© 2023 by Bible to Life Ministry

First Chapter

When Will It Ever End?

Everything was rapidly changing around me. Disoriented and unaware of my surroundings, I seemed to be lying face-down in a wooded area in a partially open field. I was isolated by thick brownish-yellow brush mixed with thorns and fallen debris from a large number of dead Scarlet Oak trees. The ground was wet and saturated. I lay in silence, mud-covered, soaked, and breathless, terrified that the slightest movement would give away my strategic position of concealment. Camouflaged among the tall grass, weeds, dead tree trunks, and branches, I waited—though for what I did not know. One thing I did know was that, for now at least, I was alive, and that counted for something, though at the moment it brought little comfort.

 

I felt a great disadvantage lying there on the ground. I was unable to see more than a few feet in front of me at any given moment. In an attempt to look around, I planted my hands firmly beneath me and lifted my head a foot or two from the ground. It was pitch black outside, despite a full moon. It was completely round and defined; I swear I could see craters, mountains, and even ravines pitted in the side of this enormous God-created structure thousands of miles above. Acting as a flashlight in the hands of God, it shone down directly upon me, illuminating where I lay. I imagined it illuminating numerous possible paths of escape as I continued to lie on my stomach. I was unable to actually see above the natural obstacles obscuring my view to freedom.

 

My mind began to race, thinking about the one who had no doubt led me to this abandoned grave out in the middle of nowhere. The very thought of him returning was more than I could bear. Such a horrifying creature of a man, he was hideous in all aspects of the word—the purest of evil, void of the ability to show compassion, love, mercy, or empathy. He was one who existed for the sole purpose of preying on the weak. Though I was still confused as to exactly where I was or how I gotten in this situation, I had been there many times before. There were different scenes and places, but always the very same scenario over and over, time and time again. I decided that tonight would be different; tonight it would end once and for all, but how it would happen, I wasn’t quite sure.

 

Checking myself for injuries, I found that I was not seriously wounded. I knew my only chance of survival was to get up and make my way out of this warzone of naturally-occurring obstacles. The question was, Where was I, and which way was safety? I kept thinking to myself, Might I be close to a road or a house? Maybe if I yell loud enough, someone will hear me and help will come?

 

But other thoughts dissuaded me: What if he hears me? What if I haven’t eluded him and he is close by lying in wait, knowing where I am and enjoying the suspense of it all?

 

The silence was defining as I strained to listen intently to hear a single sound. I could hear no cars or other forms of transportation, no planes flying overhead, no birds chirping or squirrels rummaging through the trees, not even an owl hooting. I decided not to call out for help but to take my chances in a silent effort to escape. The only sounds I heard were the noises I made, which seemed to echo as if through a megaphone, amplifying even the slightest movement. And the loudest of all sounds were internal—my increased blood flow and the magnified sound my heart made in my ears, as if someone was beating on a metal hollow door with a large sledgehammer.

 

It felt as if my heart was pounding out of my chest. I was gripped with terror. I lay motionless on the ground, unable to see or determine the closest possible route of escape. Visions of being murdered, thoughts of being alone and abandoned, and feelings of despair flooded my mind from all sides. Claustrophobia took hold with every breath as I began to tell myself, Run Paul, run away! Get out of here now, no matter what it takes, run!

 

I knew what to do, what seemed logical and best. Although my mind was alert and racing, my body was in slow motion. As if I was trapped in an invisible grave, a force beyond my control prevented my arms and legs from moving at speeds necessary to escape the torment of my tormentor, whom I had encountered many times before tonight. My mind, my will, and my emotions were firing on all cylinders. Opposing forces rendered my body useless and out of control, dictating with almost complete certainty my impending death. Like prey heavily sedated, a lamb led to the slaughter, I was the hunted and at an obviously great disadvantage in comparison to the hunter.

 

I was flooded with a myriad of emotions, not knowing whether I would ever see my family again. I had little assurance as to whether I’d even be heard or not, should I decide to cry out for help. I was still lying prostrate and all alone, with nothing but my thoughts. I started to quote familiar Scriptures over and over again under my breath. After what seemed like forever, to my surprise, there still remained no change in my present circumstance; quoting Scripture didn’t seem to work. Nevertheless, I continued saying under my breath over and over again: “Perfect love casts out all fear....I have not been given a spirit of fear but of love power and a sound mind....Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world....Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life....Who the Son sets free is free indeed....No weapon formed against me will prosper....”

 

I knew these Scriptures. I had preached them in sermons, and I had used them and others like them to console the hurting and comfort those who mourned the loss of loved ones, both young and old. I once again laid my head down on the ground out of sheer exhaustion. I was still disoriented and uncertain of where I was and what would happen next.

 

Coming to grips with the reality of which I was now a prisoner, I found myself in desperate need of release—a captive needing to be set free! No relief was in sight, and the Scriptures I quoted seemed powerless to deliver or comfort me. In that moment, I assumed I was going to die a terrifying and painful death at the hands of the madman who hunted me. I had already made up my mind that he was nearby, waiting to attack, waiting to have his way with me, and there was nothing I could do about it.

 

I continued to lie on the ground as if glued there by supernatural forces outside my control. The worst part was not knowing what would happen next. I did not know if he would return or how I would die, and the uncertainty was slowly driving me to the point of insanity.

 

I tried to remain silent and unseen, though my efforts were in vain; he must have known all along where I was and that I was alone. After finally hearing a sound, I turned my head and was confronted with my greatest fears all at once. There he was, standing a few feet to my left, slowly moving toward me as he had done so many times before. He was heading toward me, and there was nothing I could do, nowhere to go.

 

This would be the night when it all ended, the time of reckoning had come—thus far and no more, never again! Never again!

 

He was hideous looking with eyes black as coal and void of any life. His facial features were full of cracks, pits, wrinkles, and discolorations. It was a face beyond natural recognition or any resemblance of human life I’d ever seen. Wiry hair grew in sporadic patches, covering only a portion of his head. His arms, fingers, legs, and feet were merely flesh-covered bones. His skin appeared transparent, and blue, black, and green veins ran all over every part of his body that I could see. His skin reminded me of beef jerky or biltong—wrinkled, dry, and dead. To say I was horrified at the very sight of him would’ve been an understatement.

 

After rolling from my stomach onto my back, I started to sit up, and as I did, I kept thinking and then eventually saying to myself aloud, I have to get to my feet! I must get to my feet! I must put a little more distance between me and this monster of a man!

 

Resisting the fear, I mustered up the strength to withstand the power he had over my mobility. Gaining strength, I moved in the opposite direction, though at a slower pace than a normal walk. I felt as if I was pushing up against or pulling a significant force, which limited my forward movement to a snail’s crawl at best. In my attempt to escape, I stumbled through the muddy field. I kept falling down and then getting right back up again. I scraped my hands and knees on the tree limbs and thorns that cluttered the ground while they mercilessly clung too and tore my bare legs and arms. Like a cat playing with a mouse, this went on for what seemed like hours, though I’m sure minutes would be a more accurate assessment. He could have easily overtaken me, but for reasons beyond my understanding, he refrained from doing so.

 

At any time he could have killed or tortured me, though it appeared my tormentor enjoyed the power of striking fear in my heart and knowing that at any time he could destroy me. He enjoyed the illusion of giving me false hope as to the possibility of escape, but this was his fatal mistake!

 

As he came in for the kill, I stood to my feet and stared into his cold, dark, black, and lifeless eyes. Then, sticking my finger in his face and screaming at the top of my lungs, I said, “In the name of Jesus, I take authority over you! Go!”

 

He then stopped dead in his tracks, took two or three steps back, and then started to run in the opposite direction, screaming in fear. The last thing this demonic spirit (which was derived straight from the pit of hell on assignment to torment me) said before he vanished, never to return or be seen again, was, “You wait till I tell my master; he is going to be mad! You just wait till I tell my master!”

 

And then I woke up in my bed. I had had this same dream every night for many years in a row after receiving Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. But after that night when I took authority over that spirit, I never had it again.

 

I’d been harassed by this dream every night since I was born again in 1995 up until 1998. For almost three years, I remained powerless to overcome these demonic visitations. It was only after learning—by way of revelation—the authority I had already received in Christ through redemption that I overcame these demonic dreams. I knew I was a child of God, and I knew my spirit had been regenerated[1] and born again. What I had failed to learn in times past was the inherited authority[2] I had over all the works of the enemy.

 

If I would have learned this spiritual truth early on in my Christian walk, I’d have saved myself many sleepless nights. To think, I had the answer all along within me, but I didn’t even know it. I had heard and read about the fullness of the Godhead[3] living “in bodily form” (Col. 2:9), but I was unaware of what the fullness actually was or how it was beneficial to me as a believer. I didn’t understand my legal right of authority received through redemption—the inherited authority I received by the Father through faith in His Son, which could never be taken away.

 

I now know that His authority is my authority. All believers through faith and obedience to God’s written Word can use their inherited authority received through redemption. It is the destiny of all believers to not only gain an understanding but to daily demonstrate their inherited authority that they received from the Father through the Son and by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

 

It’s not enough for believers to know who they are in Christ. Believers must also gain a revelation of the fullness of who Christ is in them. Believers must also understand the authority they carry by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

 

As you may recall in this chapter, I quoted Scripture to the demonic spirit that was attacking, tormenting, and stalking me in my dream. Quoting the Scriptures by themselves proved powerless to provide comfort or any resolve. It wasn’t until I took authority—in the name of Jesus—that I experientially received the victory that I had already in theory received through redemption.

 

It is necessary to understand that the glory of the riches of Christ’s inheritance is in the saints and to also understand that if we are children of God, then we are heirs—heirs of God and coheirs[4] or joint heirs with Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:17; Gal. 3:29; Eph.3:6; Tit. 3:7; Heb. 6:17; Jas. 2:5). Coheirmeans to be co-authorized; therefore, what belongs to Christ now belongs to every believer. This is not in the sense of delegation, which can be given and also taken away, but in the sense of inheritance from the Father, through the Son, and by the infilling presence of the Holy Spirit, which can never be taken away.

 

All believers have received inherited authority through redemption as partakers of the New Covenant. Ephesians 1:18 states, “The glory of the riches of His inheritance is in the saints,” and Romans 8:14–17 states, “If a child then also an heir, an heir of God and a coheir with Christ.” With the understanding that we are coheirs with Christ comes the understanding that the same glorious riches of Christ’s inheritance are our glorious inheritance to be accessed, used, and spent at will any time a believer desires—by faith and through remaining obedient to the written and spoken word of God.

 

As believers remain obedient to God’s Word through faith, they become the word of God (the very image of Christ) in and through the earth to the world. “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).

 

If we, as believers, want to see the glory of God, then we need to walk in our inherited authority and, through faith, release God’s glory everywhere we go and to everyone we meet.

 

 

[1] Regeneration: The spiritual transformation in a person, brought about by the Holy Spirit, that brings the individual from being spiritually dead to become a spiritually alive human being. Regeneration is another way of speaking about the new birth or the second birth or being born again. Theopedia.com.

[2]Authority: The power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience. Google Dictionary.

[3] Godhead: a: the essential being of God; the Supreme Being;  b: the Holy Trinity of God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Ghost (Col. 1:19; 2:9). Dictionary.com.

[4] Coheir: A joint heir, as to an estate; a person who inherits jointly with others. The Free Dictionary online.