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Chapter 32

Satan chuckled when he recalled his last glimpse of Macro and Warwick before they were sent screaming into the lake of fire. The destruction of his massed armies didn't bother him either.


"With my supernatural powers I need no generals, air commanders, navy or the like to fight for me! Jesus might have won this time, but I intend to continue my crusade."


He laughed brazenly as he left his dark chapel. Before him stood a Man bathed in glorious light. He was the Mightiest of all Men in history. Never before had a Man possessed such supernatural power and strength. Satan knew this Man for Who He really was. This Jesus had been his enemy since Satan tried to usurp the authority of God in heaven.(1) Satan stood boldly facing Jesus, with puffed up pride and arrogance.  "I am god of this earth. It is my territory.(2) I oppose You and Your heavenly army.


Jesus slowly stepped towards Satan, His piercing gaze compelling Satan's eyes to meet His. The burning eyes of Jesus saw all the evil Satan had ever delighted in, or concocted. Satan stood, frozen to the spot, unable to speak or move. Jesus stretched out His hand, not to heal, for that was unthinkable, but to bring justice upon His adversary. Instantly an angel came down from heaven. He threw Satan back into his underground cavern. No longer would this be Satan's chapel. Jesus swept the golden candlestick from the Satanic altar and smashed the upturned cross.


"How dare you profane My holy things in such a manner! No longer will you deceive the nations."  The angel sent Satan reeling into the deep black crevice along with his symbols of worship. The crowd outside heard the angels words echo around Satan's cavern.
"You will remain bound and sealed in this bottomless pit,(3) with all your demonic beings and fallen angels, for one thousand years. Jesus, the Son of God has come to reward His saints and to fulfil all His promises."(4)


Simon, Ari and the crowd cheered as Jesus led His people to a large flat expanse of ground formed as a result of the earthquake.
He began to tell them what to expect now He was King over all the earth.


"The millennium (5) heralds many wonderful things. It will be a time of regeneration, refreshing and restoration. In Me you will find comfort, perfect justice and holiness. I will restore nature to its perfect state. Even wild animals will become tame again. Fruit, vegetables and rain will be plentiful all the year round for all countries who come to Jerusalem to worship each year.(6) The extremes of sickness and handicap will end."


Even as Jesus spoke, people were healed. Parents wept as their children's deformed bodies were made perfect. (7) Lovingly Jesus continued, "Death will be at a minimum and only occur where a person commits the sin of murder or other serious sin. In this My Kingdom, there will be no political or social oppression. I will be your religious teacher and will teach the people of all lands."
Gasps of amazement were heard as everyone tried to imagine living under almost perfect conditions.


"I know some among you, who lived in the tribulation period, were sad when friends and family suddenly disappeared. You now understand they were raptured before all sorts of plagues or wars could harm them. All of you refused the mark of the Beast and every person here today, as a result of this, has been saved from eternal death.(8) Your joy is now complete, for among us once again stand those you loved. Look around. Find those loved ones you have missed so much. "


At these words from Jesus, the biggest reunion of all time began. Tears of joy and happiness shone like pearls on many faces as loved ones were reunited. Simon's pace quickened to a lopsided run when he saw his wife Ann, daughter Sarah and her husband Rod. Behind them came his two Australian granddaughters.


"Ann, my dearest, my hope is fulfilled. We are together again."  "Simon, my love, God is so good to us."  Ari, Helen and Nicholas recognized two young girls a short distance away. Nicholas leapt into the air and yelled lustily. "Elena, over here."


With a quick flick of her head, Elena turned and saw her brother.
"Nicholas, you're here too. What a surprise!"  Nicholas ran towards his sister. Her young companion Catherine hung back. She had no family to welcome her. Nicholas sensed her sadness and grabbed her hand.


"We are much more than neighbours now. We are all part of the same family."  The three hugged and jumped up and down from sheer joy and youthful energy.  At long last, Ari and Helen held their daughter Elena in a tight embrace.  "Mummy, Daddy, I knew I would see you again."


Across the heads of the crowd, Ari saw another much loved face watching the joyful reunion. A broad smile creased this man's face. He nonchalantly strolled to Ari's side and hugged him silently and at length. He winked at Helen before speaking.


"There were times when I just about gave up hope of ever seeing you here."   "By the grace of God we made it," laughed Ari. "Have you seen my Dad?" asked David. 


"He is never too far away David. Simon has become like a father to us. He took Nicholas under his wing when we first arrived from Greece. There he is!"


David saw the grey haired, thin man embracing a woman. The last time David saw them show such love towards each other was at his house after his mother's return from holidays in Australia. Simon saw David and his joy was complete. Holding Ann's hand tightly in his, lest he should lose her again, they hurried towards their only son.


"My son, oh my son. These hands have longed to touch your face, just as my fingers used to fall softly across the notes you wrote on the pages of your books. Those precious words helped guide me. Without them, I would have lost you forever. The old law and the new covenant have become one through Jesus, God's own Son."


"I thank God you are my Dad. Your Jewish traditions began something in me that God, in His great love, was able to finish." "Our family is surely chosen and blessed," wept Ann.


Ari and David would have loved Reuben to share this moment, just as they had so many other special times during university days. But it was not to be. A group of men stood on the edge of the crowd. Some of their names had been recorded in the history and writings of the New Testament. They had died faithful to Jesus and His teachings. James, John, Peter, Andrew and the others talked as they used to when they were Jesus' disciples. With them were some who had been laid to rest near the Golden Gate in Jerusalem. All had come out of their graves just like Lazarus in New Testament times.(9) Death could not hold them down. Their bodies had been miraculously restored after Jesus returned to earth.


Jesus continued to watch and wait as people were reunited. This was indeed the biggest family reunion ever, touching every race and every Christian denomination that ever existed. It was exciting and wonderful. People never knew who they would recognize next. Simon met up with some of his friends who used to meet at the Synagogue. They were sitting together, laughing at how it could have taken them all so long to understand what they now knew. "It's just as well we listened to Rabbi Einson when he learned the truth," said one.


"Simon, can it be ......? Rabbi Einson stopped in mid sentence.
"Look at those men walking towards us. They fit the description of Abraham, Moses and Elijah. Look at that handsome man who stands a little to the right of them. Could that be David?"
"You're the teacher!" reminded Simon. "I heard once that David is to rule with Jesus as King."


Another of the older Jews joined in, "He will be like a vice-regent. I read somewhere the new hierarchy, or order of things, will be - Jesus as King, then David, followed by the church, apostles, nobles, princes and judges."  "I believe that is true," replied Rabbi Einson.


"Jerusalem will be the worship centre of the world and Israel will possess all the land promised by God to Abraham."(10) Jesus began speaking to the crowd again.


"I have chosen a man to rule under Me in this, God's Millennial Kingdom. His name means 'well beloved.' All eyes were on this shortish bearded man as he walked quickly and gracefully to his Master. He was handsome, with strong arms and a ruddy complexion.


"I give you David your King."(11)  The crowd cheered, "Long live King David -the Lord's appointed servant."  The booming voice of Jesus continued.


"I have appointed special judges and counsellors to ensure justice reigns, for even in the next one thousand years, there will be times when people make mistakes. Although Satan will not be in the world causing people to sin, their own imperfect hearts will still cause some to rebel against Me. My judges will decide the penalty according to the misdemeanour committed. Even in near perfect conditions, some will become restless and disobedient. There will be plenty of work for everyone and all needs will be met through agriculture and manufacturing. Work to clear the land littered with refuse from the war with Russia will continue for another three years.(12) Children will once again enjoy picking fresh fruit every day, for there will be increased light, creating more crops. The fields and groves will ring with laughter again as little ones frolic in safety, free to discover the beauty of nature. To them, it will be a new garden of Eden."


At the back of the crowd there was a murmuring. People turned to see what was causing the disturbance. Two of the judges had hold of a man. His olive skin and stubbly beard suggested his origin could have been from a country nearby. Simon, Ari and David had a good view from their spot at the end of the row. David felt sorry for the man being hurried along with a judge on either side of him. As he drew closer the man's pleading voice made Ari's head spin around.


"I tell you He has forgiven me." "I know that, " said one of the judges.  "Every person here today is forgiven, for only the forgiven and saved can be here now."  "Then why are you doing this to me?" the man implored.  The other judge replied.


"Many will not understand how you of all people dare show your face. Some may need to hear it from your own lips."


The man fell to his knees before the silent crowd. Jesus walked to the sobbing man and placed His hand on the distraught man's head. No one but Jesus knew this man's heart. Turning to the crowd Jesus said, "Behold this man. He could have been any one of you here. To some of you, he was an enemy, to others a dearly beloved friend and brother. I see only what he is now - a redeemed man, with a new heart and love for Me. Take him into your hearts as I have. Love him as I do, for he is your friend and co-heir in this Kingdom. I know he wants to help rebuild his beloved city and plant new vines. This man, a Roman, was the centurion in charge of the soldiers who nailed Me to the cross. He has become one of My beloved sons and heirs, because after My death on that day he said, 'Truly, this Man was the Son of God.'"(13) There was a long silence as the crowd felt the wonder of the moment. Simon and David sang with Ari and their families .......'Oh Lord your loveliness, changing all our ugliness, Oh Lord we receive your love.'

People picked up the words and melody. There was healing in the song. Other believers, beheaded during the tribulation and now with their bodies restored, found friends and family as the singing continued. All reigned in the Millennial Kingdom, whether Old Testament saint, martyr, Jew, or believing gentile. They had all been saved and like the centurion, could dwell in this land. No longer were fear, danger and hunger their constant companions.
Silently, a man sat beside Ari. Simon smelt a sweet spicy perfume. A strange remembrance stirred in him. The sweet aroma was the same that filled David's house after David and ...........


"Sol!" he shouted, "You are alive!"


"With God, all things are possible," was Sol's reply.


The sparkling waters of Galilee beckoned Simon, David and Sol. Life had spun full circle for the three men. As they sat fishing, the silence and beauty said more than man's words could ever express. They had all run a hard race and received their prize. Their trophy was life, inscribed by the loving, shaping hand of God. There was no racial distinction here, only God's children, all refined in the same fire of love.


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 32 NovelNotes

1. Satan was cast down to earth by God because Satan's pride had him trying to take God's place. See Isaiah 14:112-13.

2. God has, for a time, permitted Satan to be god of this world. See 2 Corinthians Chapter 4, verse 4.

3. This refers to that part of hell known as Tartarous and not Hades, which is generally considered an intermediate state between death and resurrection.

4.God had made agreements (called covenants) with Abraham, David and others. All the promises in these covenants were now being honoured by God.

5.The Millennium is a one thousand year period that occurs when Christ returns to earth and reigns for that period of time.

6.God's directive was that all nations must visit Jerusalem during the millennium to worship Jesus, otherwise they would receive no rain. See Zech 14:16-17.

7. God had promised a marvellous thing. As a part of the package of salvation which involves physical healing, He would also replace the evil heart that we inherited from Adam with a new heart and a new spirit. See Ezekiel 36:25-26.

8.Those who had received the mark of the beast on the forehead or right hand, would suffer eternal punishment. See Revelation 14:9-10. That is why Reuben did not survive.

9. Lazarus had been dead for four days when Jesus Christ raised him from the dead. See John 11:43.

10. The land God promised through Abraham to the Israelites is rather more extensive than they presently hold. The area they will hold, at this new stage of history, will take in most of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and even some of Saudi Arabia. The land will extend along the length of the Euphrates River to Kuwait and down to the River of Egypt (El Arish) See Genesis 15:18. This promise of God's, which is certain to be fulfilled, makes the present day peace process quite a farce.

11. Ezekiel wrote about 580 B.C. that King David would play a significant part in government during the Millennial Kingdom. See Ezekiel 37:24.

12. Ezekiel 39:9 tells us that a seven year cleanup will be continuing after the war four years earlier. See Ezekiel 39:9.

13. John 27:54 tells the story of how this centurion, after seeing Jesus die, the earthquake, and the darkness for three hours, was convinced He was Jesus, the Son of God.

Continue to Chapter 33