MY DESCENT INTO HELL
It was my very first day at Wormwood High. Home room for
several grades would be held in the cafeteria.
I was chatting with a few younger girls from the seventh and eighth grades. Maybe
I’d said too much earlier to the wrong person. But I couldn’t have
concealed my dark secret much longer anyway. Not unless I chose to lie about
My descent into hell began with a bang, much like a cyclone rages through a sleepy little village and
razes it in seconds. Bullies have infrared radar
eyes which miss nothing, and bloodhound noses which can sniff out fresh
new opportunities for being mean. The first day or two of the new school term
is critical to the reputation of the Top Dog of the bully pack. His buddies,
the subordinate bullies who follow his example, are counting on him to find someone to kick around for the duration of the
school year. His enjoyable task is to scan the homogenous high school crowd and pinpoint a victim, someone who deviates ever
so subtly from the accepted standards of the Cult of Cool, that whimsical religion embraced by
the vast majority of teenagers. Someone has enrolled in the School of
Hard Knocks, to learn the sordid Law of the High School Jungle: You have to sell
your soul to be popular, but all you have to do to make plenty of enemies is
just be there. Someone’s “Wonder Years” are about to be turned
into their Wounded Years.
I’d already violated one of the many taboos of those bigoted times. I possessed a surname of non-Anglo-Saxon ethnicity. The more one’s name deviated from “Smith”
or “Jones”, the more likely it was that a few cranks would suspect
him of being an atheist or Communist subversive. My ancestors certainly did not arrive on the Mayflower. Nor were we
in the upper strata of local society, hobnobbing with the families of bankers or doctors (who were the upper-crust in my home
town). We had a strange name of
French origin, its spelling modified to conform to the English language.
“C......! C......!” cried a gang of leaping, whirling lunatics who’d burst into the cafeteria for the express purpose
of castigating me for my unpardonable sin. I saw faces twisted in devilish leers. Raucous voices screamed: “Stay away! You’re
UGLY! We don't want your cooties!”
I looked no worse than anyone else, though I wasn’t a Baywatch
babe with sharp shoulder blades and thin pins. But being singled out
for special abuse hurt. My jaws tensed.
I shook with involuntary sobs. Why, oh why, didn’t I have a tougher
hide? Why couldn’t I turn off my feelings like a light? Damn those stupid tears! Shed for those yapping dogs to lap up!
It only takes a spark to start a forest fire. And how quickly it spreads. The most insignificant thing will
incite a bully to designate YOU as his target, and incite others to wage relentless
psychological warfare against you to keep him in cheap thrills. Perhaps it’s
your last name. Or, you wear braces. It
could be anything, even a pair of shoes the bully disapproves of. He especially
dotes on major-league foibles, such as being full-figured in a society which worships skeletal
kick-boxers with silicone chests. Man, it’s cool to be cruel, and you’re a dweeb if you’re sweet.
But whatever his asinine excuse, the bully has got a lotta hate to give and he’s just gotta loosen his load of nastiness on SOMEBODY! He’s just gotta scan the crowd and pick SOMEONE out. Once he zeros in on his prey, he latches onto him/her like a pit bull terrier; and
thereafter, it’s party time for the devil who drives him. Don’t kid
yourself. He wouldn’t buzz off even if you changed your name to J. P. Cool,
lost 80% of your body weight, riddled your face with rings, or yanked out your own braces.
Only the power of God can deliver you from satan’s power, once he’s drawn a bead on you. Believe me, I’ve been around for half a century, and I have learned that truth thoroughly. Many a
night I’d lay awake wondering if I was put on earth just to learn that people are capable of great evil, and just to
learn how to hurt.
I had done nothing, said nothing out of the ordinary to anyone.
Yet my reputation was already shot to hell. Like a brushfire the damage
spread, far beyond my control. The tongue of the sinner is an unfathomable evil, set on fire by hell itself (James 3:5). No matter how friendly I tried to be, regardless of what I would or wouldn’t
do or say, I was already marked as an outcast.
Throughout those eternal months in hell I would feel the
tight noose of icy cold fear tightening about my neck. My natural psychosomatic
“fight or flight” response to danger would be suppressed, as I did time in a prison I could neither flee from
nor triumph over. I remember looking up at the birds in the sky and wishing I could fly away from danger just like them. Instinctively
I know it is wrong to throw a bunch of people together day in and day out who may not even like each other. Even animal shelters don’t lock Rottweilers and kittens
up in the same cages!
Lots of bullying victims are downright ashamed to complain about verbal abuse. But is it any less of a sin in God’s sight to bruise the immaterial, everlasting part of a person,
his soul, than to batter his body? Even great saints of the Bible complained about vicious verbal abuse heaped on them by their enemies.
Job, who was covered head to foot in boils and recently bereaved of all his children, thought verbal
abuse was worth complaining about. He says in Job 30:1: But now they that are younger than I have me in derision. Let me tell you, it’s bad enough to get bad-mouthed by people your own age. But how humiliating, when you’re several times older than some sassy punk of thirteen who verbally
harasses you on the street. You’ve lived a long life and fought many hard
battles. You’ve earned a bit of respect, just for weathering this warped world for so many decades. Then this little punkster and his sidekick in a backwards baseball cap point and laugh at you, dancing ever so slowly toward you, daring
you to run, just ‘cause you’re outnumbered. Ignore them and they just harass you more till they get a rise out
of you. My, but he devil loves this type of situation. Not only has he gotten your tormentor to sin, you’re
tempted to sin by hating them or returning their compliments.
Aw , you might say, you’re being too sensitive. It’s
only verbal abuse. So long as noses and bones aren’t broken, so what? How blind people can be, especially those who zealously preach the importance of saving
eternal souls from hellfire! I say
souls need to be healed here and now, not just in the future. Verbal abuse, supposedly
mild kid stuff, is satan’s way of poisoning the soul. Scripture calls him
that old serpent the Devil (Rev. 12:9; 20:2).
A serpent is a snake, and satan is a most poisonous one. He fills people’s
tongues with his venom. James 3:5-8 speaks of the evils of the tongue. It is
set on fire by hell. It is full of deadly poison.
What does the tongue of the abusive individual poison but the soul of
his victim? Consider the deadly cocktail of emotions which spring from a daily
dose of verbal poison:
There is always the possibility that verbal abuse will escalate into physical assault.
And even if it doesn’t, it’s very imtimidating to see your personal reputation ripped to shreds.
Your self-esteem is demolished. It hurts to become the school scapegoat. Even if you don’t deserve the abuse you feel stigmatized and want to crawl into
a hole and hide.
3. Anger There is understandable anger toward
the perpetrators who launch these vicious attacks because God put within each
of us a longing for dignity and justice.
4. Hate Bullying can destroy the victim spiritually
as well as socially, emotionally and physically. If the abuse persists, and more wounds are inflicted before old ones have a chance to heal, anger against injustice can degenerate into bitter hatred of the perpetrators, much to the devil’s
What torture it is, being a kid trapped in a hopeless, no-win situation
like school. Your fight-or-flight instinct, built into all higher forms of life, is
suppressed. You can’t fight the crowd hostile to you, and you can’t
quit school. So shame, fear and
frustration eat away at you daily. I felt like I was being held captive in hell,
both at school and on the bus.
6. Depression Proverbs 15:15 says: All the days of the afflicted are evil. Even on weekends or
other “good” days, I knew it was only a temporary break from the ongoing school battle, and a cloud always hung
over my head. I genuinely hated being alive in this world.
7. Self-loathing The bullies pumped so much poison
into my ears I even began to hate myself for being bully bait. I felt so low
I began to wonder if the bullies really did have some God-given right to be mean
to me. When I looked in the mirror, I saw only a frightened freak with frizzy hair.
That’s what those nasty kids did to destroy my soul. That’s
what God had to deliver me from. Still think bullying is only a harmless little
The Prophet Elisha didn’t take too kindly to verbal abuse.
In II Kings 2:23-24 the local populace has heard about the translation
of Elisha’s mentor the Prophet Elijah, who has just been taken up into heaven in a chariot of fire. But a gang of teenagers thought it was funny and decided to razz poor Elisha about the miraculous ascension
of his teacher . Just like today’s bullies will suddenly spring out out
the bushes to harass you, they came against Elisha, who was walking alone. Ever
notice? You’re far more likely to be seen as a soft target and accosted if you’re walking by yourself. Taking a walk, a pleasant form of exercise, becomes
an ordeal as your anxious eyes scan both sides of the streets. And if more than
two teenagers are gathered together, you duck around the corner to take a different route to the store, so they won’t
see you and harass you. Bullies never fight fair. They’re so cowardly they
prefer to run in packs and chase one lone victim.
Evidently they thought God’s taking up of Elijah was funny, so they said: “Go up, you bald head. Go up.” Teenage punksters, the same then as now.
Elisha saw red. Not only were these stupid jackasses showing
disrespect for a prophet of God and deriding him for a physical trait he couldn’t help, they were mocking a most holy
miracle of God: the translation of a saint into heaven. Elisha didn’t just shrug his shoulders and say: “Kids
will be kids.” He turned around and cursed them in the Name of the Lord. Just like those kids emerged out of nowhere
to vex Elijah, bears charged out of the forest to teach them a lesson on proper manners.
That’s for-BEAR-ance, Old Testament style.
King David, Israel’s most valiant warrior, had many close calls with death, but he didn’t
take verbal abuse lightly. Psalms 140:3 says it well: They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’
poison is under their lips. Selah. You don’t disregard a snake bite
just ‘cause it’s a tiny one. A vicious tongue is a syringe of poison, and it takes a miracle of God to protect
us from its effects.
The Prophet Jeremiah suffered some incredible physical
persecution. He was starved, beaten, and imprisoned down in a well shaft. But he still thought verbal abuse worth complaining about. Adults bullied on the job can complain to superiors and even
sue for damages. Women have the right to report bosses and co-workers who
sexually harass them, not just with pats on the backside but salacious words behind their back. If work is hell, adults can go look for another job. They can
leave and look for a more decent working environment. So why do the most defenseless members of our society--children, have
to be at the mercy of those who hate them and are hell-bent on their destruction? Why isn’t school bullying seen as
the crime it is? I remember these song lyrics: ‘Bless the beasts and the
children. They have no voice, they have no choice.’
Reassurance? I got lots of that every day: Reassurance
that what I was going through wasn’t normal, and I wasn’t either. Something must be wrong with me, why else would I be singled out for systematic abuse? Unsympathetic
adults aren’t much help to a victimized child. Poor little kids who get picked on day after day after day are told to “stop being a crybaby”, “grow up”, and “take it like
a man”, “stand up for yourself and fight back”, and, the most irritating:
“quit feeling sorry for yourself, people are dying horrible deaths all over the world. Well, being bullied is daily death! Even the great Apostle Paul said: “I die daily”
( I Cor. 15:31, 2 Cor. 11:23). Death takes many ugly forms, not just the final beat of your heart. Every single school day
without exception death was dealt to my poor soul
by the servants of satan.
Ridiculing a bullied child for complaining about it is the
most despicable double standard I ever heard of!
Adults suffering on-the-job abuse sure wouldn’t blame themselves for the problem or make other excuses for their
tormentors. They would fight for their civil rights! Blaming the victim? Talk
about kicking somebody when they’re down! And as for “stand up for
yourself”, even a big kid with a black belt in karate would have a hard time fighting off a whole busload of attackers!
What’s more, it’s unfair to put such a heavy burden upon a lone child, expecting that one
to fight single-handedly the war being waged against him or her without any intervention from you, the parents. God holds YOU responsible not only for providing for that child, but for doing everything
you can to raise him in a secure environment. Any decent shepherd will fend off
the wolves attacking his flock. The gentle sheep aren’t responsible for
protecting themselves from the sharp teeth of wolves and mountain lions, the shepherd is!
To shame the victim for being unable to fight off a crowd of attackers is grossly unfair. What if it were YOU under attack?
Reproach (criticism) hath broken mine heart; and I am full of heaviness (depression);
and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none (Psalms 69:20).
Parents and teachers, put yourself in the shoes of the
frightened child who came into this world a trusting, smiling infant and has already had his or her innocence stolen! Stop
blaming the victim! How many trillions of times do I have to hammer this home? Bullying
is ALWAYS the bully’s fault! And the fault of whoever or whatever molded his spiritual development. Period. Just like domestic violence is always the fault of the perpetrator, even when some longsuffering
wives protest: “I must have driven him to it.” Never excuse the crimes of a malicious sinner who walks in the ways of his father satan, instigator of all the world’s wickedness.
If bullies can’t be rehabilitated, restrained or
expelled, schools aren’t much safer than a kiddie pool infested with sharks. Schools
are even getting dangerous for teachers nowadays, with so many of them being verbally abused and threatened with violence.
Teachers, who despair of their right to a safe working environment, are either quitting the profession or seeking medical help for ravaged nerves.
If school is a dangerous place, it’s nothing but a necessary evil. How about this far-fetched, futuristic alternative? School bullying (and teacher trauma) would become a thing of
the past if schools could be dispensed with altogether and a computer with educational software could be installed in every home. That way kids could just
stay home and learn. But that’s unrealistic, isn’t it? The computer would have to be advanced enough to babysit while the parents are at work! Even if super computers
could take over most teaching duties, you’d still need to gather the kids
in a big study hall to do their own individual lessons under the supervision of at least one educated adult who could monitor
the room to keep warring factions apart.
Even so the bully could still select victims and attack them en route
All the bottled-up fear of the years caused problems in life I had to overcome through the Power of God. It left its mark on me: an aversion towards noisy crowds of kids and teenagers, and
a reluctance to mix a lot with people. Instead of “fulfilling my potential”
and becoming a soft-spoken secretary, I, who was forged in the fires of adversity,
ended up a militant voice declaring God’s
anger at the wickedness of this world and warning of His impending judgment on
Estranged From God_Why?
In my dismal world, God was dead, and churchgoing bullies drove more nails in His coffin. I saw Him as a passive mascot Who presided over cold, dead, country-club church buildings. His crowd of “Christians” would drop by to say hello to Him once a week on Sundays, drone dead hymns, and yawn at deader sermons. Finally they’d stampede out the church and leave Him behind till next week. Joyfully they’d hurry home in their fancy cars to go devour their Sunday roasts. The supreme irony is that I’d received Christ in church as a child, after attending alone out of
curiosity. Also, I’d briefly attended church in my early teens. But the churches I’d visited only subscribed to PART of the truth taught by the original apostles. They could tell you how to get saved. Otherwise, it was life as usual. Glorious manifestations of God’s sweet Presence and Power were reserved strictly for the afterlife. The vital doctrines pertaining to the Holy Ghost Baptism were unacknowledged or rejected outright by these conservative
There are noted evangelists in America who preach with polished eloquence. They strive to gather souls into God’s Kingdom. Yet
they downplay, explain away, misinterpret, or sidestep those Scriptures which exhort us to seek the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Salvation from sin and that unique Baptism are lumped together as one and the same
Notice in Luke 22:31-32.
Jesus and His original disciples were gathered in the Upper Room for the Last Supper, just prior to His trial and crucifixion. Jesus was about to warn Peter that he would deny Him three times. He says: Simon, Simon,
listen. Satan has desired to have you.
He wants to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your
faith will not fail: and WHEN YOU ARE CONVERTED
(born again spiritually) ,strengthen
your brothers. The disciples had walked with Jesus for at least three years,
but they had not yet been born again. Jesus had not yet offered up His life as
an atonement for their sins.
For some 40 days after His resurrection from the dead, Jesus continued to make appearances to His followers
in His immortal resurrected body. In the days immediately following Jesus’
execution, His eleven disciples (Judas had committed suicide), were hiding in
a locked room, petrified that those same Jewish leaders who’d just murdered Jesus were out gunning for them. They were surprised when Jesus suddenly materialized before them without going through the door. He could do this because his wonderful resurrected body was not hindered by the laws of nature, or time and space. He showed the disciples
the marks left in His hands by the nails, and the deep scar left by the spear which had been hurled through his side. Having satisfied His men that He was indeed the risen Savior Who possessed a body
of flesh and bone, and not a mere apparition, he gave them the commission to preach the Gospel. Then He breathed upon His disciples and said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost (John 20: 23). At that moment, they were
converted, for the Holy Spirit had entered their hearts by faith and imparted
eternal life to life men who had been spiritually dead ( see Ephesians 2:1).
Ten days before the Jewish Feast of Pentecost, Jesus gave parting instructions to His disciples, just
before His ascension into heaven: It is written that Christ must suffer and rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance
and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His Name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
You are all witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My
Father upon you; but you must first wait in the city of Jerusalem until you have received power from above (Luke 24:46-49).
Jesus had earlier breathed His Holy Spirit into their hearts to impart salvation to them, but He would
not dispatch them to the mission field until they had first received the Baptism (total immersion into) the Holy Spirit. I will explore this in greater detail in the chapter:
SEEK THE BAPTISM.
What a pity that many church groups would rather adhere to established church traditions than be equipped
with spiritual power to overcome satan, their deadly enemy. Incidentally, my use of the lower case “s” is deliberate.
By faith I see satan as God sees him_cut down to size by Jesus’ victory on Calvary. In my eyes he is lower than
a dirty cockroach, and unworthy to have his name capitalized.
During my rotten high school years, I lived in utter ignorance of Christ’s living Presence. I related to Him only a historical figure Who was irrelevant to my troubled life.
I was so broken inside I even hated God for giving me the frizzy hair kids teased me for.
If TV is to be believed, you’re a subhuman mutant unless your hair shines like a plate
glass mirror, your limbs look like toothpicks, your eyes are as huge as a hoot
owl’s, and your cheeks are as hollow as the Grand Canyon. If you aren't a starving stop sign, you're a fat monster.
As for your hair, the blonder the better. Frizzy hair of all colors gets more bad press than leprosy. I’m old enough
to remember when shampoo commercials merely promised squeaky clean hair without
tears. Today’s vitamin-packed emulsions allegedly transform your frizzies
into a shimmery sheet of silk, such a psychedelic light show that'll outshine the sun. Yeah, right! Funny, your hair is allowed to soak up nutrients Babylon forbids
you to eat. Well-fed, fat hair hanging on a hollow, hungry face!
Besides weather-proof, mirror-gloss hair, you just gotta look like a garden hose. Just imagine, a woman’s been on the Death Diet so long her dog drags her out to the back yard to
bury her! Even a gal who’s had a
big passel of kids is expected to look like an eight-year-old, even if it means
lifelong fasting. Except she’s gotta keep up a respectable front for Romeo
with silicone shots.
Get this: Not only does the Fashion Industry save lots of loot by farming out clothing manufacture to
starving third-world nations, it saves a fortune on material too. Size zero’s all the rage now! And if you REALLY want to be a mean, lean sex machine, confine your food intake to lettuce leaves and starve
yourself down to size double zero! Pity the high school girl who orders more than a skimpy salad at lunch time!
True, there is a big obesity problem in the United States, but women tend to be tiny in the Far East. But big bucks still need to be made by Babylon. So
some new oppressive beauty ideal had to be invented over there to oppress women (and men!). Not weight, but height, something
once written off as unchangeable! In China, a girl designed by God to be petite must
grow physically, not just vocationally, to reach the top in the business
world, or her prospects in life will be small. That means surgery to artificially
stretch her leg bones. Ugh! Painful
recuperation follows each phase of the process, and sometimes it takes more than one op to reach the top of your growing potential. But, hey. what’s the big deal with being a little on the short side? Every time
I fly coach I feel sorry for long-legged folks!
For sure, beauty standards are more bizarre than ever. All hail to consumer conformity. “Beauty”
has become an obscene weapon in the hands of the Establishment to oppress women and keep them in their place as lookalike
sex dispensers gangbanged out of the same plastic mold.
God, Who values us all as individuals, loves variety in His creation.
But the bully loves variety for a different reason. It gives him an excuse to target people who are different. If you looked just like all the other 2000 kids on campus, it would be more of a challenge
to single a victim out!
Beware of being yourself. You’d better hop and bop like everybody else, show off a perfect bod
with a pierced navel, and have the same heat-processed hair as everybody else. You’d
better love the same canned music as they do, or you won’t be cool! If
you’re just a clone of every other kid on campus, of course you’re gonna have loads of friends, ‘cause cool
kids love only themselves, and the image of themselves they can see in you! It’s
in their interest to like you. If they rejected you and your lookalike values
gangbanged off Babylon’s one-size-fits-all press, they would only be rejecting themselves. Who they are
is dictated by Babylon.
SOCIETY IS SCARED OF ITS OWN CHILDREN
How true, this prophecy in Isaiah 3:5: And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and
every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient (elderly), and the base (dishonorable)
against the honorable. And in verse 12: As for my people, children are their
oppressors, and women rule over them (KJV). It was almost as if Isaiah could
see into the future down to our day. Men have grown weaker and more passive while
women have grown stronger and more aggressive. In many churches, women easily outnumber the men because their husbands are
snoozing on the couch in front of the TV watching football. Too many men are abdicating their position as priests over their
own homes and delegating all the responsibility for the children's spiritual training to their wives. And as for the worsening
state of child behavior in society, today even the smallest kids are telling parents and teachers where to get off.
In parts of the UK, many vulnerable people have become virtual prisoners in their own homes, huddling
behind their doors in fear of feral youths who go around tearing up everybody else's property. Many elderly residents of housing
projects don't even like to walk one block to the convenience store because of the gangs of hooded youths who congregate around
the doorways. They act like they own the place.
They verbally harass passers-by. Young hoodlums vandalize parked cars and tear up bus shelters. Just recently some
beautiful new playground equipment got burnt up by teenage hoodlums. The small
children cried because of the loss. But the teenage punksters knew there wasn’t
a snowball’s chance in hell they’d ever be made to pay for the destruction. If you're walking alone, they point
and tease and laugh at you, daring you to say something back. Even the tiniest children know and use the foulest language
imaginable. Paul describes our wild, rebellious generation to a tee in II Timothy Chapter 3.
Briefly I'll comment on the passage.
VERSE 1 THIS know
also, that in the last days perilous (dangerous) times shall come.***** A climate of terror has gripped the earth as never
before. ***The Bible says that in the last days men's hearts shall fail them for fear (Luke 21:26).
VERSE 2 For men
shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,*****Have
you ever before seen such a preoccupation with "self"? In some cases, affluent parents
put their own self-fulfillment ahead of their own children's spiritual training. It is far more important to society
to pressure couples to labor long and hard to pay for a fine home, a fancy new car or a designer wardrobe than to free up
one parent to spend adequate time at home to raise the children to know the Lord.
VERSE 3 Without
natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent (lacking self-control), fierce, despisers of those that are
good,*****Here is one reason why Christian kids have such a rough time in secular high school. It just ain't cool to be a Christian and stand up for love and righteousness. Vicious sinners despise good
people. When a fellow student is being brutalized by fierce bullies, it is rare for anyone, even a believer, to defend the victim and speak out against the evil of bullying.
Why? The peer pressure is on. Nobody likes to stick out like a sore thumb and go against the flow, not even most religious
people. It's cool to be cruel.
VERSE 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more
than lovers of God;*****All the popular movie action heroes act like they're the next best thing to God, and in watching
them, kids live out their own fantasies through them. What kid is going to look up to a super hero who confesses that without
God he is nothing, and gives God the glory for the victory? That's very uncool,
and such a motion picture would go bust at the box office. The pursuit of pleasure has become a billion-dollar business worldwide,
as untold millions party hard on their way to hell.
VERSE 5 Having a
form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.***** In certain places churches are essentially
little different from fancy country clubs. Oh, the devil doesn't mind churches
so long as they don't stem the tide of evil in the community. When a churchgoing child's religious training is devoid of the
power and love of the Risen Christ, he is much more apt to conform to the prevailing darkness at school and just join the