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Chapter 31

 

Simon and his community at Petra saw Jesus with His holy angels and all the saints from heaven. Many people from Bozrah came with them.


"It is just as written in the Bible," shouted Simon.  "Jesus comes to take us back into our own land."


"Listen to the trumpets!" shouted Nicholas. "Does this mean we don't have to hide any more? Who are those people He is leading?"
Simon, like Nicholas, had many questions, but for the moment revelled in the incredible sight. He remembered a song of praise in the Old Testament book of Micah about Israel's restoration.


'God delights in mercy and will have compassion on His people and forgive their sins.'  Jubilant men and women gathered around Jesus.  "You are our Lord and Saviour," they cried.


Being Jews, they felt that special bond when like minded people come together. So much had happened today, it was as if time stood still. But now, they had Jesus standing there, real flesh and blood. Everyone became silent at the sound of their Saviour's voice, wanting to hear His every word. They listened intently as He spoke.


"Many of you were born in Israel. Others came here from countries around the world where your ancestors migrated many years ago. I have gathered each one of you as I promised, whether from Bozrah, or elsewhere. You are My people chosen to usher in My one thousand year reign on earth. I heard your cries each time any one of you tried to change your sinful ways. I know the struggles of every Israelite standing here."


The people were deeply moved by Jesus' words. They burnt into the very centre of their beings like hot coals. His compassion came from a heart overflowing with unconditional love.   "You My people, have been refined and tested. I know your faithfulness and longing to be in a right relationship with God My Father."


Jesus paused as a heart rending cry came from a man nearby.
"My Lord and Master, You were wounded and killed by Your own people.(1) We are as guilty as our ancestors were, for we are also Jews. Forgive our sin Lord, that we may live."


Not one Jew remained standing. They knelt in humility, their remorse and grief weighing heavily upon them. Jesus looked towards heaven and began to speak tenderly.


"Your sins are forgiven and your sad days are gone. Throughout all Jewish history, before Moses and even back to Abraham, you have suffered, but now you are set free. Each one of you bowed before me, the remnant of my heritage, are cleansed. Your confession saves you. Arise, sing and rejoice, for you are a blessed people, reconciled to Me and My Father."


The sweet strong voice of Jesus filled the air in perfect harmony with His people as they sang 'Shalom my friend, I give you God's love, I give you God's peace, Shalom.' The people marvelled at God's amazing grace. Jesus stood with both hands outstretched towards His people.


"Come with Me now. We have a battle to win!"  Although Macro and Warwick witnessed Jesus coming to earth, they were unperturbed.
"With Satan as our leader we will annihilate the rest of God's so called chosen people. This Jesus will not reign."


Warwick heard the bravado in Macro's voice and wondered when this battle would begin. Soldiers positioned near the Mount of Olives had trembled when they saw Jesus leading His angels and heavenly saints towards Bozrah. Jesus had already demonstrated His power and many wondered why He had not fought against them immediately. Some deserted their posts, fearing Jesus more than they ever feared Macro or Warwick. As the soldiers were considering their fate, a fountain of water gushed out of the ground with such force that people scattered. The water gathered in the valley, building up quickly before flowing eastwards to the Dead Sea and westwards to the Mediterranean Sea. During one of the earthquakes the whole of Israel had been miraculously levelled, forming undulating plains, except for Jerusalem which was elevated above all. The new river flowed through it.(2)


A strange eeriness enveloped the whole valley near Jerusalem. Apprehension was stamped on the face of every soldier. Jesus marched unheralded into Jerusalem with His heavenly army of angels and saints. Behind Him came all the Jews who had been kept safe at Petra and Bozrah. They entered Jerusalem as triumphant conquerors, following their Messiah King, Who was about to bring deliverance to His people.


Macro laughed as he watched Jesus and His followers make their grand entrance.  Turning to Warwick he said, "Satan and his armies are waiting at full strength over the whole of the Jordan valley."  Just as these words left his mouth, Jesus stood before the two men. With a powerful voice of authority, Jesus said, "Today you will both be cast alive into the lake of burning fire. ( 3)


You are the first to ever enter that place."  "Satan is our ally," jeered Macro.   "He has given me miraculous powers," chorused Warwick. They raised their hands to send fire upon Jesus. Try as they might they were powerless before Him. No longer would their miracles deceive people.  "Your judgment has come. You have both spoken your last words. GO!"


This last word was spoken with a thunderous voice. With piercing screams Macro and Warwick hurtled in spiralling circles into the blackness of the sky. Their wailing and agonised pleas went unanswered. They would have no rest day or night in this lake of fire. They will be separated from God forever. Panic stricken armies from every nation trembled at what they had just witnessed. The Lord stood, His head finely crowned, the brilliance of His whole Being blinding horses and people alike. Behind Him rested His heavenly army clothed in the finest white linen. As far as the eye could see there were people and armaments. Not a piece of unoccupied land was visible. The land was now an undulating sea of faces. Every eye was transfixed on the majestic figure of Christ, clothed magnificently in His blood red robe. The eyes of Christ were as a flame of fire, gazing intently on those who were foolish enough to stand against Him. The power of His presence was frightening to those before Him and one of awe and wonder to those behind Him.


The armed horsemen prepared for war, shrank at the sight. All the armies of the earth waited to fight against Him ........... but there would be no war! The voice that at the beginning of the world brought about creation was also a voice with mighty destructive power.


With a slow, deliberate movement, Christ raised both arms above His head. With the justice the world had waited thousands of years for, He shouted just one statement of great victory, "All who have allowed evil to dominate your heart and lives........"


He paused before delivering a sword like thrust with His mouth..... "Receive your punishment - NOW!"(4) Four hundred million men reeled back as the words of Jesus struck them. Their flesh, eyes and tongues dissolved faster than any cancer. (5) Confusion and terror seized everyone. The effect of His words spread over the entire length of Israel, as did the blood of slain men and animals.(6)


The next minutes brought every weather pattern known over this vast army. Pitch darkness, lightning forks with thunderclaps, and hail from heaven, followed by flashes of daylight between black clouds flying across the sky at breakneck speed. Even His own people behind Him crouched and covered their eyes, as God showed the peoples of the world Who was in charge of this universe.


The pride of man, puffed up by Satan's deceptions, had made many think their armies could defeat God. They died unrepentant, blaspheming God. The stench of rotting flesh from fallen, tangled, bodies of man and beast filled the air, making the survivors gag. Christ, by His own power had won the Battle of Armageddon and delivered the remaining Jewish people from the Antichrist.


Hours later, Matthew the Jewish escapee, stood with his new found friends watching great clouds of birds fill the skies above the Valley of Jehosophat. They formed a dark canopy and hovered, waiting to strike. Plunging to earth, they gorged on the decomposing flesh of captains and lowly soldiers. Before long, stark white skeletons were all that remained of this banquet. God had shown His severity on all who rejected Him, but for those who believed, He had shown them goodness and grace. (7) Israel now stood like an immovable rock, protected forever by God's mighty hand. Those standing with Christ in His triumph shouted, "Alleluia, our God reigns."

 

On the following day, Jesus called all gentiles who had survived the terror and wars of the tribulation years, to a large flat piece of ground. These people would now be judged individually by Jesus, to determine who would be allowed to live in His new millennial kingdom. The gentiles knew of the recent gathering where Jesus had declared faithful Jews safe from any further judgement. They had been granted citizenship in His kingdom.(8)


As people stood around murmuring to each other, snippets of conversation drifted across to where some Jews stood.   "On what grounds will He judge us?"   Another replied, "Surely we have not survived famines and wars to be punished now."  "I only followed orders," a man was heard to respond.


Jesus stood before the apprehensive crowd, His stern countenance bringing all conversation and conjecture to an end.


"You see my fellow Jews standing not far from Me. I judge each one of you now on your actions toward them during severe persecutions and hardships of the tribulation period. They are here to confirm My judgements. Anyone who helped these My brothers by giving them food, drink and care, should now stand to My right."


Many hurried to the spot, glad to be free of any further judgement. A few Jewish men and women walked to where the remainder stood, their eyes slowly searching the frightened faces before them. Surprised recognition dawned on a few faces as some of the Jews stopped to lead people out from those who had not shown any mercy. These people had secretly gone against Macro and had helped the Jews. They had put their own lives in danger. Jesus showed His recognition of them with a welcoming smile. Turning to everyone standing with the Jews at His right hand, He continued, "Some of you are surprised to learn you helped My people. To all who helped them it was as if you were caring for Me. To each of you I say welcome. Come and inherit the Kingdom prepared for you. Eternal life is your reward."


Happiness and relief flooded through these thankful people, warming them like the sun's rays. Jesus turned to the frightened remainder on His left. "You failed to have mercy on My people during the tribulation and tried every possible way to make their lives a misery. Go from Me you cursed people into everlasting punishment, also prepared for Satan and his angels!"


Too late they realised the enormity of failing to respond to the tortured cries of these people during the tribulation. Their pathetic screams were heard as they disappeared into a life of eternal hell.(9)


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 31 NovelNotes

1. The crucifixion of Christ by nailing His hands and feet to a cross are spread out over the length of Scripture. Three of these are as follows. About 500 years before Christ, the prophet Zechariah wrote about and foreshadowed it. 'And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.' See Zechariah Chapter 16, verse 6. About 1000 years before, King David predicted the event by saying, 'For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.' See Psalms Chapter 22, verse 16. After the resurrection of Jesus, the apostle Thomas said of Jesus, 'Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.' See John Chapter 20, verse 25.

2. It is considered very likely that the river formed out of this new valley, will connect the Mediterranean Sea with the Dead Sea. Even the present town of En-Gedi on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea, is named by Ezekiel as a future fishing port. See Ezekiel, Chapter 47, verse 10.

3. Revelation, Chapter 19, verse 20 gives details of this casting of the Antichrist and the False Prophet into the Lake of Fire. It is their definitive end, after trying for a lifetime to usurp the authority of Christ. No one can ever do that and live.

4. All words that come from the mouth of Jesus have great power. This power was used by Christ at creation, and at other times during His ministry on earth. In this case, His words are used to dispense judgement on those billions who would not believe in Him. Some may ask - But how could a God of love destroy people and send their souls to hell? A short answer to that question has been taken from John Benton's book, How Can a God of Love send people to Hell? Pages 79-80. "God loves what is right and will do everything possible to save us, consistent with justice. But He will not do anything inconsistent with justice, because there is something more terrible than sinners going to hell, and that is a God Who is no longer committed to justice. To say that God should not punish sin, is to ask Him to say that sin does not matter. It is to ask Him to say that holiness does not matter. It is to ask Him to no longer be committed to justice. It is to ask Him to no longer be committed to right or wrong. It is to ask Him to become an evil God, like Satan, not committed to what is right and just."

5. What happens at the battle of Armageddon is spelt out here in Zechariah, Chapter 14, verses 12, 13, 15. It is really no battle at all, because all Jesus has to do is to speak the words of judgement to the waiting armies.

6. The Bible tells us of a blood spilling exercise never before equalled. The blood of these people is spread over 184 miles. See Revelation, Chapter 14, verse 20.

7. This is a reminder that God has a goodness and a severity. On those who fell here, a severity, and on those who continue in obedience and in His goodness, His goodness continues. See Romans, Chapter 11, verse 22.

8. This was one of the main duties of Jesus when He came to earth for the second time, to gather faithful Israel in His new earthly kingdom. 9. These judgements of non Jewish people after the tribulation is referred to in Matthew Chapter 25, verses 31 to 46.

Continue to Chapter 32