Book III: Chapter 3
“Nooooo! It can’t be!” I wailed in frustration. “After all this, I am still here… in this… life?”
Obviously I was not dead.
Instead I found myself standing outside on the grounds of my farmland – on the very spot where my alchemical workshop had previously stood but which now was no more – the garage was gone, as if it had never existed.
Curiouser still was the fact that I was not alone — for before me stood a man clothed in garments whiter than snow. My initial reaction was to shield my eyes from the brightness of the light emanating forth from the man’s presence. Yet even as I did so, the being before me seemed to grow in stature – for this was no man, but instead Gabriel — the mighty Angel of the Lord!
Spreading wide his shoulders, the great being revealed his Wings – it was a gesture of both Grace and Awesome Power and one that forced me to my knees – not because I was bowing to the power of Gabriel, but instead because of the fact that I knew — oh how I knew — that I was at last utterly and truly defeated.
“Folly!” The angel condemned. “You dare test God, John?”
“What choice had I?” My anger rose in vain. “I am prisoner in this life, a man who wastes away – like a garment eaten by moths. Jesus left me here alone. He’s never coming back!”
“You of all men know that is not true. Where is your Patience?”
Resisting what I knew to be true, I wheedled, “The Patience you require is impossible for any man. Two thousand years? Nobody told me I would have to wait so long.”
“John, with all your knowledge, have you ever stopped to reason that perhaps The Christ would have come back sooner, if YOU had not tried to take matters into your own hands?”
Even as he said it, I knew he spoke the truth. And I knew that it was something that I had known for a very long time. Yet still I couldn’t give in, “I-I…don’t understand.”
“Ah, but we both know that you understand completely: YOU have delayed the Coming of Jesus! Why did you forsake The Commission in favor of The Craft? Do you not realize that ALL of the people that you surmised to be The Beast were correct? You could have ended the reign of The Beast long ago – had YOU not tried to play God yourself.”
“Then why didn’t anyone stop me? Why didn’t YOU tell me this before?”
“You know as well as I that God has given mankind the giftcurse of Free Will. Like anyone else, John, you were allowed to CHOOSE.”
“And I chose The Great Work.” I anguished, finally naming my sin.
“And because of your choice, all previous potential rises of The Beast were stopped. The spirit of Satan’s son was commanded to return again and again back to Hell – gone but not defeated. Doomed to return to plague this world again – each time worse than before!”
It was true. I had failed. It was a crushing blow to accept.
Before I could wallow too much, Gabriel added softly, “And yet, the Grand Tapestry of Our Master is beautiful beyond compare…”
Even as the angel spoke I gained a new revelation; and through bitter laughter I said, “God knew all along that I would eventually complete the Magnus Opum. He allowed the Wheel of Time to spin events to coincide with my completion of The Great Work.” And carrying the thought further, I lifted my head in shock, “But that means that Lazarus and Mary were right – The Time of The Beast’s FINAL rising is now!”
“Correct. However, consider this — had you never taken up The Craft, had The Christ been able to return immediately — as was the initial plan – then His return would have been much more… pleasant. Yet, that is no longer the case – for now He will come upon the Horse of Judgment and the reaping will be harsh. Because of YOUR actions, John, all the horrors you wrote about in Revelation will be fulfilled.”
“Noooooo!” I was utterly ashamed. And then, at last, after nearly two thousand years, finally, I realized that I had been wrong — about everything.
Raising my arms up to the heavens, I wailed, “Be merciful to me, Oh Lord, for my soul is in anguish. Oh how my eyes grow weak with sorrow – they fail me because of all my great sins.” I fell to the ground, “I have sinned! And now my guilt festers inside me. Oh, Lord, hear your servant John as I attest — why didn’t I trust your son Jesus? He really DID love me. And yet, I’ve let Him down. I’ve let everybody down. All because I didn’t have patience and let events unfold on YOUR time – not my own.” Then, to Gabriel, “Please, don’t let everyone suffer because of me. I’m sorry; so very, TRULY sorry!”
(I really was – surely you can see that, right?)
Kneeling in the mud, I repented, “Forgive my iniquity, Oh Lord, though it is great. Create in me a clean heart, so that I may worship thee again. Please forgive me — if only so that I may do your work again.”
Gabriel let me wallow in my remorse for a while longer, and then, after a time, he advised, “His anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime. He knows that you have a broken and contrite heart, therefore, your apology has been accepted, John. You are forgiven your sins.”
Still on the ground, I was unable to speak.
Then Gabriel added something else that I have known about for a long while, but which I refused to believe (until now). “But, John, your sins were ALREADY forgiven – you just needed to understand that. God loved you before, and He loves you now. He sent His only son to show you that love.”
And then it was that I could finally feel His Love again – and it It was amazing!