“And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”34
The man with no name cringed as the words echoed across the great abyss and shattered the stillness of the plain. He opened his eyes and then screamed as he recognized where he was. This was the place that had haunted his dreams for months.
“No!” he shouted. “I do not like this place. I want to go back to the other place, where there was light. Why am I here?”
The entire plain was a din of wails and shouts like No Name’s. Some knew where they were, others demanded that they were innocent. No Name knew the truth but insisted on denying it. But the last trumpet had embedded the undeniable knowledge of all he’d done in his mind. This was judgment.
When the sky had split in two and the Holy One of God had stepped through, he had seen Him coming on the clouds. There had been a trial and he had been the defendant, the evidence was overwhelming and came from his own memories. Not just evil deeds, every hurtful word he had spoken and every time he had rejected truth in favor of a lie. That was the damning memory that had convicted him. Because of the trial he had stood in the presence of Almighty God and his aching soul had cried out with longing for the incredible love he recognized at last. The one thing that his soul had desired for a lifetime was right in front of him and he could not have it. Could never have it.
When the Passover Lamb had spoken, the words crushed him. “No, this is not one of mine.”
In a single horrifying moment, No Name had known what an abortion felt like to an unborn baby. He had been forcibly wrenched out of that womb of loving presence and sent here. He remembered crossing the abyss, a chasm so great that no angel or even God Himself would cross. His soul had been wounded by his own abortion and would never heal. That’s when the tree had taken him and understood exactly what the tree was.
The plain was so vast that no man could measure it, stretching from the east to the west. There was no color and everything appeared in tones of gray, even the people he could see had no color. This was a place abandoned by God, a place cursed measure eternity without His light. Nothing exists that could the trees that he was looking at after the age of grace has closed forever.
The acacia tree was planted in Eden for a reason and Man had been warned not to touch it for a reason. It was a vessel to hold the fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. After the Garden was taken away from man, the tree spread across the globe. Noah used the wood of the acacia, called Gopher Wood then, to build his ark and rescue his family. Moses used the wood of the acacia to build the Ark of the Covenant and the paneling in the tabernacle because it does not decay.
The leaves of the acacia are very specialized. When the land is blessed with rain it will bloom and flower. But when drought comes, the leaves roll into thorns four inches long and sharper than any needle. The crown of thorns placed on the Lamb’s head was woven from the thin, supple limbs of the acacia. The post and lintel used to crucify the Son of God were both timbers hewn from the acacia.
Surrounding No Name was a vast forest of acacia trees that covered the plain for as far as he could see. Each one was holding a writhing captive. No Name was witness to a sea of faces, wailing and gnashing of teeth. They were all here, the vile, the immoral, the abominations of the Fallen One, liars and adulterers, all who had rejected salvation as being ridiculous. To one side that President who had demanded that he was Christian, but the final proclamation had sent him here: “Depart from me! I never knew you!”
“For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched. They are abhorrence to all flesh,” the booming words came again.
No Name suddenly realized that words were not audible, they were being shouted directly into his mind.
“Because you rejected My sacrifice, the crucifixion of the Lamb for the payment of sin, you will now provide your own payment. There is no reprieve.”
No Name wailed in agony as the crossed limbs of the tree he was resting on suddenly grew thorns several inches long, as long and as heavy as railroad spikes. They pierced his hands to hold him in place, and then his feet. More needle sharp thorns grew into a painful wreath about his head, drawing blood that ran down his face and into his eyes. It was the Crown of Thorns, the proof of Adam’s sin.35 “For dust you are and to dust you shall return.”
Somewhere outside the agony that No Name was feeling, a gigantic clock began to tick and each second registered on his mind like a quake on the Richter Scale. Tick. Tock. Each stroke touching his soul and reverberating through his body.
Tick. Tock. The sound echoed out of the great abyss and across the forest of trees. One by one all of the gifts that God had given to Mankind on the day he was created were taken away.
Light, the first gift had already been removed. God is love and love is light. “I am the light of the world.” But light was gone now and the plain was gray.
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” With a loud sigh from one end of the plain to the other, breath was taken from Man. A silence fell over the forest that was absolute. Where there is no air, there can be no sound. The wails and the cries of pain died. No Name tried to scream, his mouth worked but he had become the perfect mime. Hell is a very silent place.
Water had been a gift to man from the moment God had said, “Light be.” In an instant it was gone and No Name understood the true meaning of arid. The tree, his living prison, became animated dust as the thorns that locked him in place and even his naked body gave up what water they had held. Every cell in his already exhausted body became a living desert. The pain was unlike any he had ever experienced.
The four elements common to every man are air, water, earth, and fire. With three of the four now gone, No Name knew what was coming next and begged silently for the luxury of screaming. Around him the mimes of the living dead did the same. The greatest gift God had ever given man was the gift of Himself. The smallest atomic particle that man’s science was ever able to explain had euphemistically been called the God particle. It was a very specialized particle that was the key-stone for all matter, the lock that held all things together.
Inside every atom that was left of No Name’s body, the smallest of all particles suddenly vanished. The matter that was dust was suddenly replaced by the only element left to hold the soul of the damned. In the blink of an eye, agony flooded his soul and No Name arched his back against the thorns holding him fast. The tree, his body, every piece of matter remaining on the plain had become flame. No Name had become a living form of fission that would never be extinguished. This was the agony reserved for fallen angels, and for man it was an agony without description. He was not in the lake of fire, he was the lake of fire.
“For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched.” Time slowed to a crawl.
A terrible revelation touched the still coherent mind of No Name. What had already seemed like hours had only been a few seconds.
The lamp of the wicked had been put out and eternity’s clock would never stop.