• Published 22nd Apr 2012
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The Gospel According to Twilight Sparkle - Vulpix



An elderly Twilight Sparkle investigates a used copy of the King James Bible.

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The Gospel According to Twilight Sparkle

Not even the strongest bonds among the closest friends can prevent life’s inevitabilities. Time pushes forward, friends grow old, and in the end, one of those friends must be left alone. For my own friends and me, fate had decided it was me that happened to be that one.

Those friends of mine lived on only in my memories now. In my old age, and in the absence of new friendship, those memories gave me my serenity, even if only for moments at a time. They were blissful daydreams of cherished times—dreams I wished could be more than just dreams. If such things were possible, I might be allowed to have my friends by my side once again, and I would finally be at peace.

No. It was foolish to fantasize. Now that my friends were no longer with me, spending time with something tangible, like the books in my library, was the best I could do to alleviate my yearning to return to the carefree days of an era most had forgotten. The problem, however, was that I had read all of them—some two, three times over.

In a sense, those books were like my family. They had been with me even before I met my friends, and they stayed with me now. But they were mere objects—soulless artifacts that had no pity for this elderly, purple unicorn. Their dusty, worn-out binders were now all but a reminder that I was alone, and my own end was edging ever nearer.

That was why I had made the decision to part with my books—all of them, forever.

“You can put that one over there, Spike, with the other hardcovers,” I said. The dutiful, lavender-colored baby dragon did just as I commanded, resting the heavy book on top of a stack of loosely assorted hardcovers on a wooden table.

I had decided a yard sale would be the easiest way to deal with my problem. Wooden tables piled with books of all kinds had been set out in my front yard.

As for me, I sat behind an empty table, watching Spike try to help in any way he could manage as we waited for additional customers. The fading evening sun colored the clouds a pale shade of a yellow, reminding us that night was drawing near; but we still worked, hoping that more customers would arrive so that my burden might be lightened just a little more.

For the next few moments, I sat quietly in the midst of a still wind and the cool, silent dusk air.

“Maybe it’s time we called it a day,” I suggested, breaking the silence.

“Sounds like a good idea to me, Twilight.” Despite Spike’s age in years, there was a youthful, innocent quality about his voice.

Spike was a dear friend. When I was young student, he lived with me and worked as my assistant. He was a baby then, and he remained a baby now—that’s how dragons work. They only grow when they succumb to their avaricious inclinations. Luckily for me, that never happened to Spike—not even after all these years. He still wasn’t much taller than my knees, and his round, bulbous baby shape had never changed.

Unfortunately, however, he was no longer my assistant alone. As time moved on, his responsibilities had shifted. These days, he spent most of his time working with Princess Celestia, the royal leader of the land we lived in, Equestria.

Still, he generously managed to make time for me every now and then. Today, Spike discovered a way to help both the princess and me at the same time: He brought her unwanted books to my yard sale so that both her books and mine could all be sold together.

I sat behind my table, looking over all the books we had left to sell.

“Today, we sold forty-nine of my books, one hundred forty-four of Celestia’s,” I said, quickly scanning my sale summary sheet, “and we still have… exactly one thousand more books to sell altogether.”

Spike could only chuckle. We would certainly be here again tomorrow.

With a relaxed grin, Spike started packing the books into cardboard boxes, beginning with the thickest. Despite Spike’s small stature, it seemed no physical task was too demanding for him.

My own physical strength may not have been what it once was, but my magical prowess remained just as strong as I ever. I decided I could use that asset to help Spike pack, so I joined him in his effort.

“I wonder exactly how many books Celestia owns,” I said, using my magic to levitate one hefty book on top of the other and into one of the larger boxes. “If these are just the ones she doesn’t want—I can only imagine how massive her whole collection must be.”

“I can’t say for sure,” he answered, aloof, “but the books I brought here today are just the ones that haven’t been opened for over a hundred years. Honestly, I have no idea what most of these books even are.”

There was room for just one more book in my box. As I levitated the next book, I paused and stared at it. The cover was a shade of dark brown. There was something unusual about this particular book that prompted me to stop and examine it.

The title had been embossed on the front cover. I whispered it aloud.

“‘The Holy Bible: King James Version.’”

Spike glanced in my direction with a grimace.

“Don’t read them—just pack them,” he said, continuing to pack his own box.

“This book belongs to Celestia, Spike? She doesn’t want it?”

“Just keep packing. We’ll worry about it tomorrow.”

In spite of Spike’s warning, I felt compelled to investigate further.

I tried to open the book using my magic, but the pages were inexplicably stuck together. I grumbled.

“It won’t open,” I said. “Maybe if I just try a little harder—”

“Leave it alone.”

But the magic had already been set in motion. My horn glowed a light shade of purple, and I closed my eyes in a deep concentration.

Spike backed away. Without warning, the light from my horn burst into sky, forming a luminous vertical beam. The force of the magic caused the book to fall out of my hooves and tumble forward onto the ground.

The magic only lasted for a moment. After the beam of light faded, I shook my head and opened my eyes.

The book was now open. I inched forward, curious yet trepid about the prospect of discovering what was so special about it.

“Twilight, I’m warning you—that book was obviously enchanted shut with magic. I don’t think Celestia would want you looking through it.”

Now that it had it already been opened, though, I supposed a quick look couldn’t hurt.

Taking moment to conjure a new spell, I summoned just enough magic to levitate the opened book to my eye level. I quickly scanned the contents of the opened pages.

The book was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Passages were numbered, and footnotes were found at the bottom of every page. I looked to a random sentence and read it out loud.

“‘And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.’” I paused. “Wait. What is ‘perdition’? What is ‘God’?”

“This is a really bad idea, Twilight,” Spike said. He had stopped packing. “Just put the book in the box and forget all about it.”

I used my magic to flip through more pages. Certain passages had been underlined, and some notes had been scrawled in the margins. It seemed that the closer I reached the end of the book, the more notes and underlined passages there were to be found.

“This is a used book, Spike, and whoever had it last must have been especially interested in the last part of it,” I said. Spike responded with nothing but glaring silence, apparently incredulous that I was still investigating. “Wait—there are a lot of notes written into the last few pages. Listen to this, Spike. ‘After a thorough study of this Bible, I have discovered that it contains the world’s deepest secrets. If this book falls into the wrong hooves, the world may meet a terrible fa—’”

“Please, stop,” Spike interrupted. “Celestia won’t be happy if she finds out you’re reading that.”

But I was in a daring mood. I didn’t have anything to lose. I was too old to avoid taking chances.

As a warning to Spike, I allowed my horn to glow brighter. Tiny, luminescent purple sparks burst from tip.

He grumbled.

“Don’t worry, Spike. I can handle this.” The glow from my horn dimmed, and I continued reading aloud where I left off. “‘If this book falls into the wrong hooves, the world may meet a terrible fate.’”

Spike started pacing back and forth, wringing his hands at the same time.

“‘This is an ancient book written by ancient creatures known as people,’” I read from the notes, already intrigued. The last word sounded strange to me, so I read it aloud once more. “‘People.’ Do you know what ‘people’ are, Spike?”

“C-can’t say that I do,” he answered with a quiver, still wringing his hands and pacing. Now more curious than ever, I returned to the notes and continued reading.

“Listen to this, Spike: ‘This particular Bible includes maps. One map specifically identifies a location named Equestria, found within what has been labeled as the greater country of South Africa. However, the words in the Bible itself contain clues about the connections between people and ponies.’”

“Are you sure you don’t want to just finish packing?”

“No, Spike—listen, there’s more. ‘As strange as they may seem to us, people are not creatures from a distant world. I can be sure of this because we share the same stars, and we even have the same names for our constellations, as indicated in Job 9:9.’” Befuddled for a moment, I repeated what I had read. “‘Job 9:9’? Maybe there’s a table of contents I can use….”

As I flipped to the front of the Bible, Spike only became more agitated. With an impatient sigh, he lamented, “I wish you didn’t need to research every single thing you think is interesting.”

“Here it is,” I said. “Job 9:9: ‘Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.’ So it is true. Now, I’ll just go back….” I quickly flipped back to the pages with the hand-written notes and read them aloud at the point I had left. “‘From beginning to end, the Bible is rich with prophecies and visions of the future. My theory is that we ponies are visions of these ancient people. I will explain in these notes how I came to form that theory.’”

“Come on, Twilight,” said Spike. “Just put the book down. We’re going to be in huge trouble.”

It irked me that he seemed so determined to stop me from reading on. He never was one I would call fearless, but he seemed particularly terrified about my reading of this book.

I was determined to learn more, though. As an old mare, my bones had grown brittle, and my skin had become wrinkled, but even after all these years, my curiosity had never waned.

I continued reading the notes aloud.

“‘In the Bible, people were the dominant race and the only creatures capable of speech—with a few notable exceptions. The Bible contains occasional mentions of creatures from our world—such as the talking donkey in Numbers 22, the horse-drawn flying chariot in 2 Kings 2, and the unicorns in Psalm 22. Talking donkeys, flying horses, and unicorns—I believe it is possible that these could be visions of the future from the prophets of the Bible. But if this is true, why are there no longer any people in the world? The Bible has the answer to this, too, and it begins with the prophet Zechariah. The book of Zechariah describes—’”

“I don’t care what this ‘Zechama’ guy has to say to say about any of this,” said Spike. “All I know is it’s getting late and we should get this packing done before we can’t see in front of our own feet—hooves—you know what I mean.”

“I can’t stop reading, though, Spike. It’s amazing,” I said. The Bible itself was fascinating, but the notetaker’s interpretations of its contents were just as revealing. “The notes here say that the sixth chapter of Zechariah contains a prophecy about horses of multiple colors—some red, some black, some white, some of other colors—just like us. The prophecy foretells that the horses will arrive on Earth from the heavens, and they will go forth in every direction of the Earth. The cited verse reads, ‘The black horses which are therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country. And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth.’”

“That’s some ‘prophecy,’” Spike said, rolling his eyes. “Colorful equines are scattered throughout the Earth. Anypony could tell you that. If this is a real prophecy, what happened to these ‘people,’ then? They couldn’t have just disappeared.”

“Well,” I replied, quickly scanning the next paragraph of notes, “it says here that some, in fact, did just that—in an event called ‘the rapture.’ During the rapture, those who were saved disappeared from the Earth and ascended to heaven.”

“What do you mean, ‘those who were saved’?”

“Here’s what the notes say about it: ‘The prophecy of the savior begins with the Old Testament, and the prophecy is fulfilled in the New Testament, in which the savior is given a name: Christ. According to the Bible, God is the creator of the world, and Christ is his son. The New Testament explains that Christ was sent to the world by God in the form of a person—first to teach, then to die in the place of all those who have ever done wrong. If you accept what is written in this book, it can be believed that those who accept Christ and repent may enter heaven.’”

Spike dismissed the explanation with a chuckle, but at the same time, he avoided eye contact with me. He clasped his hands together, too, and I gathered that his nervousness suggested he knew more than he was letting on.

“Spike, do you have any idea who Christ is?”

“No!” he snapped, his eyebrows crossed, apparently incredulous that I had made the accusation. “Of course not!”

I could sense the insincerity in the tone of his voice, however. I wanted to press him to tell me the truth about what he was thinking, but I was too curious about the contents of the remaining notes.

I continued to read them out loud.

“‘The book of Revelation provides details about the events of the rapture. Once those saved by Christ enter heaven, the unfortunate, unsaved souls left on Earth will be subjected to a series of plagues initiated by a quartet of deadly, colorful equines—the four horses of the Apocalypse. They will come amidst the many horses described in Zechariah, but the four Apocalyptic horses will bring conquest, war, famine, and eventually, death upon the entire population of people on Earth. Unicorns, too, will join the horses in that time of divine judgment, as foretold in Isaiah 34:7: “And the unicorns shall come down with them.” As originally prophesized in Zechariah, together they will populate the Earth. Based on the evidence in the Bible, it is my belief that we are the descendants of those horses and unicorns, and our world has already endured God’s last judgment.’”

I didn’t want to believe it myself, but I had to admit it made sense. Creatures of plagues, like parasprites, cockatrices, and changelings roamed freely in Equestria, and the Bible’s suggestion that this was a world left to ruin provided an explanation for all of that.

Spike almost seemed amused. I couldn’t understand why he seemed so flippant about such a terrifying notion.

“Go on,” he said. “I’m interested now. Read the rest.”

“All—all right,” I stuttered. “I will. The notes continue: ‘The prophecy does not end there, however. Like night and day, like the moon and the sun, there is a counterpart to Christ: the Antichrist, the one the book of Revelation refers to as a beast. Because the spirit of evil is a malleable force, the Antichrist—the personified manifestation of this evil—could appear in any form and any gender. 2 John 1:7 warns that the Antichrist will emerge after the rapture as a deceiver who leads people away from Christ; and the tragedy of this is that those who align themselves with the Antichrist until death will end up in hell, the place of eternal torment for the unsaved. What is most revealing, however, is that this Bible’s footnote at 2 Peter 2:4 indicates that the New Testament’s hell is the same as Tartarus—which we ponies already know exists.’”

It was true. I remembered the day the terrible Cerberus escaped from Tartarus. One of my friends had managed to quell it before it caused any damage, but the creature was certainly real—and so was the dreadful place it came from. It seemed all too possible that the Cerberus existed in Equestria because the gates of hell had been opened in the days of God’s final judgment.

“‘Additionally,’” I continued reading, “‘the Bible contains several clues as to the identity of the Antichrist. He will be an authority figure who wields great political power, as indicated in Revelation 13:2. According to Revelation 13:16, all those under his rule must receive a mark—known as the mark of the beast—and according to Revelation 13:17, only those with the mark will be able to buy or sell goods. Interestingly, there is no specific physical description of the mark itself in the Bible. The mark of the beast could very well be what we ponies now refer to as the cutie mark.’”

Memories from my younger days immediately came to surface. I recalled a young Applebloom, a filly without a mark, who desperately tried to sell apples—and who failed to achieve success. The ponies who were pressured into buying apples handed their bits to her older sister, Applejack, who did have the mark. Even when her entire family sold apple cider during Cider Season, Applebloom wasn’t allowed to deal with the exchange of money.

Was there any truth to the theory? Did we all unwittingly receive the mark of the beast? None of us ponies have ever been able to understand how these marks appear on our bodies. They appear as if by magic. Could it be the work of the Antichrist?

“There’s more, Spike: ‘Who, precisely, is the Antichrist? I may have the answer. I fear he is living among us. I do not wish it to be true, but the evidence is too strong to dismiss.’”

“Twilight,” Spike said, his tone now more urgent, “I’ve known you a long time. You can stop reading now and forget all about this.”

I could only shake my head no. There was then a new sadness in Spike’s eyes—as though he knew that the words I was about to read would forever end our friendship.

I read on anyway. I had to know the truth.

“‘Revelation 17:5 describes the Antichrist’s regime as “the mother of harlots and abominations of the Earth.” Now, what does the Bible describe as the greatest “abomination” of all? The eighth chapter of Ezekiel makes it clear: “Thou shalt see greater abominations that they do… they worshipped the sun.” In Biblical times, those who worshipped the sun imposed this abominable practice on conquered nations. Further, Revelation 6:2 describes the conqueror as a white horse.

“‘Given this evidence, we know that the Antichrist will be a great deceiver who holds world power. All subjects under the Antichrist’s regime will be forced to receive a mark—a mark of purpose and service that ultimately represents servitude to that regime. The Antichrist him or herself will come in the form of a white horse and will mandate the practice of sun worship. There is only one who perfectly fits the description: Princess Celestia. She is truly the Antichrist.’”

In an instant, I lost all concentration. The magic I had been using to keep the book afloat abruptly ended, and the book tumbled to the ground.

I looked to Spike. He wasn’t moving, and he averted his eyes from me. I could sense that he felt defeated.

At that moment, I knew it had to be true. Princess Celestia had deceived all of us, and she was, indeed, the Antichrist.

Immediately, I hated myself for following Celestia so blindly all my life. How could I have been so foolish? From the moment I moved to Ponyville, Princess Celestia behaved deceptively, giving me only two tickets to the Grand Galloping Gala—even though she had six tickets and knew I had five friends—as though she wanted to cause a quarrel among us. When the day of the gala did finally arrive, she allowed numerous disasters to unfold; and in the end, she admitted that it was precisely what she had expected. Princess Celestia was exactly the deceiver the Bible described. Not only that, she had never once mentioned Christ, and she had the world at her own hooves—just like the prophetic Antichrist of the Bible.

I looked to Spike, whose eyes still strayed. He had always been close to Celestia, too, sending all my letters to her by way of magic. What was his role in all of this—and what, exactly, was mine?

“Spike, did you know about Celestia?”

Spike raised his nose and let out a chortle. Faint pillars of smoke billowed from the baby dragon’s nostrils.

“You have to ask? I thought you were smarter than that, Twilight.” With that, he kicked the fallen book back to my front hooves. “Go on, Twilight. Read the rest of the notes.”

Spike’s derisive attitude shook me. This was not the same boyish baby dragon I had known all my life.

Now more fearful than curious, I levitated the Bible once again. Using my magic, I flipped to the page that contained the hand-written notes.

As before, I read them out loud.

“‘The book of Revelation tells us that the Antichrist cannot achieve world domination alone. According to Revelation 13:4, the Antichrist requires the power of a dragon. Revelation 12:9 reveals that the dragon is the same as a serpent, and he has many names: The Great Dragon, the Old Serpent, the Devil, and Satan—a sinister, sly beast that dates back to the first book of the Bible, Genesis. If a dragon should emerge on Earth who allies himself with Celestia, be wary: It is his mission to help her deceive the world. Above all else, do not reveal any personal information to the dragon, for he could very well be acting as Celestia’s informant.’”

That was the end of the notes. They were unsigned, and apparently, unfinished.

My sense of composure beginning to fail me, I closed the Bible with my magic and let it slowly drift back to the ground. I had given countless letters to Spike, as did my old friends, and every one of those letters had been sent directly to Celestia.

With his hands folded behind his back, Spike had now turned around completely. Apparently, he had no desire to face me in this moment.

“Are you the dragon, Spike? Is it true?”

“You know the answer to that as well as I do, Twilight,” he said, his back still turned. “You were a good friend, but that’s what made you so perfect to deceive. Every innocent action I made—pretending not to understand how to spell simple words, baking confections for you and your friends, and even my crush on Rarity—these were all part of my act, designed to make you and your friends certain of my innocence. I’m sorry you had to find out this way, Twilight. I know you only meant well for me.”

He then turned around again to look at me. His expression was stoic, as though his confession was a mere necessity and our lifelong companionship meant nothing to him. His green, callous eyes glimmered with cold indifference.

Everything I had ever known changed in that moment. He was always there for me from the beginning, and he was here with me now—but it had always been an act of deception.

There was no one I could trust.

“Spike,” I said, “at least tell me this: Do you know who wrote the notes in this Bible?”

With a chortle, he answered, “Oh, I remember now: It was just some thoughtless nopony who thought it would be smart to defy Celestia. During one of the annual summer sun celebrations, he refused to bow to both Celestia herself and her image, the sun. Not only that, he refused to receive the mark.”

“He—he did all that? What happened to him?”

“The same thing that happens to every pony who defies her: He was summoned away, and then he was beheaded.” Spike said it with a smile. The thought seemed to amuse him. “This, too, is a prophecy of the Bible: ‘I saw the souls of them that were beheaded… which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark,’ as stated in Revelation 20:4. Didn’t you ever find it a little curious that you’ve never encountered a single fully grown pony without a mark?”

Once again, I felt foolish for not seeing what had always been in front of me. It wasn’t logical that every pony would receive a mark, nor was it logical that every pony in Equestria would submit to the princess. The only reason they did was because they had no choice, and those who refused were executed.

“What about me?” I asked. “What are you going to do with me?”

“That all depends on you. But first, you’ll need this.”

Spike opened his mouth, reached a hand inside, and yanked out one of his pointed teeth.

I flinched. He didn’t seem to notice any pain. There was no blood.

Finally, he opened his eyes and looked directly at me with his bright, green eyes—the same eyes I had always associated with the innocence I foolishly thought he embodied.

“This is a dragon’s tooth, Twilight. Take it.”

I was shaking. I edged back a little, not saying anything.

“Twilight, the end is near. There are two opposing sides in a spiritual war that has been waging for millennia between the Christ and the Antichrist. Regardless of one’s works in this world, it is which side one aligns with before death that determines their fate in the afterlife. Your friends devoted themselves to Celestia, the Antichrist. Therefore, they now reside in hell.”

“No,” I said, shaking my head. I didn’t want to believe it—but somehow, as he looked into my eyes, I could tell he was telling me the truth. “How can that be?”

“It is confirmed by the Bible in Ephesians 2:8: ‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ Look it up for yourself if you doubt.” With a smirk, Spike continued, “To attain eternal world domination, Princess Celestia needed both my power and the power of her sister, Luna—the second beast—the one described in Revelation 13:12, who ‘exerciseth all the power of the first beast.’ As you very well know, reuniting Luna with Celestia required the magic power of one unicorn, plus five devoted friends.”

“What? That means—”

“Yes, Twilight. From the moment you hatched me, Celestia knew that you would be the perfect pony to assemble the six friends required to reunite her with her sister. For Celestia, this was the first step towards complete world domination. The three of us—Celestia, Luna, and me—needed only the united devotion of six to attain that goal. Six devoted to three: That is what the number of the beast, a six repeated three times, represents.”

“I… I just…” I began to say before trailing off. No words could have conveyed the terrible feeling that caused my body to tremble at that moment.

“Your friends grow stronger in hell, and the combined power of the six of you together will be insurmountable. When the time comes, the six of you shall rise through the gates of Tartarus and join Celestia, Luna, and me to create a true hell on Earth.” Spike smiled and rubbed the dragon’s tooth in his hand. “Of course, you first need to reaffirm your devotion to us and die—which won’t be long anyway for an old mare like you.”

“No,” I said. I planted my front hooves firmly in the ground. I didn’t back away, and for the moment, I was without fear. “I still have a choice, and I won’t allow that to happen. Knowing all this, I can’t join you now—not even if it means being beheaded.”

“That’s right, Twilight. You can refuse to join us. Without your allegiance, we won’t have the power to take over the world,” he chuckled, “so we will simply destroy it instead. If you choose to allow this, our reign will end; but your friends will remain in hell without you, and the world will be destroyed forever. Your other choice is this: Take my dragon’s tooth, kill yourself, and join your friends in hell. You will not only be reunited with them, you will have saved the entire world. The end is near, Twilight. Don’t waste any time.”

Spike extended his hand with an outstretched, scaly palm, offering his dragon’s tooth to me.

I didn’t want to take it, but I feared I had no choice. I had no doubt that Spike was sincere about his intent to destroy the world if I denied his offer.

“Please,” I pleaded, “there must be some other way.”

He shook his head and repeated, “Take it, Twilight. There’s no time to spare.”

I couldn’t help it—my eyes started to water. Feeling helpless, confused, and on the verge of tears, I looked up. The moon had finally emerged amidst the darkening evening sky.

I couldn’t allow the world to be destroyed, nor could I bear the thought of being forever separated from my friends—not even if meant sacrificing myself—so I put forth my front hoof and prepared to receive the dragon’s tooth. There was nothing else I could do.

With my eyes focused on the moon, I waited for Spike to hand the tooth to me—but there was only silence.

I looked down at Spike. The tooth was still firmly clenched in his scaly hand. However, his body was stiff, and his eyes were lifeless. It seemed that in the shroud of darkness, something had struck him with a terrible blow from behind.

Then he stumbled forward and collapsed, making a loud thump as he crashed against the grassy earth at the front of my hooves. He had fallen flat on his stomach with such gracelessness that I would have found it comical in any other context. Yet even after enduring the immobilizing strike, Spike’s lifeless hand retained its firm grasp on the tooth.

Behind Spike’s body, a proud, familiar face emerged: Princess Luna, Celestia’s sister—the one who represented the moon instead of the sun, as well as the one Spike had claimed was the second beast of Revelation.

The moon illuminated her dark blue coat and flowing, bright blue mane. Like Celestia, she was an alicorn—a grand creature with both wings and a horn.

Apparently, she had used that horn to stab Spike in the back, thereby putting an end to his life.

“Luna, is that you?”

“Yes, Twilight. Thou hast—” she said, her voice booming. She paused a moment and lowered her head, apparently realizing her error. “That is to say,” she continued, her voice now at a reasonable volume, “you have no reason to fear. It was just as the notes you read showed you. I am the counterpart to the Antichrist: Christ. I am here to help you.”

I wasn’t sure what to think. I opened my mouth to speak, but Luna interrupted me before I had a chance to do so.

“I arrived here thanks to this,” she said. She unfurled one of her wings, and under it, she revealed a time scroll—one of the artifacts in Celestia’s castle that allows the user to travel back in time for a few short moments. “I am here to help you.”

She gave a smile that reminded me of the Luna I had always known—the Luna that I knew would never deceive me—the Luna that was so unlike Celestia.

I felt I could trust her, but I still had questions.

“I still don’t fully understand, Luna. How can you be Christ?”

“I was born into this world long ago to spread a message of forgiveness, as well as to save those who came to me for repentance. Many millennia later, I was reborn once again—the Second Coming, it is sometimes called—this time in the form of an alicorn. My purpose was to fulfill God’s prophecies and overthrow the Antichrist, who you now know is Celestia. As foretold in Revelation 20:4, if I succeeded, I would reign on the Earth myself for one thousand years.

“Celestia was aware of the prophecy, but she was not strong enough to destroy me. Therefore, she instead used Spike’s power to corrupt my mind, and I transformed into Nightmare Moon. In doing so, Spike and Celestia caused me to lose my memory. Celestia claimed I was the evil one, then banished me to the moon for a thousand years, thinking she could take my place as ruler during the prophetic millennial reign.”

It was true. A one-thousand-year banishment had always seemed like a bizarre and cruel punishment to me, but now that Luna had explained Revelation’s prophecy of the one who rule for a thousand years, it made perfect sense.

“As you will recall,” Luna went on to explain, “you and your friends returned me to my original state. However, my memory was still gone, and I could not remember my true identity. Thus, I became Celestia’s friend, and this was exactly what she wanted: I became the second beast of Revelation. However, Revelation 13:11 describes this second beast as a lamb—the symbol of Christ. The author of Revelation was even able to foretell my dual role during these end times—something Celestia herself was never able to grasp.

“Eventually, your friends died under Celestia’s regime. You died, too, when you killed yourself with the dragon’s tooth. I was ordered to recover your body, which is when I discovered the Bible with the notes in it. Upon reading the notes, I remembered exactly who I really was—and I also realized that Celestia, the Antichrist, had already succeeded.

“There was only one thing I could do to reverse these events: Obtain the last two time scrolls. I used the first to return to this time and place to eliminate Spike before he could get to you.”

Spike’s body remained lifeless. His face was firmly planted into the ground. Even in death, Spike looked desperate to me—pathetic, even. In a strange way, I felt sorry for him, even if he was the Devil himself.

“Twilight, my true millennial reign begins today. In Spike’s absence, Celestia has no power, which means I can now try to restore peace to this world. As prophesized in Revelation 20:5, after the one thousand years have passed, those who died under Celestia’s regime shall rise from their graves—and a new world without pain or suffering will come to fruition.”

One thousand years, I thought. For my friends, I could wait that long.

“Now, as for you, Twilight, I once said that the meek shall inherit the Earth. That is why I am entrusting you with the last scroll.”

She extended her wing and displayed the scroll for me to see once more. It was a plain, brown, seemingly ordinary parchment that wasn’t much heavier than a pegasus’ feather—yet it carried the weight of the world’s fate in it.

I wasn’t much different. Upon my initial arrival in Ponyville, I was little more than a meek student. Now, here I was at the center of a spiritual conflict that would determine the fate of the entire world.

I hesitated to take the scroll at first; but as I looked in Luna’s eyes, I could see that she was sincere, and her hope was in me.

Luna conveyed a smile of gentle assurance. The simple gesture alleviated my anxiety.

With a nod, I took the scroll in my hoof.

“As you know, Twilight, words are powerful. The world changed forever when I made my presence known in ancient times. Now, it is your turn to send a message—a message for the people who lived not long after I first walked the Earth.”

Luna paused. The cool night air had suddenly grown much colder, and I shivered.

“The use of the time scrolls is an ancient practice. It is how prophecies are formed. Twilight, you shall deliver the last prophecy, should you accept. As you will recall from the first Nightmare Night celebration we spent together, the words that come from your mouth are accepted more easily than mine.”

I didn’t know how to respond. At first, I was terrified at the thought; but at the same time, I felt honored that Luna had granted me this trust.

“I understand, Luna. Just tell me what I need to do.”

“Go back about two millennia after my birth—the dawn of the Information Age. When you arrive to that era, Twilight, you must deliver the first part of the new prophecy to the woman named Zacherle. She is the descendant of Zechariah, the first prophet of the horses of the Apocalypse. Over the centuries, the name ‘Zechariah’ evolved into ‘Zacherle,’ but the meaning of the name always remained the same: ‘God remembers.’ It will be Zacherle’s purpose, just as it was for Zechariah, to remind the people of the world about God and his coming judgment.”

“‘Zacherle,’” I repeated back to her, making a mental note of the name. “What should I say to her?”

“Warn Zacherle that her descendant, Zechariah, was right about the fate of the people of the world. In the end times, people will succumb to disharmony, and this shall prompt God’s ultimate judgment: the Apocalypse. During that time, people will be at the mercy of the horses of the Apocalypse and the creatures of their plagues. People failed to heed Zechariah’s original warning, so instruct Zacherle to use the technology of her era to spread the prophecy—and even to send the message to children. The young ones will listen, perhaps more than anyone else.”

“I will. I’ll remember, Luna. But you said Zacherle would only receive the first part of the prophecy. Who should receive the other part?”

“The other prophet shall be a child herself—a child who shares the name a character from an ancient legend. In the legend, a man becomes corrupted by the Devil, but he is redeemed at the end of his life and enters heaven. The legend embodies the message I want to send—that anybody, even the most corrupted—can be redeemed. The name of this legendary character, and the name of the child you must seek, is Faust. For Zacherle and Faust, their very names—the first of Biblical prophecy, and the second of Biblical redemption—will be their proof that both my prophecy and my message of salvation is true.”

“Clever—first Zacherle, then Faust,” I said, making sure to remember both names. “Now, what, exactly, should I tell Faust?”

“Tell her that her destiny will be to expand the prophecy established by Zacherle. By the time she becomes an adult, there will be a new form of evangelism—a phenomenon that will come to be known as memetics—and she can use this to spread a message of harmony. The Apocalypse is not inevitable. Tell Faust that if only she can convince people to live harmoniously and to embrace friendship, God’s judgment can be prevented, and the world will not end.”

“Are you sure this is what you want me to say? Can a child handle that level of responsibility?”

“It is a child’s heart that is purer than any other. This purity exists among adults, too, but it can only be brought to the surface with the help of someone like you. The twelfth chapter of Revelation describes a woman of twilight—the one ‘clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet’—who will be followed by a dragon, but will bring forth what some will call the ‘man child.’ As it is written in Revelation 12:13, ‘And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.’ You are that woman of twilight—the one destined to overcome the dragon, deliver the prophecies, and bring forth the purity of children, even among men. You shall give rise to the man child.”

So that was it: My mission was to change the hearts of the people who lived in past. Would Zacherle and Faust believe my story? Could they even begin to imagine what would become of their world? Perhaps most importantly, would the adults of that era be willing to accept a simple, childlike message about friendship and harmony?

I didn’t know the answers to any of these questions, but I knew I had to try—for my friends, for Luna, and for the world.

“All right,” I said. “I can try.”

“You can not only try, Twilight, but you can succeed. When a seed is planted in good soil, not even the scorching sun can wither it. My gospel—the gospel of harmony—can flourish if you plant it with care. I believe you will sow a great harvest for me, and its fruits will be bountiful.”

With that, Luna disappeared in a brilliant flash of bright, white light. Her time scroll had expired and caused her to return to the time and place she had originally used it. In an instant, I was alone, and all I was left with was a time scroll of my own and a mission to change the past.

I looked again at the scroll in my hoof. In a sense, it seemed too easy. The people of the past needed only to accept Luna’s simple message of friendship and harmony, and the world would be changed for the better forever. However, I feared the hearts of the people may have become too hardened by the time I reached them.

I hoped not. If only I could infuse a cynical world with the magic I knew existed—the magic of friendship—total harmony would finally prevail.

But once the message was out, there would be nothing else I could do. It would be up to them.

I prayed that all those who could hear would listen.

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Comments ( 107 )

I appreciate all feedback.

media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m23gijJud31ql8wa5.jpg

And now i'm sitting here GRINNING like a madman. WTF was that?!

Btw. Give me next chapter.

When real life religion is involved especially about humans; the story is ruined and so is the rest of your series if u continue on. They have a God or goddess there already. It needs notl other retarded ones.

Other differences ... their God is real and ours is just imaginary.

I hope you won't be offended... overmuch, but I feel the need to submit this to FSTDT. Or at least the forums. There are no words for the hilarity that has come out of this. And the face-hoofing. Oh the face-hoofing.

What even.

it's not written badly, but it kinda is. uhm, i mean ...

the actual story content is, uhm, ok. i guess. no worse than most everything else i've read. the conversations are a bit long and dull and the fact it's mainly Twilight reading someone else's notes makes it a bit 'tell not show.' but spouting bible verses as you write just makes it sound like you're preaching. also, why would Twilight take the bible at face value? i'm guessing that it's because she put so much faith in the Mare in the Moon story but from her and Spike's reaction, that's a story that's well known to ponies. this seems like a completely unknown book to Twilight. why would she place so much value on a book that uses itself to justify itself?

this just seems like so much preaching to me. i'm sorry ...

Okay, I'm sorry, but trying to blend together real life religion and ponies, goddamn ponies, is like trying to mix together Doctor Who and Pokemon. It just doesn't work, and I doubt that you'll get the dramatic reaction that you're expecting. Truth be told, when I found out that Celestia is the antichrist I did this;

29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lxz10uOrdq1qmaa4ro1_500.gif

I mean, I'm not even a Christian and I was slightly offended by this. :rainbowderp: That's a pretty impressive feat.

Edit; Actually, it seems like you put a shitload of research into this. As much as I applaud you for that, I think you might want to try applying your new found knowledge into something... not ponies... you know?

484233
Why does the concept of a Pokemon and Doctor Who fan fic intrigue me now? :trixieshiftright:

I'm a christian and what is this?

484247
Turn the TARDIS into a steel type and have it learn teleport.
My God that would be so badass. If you ever write it then please link me. :pinkiehappy:

Lolololol
Oh God
As a Christian I found this hilarious don't know why so many people are getting angry

I kinda zoned out when Luna started giving the instructions. Also, being relatively agnostic, I'm not sure how much of your Bible-referencing was true, and how much of it was not, so I can't like or hate those parts. Its an interesting concept, don't get me wrong, but it's so riddled with exposition and little in the ways of STORY events, there's little to be said about it. I gotta thumbs-down this one, sorry. Real-world religion and ponies just do not mix well, sorry. :fluttershysad:

~Cleff

I'm just sad that Religion was bought in this. and I was lost.

This sort of thing (ponies + religion with evil Celestia) has been attempted before. I can only hope that some day the Fanfic Theater 3000 guys do a pull-apart of your story like they did for the aforementioned fic, which (at least superficially) looks far better-written than Prayer Ponies and easier to take seriously (excluding the whole Celestia = Antichrist thing, and Jesus having temporarily died 3 days for ponykind as well as humanity), thus making the process more amusing.

i.imgur.com/WzrDA.jpg

I laughed so hard I almost fell out of my chair when Luna said 'Faust'.

This description made me laugh so hard. I was howling. And the picture. 10/10. Bravo. ten-thousand bravos!

Edit: I just finished reading the whole thing. Poe's Law par excellence. The american evangelical-typical interpretations of various biblical passages suggest that this may, in fact, be an authentic story and not a TJ.

It's like Harry Potter turns to the Lord, even more boring somehow.

Bring religion into ANYTHING, and no matter how good it is, you'll still be scorned and hated.

I enjoyed this, actually, because it made sense, and I believe it should have a better score....

484326
Thank you so much for linking that travesty. I had no idea such... beauty existed in our fandom. :moustache:

Hmm...*Speechless* :rainbowhuh:

Not badly written. But this is odd, very odd.

H'ok. I love this. I don't, as is, like it, but I love it, because of what it could be. Honestly, if I could have one wish, it would be that you take this down, and rewrite it as an epic, because the story you just proposed deserves to be told that way. I look at this and I see Raiders of the Lost Ark gone prophesaic, or the Book of Eli set 2000 years ago, and 1000 years into the future. I simply love the concept, I just think that it reads like something you would give to an editor and say "this is my idea, I want to write a novel, give me an advance."

Please consider doing this, if you think you're up to it. It would be controversial, no matter what you do; handled correctly though, it could be one hell of an adventure. Good luck.

Best,
lesserpoet.

484240 With Celestia as Antichrist?

Lolwhat?

This was just... well pretty awful. You're connections are tenuous at best and the whole idea is just really silly. Hmmm, just had a thought that maybe this was intended to parody the Bible by being completely and utterly ridiculous, if that's the case (which I doubt it is) then it should have been more obvious.

My advice: pick a better topic next time.

Obviously, you've put a lot research into this; I can respect that. However, you story style is if anything rushed. You could have split this into three or four chapters or so and given each new idea some time to sink in, rather than barreling forward with one reveal after another.

Utterly horrid. The same thinly veiled self-loathing-as-virtue claptrap as usual for this sort of thing.
Character reactions and interactions were not believable, canon characters were out of character - several times ridiculously so.

Didn't the author of this fic try and send out a message out to all of the clop-writers to stop writing clop-fics? I'm pretty sure it was someone with a similar name. :rainbowderp:

And I see so many of you so follow love and tolerance...until it's easily discarded because you don't care for something. How sad, how sad.

I'll be honest. I didn't care for the story, but it has nothing to do with religion (for the record, why, yes, I am a practicing Catholic, kthx.) I didn't feel the story stood on its own merits. It would't have mattered if Twilight picked up the Torah, the Koran, the Kojiki or any other one. There are great and wonderful ways to tie in religion into this world. Vulpix clearly did not do it. That's the need of a pre-reader or an editor, not to be silenced and shut up just because you disagree with the writer's beliefs.

484456
Totally agree, the story was rushed. This could easily be fleshed out into two or three chapters (or more) if done properly.

Vulpix,
Strongly recommend you rewrite this. Check with some other writers, and write what you must - but do it without rushing. :twilightsmile:

scranton.mylittlefacewhen.com/media/f/img/mlfw1237_Twilight_Sparkle_nope_nope_nope.gif


Equestria is a constructed fictional world. Crossing over religion into it is just poor form. Not to mention that the writing alone here makes it pretty clear this is either a trollfic or someone earnestly trying to write something controversial for attention.

In other words : :facehoof:

I totally lost it when it was revealed that Spike was Satan. Really? :rainbowlaugh:

Well. You gave me a reason to read the bible. I'm gunna have to say. I was pretty interested. Practically hooked. There was a bit of continuity going on. That's practically all I can say.

I'm christian,and wondering WHAT made you think of writing this. Not saying it's shit but,using a bible?!

Chiliasm (condemned: 1st Council of Constantinople)
Docetism (variants condemned: 2nd Universal Epistle of John, Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans, Irenaeus's Adversus Haereses, Ecumenical Councils 3-7, etc.)
Pseudo-Origenism (condemned: addendum to the 2nd Council of Constantinople)

I personally think this is great, and well written and researched. "Offended" parties: if you don't want religion in your ponies, don't read this, same as avoiding stories with other content you don't appreciate. Great job with this.

So I take it you're a Luna fan then. This works wonderfully with Trollestia being the bad guy. I was hoping you would mention something about Trollestia offering the 'forbidden fruit' to ponies ("Do you like mmmbananas?").

Honestly, I don't know what people are getting their panties in a bunch about. This was well researched and your writing level is fairly competent. It's an original take on Equestrian society, and was interesting throughout. The only reason you're getting so many down votes is because the online community has people who will automatically hate anything that even goes near religion.

Weren't we supposed to be all about "love and tolerance" and "harmonious friendship"? No one was forcing ANYONE to read this.

Heh. I bet you're offending both Christians and non-Christians with this one, hence the downthumbs. But although it's completely ridiculous, I have to admire the way you managed to find so many connections and weave them together like this.

484828

Or it could be getting negative responses because it tries to shoehorn in out-of-context real-world religion on a fictional world with it's own setting.

484871

The point is this author is taking chances and doing something different, and it didn't turn out terrible. More authors need to know that they can do that. If you don't like religion in the fiction you read, then ... well, wasn't it pretty obvious what this story was going to be from the picture and description and title? Did anyone force you to read it? Seems that you MAY have come here to bash on the author and anyone who says they liked it.

I.. I don't even...
Discord is villian enough. They dont need Jehova too.

But... No, never mind, too many things to say 'but' about here. I'll focus on the bigger issues:

This kind of crossover is really uncomfortable for a lot of people, partly because of the potential for giving offense. Others have said that this feels rushed, and that is true. It also feels like you were reaching for something that just doesn't really come together. In order to try to make it work, you've written in that every action taken by certain characters has been deception. Come on, Spike is evil? He's not the only dragon in Equestria, and you could have used another. Also, there seems to be no reasonable explanation for Celestia giving this book to Twilight, nor selling it in a 'yard sale', nor sending Luna to collect Twilight's body and thus discover her 'true identity' in the alternate future she mentions. You need to consider the motivations of characters - especially villains - in a story and be very careful that every action has a reason behind it.

Sorry if this seems negative. I really am trying to be constructive in my criticism, but I'm a little upset by the subject matter and not at my best.

This is very intriguing. I was actually looking up some of the verses. It is evident that A LOT of thought was put into this and I'm blown away with all the connections you made with the prophecies and such. I agree it felt a little rushed and it could have been made into another chapter or two, but other than that it was a good read. It's a very interesting and thought-provoking story.

I had no problem with this fic at all. I thought it was an intriguing concept even.
I am disappointed at how much hate oozes from some individuals in this community, against things they don't like.
People are expected to tolerate clop fics, and are haters if they complain,
yet it's considered shoving religion in their face if a writer writes something like this???

That's a bit one sided... Isn't it? :facehoof:

To each one of you complaining about religion being used in a story...
Did the writer force you to open and read this, or did you click on this yourself?

The author has every right to construct the story with a religious perspective.
It's even OK if it's a little preachy. Maybe someone will actually take that to heart.
With all the hate here...
It sure seems like that would be a good thing. :twilightsmile:

I would not be offended at all if you expanded this concept to cover other time periods,
and flesh out your version of the apocalypse and it's surrounding events.

484954

I think you're making a very common mistake in fanfiction and confusing novelty with quality, especially when the novelty is at the cost of fictionalizing something that is a part of a large number of people's honest beliefs. If this were a crossover with some random anime pointing out how the two storylines can fit together well, then it wouldn't have nearly the potential for offense.

Combine it with, as chronicLurker points out, a plot that requires nearly all of the background authority figures in canon and several of the recurring cast to be acting entirely out of character, and it just isn't good fiction.

I'm a Christian, and a big Spike fan....


......


.....

images.mylittlefacewhen.com/media/f/img/mlfw138_130359570454.jpg

It's a great story and all, but the twist really got to me.

Sorry, Vulpix.

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