit on the supervisors’ shoulders, blocking information that is contrary to Satan’s agenda. At the same time, evil ideas are constantly spoken into the supervisors’ ears.”
He pointed a finger at me.
“Remember: our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the hordes of Satan.”
The creature’s appearance alternated between looking like a beautiful angel dressed in white and that of a gigantic monster version of the dingy, gray gargoyles, sitting on the supervisors’ shoulders. Like the smaller demons, the creature never rested. It caused fear in the hierarchy of demons below it and, at the same time, seemed fearful of its own cruel masters in the ranks above it.
The words I saw, streaming through the ceiling like hologram ticker tapes, emanated from this creature. I saw additional word streams coming out of the creature’s mouth, heading toward Sacramento, Hollywood, Washington, D. C., New York City, newspapers, television networks, movie studios, publishers, corporations, and thousands of other places.
The angel interrupted my thoughts.
“What you are seeing is the spirit of depravity. It is a ruling principality over San Francisco and guards a gate of Hell over the city. This spirit is so powerful that its wickedness is spread throughout the nation.
“The reason the spirit switches back and forth between appearances is it is creating confusion by this maneuver in the minds of people, whereby good is called evil and evil good.”
“I had a vision that showed a black river flowing out of America’s inner cities, filled with black apostles and prophets. Their moralcharacters were at a level never before witnessed in America.
“No longer would believers have to gaze back at John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney, D. L. Moody, Billy Graham or whomever for examples of godly men because these black apostles and prophets would raise the bar of godliness to a level approaching the character of Jesus… This is the generation of men that America has been longing to see. (Excerpt from Chapter 13 of A Black River)
God is never late, but He sure misses lots of opportunities to be early. This is especially true for Black Americans who have suffered through four hundred years of oppression and discrimination while chasing the American dream. The years have all merged themselves together into long days of weary hopelessness.
But now at last, hope arises. The same God who looked upon Israel’s captivity in Egypt, is looking down on the Black Americans living in our nation’s inner cities and is preparing to act.
How? What? Why?
A Black River is one of the most important books published in 2021, especially for those believers hungering for revival.
Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad. (Proverbs 12:25 NKJ)
The foundation for anxiety and depression is fear.
Now, most Christians don’t have to be reminded that it’s wrong to be fearful because we have heard it over and over again. Yet, in our brokenness and our frailty, we fall short of trusting the Lord in all of our circumstances.
The “what if this happens or that happens, then what” scenarios continue to play over and over in our minds and drown out our trust in the Lord. Right?
The Apostle Paul underlined our struggles when he wrote:
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 7:24)
Many of us have memorized Romans 8:1, but how can we really walk in the truth of not allowing condemnation to derail our lives?
Yes, the Bible exhorts us to pray and study the word. But let’s be honest, this advice fails to move most of us, which brings us back to Paul’s question: “who will deliver us?”
If we’re thinking the answer is going to a church on Sunday, sitting in a pew with 300, 600, 1000 or 8000 other believers, listening to a sermon-lecture and a few prayers, and returning week after week for more of the same, then why aren’t we all delivered from our fear, anxiety and depression as yet?
The meetings are small in size and open to all. Everyone is allowed to share what’s on his heart. Success stories – even small successes – are celebrated as victories. There are intense discussions. Each member is paired up with a mentor who helps them through any struggles.
Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you. (1 Corinthians 14:26 NLT)
Alcoholic Anonymous modeled its meetings after the early home churches. And it works!
Thus, I believe the only way for us to overcome our fear, anxiety and depression is to have small home groups (or home churches) with open formats, allowing the Holy Spirit to move in our midst. Members can pray and use their spiritual gifts to help set others free.
The reason I use a bold font to emphasize “with open formats” is that many churches have home groups, but have rigid formats that they follow. This won’t work!
Why is this so important?
I believe America is about to enter into a period of extreme tribulation and confusion that has never been experienced before in our nation’s history. The number of people who suffer from fear, anxiety and depression will multiply off the charts almost over night.
My guess is that Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden for approximately one hundred years without disobeying God’s one command to them –
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)
Maybe Adam and Eve walked by the forbidden tree once a day for one hundred years. That would be 36,500 times. If Adam and Eve were like me, they’d be at least curious about how the forbidden fruit tasted. And 36,500 times of not eating or touching the fruit probably primed them for the serpent’s temptation when he said,
“You won’t die! God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5)
Eve listened to the serpent and then ate the forbidden fruit and gave some to Adam who also ate it.
What happened next?
At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the LORD God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God among the trees. Then the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” (Genesis 3:7-8)
Adam and Eve’s disobedience released two stumbling blocks upon mankind which help to foster fear, anxiety and depression: hiding from God and fear. We are still struggling with these issues today.
Let’s call the first female ride-share rider Alicia (not her name). She was nineteen years old, very pretty with a nice shape, long blond hair, intelligent and a great smile.
As I drove, we conversed about her college experience and her move to a new apartment. Somehow, I asked, “Do you struggle with depression?
“Yes,” she replied, “I am one of those smiling depressed ones.”
“Really? How can a pretty, bright gal like you be depressed?”
Alicia went on to tell about her childhood. She had a domineering religious father who demanded his wife always wear a dress, spanked his children too hard and too often, abused his wife and did all of this while hiding behind a “Jesus loves you” attitude.
Her mother left her dad and then remarried another man. And guess what? The mother chose a man just like her first husband.
Alicia made up her mind as a teenager never to be a Christian, but God had other plans for her. Some friends coaxed her into attending a Christian youth group. She met the real Jesus and built a relationship with Him.
But so far, her Christians beliefs have not erased her damaged childhood. She still struggles with depression.
Let’s call the second female rider Stella (not her name). She was forty-three years old, divorced, a successful professional, very pretty, in great shape, intelligent, and a Christian with a big smile.
It took no time to learn about her depression.
She had just returned from an out of state job interview. The reason for seeking the new job was that she was sexually harassed at her present company. She put up with the harassment for a while because it was her boss, a partner in the firm. But she wisely kept all the texts and emails he sent her.
Finally, she became fed up and went to the Human Resources Department with her texts and emails. The boss was fired, but the company treated her as though she was the problem and the cause of a good man being fired. Former friends turned on her.
Stella went to a psychologist, trying to get a handle on her strange predicament. Her company then felt she was too unstable to handle her position because she needed counseling.
It then snowballed from there.
Depression settled upon her so that she felt her only hope was to move to another city.
Both of these females should have had everything going for them with their intelligence, looks and youthful energy. Yet, one was damaged in her childhood and the other was hit head on by an unwanted circumstance.
These two females’ depression illustrate two of the main causes for our fear, anxiety and depression.
I struggle with writing a series about fear, anxiety and depression because I don’t really suffer from these disorders. It’s not that I’m uncommonly brave or anything like that. It’s just that from my childhood until now, I’ve always had an attitude of “something good is about to happen to me.”
This becomes somewhat funny if you take the time to read my testimony because the Lord saved me on the day I was going to commit suicide. It’s not that I was depressed or anxious on May 20, 1985, it’s just that I had run out of options to save my home, car and family. My life insurance policy of $125,000 seemed to be my only hope. So I thought of it at the time as a business decision – nothing more.
Now, the only time I have ever truly suffered from depression was when a Christian friend with good intentions leant me his copy of Deliverance and Inner Healing by John and Mark Sandford. The book blends scripture with the teachings of Jung and Freud to supposedly rid believers of buried memories. The authors’ premise seems to be that Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Bible are not quite enough to set captives free.
I began reading the book on a Saturday afternoon. And after about a hundred and fifty pages, I became severely depressed and confused. The book had convinced me that my Bible studies and prayers were wasted efforts and that I needed the insights of inner healing, as outlined in this book.
I decided to go for a walk to clear my head.
As I walked down the sidewalk in a foggy daze, a Christian neighbor looked out his window and saw me. He felt I was in danger. He rushed outside and asked, “Larry, what’s your problem?”
“I’ve been reading a book entitled Deliverance and Inner Healing and it has really confused my faith,” I answered.
“Jesus is the way, truth and light. Period,” he said.
His words instantly set me free.
Thus, if my depression on that Saturday is a small example of what many suffer on a daily basis, wow! It makes me realize just how debilitating and tormenting fear, anxiety and depression must be for millions of people.
Two female riders on my ride-share travels this week inspired me to write this article. We will talk about them in the future.
The drive to meet Pastor Rick took me past the Temecula Valley High School baseball field where our son, Cole, played shortstop for the Golden Bears during his four years there. Cole was a good player, but that wasn’t the reason I always thanked the Lord for His mercy when I drove by the field. It was because of a special miracle the Lord did twenty-two years earlier during a state playoff game.
On that particular day, the Golden Bears were playing the Norco High School Cougars. The pitcher for the Cougars was Carson Riley, a right-hander, who threw around ninety-five miles per hour and was a solid major league prospect.
Cole stood in the right side of the batter’s box to lead off the seventh inning. Riley’s first pitch was a fastball, which tailed inside and hit Cole in the middle of his chest, knocking him to the ground. He laid motionless on the ground.
The three coaches for Temecula Valley rushed to him. One of them took out a cell phone and made a call.
Jane and I were sitting in the bleachers above the dugout on the first base side of the field. I grabbed Jane’s hand. “Honey, we need to go out there. Cole’s in danger,” I said.
We stood up and hurried to field.
Jim Dawson, the head coach for the Golden Bears, looked up as we approached home plate. “Dylan, he’s not breathing. I phoned for an ambulance, which should be here in four minutes,” he said.
Jane and I dropped to our knees and began praying. She prayed in tongues while I placed my hand on his chest.
“Father, You gave me a promise when Cole was born that He would preach the gospel and do miracles in Your name. When You made that promise, You looked into the future and saw this day. And yet, You still made that promise to me. I am not leaving until You honor Your promise and Cole stands up, totally healed in Jesus’ name. You did it for Elijah when he prayed for the widow’s son and I’m asking You to do the same thing for Cole, right now,” I prayed.
Coach Dawson grabbed my shoulders. “Dylan, let’s wait for the ambulance,” he whispered.
I shook his hands off me. “Let go of me,” I shouted. “God is doing a miracle here.”
Dawson released his grasp and wandered off. A siren could be heard pulling into the school’s parking lot.
“Father, I didn’t ask You to give me that promise for Cole. You did it on Your own. So, honor Your promise, in Jesus’ name,” I prayed again and again.
“What’s happening here?” asked a paramedic, rushing toward us with a stretcher.
Cole’s green eyes fluttered and opened. He looked into my eyes. “Dad,” he whispered, “I met Jesus. He said I had to come back to life because of your prayers.”
My son was totally healed and wanted to stay in the ballgame, but of course, the two paramedics insisted on him riding in the ambulance to Temecula Valley Hospital. Jane and I followed them in our SUV.
All of the tests on Cole proved to be negative. The Lord healed him.
Cole graduated from high school two weeks later and now lives in San Diego with his wife Allyson and their two daughters, Mia and Madison.
If I drove by the baseball field a hundred times in any one day, I always thanked the Lord for His gracious miracle every time. I always wanted Him to know how much I appreciated what He did for our family on that day.
That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and declare all Your wonders. (Psalm 26:7)
(Excerpt from Still in the Fight, an upcoming new novel by me.)