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Chapter 15

 

Ari, Helen, and Nicholas, continued to feel their sickening grief. They now accepted that Elena, along with her girlfriend, were just two of the number who disappeared without trace. Nicholas tried to hide his grief, and as a result, exploded into sudden angry outbursts. Ari tried to comfort his son, but Nicholas was of that age when he kept his innermost thoughts and feelings to himself. He felt guilty when he remembered how mercilessly he had teased his sister. Why was I so mean to her he agonised. I miss her so much.
Ari and Helen were beginning to accept all missing people were in heaven. The rapture occurred just as Anthony the minister had forewarned, and Elena had been a part of it.


Ari and Helen's counselling appointments increased each day, as distressed people came for help. Some were tormented by memories of things said in haste to loved ones, or worse, left unsaid. Their work had become a chore and their beautiful home, with its sea views, did little to still their restlessness. Simon's letter surprised them. Ari was shocked to read of Sol's violent death and David's disappearance. Simon's words supported everything Anthony had preached. Simon apparently discovered this truth in some of David's books and believed what the writers said.


'Ari,' the letter continued.  'Granright is too much for me to run on my own. Would you consider coming to Israel with a view to becoming my partner?'


Ari and Helen were surprised by his bold request.  "What makes Simon think we could help? We are professionals, not production managers," responded Helen doubtfully.  "Beats me!"


Helen knew by Ari's curious tone that an idea was already forming in his mind. Nicholas remained quiet and aloof as his parents discussed the contents of Simon's letter. His mind was in turmoil. Next thing you know they'll be dragging me to some out of the way town where there is no action. My friends are here! Can't imagine any excitement near the Sea of Galilee where this Simon lives!
His father's voice interrupted his thoughts.


"Perhaps we could lease our house and use this trip as a holiday."
Nicholas bellowed, "Doesn't anyone ever think to ask what I want? Elena might come back. What will she do if we're not here? I hate you!"


Tears of frustration crept down his flushed face. Ari held his son close, as at last, sobs racked the boy's body. Father and son wept as they unashamedly hugged each other. Helen quietly left the room with tears glistening on her long dark lashes. She knew Nicholas had taken the first step along the hard road to accepting the loss of his sister. Perhaps a time in Israel would help mend their grieving hearts.

With trembling hands Simon tore open the air letter from Greece. He quickly read the polite asides searching for the answer he hoped for. The letter read,  'In spite of our present situation we have decided to visit Israel for an extended holiday. Although Helen and I are not sure what the future holds, I will be glad to help out at the plant. We have leased our home and practice to a fellow psychologist. Both Helen and I need a break from increasing demands on our time. Athens has become a place of unspeakable lawlessness and violence. Children are being seduced by TV and multimedia programs, forming wrong attitudes with few moral values. Many parents have lost the ability to guide and teach correct values, or set boundaries. Nicholas is not too happy with our plans. Naturally, the sudden disappearance of his sister has caused us all much distress.'

 

Simon couldn't help comparing Athens to life in Israel. When will this strife and deception end? What comfort or hope can parents find in this present world? They need the wisdom of Solomon to raise their children. Simon hoped Ari and his family would settle into David's home without too much trouble. With the return of thousands of Jews to Israel each week, Ari and his family were lucky to book a flight so quickly.


Many Jews had, in the light of the evidence of the rapture, decided to believe in Jesus Christ and all the New Testament said concerning these times.(1) Some of the workers at Granright joined them as a result of Simon's encouragement. It was now being reported that a very large group of Jewish men(2) were travelling the whole world preaching the Gospel of Christ. Apparently they were descendants from the twelve tribes of Israel. Rabbi Einson appeared to now be a member of this group, or at least knew many of the people in it. All pride in his own works, and knowledge, had crumbled when he accepted the truth. Also, a few days ago, two Jewish evangelists(3) suddenly appeared preaching on the streets of Jerusalem, especially around the western wall area, where the Jewish temple once stood over 1900 years ago.
What did Ari and his family believe? Simon had heard much about the new Universal Church (4) and its fast growing numbers. Its leader, known as Prophet Warwick(5), was rumoured to have claimed amazing miracles took place during services. Many flocked to all churches affiliated with the Universal church. They brought with them people plagued by illness and troubles of every kind. These churches promoted the goodness of Alexander Judastus, often seen at one of their churches. Alexander promised to provide financial help and military protection to adherents of this church.
Simon had lots of questions in his mind. How can politics and religion go hand in hand? Where does the power to perform these incredible miracles come from? Were the followers of this church worshipping the one and only true God, or some imposter who promised the world. Was their prophet following Jesus, or was everything about him false?


Simon put these questions aside and returned to Ari's letter. He wrote,    'I have a friend, Andrus, who works as a security guard on Cyprus. His last letter contained some rather bizarre news of a secret meeting held there recently. He overheard plans relating to surveillance equipment, a new monetary system and the controlling of most multinational corporations. What alarmed Andrus was their planning for what they called a New World Order, resulting in a One World Government and One World Religion.(6) Have you any signs of this in Israel?'

 

The letter closed with Ari's personal thoughts on these matters.
Simon placed the letter on the coffee table, hoping the Universal Church was not the beginning of a One World Religion. If so, Simon feared for any who refused to become part of it, or its teachings. It was all too scary to contemplate!

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 15 NovelNotes

1. To believe in Jesus Christ is a decision of the will and is based on what the whole of Scripture says about Him, what He has done, and what we need to believe. The New Testament in particular, is full of the requirements for believing in Jesus Christ.

2. The Bible tells us about this large number of Jewish men (144 000), 12 000 coming from each of the 12 Jewish tribes. They are servants of God and are protected by Him. This group of Jewish men operate as evangelists around the world, to tell God's message to those who are not aware of coming events.

3. These are God's two special evangelists who will act as witnesses for Him over a period of three and a half years. They will be given special powers that are supernatural in nature, enabling them to do amazing things.

4. The Universal Church is the name given in the novel to the worldwide church who believe they follow God, but in fact do not. They have been deceived in their efforts to worship the true God.

5. Warwick is the name given to one of the major players in the world scene at this time of history. He is the False Prophet of the church which is evil in nature and which deceives many people. He is an associate of the Antichrist.

6. New World Order, One World Government and One World Religion have already been discussed in NovelNotes number 1 in Chapter 11.

Continue to Chapter 16