On November 22, 1998... I was catapulted out of my bed into the very pit of hell. My point of arrival was a cell that was approximately fifteen feet high by ten feet wide with a fifteen-foot depth.
With its walls of rough stone and rigid bars on the door, I felt as though I was in a temporary holding area, a place where a prisoner would await his final hours before meeting a far more terrifying destiny. Isaiah 24:22 says, "And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison" (KJV). Proverbs 7:27 refers to "chambers" of death in hell.
As I lay there on the floor of that cell, I felt extremely weak. I noticed that I had a body, one that appeared just as it is now. Lifting my head, I began to look around. Immediately I realized that I was not alone in this cell. I saw two enormous beasts, unlike anything I had ever seen before.
These creatures were approximately ten to thirteen feet tall. These towering beasts were far, far beyond intimidating. It is one thing to be threatened by someone much taller than you. But these creatures were not of this natural world. I recognized that they were entirely evil, and they were gazing at me with pure, unrestrained hatred, which completely paralyzed me with fear. "Evil" and "Terror" stood before me. Those creatures were an intensely concentrated manifestation of those two forces.
I still had no idea where I was, and I felt utterly panicked. Although I had no point of reference, no familiarity with anything I was experiencing, and no understanding of how I got here, still I was faced with the unimaginable reality that a tortuous death seemed certain.
The creatures weren't animals, but they weren't human, either. Each giant beast resembled a reptile in appearance, but took on human form. Their arms and legs were unequal in length, out of proportion—without symmetry. The first one had bumps and scales all over its grotesque body. It had a huge protruding jaw, gigantic teeth, and large sunken-in eyes. This creature was stout and powerful, with thick legs and abnormally large feet. It was pacing violently around the cell like a caged bull, and its demeanor was extremely ferocious. The second beast was taller and thinner, with very long arms and razor-sharp fins that covered its body. Protruding from its hands were claws that were nearly a foot long. Its personality seemed different from the first being. It was certainly no less evil, but it remained rather still.
I could hear the creatures speaking to each other. Although I could not identify what language it was, somehow I could understand their words. They were awful words—terrible, blasphemous language that spewed from their mouths expressing extreme hatred for God.
Suddenly they turned their attention toward me. They looked like hungry predators staring at their prey. I was terrified. Like an insect in a deadly spider's web, I felt helpless, trapped, and frozen with fear. I knew I had become the object of their hostility, and I felt a violent, evil presence such as I had never felt before and greater than anything I could imagine. They possessed a hatred that far surpassed any hatred a person could have, and now that hatred was directed straight at me. I couldn't identify what these beasts were yet, but I knew they meant me harm.
I knew that it was much more than physical weakness I was feeling. Indeed, it was weakness of every form. I was mentally and emotionally drained, even though I had only been there a few minutes. Most of us have experienced a loss of strength and energy after intense weeping, emotional distress, or grief. After a time of healing, we regain that strength though it may take years. However, at that moment I felt that there would never be a time for recuperating from the literal weight that had fallen upon me—a weight of hopeless despair.