23 Jan

A More God-like Christ Part 5

Here is the final part of my book review for Bradley Jersak’s book: “A More Christ-like God”:

From Chapter 13, Jersak conveniently ignores much of the Torah, Psalms and Prophets references to sacrifice for sin and claims that some paganize God by citing them (page 256) as God’s punishment against sin and understanding Christ’s sacrifice by them.  If we must read the Torah through the lens of Christ, we must understand them all to foreshadow Christ.  Jersak simply uses a double standard here by picking and choosing from them that which he agrees with.  But they all in some way point us to Messiah and that was the entire point of them.  If we view God’s actions as temperamental like the gods of the pagans, then one wonders who is paganizing the sacrifice here.  It is disconcerting that Jersak is willing to quote a Hindu early in his book and hail atheists’ critiques of Evangelicals, displaying an openness to them, but considering much of what Moses and the Prophets say to be childish in their understanding of God.

Maybe we should go rather, to Genesis 6-9 where the Lord destroys most of the world with a flood because of its wickedness but saves a few folks who believe in His Word.  He then Himself says that blood must be taken for blood and life for life.  Is this just mythology or God’s Word?  He destroys Sodom and Gomorrah, except for a few, we’ve cited his wrath towards not only the gods of Egypt but clearly the unbelieving Egyptians themselves and especially Pharaoh’s house; how he protects his people from His own wrath at Mt. Sinai, how it was His will to not destroy the Israelites even though His wrath was kindled against them, but Moses stood in the gap, the punishments listed in Leviticus for sin and the sacrifices made as well for atonement, fire from the Lord in Numbers 11, a banishment of Miriam in Chapter 12, the destruction of Korah and his household, the destruction of Arad, the judgment against Sihon and Og understood even by the Psalm 136 to be God’s wrath against them, the atonement of Phineas from Chapter 25, the judgment against Midian, judgement in the days of Joshua against the nations of Canaan described in Deuteronomy as God not giving the land because of Israel’s righteousness but in order to punish the wickedness of these nations and make God’s name great in the world, the similar deliverance of the judges and the Kings of Israel, always made clear when it is God’s judgment against wickedness as opposed to the foolishness of men taking vengeance as seemed best to them; this narrative of God’s punishment of the nations is described in detail by the Psalmist, and most certainly by all the Prophets, by Jesus Himself and by the Apostles and many of the Early Church Fathers (See Justin the Martyrs debate with Trypho: “…who submitted to suffer these things according to the Father’s will…For although His Father caused Him to suffer these things in behalf of the human family…” or see Eusebius: “And the lamb of God was chastised on our behalf, and suffered a penalty He did not owe, but which we owed because of the multitude of our sins; and so He became the cause of the forgiveness of our sins, because He received death for us, and transferred to Himself the scourging, the insults, and the dishonor, which were due to us, and drew down upon Himself the appointed curse, being made a curse for us…” or see Athanasius “On the Incarnation”: “..For if He came Himself to bear the curse laid upon us, how else could he have ‘become a curse’ unless He received the death set for a curse.  And that is the Cross.  For this is exactly what is written: ‘Cursed is he that hangeth on a tree…” and those are just a few.)

What is intriguing is that if God were what men wanted him to be, I think he would look more like Jersak’s version, not the mysterious One proclaimed in Scripture.

(Next time a song…)

16 Jan

A More God-like Christ Part 4

This is a continuation of my book review of Bradley Jersak’s “A More Christ-like God”:

 

Does God not give the Son over to become a curse for us, as it is written?  Does He not become sin for us, from whom God Father and Spirit must turn His face away?  Certainly the curse cannot hold on to him, but He did this so that we might never be forsaken, as He was.  Does He feel forsaken by God or not really?  Does He not in some way experience this hell for us?  Is that not what Gehene represents in Jesus’ sayings?  If not then what does it represent?

The serpent metaphor that Jersak gives is from Numbers 21 where God sends venomous snakes to bite and kill the Israelites.  They must look to the bronze snake, which is a curse and indeed the Messiah becomes a curse for us and we look to Him to be saved from the curse of God.  Who else initiated the curse?  Even from Genesis 3 it was God who declared it on mankind and on the earth itself.

Why is the goat sacrificed and burned as a sin offering in the Torah?  What is the purpose?  What does it represent?  Is it merely mankind’s consequence in and of itself by the laws of nature that God has set up?  Even if it were set up by God, He is the source, but surely it is more than that.  God prescribed those regulations as a picture not only of man hurting himself, but what is required by Him to have happen to that which is tainted by sin.  That picture was continually given to the Hebrews.  Jesus and the Apostles were quite familiar with it, but we are not, unfortunately.  From page 238, we have Jersak giving us the classic liberalism of expiation theory, but then he quotes Romans 3 and it leaves us wondering, who left the sins unpunished, unpunished by who?  Ourselves?  No, He left them unpunished.  He was crucified outside the city according to Hebrews, which the readers would have understood as a reference to the scapegoat of Leviticus.  The sins of the people were laid on the scapegoat and it was sent out of the city to die for the people’s sin.  This was the verdict of God.  Why was the lamb killed at the Passover and its blood applied to the doorposts?  So that the wrath of God would pass over their house and not come on them.  Every Hebrew knows that.  And at every Passover the destroying angel is understood as an agent of God’s wrath.  It’s certainly not an agent of satan nor of mankind, but of God and His wrath comes on all those who refuse to obey Him through lack of faith.  Those are the metaphors of Scripture that Jesus continually refers back to, even in the most important supper before His crucifixion.

I have no issue with his metaphor of ransom paid to death itself, but I also have no problem acknowledging at the very same time that we owed a debt to God.  The very prayer the Lord taught us teaches us that we owed a debt to God, which He forgave and we ought to forgive the debt owed to us by others.  Jesus frequently used this metaphor in his parables, Paul certainly picks it up and so should we.  The idea that is presented by Jersak is that if God forgave us, why would He need further payment?  In other words, if a bank forgives a debt, then it is forgiven.  They don’t then demand payment.  But the faulty reasoning there is two-fold at least: 1- If the bank forgives the debt, then they themselves are paying the restitution for the debtor.  2- Restitution is also a very Christian idea and part of the process of reconciliation.  That was the importance of the guilt offering analogy in both Leviticus and the prophecy of the Messiah’s sacrifice in Isaiah 53, “He makes his life a guilt offering.”

If it was only death that Jesus faced in the Garden of Gethsemane, even if death by crucifixion, then why did He sweat drops of blood and ask that the cup be taken from Him?  Many of the saints and lesser men than Christ have faced such death with calm and courage.  But if it was indeed the curse of sin that He would take on Himself and the very wrath of God towards that sin which turns away the Face, then his stress and request become very appropriate.

(Final part 5 next time…)

07 Jan

A More God-like Christ Part 3

Here follows the continuation of my book review of “A More Christ-like God” by Bradley Jersak:

 

I do not deny Jersak’s happier metaphors from Jesus, although defining repentance as merely being “welcomed in” from page 233 is a weak definition.  But he conveniently leaves out so many more metaphors: Jesus teaches us to fear the One who can throw both body and soul into hell fire.  Jesus speaks of the wide road that leads to destruction.  The message of repentance from Matthew 4:17 and 10:28 is given in the context of John the Baptist’s ministry, which Jesus carries on, including his description of Messiah: having a winnowing fork and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.  Those who do not believe stand condemned already…  We get the picture of being thrown into hell not from the Old Testament or even from Paul, but from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.  Not only does Jesus speak of some not entering the Kingdom of Heaven from 5:20, but here He speaks of hell fire: 5:22 and 30.  He speaks of the wide road of destruction: 13, of God not forgiving those who refuse to forgive :15, of casting away evil-doers :23, and then right after the Sermon on the Mount we see that the demons fear being tortured by Jesus the Son of the Living God in the flesh- 8:29- at an appointed time that they are all aware of, Jesus comes with a sword in 10:34 and brings words of judgment on cities 11:20-24, He speaks of folks never being forgiven either in this life or the one to come in 12:32, condemns a wicked and adulterous generation in 12:39-42; gives a metaphor of the wicked as being burned like weeds in a fire in 13:30, casting those who cause sin and law-breakers into a fiery furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, and again in :50.  In Chapter 18:6,8 and 9 he speaks of such punishment for the wicked that it would be better to have a millstone tied around the neck and be thrown into the sea because they lead little ones astray, a clear call for justice, and goes on to describe those who lust as being cast into hellfire that is eternal.  In verse 35 He explicitly ends the parable and interprets it for us by telling us that His Father will likewise hand us over to be tortured to pay off our debt to Him…  The metaphor of putting wretches to a miserable death and giving the vineyard to others can’t be missed in 21:41 and in 22:13 the metaphor is of a man being tied up and thrown out into the darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.  The entire chapter of 23 is a stirring judgment against the Pharisees, even asking them who would save them from the coming wrath- how will they escape being sentenced to hell on judgment day?  Who sentences them?  The Judge of all, of course.  We get all of these metaphors, not from the Prophets or the Apostles, but from Jesus Christ Himself and we are informed by these metaphors very much as to what God is like.  In Matthew 24:50 the master comes at an unexpected hour and cuts the abusive servant in pieces, throwing him outside with the hypocrites where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.  It is the same in 25:30, 31-46 where we develop of our understanding of eternal punishment, since that is in fact how to best translate the Greek of 25:46.  And those are the relevant metaphors just from the Gospel of Matthew.

But we must first come to the Crucifixion itself, which is where Jersak takes us in Chapter 12 and following.  Here he describes all atonement theories except his own as doctrines of men, ascribing his own view of the Gospel as the only Gospel, or the Gospel itself.  At first it seems he will only describe the Gospel in terms of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.  But then it becomes very clear that he takes the expiation theory of atonement and holds it up as the only Gospel.  (If the reader is not familiar with this, it is a pretty old argument within Evangelicalism and arguably within the Church historical, between whether man is actually in an impossible bondage to sin through its rebellion against God and thus God is in a posture of punishment towards mankind which Jesus dies to set us free from by appeasing God’s wrath, taking away our guilt, and suffering death for us OR if man is actually able in himself to choose God and only the guilt of mankind stands in the way of full reconciliation which Christ took away by suffering death for us.  The first view is called Propitiation and the second view is called Expiation.)  Jersak claims that we make a mistake when we make our theories tantamount with the Gospel itself, but then he makes this very mistake in writing that “Christus Victor is “an indisputable New Testament metaphor.” (p.229)  Propitiation is the best translation of the Greek word, hilasmos, to make atonement for as by appeasing the wrath of.  It is used both by Paul and John the Apostles.

(Next time Part 4…)

02 Jan

A More God-like Christ Part 2

This is a continuation of my review of Bradley Jersak’s book, “A More Christ-like God”:

Jersak goes into great detail about spiritual maturity in the book, explaining that those who take such things (examples of God’s wrath in the Bible) literally are child-like in maturity, it seems that Jersak has had a different journey than some of us who are apparently quite underdeveloped in our understanding of God.   For me, as I view maturity, I’ve come to admire those who try less to explain the more difficult passages with metaphor (or dogged literalism), but rather humbly receive the Word planted in their hearts.  They seem to learn to love who God is, not just what we want Him to be.  I would even suggest, acknowledging that I see through a glass dimly, that we need to mature beyond the simplistic understanding that if God is personally involved in judgement to persons or nations in anger this somehow makes him immoral or monstrous.  Instead we need to acknowledge the mystery of His incommunicable attributes.  Teaching that if He does what the Scriptures say He does in the Old Testament he is a moral monster is anthropomorphizing Him to the maximum degree.  I would also suggest that we are not the ones ascribing to Him a petty temper that plays itself out in heinous acts of violence.  We are bowing to the mystery of His almighty power…  He is slow to anger, but not ever-ceasing from it.  Yet His anger is so different than human anger and the tendency of immaturity then is to attribute our human means of anger to His, which is where the blasphemy really is, in my view.  His anger and vengeance is real, but can only be compared with ours in an extremely limited way, most of how He executes His is beyond our comprehension

It is telling that Jersak on page 192 suggests that Old Testament writers “sometimes” wrote from the perspective of mythic-literalism, presumably when he doesn’t agree with their views of God.  What is amazing to me about Jersak here however is that he acknowledges that Jesus Himself says, “this is how my Father will treat you if you do not forgive from your heart” in Matthew 18, referring to handing the offender over to be tortured.  Yet Jersak insists that this too is only metaphor.  It appears that Christ Himself must be interpreted through Jersak’s lens.

As to his writings of the source of the “Wrath” in Romans 5:9 it seems like double-speak.  That we are saved from “the wrath” must somehow be explained away by Jersak, even though 5:9 is informed by 1:18 that the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all ungodliness, by 2:5 that the disobedient are storing up wrath for themselves on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed, by 2:8 that where He will give eternal life to those who seek Him, there will be wrath and fury for those who disobey the truth, and by 9:22 where he bears with great patience the objects/vessels of His wrath, prepared for destruction; all of these clearly attributed to God as having wrath towards mankind.  Why would wrath be different in this verse when it is attributed to God in all the other verses of Romans?  It’s difficult not to think of Paul’s statement in his book to the Ephesians: “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”  (5:6 ESV).  Who is doing the anthropomorphizing here?

From Chapter 12 on the atonement it is interesting that the word the NIV translates as “atoning sacrifice” for Paul and John in their letters is properly translated “propitiation” because the Greek word is defined as “appeasing the wrath of”.  Paul and John could have chosen a different Greek word, but they didn’t.  In the Hebrew context that is a good translation for the atonement that God gives His people.  When Phineas made atonement for Israel in Numbers 19, it appeased the wrath of God; when Moses circumcised his son he made atonement for his family; at Mt. Sinai God wanted to protect the people from His own wrath, so He told them not to even touch the mountain.  That is a Father heart that knows when sin comes into the pure Presence of Holiness it must be destroyed/cast away, but He wants the offender to not suffer wrath, but rather to be saved.  Clearly then to suggest that Paul did not have punishment of sin by God in mind when he wrote of atonement is quite disputable, in fact I will argue the opposite…

(Next Part 3)

28 Dec

A More God-like Christ Part 1

A review of the book, “A More Christ-like God” by Bradley Jersak:

From the title of this essay of response one might surmise that these are “fighting words”.  But that is not my intention.  Bradley Jersak is clearly an educated, intelligent and whimsical man.  However, I believe a critique of his thesis is warranted and I do so for the sake of those in the small flock for which I’ve been appointed to help shepherd and influence.

Jersak’s first statement is that “If there is a God…we don’t get to make Him up.”  I quite agree.  But if we as Americans were to make up a god in our own image, what would he be like I wonder?  Jersak begins rightly with Scripture and then does a brush stroke of popular Christian voices, contrasting Piper and McClaren, for instance.

Then he quotes Bill Maher and Charles Darwin as voices Evangelicals need to heed as prophetic, affirming such atheism as a first step to true worship.  In his trigger questions section he then sets Jesus against much of the Old Testament narrative and refers to this as the “Bible-God”.

His final section of the first chapter on “The Father’s love revelation” calls the God of his childhood a judgmental, threatening and condemning God.  He refers to this God as the “punisher-God”, the “Mighty Smiter” and calling the words of those who presented such a view “silly.”  He contrasts this to the revelation of the Father heart of God given through YWAM and Vineyard, describing the Father as one who gives hugs rather than blows.  Then he states that every human conception of God is uprooted by the Cross and seeks to demolish such notions in his next chapters.

Let me be frank.  If I were to make a god in my own image he would be far from the punisher-God that Jersak describes.  Growing up as a good Postmodern North American I would have him be loving and fun in the sense that he would always make me feel good, he would never even dare to think about such a thing as hell, he would want everyone to have fun and that would be the purpose of our existence.  In my experience the reason any person, especially a North American, would conclude that God punishes sinners is not because they want it to be true, but because it is so clearly established in the Scriptures and such persons have sought to submit themselves to those Scriptures, whether they naturally like what they encounter or not.  (It is a needed critique of Evangelical Americans that some of them have used the Bible to justify a nationalistic desire to justify unjust war and even call on God to help them strike down Muslims, but Jersak could find better sources than Maher for that prophetic critique I would hope.)  I can see an argument for some folks wanting punishment for other people, especially those they don’t like.  But even then few would choose everlasting torment as the punishment from a human perspective.  And no one would naturally come to the conclusion that they themselves deserve such punishment.

From the 10th Chapter, which is the beginning of his larger section named “’Un-wrathing’ God”, I think Jersak reveals His core issue with the Biblical texts on wrath.  He describes Jeremiah’s book entitled “Lamentations” in great detail, showing unabashedly that Jeremiah understood all the horrors of what happened to Judah as God’s direct wrath on them.  He then points out the beautiful saying within Lamentations, “Your mercies are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”  And he calls this juxtaposition “manic”.  He asks if Jeremiah can be describing the same God.  Do we take it then that Jeremiah was manic?  Is this not the word of the LORD?  Jeremiah understood that both of these thing can be true at the same time.  Why can’t we?  This, I think is the core issue I have with Jersak’s understanding of the Biblical text.

(Next entry Part 2…)

12 Dec

Oh My Darlin’

Above: Rochelle and I singing at Over Easy Restaurant

To understand my love for music it might be helpful to know that I appreciate music when it is very raw, not overproduced, but just an acoustic guitar and a voice.  I even like a few mistakes to come through instead of having a polished sound.  I probably got that from listening to very old Mississippi Delta blues music a lot in my childhood, but that’s what I love, so now you know.

If folks want to access music on the website they need only go to the media page and follow the instructions to download or send us an e-mail and we’ll send a code to do so.

The song “Oh My Darlin” is from the “Jimmy Rig” album on the website, and it was written for Rochelle, my wife.  It’s in an old timey style and sometimes I’ll sing it for her on our anniversary.  Hope you enjoy it:

“Oh my darlin’ loves me and I love her, oh my darlin’ is my very best friend

Oh my darlin’ she brightens up my days when she looks at me and smiles again

Oh my darling, come with me, we will go to a place far away

Sing a love song, sing with glee, we will sing ’til the break of day…”

 

05 Dec

Heaven

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Here’s the family singing Heaven together!

When Hurricane Mitch came through and devastated Honduras and other places in the late 90’s, I got depressed because, as weird as it sounds, the hurricane had the same name as me.  It got me thinking about all the difficult things that go on in this world, how children are killed in natural disasters, people lose their homes; we hear about it in the news, get sad for a few minutes and then forget about it, except some who go to bring relief, but those are few and far between.  It made me want to go to heaven, where there will be no more tears or death or pain and reminded me of the hope I have in Jesus.

“Well I’m praying for sunshine but the clouds keep on coming and I don’t know why I’ve waited so long

And the children they keep crying and the people they keep crying but they don’t know what to say anymore – oh

I’m mourning in song, but I keep on rolling on and mamma lost her children yesterday

There’s darkness in the valleys and fire on the mountain and thunder in the skies today – oh

Let me ride with the wind, with Jesus as my friend and I’ll go on up to heaven someday – oh…”

As I considered the reality of people wanting peace on earth, but living purposely in sin against God, lying politicians, nuclear proliferation, abortion for convenience and the way technology has disconnected us from each other in the name of progress, in our pride we don’t want to see any of it, but again I long for Christ to come back and make all things well again.

Check out the media page of this website and you’ll find the song on the “Catch That Train” album- follow the directions and make sure you check the mailing list box so we can send you a code and you can download any and all songs.

21 Nov

Poor

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Poor is a song that was inspired by a poem written by my Dad, Gale Senti.  The punch line of the poem is: “When you’re poor, you don’t have much money.”  That also is the chorus line of the song.  The lyrics were also inspired by my love for a family that lived in the projects in Nashville, TN and also working with families in the Mississippi Delta as well as the Zuni Native American Reservation.  I wrote the song in the year 2000 while living in Zuni.

“When you’re poor, don’t have much money when you’re poor.

Ain’t so sure, my Lord, what you’re living for.

‘Cause when you’re poor, you don’t have much money when you’re poor.

Little house, four rooms, five children, little house.

Little house, four rooms and a closet, little house.

‘Cause when you’re poor, you don’t have much money when you’re poor.

Mamma strives to raise the children, Mamma strives

Mamma tries to make enough money, Mamma tries

But when you’re poor, you don’t have much money when you’re poor.

Little girl, playing, laughing soothes her pain

Little girl, playing, laughing soothes her pain

But when you’re poor, don’t have much money when you’re poor…”

It’s written in the blues style and is dedicated to all those who have experienced poverty in one way or another.

You can find the song on the media page of the website.  Scroll down past the Books and Articles section and follow the instructions to download the “In the Garden” CD the song is on.  You’ll receive a code if you check that you want to be on the mailing list and can download any songs you want.

14 Nov

That Train

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“That Train” is a song that comes from the “Walk in the Park” album and was written in Gospel blues style.  It has hints of Elvis and is fun to play for sure.

Well, that train it’s a comin’ down the tracks… comin’ down to take me home, I say, well that train it’s a comin’ down the tracks…

That train is a reference to Jesus setting the captives free from the grave and taking them with Him in a train to Heaven as He ascends to Heaven.  He gives them gifts and sets them free from sin (selfishness/rebellion against God).  It’s a train that comes down to earth and picks up those who trust in Jesus for their salvation, not just some day when they die of Jesus comes again to take them to Heaven, but as soon as they put their trust in Him, even in this life, He begins to live inside them and changes them from the inside out.  He sets us free from being caught up in ourselves and to love Him and others freely.  So it’s a train both for this life and the one to come.  It’s also an invitation for others to come on the Jesus train too!  Hope you enjoy the song!

You can download any CD or book by giving a donation of any amount on the website, but be sure to check that you want to be on the mailing list.  That way we can send you a code and you can access any CD or book you want.  If you can’t afford a donation or don’t want a newsletter, just send us an e-mail through the website and we’ll send you a code either way.  Blessings!

07 Nov

A Bride for Jeshona Part 3

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      Here is the last part of the prologue for my book, “A Bride for Jeshona” which you can access for a donation of any amount at www.envisionmission.org/media – just scroll down past the sermons and follow the same instructions as you would do donate and receive a code for any of the music on that page:

     He snarled and growled, but there were no words to express his anger.

     Then a single word came to his mind. “Defeat.” He refused it. “No, curse you! I hate you! I will not be defeated! I have nothing but hatred for you! Nothing but hatred!” He began to thrash at the air around him. He screamed in terrible anger and kept screaming wildly without ceasing. Then he began to lash out at everything around him. It was a chaotic dance like that of a rabid beast. He beat his fists against the walls blindly trying to kill whatever it was that had overtaken him. His fists started to bleed and his hands became bruised, so he began to kick his throne relentlessly until it fell to the floor.

      Then he stopped. He was about to cry helplessly, but restrained himself. Never. I refuse to lower myself to weakness. He calmed himself and focused his thoughts. What are you doing? Will you cry for help? Will you weep like a little child for its mother? “No!” he screamed. “I am Leviathan! I will not yield! My armies may be defeated, but I am still alive.” He began to speak in a devious whisper, his voice rising and falling as he paced about the room, clinching his fists with determination. “Gadlon cannot defeat me as long as I am alive. He has won this battle, but he has not won me! I am greater than he. No one, not even my teacher, can destroy me. I have surpassed him. The student surpasses his teacher! Yes, and I will destroy him.”

      He spoke madly as if someone else was there with him. “Ah, but I have lost my place in the kingdom. Gadlon will never forgive me…but what does it matter?! Adora will always be Gadlon’s kingdom, not mine. I have no place with him.

      “So I must retreat to the lowly region of Kosmon? To that desolate wasteland where only peasants and nomads dwell? Shall I lose my seat at the palace in Adora only to gain a throne over a desert wasteland full of common fools and criminals?” He smiled to himself. “If this is my lot then I shall take it and I will make it prosper in my hands.” His eyes grew wider. “I will build up a new army, apart from Gadlon. I will suck every resource out of the land and make it grow a thousand times over. I shall have my throne and attack Gadlon’s kingdom when my forces are strong again. I will have my victory! No one, not even Gadlon, can take it from me.”

      He clenched his dagger and pulled it from its sheath. As if it were the very weapon that would bring him his victory, he raised the dagger before his eyes. Then he nodded his head, fully assured. “They will know the name, Leviathan, from the least of them to the greatest. Even if my army is defeated in battle, the battle itself will be my victory, the very pleasure of it. I will summon my power from the depths if I must!” He laughed.

      The sound of horses’ hooves beating the earth from a great distance away caught the king’s attention. He knew it was his troops coming in from the battle. Upon hearing it, Leviathan quickly stormed out of his chamber. He ran down the hallway, through the next door and into one of the outside portals of the castle. There his eyes found one of his subjects, a girl, curled up in a naked corner of the room, weeping.

      “Servant!”

      The girl quickly found her composure at the sound of her lord’s voice. She stood up to face him, trembling in fear.

      “Stop your pathetic crying and go tell the kitchen servants to prepare dinner. Tell them that I will provide the meat.” He glanced down at the dagger he was holding and then back at the door from which he came. “I shall have the meat ready in about an hour.” He turned back to the servant. “Then we will eat. And we must pack our things quickly! After supper we must leave this place and go beyond the forest of Abussos to Kosmon. Do you understand me?!”

      “Yes, my lord,” she managed.

      “Then go you little wretch!”

      She fled quickly to do her master’s will.

      Leviathan smiled deviously. He turned and began walking back toward his chamber, still carrying his dagger in hand and licking his teeth anxiously.