An Advent Story
Nothing contributes so much to tranquilizing the mind as a steady purpose--Mary Shelley
- a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.
Like a man on a mission -- and he was -- Sorik trudged through the ever-deepening snow. However, he did not feel like Good King Wenceslas. And in this Winter Wonderland Frosty the Snowman and Suzy Snowflake were never near his mind. The mountainous region of Aragats in Armenia was in the full throes of winter. As he fought the increasing wet weight on his legs, and cold-numbing fatigue, he recalled that this particular trek to the most secret and one of the oldest monasteries in the world was one of only two ever ventured. The first was after the decision at the 360 AD Laodocian Council, and the other was when Constantinople fell in 1453. He was desperately making his way there to warn them that The Infiltrators had managed to get important positions of power not only in the Vatican, but in various other influential theological institutions. This is the ancient demonically driven occult organization, whom the devotees at the cloister at Saint Nicholas had successfully ferreted out, but now knew it was only a matter of time that this strange nebulous entity would have their day, albeit short.
If you reveal your secrets to the wind--Kahlil Gibran
you should not blame the wind
for revealing them to the trees.
Resistant to bring the modern world to themselves, they had never seen radios, phones, televisions or computers. The monks in their self-sustainable environ were the last of the true disciples of the gentle Nazarene, Yeshua, Who gave His life for all. They were the entrusted Guardians of the Truth. They were different in that the Sainthood of Nicholas was proven by his actions and words showing his faith that any believer could have. They would not have considered praying to him any more than they knew Scripture condoned King Saul consorting with the witch at Endor where he talked to Samuel. And, as frustrating as it was with heresy clamoring for every saint, they were ones who maintained a pacifist stance fighting the world's evils. They would not be needing the nearby Amberd Fortress; they were not connected to Constantine's modified Church, they were adamant not to mix with the things of Caesar. They kept this integrity, in spite of the fact that their secular ancestors had turned back the Roman legions in Kajaran two millennia ago. This select group, however, had remained out of the sight of history, including Armenian, for these thousands of years. Isolation had two sides to its coin, though their currency was spiritual, not carnal. Even their contacts from the neighboring Saint John's Church only left at drop points needed items like seeds and knives, when it was not unwanted orphans. Now Sorik, their sojourning agent was going to update them soon: a phenomenon done very rarely. They would learn how much more of Daniel's prophecies come true, "...knowledge will increase....," He surmised they would be amused, not jokingly, about the way the secular world had incorporated their patron Saint Nicholas. How the kind and generous (with his too early inheritance) Asia Minor Christian man and Bishop of Myra during the 4th Century had become another Pagan winter solstice symbol. Santa Claus or even Kris Kringle (actually a name perverted from Christ Child) was as ludicrous as Bozo, or even Ronnie MacDonald the Clown. (A spelling changed in his mind so their cruel lawyers would not add to his stress.) So much catching up to do! There were more conflicts in Europe by those who thought they could fight evil with evil when they confronted Mohammad's armies, like in Spain. There had been the Reformation, (but the sad put-down of the Peasant's Revolt,) the Inquisition, World Wars, (where the death machines became too advanced,) televangelism (good and bad) and more. Jolly these friars were not, full of true joy they were. The concentrated prayers of the brothers (and sisters) would change things. They, like he, were aware that they had been accused of having personalities on the short end of milk toast, but crass entertainment and internal angst and drama they had no time for. Once in a while one had to know what to pray for or against. And he knew he would be sent back out to question and inform this apostate age. It would be a last warning before more chastening pain would be meted out by that most capricious of agents, Mother Nature.
Hours later as the sun began to turn the pitch black sky into a dark slated one he saw the mark on the cliff where he was to roll the huge stone away. The designers of the rock door were obviously inspired by God, as he needed no effort to push it aside, and replace it once he entered the crevasse-like channel, barely lit from the vertical crack going up the granite wall.
Sorik grabbed a torch clasped by a rusting iron clamp, and, thanks to his handy Bic, lit the oily coated yarn on the very old school flashlight. A man of faith, he was not afraid as the flickering light made dancing devils out of every shadow; and he wound his way through the cavernous pathway, careful not to step in frigid puddles along the way. He had buried in his heart, "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Warmed by the flame, it was a good time to sing. So he sent echoing throughout the caves one of the hymns passed down by the True Outsiders:
Awesome, Magnificatus, Most High One,
So much, very brighter than the sun.
Reigning, raining oh Holy Son,
Help us stand and never run.
Our love will never be enough,
But You loved us while we're so tough.
No amount of gold could ever repay,
So, on our face to You we'll pray.
At first quietly in the background, but with volume growing, his voice was joined by others, yes! The community of the First Fellowshippers was joining him.
"Blessings and Welcome to you our beloved traveler!" The Guardians said their greeting in the long lost tongue, that only those of the True Outsiders were privy. "Quickly, follow us so we can get you food and warmth. We already sense your spirit is fine."
"I have a tremendous sum of knowledge to share..."
"....There'll be plenty of time for that," Brother John interrupted, "...that is, an hour will not make a difference, as the Spirit has told us so."
After another hour, they finally made it to another secret doorway, and they passed into an enormous chamber, ringed by numerous other entrances and labyrinths. They escorted him to a simple, bare but comfortable room, where dry clothes awaited. They would be back for him in about half an hour. First Sorik bowed by his mat and blanket on a rock ledge and gave thanks for his safe journey.
"Come, to the communal table, where we will break bread and warm the flesh with wine and nourish the brain with your data!" He had just finished readying himself when he heard their call. Looking out, he saw the denizens of this village of "Heaven", families included, obviously the abandoned children, some now grown. Marriage was allowed, as they were not part of the mandatory celibacy handed down elsewhere, later. A kindly, but strong looking man came to him with outstretched arms.
"I am Overseer Grigor, the Outsiders will not have known our names.... many centuries have passed. Let me show you where you will sit, a place of honor, and one which you will no doubt receive at The Supper on That Day."
"I am but a grateful servant, I assure you, but I thank you for your hospitality, which I was already told of in advance, but stories are not like meeting and touching real people," he answered like a litany. "Now, as you know, I wouldn't have compromised your secrecy, if something new had not come up that required your special gifts." He continued as he took his appointed seat, and food and drink were placed before him, and he automatically awaited the blessing over it.
Lord, most gracious Lord,
We thank Thee
For all that has come
And, only what comes
From our hands
Has Thy Spirit empowered.
But, most of all,
We thank Thee
For Thy Son Jesus,
Who bought us out of Hell,
When we most deserved it.
And in Jesus' Name we pray.
After Sorik seemed satiated, the heads of the entourage turned toward him.
Grigor then explained, "It is written in our journals from the last visit that everyone had thought the world was going to end at 1000. Yes, there was worldwide sickness unto death and men killing men in the Name of Christ. God has sent serious tests in the way of Islam and the Hun knocking at the very door of Christendom. We sent back word of what Jesus the Anointed taught in Matthew the 24th chapter, and Apostle Paul outlined in the 2nd letter to the Thessalonians, increasing bad things will happen like plague and war, but one must be careful. Never should we become divinators."
He continued, "Ignorance did abound, while mens' egos swelled with their lofty cathedrals. We knew that there was a struggle between reason and heresy. Men began to see that science could show the things of God, and not necessarily challenge Him. But some were afraid of losing their temporal positions. What have you that is of such import? Though we do discern a need."
With the request, Sorik began his update. Fortunately, the meal was brunch. He reported:
Let me start with this, Israel is a nation again. In 1948 they declared their independence out of an area that was known as Trans-Jordon or Palestine, succeeding in this endeavor after fighting not only the British Empire, but most of the neighboring Arab states. Turmoil remains there as the sons of Ishmael, Esau, and Moab still exist. But, it is a significant sign, a "budding leaf on the Fig tree."
But, let me backtrack a bit. An ironic thing happened when Christianity spread throughout Europe, abetted by the Church, especially out of Rome, aligning with various Kings and Princes. Though a seed of faith was still among some of the people, (He promised there would always be a Remnant) there is the Broadway spoken of by our Savior and it was destined to be crowded with horses and other vehicles loaded with men and killing instruments full of murder, lust, power-coveting, and greed. But, I we know they are not the beasts out of the Revelation, yet. And for as many could see the Judgement of God on a "dress rehearsal" basis, the majority only waxed more evil in those times.
There was more "lip service" done for Christianity in the last 2000 and especially 1000 years. The fact that Christian kings wanting to remain anointed by big bishops caused them to force the Gospel down people's throats. The common people were not allowed to read Scripture for themselves even when the illiteracy rate fell. So, in rebellion the simple peasants kept forbidden Pagan items "underground."
How oxymoronically sardonic that they came to the surface during more liberal lenient times, and then spread like wildfire throughout. The Druids, other occult, Heathen, and ancient practices, once long departed, are back, but they have to share their mistletoe and evergreens with (from their point of view) unbelievers. People dabble with dark forces out of naivety and deliberation, and out in the open. More damnable is the history of alleged Christians using brutality upon those still in those Old Ways. Blasphemy (worse than just on our patrone, but on The One Who made us) is sent across the air into heads across the planet faster and more efficient than ever imagined (unless one is Daniel.) But what supposed Christians did to other Christians with imprisonment, torture, and death, like what happened to John Huss and John Wyclif and others is heinous. And then some of the Reformers turned murderers themselves exampled with what they did to Catholic Thomas More and Unitarian Michael Servetus, full of error though he may have been.
Jumping ahead, even when great men of learning saw the complexities of homo sapiens' misdeeds, they refused to see the spiritual problem at its root. Men were relegated to mere machines. The Infiltrators had done their work well, poisoning mens' minds --that all was superstition and folly, when only the diluted truth was the problem.
Ooh, there's so much, and I almost feel as though there isn't enough time. Now, I take you to a more recent time, science has become a religion, instead of pointing to truth: mankind has uncovered the secrets of the sun! You would think people would thank their Creator above that He has not allowed the nuclear holocaust happen. And there was a mass genocide called by that name, it happened in the 1930's and 40's just a few years before the most explosive bombs in history were invented. An evil man, who flirted with the idea of his being the Ubermann, again played the role of Haman, or Herod, and killed 6 million of Jewish descent. This included children, babies, and women. Abraham's promise still holds though, there remains a remnant. History has forgotten the satanic connection, and blame character flaws. Sadly, even the armies that swore to keep promises of honor, broke them, and murdered civilians by fire from the air while they slept. And, strong men with a strong Communist Party killed millions too. As to the End, it is written, only He knows that Day and Hour. However, he did give us hints of when to look up. The Infiltrators have managed to mess that up, too, making Christians feel they will not be tested, but will be taken away in a pre-First Resurrection that is derived from poor exegesis.
The other part of the Infiltrators' continuing plan, besides outright blockade and destruction, is subtlety. They are children of the Harlot of Babylon. But, she clothes herself in pink, and is dated with no expense spared. Those that fellow-shipped with pimps mean well in their humanistic interpretations, but as an unknown wise man once said, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions." And I might add, maybe even gilded.
Another interesting thing, where the heaviest persecution lay, is where the deepest, truest faith also can be found, like the People's Republic of China. Perhaps as the country known as the United States continues down it's secular path, the real believers will strengthen. This state created the most successful democracy the world has ever known, yet the evil hearts of men could still yield rotten fruits, like slavery and mistreatment of indigenous people. Commendable was their Founding Fathers eliminating a State Religion, but they did not foresee that the state would all but eliminate any, while allowing all of the worst to grow. All the TV and radio: means of broadcasting the Message, are at their disposal, but so few have done it without compromise. The Infiltrators have found a way to sabotage the U.S. church by way of The Purpose Driven method as created and promoted by man. I'd like to say they think "25 million 'Frenchmen' can't be wrong," only shows their blindness to marketed Church Growth Movements. The Reason for the Season has been sold out, and not meaning off the shelves, but to darkness. Saint Nicholas would be appalled if he knew he was the source of idol worship. A nativity scene was once not a problem because it only featured a baby Jesus, (Passion of the Christ is another thing, unless not ingested) but now it is as rare. As scarce as an Elvis Blue Christmas album on 78 rpm (no reason to explain that to you, but Elvis Presley, even though a pop star, took time to sing more sacred songs than any of his fame.) Elijah the prophet, who also thought he was all alone (save 7000) told the Israelites to tear down the Baal-centered groves!
Bottom line, one of the main things that has to happen before the Lord comes back, is the apostasy. Then the one who makes abomination of desolation will sit like (part of the significance of Jerusalem's now being in repatriated Jewish hands) and be accepted like the world's messiah, and all those who have not the love of the truth buried in their being will believe the lie. It will be aided by supernatural amplification. As Paul also wrote, "Now is the Day of Salvation." Because when That Day occurs --- just before Judgement is poured out on a world that has ignored its warnings, the believers have been translated in that First Resurrection. The few survivors will answer to the Millennial King. Woe to those in the Second Resurrection, facing the Judge with the Books of Works, and finding not their name in the Book of Life.
Most people today either have rejected or have accepted some form of the truth. I know there are some out there, especially among we Outsiders who are willing to listen. What do you want me to do?
The audience was not stunned as much as one might think, since they were "prayed up," and the the documentation they had from the first grand of years passed had their own ugly stories. But, after looking at each other with understanding and contemplation, Grigor answered:
Brother Sorik, you have given us astounding information, the mixed blessings of Israel among the most important of them, but we already had His wisdom. Know this, the only difference with the fallen nature of man yesterday, today, and tomorrow is his tools to implement his folly. Everyone should be so thankful that He promised never to flood the whole world again, as tempting as it must be. (Though He never said anything against fire.) You already perceive what we do, that this is not a battle of flesh and blood, but of the invisible dominions. Even though we know that the Infiltrators will maybe find us with their technology, we shan't waver. What else can we do but pray, and send you to tell the True Outsiders to tell anyone who will hear, how close they are to the biggest global con game ever conceived by the once lighted one, excepting his revolution in Heaven, and the tempting of man and his enslavement over them. That the Blood of the Lamb severs the tightest bond of any human captive by that first sin of separation. Man tried to take hold of the knowledge of good and evil, a mixture that only God Almighty can understand. Go. Tell someone who will tell someone. The Just shall live by Faith. Their works are only gold when bought by His Work at Calvary.
If they hated Me----Jesus of Nazareth
--they will hate you.
Spiritually strengthened, and alone only physically, Sorik headed back the way he came.