Going Deeper

Readers tell me, “I love your story! And I understood everything you meant.”

I’m thrilled, but I wonder, “Did you really catch everything?” If I did my job right, a second, third, or even seventeenth reading might be required to connect all the dots and grasp the full significance, especially as it connects with the real world.

For instance, did you notice in chapter 12 that Grandfather parrots to Adam an exact sentence that Father Dementiras stated earlier? And in chapter 13, Adam unknowingly repeats in his mind specific words that came from Grandfather. This detail of repeated quoting isn’t crucial to the story, but it makes a significant point: the ideas that control us have a source. More often than we’d like to think, it’s the father de mentiras (“of lies” in Spanish).

I’d love to take you a little deeper into the story and uncover some of the things you may have missed. More than anything, I’d like to draw you into the Bible. If you never make it there, you kind of missed the whole point of the story.

I will warn you that if you haven’t read the book yet, this explanation will be a bit of a spoiler. But I will also say that it doesn’t uncover everything. There’s plenty more I’ve left for you to find on your own.

Questions and Answers

No. Reconciliation is the primary theme. From the prologue to the final chapter, everything hinges on restoring a broken relationship. Adam raises the question with Roberts in chapter 3, concluding that getting right with the king would change everything. But his journey is one of constant failure as he provokes the king repeatedly by breaking the law and even more by his attempts at reconciliation on his own terms. The story’s outcome is based on the message from the Bible: we can be reconciled to the King of kings only through the death of His Son Jesus Christ. We have to come to the place Adam comes to in chapter 35, running to Immanuel.

Scriptures to explore: Romans 5:10, II Corinthians 5:17-21, Colossians 1:20-22
Without anger, there is no need for reconciliation. Many allegorical stories today remove God’s wrath against sin, but the Bible gives it tremendous weight. How could the Father love us and not feel personally provoked when we reject Him? Scorned love creates pain in the lover, and God is no exception. Christ’s atonement was not a passive move on God’s part to merely satisfy legal requirements. There’s some intense emotion involved, and I’m trying to help the reader catch that through different details. Asterik’s experiences, for instance, give us behind-the-scene glimpses of the king’s heart. And the climax in the plaza quotes heavily from Isaiah 1, revealing some of the depths of God’s feelings.

Most anger we see around us is bad, and so I hasten to clarify that as Teacher says, “There is a good kind” of anger, and this is the kind I’m focusing on. By contrast, you may notice that multiple characters display the wrong kinds. Adam even categorizes some of these in chapter 19. All of them serve to draw a sharp contrast with the righteous anger of Eliab and Immanuel.

Scriptures to explore: Numbers 32:9-15, II Kings 17:6-23, Hosea 11:8-9, Mark 3:1-5, I Thessalonians 1:9-10; 5:9-10, Revelation 6:12-17
The word means “Gentiles” or “nations” in Hebrew. Mount Eirene represents Jerusalem, and the Twelve Cities represent the nation of Israel. People from all the rest of Aard, called Goiim, represent the Gentile nations. Throughout Israel’s history, God sent enemy Gentile armies as chastening to turn His people back to Him. The war with Ar Sabia is a microscopic representation of the ongoing attacks and oppression over the centuries that Israel endured because they refused to do what Doke admonished Roberts: “Return to the king.”

Scriptures to explore: Deuteronomy 28:15, 25, Judges 2:20-23, Isaiah 1:4-7, Luke 21:24
Some might assume that the school represents church, but there are a few problems with this interpretation. First, the story connects with Earth’s history leading up to the cross. A true parallel to the church will not appear until the sequel, the time after the cross. Second, there has never been a divine law commanding church attendance at every meeting, as school is required in the book. (Personally, I think any Christian filled with the Holy Spirit will make it a top priority, though.) And third, I as the author am putting in black and white that it doesn’t represent church. That makes it easy.

So does school represent anything? Not really. Thematically, it gives a very generic idea of Adam having the chance to grow up exposed to the truth and failing to appreciate it. Many readers will identify with that opportunity and possibly with the same lack of appreciation. Also, I use the school to put Immanuel in the role of a teacher. Too often people today refer to Jesus as a carpenter, making the same mistake as the people of Nazareth (Mark 6:3). But even though he probably did carpentry with his father, Jesus was a teacher and a preacher. People frequently called him, “Master” or “Rabbi,” which both mean “Teacher,” just like in my story.

Scriptures to explore: Isaiah 28:9-13, Matthew 8:19, 12:38, 19:16, 23:8-10, John 1:38, 49, 3:2, Hebrews 10:25
Adam II mentions the Ruuwh first in connection with King Eliab’s ability to see all things. Chapter 1 says specifically that Adam III doesn’t quite understand the concept, but he views the Ruuwh as some kind of power which the king possesses and also ascribes creation to the Ruuwh. But when the king’s servants and especially Immanuel speak of the Ruuwh, it becomes clear that it is not just a force but a someone, the king’s spirit. The word is roughly derived from the Arabic word for “spirit.” It represents the Holy Spirit and will become a predominant theme in the sequel.

Scriptures to explore: Genesis 1:2, 2:7, Judges 14:6, I Samuel 16:13, Isaiah 11:1-2, Zechariah 4:6-7, Luke 4:1, Acts 1:8, 2:1-4, Revelation 1:4, 4:5, 5:6, 22:17
Planting the seeds in Mount Humility is a dramatic way of picturing obedience to God’s commands. Grandfather’s refusal initiates the city’s rebellion, just as our ancestor Adam’s choice to eat the forbidden fruit plunged the world into sin and death. At times of failure we may be tempted to think God’s commands are unreasonable. But when we understand that He would empower us and go with us if we would yield, then we would see our guilt as Adam III does when he beholds the king.

People in the story who planted seeds (at times), like Adam II and Christy, demonstrated their faith in the king but could not atone for their crimes by their limited planting. Only the perfect obedience and then death of Immanuel could satisfy the first covenant. Adam II’s faith in Immanuel’s promise brought him redemption, just as faith in Jesus’ obedience, death, and new life can save us today.

Scriptures to explore: Romans 5:19, I John 5:1-5, Ephesians 2:8-10
The “islanders,” both bad and good, represent angels. (Malakan’s name actually means “angel” in Arabic). Hints of their untold backstory appear scattered throughout, referencing the true story of God’s perfect, spirit-being, servants. For instance Malakan’s reference to former “friends” having betrayed King Eliab calls to mind Satan’s fall when he led many of the angels in rebellion against God.

Scriptures to explore: Isaiah 6:1-7, Revelation 12:7-9, I Peter 1:12, Matthew 26:53, 28:1-7
As their name (“blesseen”) indicates, they represent blessings from God. Sadly, when people reject God in pursuit of their things, He wisely lets those things be removed, as Adam discovers when he forfeits his blesseens to Schala. Notice that even though Grandfather gives Adam the coin as a token of his authority, he can’t escape the fact that the crown on the front belongs to Eliab. Every good thing, even what is used for wrong purposes, has come from a good God and ought to remind us of Him.

Scriptures to explore: Deuteronomy 8:6-19, I Chronicles 29:14, Hosea 2:8-13, James 1:17
Adam’s debts to Schala illustrate the inescapable bondage of sin. Like Adam, we have all sold ourselves for fleeting pleasures and have nothing we can do to redeem ourselves. Our debts, however, are not legitimately to Satan but to God. It is His law we have broken. Immanuel makes an important statement when he tells the dragon’s followers, “You have no right to collect debts from my Father’s subjects.” Jesus did not die to pay Satan but to pay the punishment God’s law demanded. When we sell ourselves into Satan’s power, it is not because we owe him anything but rather because God has sold us into captivity because of our rebellion.

Scriptures to explore: Isaiah 50:1, 52:3, Romans 7:14, Colossians 2:13-15, Matthew 18:23-27
In real life people are not able to go to the gates of Heaven. But in my story Adam can because of the following key point I’m trying to make.

Our human tendency is to compare ourselves with other people and conclude that we are not too bad. Sometimes people excuse themselves by saying, “Well, no one’s perfect.” But in fact, the holy angels in Heaven have been completely obedient to God since they were created. And Jesus insists on perfection as God’s standard. If we could see ourselves in contrast to what God intended, all of us would have to hang our heads in shame at the constant wickedness of our hearts.

Scriptures to explore: Revelation 14:10, Matthew 5:48, II Corinthians 10:12, Romans 3:10-20
It doesn’t quite make sense in the story for the king to condemn people like Hank, Doke, or Christy to death in the plaza, since they were trusting him to forgive them. The answer in this case is that they truly did deserve death, but also that the king knew in advance that Immanuel would offer himself to take their place. In reality, God has given us His perfect law in the Bible to bring all of us under condemnation so that He can then provide the same offer of salvation to all who will put their trust in Jesus.

Scriptures to explore: Romans 3:19-26, 6:23, 11:32, Galatians 3:6-9
This part might be confusing since in reality, God the Father has not appeared in physical form on earth. The way we see Him is by seeing the Son (John 1:18). So why write the story this way? I wanted to focus on what took place both in the physical realm and also in the spiritual. When Jesus died on the cross, people standing there couldn’t see the transaction taking place in Heaven. But it is revealed to us later in the Bible: Jesus was offering Himself as a payment for our sins. God the Father accepted that offering as sufficient to appease His wrath, so Jesus was able to cry out, “It is finished!”

If that isn’t worth bringing out in an allegory, I don’t know what is. Does it move you that Jesus loved you so much that when you were justly condemned, He died in your place? Do you realize how much God the Father loves you that He planned and accepted so much pain in His own heart to save you?

Scriptures to explore: Hebrews 9:11-14, 28, 10:5-17, II Corinthians 5:21, I Peter 2:21-25, Isaiah 53
Like Adam, you have broken the law, God’s law, and provoked Him. You cannot fellowship with Him or enter Heaven apart from a mediator. Do you understand that Jesus, God’s Son, died for your sins and rose again to mediate for you? Then choose to turn from your own way and ask the Lord Jesus to forgive you and restore you to God. There’s no system or list of good works that can save you. God has provided a person, His Son. And you can “run” to Him by simply praying in your heart, and He will hear you. He promises to give you a full pardon forever and make you a child of God. If you haven’t come to Him yet, why not come now?

Scriptures to explore: I Timothy 2:3-6, Hebrews 7:25, John 1:10-12, Romans 10:9-13, I Thessalonians 1:9-10
By God’s grace, I intend to make this a four-book series. Right now I'm doing some in-depth Bible study about the Holy Spirit and deep into writing the second book. Stay tuned to find out what happens to Adam and his friends in the war with Ar Sabia. Please pray for God’s hand to be on me through the whole writing process so that Christ can be glorified in a mighty way. He is worthy of the highest honors!

If you'd like to get updates on the series' progress, sneak peaks, special discounts, and especially ways to keep praying, you can sign up HERE. Your prayers make a difference.

Quotes to Consider

These four words capture the key difference between the two brothers. Both men respond to fear, but not the same kind. Tari fears people’s opinions, banishment, Goiim, and the dragon. He trembles at death. But Adam II fears the one that needed to be feared above all else. And ironically his fear of the king gives him the boldness to go forward in the face of death. Similarly, the Bible makes it clear that true wisdom begins with a proper fear of God. We should be much more concerned about what He thinks and commands than any person or danger that stands in the way.

Scriptures to explore: Proverbs 9:10-11, 14:26-27, 29:25, Isaiah 2:10-21, Luke 12:4-5, Acts 9:31
One small point to notice in the book is a purposeful de-emphasis on feelings. It was tempting for me as the author to describe Asterik’s experience as one where he senses some electrifying burst of energy or experientially senses the presence of the Ruuwh in response to his petition. But in my own personal experience, being filled with the Spirit doesn’t usually create tingles and electrifying sensations. The emphasis here is that Asterik knew apart from feeling it that he had the Ruuwh’s power and King Eliab’s presence.

How did he know? Teacher gives the answer in Chapter 18 in response to a different question. “By faith.” Here the clarification is made that he isn’t relying on a feeling but on actual words that the king has written. Our faith can empower us to live in the power of God, not by any special tingling feeling, but simple confidence that if God has said something, it’s really true.

Scriptures to explore: Psalm 46:1-3, 10-11, Romans 10:17, Ephesians 5:18-21, II Peter 1:18-21
Schala, though a liar, speaks the truth in this statement. Even though he tempted through deceit and manipulation, ultimately the choice to keep eating wedding berries was Adam’s. He felt justified blaming Schala for tricking him, but he could not deny that he was responsible for his dilemma. We too are often tempted to blame someone else or even Satan for our sins. But the truth is that we chose to break God’s law and will be held responsible.

Scriptures to explore: Proverbs 1:29-33, I Corinthians 10:13, James 1:13-16, 4:7
Adam tries to pacify his conscience by promising to do his best at watering the fields, hoping the king will be pleased. But this quote from Christy tears away his cover (and ours). How many times do we as people ignore what God has plainly written in His word only to justify ourselves by making up a different standard? “I’ve never robbed banks or murdered anyone,” someone might say. But God’s standard goes far beyond that, even dealing with the thoughts of our hearts. No matter how good we may feel about ourselves, what really matters is what God says and how God judges us in the final day. And the ultimate standard is what God has written in His word.

Scriptures to explore: John 12:48-50, Mark 7:9-13, I Corinthians 4:3-5, II Corinthians 5:10
Adam experiences the frustration throughout the book of trying to accomplish the impossible. The fact is, we cannot please God no matter how hard we try by our own efforts. As Hank’s father noted, “There’s a traitor to the king inside every one of us.” And the standard of perfect holiness stretches far beyond any of our reach.

So is God unreasonable? Not at all. He designed life to work by us depending on Him and His presence with us. Jesus modeled perfectly God’s plan when He went into the wilderness to be tempted and returned “in the power of the Spirit.” He didn’t go alone but with the Spirit. And He says to us, “Without me ye can do nothing.” God made us that way so we can have a close, dependent relationship with Him, the way a child depends on his father.

Scriptures to explore: Luke 4:1-14, John 15:1-5, Ps. 46:1, 50:15, Joshua 1:1-9
The theme of superficial freedom runs throughout the book. Grandfather has fallen hook, line, and sinker for this very trap (see chapter 12) and uses the appeal of “freedom” to lure Adam at the very beginning. Adam even falls asleep whispering, “freedom” to himself. But the story makes it clear that rejecting the king’s authority makes people anything but free. Just think of Schala and the whip. Only when Adam chooses to run to Teacher does he begin to feel truly free.

Scriptures to explore: Psalm 2:1-6, John 8:31-36, Romans 6, II Peter 2:19; II Timothy 2:24-26
It should be easy to recognize Teacher’s follow-up statement of explanation as a quotation from Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” What isn’t as obvious but exciting to me is that Jesus draws that conclusion from clear statements throughout the Old Testament. He probably had Isaiah 66 in mind, which is somewhat quoted in the Stones to which Teacher leads Adam. The key idea is that sin and the evil of our society around us ought to move us to grief. If we can be light-hearted all the time and worldly instead of broken-hearted and passionate to make a difference, then we are not sharing Christ’s heart. Those who do weep now will have ample cause to rejoice and be comforted in the future when Jesus redeems Jerusalem and establishes righteousness in the earth.

Scriptures to explore: Psalm 126:5-6, Isaiah 66:5, 10-13, Jeremiah 31:9-12, Ezekiel 9:3-6, Zechariah 12:10-13:1, II Corinthians 7:9-10
Whenever Adam tries to obey the king by planting the seed, he goes with his own preconceived ideas about how it should be done. But the alert reader will notice that most of what he knows comes from his experiences with Grandfather or from making assumptions. He assumes the route he takes by Red Rock is the only way or at least the best way. He gets confused by Hank and Christy’s knowledge from their different experiences of following Teacher. But he never actually reads the king’s instructions or finds out from Teacher what needs to be done.

In the same way, most people think they already know what God says, what He expects, and how to get to Heaven. But in reality, relatively few have actually studied carefully God’s instructions for themselves. Perhaps your own views are tainted or based on assumptions, but how will you know? I urge you to “search the Scriptures.”

Scriptures to explore: Joshua 1:7-8, Psalm 1:1-6, Ezra 7:10, John 5:37-39, Acts 17:11, II Timothy 3:14-17
It might be easy to relate with Adam on this point and miss seeing the terrible nature of Adam’s error. But the islanders certainly saw. Here was a boy that had been given the opportunity to learn directly from Immanuel himself, and yet he didn’t appreciate the value of that privilege at all.

Perhaps you have been given the opportunity to study God’s word from a young age. If you merely go through the motions of listening and never work to grasp what you’re hearing and take it to heart - what a tragedy!

The Pharisees of Jesus’s day knew more of the Old Testament than most of us ever will in terms of memorizing facts. But because they didn’t seek to understand God’s heart in it, they totally missed the whole point and killed the son of God. I urge you to be zealous in seeking to understand God’s word so you can follow it with your whole heart.

Scriptures to explore: Proverbs 2:1-9, I Chronicles 22:12, I Kings 3:9-12, Psalm 119:34, 73, 99, 104, 125, 130, 144, 169, Matthew 13:19, 23, 51, 15:10, 16:9, 11
Adam was in the midst of a great plan to honor the king and didn’t expect temptation to hit him then. Furthermore, he was discouraged from his argument with Liptor and didn’t feel prepared to do battle internally. Worst of all, Schala laid the bait right in Adam’s special place. Surely he could have had some respite there! But in spite of any feelings Adam might have had along these lines, the temptation came all the same. In fact, Schala was cunning enough to place the trap on purpose for just such a time and place in order to destroy Adam.

In the same way, Satan and his followers use cunning and deceit to trap us at the times we are least prepared. They do not follow any rules or limit themselves to when we’re ready for spiritual battles. Jesus commands us to be on guard at all times and in every situation.

Scriptures to explore: Genesis 3:1-6, Matthew 26:40-41, II Corinthians 2:11, Ephesians 6:10-18, I Thessalonians 5:5-8, I Peter 5:8-9
Throughout the story Asterik and Malakan differ in their response to the king’s judgments, even though both of them support their positions with the king’s words in the Stones. The reality is that they are both right because the king’s ways are complex and too glorious to be over-simplified. Malakan’s advice proves true when King Eliab and Immanuel fully resolve the tension between their just wrath and covenant love by Immanuel’s sacrifice.

It would do the church today a great deal of good to take Malakan’s words to heart. Much energy has been lost through striving over the mysteries of God. Let’s trust God to do His work perfectly both in eternity past and in working out His plans for the future. Our job is clear, and we can accomplish it much better by helping each other than by arguing.

Scriptures to explore: Deuteronomy 29:29, Acts 15:18, Galatians 5:22, II Timothy 2:23-26, James 3:13-18, 4:1
Up to this point in the story, Adam feels like the laws are unreasonable because he is not able to keep them. But when he sees the king and hears from his point of view, it becomes obvious to him where the real fault lies.

God says that fools get themselves in trouble and then get angry at Him. But when we stand before God someday, there will be no blaming God. He has made His grace available so that there is never a command He gives which we cannot do if we trust Him.

Scriptures to explore: Proverbs 19:3, Isaiah 8:20-22, I Corinthians 10:13, Hebrews 8:8
Immanuel uses this question to explain why the anger of the king must still fall on all the Aardians who never come to him to receive pardon.

Many people take offense at the Bible’s claims that Jesus is the only way of salvation. They feel like one-way-only is very restrictive. But from God’s perspective, how offensive it is for people to demand that He accept them on their own terms when they refuse to accept the ultimate sacrifice He has made for them! And there is no greater love or bigger offer than He can possibly make than to give up His own son.

Scriptures to explore: Isaiah 45:20-25, John 3:16-21, 14:6, 15:13, Acts 4:10-12, Romans 8:32


Does ought within this tale ignite your soul?

Are you by dragons, swords, and kingdoms awed?

Then let this river draw you to its source:

The words of truth, the story writ by God.

My tale is like the moon—a dusty ball,

Reflecting back a glory not its own.

The Bible is the sun itself—the Light

That touched to life all moons which ever shone.

To understand my message at its core

Requires knowing earth’s eternal Lord—

The king who made this world and all that’s real,

Who speaks, although His words are oft ignored.

If you can read of Adam’s crimes and debts

And fail to see your own then you are blind.

Would not the righteous angels gasp at you

Could they but know the thoughts that cross your mind?

If you forget all else, remember God:

He’s good, His wrath is just, and we’re to blame.

But those who run to Christ will be redeemed;

God loves to save each one who trusts His name.

If still my meaning you misunderstand,

Though I have tried by verse to make it plain,

(Perhaps if poetry is not your thing)

Then let your eyes peruse these lines again.

But there’s a better path, as Adam found;

The King's Stones in the plaza fight no rival.

If you would hear the voice of God Himself,

Put down my book and go explore the Bible!

Where do I get the book?

I'm glad you asked — Right Here!

Buy Anger of the King