Preparations For Entry Sunday
As Joshua was getting closer to the Official Camera to speak, everyone in the King's Hall was clapping and cheering. The official camera broadcasts what's going on in the King's Palace to the whole world.
Before Joshua could say anything, the King said, "From now on, do not call him Joshua, but call him, Mr. David. He deserves this respect. Even you, teachers and leaders, you must do the same thing."
Joshua remembered when the Lord had told him that people would respect his name one day.
So he spoke to the crowd and told them the whole story. There was no other voice among the seven trillion people while he was talking. Everyone was listening with respect. The place sounded empty.
After he finished speaking, the whole hall applauded. Everyone was shouting, "Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! The Lord fights our battles for us! Let the whole world praise his wonderful name! Amen!"
Can you imagine seven trillion people praising the Lord together? How wonderful it would be if you were among them.
But that wasn't all: this party was being broadcasted on most of the Jerusalemite radio and television stations. With the exception of the Devilist people, almost the whole country [countless people] was watching the big party.
Then it was lunchtime. Joshua sat with the King and some of the most important leaders in the country.
There were many important leaders at the King's Table. They included: the regional leader of Christiania, the provincial leaders of the provinces of Heaven and Jerusalem, and the leaders of the cities of Heaven and Jerusalem. In addition to these leaders, the religious leaders were also present.
While they were eating lunch, Joshua said to the King, "Why do they all have to call me 'mister'? I don't deserve all that. I'm just a human being, just like anyone else."
"You're very special," replied King Solomon, putting his glass of wine down. "The Lord is proving to us that you deserve as much respect as I do."
Governor Matthew Peter, the Provincial leader of Jerusalem, laughed and stated, "Well sir, you don't get any respect."
"I guess I don't need people to respect me," replied King Solomon, laughing too. "I'm just a servant of the Lord."
Unexpectedly, Emily came and sat with Joshua. The king knew that they were in love. He was actually the one who called her to sit with Joshua.
Brother Abraham and Sister Sarah were there at the party. Brother Noah had invited them.
Joshua whispered to Emily, "Don't call me 'Mr. David.' Just call me 'Joshua' as usual. I'm not special or anything. Give all the glory back to the Lord. Okay?"
Joshua liked being with the King. He asked, "So no Devilists at this party, right?
"I know," replied King Solomon, who was very happy that the Devilists weren't there. "Isn't that great?
I didn't ask them to come anyway. The representative of the Devilists doesn't like you anymore."
"And what've I done to him?" Asked Joshua, who didn't care if the Devilists liked him or not.
The King laughed and said, "Well do you remember when you said the name of Jesus? Do you remember what happened to him?"
"O that one!" laughed Joshua. "But how can they be afraid of just a name?"
"It's not just a name," replied the King seriously. "The name of Jesus is the most powerful name in all the names. In fact, salvation is only in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Also, the devil can't hear this name, because it hurts him a lot. So when you use it in front of his followers, something bad happens to them."
"Our God is an awesome God!" shouted Joshua.
Suddenly, someone had entered the great hall. The whole place fell silent. They were all looking at him. They thought that the party was spoiled by the newcomer.
"So you forgot to invite us to your party, right?" said the man, as he was sitting on one of the chairs close to where King Solomon and Joshua were sitting.
"Oh hello, Mr. Satan," said the king with a sad voice. "So where've you been hiding?"
"Hiding?" replied Mr. Satan. "Why would I want to hide in your palace? I heard that you were celebrating about something. So I decided to come without invitation."
"So you enjoy going to Christian celebrations?" asked the king, laughing.
"Is this a Christian celebration, then?" Mr. Satan asked, shocked at the news.
"Yes it is," replied the king, laughing even harder. "That's why I didn't invite you. We're celebrating Joshua's victory against Beelzebub."
Then King Solomon started chatting with Mr. Satan about politics. Therefore, Joshua turned to Emily and began chatting with her, too.
"Can I use the name of Jesus?" he whispered to her, laughing.
"Oh please don't put us in trouble," she whispered back in a serious tone.
"Want to come with me?" said a young woman, coming to Joshua and Emily. "I just want to chat with you, guise."
"Are you a Christian or a Devilist?" Joshua asked in a whisper, because he did not like going with the Devilists.
"Of course I'm a Christian," she replied sweetly. "And an Evangelical, too!"
So Joshua and Emily left the King's table and followed her. She was a nice looking woman. Since she was the king's daughter, you would expect her to be wearing royal clothes; however, Dinah was a very humble woman.
Then she pointed at Emily and explained, "Joshua, you've chosen the most beautiful woman in the whole world!"
"Thanks," said Emily nervously.
So they entered a small, but nice looking room. There were three chairs and a table. There were also pictures of the king and his family on the wall.
Joshua and Emily sat together according to their custom. The woman sat in front of Emily. There was a small table between them.
"Now," began the woman. "My name is Princess Dinah. I'm the daughter of the king. But you, Joshua, are just as special as I am. Even Emily is special too, because she's your best friend."
"Thanks," said Emily again.
"So what would you both like to drink?" she asked kindly.
Joshua asked for coffee as usual, and Emily asked for tea. Within a second, a tray landed on their table.
Princess Dinah spoke again: "When I saw that my father was talking to the Devilist leader, I thought that I would talk to you both."
"Do you like the Devilists?" asked Emily, who was enjoying her tea.
"Well I like them as the creation of God." Explained Princess Dinah. "But I don't like their thoughts and acts of evil. They're full of demons, you know."
"That make sense," replied Emily. "We're supposed to love everyone, because we're all the creation of God. But we should hate sin. Lord Jesus loved everyone including his enemies."
"Aha!" shouted Joshua. "So you can say Jesus's name, but you wouldn't let me say it in front of the Devilist leader!"
"Well she was doing the right thing," replied Princess Dinah. "Do you remember what happened the last time you said Jesus's name?"
"I know," answered Joshua, feeling that he had been misunderstood. "I was only joking. I wasn't blaming Emily."
"So anyway…" said Princess Dinah, trying to change the subject. "What do you think about our world, which of course is also your world?"
"It's unbelievable," said Joshua, smiling. "I still think that I'm dreaming or something. Living under the roof of the Bakers was like living in a Devilist prison."
"Well it's not easy to believe," smiled Emily. "You were raised up in another world. So it would be different to you."
About a half an hour later, it was decided that the visitors should go to see the National Church of New Jerusalem.
This worship building was the official church of New Jerusalem, because all the important leaders in the country went to it. It was also used for national-religious days. The most important religious leaders in the country lived in it. You could almost call it the 'Vatican of New Jerusalem.' It was the holiest place in this country.
This holy building was the biggest place of worship in the whole world. It was called 'The Biblical Church Of Jesus Christ,' which was abbreviated as BCJC. This building was as big as the palace. It contained one hundred thousand sub churches. The word 'sub church' refers to a church that is inside a bigger church building.
There were about twenty-five thousand languages recognized by the Jerusalemite government. About half of this building [two hundred and fifty thousand floors] was given to these languages. Each of these languages owned ten levels of the church. Each of these languages took four levels from their area and used them as sanctuaries.
The first of these four levels was called 'The Angelic Church,' because the voices of the choir sounded like angels. The chanting sounded almost like the Byzantine chant, but the lyrics were Evangelical. Everything was done in a form of chanting, except for the sermon. No musical instruments were used in this place, because according to the Jerusalemite belief, human voice is more sacred than musical instruments. Therefore, the choir was divided into two groups: one would do the humming and the other one would chant. It sounded as though angels were singing.
The second sanctuary was called 'The Hymn Church.' The choir sang hymns with the traditional instruments, like organ, piano and others. But they also added humming to the instruments. The hymns sounded like classical music.
The third sector was 'The Contemporary Church.' This church used modern Christian music in its worship services. So all kinds of instruments were used. However, they didn't sing Christian rock, because it wasn't considered appropriate for worship services. Outside the church, however, people were able to listen to Christian rock.
Finally, the fourth division was called 'The Mixed Church.' The choir of this section sang music of different styles - all Christian lyrics, of course.
Every section within this huge building had a 24/7 camera to show what was happening in that area all the time. This kind of camera is considered a television station. The choir chants and sings day and night. So there would be always something to watch on that particular station.
Each of the four quarters that were used for worship services had a choir that consisted of one thousand males, one thousand females, one thousand boys and one thousand girls. All the boys and girls were between the ages of ten and eighteen; all males and females were between the ages of eighteen and thirty. However, the chanters of the Angelic Church were not considered a choir, but it was called 'Angelic Army.'
Because there were about four thousand members in each choir, each choir would be divided into sub choirs. So during worship services, only few hundred members sang. Sometimes, each choir would select one hundred boys, one hundred girls, one hundred men and one hundred women and will send them to perform in other places.
Whenever a choir would sing, there would always be a camera to record the performance. After that, a new album would be created from that performance. The album would be uploaded to the choir's website. The album included only songs. So all the pauses and talks were excluded.
For a full version of the performance, the video would be saved and uploaded to the choir's website as well. It included all the songs plus all the pauses in between, and the talks.
In New Jerusalem, CD's and DVD's didn't exist, because everything was on the Internet. Even printed material didn't exist, because everything was on the Internet. Therefore, everything was free. According to the Jerusalemite law and the Bible, God's gifts are given free of charge. That's why these choirs put everything on the Internet.
The twenty-five thousand languages that had their own areas in the worship building, took about half of the area of the building. The other half was owned by the Jerusalemite speaking people.
'Jerusalemite' is the official language of New Jerusalem. It was spoken by over 99% of the people. But because the people of New Jerusalem were countless, each language had immeasurable number of speakers.
As you already know, the people of the Holy Community Building spoke English, because most of them were either Canadians or Americans.
The church was not far from the King's Palace. So the people walked to it.
When they had entered the main hallway, there were Jerusalemite writings on the walls. So Joshua and his friends didn't understand them. For this reason, they were lost in the huge hallway.
"Who can read Jerusalemite?" asked Joshua in a loud voice.
Brother Noah knew how to read, write and speak Jerusalemite. So he helped them to go up to the English floor.
"When they had entered the huge angelic church, which was the first English quarter, they saw billions of candles burning. These candles were the only source of light. They represented Jesus as the light of the world. These candles were replaced every hour by new ones.
There were also many doors that led to other rooms. These rooms were used to keep the church material safe.
Many screens were on the walls. These screens were used for hymn lyrics and Bible verses. So everyone could sing along with the choir and read with the pastor.
There were billions of people in that huge church. However, only few of them were seen, because the church was so big. On Saturdays and Sundays, however, the church would be full.
A strong smell of incense filled the church. This smell never left this holy place. It was there day and night. So whenever people would go to worship, there would be always 'holy smell,' as they called it. The Jerusalemite people believed that if there were many holy things in the house of God, then there must also be a holy smell.
The choir was prepared to chant for the visitors for a half an hour. So they all sat together. People sat together according to their community buildings. Therefore, all the people from the Holy Community sat together.
The chanting was so enjoyable that it made Joshua think that he was actually in Heaven. He thought that chanting without any musical instruments helped him to feel God's presence even more, because the chanters were 'holy instruments,' in his opinion. Because of that, he decided to go to a church that sang Angelic style of chants from now on. That wasn't hard, for there was an Angelic church in the Holy Community Building.
It was six o'clock in the evening now. So they were on their way back to the Holy Community building. This time, however, Joshua sat with Sarah, John's girlfriend, instead of Emily, because she was talking to someone else in the flying building. John, however, was very busy chatting with Samuel and his friends.
"The Festival of the Resurrection is almost here!" Sarah told Joshua excitedly.
"What's that?" he asked interestingly.
She remembered that he was brought up in a secular house. Therefore, he didn't know what the Festival of the Resurrection was. Thus, she explained, "Each year, we commemorate the death and the resurrection of our Lord. We honour his death on a Friday and his resurrection on Sunday. But the whole week is called the 'Passions Week' or 'Holy Week.' So we do worship services everyday during the Passions Week. We do three worship services per day."
Finally, they were at the Holy Community garage. So Joshua and Sarah went to section 1994, which belonged to them.
"So did you enjoy talking to Sarah?" asked Emily quietly.
"Of course I did," replied Joshua happily. "She explained what the Festival of the resurrection was, because I didn't know anything about it."
"You knew nothing about Easter?" said Emily, smiling at him. "That's what they call it in the secular world. Right?"
"Oh!" shouted Joshua. "But Easter was all about Easter egg and Easter bunny."
"Well that's how the secular people celebrate it." Explained Emily. "But the true meaning of Easter is the death and the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! The Bible doesn't say anything about Easter egg and Easter bunny. Some ordinary people added these things to the Festival of the Resurrection."
The rest of March was full of Easter talks. Only in the Jerusalem Studies class, they didn't talk about Easter, because there were some Devilists there.
This would be Joshua's first true Easter. The Jerusalemite people, however, didn't call it Easter, but The Festival of the Resurrection.
"Wonderful!" shouted Emily one day, a week from the Festival of the Resurrection. "Tomorrow is Entry Sunday, but in the secular world is called Palm Sunday."
"So what's Entry Sunday all about?" Asked Joshua curiously.
"Oh," replied Emily gladly. "We celebrate Jesus's entry into Jerusalem on a donkey. Then many people came out to welcome him as their king. They even spread their clothes on the ground. Others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the ground, too. Then, they shouted,
'Hosanna in the highest! Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!' So they were very happy that day."
Then, Pastor Moses called Joshua and Emily into his office.
"Guess what?" he said, pointing at Joshua. "The names Joshua and Jesus are actually one name in the Hebrew language. But 'Jesus' is the Latin translation of the Hebrew name 'Joshua.' It means 'The Lord saves.' So your name is actually Jesus!"
Joshua looked shocked. "And my father is Joseph and my mother is Mary."
"Exactly!" replied Pastor Moses happily. "We've been telling you all these months that you're very special, but you haven't believed us. Even your last name is David, and as you know, Jesus came from the family of King David of Israel. So I'm thinking if we could let you ride a donkey tomorrow, just like Jesus. What do you think, Emily?"
"It's a great idea, sir!" she replied with a smile.
"I'm brother not sir," smiled Pastor Moses. Then he turned his attention back to Joshua.
"So what do you think, Joshua?" He asked. "Emily wants to see you riding a donkey. You won't say no to her, will you?"
"But I'm not Jesus," replied Joshua. He was feeling very nervous.
"I know…" replied Pastor Moses. "We'll let you ride a donkey, but we'll worship and praise the real Lord Jesus. What do you think of that? We'll let Emily sing in the choir."
"For sure!" she replied gladly. "I do sing in the choir sometimes. But I'm sure that I'll do it tomorrow!"
"Okay," replied Joshua. "But will the Devilists be with us?"
"Oh…" laughed Pastor Moses. "They won't survive with all this worship going on. But the Catholics will be with us. As you know, the Catholics have their own church. But for this week, we've decided to unite. So we'll be celebrating together. The body of Christ has united!"
Joshua realized that Emily Bob would be there. This made him very happy, because he didn't see her a lot. This would be a great opportunity for him to see her. He was thinking about what she would say when she observes him riding on a donkey.
That night, all Christians, including Catholics, were ordered to go to the church area. They didn't know why.
"Good evening, brothers and sisters!" began Pastor Moses. "Tonight, we'll be celebrating one of the greatest miracles of our Saviour. We're celebrating the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead! This day is called 'Lazarus's Saturday.' In fact, it is the first day of the Holy Week in the Orthodox Church."
Then Pastor Moses read from John chapter eleven, which talks about the death and resurrection of Lazarus.
He explained, "Lazarus was the brother of Mary Magdalene, two of the followers of Jesus. But one day, Lazarus died and was buried. Mary and her sister, Martha were very sad. They believed that if Jesus was there, he could have saved Lazarus from death. After four days, Jesus decided to go and see them. He knew that Lazarus was dead, but he waited for four days before he went to see them. Jesus asked them to take him to where Lazarus was buried. Then he ordered them to take the stone away from the tomb. But Martha argued, "Lord, by this time there is a bad smell, for he has been dead four days."
But Jesus told her to have faith. Then he prayed to the father. After he had finished praying, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"
So Lazarus came out, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Free him, and let him go."
Jesus didn't resurrect Lazarus as soon as he had died, because many people wouldn't believe in this miracle, due to the fact that it is possible for a dead person to come back to life after few hours. So Jesus waited four days and then resurrected Lazarus, because it was impossible for someone who has been dead four days to come back to life. Our Lord wanted to show us that nothing was impossible with him!"
So everyone was very happy that night. They couldn't wait for the next morning to celebrate Jesus's Entry into Jerusalem.
"So where are we doing it?" Joshua asked Emily while they were eating dinner.
"In the Holy Community Square," she answered. "It's very close to here."
"And we don't need to go to Jerusalem," said Joshua, laughing. "Because we're already in New Jerusalem!"
"Good one!" laughed Emily. "Nice joke. And New Jerusalem is even better than the old one."
While they were eating dinner, Leah came and sat beside Joshua. Emily wasn't jealous of Joshua, since she liked Leah as well.
"You're a great representation of Jesus!" remarked Leah to Joshua, because he told her that he would be riding on a donkey the next day. "You saved me from the demons and tomorrow you'll be riding on a donkey! Jesus saved us from the power of the devil and he also rode on a donkey."
So she ran and told her father about this news. He was Brother Paul, the teacher of the SFC class. This news made him very proud of Joshua.
After dinner, they all went back to their section number 1994. Then they started talking about the next day.
"You know what?" said John sadly. "The same people, who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem, were the ones who asked later for Jesus to be crucified. So they were very happy about him when he entered into Jerusalem on a donkey, but they wanted him crucified a week later."
"So will you crucify me a week later, too?" asked Joshua.
"But you're not Jesus, are you?" asked Sarah sweetly.
John and Sarah didn't know that Joshua would be riding a donkey the next day. So Joshua and Emily explained everything to them.
"Good job, brother!" shouted John, shaking hands with Joshua. "You'll do great!"
"And I'll be singing in the choir, too!" added Sarah in a sweet tone.