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Samson's ministry as a judge was both colorful and tragic. This novel will teach you much about the religion of the Philistines and how their beliefs intertwined with the story of Samson. This novel covers the last 20 years of the Philistine captivity.
Category - Biblical Novels
“Cleansing is the beginning of deliverance,” the Voice said. “There can be no time of cleansing without first having a change of heart. Only truth can change the heart, and only the ability to hear My voice can convey truth.”
“Then that is a very tall order,” I replied.
“Do not expect too much all at once,” the Voice responded. “I am in no hurry. Time is nothing to me, and My plan is incremental. Only men are driven by urgency, because they underestimate My power to win in the end. They think that My adversaries are a serious problem to Me, because it has taken so long for Me to accomplish My purpose.”
“They seem to forget that You have to create Your own enemies just to have any,” I said with some amusement.
Sipporah and I stood upon the Rock of Meditation and listened to the steady hum of falling water from the great mountain urn. When its river of life had begun to flow into the valley below, it marked the start of cleansing in our time, cleansing that was already spreading to other valleys and beyond the mountains. Though it would take time to spread to the whole earth, its progress was unstoppable.
“For years,” Sipporah said, “You have made it look as if Your enemies were winning—or at least had a good chance of winning. But the tide has turned now, and soon everyone will know that there is no chance that You will lose anything that is Yours.”
“I cannot fail,” the Voice said, “for if I should fail, I would be a sinner. To fail is to sin. I cannot fall short of My own glory. But as for you, there is much yet to be done.”
“What is Your next assignment for us?” I asked.
“You must return to the past and assist in the cleansing of Israel, so that I may deliver the people from the Philistines at the appointed time,” the Voice said. “I give you the Power of the Flame, 1 my angel of cleansing, the guardian of the tree, who will go before you and work with you. Discern the contrast between true and false cleansing. You will know by its manifestation of truth or falsehood. If it manifests My nature, it is true; if not, it is false.”
“That sounds simple enough,” I responded, eyeing the glowing angel who had suddenly appeared before me. I recognized him from my earlier experience with the tree of life at the base of Revelation Mountain. He was Joseph’s angel, the guardian of the tree. He held in his hand a fiery sword, whose blade seemed to dart back and forth in search of impurity to burn. It was a living fire whose sole purpose was to consume all that makes men ineligible to approach the tree of life.
“It is easier for you to discern these things than for the average person,” He said, “because you are My friend. I reveal secrets to My friends that are hidden from others—even from My servants. You know Me and understand My plan. Others lack the revelation of My word. I am sending you back to Israel to observe Samson and to assist him where appropriate. His understanding is limited, and his fleshly soul rules him, yet he is a chosen vessel in My hand.”
He continued, “Samson has a measure of faith that can be used to initiate Israel’s cleansing. He has some spiritual strength. He is an answer to Israel’s prayer and expectation to send them a man of great physical strength. Though I honored their request, I must also teach Israel that deliverance cannot come through the arm of flesh, but only by My Spirit.”
“Yet you have empowered his arm of flesh and made it strong,” I observed. “I have seen his strength firsthand.”
“Yes,” the Voice answered. “Therein lies the mixture of flesh and spirit, making it difficult for men to distinguish the two. Most believe that flesh can succeed, if My Spirit helps it—and, indeed, there is much truth in this. But in the end, I will not give flesh the power to deliver fully, lest carnal men say that the arm of flesh has succeeded.”
“I understand,” I said. “Men have believed incorrectly for a long time that You sent Your Spirit to ensure that the flesh will succeed. That illusion is difficult to overcome.”
“It is time to begin the process of deliverance for Israel,” the Voice said. “Until now, the Philistines have not gone beyond the boundaries of their court-appointed mandate to rule Israel. Yet neither have they brought forth the fruit that is required of them in exchange for the authority that they have exercised over Israel.”
“What fruit is that?” I asked.
“The fruit of the vineyard that I planted in Canaan,” He answered. “Israel was My vineyard, which was planted by the hand of Joshua 2. I expected it to bring forth fruit, but it brought forth only wild grapes. So I rented it to other nations, making them responsible to bring forth its fruit to me. None of those nations fulfilled their responsibility, and so I brought judgment upon them after their allotted time was complete.”
“I see,” I replied. “The time has come, then, after twenty years, where the Philistines should have brought forth fruit from Your vineyard, but they have failed, because the arm of flesh is incapable of bringing forth the fruit of the Spirit.”
“That is correct,” the Voice answered. “Legally speaking, they have another twenty years before full judgment upon them is due. But yet, twenty years is already too long. So I have raised up Samson to begin the cycle of Israel’s deliverance. I will now provoke the flesh of the Philistines and find occasion 3 to begin My judgment upon them.”
“Why do You need a legal case against the Philistines?” I asked. “Can you not just take action by the power of Your own will?”
“I gave the Philistines forty years to enslave Israel,” the Voice said. “When I send you back to Israel, only twenty years will have passed. By My law, it would violate My righteousness to find fault with the Philistines unless they overstepped their mandate. Therefore, I will give them an occasion to violate the law, for they are ignorant of it and have no respect for it. They walk by the flesh, not by My Spirit, so it will not be difficult to build a case against them.”
“What will You do?” I asked.
“I will cause them to fall by reason of their religion,” He said. “Religion is man’s understanding of the way of salvation and cleansing. The Philistines follow male-female religions whose gods were invented by the Nephilim, whose greatest fear is to see My plan fulfilled. They claim to be sons of God, and so they are afraid of My legitimate sons, who are begotten by My Spirit.”
“Including Samson?” I asked.
“Yes,” the Voice answered. “The temple of Ashkelon will use its servants to destroy Samson, so that he does not become a son of God. Ashkelon worships a cursed mermaid whom they call Atargatis, also known as Doceto. They believe this goddess was cursed by Venus, and yet they foolishly worship her to the destruction of women and men. They destroy men through their misuse of women, and they pretend that harlotry is true marriage that is ordained in heaven. The fruit of their religion, however, speaks for itself. Their men have become weak, and their women have become destroyers.”
“In Ashdod the male god, Dagon, destroys women and the fruit of their womb through human sacrifice. He competes with Atargatis, his consort, for dominion, teaching all that marriage is a competition for dominance between male and female. I have called you to bear witness of the truth that marriage is about unity, not dominance, and based on love, not power, for I would not have them to be without opportunity to become My sons and daughters.”
“I will observe these things with interest,” I said. “No doubt You have much to show me.”
“Then go back to Chief Hiamovi and prepare for your journey,” the Voice said. “There is much to be done and much to be learned.”
We turned to begin our descent to the valley below. But the moment we stepped off the Rock of Meditation, the veil of time and space was torn, and we stood at the doorstep of the Chief’s house.
“I am starting to like this mode of transportation,” Sipporah said, looking around. “These leaps used to happen only by the Creator’s will, taking us by surprise, but this time I willed it by faith, and we were transported at the speed of thought.”
“Sippore seems to like it as well,” I replied, looking at the dove on Sipporah’s shoulder. “She always handles the change effortlessly. But it appears that we have been entrusted with more than before, now that we are getting used to functioning on this level of sonship.”
Joseph answered our knock on the door. “Come in, my friends. We were just discussing your next journey. It appears that this time you will be given very little time off between assignments.”
He ushered us into the presence of the Chief, where we exchanged greetings. Chen and Atsa were there as well to greet us.
“The horses are outside at the back of the house,” Joseph said, “and here is your tote bag. I have resupplied it for you.”
“Thank-you,” I replied. “You always supply our every need.”
“What about the swan?” I asked Joseph, changing the subject. “Surely he will not come with us!”
“No, he will remain with us here,” Joseph replied. “He will miss the horses, but fortunately, none of you will be gone long.”
“What about the great fish?” I asked. “Did you eat it?”
“He has indeed become one with us,” Joseph said with satisfaction. “His mission was not to eat us, but for us to consume him. We were greatly edified. Yet I had a distinct feeling that our meal was prophetic in some way.”
“Then we are ready to go. Our last mission,” I mused, “showed us quite a lot of heartache among the overcomers living in Israel. It seems that this next journey might be difficult as well.”
“All times that are ruled by flesh are difficult—and even brutal,” the Chief said. “But there are also good times. When eyes and ears are opened to hear the word, there is hardly any greater pleasure.”
“I have a gift for you,” Chen said, as he stepped forward. He held out a long-sleeved white silk robe, beautifully ornamented with jade buttons inset in gold sockets. “It was a special design, made for royalty by my relatives in China. They sent it to me, but I believe that it was meant for you to take with you on this journey.”
I held it out at arm’s length, astonished at its quality and value. “I would almost be afraid to wear this,” I responded. “I wonder what sort of occasion would require such a fine garment! Silk is unknown where we are going. It is a garment that would make all monarchs jealous. Thank-you so much, brother Chen.”
“One more thing,” Chen said, pulling another object out of his backpack. He unwrapped it carefully in front of us. “The royal garment comes with a crown,” he said, handing it with both hands to Sipporah. “The robe was made for a future emperor; the crown was to be for his empress, one known as The Immortal Queen.”
The golden crown was delicate and intricate with seven spires reaching gracefully toward the sky. Inset on the front of the crown was a large red ruby poised between a black turtle and a white tiger. Sipporah was too awed to speak.
“Where did you get this?” I asked with amazement.
“The crown has been in my family for many generations. I have been its most recent custodian. It is said that its design was given in a dream to a spiritually-gifted craftsman in a time now forgotten. It was made for the reigning empress, but before it was completed, she was dethroned by an enemy and enslaved in his harem. So the crown was kept secret hoping for more favorable times. But years passed, and she died in slavery, and no queen thereafter was qualified to wear the crown. So I brought it with me to this country many years ago.”
“When the Creator began to intervene in our affairs this summer, and when life began to spring up everywhere, I began to get the feeling that we were nearing the time of the end when the crown would find its resting place. This morning I awoke from a vivid dream, in which I had seen a strong man of royal blood holding a great club. I also saw a fierce sea monster guarding a woman chained to a great rock on a cliff overhanging the great sea. The strong man killed the monster, married the woman, and gave her a crown.”
“I do not understand this fully,” Chen continued, “but I believe the time has come to bring forth the crown. It seeks its rightful queen, for it has been hidden in darkness for a long time. Whether you must find its place in the past or the future, I cannot say, for all time is one. But perhaps you can discover the riddle of its destiny.”
“If the Creator of all things has led you this far,” I said, “then I do not doubt that these gifts are necessary to fulfill our responsibility in our next journey. We go not merely to assist or to learn from the past; we go because our own predestined liberty is entangled in theirs.”
Sipporah carefully rewrapped the golden crown, and we placed it and the royal silk robe into the tote bag.
Then it was Atsa’s turn to step forward. “In the past few days, my heart has been contemplating marriage,” he began.
“Congratulations!” I said. “Who is the fortunate young lady?”
“No,” he said with an embarrassed laugh, “I have not yet found her, though I admit that one has caught my eye recently. But I do believe that nature has much to teach a man when he contemplates marriage. A man must be strong, for he is responsible to protect his wife and children. In nature, all females attempt to find the strongest male who will honor and protect them as the mother of the next generation.”
“As you know,” Atsa continued, “I have observed eagles all of my life, and I have seen how they find their mates. The female does not find the male that is most attractive, but the one who is most skilled in protecting eaglets. When the time comes for a female eagle to choose her mate, it is often the case that she has many suitors. So she tests them, one by one, until she finds the one most suitable.”
“The female picks up a small stick in her talons, brings it high into the sky, and then she sings her Song of the Bride. If there is a male in the area who hears her song and rises to the challenge, she drops the stick to see if the male can catch it. If the male catches it and brings it back to her, she glides a bit lower in the sky and again drops the stick.”
“If the male is able to catch it and bring it back to her, she finds a larger stick and repeats the test. She continues doing this until finally she drops a stick that is the size of a small log. If the male is unable to catch the log, she flies away from him in search of a more suitable mate, and the male is thus told that he is not ready for marriage. She then finds another who can pass the test.”
“But why does she do this?” Sipporah asked with interest. “What purpose is there in finding an eagle who can catch a falling log?”
“The day comes,” Atsa explained, “when the eagles will build a large nest high in a tree or on a cliff. Their eaglets one day must learn to fly, and when they are pushed out of the nest, many of them would fall to the ground and die before they learn how to use their wings. The male must be skilled in catching them to ensure the survival of the next generation. The mother eagle and her eaglets depend upon his strength and skill, just as our women and children depend upon a man to protect them from harm.”
“Eagles depend upon physical strength,” Atsa concluded. “Men must have a broader variety of skills to bring their children to maturity. Men must be skilled in wisdom and spiritual understanding, things which come natural to eagles, but which men must learn by observation and by experience.”
“I see what you mean,” I said thoughtfully. “We are about to embark on a journey into the past, where we must assist a strong man as he prepares for marriage. Though he has great strengths, he also has great weaknesses. His wisdom and spiritual understanding are limited. Yet the Creator has called him as an example to follow in some ways and to avoid in other ways. I believe he will fail to catch the log.”
The Chief then spoke up. “I too have something to say before you leave. I had a dream last night, which I feel is relevant to you. In my dream, I saw a great white cloud that seemed to be lined with gold. As I looked, a single golden raindrop fell from the cloud, and when it hit the earth, a child was born. It was a little girl, and it seemed that she was precious to heaven. When she was grown, evil men came against her, but a fiery hand reached down from the cloud of glory and plucked her from the earth, taking her back up to the cloud. I then heard a voice of thunder from the cloud, saying, ‘I shall cleanse the earth by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning’.” 4
“I do not know the meaning of this dream—if, indeed, it has a meaning,” the Chief said. “But perhaps you will be able to tell me when you return from this journey.”
“Perhaps,” I said. “We shall see. An angel of cleansing, a Cherub, has been assigned to us during this trip. He is called Power of the Flame. Perhaps your dream has to do with something he will do during our trip to Israel.”
“One more thing,” the Chief said. “In the past two days, Naoki has not been seen in Cosmos. As a member of the City Council, and as a businessman in town, he has never gone out of town without notifying his colleagues. His friends are concerned about his disappearance. It is possible that he too may have been caught away on a divine mission, of course. If so, we will not know until he returns. But if you see him on your journey, let him know that he is missed.”
“We will do so, if we see him,” I said. Joseph and the Chief walked with us out of the house to the pasture where the horses were resting. The great swan rose to his feet and stretched his wings when he saw us approaching.
“Are you ready for another adventure?” Sipporah asked.
“We are always ready,” Pleiades replied. “The Creator rested on the seventh day, so that He may continue His work in the earth through us.”