“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12”
There was something that lurked in the dark; whenever the team members moved around, performing miracles, healing and assisting other brothers in preaching, they could sense a sidelong, fading look mingled in the shadows of the crowds.
The team seemed not to think about it, since it was so subtle, they didn’t even bother paying attention to it, not after defeating gigantic evil leaders, impressive commanders, and conquering the Five Cities.
Pastor Good knew it was a big call to set up a church in each town, as he was instructed. “But Lord, how am I supposed to set up five churches when the people don’t even understand your Word?” The Pastor thought. Somehow, he knew he just needed to complete the tasks assigned to him and the Lord would see the rest through. After all, he was not alone. The Team Warriors and The Missioners were with him. But above all, his greatest ally was God Almighty.
“Brothers, we need to continue preaching. We need to reach every single soul in these towns. Our goal is to share the Word of Salvation and make disciples out of them. I am sure the Lord will do the rest.” Pastor Good projected with fervor. They all said “Amen,” together in reverence to God Almighty.
There was a secret hidden in the depths of Daniel Samuels’ heart, the one called The Emissary. He knew it was not yet time to share it with the other warriors. They were not ready; they had too much work to do. Baby steps.
Several months passed, and one day while creating new disciples, Pastor Good found a lost soul hiding in a dark corner. He was saying things that made no sense to Pastor Good. “Let me go, get away from me, please help,” were the only intelligible words coming out of his mouth. Pastor Good knew many things happened in Hell Town of which he was not aware. The man lying on the ground was very tall, with a long beard of grey and white mixed together, and a long ponytail reaching his waist. “This foreigner needs our help,” said Pastor Good in a firm but soothing tone. “Let us take him to the shelter.”
“What is your name?” Asked Pastor Good.
The man continued mumbling words that were not easy to understand. “Let us pray for this man,” said all the brothers in unison.
When The Emissary showed up at the shelter, he was surprised to see the tall stranger there. He immediately put his guard up, and readied himself to fight, but somehow The Emissary felt no evil forces coming out of the man. As a matter of fact, he felt no presence at all. Presently, Pastor Good approached The Emissary and explained to him what was happening. He explained how they found him and repeated to him the words the man had been uttering. At this, Daniel Samuels was able to lower his guard and assess the situation.
“Hey, man, can you speak?” asked Daniel, cautiously.
Shakily, the tall man said, “I don’t remember much, everything is like a dream to me…” He trailed off wearily. “It doesn’t make sense.”
With a flash, Daniel Samuels remembered Matthew 4:43-45; “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.”
“Wait a minute,” he thought to himself, “so that is what’s happening to him. After a final, great defeat, the demon departed from him; therefore, his past evil experience is blurry to him. Now, more than ever,” Samuel, still speaking to himself but now with determined fervor, “he needs to know about the Lord. Otherwise evil spirits will come back and worsen his situation.” Everyone continued praying and assisting the mysterious man, as well as all the others that needed help in the shelter.
After several months of spiritual warfare, the results were incredible. They had set up their churches; healed the sick; sheltered the homeless and conquered souls for the Kingdom of the Lord God Almighty, using the unmatched power of His Living Word. The battles were over, and they only needed to carry on with the tasks in their respective cities.
“Praise the Lord,” said The Emissary, “we are gathering here today at Hont Well City.” Everybody looked surprised.
“You forgot the name of the town.” Said Warrior.
“It may look that way, but I have not forgotten.” Said The Emissary. “Allow me to explain, that you may understand.” He turned to Pastor Good.
“Pastor Good, the Evangelism Team and I thought it was time to change the name of the city from “Hell Town” to “Hont Well City”. We prayed for a new name, and God revealed that if we scrambled the old name in a specific way, an incredible meaning would be revealed as well. If you look carefully, it has the same letters as the old name, but we transformed it, and God gave it real meaning. Praise the Lord!” Everybody was glad and surprised at the same time.
“Well, I did not want to say anything, but we changed the name of the town where we are working as well.” said Warrior. Each one of them followed with a similar statement about changing the names of the towns where they worked.
“All the towns now carry new names. Praise the Lord! This is incredible, even when we were far away from one another, we were one in spirit.” Exclaimed The Emissary, bursting with joy and reverence for God.
They all rejoiced, praising and worshiping the name of the Lord God Almighty, because of all the battles they had won, all the people that came to the Lord, and the improvement in all the cities.
“All of you have grown and matured in all ways these past months. We now have instructions to return to our respective towns, because there is a great danger lurking in the shadows. We may have won this battle, but the war is far from over.” Said The Emissary in a grave and serious tone.
“As you know, we have found several of the evil human leaders. They have few memories of what has transpired. For them, it has been a dream, but we all know the truth. We need to work hard and make sure each one of them serves the Lord, or the consequences will be devastating for their souls and for each one of our cities.”
Warrior stepped forward. “These past few weeks, I have been sensing a fading and subtle evil lurking in the shadows, but I have not paid it much attention. But now, I will open my eyes, and pay much more heed, for I fear that its strength is growing.” All the team members agreed to do the same.
“As a final word for this meeting,” said The Judge, “I tell you that there is a divine reason why we are working on each town. I still don’t know what it is exactly, but there is something powerful and precious behind all of this. I know it was not a coincidence, nor was it by chance that The Elite Commander chose these cities. I don’t believe in coincidence but in God-incidence. I am absolutely certain there is a great plan, and great deeds for us still to accomplish. We might have to battle soon.
“Has the Lord spoken to you, Judge?” Asked, Discerner.
“No, but I have found some old books and I think there is something more in them than meets the eye.”
They all looked at each other, hesitantly.
“Old books…” Judge repeated. “Try to search for books, and recover any that might call your attention. Ancient and forgotten books in your towns. Pray, and I am sure the Lord will guide you on your search.” He spoke reassuringly. “There is something we must know, and it is hidden somewhere in these books of which I speak. Let us pray before departing.”
“Abba, Father.” The Judge, raising his hands, spoke so all could hear.
“We humbly come to You seeking Your guidance. We are thankful for everything You have done for us till now, and for all You will do for us in the future. We know that the battles we’ve won were won because You fought for us and with us. Lord, we’ve prayed, and You have not answered. We are facing something unknown to us but not to You. We need Your guidance, Lord. You placed us here in these cities for Your work to be done. Please, don’t mute your ear to us now Lord! Let Your will be done! Amen!”
With this, they all departed with their minds uneasy and thoughtful. “Ancient books, forgotten books…” The words echoed amid their thoughts as they walked.
“Mender, there must be a meaning to the new name of the town.” said Warrior. “Let us pray and search, we must find the meaning of the name we received for this town, “Mock Fenk Fist”.” Mender, laughed.
“I thought the name sounded funny, but I did not say anything at first. I only slightly mocked the name though. I understand now why you always use the initials “MFF” wen referring to the name of the city. At the beginning, I thought you were confused and trying to say “BFF”.”
“Hilarious,” laughed Warrior, “you are indeed my best friend forever, but I was just avoiding saying Mock Fenk Fist. I know it sounds like a weird name, but I prefer it to Knockemstiff.” They both laughed.
“Can we continue our search?” Asked Mender reflectively.
“Wait, but we haven’t even started. How can we continue?” Said Warrior.
“Anthony, I was talking about our search to find the evil leaders, Assassin and Poison Dagger.”
“Ah! You got me there, Erin. It’s been over a year and we still haven’t been able to locate them. They cannot have vanished; other teams have located their evil leaders.” Mender despaired.
There was a pause. “It feels weird to use our real names, eh?” Warrior giggled.
“Yes, it has been a long time. We should stick to our new names then.” Mender said in a resolute tone.
“Agreed.” Both of them said.
Frantic and horrid feelings completely overtook Warrior when he opened his eyes and shot up, rigid with fear, from his fitful sleep. The same nightmare again.
“I do not understand it.” He gasped, wiping cold sweat from his brow.
“Wait,” he whispered confusedly, “I just closed my eyes for 5 minutes and I had that dream again. I will have to speak with Mender tomorrow; I am starting to have a weird feeling, and the Lord is not speaking to me about it either.”
“Knock, knock!” A desperate and hoarse whisper sprang from behind the door. “Warrior!”
Warrior was able to recognize the sound of the voice, and replied. “What is happening? Is everything ok, Mender?”
“Yes, but I feel disturbed. I just had a nightmare.”
When Warrior opened the door to Mender, he intended to ask her what she meant, but before he could even utter the “What”, Mender started pouring her heart out to him at a rapid and unnerving pace.
“I saw myself in a different town, but it felt familiar, as if I knew it very well. I can’t quite remember it, but it was a different town, that’s for certain.” She was pacing the room, waiving her arms as if trying to conjure the town out of the air.
“There was an enormous battle and…” her voice trembled and trailed off, “I lost against Assassin and Poisson Dagger. I cannot describe the feeling, but I am terrified.” She whipped around to face Warrior.
“I’m freaking out here! I don’t want to close my eyes! It felt so vivid, like it was real. It’s like I can literally feel the pain of the wounds crawling over my body.” She sank onto the floor, exhausted from the effort.
“Hey, calm down, it was just a nightmare.” Soothed Warrior. “Take a deep breath and relax. Let us pray to calm down.”
They prayed to the Lord God Almighty, and Mender was able to calm down, but still she felt uneasy.
“You know, I was going to talk to you about it tomorrow.” said Warrior. “I have been having a weird and terrifying dream too. The same dream again and again. I see you lying on the ground and I see someone that looks like Assassin and Poisson Dagger hurting you, and saying things to you that I cannot understand. I try to help you but as soon as I reach out, I wake up.” He sounded angry, and frustrated with himself.
“I have prayed, but I still don’t have an answer.” He continued. “Let us pray together, Mender. I still don’t know what all of this means, but we will find out soon enough. It is…creepy that we’re having the same dream, and especially since we have already defeated them once before. I know we haven’t found them yet, but still. Could it be that we will fight them again and lose?”
“I cannot believe that the Lord hasn’t talked with either of us about it.” said Mender. “Let us pray.”
And they both praying, together, for wisdom, understanding, and the interpretation of the dream.
Meanwhile, Ben and his mom were settling into the new town. Ben had already made some new friends, and they had decided to play outside for a little bit. While walking in the neighborhood, they noticed an old abandoned building not far from the house. All the kids were in awe starring at the old, creepy looking structure. It looked like it used to be some kind of library. Ben’s eyes glimpsed something that looked like the corner of an old book, and he immediately felt an almost gravitational pull towards it. He could not understand why, but this old book was somehow appealing to him. He went to grab the old book and realized it was underneath a pile of junk.
He unrumpled the area to reach the book. As he was reaching for the book, his hand grasping at the leather cover, he felt someone or something big coming towards him. He saw two big feet in front of him, but he could not look up. He just froze. He could not move or speak. He tried to move, with all his will, but his body was not responding to him. The other kids didn’t seem to notice anything strange. They were calling out to Ben, but he couldn’t respond. Then, one of them went to him and said, confusedly, “Ben come on let go of that thing, let’s get out of this creepy building. It just gives me the creeps.” Suddenly, Ben snapped out of it, and, without hesitation, turned around and ran out of the building.
The force inside the building was unaware that Ben had seen it.
While Ben was walking back home with his friends, he was thoughtful, not speaking even one word along the way. While his friends were talking with one another about all the cool things they’d seen, Ben couldn’t utter a word in reply, he was too deep in his thoughts. He flashed back to a time when he was sick at the hospital, and how he had a vision of his dad in shiny armor, fighting a dark force in the hospital room with him. He thought that this could be the same entity. He wasn’t sure, but he felt strongly that the two were connected somehow.
“Dad, look what I found.” Said Ben, upon returning home. “It’s very dusty and old; can you read it to me, dad?”
“Let me have a look at this old and dusty book.” His father replied as he took the book from his son’s hands. Anthony, a strong and intelligent fellow, was perplexed when he examined the book. Then, perplexity turned into astonishment. He could not believe his eyes, and it showed on his face.
“Dad…Dad, are you ok?” Asked Ben.
“Yes, buddy, I’m fine. Go uh…go see your mother and ask if she needs help with that project she’s been working on. I will join you shortly.”
“Ok daddy. Can I have the book back?” Asked Ben hesitantly.
“Well, I will give it back to you later on, I want Erin to see it first.”
Warrior reached for his phone and used the speed dial:
“Mender,” with a trembling tone in his voice, “meet me at the church building in 5 minutes.” And hung up.
“It must be serious,” thought Mender, “I’d better hurry.”
“Look what Ben found.” Said Warrior, extending the book to Mender.
“Mock Fenk Fist Legend” was the title.
“Wait a minute. Is that the old book? And why does it have the same name as our town?”
“That is what we need to find out first.” Warrior said with resolve.
“Warrior, look.” Mender held out her hand. “I haven’t been able to stop shaking since I laid my eyes on that book, and I don’t know why.”
“It is time to read it and find it out.” Warrior declared.
They set to work reading the book, and cataloged everything of significance that they saw.
“Well, the book is entirely filled with images, there is no text whatsoever.” Mender murmured, exasperated.
“Wait, what is this city? It’s beautiful.” She turned the book sideways to examine the picture. “What are all these battles? These people look familiar to me but, it’s too blurry. Oh look! There’s text here, in the margin.”
“Get the loop, let’s see if we can read it.”
Mock Fenk fist, the kingdom of conquerors.
“What does it even mean? Kingdom, conqueror…I don’t understand it, Warrior.” Mender explained.
“Me neither, Mender. Let us continue reading.” Warrior proclaimed.
“Well, you mean, looking at the images, because I’ve only seen that one phrase so far and I’m totally clueless.” Responded Mender.
“Look!” Warrior exclaimed, pointing to a section of the image. “It’s just like my dream; I remember this. These two men here look like Assassin and Poisson Dagger. They look strong.” He mused gravely. “They are fighting with everyone and it seems like they win every time. This is giving me goose bumps…”
“What is this?” Mender gestured to the clash in the middle of the picture where the battle was concentrated.
“I don’t know, but there is something hidden, they look like they are trying to destroy it. Also, It looks like they’re preventing these people from reaching it. Look, there’s more text here.
“Apparently, half of the book is missing. Look here.” Warrior pointed to a section of the spine that clearly showed that many pages had been torn out.
“I am more confused now than before we picked the book up.” Said Warrior, as Mender nodded in agreement.
“We have to pray and ask for guidance on this one. I am starting to feel uneasy with this book. I’ll ask Ben where he found this book and we will try to locate the other half. Let’s agree to meet for prayer at 11am.”
“Sounds good. See you then.” Mender concluded.
Both heroes went about their chores with what remained of the day, but their minds were filled with something they could not describe.
The next day, when Warrior and Mender got to the building, they felt an overwhelming presence. The building resembled an old library, with lots of shelves visible, still housing some old and worn out books. Most were worthless.
“Ben’s been sneaking out to this old abandoned building with some new friends, and on one excursion they found this book.”
The two continued searching, but to no avail. They were ready to give up and leave, when Mender screamed.
“You have got to see this!”
“I’ll be right there, hang on!” Warrior called down from the second story overlook.
“What, what is it?” Warrior exhaled, catching his breathe. “I don’t see any books.” Warrior, a little annoyed.
“I know, right?” She said.
“So, what is it that I’m supposed to observe here? Because I don’t get it.”
“Look closer,” Mender whispered, “and tell me you can see it.”
“I still don’t see anything.” He spat.
Then Mender pointed her finger toward a small spot on a rotten wall.
“Look at that over there.”
“It’s an inscription, but what does it say?” He inquired.
“Don’t you get it? It is the same one that was in the final page of the book! But some letters have been erased or crossed out.”
“Just replace the dots with the missing letters and you will have “entrance”.”
“You’re right,” Warrior spoke in amazement, “but I don’t see the word “secret” anywhere.”
“Well, there’s a shape that looks like a hand next to it. Should we try it? Should I try my hand, Warrior?” She said.
“Sure, but stop acting like a teenager, all excited so suddenly.” He chided.
Beaming, Mender placed her hand on the wall over the mark. With a rumble and a crack, a large fissure appeared in the wall, and it looked like it was going to split the whole building in two. The fissure was large enough for someone to sneak in, but suddenly, out of nowhere, a Mocking Man sprung into existence, and, swinging his fist like lightning, hit Warrior and Mender at the same time, throwing them to the ground and disappearing instantly.
“What was all that?” Both groaned.
“It hurt, whatever it was. I feel like a truck just ran over me.” Said Warrior in a daze.
Just then, a booming voice came out of the dark.
“No one is allowed to pass this Secret Entrance without being called.”
By the sound of the voice, they discerned that it was a male speaking. Once again, with greater ferocity, the Mocking Man sprang out of nowhere and went straight for Warrior and Mender.
Warrior was able to block the tremendous fist, but Mender was not so lucky.
“Flee, trespassers, or you will pay with your lives.”
They were not able to see the person talking to them. They just heard the warning.
“I am the Guardian of Mock Fenk Fist Kingdom, and you are not welcome. No human is allowed! Go from here!” With the last words, an immensely strong wind blew them completely out of the building.
“What has just happened?” Thought Warrior and Mender.
“Man, I am hurt.” Creaked Mender. “Did you see him?”
“No, I did not see him.” Warrior, coughing up the words with blood as she stammered to his feet. “But I am intrigued and freaked out at the same time.”
“The Guardian of Mock Fenk Fist Kingdom… No human is allowed…”
“Mender, we need to treat our injuries first. Sit down, reflect and pray over this.”
“Don’t worry, I’m fine…it was nothing. But we definitely need to pray about it. We need to keep this to ourselves for now, and start investigating this mystery. I am sure it has something to do with the old book we found, but the words from that man, they’re engraved in my mind.”
“Wait,” said Mender, “the Guardian said, “without being called”, what do you suppose that meant?”
“Yes, I thought about that too. No human, kingdom…this is something new. As Shrewder always says, “this is heavy.””
A few weeks passed by and the team could not get any answer from the Lord or get the thoughts out of their minds. They were praying, fasting and reading the Word of God together at church and then, one evening, out of nowhere, they heard in their hearts “Your biggest challenge is coming, something you have never seen before. NEDE LAND”.
Warrior and Mender were troubled by this. There was no other instruction… “And what does NEDE LAND even mean?” They thought.
At this moment, Warrior and Mender decided to set up an e-meeting with their fellow team members. It was time to share with the team what is happening, they may be going through the same thing, and they must be warned.
All the teams were present at the conference call or e-meeting. Warrior and Mender filled them in about the current threat and situation. They inquired about the meaning of “kingdom, no human, without being called”, But nobody had a clue, nor did anyone have any ideas about “Nede land”.
“Has anyone ever heard about Nede land?” All the team members were just listening and praying at the same time. They had no clue, but they all felt that something was coming. Something was going to happen very soon and they must be ready.
The Emissary started by saying “There is something I have been thinking of sharing with you all, but the time had not yet arrived, in fact, I don’t think you are ready to hear it even now.”
“Is it about Nede Land?” Asked Warrior.
“Yes, it is.” He answered. “I am sure all of you have been having dreams that you cannot explain and sensing something evil lurking in the shadows. We will have time to speak about all of this, but now we must prepare, because as Warrior and Mender heard “the biggest challenge” of our lives is coming. Allow me to pray a little bit more and let us have another e-meeting 3 days from now. I advise all of you to dedicate time to praying and reading God’s Word, so we can have a better understanding of this new situation. Have you all found the ancient book?”
They all replied with “Yes,” excepting one team.
“Pray, because our threat is real and not of this kingdom.” Concluded The Emissary.