A Mass Baptism in the Emajõgi
A huge crowd of men, women and youngsters dressed in white baptismal clothes had assembled by the River Emajõgi for the long-awaited baptism. Amongst them were Elisa, Salme, Hilda and Silvia who would from this day become members of Pastor Kuusberg's fellowship until the two dedicated women transferred to Sweden.
Much publicity had been given to this event so that in addition to the seventy or so who were to be baptised that day, there were also a good number of visitors, swelling the crowd to nearly one hundred and fifty people. The media was present again and this time a report did appear in the local newspapers though no coverage was given on TV - the Satanists, whom they now knew by name, including hostile elements from the larger Lutheran and Orthodox Churches afraid of losing membership, had made sure of that. A couple of police officers were also present, just in case.
Pastor Kuusberg looked slightly nervous, unaccustomed as he was to suddenly being thrust into the public spotlight. With such a large flock to take care of, he had resigned his part-time job as a surveyor for the local council, and was trusting in the Lord to provide for his and his family's needs through the freewill offerings of his expanded membership. Stan had instructed him in depth as to the new workings of the Fellowship and he was beginning to feel a little more confident. Many former Adventist teachings had been abandoned in the process requiring a major reshuffling of his spiritual perception of things - no easy matter for someone steeped in that tradition for most of his life. Stan was more than sensitive to the support he would need and had spent time with two of the elders - Paul Kipper and Karl Eichfeld - whom he felt would be good councellors to him. He had also selected three women - Elisa Reifman as temporary Pastress, with Elgi Kuusberg (Andrus Kuusberg's wife) and Aino Hurt as councellors to the female Pastorate.
Stan's sermons were almost always unprepared and spontaneous for he believed in being led by the Spirit in all things. Thus he implicitly believed that Christ would give him the words he needed to preach at every and on any occasion. His only preparation were therefore of a general nature - of daily scripture study.
"We are gathered here today in the Name of our God Yahweh and His Son Yah'shua and the Messiah to administer and receive the ordinance of baptism by immersion in water, the very same ordinance that John the Baptist administered to Christ and which the apostles and their successors administered to all true believers. It is one of the most important teaching tools a Christian has been given and is one you will wish to meditate on for the rest of your lives. Throughout the centuries this ordinance has been changed and with that change has come a loss of profound truth about salvation and the life of discipleship. It is no accident therefore that those who have changed this ordinance into sprinkling or a mere hand-shake have also changed the Gospel as a whole."
The Lutheran minister present grimmaced as a number of those present cast their eyes on him to see how he would react, knowing that the two larger Christian denominations present did not follow the biblical practice of immersion.
"Baptism is a symbolic representation of two vitally important things. First, it represents what Christ has already done for the sinner, namely, He has conquered death and made that conquest available to those who believe. Baptism is, in short, a representation of the death and resurrection of the Messiah and the fact that He was baptised by John the Baptist was in part to demonstrate that by ourselves being baptised we would identify with the whole life and death of Christ as well. By being baptised ourselves we are immersed both into his death as well as into His resurrection life. Baptism, therefore, represents a washing away of our old lives of sin and separation from Yahweh, and a clothing of our lives into the resurrection life of Deity. We become, through this ordinance, symbolic sons and daughters of God.
"Because baptism represents this transition from a self-centred carnal, sinful life into a Christ-filled and Christ-like life, it is our signpost and declaration to the world that we are no longer of the world but of Christ. By this token we become Yah'shua's visible ambassadors. From now on we shall be observed by the world and judged by the world, and what we do will reflect back on the God we worship. We therefore have a choice of wearing our baptism with honour or with disgrace. For if we who are to be baptised hereafter live lives of disgrace we shall be proving to the world that our conversion was nothing more than a sham. It is for this reason that baptism must be an outer sign of that which has already taken place, namely, the alpha of our salvation. No-one who has not been convinced in his heart that Yah'shua is the Messiah and who is not willing to walk a life of obedient discipleship with energy and determination should be baptised for such would only be a mockery of God. If anyone is being baptised because they believe it is the admission ticked to a social club or because the oridinance itself will wash away their sins, they they should withdraw, for this is absolutely not what baptism is about.
"About half of you have newly received Christ as your Saviour and the baptism you are about to receive is a public witness - a declaration to the world - that you are now His property and that you intend to live a life to His glory. The rest of you have been believers for various periods of time and have already been baptised into Christ. You are here no so much to be rebaptised as to complete the former baptism you received, that completion being a desire to walk fully in the New Covenant. For all of you then, this baptism is a contract between you and the Lord to obey all His commandments until you have fulfilled His desire that you become perfect even as He is perfect. It is essentially an acceptance of the apostolic course of discipleship, an agreement that you will complete the course throughout your lifespan on earth until you have attained the omega of your salvation. This part of the baptism also therefore means that you accept apostolic authority in your life, just as Christ commanded.
"Baptism is therefore both a sign as well as a covenant, just as the parting of the Red Sea was a sign and a covenant to Israel which was leaving the world of Egypt for a promised land where they would find rest from oppression, starvation, and sickness. It was a sign of the greatness of Yahweh, just as the resurrection of Christ is, and it was a baptism into the Law of Moses, or what we call the Old Covenant. It also offered them protection, drowning their enemies and all those going in the direction of Israel for false motives. So if you are entering a life of discipleship for the wrong reasons, you will eventually spiritually drown as Pharaoh's army did.
"Within this ordinance of baptism are a hundred symbols which will reveal to you in clarity the marvelous plan of salvation. Yahweh could have chosen any number of ordinances to symbolise your spiritual rite of passage but He chose immersion in water for many very special reasons which I don't have time to discuss here today. I will, however, especially draw your attention to one quality of water which, apart from being an essential part of our diet, is also used for washing. Baptism is therefore above all else about cleansing. It is a call to a life of purity - a spiritual purity appropriated from Christ Himself through faith in His Name, and a purity maintained by our keeping ourselves unspotted from the world.
"There is no use appropriating the purity of Christ if we then go and bathe in the filth of the world. We will, of course, make mistakes and yield to sin from time to time but what is important is, first, that we do not allow sin to become habitual, and second, that we immediately repent and forsake that sin, promising not to return to it If we find that we do return to that sin, in other words, that it has become habitual, then we are, by being baptised today, promising that we will work to get to the root of that sin until it is utterly removed. It means that we shall strive for purity in our thinking, our feeling, and our physical habits, placing ourselves under the New Covenant torah of Christ. It will mean, amongst other things, making long lists of all we have done wrong, confessing them before spiritual councellors, renouncing them, and calling upopn the cleansing blood of Christ to make us pure inside. It means getting rid of demonic presences caused by serious sin and and demolishing demonic strongholds in our souls caused by habitual sin. It means entering into progressively deeper and deeper covenants of purity until Christ has truly become victor in our lives and Satan no longer has any hold upon us.
"I cannot underline this with a thick enough pencil, brothers and sisters. Your being baptised here today is a promise, in the presence of both visible and invisible witnesses, that you will seek to live pure lives in Christ as His honoured ambassadors. Yahweh will, for His part, bless you with an ever stronger and deeper presence of the Ruach haQodesh - the Holy Spirit - and so equip your ministry. For you must remember, everyone one of you, that once you have been baptised, you are called into ministry - you are all a Royal Priesthood, a servant class, leaders and led alike, blessing unbelievers with the message of salvation, and your brethren and sisters with love and service.
"You are also the vanguard of a new culture and bearers of a new citizenship. Whereas Estonia was previously your only homeland, now you have a new homeland - the heavenly world, or Zion. Yes, you still hold Estonian passports but your earthly citizenship is merely a pale and very imperfect reflection of your heavenly one. In time, it will hold little or no meaning to you as your identity is recreated in Christ, for you will understand, as the apostle John did, that all earthly kingdoms will one day be crushed. You will still love your earthly country of Estonia, the place of your birth into mortality, and you will still love Estonians, but you will love them in a different way. The burden in your heart will be to build the alternative nation, the alternative Christian culture. You will understand that Estonia as a nation can never be saved - that accepting Christ does not mean simply adding on a few Christian bits and pieces to your former Estonian way of living. Baptism represents nothing less that a complete change of allegiance and way of being. When you go under the water, you leave all behind - everything! What Christ gives back to you is entirely up to Him. It is a complete yielding of your life, both the good and the bad - to do with as he wishes.
"The changing of cultures isn't easy. Rebirth in Christ represents a complete change in mind-frame, the way you feel, and the way you react to physical impulses. Your whole vision changes, just as moving to a new country presents you with new landscapes and sensations - new things to see, new smells, a different climate, new food, different people and the way they do things, and so on. To be a Christians means nothing short of a complete re-orientation of everything.
"Another analogy is in getting married. When you are in love, you are blind to your partner's habits and ways. It's only when the honeymoon is over and you begin to settle down do you begin to see what sort of a person you have committed to sharing your life with. In becoming a Christian, Christ becomes our spiritual husband who expects us to think, feel and behave in a certain way. The problem comes when our carnal nature which, though symbolically laid to rest in baptism, suddenly comes out in rebellion and simply doesn't want to do things Christ's way.
"People often ask me: 'But surely, my carnal nature was put to death in baptism!' and I tell them that baptism is a declaration of intent only - it is a resolution to go into battle. Christ has won the victory for you, but taking that victory on board is another matter. It requires a struggle as the will of the flesh is subdued and yielded to the will of the new man or woman within you - to that part controlled by Christ. When Christ enters your heart, it is like a coup d'état in a nation's capital. A new government is set up but that doesn't mean that all the other towns and cities in the nation are yet subdued. These often have to be taken one by one.
"Though I don't like to use communism as an example, it yields some good illustrative principles. The Bolshevik revolution started in a core area and spread out until, some years later, the whole of Russia was overrun. The Christian revolution like it like that. When Christ is accepted as Lord and Saviour, we place Him in the throneroom of our lives - in our heart. But winning the whole soul may take time. Just as the Bolsheviks had to overcome resistance from Whites, Anarchists, and others, so the Christian soul must fight the strongholds that Satan still has in us from our previous way of living, especially if we have previously led very sinful lives.
"Perhaps we lived a sexually immoral life before coming to Christ which, though we understand it to be wrong, still leaves the old impulses behind, and major temptations. Getting to the root of these impure impuses means digging up the past, renouncing all ungodly relationships, asking Christ's forgiveness, and placing the cross between you and these relationships. It may mean getting rid of demons that led you into perverse sex. That means deliverance ministry. You have to go with a dustpan and brush into every corner of your lives and, with Christ at your side, drive out demonic invaders and invite Christ to take over.
"My own family and I do this on a more or less regular basis. Though the gross sins of our pre-Christians lives have mostly been taken care of, there are still other hindrances and stumbling stones preventing complete victory in Christ. Just like the communists had self-criticism sessions, so we as Christians must have cleaning-out sessions with Christ.
"When you are baptised you are covenanting to let Christ move out from your heart and take possession of every part of your life - your sex life, music life, eating life, hobbies life - everything that you do. Indeed, what you are asking him to do is so revolutionary that it makes communism look like a tea party in comparison. Communism was unable to change man's nature - to make the communist man was a complete failure - because the only power to change for the good comes from Christ. And communism was a kind of twisted Christianity without Christ.
"To be baptised is to enlist as a Christian revolutionary, but instead of imposing a dictatorship over others, you are imposing Christ's rule over yourself. Today is your August Revolution - today is where is, in a way, all starts, though the moment it actually began was the point of time you receievd Yah'shua the Messiah as your Lord and Saviour. Baptism is therefore a way of visibly and symbolically witnessing of that wonderful event and is an announcement that you are declaring war against sin in yourself. But it is much more than a personal declaration - you are being immersed in water, which represents the spiritual life. In other words, you are being immersed into a community of the saved also. You become not just an individual saved in Christ, but a community, a fellowship, a Church saved in Christ. You are part of a family, and this is, if you like, your formal adoption ceremony. In becoming Christ's, you become each other's also.
"Baptism marks therefore many very significant changes in your life. It is like the announcement of an explorer who says he will journey to the North Pole, or of a government which says it will institute this or that reform, or of someone saying they will join the army, or go to the moon in a spaceship. But it is, of course, more than that. Noone makes such a declaration unless they posssess the means to do it, and noone makes a declaration to become a disciple unless they believe they have the tools to do so. It is largely faith but there is also evidence.
"The explorer can say that he has received funds for his expedition. The government can say that it has a mandate from the people. The army cadet can show his call-up papers. The cosmonaut knows he has been trained and is a part of a commissioned team. A Christian has experienced the new birth, knows that Christ has taken residence in his heart, and that he already has evidence of inner change and perhaps of outward circumstances too. The Christian's faith is not entirely blind - it is a reasoned faith, with plenty of scriptural and natural evidence, and it is a living faith with evidence of supernatural change. He may have, as his evidence, peace of mind and a new love in his heart for people. He may be cured from a disease, from alcoholism. He may experience one of the spiritual gifts like supernaturally speaking in a foreign language, as many of you have experienced, and as I am doing right now by speaking in your own language by the power of God though I never knew a word of Estonian before I came to Tartu a little over a week ago. He has given you evidence of what He can do if you will trust Him. And it is that evidence which gives us confidence to go on.
"However, our discipleship cannot ultimately rest on evidence. There will be times - dark moments in your life - when you will feel empty and may even believe that God has left you. He hasn't. But He will be testing you so that you can see for yourself how much faith you have, or lack. Ultimately Christianity is about faith - trust. Evidence can be a stepping stone for faith but it can never substitute for that faith. Ultimately you must rest in Christ entirely on the basis of faith.
"And what is faith? Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. It is one thing to have evidence - of the invisible God's supernatural activity, but that is not enough. Satan and his demons can counterfeit most miracles. We must also have a hope. And what is that hope to be based on? What is that hope? It is the hope of a better world to come, of eternal life without pain and suffering, where life is saturated with joy and peace. It is the hope of realising everything that is pure, virtuous, holy, righteous and good. It is the hope of the fullness of love. And we can base that hope on Christ's life, the lives of the apostles, and the lives of countless true born-again, Spirit-filled Christians living exemplary lives of discipleship. It is the hope of the resurrection life in a resurrection world.
"The path will not be easy. It will require constant vigilence in scripture study, prayer, worship and service to others of the brotherhood. Learning to discern between right and wrong will sometimes prove excruciatingly difficult, especially when we are faced with important choices in our careers, in selecting marriage companions, and in deciding whom we shall associate with in the world in order to witness. We soon discover that discerning the Spirit can be difficult, expecially for a young, immature Christian.
"We will need to hear the Gospel told us again and again, not because we haven't heard it before but because we are, I'm sorry to say, slow learners. We have a tendency to forget. And it is made much harder the more we are immersed in the world. That is why a Christian must have refuge places from the world - in the meetings of the local fellowship and in Christian homes. And these are the places the born-again Christian will most want to be. If he finds the world more attractive that these, then he is off the path that leads to eternal life and is in danger of losing his soul.
"The first Christians used to meet together every day and that ought also to be your desire too. The family of Christ wants to be together with one another just as we ought to want to be together with our own families. These are two key signposts. Now it is true that from time to time the fellowship and family may be beset with problems making the desire to be a part of them less than desirable, but if that happens, then we must be willing to be peace-makers, reconcilers, healers, and bearers of Christ-like love. We mustn't wait for the Pastors so sort everything out - we have a rôle as a Royal Priesthood too ... not to create controversy, but to edify and build up. All are called even if some may have different responsibilities. Satan will attack the foundations - the family and the fellowship, so preserve them diligently.
"Because our sanctification doesn't occur all in one go as many false teachers preach, we must be especially careful, using all the gifts God has endowed us with. What, for instance, if you are faced with a difficult career choice? What if one career appeals to you more than the other but there is evidence that the more appealing one will be saturated with ungodly temptations? What do you do? What if you find yourself in an apparent blind alley with no seeming choice at all? Do you assume, because there is no other alternative, that this is what God wants you to do?
"There is, of course, strength in the counscel of many believers, particularly mature believers, though ultimately the choice has to be yours. I knew a Christian who was passionately keen on acting, and he was undoubtedly gifted in it. He loved it with his soul so much that he could not think of anything else he would possibly like to do. I warned him of the milieu in which he would find himself. Actors today are far from being godly - they are mostly vain, obsessed with self, love sexual perversion, drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. I told him that a high proportion of male actors were bisexuals or homosexuals, and that those who were heterosexuals often married many times or slept with multiple partners. I warned him that fame and wealth often went to their heads and led them to hyper-inflated vanity. Once their good looks were gone they often found themselves alone and rejected. Many commit suicide. Most of them are part and parcel of the world system, many are satanists. I told him that entering that profession would not be unlike Lot's choice to leave the simple nomadic life of his brother Abraham and settle down in the wicked cities of plain.
"But he was convinced that God wanted him in this profession. His obsession got so bad that in the end he was even willing to sacrifice his Christianity in order to fulfill his dream. Yes, this man was a believer, but it turned out that he had a major idol in his heart, and that when it came to making the choice, the idol possessed more power than his love for God.
"'How can that be?' we may gasp in horror and surprise. 'How could a believer consciously chose to reject his only path of happiness?' The answers are many and well-known to most of you. The problem with this man was that in truth he had not surrendered his life to Christ at all. Or to be precise, he had yielded many of the outlying towns but not the capital. And that's worse than useless. His Christian life never had a chance.
"Yah'shua said that you cannot serve two Masters, for you will end up loving the one and hating the other. This actor's fundamental problem was a lack of faith. He did not trust God to do what was right for him and his life. He believed in his idol more that He did ion Christ.
"I told him once that maybe it was God's will that he become an actor. He listened very attentively when I told him that, as you can imagine! But I said that he would never know until he was wlling to give up his ambitions. I told him that if acting was God's will, that the only way he would know for sure that it was, was by giving it up and saying: 'Lord, I yield sovereinty over my life to you. If it is your will that I become an actor, then please open the door for me, and I will praise you. And if it is not, open up another career door and I will praise you just as much.'
"That, friends, is the clue to knowing God's will. Not until you have sacrificed something completely can you know whether it was right or not. I went on to tell him that if his career move was in God's will, then the change in his life would reflect growth in Christ. He would become more loving, more selfless, more giving, desire purity more and more, and want to witness more and more. That, I said, would be a sign that he was in God's will. But if the career move started leading him to become indifferent to God, less loving, less caring, dismissive of the commandments, leading an impure lifetsyle, abandoning his brethren and sisters in Christ for the sake of those worldly people in his profession, then he would know that he was not in God's will. But why take the risk in the first place? Why, when there was so much evidence to the contrary, assume that the career would lead to a betterment of his discipleship?
"We are told to flee all ungodliness. My friend knew the kind of people whom he would be working with. He knew for sure that they were involved in many sexual perversons, that they were blasphemers, that they hated Christianity, that at least one was a Satanist, that they listened to foul music and did much else that was evil. How, I asked him, could he reconcile building a fellowship with such people day in and day out and hope not to see his Christianity suffer? Would he be strong enough to say 'no' to all their invitations to their parties? Would he, when travelling, be prepared to lock himself away in his room? 'What', I asked him, 'do you think their reaction would be if you started preaching the Gospel to them?'
"I told him that maybe it was God's will that He witness to them but that in my opinion only those who were very, very strong in the Gospel, and 100% dedicated to Christ, ever did such things, and mostly they recoiled against it because they didn't want to be in that sort of environment. They witnessed only because they loved them enough to be surrounded by their filth but couldn't thereafter wait to get out again fast enough.
"I told him of the many young and naïve people I had known who, young and zealous for Christ, hurled themselves into the worst of possible environments believing Christ would protect them, only to slowly compromise and often get completely sucked into their worldly and devilish way of life. Such, I said, was tantamount to committing spiritual suicide. Some of those people found their way back to Christ, to be sure, but only after experiencing the most horrendous things. They were badly scarred and found it hard to regain what they had lost. And what was worst for them was that they felt so guilty and ashamed, and mourned all that precious time they had lost - the things they could have done had they not taken the path they did.
"I knew one girl who entered the acting business who was pure and innocent but whose weakness was acting. She had no intention of getting involved with the sinful lifestyle, and vowed not to go to their parties and other social functions. But they made her feel antisocial and unfriendly. With no Christian support, she yielded and went to a party. It was fatal for her. She knew they slipped drugs into drinks so stayed off drinks. They were very nice to her but after most of the guests had gone home she was gang-raped and destroyed psychologically. She came out of the envionment a mere shadow of herself. My heart went out to her.
"A strong young Christian man I knew went into the entertainment business travelling the road with several unbelievers in his band. He was homosexually raped, drugged, and eventually murdered.
"Beloved brothers and sisters, our world is not as it was a century ago. It is almost the same today as it was in the days of Noah. It's culture is the same as that in the cities of the plains - in Sodom and Gemorah. It just isn't safe to be in them anymore except together with other Christian companions endowed with the Spirit of the Lord. Even then the risk of martyrdom is great. Here, in this city of Tartu, there are people who want to kill you. There are even some gathered here today who are of that disposition ..."
There was a sudden change in atmosphere as the baptismal candidates grew more serious and not a little apprehensive.
"You have already witnessed many miracles but now you will witness one more. I do not want Satanists as witnesses to this baptismal meeting unless they are going to repent and receive Christ themselves. Therefore," he said turning to the crowd that had assembled to watch the baptismal ceremony, most of whom were unbelievers, "God will now reveal to you those who are the agents of Satan in our midst."
The people began to chatter nervously wondering what now would happen.
"I am now talking to those of you here who are Satanists - witches, warlocks, and their followers who hate the God I worship and who have of their own free will given their lives to Satan in order to endulge in orgies of killing and sexual perversion. You have a choice to repent of your vile sins and beg Yahweh for forgiveness by renouncing Satan and all his evil ways, and accepting Yah'shua - Jesus - as your Lord and Saviour, who will freely forgive you and give you a new life if you genuinely repent. Otherwise some of you will end your lives right now - today - here, within the next few minutes - God will execute you for your henious crimes of rape, mutilation and murder."
The crowd seemed very nervous for word had spread of the miraculous things which had been happening in Pastor Kuusberg's fellowship."
Suddenly a grave expression fell on Stan's face. He looked around the crowd and, raising his right hand, shouted with a loud voice:
"In the Name of Yah'shua the Messiah - Jesus the Christ - I command all Satanists to reveal themselves, and I bind your murderous hands so that they cannot harm anyone and your feet that you cannot run!"
All at once their were terrible shrieks from with the crowd as about a dozen men and women started furiously thrashing around. The remainder of the crowd drew back from the horrible scene that now presented itself. Seven men and six women fell to the ground and started foaming at the mouth, yelling every manner of obscenity. When they tried to stand up, they fell to the ground again. By now a large circle had formed as the crowd drew further and further back in fear.
"These are the Satanists who have been among you. Mark them well. They are murderers, adulterers, perverts, and blasphemers. In a moment Yahweh is going to give them the opportunity to repent, and those who do not, who have taken the lives of people, and sexually abused children, will be executed by His angels."
The two policemen present looked alarmed but as Stan was some distance away from the writhing Satanists they did nothing. They were, in any case, too shocked to react to anything anymore.
Stan spoke again, hand raised: "Demons, in the Name of Yah'shua the Messiah - Jesus Christ - I bind you so that you can no longer speak through those you possess, or control their body movements."
The thirteen bodies stopped writhing and slumped to the ground. One by one they began to get up off the ground and looked around, dazed.
"Almighty-God, Yahweh-Elohim, has condemned you all to death because of your murderous and wicked activities but is willing to pardon anyone willing to renounce Satan, repent of their evil deeds, and accept Yah'shua the Messiah - Jesus Christ - as their Lord and Saviour. If any of you wants to receive His free gift of salvation, step forward," said Stan, firmly but kindly.
There was a sudden torrent of verbal abuse from all but one man and two women, who stood forward weeping and fell to their knees. The remaining ten were about to leap on them to kill them when Stan roared:
"In the Name of Yah'shua the Messiah - Jesus Christ - you have been found guilty of murder, whoredoms and blasphemy. You have refused Yahweh's pardon and the free gift of salvation, and are hereby sentenced to death. Therefore I command you to be dead!"
Instantly, all six men and four women collapsed to the ground dead. Nobody in the crowd dared to move for at least two minutes when someone asked the police to investigate. Reluctantly, one of them stepped forward to investgate the pile of corpses:
"They're all dead!" he cried out to his companion, his face as white as a sheet. "All ten are dead!"
"This day in the city of Tartu Yahweh-Elohim, the Lord God of Heaven, has given you a display of His power so that nobody here may be in any doubt that there is a God who loves truth, justice, righteousness and goodness - for whom any sin is an abomination, and to warn those of you who spurn His love of the terrible fate that awaits you in the eternities. Therefore I admonish you all most soberly - do not procrastinate the day of your repentence!"
In the meantime, the three repentant Satanists were being ministered to by Pastor Kuusberg and his two councellors, Paul Kipper and Karl Eichfeld, who led them through the sinner's prayer and to salvation. And then, in front of the cameras and journalists, and the whole assembly, they began to confess the heineous crimes they had committed in secret as Satanists, naming those who had died and other satanists who were not present. Then Hendrik Parikas, who acted as spokesman for the three, requested baptism along with the others awaiting their turn, once Andrus Kuusberg was satisfied that they had made a complete repentance and genuinely wished to follow the Lord.
"We have no more baptismal clothes," said Elisa concerned.
"Baptise them as they are," said Stan. "It doesn't matter. It's more important to get them under covenant."
An ambulance arrived and took the ten bodies away but the police did not know what to do. They could not arrest Stan as he had not been anywhere near them and could hardly arrest him for bringing down the wrath of God. As the policemen were going around the crowd taking statements of what had happened, and as he knew that there were bound to be some who would give false statements, Stan instructed Pastor Kuusberg to get statements from as many of his congregation as he possibly could to make sure that no false accusations were made. Half of these were given to the police, and the other half retained. For Stan had noticed certain persons amongst the crowd who were definitely hostile in spite of what they had seen, and knew only too well how Satan would try and use false witnesses against him. He had had too much experience in Poland to know otherwise.
It was for this reason that he had arranged for the proceedings to be videofilmed by three members of the congregation located in different positions. Suspecting that the police would demand the videos as evidence, and knowing that the evidence would probably not be returned and conveniently 'disappear', he had given instructions that if anything dramatic happened that those doing the filming should switch videos quietly an unobtrusively. As expected, the police had gone around and confiscated all cameras and video camcorders with the films and videos in them, giving the owners receipts. Once the police had gone, the three genuine copies of the video recordings were whisked away and several copies made.
The police, as Stan had predicted, returned about half an hour later and angrily demanded the original videos once they discovered they had been substituted for blanks, and were given three copies of the three originals. And as Stan had predicted, when extracts of the videos were broadcast on local TV the next day, they had been edited in such a way as to give the impression that no Satanists had ever been present. Pastor Kuusberg was shocked.
"I warned you," said Stan soberly, "that we are fighting a very organised group of subversives in every level of state government - Satanists and their allies who do not want the power of Christ interfering with their end-time New Age One Word Government conspiracy. All those who took photographs and made statements will, in the very near future, be threatened to keep their mouths shut or suffer the consequences."
"What about our people?" asked Andrus Kuusberg, shuddering.
"You must prepare them," said Stan. "In the meantime, I want extra copies of those videos made. Send one of your people across the border to Valga in Latvia and mail the three masters to Sweden. I will take three copies with me to Sweden and publish a video showing what took place. Nothing must be leaked except under careful control. We're about to stir up a hornets' nest. These videos are dynamite. Satan wants them destroyed but we are going to have to outwit him. I want three copies - nine videos in all - to take back with me. I'm going to mail one copy from Finland to the USA to a friend there in California. We will get this out somehow!"
"One of our members is due to go to Russia next week - should we send copies with him?" asked Andrus Kuusberg.
"No, too risky. Time is of the essence. You are going to be carefully watched from now on. You are going to have to carefully watch over all your ex-Satanists now because their lives are in danger, especially in such a small country as Estonia."
"One of those dead Satanists was a police officer in plain clothes, one of those identified for us by Yuri. How will they explain his disappearance?" asked Andrus.
"That depends on the journalists. We will soon see how much under control the media here is. I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't still riddled with ex-KGB people. Do you know any journalists who can be trusted?" asked Stan.
"Maybe," replied Andrus.
"Alright. But don't do anything until we've gone. And don't supply anyone with videos or extracts. When we release video material to the press, we'll do it from the USA so as to keep the pressure off you. There are a number of ministries to Satanists out there who will help us. I just hope you understand that from now on you and your congregation are in the front-line against Satan. You're a real threat now. That means diligence in prayer above all else. You will lose some people to be sure so don't be alarmed. Some will defect, but those who remain you will be able to rely upon.
"Get full stories from Hendrik, Helmi and Natasha, make lots of copies, and mail them to me. Get someone to wordprocess them and convert them into HTML files - put copies up on the internet - scan them if you don't have much time - but get copies sent to us. You can send them as email attachments to us. Who's your main computer man in the congregation?" asked Stan.
"Karl," he replied.
"I must talk to him before I leave," said Stan.
By the time of Stan's departure the statements had been taken down and Karl Eichfeld had emailed copies around the world. He had also began making JPEG copies of frames from the video and sending these to various places also. Stan worked quickly and effectively to make sure that a coverup of this important event could never fully take place.
Though the police had wanted to postpone the baptism, it was already too late to recind the permission received, and by the time they returned with an order, the baptism had already taken place. Three elders baptised the whole body of earlier members and new believers within the space of an hour and a great outpouting of praise proceeded. That evening many people gave praise to the Most High God and many others stepped forward to profess their faith. The revival in Estonia was truly under way.
But they were all on their guard now and knew they could not relax their spiritual vigilence. They would soon become a persecuted people, and they knew it.
This page was first created in 2002
Last updated on 5 March 2009
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