“What’s Rayford been up to?” is what none of you have been asking, but we’re going to find out.
Okay, let’s summarize this chapter.
Rayford goes for a walk and gets kidnapped by the Other Light in Egypt who have a grand plan to show that Satan is a stronger god than YHWH by keeping Rayford in prison so he can’t go visit Siwa and preach there.
Yeah, it’s a pretty fucking stupid plan.
But the Other Light posts the one guard on Rayford who is ready to convert back to Jesus.
Everyone in Rayford’s party are like, “Where’s Rayford?”
Rayford would not have been surprised to find it was noon, as long as he had been talking, as uncomfortable as he felt, and as tired as the young Rehema looked. She was fairer-complexioned than most in the compound, despite her dark brown eyes and hair so black it could have been dyed but clearly wasn’t.
Light-skinned equals good in this universe.
So Rayford tries to convert the “white and delightsome” guard Rehema.
Meanwhile, Mudawar and Abdullah talk and it’s so fucking stupid and pointless.
Back at the equally pointless and stupid bullshit plot, Kat finally decides that she might actually want to talk to and check with Kenny before she decides to burn their relationship to the ground, which she already sort of did.
As Abdullah slowly made his way toward the street coffee vendor, nothing was making sense to him. He had somehow painted himself into this corner, and the Lord seemed silent. Did that mean He was disappointed in Abdullah? He hadn’t felt that way for years.
There’s God being a passive-aggressive dick again. Praise Him.
He jumped when Sarsour touched his shoulder and whispered, “Can we talk, around the corner?”
“Certainly, son. What is it?”
Sarsour suddenly sat forward and rested his elbows on the table, burying his face in his hands. “I visited my parents last night.”
He nodded miserably. “Just as I was about to knock, I noticed through the curtain that they were praying.”
“They knelt beside each other at the couch. I can’t tell you the effect it had on me. It wasn’t as if I hadn’t seen this frequently all my life. They both love the Scriptures, and I often saw them reading. But standing there at the front door and seeing them like that, I was overcome with the knowledge that they were praying for me.”
“How did you know?”
“I don’t know. I just did. I felt low. Ashamed. Mr. Ababneh, I felt worthless and guilty.”
Sarsour lowered his hands and snorted. “You know my profession and you ask that?”
Abdullah put a hand on Sarsour’s shoulder and smiled. “Well, we both know that I know you’re worthless and guilty. I’m just wondering what brought this truth to you.”
The central message of Christianity is that you are so horrible because you were born human that God had to murder his son just so he can tolerate you.
We’re building here to the money shot. It’s what all Evangelicals long for: converting someone. Then they can finally check that box and not feel so guilty when their pastors rail at them that they need to evangelize.
Sarsour converts and tells Abdullah that Qasim is the mole, not Kenny. Then they go back and tell Mudawar who fires Sarsour.
“It’s only been half a day and I miss you,” she said.
“I know. Me too.”
“I’m so sorry, Kenny. If you’ll have me back, I’m here.”
Well, that was fast. Dramatic pointless conflict is dramatic and pointless and resolved in one chapter.
Still, it might have redeemed Kenny a small amount if he had shown a bit of a backbone and broken up with Kat. Someone willing to believe the worst about you that quickly is not in a healthy place.
They also finally realize that Qasim is evil.
Rayford convinces Rehema to call his family and she does. She converts too and gets imprisoned. But Anis the Angel frees all of the prisoners and leads them out of the Other Light compound. Rehema rescues her son and joins Rayford’s crusade in Siwa.
And now we get the wrap up:
Qasim is fired and dies at 100. Sarsour is his replacement. Ignace, Lothair, and Mudawar all die at 100.
Kenny and Kat get married and have 14 kids like the good little Duggars they are.
By the end, the ministry was maintained by the glorifieds, as the naturals finally saw the ravages of time catch up with their bodies. When the naturals reached ages higher than about seven hundred, they began to slow and notice the diminution of their senses, particularly hearing and sight.
Jesus, that sounds like hell. Can you imagine living for two or three hundred more years with a body that was shutting down? Going blind. Going deaf. Losing your memories and you’re just not able to die?
But that’s what they do. Rayford becomes old and enfeebled. Chloe and Cameron add a building to the Orphanage for People whose Parents Jesus killed for the old folks.
So we reach the end. Finally.
Daily for the past three years, the news had abounded with stories of millions of adherents to the Other Light, growing bolder by the minute. Their printing presses and electronically transmitted messages blanketed the globe, recruiting new members, amassing a weapons stockpile and training a fighting force a thousand times bigger than had been aggregated for the Battle of Armageddon a millennium before.
And no one in all of that time has even tried to kill a Christian or a zombie Christian? Because that would seem to be pretty important. If you’re leading an armed coup, you want to be sure you can actually kill the enemy. If you can’t, there’s not much of a point to your rebellion.
Rayford was amazed that God allowed such a brazen, wanton act of defiance on the parts of so many as they symbolically thumbed their noses at Jesus and the earthly rulers He had chosen from the ages. Even in Israel, tanks rumbled through the streets, uniformed soldiers marched, and missiles and rockets were paraded before the faithful.
You know, this could probably have been solved by Jesus leaving the temple and saying “Hi” to everyone… or Jesus doing an AMA on Reddit… Or Jesus doing something…
I’m saying God sort of wants this to happen and that makes him a dick.
So Jerusalem is surrounded by military machines and soldiers.
Rayford remembered when the airwaves had been full of praises to the Lord Christ, who ruled the earth from His throne. Now it was as if people on both sides of the conflict had forgotten that He was still there…
Probably because he disappeared into the Temple 1,000 years ago and hasn’t actually been seen since. I mean, if you came up to me and said, “God lives in that building there. He moved there in the year 1,019 AD and hasn’t left since,” I’d probably say, “Bullshit.”
The millions-strong enemy created a cacophony of rumbling and jangling, sending dust billowing as far as the eye could see. And suddenly rising from within those masses and marching to the fore came Satan himself, as a shining light, a gleaming sword raised high.
“And now,” he shouted, somehow able to be heard for miles, “I come to claim what has been rightfully mine since the dawn of time: the very throne of God!”
Because the Devil is stupid and hasn’t read the bible or Hal Lindsay’s books at all the entire time he’s been on Earth. If he actually wanted the throne of God, all he would have to do is prove God wrong. Which would mean NOT showing up to lead your army. It would mean walking to Jerusalem and knocking on the Temple door and saying, “Hey, Jesus… sorry about the whole killing you thing. What do you say we make peace and I’ll be your servant again.”
And then Jesus would say, “Crap. You’ve found my one weakness!” and disappear from existence.
Also, what happened to the rest of the fallen angels?
The Alpha and Omega, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Lion of Judah, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, the Rock, the Savior, the Christ stood in the courtyard of His temple.
Satan, silenced for a thousand years, shrieked, “Charge!”
Jesus responded quietly, “I AM WHO I AM.”
And with that, the clouds rolled back and the heavens opened, and orange and yellow and red mountains of white-hot, roiling flames burst forth. Satan’s entire throng—men, women, weapons, everything—was vaporized in an instant, leaving around the holy mountain a ring of ash that soon wafted away in the breeze.
And that is that. Jesus quotes some scripture at Satan. David quotes some scripture at everyone.
David retreated, and Jesus merely lifted a hand and opened His palm. A seam in the cosmos opened before Satan. Flames and black smoke poured from where the Beast and the False Prophet writhed on their knees screaming, “Jesus is Lord!”
Satan cried out, “Jesus is Lord! Jesus is Lord!”
Jesus closed His fingers and Satan was thrown into the abyss, the seam sealing to muffle the screams of the three who would be tormented day and night forever and ever in the lake of fire and brimstone.
Yes. That is a literal hell where conscious entities are tortured by God forever. You don’t have a problem with that, do you?
Also, Rayford finally gets the Stepford treatment.
He found himself lifted from the veranda, muscle and flesh and hair restored to the way he had looked and felt at about age thirty. His clothes had been exchanged for a gleaming white robe, and as he and all his friends and loved ones ascended through the ceiling and the roof and flew toward the holy mountain, Rayford knew from his depths that his mind, too, had finally been glorified.
The only thing that mattered now was to praise and glorify Jesus, the lover and Savior of his soul.
Forever and ever and ever and ever and ever… this also sounds like hell.
The Lord somehow dealt with each person individually, calling out his or her sins and transgressions and assigning punishment—all would suffer in the lake of fire, but some worse than others, such as those scoffers who had led others astray, especially children. Yet in what seemed a matter of moments, it was over. The unbelieving dead had been judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. Then Jesus cast Death and Hades into the lake of fire, and all not found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life were cast into the lake of fire.
“Jim Ford. Let’s see here… lying… you stole a candy bar as a child… wow, you masturbated a lot, didn’t you? Okay, your sentence is… LAKE OF FIRE!”
“Jim B. Ford… you and your wife had sex before marriage… also, I noticed you wearing a lot of mixed fibers. Fuck you, Jim. LAKE OF FIRE!”
Rayford had the feeling that the many verdicts he had just heard would have horrified him in the old days.
Wow, you think? Maybe setting someone on fire forever just because they were born human isn’t loving or just?
And yet now, hearing the offenses of those who had rejected and rejected and rejected the One who was “not willing that any should perish” and seeing Jesus’ own tears as He pronounced the sentences, Rayford understood as never before that Jesus sent no one to hell. They chose their own paths.
Yeah, that’s bullshit. Jesus sent them to hell. He cast them into the lake of fire. He judged them. If he really didn’t want anyone to perish, he could have given them a chance to repent at the judgment throne or left the gates of hell unlocked and sent missionaries to hell. He could just say, “You know, guys, my blood is good enough to cover you all. Come on in.”
But he didn’t. He tossed them alive into a lake of fire where they will be tortured by God forever and Rayford is fine with that. As are all of the Evangelicals you know.
God makes a giant city full of precious stones and metals and all of the good true Christians go there forever to have a giant eternal church service where they tell a self-sufficient and all powerful God how great he is for not setting them on fire forever.
Also fuck this book.