Mark A. Carter
 

EDICT:
a sample chapter from the novel
HEPHZIBAH OF HEAVEN

World famous Canadian Science Fiction novelist Mark A. Carter shares a Christmas gift with the world from his novel Hephzibah of Heaven in which the Son of God is sent down to Earth accompanied by four fiery Seraphs to watch over him. Enjoy.

 

 

As the Son of God descended to Earth and into the womb of the Virgin Mary, at the command of the Father, dark Angels tumbled past, from out of time, caught in the Perpetual Stream descending from Heaven to Hell.

First among the dark Angels tumbling toward the Bottomless Pit was Lucifer, the Lord of Light, cast down from Heaven for instigating war. Lucifer's once golden breastplate, golden raiment, and golden sandals were silver now. His six seraphic wings were reduced to two and were singed grey.

Sent down with the Son were his four seraphic sisters. Their mission was to protect him, and to accompany him throughout his corporeal ordeal.

As Lucifer passed his twin sister Hephzibah, first now among the Seraphim, and the beloved of the Son of God, the Son of Perdition projected an icy sliver of dissent into her mind.

 

And God the Father said, "You must, my Son, go down, to teach them, to renew their faith, and to forgive them for their sins. It is my will that you do this, as it is your word that they are worth the sacrifice. Know that their fate depends upon you, as your fate depends upon them.

 

You must, my Son, go down,
to walk among men as one of them,
and to teach them to mend their ways,
for they are destroying one another
and forsaking that which once was Eden.

I hereby divest you of all power.
I do this so you may understand what it is
to be human.

I do this so you will know pain and suffering,
for man endures these things and more,
yet we expect so much of him.

I send with you a Messenger and her sisters,
she who was created for you long ago
to be your companion, lover, and protector.
In her I vest the power to destroy the world,
if need be, in order to protect you.

Ask of her and she shall perform miracles
in my name.

Ask of her and she shall quiet your heart,
during the passage of time, as men sense it.
Ask of her and she shall wipe away your tears
and comfort you.

You are my heart and my love.
You are the eternal flame.
You are the lion and the lamb.
You are the sacrifice of sacrifices.
Your destiny is what it is.

I send Hephzibah and her sisters with you," said the Father, "to protect you while you walk on Earth. I send them with you to keep evil at bay, while you complete your task. Use your sisters wisely, or not at all."

"Thank you, Father," said the Son. "I am your servant."

"The task which I have set for you," said the Father, " has already ripped my heart in two, as it did during the War of Heaven where you were concerned. It is the greatest sacrifice I will ever ask of you. Ordering you from your place, at my right hand, is the greatest sacrifice I shall ever demand of myself. The clockwork of the multiverse will cease its motion until you return."

"I cry for you, Father," said the Son, "for I already sense your shattered heart."

Placing his deific right hand on the head of the Son, to bless him, God said, "Go now, my Son, and my blessing be upon you. Spread your word of love to these violent men of the desert, these talking apes, these creatures with so much potential, who harbor so much anger. Help them, as best you can, and prepare to die for them, for it is your destiny."

"I do this for them," said the Son, "for I believe them worth redeeming. I do this for you, because I have read it in your book."

"Destiny is what it is, as I am that I am," said the Father.

God looked down from his eternal throne and gazed upon Hephzibah of the Seraphim.
"Hephzibah," said God, "take your wings from before your face and look at me, for I am the Lord thy God."

The Seraph complied and looked upward upon God's fiery countenance.

"Yes, Father," she said.

"You and your sisters must go down with my Son," said God. "You must go down to catch him when he falls. You are his eternal companion, and his beloved. It is your destiny to love him, and to be punished, by me, for loving him. Go now. Tell your sisters to prepare."

So hearing, Hephzibah's fiery disposition took on the human form of a strong, female warrior adorned in white tunic, with golden breastplate and golden sandals. In her right hand she held a golden sword. Upon her head, she wore a golden, four-faced helmet that was terrible to behold. Holiest of holies, she bore the Seal of God branded into the palm of her right hand.

The four, seraphic sisters surrounded the Son of God, on all sides, as he dropped from Heaven to Earth. He descended at the command of the Father. He descended at his own request. He descended to fulfill a destiny written long ago in God's Great Book.

 

Of the world yet not of the world, the Aboriginals walked the Great Desert in a state of grace. They drifted within the ebb and the flow of the Dream Time. They were fully conscious. As such, they knew reality was not real at all. They could see through the veil to the other side, to the ethereal world. They could see Heaven.

Near the center of the island continent, at the base of the red monolith called Uluru, in the old language, the people congregated. They walked the Song Lines that crisscrossed their world, and converged at the base of the sacred monument. They came from all directions, driven by the instinct to congregate, and to share their dreams.

During the day, they renewed acquaintances, friendships, and kinships. They embraced one another. They cried. They laughed. They spoke of their travels across the Great Desert. They rejoiced at the births. They mourned the deaths. They ate bunya nuts, quandong peaches, and kakadu plums. In the cooking fires, they roasted goanna, kangaroo, and witchetty grubs, as big as fingers. They divided the tucker among them.

When darkness fell, the most advanced and holy humans on Earth sat at the base of Uluru, around the large, ceremonial campfire. The people who walked softly upon the world and who subsisted upon its bounty, watched embers fly into the night sky. In their minds, they transformed the embers. They created spiral galaxies with billions of stars. They created accretion disks, and planets. They created life. It was their purpose. What they imagined came into being, by the grace of God the Mother of all Creation.

Mesmerized by the flying embers, they drifted and joined minds. Traveling yet motionless, they saw the Great Beyond. They saw it open. From it, they saw five mysterious creatures descend. They knew them to be spirits sent to help their brothers and sisters on the other side of the world. The spirits were destined to help them all.

The oldest people on Earth, their minds melded, saw the coming of the Son of God. They saw him surrounded by Seraphim, and they knew all was as it was meant to be. They saw the manifestation of the Son of God in a baby named Jesus, a strange sounding name, in their tongue. They saw the event occur in Bethlehem, a strange sounding place. They saw Jesus born in a manger, a strange sounding structure unknown to them. In their minds, the Aboriginals saw events, as they unfolded, on the other side of a world that they knew to be round, and to be orbiting a star, at a time when so-called civilization thought the world to be flat, and to be the center of the universe.

The deific visitation had been predicted, among their people, for fifty thousand years. They welcomed the coming because it brought them one step closer to the predicted End Time, when they would leave the Dream Time and transcend.

Eyes ablaze with the reflection of the ceremonial fire on his corneas, and the spiritual fire burning deep within him, the elder and leader of the tribe began to sing. He emitted a deep, guttural hum with overtones. He was joined by the others who sat around the fire. Joined in mind and in voice, their deep, throbbing chorus rose into the night air.

The words they sang were distorted and stretched out. They were not meant for the ears of man. They were meant for the ears of God. They were meant to be heard by the Son of God, by Hephzibah, and by her sisters, so far away. It was a song of recognition. It was a song of joy. The deep, guttural song that the elder sang was the manifestation of a thought transmitted and heard instantly by the deities who occupied a manger on the other side of the world.

"I know you are there," sang the elder, as tears of joy and of sorrow fell from his eyes, for he could see what was to come.

Larvandad, a Zoroastrian priest and astrologer, dressed in breeches, shirt, cape, and Phrygian cap, stood on the desert sand, at night, far from the oil lamps of Bethlehem, and stared at the stars. There were more stars in the sky than he could count in a lifetime. If he had known that the twinkling stars he saw were actually galaxies, with billions of stars each, he never would have looked at the night sky again. It would have been far too much to comprehend. As it was, the dim veil draped vertically down the sky to the horizon represented the stars of the Milky Way galaxy, his galaxy. But they looked like smoke to him, and puzzled him greatly.

 

Adoration of the Magi

by Giotto di Bondone 1267-1337

Thirteen billion years before Larvandad looked up, a giant, red sun orbited a white, dwarf star, one of the oldest stars in the universe. The dwarf sucked gases from its larger but weaker companion for a thousand years. It simmered. A deflagration flame, powered by carbon fusion, was born. Oxygen fusion initiated, and the white dwarf became so hot it unbinded. It exploded with a luminous intensity five billion times brighter than an average sun. The explosion was brighter than an entire galaxy.

Compared to the flash of deific thought that created the universe, in an instant, the bright illumination of the cataclysmic event rippled outward into the cosmos sluggishly, at the speed of light. The high energy photons expanded outward in straight lines, except where they were bent by the gravitational lensing of galaxies and the close proximity of stars. And after a seeming eternity, some of the white light from the ancient, stellar explosion found its way to Earth. The arrival of the light, seen as a cruciform star, coincided with the birth of Jesus, as was written in God's Great Book.

Ironically, when Larvandad, Gushnasaph, and Hormisdas stared into the night sky, some thirteen billion years after the fact, the ancient explosion of the white dwarf appeared to be something new in the heavens. So, they called it Nova, from the Greek. For two months, Nova outshone the other celestial objects in the night sky including the Moon and Venus.

To the Magi, Nova was more than a new star. It was a sign. It was a sign from God. It was a sign marking the birth of the long prophesied Messiah. The cruciform star drew the Magi from the East, from Persia, and guided them on their journey from Babylon to Bethlehem.

In a manger, beneath the cruciform Star of Bethlehem, in the visible presence of Joseph, Mary, and the three Magi, and in the invisible presence of four Seraphim, the spirit that was the Son of God transmigrated into the wrinkled body of a newborn baby named Jesus.

Larvandad, Gushnasaph and Hormisdas placed three gifts at the feet of Jesus. They gave gold, to see Jesus through his days while he walked among men. They gave frankincense to burn when the Son of God prayed to his Father in Heaven. They gave myrrh to embalm him with once his task was complete, and he was crucified, so that his torn flesh would not decay.

He who was a gift from God was delivered unto the human race to do what he could to forgive them, to save them, and to teach them, in a short span of years.

Hephzibah of Heaven copyright © 2007 Mark A. Carter. All Rights Reserved.

 
HEPHZIBAH OF HEAVEN
ISBN: 9781438276731
Trade Paperback - Matte finish
474 pages / 1.5 lbs.
$19.99 US
PRINT ON DEMAND
 
 
 

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Read other sample chapters: doomed
lenses
Lucifera / Lucifer (excerpt)
winter

Now you know.

from the imagination of Mark A. Carter - novelist

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