Theodor cleared his throat. The hum of the air-conditioner reached his ears as he silently prayed for anointing. "Yeshua really is the Messiah our people have waited for, Papá." He paused. "All the prophecies of His coming outlined in our Torah point to Him. He fulfilled many of them in His first coming, and He's going to fulfill the rest when He comes again. Our Messiah has already come, to save us from sin, and He's coming again in three-and-a-half years—this time, to rule the earth. He's going to set up the promised Kingdom and grant us everything He promised us when He does, and He wants us to be ready." He swallowed hard. "I'm ready, Papá—I want you to be ready, too!"

General Agnon sighed. He leaned against the plaster wall, rubbing his forehead. At last, he lifted his head to gaze at Theodor. "Which prophecies can you name that He fulfilled, son?" He rested his hand just above his head on the wall's rough surface, as he spoke.

Theodor glanced at the angels, who nodded encouragingly, then turned his gaze back to his father. "Well, for one thing, He was born in Bethlehem. Just as Micah predicted." He paused. "He was a descendant of King David, just as other prophets predicted in our Torah. Isaiah predicted that He would be despised and rejected of men—a man of sorrows. Isaiah predicted that our people wouldn't value Him, and indeed, He was not valued."

Tess nodded agreement. "Jesus was pierced for your transgressions and punished for your iniquities, general, just as Isaiah said He would be. He did not open His mouth; He made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man at His death. Yet He had done no violence and had voiced no deceit."

"Yes." Theodor touched his father's arm. "Jesus was hung alongside two criminals—they were the wicked predicted by Isaiah. And a rich man buried Him in his own tomb, just as Isaiah said he would. Yeshua submitted to all that so that we could be spared the punishment we deserve—eternal separation from Jehovah."

Andrew inclined his head, sadness in his green eyes. "And He was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver—just as your Scriptures predicted. One of His 12 apostles, Judas Iscariot, committed that betrayal." He inserted his hands into his pants pockets and leaned against the desk, facing the general. "There are numerous other predictions made about His first coming we can't get into now, because there's no time. But what your son has shared with you should be enough to convince you."

Tess approached the now-humbled general. "I told you, earlier, that your son had a spiritual armor that you need." She laid a hand on his arm. "That armor is faith. Faith in your Messiah, which your son already has. If you're to survive the next few years, you will need that armor, too. The Russian invasion is just the beginning; there will be much worse times to come, before Yeshua comes back."

She paused. "And furthermore, you need to allow your son to carry out his calling. God has called Theodor to be one of 144,000 Jews whose job is to evangelize. Don't stand in the way of your son fulfilling his calling, general."

With a sigh, Amos nodded. Turning to face his desk, he picked up the glass paperweight and ran his fingers over its smooth surface. The paperweight landed with a thud when he set it down. "Very well. What do I do?"

Monica smiled. "Just pray to Him, Amos. Ask Yeshua to forgive you, to come live in your heart. Reach up to Him for mercy, and He will do the rest."

Sagging his shoulders, the general turned his back toward the others and bowed his head. For a few moments, he remained in that posture, saying nothing. Theodor folded his arms across his chest and exchanged glances with the angels.

At last, Amos pivoted to face the others, face shining. "I understand now." He looked at Theodor, now beaming. "I have been blind, but no longer. Yeshua is now my Messiah, too."

Theodor threw his arms around his father, who in turn embraced him. "I'm so glad!" the young man said. "I thank Jehovah for opening your eyes!"

General Agnon turned to face the angels. "What should I do now?" He clasped his hands behind his back as he spoke.

Gloria brushed her hair back, then pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose. "Well, since your son's in the IDF, why don't you let him serve as a chaplain? Let him share the Gospel with the other soldiers, until God calls him elsewhere." Tess nodded her approval of that idea.

Amos put an arm around Theodor's shoulder. "Very well. I will do that." Theodor grinned.

Rafael approached Theodor. He shifted his weight from one foot to the other. "Your fellow soldiers will be facing death every day. They will need to hear the Gospel, just as the guard at the prison camp did." He turned to the general. "Monica used your son's imprisonment to reach the hardened heart of an Iranian guard at the prison camp," he explained. "That guard is now a Tribulation believer. God will use your son to bring many others to a knowledge of the truth, until His Son comes back. He will go through many tough times, but he will survive until that day."

General Agnon nodded. "I know there are dangerous times ahead, but I sense that Theodor and I are ready to face them now. Thanks to God sending you to help me overcome my fears and receive His Son. I don't know if I will live to see Yeshua's return, but it pleases me to know my son will."

Andrew drew out his pocket watch. It gleamed in the overhead light's harsh glare as he read the time, then slipped it back into his pocket. "If you are called to go Home before that day comes, general, I will escort you there, myself." He smiled at General Agnon. "I'm an angel of death, and I will be extremely busy taking Home the souls of people from now until that day." He stiffened, glanced at the cracked plaster ceiling, then looked at Tess. "In fact, Tess, I've got to leave now—there's a man about to die."

Tess nodded. "Go ahead." Andrew vanished.

She turned back to Amos and Theodor. "God will be with you throughout this period. When you need angels, He will send them. Perhaps not us, as He did this time, but He will send you some."

Father and son exchanged smiles. "Yes, He will. And I thank Him," the general said. A beaming Theodor nodded agreement.

The angels disappeared. "Well, son," General Agnon said, "we have much to talk about. You will have to teach me what you have learned about Yeshua and what we can expect in the future."

Theodor smiled. "I will be pleased, to, Papá." He looked at the clock, then scratched his ear.

Amos clapped his shoulder. "We will need to stay in the Operations Room to monitor things. Why don't you tell me what you've learned while we do so?" Theodor nodded.

Father and son left the office and strolled down the hall toward the Operations Room. Meanwhile, Tess, Monica, and Gloria went up to the roof, where they dangled their legs over the edge, unseen and unheard by the two sentries on duty below.

Monica sighed. "I've been in existence for thousands of years now, and I've observed and worked with humans for much of that time. But some things I'll never understand." She shook her head, then gazed at her supervisor, bewildered. "Why do people allow themselves to get into these predicaments? The vast majority of people are going to die in the next few years, because they won't turn to God for His love and guidance. They would discover His mercy if only they would." She clasped her hands in her lap.

Tess inclined her head, furrowing her eyebrows. "All I can say, Miss Wings, is that human beings can be the biggest mysteries an angel can ever encounter. The majority of the people now alive will, indeed, make the wrong decisions; they will lose their souls and their lives as a result." She paused. "And yet, a multitude the Apostle John couldn't number will turn their lives over to God. Our job will be to help as many people as possible make the decision to do so. The Father is going to really put the pressure on mankind, now, to force people to make a choice between him and Satan."

Gloria nodded agreement, then pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose. "They will be faced with the most severe crises mankind has ever faced. Surely, that will make it easy for them to choose."

Tess snorted. "You'd think so, baby, but don't forget, the devil himself will be fighting tooth and nail to get them to make the wrong decision. And we have personal experience in seeing the damage he can do to people's souls. And far too many people listen to his lies instead of to God's truth. That is doubly the case now, during this Tribulation."

Monica turned to Gloria. "We are going to come to whomever the Father sends us to, to help them make the right decisions. To reach them with the truth." She smiled. "To make the decision that will preserve their souls, but not necessarily their physical lives." Sadness creased her forehead. "Andrew and his colleagues will be very busy taking most of them Home."

"Yes." Tess glanced at the sky. "All right, now, we'd better be going. The Father has another assignment for us."

The three angels disappeared from view. Silence descended over the bunker; a cool breeze toyed with the blades of grass stretching to the mountains in the horizon. Over the bunker, a white dove flew, softly cooing.


©2005, by KathyG.