‘I guess at home you would be having nutmeat patties or a nutolene casserole. Well, this is our version of those savoury dishes.’
When they have finished, Betil hands each one a bowl. He smiles, ‘This is a sweet.’
‘Mmmm.’ Summer is anxious to try it and dipping her spoon into the dessert, she exclaims, ‘Oh, passionfruit, my favourite.’
‘Mine tastes like peaches’, states Jeannette. ‘That’s my favourite.’
‘And I’ve got the taste of strawberries’, says Kevin. ‘It’s my favourite too.
‘Oma, what is yours?’ asks Summer.
‘Mine is mango. My favourite fruit.’
Meilon and Betil just smile.
Soon they begin walking to the special garden. Angels are everywhere enjoying their meal and relaxing. They all wave as we pass.
‘Here we are’, announces Betil.
Suddenly Summer and Jeannette see a butterfly. Then
they see more and more.
Gently they lay Jesus in the place prepared.
Having done all they can, Joseph and Nicodemus leave the tomb.
‘Roll back the stone’, they ask.
Meditating on the life of Jesus, they walk the streets of Jerusalem to their homes. Sabbath will begin in a moment and they want to be with their families.
Meanwhile Satan is actively working with the chief priests to put a Roman guard at the tomb. Whispering in their ears, he tells them to be careful as Jesus said He would rise from the dead on the third day.
You don’t want to be caught out with the disciples stealing His body, do you? They could claim He rose from the dead.’
Caiaphas calls his men and sends a delegation to Pilate. ‘We need one hundred soldiers to guard the sepulchre.’
‘You want to guard a tomb with a dead man?’ asks Pilate.
‘Yes. The disciples might steal His body.’
The governor is exasperated. ‘Uh, you men. You have your guard.’
Achieving his purpose for Roman guards, the devil then stations his angel guards around the tomb.
‘I want every angel on duty. Stay as close as you can to the tomb. Keep a close watch for anything unusual, especially His disciples. And make sure God doesn’t try something.’
‘Yes master. We are off now.’
It doesn’t take the children long to drop off to sleep. The day has been exhausting. Now they can relax.
Meilon and Betil spend time together talking about their Commander and looking forward to His resurrection.
‘It will be wonderful to have our Master back home again’, says Meilon.
‘Oh yes’, answers Betil. ‘It’s been a long time.’
‘We will take the children for a walk in the afternoon to one of the gardens.’
‘What about the butterfly garden?’ suggests Meilon.
‘Yes, they would love that.’
The angels can imagine the girls flitting about with the butterflies.
‘And we can show them a chrysalis and teach them about the transformation that takes place with the grub into a butterfly, as a lesson of what God can do for them.’
‘Yes, that is a good idea.’
The angels continue their discussion until it is time for the children to wake up. ‘I will go and get them’, says Meilon. ‘It is nearly time for worship.’
The grand hall is beginning to fill with happy angels.
Magnificent music and angelic singing echoes throughout the great hall again. The children are charmed. A gentle piece of music is played by one of the angels on his harp. It is relaxing and beautiful.
Gabriel is asked to speak.
‘Angels -- and visitors -- it has been my task to accompany our beloved Master throughout His life on earth. He suffered greatly, but praise God, He gained the victory. At this moment He lies asleep in the tomb, resting until His Father calls Him.
Lucifer has his guards around the sepulchre, thousands of them. There are also one hundred Roman soldiers on duty. The purpose Lucifer has in guarding the tomb is to keep our Commander there for ever. Of course we know better.
The poor disciples do not understand. They are afraid, and are hiding themselves in the upper room, fear of being put on crosses like their Master. Their hope is gone, simply because they failed to heed our Master’s words that He would die and rise again. Their minds were on the false understanding of setting up God’s kingdom on earth. How difficult is tradition for human beings. It stands in the way of the plainest words. But we need to be patient.
The sick and suffering are heart-broken. The great Healer is dead. Many who were healed did not accept our Master as their Saviour, but they sympathised for Him as a human being.
The Jewish leaders are gloating over the evil deed they have accomplished, however, through the work of Lucifer, they are now more fearful of our Master in death than they were in His life. They fear that at any moment He could appear before them.
They have no idea the tomb is surrounded by thousands of wicked angelic beings. They trust in the Roman guards. When it comes time for God’s Son to awake, how finite the human guards will be. Even Lucifer and his angels will flee.
Fellow angels, our rejoicing can continue throughout eternity.
Never again will any of us doubt our wonderful God. Sadly, although we all made a stand against Lucifer, it was still necessary for us to see how evil he would become. After seeing what he did to our Commander, we are completely separated from all doubt. God and His Son have been vindicated in their decision to expel Lucifer and his angels from heaven. When these wicked angels are destroyed, there will not be one being on any world, in heaven or in earth who will not know that our God is righteous and holy. Let us rejoice, rejoice and rejoice again.’
When the service is over, the angels leave the grand hall. Some fly to their mansions; others walk casually along the golden streets or in the beautiful gardens. Their conversation is on the soon-to-be-fulfilled resurrection of their beloved Master.
‘Children’, says Meilon, ‘we are going to a garden this afternoon, a special one.’
‘Oh, I love your treats’, laughs Summer.
‘I am glad. But first we will have our meal here among the flowers.’
‘Oh, aren’t the lilies beautiful?’ smiles Summer.
'Jesus taught that lilies are better than Solomon’s jewels’, says Kevin.
‘Yes, that’s right my boy. They are alive and will never die’, adds Betil.
Sabbath in Heaven
The Very Long Story
‘Never die?’ asks Jeannette.
‘Oh Jeannette' says Summer, 'look at the colour of the flowers, purple. My favourite colour! Doesn’t the yellow butterfly look lovely on the purple?
The girls skip about the garden, happily enjoying themselves.
As they walk further into the garden, the children are amazed at how many butterflies cover the leaves and trees.
‘This must be butterfly heaven’, laughs Kevin. Everyone smiles.
‘No, in heaven, nothing dies.’
In a moment, Betil hands Oma a plate of food and a spoon. Meilon brings a plate for each of the children. As they dip their spoons in the food before them, they are surprised to find it has a savoury taste.
‘Oh, it’s nice.’
‘This is my mansion children’, says Meilon. ‘Betil lives next door. Caph is across the street and Josfi down a bit further. Yami and Toga used to live over there.’
‘Oh, are their mansions empty?’ asks Jeannette.
‘Yes, but one day they will be filled with redeemed people from earth.’ Summer is excited. ‘I hope it will be us.’
Meilon opens the door and invites the children inside.
‘There is no night in heaven children, but you need to sleep.’
‘Are your chairs like Elijah’s?’ asks Kevin.
‘Try them’, smiles Meilon.
The children run towards the chairs and soon find themselves sinking into the soft cushions.
‘Ooooh, they are beautiful.’
‘Soft and comfy.’ Everyone laughs.
Meilon smiles. He walks to another room and returns with a plate of food. The children take one look and exclaim, ‘Biscuits.’
Taking one each, the children bite into them with oohs and aahs.
‘They are delicious.’
‘What are they made of?’ asks Summer.
‘Angel’s food’, he replies.
‘Oh manna.’ says Kevin.
‘You guessed it. You like them?’
‘Ooh yes. They are scrumptious cookies’, replies Kevin in between bites.
‘Eat them all. I am going to see if Betil is home yet. I will be with him while you sleep, enjoy yourselves and rest.’
On the earth, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus have received permission to take the body of Jesus from the cross. With the assistance of two young men, they gently lower Him. It is a sad task, especially as both of the older men did not acknowledge Him publicly during His life. Now He is dead, they will give Him a decent burial.
The four men carry Jesus to Joseph’s sepulchre in a garden not far from the cross. They walk slowly through the trees and enter the cave tomb.
Joseph sees that the work to lengthen the grave has been done.
‘This is the best garden of them all’, says Jeannette.
‘Summer, look at this one’, calls Jeannette. ‘It is see-through.’
‘Oh, isn’t it beautiful.’
‘Kevin, come and look at this butterfly. You can see through its wings. It is amazing.’
‘Children’, says Meilon, ‘we will teach you the cycle of the butterfly. You know the process as metamorphosis, which means a change of form or character. We will explain things you will not know and then will draw lessons from them.’
It is a wonderful Sabbath afternoon.
‘Always remember’, counsels Betil, ‘that the butterflies and all other creatures, plants and people were designed by God and His Son. They spoke them into existence.’
‘It is much better than evolution’, responds Kevin. ‘My teacher says everything happened by chance. I don’t know how he can believe that because he doesn’t think a car happened by chance or an aeroplane or anything else.’
‘You are right. Evolution is a deception of Lucifer to stop people believing in God.’
‘But Kevin’, adds Meilon, ‘be very careful what you say to your teacher. You cannot contradict him. That would not be polite. If you do have an opportunity to say something, speak very gently and put it as a question rather than telling him.’
‘Oh, so you mean I should say -- Do you think a grub could change into a butterfly by chance?’
‘Yes, that is right’, agrees Betil. ‘Allow the teacher to answer however he wants and don’t contradict him.’
‘Even if he says I am wrong?’
‘Yes Kevin, he might give you a reason why he thinks you are wrong, but that is okay. The important thing is to make the suggestion. Then we can speak in his ear and tell him to think about what you said.’
‘That’s right’, continues Meilon. ‘If you speak angrily and tell him he is wrong, he won’t want to think about what you say. But if you speak very politely and allow him to say what he believes, it really helps the angels to lead him to think again about what you said.’
‘Oh, that’s neat’, agrees Jeannette. ‘I will do that too.’
Summer is deep in thought. She is thinking of someone she knows who believes in evolution. The angels have given good advice. ‘I will remember that for the person I know.’
‘Children’, says Meilon. ‘It is going to be an early day tomorrow, so you need to have your rest.
‘Yes’, adds Betil, ‘We will fly back to the mansion to close Sabbath.
Give us your hands.’
They all take to the air and in a moment reach the mansions of Meilon and Betil. Caph is standing outside his mansion. ‘Hello children and Oma.’
‘Hello Caph. Now I know where you live’, says Kevin.
‘Come and close Sabbath with us Caph’, invites Meilon.
Everyone bows in thankfulness for the beautiful day and most of all that God’s Son has gained the victory. They remain kneeling in silence for a long time. Summer wonders if anyone is going to pray or if this is supposed to be silent prayer. She keeps her thoughts to herself and waits with the others.
Suddenly the sound of a silver trumpet pierces the air. Sabbath is over. Meilon gives a word of thanks for the victory of Jesus and for the blessing of the Sabbath.
After Caph has gone, Meilon brings out a plate of cookies.
‘Just a little snack for you’, he says.
‘Oh thank you. Are they the same as before?’
'No. Try them.’
Immediately the children taste the biscuits, they want to know the flavour. ‘It’s a secret’, teases Meilon.
‘Please tell us’, pleads Summer.
‘Alright, I will whisper it in your ear and you can tell the others.’
She goes over to Meilon and he whispers to her. ‘Did you get that?’
‘Can you say it again?’
He does so and she says, ‘I got it.’
Summer then faces the others and goes to say the words, but nothing comes out of her mouth.
‘I can’t say it’, she laughs.
‘Let me’, asks Jeannette.
Meilon whispers in her ear, but the same thing happens. Kevin says,
‘It’s my turn. I won’t forget.’
Kevin listens very carefully , saying the words to himself as he listens. He turns to the others and opens his mouth. ‘Aaah…… I can’t say it, but I heard the words.’
Finally they ask Oma to have a go. Meilon whispers in her ear. She listens carefully, nods her head, then turns to say the words. ‘Oh no, I can’t say the words. I don’t understand. Meilon, why is that?’
Meilon smiles. ‘The reason is because it is heavenly language. You think you hear the words, but they do not register in your mind. One day you will understand.’
Everyone laughs and the children settle down in the comfortable chairs.
‘Children, I will wake you very early. We all have to be in the grand hall before the sun rises.
‘Thanks’, says Oma.
The children are already asleep.