[Immediate prequel post, here]

Now this is a rendering, an account of His coming to me again, yet not again – rather by continuance.

I was in this vessel tattered and torn, adrift for years in space, and injured. My only motion was to drift further from all humanity in the horrible, unending frigid and lonely darkness of the heavens.

A pop, and crackle began over the speakers, it began faint and mild, but the shimmering static steadily increased in volume. An apparent voice began through my damaged communications system:

“…ake, a–ke, …ise … ou… -e dust…”

It was something! Someone had come for me – or else I was picking up a faraway, and unrelated transmission. The communication continued: “…wac… aw… ri… up ou… …st…”

I tried to peel my eyelids open, O, but it hurt, my throbbing head rang loudly in mine ears. My left eye popped open just a crack, and could faintly perceive a gray blur. The life support was the lone system running and seemed to work about as well as the fuzzy communicator. I blinked a few times with my lone, blood crusted eye, attempting to clear out the blur to no avail. I reached a hand to wipe it clear, and found that my limbs ached terribly, and my joints creaked from years of inactivity; and all this in addition to the relentless searing stab in my heart.

With great effort I cleared my now partially opened eye enough to make out the dim running interior of the cabin now overgrown with weeds, and sprouting funguses. I grabbed hold of a floating vine, using it to pull myself toward the crackling communicator.

“… oose …elf fr… an… of th.. eck…” The fuzzy signal continued.

O, but had I forgotten how to hear? Hadn’t it been so long since One had spoken to me? Or had there been communication all along and by my wounds I had failed to perceive it? Never mind, it hurt too much to think about. Could I make the communicator work now, was the question. Had I forgotten how? It used to be so easy, but for so long now impossible? Was it an ability lost?

Finally my rigid bones and frozen joints managed to pull me over to the device. I could remember a thing or two (or was that just the arrogant presumption of a dead dog?), but remembering, and mobility to enact knowledge were two different things. Hadn’t a contemporary prophet said: “Knowledge acted upon brings results”? How shall the handicapped follow this advice?

I found the dial labeled ‘inward witness,’ and began to tune the testimony back in.
The transmission, still fuzzy began to clear up: “…ake, awake thou that slee-est! R-se up, shake thyself fr-m out… the dust…”

‘WHAT?!’ I thought, indignation rising within me. Sudden rage swelled up, and my heart screamed: ‘Don’t You know the state I’m in?! How can I rise up when I can barely move, when it hurts just to think?! Can’t You see what they’ve done to me? Don’t You care?!’

“Awake, awake thou that sleepest, rise up and shake thyself from out of the dust.”

My heart cringed: ‘But… I’ve forgotten how…’

“Loose the bands from off thy neck, break asunder the chains that bind you.”

A deep and desperate sigh shook my being, and was chased by few anguished sobs. “To what end, Lord?” I even allowed these words to erupt from my lips. “Have I not done as You bid me? Have I not been scorned on every hand, and at every turn, and that by our own people, even Yours? Will they now accept me? I know it is by Your merit, and that I now endure only a marginal fraction of that which is done unto You; and I know You bid me stand, and be vigilant. Yet as I rise do they not strike at me again? I see no open door, and shall I rise yet again to be rejected, scorned, and at best ignored?”

The steady transmission continued with the same message: “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead…”

‘No, then; that is: no to myself, and not unto Thee. If thou bid me come, though I feel unable, yet surely THOU shalt be my portion, and the Kingdom of the impossible, my delight. I shall spit in the face of defeat. I shall not cringe in the face of scorn.’

The sound of a low whir steadily increased to a hum. What was that? Oh, yes, ‘twas the engine core suddenly kicking back into an output mode; it sounded a bit off, and there was an unhealthy ratcheting clank which ought not to be there, but it meant that the core was running, nevertheless. That low hum had been a constant before, the preliminary life of the ship ceaselessly whirring until the ears of the mind forgot it was there, and it faded away into all the other sounds of an healthy and active vessel. I recalled the day of death, when a limb of my heart was cut away; I had stared into the eyes of Job: a poor mother who had lost her baby boy. I had grappled with the question of life eternal: is it damnation forever for this woman’s child? But no tears had come to my eyes… my mind understood, processed at some surface realm… but my soul didn’t yet know what had hit it… nor what was yet to come.

Perhaps that’s the last time I recall it all functioning perfectly; before those days I had walked as on the wings of the wind – I had even seen this bloody death in advance of its arrival. And there in the moment, the Spirit of God consoled me – showed me what I needed to know, and did not lie; and he poured in oil and wine… out of death sprang up life in the power of the anointing. Death had not won the day (‘be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.’)…but then the murderer came. Had he not already wrought terribly? How could he thus wear my loved ones as his masks? God save the puppets!

But now the engine core had sprung to life, and begun to sing its song again – not quite as before, when I walked on the wings of the wind, and sucked honey from the Rock of flint – but beginning to whir yet again. (Let the glory of the latter house be greater than that of the former! OH HOW WE PERISH ON THIS CURSED ROCK!)

And though the engine sprang back to life, so also did the voice of another… in the great, and vast regions of space, there dwelleth a being as cold and dark as the great empty vacuum itself, larger and more horrific than any foe of earth: the serpent wind. This ominous destroyer was present in the moment of my decision. Yea, he is ever present in the hour of decision, therefore I warn you, even ye O reader: ever beware; he does not sleep until he has destroyed, and will allow himself no rest until he has sucked up the blood of the innocent! His time is today, his hour at hand, though we have not yet seen the atrocities he has tucked in his scabbard. This dark being had held me inactive, and dehydrated, had blocked my necessary medicines, had striven to infect my wounds (but the Seed prevailed), and even deprived me of air as he was able.

Ever watchful over his tormented prisoners, the Serpent Wind took special note of moments of interaction. I knew him all too well, for I had defeated him many times in Kingdom service, and though aware of his schemes, still he strikes and deceives at the weakest moment, showing no shame, nor pity. He fights unfairly, and to the death. Now he had murdered two of my brothers in cold-blood; he made the vessel of one to self-destruct by spirit of confusion (though this one’s soul was salvaged by the Samaritan). To the other he had done far worse – for he had destroyed his spirit in a living vessel! This one’s eternal death and separation now is imminent, though his vessel lives on in the grips of the Serpent Wind for the moment. I only pray that the Samaritan resurrects his soul before the wasting of his vessel when he shall be cast into everlasting hell (if it be, yet, possible)!

Yes, the serpent wind is ceaselessly evil, I prithee, show him no respect or mercy when he cometh thy way – he is no myth nor fiction, and there is no just pardon which would deliver him from wrath to come (Lord, speed the day!), even the Master declared that he is a murderer from the beginning, and the father of lies. As he did to my brothers so he intends to do unto me (and you) – and worse if possible. The worst of all torments he intends for us even to this day.

In this moment, unknown to me, he telepathically projected the venom of accusation into my mind. All of the brethren are the targets of his accusations. The fiend spoke in my mind, and I cried out: “O, but I have failed You, and am not worthy! Have I not fallen? Have I not stumbled? Yea, though right in my mission, have I not foolishly spoken; have I not in this season adrift done You wrong? Fallen, I have fallen, and now am worthy of Your scorn! You should be just to cast my miserable soul into the depths of hell, and am I not so deserving of it?”

But as I listened again to the transmission: “Awake, awake shake thyself from the dust…”

The same message, the same Word… too long was I plagued with guilt and condemnation. Yet then I saw it! Yes mine eye now popped open the rest of the way and I could see clearly in that left eye! Was I not yet an astronaut – a man of the heavens? Adrift I may be, but the Kingdom right was not taken from me!

Help and salvation were my portion though I had failed in my hurts and driftings. Now I did see, ‘twas the accuser who taunted me, for I was accepted in the beloved! The very fact that he spoke accusations against me to my face was proof enough of my salvation, for is the fiend not called in the writings ‘the accuser of the BRETHREN’? So I was yet of the brethren, though adrift!

And now I re-checked my heard, for though I was despised of the others (the brethren – which I felt, stood testimony against me), yet I despised not them! Bless God, He had kept my heart pure. ‘Bless those who curse you, bless, and do not curse.’ So I was none to vaunt against another, for that is to corrupt the heart, and to become like that accuser of the brethren – yet even the brethren who scorned me who threw in their testimony against me could not take away my place with the Savior (though they be beloved, and heard lovingly by the Christ)!

Surely I could see why they scorned me – for I was a frightful spectacle; accepting what the Master had brought me through would change the entirety of their understanding of the kingdom. Yet I had not intended to learn such things, myself… is it not written: ‘…thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.’? Yes, He led me through the valley of the shadow of death, for I was willing to go there with Him – and I returned, being the testimony of hard things unto men. Not merely the testimony of them, but having also been taught them by the Master Pilot from the holy writ. I had been changed by my journey (and though man can more readily accept an allegory, how many shall accept the testimony? But this is your opportunity.)

Now, if my doctrine were True, then the status quo was destroyed forever, comfort of the flesh was un-sustainable. The Gospel changes everything, as does every new Truth laid. Surely, I had become an horror unto my brethren, and so they scorned me on every side. Could we not simply practice Religion – must our covenant with God permeate every facet of life? Can we not merely reduce the Gospel to perpetual love and acceptance – tolerance, forgiveness, grace? Isn’t that the point in the end? Can we not remove the nails from the cross? Must we, Truly, be crucified with Him? Am I not too extreme? Am I not too hard?

Ah, yes, for I have been to the realm of Truth, and been changed by Him who is unchanging, and slowly I have become like him. I can fully understand – scorn on my brethren; yet I love you – but yet I prithee, accuse me to my face, but not before the Father for therein shall ye become the children of the Serpent Wind. For look and see; when did the Master call the people of God the children of the devil? Was it not as they accused him?

So yes: I, too, am of the brethren. Two things to begin, then. First repentance: I must right my heart unto the Samaritan, that no accusation may stand against me, for all those that call on the name of the Lord SHALL be saved. The second thing involved fighting that lying accuser.

And now must I bow my heart unto the Lord of all the fleet. Mine eye being opened I turned to see the wiring of my own microphonics had been chewed through by some manner of small space-rodent. With a terrible popping, and pain in my shoulder I reached to the wiring. I found, however that the wee vermin was still at hand. As a parasite, the furry thing had latched itself to the wires, and was chewing still upon the exposed end, feeding on the electrical impulses sent by attempts to speak my heart. As I reached for those wires the thing hissed loudly, and followed its warning with a shrill clacking sound. The startlement put me off for a moment, but I reached to again. At this the creature turned its two black eyes upon me, and bared its razor teeth, now a growl, a snap of its teeth, and a reaching of two of its clawed arms (it appeared to have four in addition to its two hind legs) at me in defense of its precious food source. Some Hollywood animator must have seen this thing in a nightmare or day-vision, for it looked precisely like its depiction in a cartoon movie once made save that its fur was not blue, as in the cartoon, but gray.

Again I recoiled, though my reactions were slower than they once were and my stiff joints ached at every motion. The creature shrieked, and sprung at me in preemptive attack – seemingly aware that I would only continue to tamper with it should it choose to leave me unmolested. I darted to the side, weightlessness and atrophy working against me. Narrowly I dodged the creature’s attack, but turned to find that its trajectory had landed it against the steel wall; it was preparing to spring itself at me again.

Reaching a hand above my head to the opposite wall to brace myself, I pressed the sole of my boot against the small creatures’ body. I pressed as hard as my rigid body could manage until I heard two nearly simultaneous pops as the creature’s solid black eyes ruptured, rendering it – apparently – dead.

I re-oriented myself to work on the wires which the little beast had guarded. Frayed they were, and wet with the things’ peculiar slimy salivations. Touching the wire sent a jolt of voltage through mine arm – the sensation like having each joint pulled from its socket was a reminder that I hung crucified with Christ, even now. I reached for the other frayed leads, where the cord had severed. In fact the cords were not wholly un-intact, but the little fiend (Stitch, as the Hollywood people called it) had done a fair job of chewing them into a great mess.

Tools – I needed tools, and had a few if memory served. I reached into one of my cargo pockets, and found a set of wire trimmers. I clipped the lines back from where the thing had planted itself on either end, letting the chewed and mangled center drift off (cleanup would also be necessary, though not yet the immediate fatal concern). I then stripped back the sheath of the line on either end and connected them together. I could twist them into one, but a good solder would be best – using a heating component on the wire trimmers I melted the two ends together. The organic polymer of the wire sheath would eventually grow back over the exposed wire, but this was now at least a clean wound; I would surely have to ensure the other damage to the vessel was disinfected as well.

Yet now this was back in place I returned my transmission:

“Extend mercy and grace, though your servant be fully unworthy! Truly I AM worthy of destruction, and hell, as the serpent has said. Nevertheless, Your salvation endureth forever, and Your mercies are new every morning!”

Yet about this time the voice of serpent wind echoed through the corridors in hushed, subversive tones, the voice masking itself as my own thoughts again: ‘Deserving of death, I am – having stood and executed high office duties, yet now stumbling into the dark. There is no salvation for those who have known the Way, and recanted in it, but only a fearful looking forward unto judgment. As it is written, ‘remember the height from whence you are fallen,’ for I had worn a beautiful garment, and mine head had been uncovered as one of the mighty! Have I not prophesied? Have I not instructed others in the Way? And who was I to presume so much?! Well, I shall be cast into lowest hell, for such I deserve!’

For a time I believed all these things. Oh what horrors! Having sold my soul to the Master of the Kingdom to gain salvation, to stare back down the throat of hell once again – this time with seemingly no recourse, lest I crucify the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame! Could I get you to momentarily consider the thought that there will be an eternal judgment, and that the Great and Eternal One who is perfectly holy will assess our every word and deed which ever we wrought in the world – and that before all the billions who have ever lived; and if you were to believe such a thing in Truth, for even a moment, I know it would be enough to bring you to a full re-assessment of everything else you believe. This was how I had joined the Kingdom fleet, I had obtained that holy fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom – and I had an hope of deliverance through Jesus Christ the righteous, who had paid the full price for every wicked, and foolish deed I would be judged for in Him alone is salvation. This must be understood if you are to understand my predicament. For now I was indicted by the serpent wind that I had taken that salvation for granted, and trampled the sacrifice of the beloved Savior – who is the vessel, Samaritan. Imagine living life with the weight of eternal judgment upon every thought, decision or word. How could you move at all?

But this was none other than Dah-gahn of the serpent wind, who stole the head of Saul, put out the eyes of Samson, and pilfered the very ark of God. He strives to fully put out mine eyes, and take the anointing from off my head, leaving me destitute. Beware of Dah-gahn, ye who call yourselves sons of God, for he makes wretches of the holy, and utter fools of the saints. Believe not the first deception (for his initial mission is to blind, that he may steal the glory – God would no longer speak unto Saul, though he sought with fastings and tears). Without deception there is, indeed, a time of reprobation, a time when salvation is lost, and the glory departed. There is, indeed, a condition in which those who were once anointed can shrink back beyond all hope – and this is he place where Dah-gahn delights. I adjure you with a thousand emphases, beware of him, Christians, and do not be deceived that this is not so, for in such a way do many perish by him – in theologizing against this realization. In this way was one of my brothers murdered, so be ye ware! AND SHOW THAT VILLAIN NO MERCY WHEN HE COMES TO YOUR DOOR – for he’ll show no mercy to you; this much I guarantee, as nearly as I guarantee the absolute, and opposite (to such as I’ve here spoken) goodness of God.

But was it so? Was the serpent wind correct? Had I fallen too far, was I beyond the voice of God, like Saul? Was I to be cut off without hope as the sons of Eli? Where was the Presence? I certainly did FEEL Ichabod.

These thoughts rocked the engine; the wound of my heart burned. The vessel began to shake, and shudder violently, as though t’would rock apart bolt and steel. But taking heed to the Words eternal (though with Words eternal even the serpent wind doth speak – with them he tempted our Lord, and with them he shook me so horribly! Thus, his subtlety among the sons of men) I used, again, my transmitter and rebuked the fiend for all I was worth.

Even as I spoke the tremoring of the vessel did subside. And a semblance of peace prevailed for the moment. No, I was not beyond reckoning – I maintained authority so that by my commands the serpent wind must obey!

This is the year of the Lord’s favor, for the King has not yet returned! In this hour abideth the promise: all those that call on the name of the Lord shall be saved! Eternally written, the Master declared: ‘…who cometh to me I will in wise cast out.’

And the good Samaritan continued the blessed transmission: ‘Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments…’

And now am I the devil’s nightmare!

The battle commences when no one is looking; when eyes wink with slumber, and men are found in the wilderness – in the dark of space. But there are spheres to enter into, and I am the Savior’s friend.

Part XV

[Series began here]