“It’s been raining in the mountains/ And the river’s on the rise/ And we cannot hardly reach the other side…”*
The rain outside continued to pour in the mountains. The river continued to rise in the valley, swallowing the deserted towns that sat on it. Those who had lived there no longer cared. They had already been robbed of their souls. The devil had seen to that.
The soulless bodies of those he had robbed now fought as a part of his unholy army, unable to die or find peace. despite being cut down, they fought on until they were destroyed beyond recognition. But that army was growing as the storm grew. And the storm grew with Lucifer’s wrath.
Though his armies of demons had been defeated, he still had this army of soulless slaves. And although he had not intended for the storm in the beginning, he now used it to its fullest potential. He would create a diversion, something to distract the angels guarding the gates that held his demons at bay. If he could get the angels to leave the gate, he could get one of his servants to reopen and set the demons free.
Uriel watched as the undead army grew. He frowned. This wasn’t good. Souls were being lost and heaven had no way to stop it.
There was no way to stop the storm. No miracle could stop Lucifer’s temper tantrum. No amount of prayers or prying could stop this growing deluge. It was only a matter of time before the devil discovered those who were helping his target, those not facing him physically. It was only a matter of time before he realized what their weaknesses were.
After all, Lucifer was the father of lies. He knew how to give a convincing sermon that was filled with lies and illusions. He cast a false light, making those around him believe that he was a man of God. Only those who knew him knew that he was nothing of the sort.
Uriel wished that miracles still happened. He wished that the Father still intervened personally in human affairs, but that had ended seven thousand years ago with the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Sure, there had been a promised return, but with the evil that has gripped mankind, even Uriel began to doubt whether that was still the plan.
Man had become the very anti-Christ he feared. He was the builder of the beast. It had been his love of material things that had allowed the devil to become so successful at the charade he had put on. Man hated instead of loved.
He hated men of color. He hated men who held different beliefs than his own. He hated those with more wisdom. He hated those who knew the truth. He hated the poor. The ill. The elderly. The homeless. The homosexuals. The Native Americans. The Hispanics. Those who were kind, had mercy, sought to heal, those who wanted to end the violence. Those who wanted to end greed.
He hated those who pointed out the true message of the Bible, especially those who brought attention to the fact that the Old Testament had been fulfilled through the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Christ and that those handy “laws” that he was so quick to point to as “foundations” of faith to justify his hate were no longer in force. Sure, if you loved your neighbor, brother, and enemy, you wouldn’t steal, kill, covet, commit adultery, or lie about him. But Christ had made it all an act of faith, something one was willing to do without condition toward others.
But man was always about adding conditions. It was evident in his methods of doing business. It was in his way of loaning money. His everyday lifestyle of greed, hate, fear, selfishness, and lying.
Man wasn’t worth saving. Sure there were those who still followed and believed, even among other faiths, but the vast majority had turned Christ’s movement into the new Babylon. Man was more concerned with his “right” to bear arms, gain earthly riches, make war on those who were different, oppress those less fortunate or who were deemed the dregs of humanity, or covet what was not his and yet call himself a follower of Christ.
He condemned even though he was instructed not to. He judged when he had been told to refrain. He hated when he was told to love. He was merciless when he had been told to have mercy. He lacked understanding when he was supposed to show endless understanding. He oppressed the needy and the homeless, rejecting the alien and the sojourner simply because he feared mistreatment from them.
He wanted all of the benefits of Christianity without actually doing what he was expected to. There was no doubt that if God sent Christ back, man would try to crucify him again simply because he wouldn’t be what man was expecting. He wouldn’t be white. He wouldn’t be a part of a political movement.
The Father would be wise to reconsider.Man no longer deserved the salvation or the grace offered by true belief in Christ or his message. He had done everything humanly possible to twist and destroy the faith, turning it into a religion focused on physical rites, rituals, and ideals. It was all about appearances of the “world” as opposed to the “believer” now, not about the heart and soul of the individual believer.
Even the Bible was not what it had been. Over millennia of distillation, misinterpretation, and omission, it had become less than it had begun as. Not one scribe, not one follower of Christ had written his actual deeds as they happened. Nor had they written his teachings as they had been taught. No, all had been written fifty to one hundred years after the fact or by those who had never met Christ in person.
The devil take them all. They had shown that they wanted to worship him anyway. Not the truth. They waved an empty shadow of a book, not the truth.