The Battle of Armageddon itself was really just the start of another story. The international troops on earth, it turned out, had been gathering for over a year by the time the attack began. Dangchao had sensed that a showdown was coming, and he had secretly ordered manoeuvres to begin even before Rayford and Chaim had left London and Sydney for Jersualem.

 

There were other revelations about Dangchao which became clearer with the assistance of supernatural hindsight... like his active and conscious role, right from the start, in Russia's destruction of America, and numerous other conspiracies. To those who had little or no faith in God, he had appeared to be the answer to the world's problems. Only those with childlike faith in an Intelligence which is infinitely greater than our puny little minds, had been allowed to escape the worldwide deception.

 

The appearance of New Jerusalem in the skies over the Middle East had given Dangchao a target against which to hurl the best (or worst, depending on your perspective) that his world had to offer. He had convinced the various governments of the United Nations that the apparition was part of an invasion by aliens from another solar system. The survival of the human race, he had said, depended on wiping out or at least repelling these intruders -- who were blamed for everything from the asteroid and subsequent tidal wave to the stinging locusts that Dangchao himself had unleashed.

 

The mile-wide opening in the glass base of the pyramid directly over Jerusalem had never been closed after that first official opening to let Jesus and his army of angels through. It was, from Dangchao's perspective, the obvious place to start his strike against the forces of God.

 

Dangchao, as commander-in-chief of the mighty armies of the world, loaded up all of the world's best fighter jets with nuclear weapons. If even a few of his pilots were able to actually fly through the opening, then they could drop a bit of his hell inside their heaven. And, if that failed, he had imported virtually every available ground-to-air missile on earth to the state of Israel, and he had built launching sites for them all over the country, so that they could all be fired at the new world of the saints whenever he gave the signal.

 

Near the end of the marriage celebrations in New Jerusalem, the saints had been instructed on how they were to defend their city. They were to engage the enemy without any weapons of defence, only God's presence… and the truth. Each saint was to spend a number of hours simply bathing in the Light of New Jerusalem, which was very much like sun-bathing on earth… but not as hot. They would soak up enough power to enable them to function wisely once outside New Jerusalem. But they were also seriously instructed on the need to follow their indivdiual angels implicitly and without question in every move that they made.

 

Then, when the time came, the saints and angels were sent out to meet the approaching squadrons. Christ himself was stationed just below the opening. His brilliance was so powerful that it was visible for many miles in all directions. He was an unmistakable target for each of the enemy planes… and a public taunt to Dangchao.

 

The saints and angels were able to fly at supersonic speed. Some zoomed down to confront the approaching jets. Then they swung around to match the flight path. They were positioned all around (above, below, and in front of) the jets as they both sped toward the opening.

 

"You don't really want to do this," one of the saints would communicate (or words to this effect) to the plane's pilot by thought transference. "We're not here to hurt you," they would continue. "Save yourself and your world by turning back now." "God loves you." "He does not want to see you die." The messages were fired into each cockpit, and into the minds of every crew member on the larger planes. Some of the saints and angels were visible outside the aircraft as well.

 

But each time they did this, the hardened puppets of the Antichrist system would convince themselves that they were being mentally assaulted by the heavenly beings. Fear had made them deaf to the truth. And the same fear quickly turned to maniacal hate. They would manoeuvre their planes in an attempt to fire weapons at the saints clustered outside their vehicles. Rockets flew in all directions as jets veered off course and out of formation. While they were firing at the creatures that they could see outside their windows, some of them accidentally shot down their own support planes in the vicinity. Some planes executed impossible twists, turns, and backflips to either shake or break the armies of New Jerusalem. Many of them went out of control as a result, crashing to earth with their deadly cargoes.

 

They were literally blowing themselves out of the skies in their insane resistance to God's final call to repentance. Not one of them responded to the offers of peace being made by the saints.

 

Meanwhile, on the ground, Dangchao gave the order for the missiles to be launched. But another larger wing of the heavenly army had already reached the launch sites. Saints and angels were seen by closed circuit TV, hovering over the missiles, and seen personally appearing outside windows, and flying down corridors and into otherwise secure rooms where the orders to press buttons were to be carried out. With help from the Internet experts in New Jerusalem, a few of the saints were even able to appear on computer monitors in the control rooms and talk to the workers.

 

(During the Rapture, similar technology had been used to put close-up footage of Jesus above Jerusalem into television receivers all over the world.)

 

The messages of love, peace, and a call to repentance were transmitted to everyone involved in the Battle; and again the messages were rejected. Instead, the earthly armies reacted in confusion. Staff turned from their duties in an effort to stop the intruders. Weapons were used, but, because the saints could move at speeds many times faster than their attackers, the weapons were useless. The saints had the reflexes and flying skills of houseflies. Attempts by Dangchao's servants to shoot them often resulted in deaths and casualties to their own personnel.

 

It was in the middle of all this confusion that Dangchao gave the order for all of the missiles to be fired. It was too soon. The fighter squadrons had not yet returned from their assault. Consequently, allied planes which had not already destroyed themselves were destroyed by "friendly" missiles, if there can be such things.

 

Many missiles were never launched, simply because the people responsible for launching them had been distracted, killed, or injured in the melee. The saints succeeded in pulling plugs on some and altering the settings on others, causing some missiles to veer off target. These did little more than bounce off the glass shield, causing more destruction to the earth, some five miles below the base of the huge city, than they did to New Jerusalem itself.

 

The saints stayed very close to their angels, who could sense ahead of time when it was best to leave their assigned spheres of operation and head for safer climes, or to just return to New Jerusalem. In this way, they were able to escape areas that were later fired on by Dangchao's own troops.

 

At the conclusion of the battle, Dangchao, Pius, and all of their top leaders were rounded up and consigned to a thousand years of powerlessness in a prison, built into the side of a bottomless fissure that resulted from the earthquake in Jerusalem. They would, for a thousand years, be kept informed of all that was going on in the world they had once ruled.

 

A cosmic switch had been turned. Whereas evil had held sway for millenia, now the light and goodness of God was going to show people how things could have been, if only we had used our free will to obey God, and to love others.

 

Contrary to Rayford's theory about both sides suffering losses during a war, the Battle of Armageddon was as one-sided as any war that has ever been fought. The heavenly armies reported not a single casualty. It was not that they were immune to the weapons being fired at them, but only that they could not fail to escape injury if they would just faithfully follow directions.

 

This, of course, was the lesson that had been missed by the inhabitants of Earth for most of their existence. Each time God had told his creatures something, they had more or less taken the first opportunity to forget it, and to do things their own way, tragically deluded about their own ability to understand and do things better than God. Now, for 1,000 years, the world would witness what could be achieved with an army of people who knew what it was to truly obey God.

 

The angels appeared to be more infallible and more indestructible than the saints themselves, and so each saint just needed to stay perfectly in tune with his or her personal angel and they would find themselves to always be in the right place at the right time… which is exactly what they did, both during the battle and afterwards.

 

Immediately after the battle, the saints spent several months cleaning up the remains of war and destruction on the area of the earth's surface that would be covered by New Jerusalem. There were no survivors in Israel itself, but survivors in neighbouring countries needed to be evacuated. The saints supervised the evacuations as well as the cleanup. They also had the job of soaking up all radiation, which they were able to do using technology that was available in New Jerusalem.

 

When all was ready, the entire floor of the big city slid back in four directions, compressing as it did, into a diamond-like substance. The resulting 1500 mile long creations turned up on their sides to make four very thick walls that were each over 200 feet high. These formed a square around the base of New Jerusalem. Each of the walls had three huge gates which were always kept open.

 

With the floor folded back, the city was able to descend the remaining five miles to the earth's surface, and then mould itself to the contours of that part of the earth.

 

For the next thousand years, the saints would rule the world -- that is, those who had survived the Wrath of God, and their descendants -- from within New Jerusalem. Emissaries would come and go from the holy city from time to time, as they checked up on progress around the world, but for the most part, those outside the city were on their own, experiencing a kind of purgatory as they struggled to learn from those who had earned the right to rule.

 

The job of the saints was to teach the nations of the world how to live in peace, how to serve one another in love, how to share the earth's resources equally, how to live without money, and most of all, how to live in harmony with God himself -- asking for, listening to, and heeding his instructions in all matters of life.

 

The saints were guided in their duties by the angels; but also they were guided by what they had already learned (and were continuing to learn) from the teachings of Jesus -- God's only begotten Son, and God's perfect revelation of himself to human kind. He was not only their Saviour, but he was also their Lord and Master.

 

And that is how it should be.