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Chapter 4
Age End

     Back from their journey to The North, Leif and Isabella resumed their normal routines. Kamiko and Devan returned to their duties in Beyond. But they sensed things were no longer as they had been.
     "What’s going on?" Leif asked Isabella.
     "I don't know," was all she knew to say. The answer wasn’t long in coming.
     The Stranger, in a blinding light, appeared simultaneously to every agent in Back and Beyond.
     "The plan to bring the Age-when-men-get-hungry to a close has begun," the Stranger said. "It begins with you, my agents, for you are the Journeyers. You are who continued with me through difficult times. You continuously told others about me. To you is now given the choice to accept or not accept an assignment you will not survive. You will physically die a painful death. Do you accept or not accept?"
     As when the Stranger was in their midst in the Land of Death, Leif sensed the life and love flowing in great waves from the Stranger. To a person, every agent said “yes.” The Stranger smiled at each of them.
     "I know your heart," the Stranger replied. "It does not change my love for you, but some of you said ‘yes’ from duty and some said ‘yes’ from a deeper relationship with me than the others. I can only accept those who have this deeper relationship with me, for what I am asking you to do, you will not be able to accomplish without that deeper relationship. To those not chosen, I will now take you to Sourceworld to be forever in my presence."
     The Stranger escorted those agents not chosen through the barrier separating their world from Sourceworld. There was no sorrow, no tears; only joy and happiness. 1440 agents were all that were left in Back and Beyond.
     Leif and Isabella looked at each other. They were still there, still in Back. A quick flow to Kamiko and Devan verified they were still in Beyond.
     "Go throughout the land warning the Age is ending," the Stranger said. "At the end of the Chosen Time, all agents will meet at the Chosen Place. When the time comes, you will know that place. This is the First Stage."
     The Stranger was gone. Leif wished he would stay. He could have stayed in the presence of the Stranger forever. But there was this one final journey, it would seem. Where will this one end? he wondered. With him physically dead, he knew that much. The reality of it hit him. It must have hit Isabella too, for they looked at each other, then embraced for a long time. It was a goodbye, though neither of them verbalized it. But each thought it.
     Tears were in Isabella's eyes. "I love you.” 
     The next part of the plan was dramatic. Leif and Isabella awoke to find many in Back missing. The reason came via Kamiko and Devan.
     "Those in Beyond have been taken to Sourceworld, as the agents were," Kamiko informed them.
     These were the ones who had answered the Pull and entered into a relationship with the Source, though they had let their journey to a deeper relationship be stopped. Yet they still had had a life fulfilling in many ways, for they hadn’t forsaken that relationship. The hungry part of them in Back simply disappeared, causing much confusion among those still there.
     "Beyond is no more," Devan told them. "The remaining agents are being sent to Back. All Dark Forms and Manforms have fled. Kamiko and I will soon be arriving. Have our bedrooms ready."
     When they arrived, the four talked long into the night. They knew difficult times were fast approaching. The journeys they had shared in the past were dear to them. Those journeys had drawn them very close to each other. They felt that closeness now.
     The next day they walked throughout their territory, announcing there was still time to respond to the Pull, still time to choose the Source, but that time was short.
     The other agents did the same throughout the rest of Back. There was no discussing anything, just the simple message to choose now between the Source or Death. Many tried to argue with them. Many wanted to debate. The agents kept walking.
     To the few who chose the Source, they were told they would also know the Chosen Time and the Chosen Place, and to be there with the agents. But most of the people rejected the Source. They yelled and cursed at the agents.
     The Stranger appeared to the agents again.
     "Now begins the Second Stage. The Pull is being withdrawn from the land. Be strong. It is necessary for a short while to give one last chance."
     Withdrawing the Pull was devastating. The Pull was what kept the Pulsing and Death in check. With it gone, the darkness over the Land of Death spread into the Land of Back. The days were like dusk from sun up to sun down. The false flows from the Pulsing took total control of the people. He showed himself to them in his handsome form. 
     "Don't panic," the Pulsing said. "You are now rid of the Source nonsense. Your life will be better than ever. Let your longing reach out to me."
     The people pledged their allegiance to the Pulsing.
     But a handful didn’t. "Meet us at the Chosen Place at the Chosen Time," the agents told them.
     With darkness upon the land, the agents’ flows of red and blue became visible as they walked.
     "The time is here. Choose now."
     Crowds followed them, cursing and shouting that the flows of red and blue were a trick. Some threw rocks. The Pulsing was all that held the crowd back from killing them.
     "Wait," the Pulsing said. "Let's see what they do when they meet at this so-called ‘Chosen Place.’"
     The agents were lighthouses in raging seas of hatred. Their visible flows were beacons of light warning of danger, but also providing a safe passage for those who still might choose the Source…but very few did.
     Now it was the end. The Stranger revealed the Chosen Place, a central location in the land. 1440 agents, still emitting flashes of red and blue, and those who had chosen the Source in these last days, gathered there.
     A huge, ugly crowd completely encircled them, chanting, "Death to them. Kill them." The blue flows ceased and only the red ones remained flashing. The crowd fell silent. 
     A loud voice came from the sky: "It is ended. There is no more healing, only truth."
     The red flows continued briefly, then they too were gone. The silence stretched on. The Pulsing came floating in the air, just above the crowd, looking magnificently handsome and regal in bearing. Leif grabbed Isabella and embraced her. He sensed their time was short. Kamiko and Devan joined them. They held on to one another. The Pulsing surveyed the scene, savoring it.
     "Look at them," he said to the crowd. "See how well the Source has watched over them."
     The crowd jeered and cursed.
     Leif gave Isabella a brief kiss and tried to cover her with his body. The crowd fell upon them with clubs and shovels. The Leif-that-gets-hungry felt the pain and cried out in fear of dying. But Leif, the Leif that responded to the Pull, saw the Stranger. He came to Leif and gently transported him across the barrier and into Sourceworld. Leif knew the same thing was happening to the others. He no longer cared about Back, or the Pulsing, or Death.
     He was Home.

Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?”
Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.”
“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.”  Matthew 24:3-14  NLT

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