“They must be stopped immediately!” Satan roared as he drove his fist into the palm of his hand. “Employ every device I have placed at your disposal!” The blazing fury of the Prince of ‘darkness had been kindled by reports from his Emissaries that certain Gospel Evangelists were holding nation-shaking crusades in some of his greatest strongholds.
He displayed all of the characteristics of a fuming, bellowing dragon as he continued to thunder at the top of his voice. “Do you realize what this could mean? What have you done to stop them?” he shouted at the Rulers of Wickedness who were gathered before him. One of Satan’s most powerful fallen Angels, knowing his Master’s weakness for worship, came slowly and bowed low at his feet. “Your all-wise Majesty,” he began deliberately, “we have been very successful in stopping several greatly gifted ones by subtly tempting them in times of weakness and then publishing their foolishness abroad. Needless to say, we were able to ruin their reputation and destroy their effectiveness. “Others,” he continued, “we have been able to keep at odds with the organized church. Although their blows are being felt in certain quarters, their efforts are isolated. Since there is little or no cooperation with the churches, the follow-up of their meetings is weak and we have everyone questioning the lasting results of their efforts. “The ones who trouble us most, your Excellency, are receiving our undivided attention. We are constantly keeping wrong motives.”
By this time Satan had recovered sufficiently from his fit of anger to break in on the Prince’s report: “Remember, if you find it impossible to fill these deadly Evangelists with pride and self-importance, you should capitalize on their desire to help conserve their converts. Few of them will be happy with the way their meetings are followed up. Use this as a temptation for them to start another denomination. You know there are never enough denominations for us. The more divisions we can foster in the church, the better our chances to hinder Evangelism. “Gifted Evangelists must be kept from preaching to those who are without the Gospel! “For centuries now we have been successful in restricting their evangelistic campaigns to church meetings. It has been one of our shrewdest moves!”
Traces of malicious glee were becoming visible on the face of the Arch deceiver, “Very few of the people held in our clutches will ever attend church meetings. I believe you can see to that. It is a proven fact that when an Evangelist who is gifted to preach to non-Christians is forced to preach to the same group of believers night after night, his gifts cease to operate. He usually tries to develop some other kind of ministry as a substitute for that treacherous type of Evangelism they practiced in the Bible, and I commend you for your success in this. “I hate any form of evangelism,” Satan snarled, “but evangelistic meetings held in churches are far less dangerous to our cause than when men with powerful evangelistic ministries preach to our captives on our own ground. “Now listen to me,” His Satanic Highness demanded: “We must continue to use every device possible to keep these evangelists from holding meetings out where our people will attend. And don’t forget to continue discouraging believers from doing any personal Evangelism outside their church! “And hear this,” Satan warned: “There is another threat even more deadly, which I have observed from going to and fro upon the earth. Some of these ‘evangelists are using their influence on great numbers of people to organize their efforts in converting our captives. They are very clever. “They refuse to be persuaded to work independently, and neither will they organize a new church denomination. They persist in drawing the church into interdenominational evangelistic efforts.” Again his voice rose to a deafening roar: “ I tell you, THIS MUST BE STOPPED!”
The reprobate angel who had been successful before in calming his infuriated Master, spoke again: “But your Majesty, we have greatly hampered their success by turning the organized church against them. As you suggested, we have emphasized every mistake they have made and distorted every failure to look as if it were prompted by an ulterior motive.” “I’m not satisfied!” was Satan’s immediate retort. “You know, as well as I do, that they are gaining ground every day. “You know the way to handle these clever ones. You’ve done it before. Play up misunderstandings. Emphasize differences between evangelists and organizations. Work on the officials – yes, and alert the editors and writers; get them to spread their differences. “As long as we can keep the church from cooperating in ‘evangelism, ONLY that long, will we be secure! No one man or single organization will ever succeed in evangelizing the world. Therefore we must keep Evangelists and organizations working as separate units in competition, rather than in cooperation with each other.
“This brings us back to where we stared!” Satan reminded them. The evil Princes and fallen Angels braced themselves for what they expected to be another uncontrollable outburst of Satan’s wrath, but instead he glared at them and spoke in steady deliberate tones as he paced back and forth before them: “These places where we are suffering defeat today – we have held for centuries. My strategy has been to keep Missions from doing anything more than maintaining small outposts in these areas. I have personally seen to it that Evangelism has been kept to a minimum. Although I despise these little forts in my territory, as long as they are on the defensive, just maintaining their outposts, they will not trouble us too much. We have been so successful in one area that not one Bible student in an entire graduating class chose to be an evangelist. “By my cunning, I have seen to it that mission funds have been bogged down in maintaining the already established places. It has been very satisfying to know that even after choice young people were trained and were willing to go, there were no funds to them to the heathen. This is the way it must be! “We must oppose and hinder every called Evangelist from going to those who have not heard the Gospel. We need not worry so much about the little groups which have been organized, so long as we can divert their attention way from the un-reached millions. “We must keep men who are capable of organizing the forces of Evangelism from enjoying any measure of success. “And, we must keep missionary funds from being spent directly for Evangelism – and in fact, I want you to suggest several sideline ideas where mission societies can spend their funds. There are plenty of them. You know that as long as the organization calls it a missionary project, the people will pour their money into it, whether it is for spreading their Gospel to un-evangelized people or not.
“I warn you! The time remaining of our freedom to rule the earth, as well as our only chance to defeat the purposes of God, depends on our success in keeping the evangelistic efforts of the church weak and disorganized. “You all know full well what happened the first time He came.” At the reference to Christ, visible fear and trembling gripped the forces of darkness, including the speaker, himself. “We could not stop His coming then, but now things are different! His second coming will not take place until the Gospel has been preached to every nation for a witness! These are His own words!”
I pray that as you read this vision it did not intimidate you, I pray that it brought illumination to you, stirring up a pure aggression within your soul to commit to a fresh push on evangelism within your local church and the area that you live in.
Dr. Wayne C. Gwilliam