The Kingdom of the Devil
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.´ (Ephesians 6:12)
No one who was with us during those weeks of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit could have failed to observe that there are two Kingdoms in constant conflict. One Kingdom became as real to us as the other, and without any shadow of a doubt human beings were the battleground. Both the Old and the New Testaments teach the reality of a Kingdom of darkness and of the existence of demons.
We have already told of how demons were cast out of one man and how the larger demon was seen angrily rushing about the room until finally he overcame the schoolteacher. On that occasion two boys said that the demon looked like a man but was big and black. When the demon was cast out of this victim by a Spirit-filled young man, several children saw him and the other demon, about half his size, take temporary refuge behind some trees in the courtyard of the house. Both demons were visible to the children, some of whom were praying with their eyes closed and some with their eyes open. But they all saw the same thing at the same time. The demons looked the same to all the children.
In the Adullam Rescue Home we had a young girl who was very evidently vulnerable to demon activity. She said that before coming here she was subject to fits´, or spells of unconsciousness. A short time after her arrival she and some of the other girls went for a walk outside the city. On the way back one of the new girls who was half-blind and mentally disabled lingered behind and lost her way. The older girl, having gone to find the one who was lost, was returning home with her when she saw three demons in front of her. One was as tall as a door´ and was accompanied by two others about the size of a twelve-year-old boy. They were all dark in appearance, with big eyes and awful faces. The two smaller demons seemed under the control of the large one, and obeyed and followed him. The girl was terrified. The large demon came up to her and seized her by the head. She became dizzy and almost unconscious, and could scarcely walk. She could hardly see the street and had to be led home by the other girl whom she had gone to find. When they arrived home she felt better for a while, but a little later, while we were at supper, someone came in to tell us she was in her room unconscious. We found her lying on the floor, breathing as if in a peaceful sleep, but we could not wake her. After praying for her we all went as usual to our evening prayer meeting. The girl soon came in perfectly well.
She told us what had happened. She felt as if she was in chains and was being dragged by the demons, further and further down a long dark road; all the time she kept praying silently. Then she suddenly realized that the Lord had set her free and she was able to get up. At once she regained consciousness, and her mind became clear. As she sat on her bed alone, she saw the three demons in the room. But now she felt no fear, for she knew that the Lord was Conqueror. She drove the demons out of the room in the name of Jesus´. As they reluctantly left step by step she followed in the name of Jesus until she drove them along the walkway out of the large Chinese door at the entrance of our compound. In the next few months that she was with us she had no more fits´ or unconscious spells.
I have given these two incidents in detail because in both cases the effect of the demon activity was so clear that any observer would have known that something supernatural had taken place. There are many other stories we could tell, but these two are sufficient in this connection. We want to talk now about the demonic activity that went side by side with the activity of the Holy Spirit.
When there were manifestations of the Holy Spirit we did not understand we kept praying and trusting the Lord but decided not to interfere unless we saw something that was clearly harmful or sinful. After eight weeks of extraordinary Holy Spirit activity we were deeply thankful that we had allowed the children this freedom. We saw how amazingly the Lord had led them, and things we did not understand at first proved to be part of the Lord´s plan in giving us some of the most wonderful and precious revelations.
While some of the children were being really blessed by the Holy Spirit, others kept falling asleep when they tried to pray. Those under the anointing of the Holy Spirit could often see demons by those who were drowsy and could not break through. Sometimes they saw demons coming in through the open window or the door or lying lazily under the table or a couch that was in the room. Under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the children, with their eyes closed, would force the demons out of these places and would follow them until they went out of the door or window. They frequently followed these demons out of the room, opened a front or back door to the compound, and chased the demons off the premises. When demons appeared on the scene they were often seen by several people at the same time.
Some of the children had seen demons before. We found out that, despite all our teaching about the Lord, they were still so afraid of demons that they dared not go to their room alone at night, and they put their blankets over their heads when they slept. Through their experiences of the Holy Spirit, however, the children discovered that even the largest and most terrifying demons had no power over even the smallest child protected by the blood of Jesus. For the first time we had a happy bunch of Chinese children who lost their fear of demons, were not afraid in the dark and were able to sleep with their heads uncovered.
You may be wondering what demons look like. They resemble the demon idols in Chinese temples. According to the Bible1 and to the Chinese much idolatry is demon worship, and the idols are human beings´ attempts to reproduce the likenesses of demons that have been seen.
The children saw demons as tall as a door´, with pointed chins and heads covered with warts. Some were half this size, while others were just two or three feet; others were just two or three inches high and followed the larger demons around. The large, fierce-looking demons with big eyes are the ones to be feared as they have the power to take people prisoner and drag them off to hell.
Principalities and powers
Under the anointing of the Holy Spirit the children at Adullam found out that the principalities and powers of darkness work in co-operation with the demons on earth. This is what they discovered.
The seat of government of the evil powers is in the mid-heavens. Here the devil´s angels have their thrones and exercise their satanic government over the earth. Their appearance, size, dress, disposition and authority vary. In all respects they are as devilish in both appearance and activity as you would expect them to be.
These evil rulers argue constantly among themselves, each jealously resenting the authority of those with greater power and higher in rank. Those higher in rank hold onto their positions not by the consent of those lower down but only through their own greater fierceness and power. There are constant quarrels and in-fighting.
The angels all wear crowns representing various orders and ranks. They all want to sit on the thrones and supervise the work of evil on earth, rather than have to go down to earth on delegated duties and actually carry out the work. The higher-ranked demonic powers sit on the thrones in mid-heaven, ruling over the countless numbers of evil spirits, constantly despatching delegations to oppose the forces of righteousness, to strengthen the weak spots in the demonic forces on earth, and to drag people off to hell when they die.
Although the devil´s angels fly in high heaven right up to the gates of the New Jerusalem and although they come to earth and fly in its air, they congregate in their thousands in the mid-heavens where the thrones of authority are. Here evil spirits of all sizes fly backwards and forwards, and move about for one purpose or another. The angels of higher rank have a kind of halo.
In some respects they are all similar: they all have wings, they all have crowns and they all belong in the heavens. The messengers only go to earth temporarily until their evil errand is completed, and then they return to the heavens again.
The thousands of evil spirits on the earth are very different from the devil´s angels. They do not have wings; they can walk and run very quickly; they move about freely but they do not seem to leave the earth. They vary in size from a few inches to ten feet in height, wear gaudy striped clothes, and wear caps of various shapes and colours; other types of demons wear rags or filthy clothes.
Some of these demons that live on the earth have very little power and are quite harmless. Others, however, are large, fierce and very powerful. They oppose the work of men and women who love God, and His angels. In a vision the children saw one of their conflicts with an angel: the highest ranked demons on the earth, helped by those of lower rank, surrounded the angel and tried to strike him with clubs, swords and other weapons. Through faith and praising the Lord, the angel was able to survive the attack without suffering any blows or physical assault. The less powerful demons stood a little distance away, watching the fight; seeing that their companions were not having any success they prayed to the powers of evil in the heavens to send a reinforcement of the devil´s angels from the air. In response, a detachment of ten angels was sent down. As they approached the earth the demons clapped their hands to welcome them. When the satanic angels reached the scene of conflict the less powerful demons stood a little way away in respectful silence, while they took up the conflict. The angel continued to praise the Lord and to stand in faith and was able to resist their attack, until suddenly the glory of God came down and the evil forces were completely dispersed.
Visions of a non-Christian´s death
When a man who had not heard the gospel died, his spirit was set free from his body and wandered about from place to place on the earth, until one of the devil´s angels, coming down from the sky, put him in chains and forced him down to hell.
The death of a professing Christian who had known the Lord but had fallen away from faith was even more terrifying. Demons lay in wait by the bedside of this dying man, eagerly awaiting the moment of death. Before he had even died, they began to put the chains on him. The moment he gave his last breath they took his spirit prisoner and dragged the terrified man off to hell. His spirit did not have a moment´s freedom to wander the earth.
In another vision demons were seen taunting the spirit of a man who had turned away from God. As they dragged him along in chains, again and again they jerked him to his feet before forcing him to the ground again and hauling him along like a dead dog. When they at last tired of their cruel fun they took him down the dark road to hell.
One boy had come to the Adullam Rescue Home after living on the streets for several days. He had been an errand boy for the army but had been discharged because of his bad behaviour. He promised to change his ways and so we took him in. For a while he seemed to make a go of it. He heard the gospel and said he had repented.
Then different articles disappeared from the Home. At first we did not know who the thief was, but later the boy was discovered on his way to sell the goods. We put him out of the Home.
He lived as a beggar for several months and during this time he repeatedly promised to change if only we would give him a second chance. This we did. The Lord also gave him another chance, allowing him to experience manifestations of the Holy Spirit and supernatural revelations, which would have convinced even the simplest person of the ways of God. The boy himself had experiences of the Holy Spirit´s anointing when the Lord dealt with him directly about his sins and showed him a better way of living. In spite of all this the boy ran away and joined a street gang of beggar-thieves. A few months later he fell and broke his arm, and was picked up by a hospital worker. In the hospital he was so hopelessly disobedient that he was thrown out, and was soon on the verge of death on the street. He came to us with more promises of repentance and we took him in again.
He became more and more seriously ill. The night before he died I was wakened by some devilish shrieks that sounded like the howls of a wild animal or some fiend from hell. The next day when the boy died, I was away from home. As he lay dying demons surrounded him in eager anticipation. When his spirit was leaving his body the boy shrieked, wept, yelled and cried at the top of his voice in utter terror: Mr Baker, help! help! help! Oh, Mr Baker, come quickly! Mr Baker, Mr Baker, Mr Baker! Help, they are all around me with chains! They have come for me. Help, help, Mr Baker, help! Oh, oh, oh, help! help! help! They´re putting me in chains. Help! help! Oh, oh, oh, help! Oh h-e-l-!´
Visions of hell
Over and over again children had visions of hell and the lake of fire. Usually, the first time anyone came under the anointing of the Holy Spirit they saw a vision of hell. In their vision they were taken in chains through a very dark region. It was always pitch-black. Some children could hear demons all around them. After travelling a long time some could see a dim light in the distance which turned out to be reflections from the lake of fire. Some children were forced to go so close that they could see the lake of fire ahead of them. All the time they were calling on the blood of Jesus and declaring that they would not obey and would not allow themselves to be made the slaves of their evil captors. They believed Jesus would surely save them. As we have already related, at this crucial moment the Lord did indeed intervene and save them by His blood.
The Bible pictures hell as a place of blackest darkness (see, for example, 2 Peter 2:17), and it teaches that some of the devil´s angels are already in chains awaiting judgement (see Jude 6).
The lake of fire
The children were led to the edge of a lake of molten fire from which clouds of smoke billowed up. When the smoke settled low over the lake, the fire was less distinct. When it lifted a little, the burning lake could be seen clearly, with its red and greenish flames and its prisoners.
When, in their vision, the children were peering down into the pit, they would grab hold of a piece of furniture, or get down on their hands and knees, cautiously bending forward to take a look. After a moment they drew back again, afraid that they might fall in. They were absolutely horrified by what they saw. Then very cautiously they looked again before turning away. Sometimes the children lay flat on their stomachs, afraid they might slip and fall while looking over the edge into the lake of fire.
They saw the lost going into hell. Some fell in, some walked over the edge and some were thrown in in chains by demons. One boy saw a number of people tied up together in bundles, ready to be thrown into this fire (cf. Matthew 13:47-50).
When the fire burnt down and the smoke settled, they could hear moans. At intervals the intensity of the fire increased and these became shrieks and wails of agony.
In a vision one person rolled on the floor in agony, crying out as those suffering in hell would do.
Oceans of hands reached up out of the fire for help, appealing to those looking down to come to their rescue. We could hear the children talking to them just as you get just one end of a telephone conversation. They said: I can´t help you.´ No, I can´t do anything for you.´ But when you were alive you would not obey the gospel.´ No, it is too late; before you got here I preached to you, but you made fun of me and despised Jesus. Now you know I told you the truth.´ No, I can´t do anything; this is the judgement of God.´ If you had obeyed, you would now be enjoying heaven with us.´ After a while the children were led away to enjoy the presence of Jesus in heaven or the wonders of Paradise.
In the Gospel of Luke Lazarus could see the rich man in hell tormented by the flames:
In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, "Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire." But Abraham replied, "Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us."´ (Luke 16:23-6)
One boy saw his grandmother in hell, whom he had tried to win to Christ. She was a sorceress and a murderer, and had been very resistant to the gospel, causing many others in her village to refuse to believe. (This boy was the one who met his little sister and aunt in heaven.) Other children also saw visions of their relatives in hell.
The people in hell were all those who did not believe and trust in the name of Jesus. One night when the Lord spoke through a small boy in wonderful prophecy, among the things he said was, There will be no one in heaven except those who believe the gospel.´
Through the Holy Spirit the Lord taught the boys and girls many lessons in a quite systematic way. One particular vision was repeated so often it seemed it could never be forgotten. The person in the vision was standing by the cross at a place where two roads parted. One road was the narrow way of life that leads to heaven and glory; the other was the wide road to hell and destruction.
Crowds and crowds of people were hurrying along hustling and bustling with business, carrying great loads of sin and rushing along preoccupied with all the affairs of life. The child was a preacher at the crossroads. Again we heard one side of the conversation: Hello, my friend. Please wait a minute; I want to speak to you. Don´t go down that wide road: it leads to hell and ruin. I have been down that way and have seen hell for myself. Stop here by the cross and let Jesus take all your sins away. From the cross of Christ here you can start going up this other road that will lead you to heaven and everlasting life and joy. Oh! That person doesn´t believe it there he goes down the wide road. What a pity! I´ll stop this other man and see if he will believe. Hey there! Just a minute! Don´t follow that crowd! They don´t know where they´re going. That road leads to destruction; it leads to the lake of fire. Please don´t go that way. I came out here to stop as many of you as possible and give you fair warning. Better stop here and let Jesus take your sins away. Go with us up the road to heaven, where God is. Oh, there he goes, too!
Here´s someone else. Wait a moment! Leave the crowd! Can´t you see there is no one travelling back that way? They all go down that road; no one ever comes back. That is the wide road to hell. Stop here by the cross, believe that you can be saved through the blood of Jesus, and you will be safe. There is no other road further on. This is the only road to heaven. Turn in here or you will be lost too. Oh, she doesn´t believe me either. There she goes with the others.´
Sometimes the young preacher decided that if no one believed him he would follow the stubborn crowd to see what happened. When he arrived with the crowd at the brink of the lake of fire we heard him say, Look at that crowd falling into hell. No one escapes. I told you about this back there at the crossroads, but you would not believe. Now I can´t do anything to help you. If you had listened back there, when I warned you, the Lord would have saved you. You wouldn´t take my advice. Now, I can´t help you. I´m going back to the crossroads to see if I can find someone who will listen. I must see if I can stop at least someone.´
Occasionally he was successful in persuading someone to listen. Then he would say, Now, you kneel down there at the foot of the cross of Jesus and pray. Oh, you don´t know how to pray? Well, say what I tell you. "Jesus, I am a sinner! I was on the road to hell. I am only fit for hell. This big load I´m carrying is my sin. Forgive my sins and teach me to live only for your glory. Amen."´ There was great joy as the sinner was saved. As that person set off down the narrow road, the preacher went out to try to rescue someone else heading for destruction.
This vision, with some variations, was repeated many times, making the truths of salvation very clear. Jesus had warned:
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.´ (Matthew 7:13-14)
The vision also emphasized that Christians are to stand in the gap for those hurtling towards hell, and warn and persuade to the very limits of their ability.
The visions, as I mentioned in a previous chapter, prompted the boys to go out onto the streets with the message of the gospel. From the youngest to the oldest they preached under the power of the Holy Spirit and were sometimes given such direct inspiration that I was amazed I had never witnessed anything like it before.
The university student
Opposite our front gate lived a university student who was due to graduate later that year. Soon after he moved in I spoke to him, inviting him to come over and spend an informal evening discussing the Bible and Christianity with us. He came a few times, and I felt certain he was convinced of the truth of what I said. He seemed to be satisfied with my answers to his questions. Through him I managed to get a chance to talk to some of the other university students during their vacations. Ten days after I started going to see them in their rooms, we experienced the move of the Holy Spirit at Adullam.
The students were friendly, and I felt that the first undergraduate we had met was clearly convinced of the truth of the gospel, but, although he was polite, he did not want to believe it. He didn´t seem to like the friendly way the other students responded to the Bible discussions.
One morning one of our girls bumped into the university student at our front gate. The girl began telling him he ought to become a Christian, in a simple way urging him to believe in Jesus to save him.
What´s the use of my being a Christian?´ he asked. I don´t need to be saved.´
You might die suddenly, and then you would go to hell.´
Who are you?´ scoffed the student. You are a little snip of an ignorant girl, a useless beggar. What do you suppose you are up to? You are trying to teach me something when you are not even worthy to talk to me. I am a university student. I am wise. I have read many books. I have been in Peking for many years. I can speak and read English as well as Chinese.´ He then spat in her face and told her to mind her own business.
Two weeks later I heard the commotion of a funeral in the front alley. I was dismayed to learn that they were carrying this student to his burial I had seen him on the street only a few days ago. One of the boys said that a few days earlier, as we were going out to preach, he had offered this young man a tract but he would not take it. I knew nothing of his conversation with the girl.
About a month later this girl was in a trance under the power of the Spirit. After seeing glorious visions of heaven she stood still and bent over as if she were looking into hell. Then we heard her say: Ah, there is hell. No, I cannot. I have no power to help you now. I can see you are in an awful situation. It is you who are worse than a beggar now, all dirty, filthy and suffering in the lake of fire. In fact, you look worse now than any beggar I ever saw. I thought you told me you were rich and that you had a great education. Where is your education now? Well, I can´t help you, even if you do apologize. I have no power. Only Jesus can save you, but when I told you about Him you made fun of Him and cursed me.
Look what we beggars have received in Jesus: in heaven there is wonderful joy, happiness and love. We will enjoy the Paradise of God forever.´
It is hard to be saved
Then the girl seemed to be crossing the lake of fire over a narrow bridge. We saw her walking as if she were on a tightrope, placing one foot carefully in front of the other holding her arms out on both sides to keep her balance. With a sigh of relief she said, This is so dangerous! But with the Lord´s help I will get across to the other side.´ Then she carefully brought the other foot forward and nearly lost her balance again. She praised the Lord until she recovered her balance and went on as before. She crossed the room in this way until she seemed to be safely in heaven, and past every danger of falling into the lake of fire.
Whatever the effect of relating these visions may have on others, they served to convince us more than ever of the reality of heaven and the Kingdom of God, and of the reality of hell and the Kingdom of the devil. It is clearer to us than ever before that it is not easy to get to heaven: it is like walking step by step on a tightrope. Only Jesus can stop us from falling. The Scriptures tell us:
For it is time for judgement to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?"´ (1 Peter 4:17,18)
We are surer than ever that God means for us to stand at the crossroads at the foot of the cross to point sinners to the narrow road that leads to salvation.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The HTML version of this document was created by
Curtis Lee Hall
Amen and Amen.com
Many thanks to Rolland Baker for his help in getting VBTV in electronic format.
This work is for NON-COMMERCIAL use only!
Credits and Terms of Distribution