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We awoke to see the great swan staring into our faces. Startled, we both sat up from our grassy bed.
“Good morning,” Pleiades said pleasantly. “I was wondering if you were ever going to wake up.”
“Where are we?” Sipporah asked.
“We are home,” Pegasus answered. “It is good to feel the soft, familiar grass of our pasture. The Chief is making breakfast for you. Perhaps you should go to his house and wash the bugs from your eyes.”
“That sounds wonderful,” Sipporah said.
We knocked on the door of the Chief’s house, and his wife greeted us and invited us inside. We took time to take a real shower, enjoying the modern comforts that had been denied us for so many weeks. Then we sat down to a hot breakfast with the Chief and with Joseph, who had also arrived by this time.
“So tell us your story,” the Chief said as he sipped his hot coffee. “It has been days since we saw you. What happened, and what did you learn while you were away?”
“Well, first of all, we found Naoki. He was sent to train Samson in the martial arts. Samson found that training quite useful in his first major battle with the Philistines. But in the end, Samson’s life and ministry was a story of tragedy as well as victory,” I began.
“It is also a story of love and betrayal,” Sipporah added.
I continued. “We saw the rise and fall of Israel’s strong man, Samson, a Judge who was very gifted, but who came to depend too much on his strength. He thought he was invincible, and he walked freely among the Philistines who feared him and sought to overcome him by whatever means possible. In the end, he learned that the Kingdom of God cannot be established by the power of the flesh.”
“He was betrayed twice by women that he loved,” Sipporah said. “In the end, he was overcome, not by Dagon, the Powerful, but by Atargatis, the Seducer. He fell, not by force of arms, but by the seduction of cursed love, which he thought was real. He lacked the discernment necessary to distinguish cursed love from divine love.”
“The world today suffers from a similar problem,” the Chief said.
“Yes,” I replied. “If we are to establish the Kingdom of God today, we must do so by genuine love—love that reflects the heart of our heavenly Father. We must provide the people with leaders that love, so that a true standard may be evident for all to see. True love must displace the cursed love that seduces and betrays mankind.”
“Cursed love defiles people,” the Chief observed. “It justifies sin in the name of love. But divine love cleanses us, for he who loves is of God. 156 Cursed love covers sin by hiding it or by justifying sin, but divine love is a fire that covers a multitude of sins through forgiveness that comes from cleansing.” 157
“Your dream about the girl from heaven that was born of the golden raindrop was fulfilled in a Philistine girl named Eglah,” said Sipporah. She was the one that Samson intended to marry. She was killed by an angry mob from Timnah, but God worked it out for good. She came to know the Creator and His love, and because her name signified a heifer, she played the role of the red heifer in the law to bring cleansing to the priesthood of Israel.”
“Her ashes were placed under an oak tree just outside the border of Israel,” Sipporah added. “This also prophesied of the time when people of all nations would come to the heavenly Jerusalem to learn the ways of God. 158 The ashes of the red heifer are available to cleanse all who seek the Creator.”
At that moment, Chen and Atsa walked into the house. We greeted them warmly, and they joined us for breakfast and fellowship.
“Did you put the robe and crown to good use?” Chen asked.
“Yes,” I replied. “We intended to give these to Samson and Eglah at their wedding, but things did not work out so well with them. That wedding was cancelled. However, there was a second wedding that established a New Covenant marriage between Nathan and Deborah.”
“Nathan looked truly regal when he went to claim his bride at the house of Elkanah,” Sipporah said. “He wore the kingly robe and rode Pegasus. We were then caught away to the throne of God, and the newlyweds spent their first night in His presence.”
“By observing their wedding and the subsequent blessing of God, we were honored to see a picture of things yet to come,” I concluded. “Thank-you so much for that wonderful gift.”
Atsa then laughed, saying, “It sounds like Nathan was able to catch every falling log!”
“Yes, indeed.” I replied, “He was well prepared to bring up godly children and to protect them as they learn to fly. His son will prophesy before kings without fear.”
“What, then, was the overall lesson that you learned from this mission?” the Chief asked.
“We learned,” I replied, “that those who wish to enter the Kingdom of God must pass through the flaming sword of the Cherubim. The eyes of God are in the Cherubim, and no deception escapes them. The only way to have perfect peace is to set this gatekeeper in place, so that no enemy can enter with the intent to do harm to God’s people.”
“It appears,” the Chief said, “that this flaming angel—the Power of the Flame, as you know him—has been given to us for this purpose. That is very important. The pieces are coming together now. But since the land is already filled with disqualified people, how are we to handle that situation with love?”
“Perhaps,” I replied, “we will learn the answer to that question in our next mission.”