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Simon watched the new moon disappear as the sun's rays pushed their long fingers between fluffy white clouds, bringing to life that which slept. He felt God's hand of compassion upon him and once again, tears fell. Already his empty arms missed the completeness they had found when they encircled Ann in his embrace. Although alone, and full of sorrow, he managed to pray. His words acknowledged the power of God. Simon knew his life and death was surely in God's hands. He went to David's house, trying to escape the emptiness he felt in his own home. As he entered he smelt the spicy aroma of anointing oil. It lingered in every room, soothing and relaxing Simon.


He chose another book from David's bookcase. It was very old with blotchy acid marks on the dusty, yellow pages. He noticed David's comments written neatly at the bottom of some pages. Gently and tenderly he ran his fingers over the words as if remembering David's voice. Precious memories flooded back when he remembered times spent discussing the books of the Law which were part of David's Bible. Simon's eyes devoured the words in the book, as if scooped up by hands, eager to feed the hunger inside himself as he searched for the truth. His thoughts raced. David and I are both Abraham's seed and heirs of the promise to Abraham. Will we ever see each other again?


He read in David's old book that the purpose of the Jewish Law was to bring people to Jesus Christ.(1) The book said, since the first coming of Christ, we are no longer under the Jewish Law. Simon struggled to understand the meaning of this, so he read on. The Jewish Law was meant to show man his sinfulness and inadequacy against God's perfection and character. It was sufficient to guide God's people until Jesus birth and teaching on earth.

 

Simon turned the page and noticed David's comments which read, 'The Law cannot save. No self effort will help me gain eternal life. I am saved only by God's grace, if I believe in Him and repent.'


Simon was beginning to understand that his rejection of Christ as the Messiah kept him anchored to Jewish traditions and beliefs. David seemed to have removed the barrier of the Law and discovered the truth. He had given himself wholly, in faith, to his belief in Jesus Christ and not rejected Him as the Messiah, God's own Son. Simon put aside his own beliefs and continued to read. Just as the High Priest in the Synagogue was appointed to offer continual, temporary gifts and sacrifices, it was necessary for Jesus to offer His own life, just once, as a sacrifice for all.(2) Simon slowly closed the old book as he considered just how blind he had been. At last I understand David's words to me. Out of my suffering and loss has come understanding and hope. Just as I saw the new moon last night, I know I too can have a new beginning.
He knelt beside the window and asked God to forgive him of his past unbelief. Simon acknowledged Jesus as his Saviour and long awaited Messiah, the Son of God. The suns rays shone through the glass warming him with its soothing glow. He walked home hoping he could deal with anything that might happen in the future.


Near his house, he was startled by the loudness of a voice coming from his multimedia television. Its intrusive noise blurted out the latest news bulletin.


'It is advised banks and stock exchanges will re-open tomorrow. A previously unknown group called NWO Banking have agreed to loan all banks the necessary funds to enable them to operate as before. This news is received with great elation throughout the world.'


Simon received this news with apprehension. He was suspicious of any unknown monetary institution, even if it appeared to offer relief from the present money crisis. People had begun to use the new micro-chip embedded Flash Cards, instead of cash. They purchased food or goods, and conducted all banking transactions without cash. Although the new multi-purpose television system came with technology enabling people to use the Flash Card system, Simon had no desire to do so. He wondered if the personal information and the number printed on the micro chip would reveal private information to dubious characters.


The face often seen on store monitors and other media appeared on the screen. Simon disliked the way this man, Alexander Judastus had become a political hero overnight. He was now, it seemed, connected with NWO Banking.


This man is gaining to much power too quickly. His smooth confident voice could win almost anyone over thought Simon.


'As Head of the Confederation of European Nations, I bring you more good news. I have been instrumental in having the existing peace treaty between Israel and all Arab Nations confirmed for a period of 7 years. I have brought peace to the Middle East.(3) All people in the world can now look forward to peace and prosperity.'
As Alexander continued, Simon became interested in his next announcement. 'After more than 1900 years, the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt.(4) This was an additional outcome of the peace treaty being confirmed for the seven year period. Unlimited finance and manpower will be made available to complete the Temple in about three years, making it possible for Jewish worship and the sacrificial system to be reintroduced. Macrotech will employ thousands on the project, relieving the unemployment situation.'


Alexander's face faded from the monitor, as the satellite cable from Brussels ended.


Simon wondered why he felt so disturbed, when Alexander was beginning to appear as the saviour(5) of the world?


Simon decided to drive over to Granright. The foreman had kept in touch with him since David's disappearance, assuring Simon production would continue if that was his wish. As Simon approached the plant, he heard the familiar rattle and clunk of busyness. Although some people were missing from their usual places, production continued to run smoothly. Several workers greeted him. Others were outside sorting through the burnt out remains of the holding shed. The morning tea bell sounded and people began to gather in the lunch room. Simon joined them and heard many discussing today's news reports with great excitement.
"I never thought I would live to see another Temple built. Did you Simon? Perhaps some of my family will be able to get work now."


"To think that animal sacrifices are to take place again!(6) I must fatten my animals and set aside the best of them for sacrifice." he joked.


An older man was overjoyed at the prospect of money being available once again.


"I will be able to retire now as money has been released. My younger brother is returning to Israel soon from Italy. I am looking for a home for him and his family. There are quite a few fully furnished vacant homes close to Tel Aviv. People seem to have abandoned them, leaving food in the cupboards and washing tangled on the clothes lines. Their pets roam the streets in search of food."


Simon knew he should tell these people what he read in David's books. Some worshipped at the Synagogue he attended. Where would he start? Would they accept his words concerning these things? Just as he was about to speak the bell sounded, signalling a return to work. Chairs grated and mugs clinked into the dish washer. For the moment the opportunity was lost.


He walked to the office where David and Sol once worked. He sat in David's chair and gently wept, not only out of his own personal grief, but also for these faithful workers. All had presumed he would run Granright now that David and Sol were gone. He knew from their conversations, some were beginning to realize there must be some truth in this rapture people were talking about. If only they will accept my words, just as they accept my leadership of Granright he thought. I need someone to help me run the business. Perhaps someone who was close to David.


He remembered David's happiness when he told the family of his recent trip to Athens and of his reunion with Ari. Simon decided to write offering Ari a partnership in Granright. He hoped the offer would at least bring him to Israel before a final decision was made.

The NovelNotes Feature.

These are a helpful feature of this novel. Their use is optional. They may be used if you want to understand more of the underlying Biblical aspects of the story, or the historical and factual material. However, you do not have to use these to follow the story line of the novel.

Chapter 14 NovelNotes

1. It is explained in Scripture that the Jewish Law - i.e. the Law given to Moses by God, was a tutor to lead New Testament believers towards Christ and to let people see how they had sinned against God's law. This means that living under Christ and what He taught, was a fulfilment of the Mosaic Law and never was a detraction from it. See the book of Galatians, Chapter 3, verses 23 to 25. What a marvellous thought for Jewish people who try to live by the Law!

2. Jewish people under the Law used to have a High Priest to offer sacrifices once every year, for their sins to be forgiven. God had always planned Jesus would die on the cross as a sacrifice just once, and that this one sacrifice would be sufficient for all people for all time, past, present and future. See the book of Hebrews Chapter 10, verse 10.

3. The peace being talked about here by Alexander Judastus is a man-made peace which cannot last. However, the peoples of the world are so desperate for peace, they will believe anyone. As explained earlier, God knew that this so called peace would come about at this time, and by this man.

4. It is the prediction of Scripture that this man will enable the Jewish temple to be rebuilt. The Jewish people will treat this man as their long awaited Messiah, and are totally deceived by his success in the world.

5. Simon's thought about this man being the saviour of the world is not surprising. After all, he is doing the things the world would expect a saviour to do, which makes the deception perfect. Can you begin to see the importance of the Holy Bible, which tells us all these things in advance? There is absolutely no reason why we should be deceived.

6. This relates to point 2 above. The Jewish sacrificial system, instituted by God when He gave Moses the ten commandments, was to get them into the way of repentance and forgiveness. There were times when this worked very well, but there were other times when God had to punish the Jewish people to bring them back on track. The sacrifices were an elaborate system of a range of sacrifices, using different animals for different aspects of Hebrew life at the time. Beginning in Chapter 20 of the book of Exodus is an explanation of the Jewish Law and sacrificial system.

Continue to Chapter 15