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TRUST JESUS TODAY
This is a chapter 2 of my book. It is intended for readers of end time and bible prophecy fiction. Please let me know how the storyline flows, what you think of the characters, pros, cons, etc. Thanks!
It was getting harder and harder for churches to survive. Attendance at churches around the world was declining as a new generation of people considered themselves spiritual but not religious. People felt that they no longer needed to go to churches in order to feel close to God. This meant that most churches had less money to pay mortgages, rent and bills. It was especially bad in America, the supposed most Christian nation on the planet. Tens of thousands of churches were closing their doors or having their properties foreclosed. Many cities, states and counties had enacted laws that allowed them to tax church buildings and the contributions they received. Churches usually enjoyed tax-exempt status, but the huge local and federal budget deficits and economic crisis of the past twenty years changed all that. Governments were looking for income from anywhere they could find it and churches became the prime targets. Eventually, local and federal government removed the personal exemptions for donations to religious institutions for people filing their taxes. As a result, people donated less money to charity when they realized it could no longer be deducted on their taxes. Other countries such as Canada and England followed the United States and later passed similar laws. The straw that finally broke the camel’s back was the bad publicity that churches were receiving. Sexual abuse scandals within the Catholic Church and other denominations were rampant. The lavish living and financial mismanagement in the ministries of high profile preachers, the rise of the false prophets and people claiming to be Christ also turned many people away from Christianity. This was the great falling away that the bible had spoken of.
Some US senators trying to make a name for themselves began submitting legislation making it a hate crime for religious groups to condemn or speak against the lifestyles of any other group, race, or gender. The penalty for breaking the law was an automatic twenty five years sentence in one of the new labor prisons or in regular prison. Free speech was not free anymore. One senator in particular, Senator Ronald Byrd (Democrat-New York), made it his personal crusade to get this bill passed. He went on television, radio, internet and social media websites…anything to get his message out. He was being funded mainly by the newly established All Peoples Party that consisted of atheist, agnostics, gay rights groups…pretty much everyone that had an axe to grind against religious institutions. He was also receiving considerable funding from wealthy unnamed sources that he declined to mention who could not be easily identified. Politicians were like sharks who smelled the blood of the church was in the water and they started coming in for the kill. When the new bill, Byrd 25-3192 passed in the US Congress and Senate, millions in a America hailed it as a new day. They blamed the religious institutions and religious right as the reason for America’s economic downturn, massive financial deficits and inflated defense spending which led to a financially drained American economy. They also blamed the religious institutions for having caused declining American prestige in the world because of what they labeled as years of pompous self righteousness and imperialism. While Christianity was the main political enemy, they also blamed radical Islam for having changed America by causing vast resources to be dedicated to combating terrorism at home and abroad. Now, the All Peoples Party and other political groups like them around the world saw this as their chance to turn the tide on religion.
Many large corporations hid the fact that they were working with government officials to support Byrd 25-3192 because they were secretly investors in building labor prisons so that they could manufacture and sell their own cheap products. Politicians saw this as an opportunity to help spur the economy as well as help build much needed American military hardware in a cheaper way. America was weak now, and so was Canada, America’s biggest trading partner and neighbor. For years China held trillions of dollars of US debt in treasury bonds that were now due. The problem was that the US dollar was worth only a fraction of what it was twenty years ago. American and Chinese relations were tense now because millions of Chinese investors and corporations who had invested billions of dollars in government bonds needed their money and the United States government could now no longer not pay the promised amount trillions of dollars in interest. The American government, for many years now had just been printing money that was not backed by gold to spend it’s way out of deficits rather than making unpopular spending cuts. As a result, the dollar became hugely devalued. The Chinese were now a global superpower and not to be taken lightly any more. They fully intended on coming to the rescue of their investors and making America pay what it owed them. It became a matter of saving face. Years of economic growth from cheap labor and exports made them the new United States. They now had over a dozen aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, advanced tanks, aircraft, ballistic and cruise missiles with nuclear capability and they had the ability to put an army of tens of millions of men in the field with their 1.5 billion person population. They could project their power around the world now as they did when they invaded Taiwan in 2015. Although the US strongly protested the invasion, they were too weak to intervene. In 2017, China invaded and stabilized North Korea, then threatened and bullied South Korea into doing nothing, which caused a nervous Japan and United States both to take notice. With their new economic and military clout, China had the bravado to demand that the United States turn over it’s gold reserves in return for the trillions that were owed in devalued Treasury bills or face an imminent threat of retaliation.
The US knew that China could not outright invade them because they still had a small number of nuclear ballistic missiles and nuclear armed submarines in service, so they refused. What the US government did fear was that China would take their cause to the United Nations and either form a military coalition against the United States or bring sanctions upon them. Having lost their own seat on the UN Security council several years ago to Turkey, invasion and sanctions were a definite possibility. And what could America do if either happened? The US economy was in shambles. The military was now small and far from what they used to be ten years ago. There was stagnant economic and technological growth and tens of millions of people were out of work, with no hope in sight. America was dangerously close to being a third world country.
For the first time in over a hundred years, immigration to America had reversed and millions were trying to leave and immigrate to other more prosperous countries like India, China and Russia. What America needed now was more cheap labor now to lower the cost of building its goods, products to build it economy and military industrial complex back up to par. Politicians, military contractors and big business all agreed that labor prisons were the answer. When Byrd 25-3192 passed, corrupt judges and politicians made sure the new prisons were filled with religious believers, mostly Christians who chose not to hide their faith. Times had changed and the Constitution was all but ignored as human rights violations, civil liberties and due process of law were done away with in favor of political expediency.
Nassir saw a weakened America and less engaged England as his chance to revolutionize global politics. With the political situation the way that it was around the world, he knew that he could conquer less powerful nations and manipulate the few remaining powerful nations and no one would stand in his way. The new superpowers, Russia, India and China had their own issues with religious radicals and would not care if he attacked countries that embraced religion in their politics like many Middle East countries did. By now, the world was generally tired of all forms of Islam, whether it was radical or moderate. The decades of war on terror had many people angry at radical Islam and suspicious of moderate Islamic followers for not speaking out against their radical brethren. Nassir knew he could wage war in the Middle East and get away with it. He remembered how Hitler attacked Czechoslovakia and no one did a thing until it was almost too late. If he moved quickly, he would have the fame and glory that he was promised through waging war. He was only a brigadier general in the army now and had to find a way to get command of the whole army. To obtain this, he would have to somehow get control of the entire country.
He and his powerful supporters began a secret public relations campaign in and outside of Turkey to boost his popularity and fame. His father reached out to his many business contacts around the world while Nassir reached out to some of Narissa’s old media contacts at WNN and other media outlets. As he began to give more television, internet radio and magazine interviews, people slowly began to idolize him. He was handsome, charismatic, a naturally gifted speaker and a war hero. Regardless of what topic he was brought up, he was extremely knowledgeable, well spoken and well informed. Speaking easily in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Hindi, Arabic and his native Turkish language, people marveled at his intelligence and mastery of language. He and his father made sure that the media always knew how and where to find Nassir to comment on various important situations in the world and in Turkey. On September 17, 2022, after being asked his opinion numerous times and having been written about on the internet and magazines, he gave a brief interview that boosted his fame and global prominence to new levels when he spoke on the US/China crisis after being spotted having lunch at the Al Qasin hotel where Narissa had been killed.
“General Berezovsky, as you know, China is threatening to invade the United States. They have gone to the U.N. Security Council to form a military coalition and to demand economic sanctions against the United States. What is your opinion of this?” Indira Patel of the Associated Press asked.
This was Nassir’s moment in the spotlight and he milked it for all that it was worth. For thirty seconds, he said nothing, then clenched his teeth, looked down and then straight up and into the camera.
“Let’s be honest Indira. For a long time, America has been an international bully. But this was not the fault of most of their great citizens. It was the corrupt leaders backed by religion crazed, morally superior and egotistical morons seeking to dominate and democratize the world. Today, the leaders of America are trying to enact legislation and make strides toward reversing that perception of their country. They have prosecuted many of those former corrupt leaders and have begun enacting laws keep religious over zealousness in check. On the other hand, China should be praised for the tremendous patience and restraint they have exercised thus far. The world must understand the position that China and their citizens are in. Much of the wealth and well being of their citizens has been put in jeopardy by the financial irresponsibility of the previous American administrations. This wrong must be righted. As you know, I am a military man, but I believe wholeheartedly that this problem can be solved without a military solution. A military confrontation would only result in nuclear catastrophe for both nations. American and China have both contributed so much to our world and we need them both to continue to do this. With that in mind, I propose that the United States sign a treaty with China promising to give no less than five percent of its Gross Domestic Product to China per year until their treasury debts have been paid off. Also, as and act of good faith, I propose that many of those who are prosecuted in the United States for religious and hate crimes be sent to Chinese labor institutions in order to work in lieu of the government providing money, which would serve to add additional income to China’s economy.”
People in the crowd that had gathered began cheering and clapping when they heard Nassir’s proposals.
“Indira, I myself have suffered violence at this very hotel, where my beloved Narissa Elam was killed.” Nassir paused for a moment, put his right hand over his eyes for several seconds to give the appearance of heartbreak and gain sympathy from the crowd. He then took a deep breath and then began speaking again.
I believe that if I, a small man, can forgive and move forward, then so can these two great nations. Indira, peace benefits us all. Wouldn’t you agree?”
“Yes, General Berezovsky, I do. Thank you so much for your time”
There was a round of applause that lasted for nearly two minutes. Almost everyone that had gathered was clearly emotionally stirred. Even a few of the reporters were in tears. After thirty seconds, the applause would die down, and then rise back up. Every time Nassir raised his hand, said thank you and tried to leave, the crowd cheered even louder. Finally, as Nassir tried to leave, a reporter yelled out, “General, would you negotiate the treaty?”
Nassir stopped, turned around said, “For peace, for the world, I will do my duty. I am here to serve my fellow man any way that I can” and then walked away.
The speech was played over and over around the world, on television, the internet and IRadio. The Prime minister of Turkey had been watching and called a secret emergency meeting of his Peoples Labor Party to discuss Nassir’s speech. He stood up among the ministers and simply began, “Gentlemen, you saw the speech as well as me. We are in trouble.”
Terry Sanders was at home and had just finished watching the speech on television when the phone rang. He yelled, “Answer living room TV” and the call display and picture of Deacon Alfred Roberts appeared on the television.
“Deacon Roberts, Hello”
“Pastor Sanders, did you see that. What do you think? Is he the antichrist? What is...”
“Maybe” Terry Sanders said, cutting him off.
“It’s too early to tell, but if I were a betting man, I’d say yes. He is probably the antichrist.”
“What do we do pastor?”
“Well, first we pray. I feel in my spirit that we need to have a church prayer meeting tonight at seven o’clock. With everything that's going on, I think it’s time to start Project Wilderness as well”
“Now pastor? My wife just got a new job working at one of them new prisons. She was going to try and help some of the women there. It’s a shame what they are doing to them there. And now, sending our people to China! I mean…China? They work people to death over there”
“I know Deacon Roberts. That’s why now we need to move right now. I can feel it. We have known for some time that this would be coming and now it’s time to make our move. I need you to get the list and start calling everyone. When you are done, burn it. Don't forget to delete it from your computer. Follow the plan. Our survival depends on it.”
Deacon Roberts signed heavily, knowing his family’s life was about to change drastically.
“OK pastor, I’ll take care of it. We’ll see you there.”
Terry was the pastor of The Life Assembly Church of the Apostolic Faith in Lansing, Michigan. Two years ago he had a meeting with the church board members and his staff to discuss what they would do in the event that the antichrist was revealed and the church had to go underground into hiding. Back then, it all seemed like a fairy tale. Although it all seemed so improbable, Terry could not ignore what God was dealing with him about in his spirit. In prayer, the Lord had dealt with him to prepare the church for the end time events that would come upon the church and the world in the future. The signs of the end time that the bible spoke of in Matthew twenty four were all around them now. There had been subtle signs like earthquakes in places that had never experienced them before. Strange, drug resistant diseases began to pop up in foods and hospitals. Wars and military conflicts began to break out more frequently as the United States and other former world superpowers began cutting their defense spending, reducing the size of the military and withdrawing their military forces from hot spots around the world. The signs of the end time were definitely happening and Terry knew it was time to prepare his people.
Most pastors and churches were preparing for the rapture of the church and not thinking about being around long term. The television and radio was filled with preaching about the rapture and bible prophecy. Terry’s board of directors and ministerial staff could not understand why he was proposing storing away enough food and supplies to last several years when the majority of Christians believed that they would not be around to see any of the bad stuff. Terry had called a meeting to address his church board of directors six months before the broadcast of Nassir's recent speech. He remembered how the meeting went.
“Look everyone, we have to be prepared for whatever comes. I believe that it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. If I’m wrong about how things play out, the worst that can happen is that we spend some money and there is a bunch of stuff left behind. If I’m right, then we will have the food and supplies that we need to ride things out. Some of you will not understand what I am proposing, but I challenge you to pray about it. We have to start storing away food, water, clothing, medicine and other essential supplies for the future. The end times are here and we have to be ready.”
Some people chuckled and looked each other.
One of the board members, Janice Winfield decided to ask him a question.
“Pastor, with all due respect, should we not be preparing to leave this world? Isn’t the rapture going to happen very soon?”
“Yes Sister Winfield, the rapture is coming, but we can’t be sure when it will happen. You all know my position and what I have been teaching. There are a series of events that will happen before the rapture that still need to be fulfilled. We have not seen the peace treaty yet, we have not seen the widespread persecutions and some of the other things the bible said would happen. It could be weeks, months or years. What I’m saying is that we need to be ready for whatever happens and err on the side of caution. I know many people are teaching that we are going to be raptured away before the tribulation or anything bad happens, but what if the rapture is still a few years away? What do we do until then?”
Most of them knew the end times were here but simply did not want to admit how close they were because they did not want to change their lifestyle and have to give additional money to store the needed resources away. Pastor Terry had taught these things before. In fact, he had taught diligently that the church would undergo persecution before the resurrection. Bible prophecy was a topic that many people in the church had all but ignored until now. Many had lost interest in bible prophecy since the 1980’s and 90’s when so many were predicting the rapture was imminent any day. With renewed interest in prophetic events, bible prophecy books and sermons were selling as people were trying to figure out what to do for the short term to be ready for the rapture
“Look…no one wants to go more than me, but we have to prepare for the worse case scenario here. You all remember how I taught from Luke 21:12 that before the wars, famines and disease how Jesus said they would persecute us and deliver us to councils? Well, that time is coming and we must be ready for that when it comes. We don’t want to be hanging around here when they coming looking for us.”
“You're right pastor, we have to be ready” Abdul Muhammad said loudly.
Abdul was an Egyptian born Christian who immigrated to the United State ten years ago with his parents as a teenager. He had seen how his family and other Christians were persecuted by Muslims and treated unfairly in his home country and knew that it could happen one day here as well. He had been paying close attention to the “Offense Laws” that were being passed in many states in America and saw America becoming more like his former country. He was not ashamed to speak up on behalf of the pastor.
“I think pastor is right. We have to come up with a plan. I saw it happen in my home country and it can happen here as well. I lost family members and friends to persecution in Egypt and anything we can do here to protect ourselves, I am for it.”
Terry walked over to Abdul. “I appreciate the support Abdul. That’s why I am putting you in charge of this project.”
“Me? In charge of what project” Abdul asked
“I’m calling it Project Wilderness. It is based on Revelation 12:6 where the church goes into the wilderness and is hidden and protected by God. I believe that God is going to protect many of us in the church until he comes for us in the rapture. That’s why I’m giving it that name. We will store a certain amount of important items away each week like canned goods, powdered milk, medical supplies, solar power panels, deep cycle batteries, flashlights, propane, matches…anything we will need to survive for at least 3 ½ years. I believe, according to scripture that it’s sometime after the antichrist breaks the treaty with Israel that the rapture will occur. If we can make it until that time, we should be good. I purchased a farm a few years ago in anticipation of this. We can store the supplies here at the church and then drive them to the farm once a month and stockpile them there. I have typed up a document for each of you on how Project Wilderness will work. Here is a copy for each of you and it includes directions to my farm. Under absolutely no circumstances are you to share this with anyone! This is how we survive in the future. OK, anyone have any questions?”
No one answered. They were all still in a bit of shock that Terry had been so prepared and had all the plans ready.
“Good. Take this home, read about it, and more importantly, pray about it.”
Terry knew full well that the future of His church and others would depend on what they did after that meeting. He hoped that they would take him seriously.
“Dear Lord, help us now. I’m putting this in your hands Father. Help us now.” He prayed.
The following evening after Nassir’s speech, Terry and his wife Martha decided to go to church and pray about all the things that were going on. They arrived about 6:45 PM and found the parking lot almost full. It was not unusual for a few members to go to the church and pray during the week outside of their normal Friday prayer meeting, but seeing almost the entire church there on a Tuesday was highly unusual. When Terry and his wife asked a few people why they had decided to come for prayer, they all said they felt the Lord dealing with them to go to the church and pray that night. There were also a handful of new faces there that Terry had never seen before. When he spoke to them, several said that had seen the church while driving by and always wanted to visit. With everything going on, they felt that now was the right time and decided to just drive by and see if the church was having a service tonight. He was also surprised to see that there were over a dozen members who usually did not usually attend the prayer meetings were there as well. There were also about ten visitors that had visited the church before and came by like the others, hoping that the church was having some kind of service tonight. There were also two men at the back of the church who stood out from the rest. Terry made his way back to them to see who they were and to greet them.
“Praise the Lord gentlemen. I’m glad you could make it!”
Both men smiled at him as he shook each of their hands. As he did, he felt a warm feeling race up his arm and into his neck each time. The feeling surprised him, yet somehow, it also put him at ease and made him feel comfortable. He could not shake the feeling that he felt like he knew them from somewhere, but he did not know from where. He decided to ask them some questions.
“So what brings you to our church tonight gentlemen? We normally don’t have service on a Tuesday. In fact, there was nothing even scheduled.”
One of the men, a tall white man with blue eyes and black hair stood up.
“We are here for you Pastor Terry” he said while smiling.
“For me?” I don’t understand.
“We are here to protect you.” the man said.
“Protect me? What do you need to protect me from?”
“We are here to protect all of you.”
Suddenly, Terry became very curious. “What do you need to protect us from?”
“You know what” the man said, still smiling.
The other man stood up and looked at Terry. He appeared to be an African American man of mixed race with brown eyes, bronze skin and curly back hair. He was tall with brown eyes. This man was not smiling now. He had a stern appearance and looked more concerned than the other man. He looked around the church, then back at Terry and walked to the front door of the church.
“You’re angels aren’t you?” Terry said laughing.
The man smiled and did not answer Terry’s question.
“This prayer meeting must happen tonight. There are many things that you must prepare for. There are those who are depending on you. What you do tonight is very important and will be taken very seriously. The Almighty has sent us here to make sure that you are not interrupted. There are those who wish to destroy you and your church. The Lord has seen all that you have done here Terry. He loves you. He will protect you and your wife.”
Terry was shocked. “Where is he going?” Terry said referring to the other man.
The man turned and looked towards the front door, then turned back.
“He is checking on his men now. The enemy wants to get in, but we have instructions not to let them in. Satan knows how important your church is and he wants to stop this church. You and your faithful members are protected night and day. Many of the enemy has gathered to stop you tonight, but they will fail. It is seven Terry. You must start your prayers now.”
Terry could hardly believe what the man had just told him. He wanted to stay and talk more, but the man just stared at him and pointed up to the pulpit area where Terry normally prayed. As he walked away, he turned several times to look at the man and see if he was still there. The other man had returned and they both sat on the back pews by the door. Each time Terry looked back, the men just nodded their head and smiled. As Terry and the church prayed, he kept looking back at the two men, who remained sitting on the pew watching the church pray. When Terry would look at the men, they would grin, nod their head and then just keep staring at him. Some of the members would pop their head up above the pew while they were praying to get a look at the men for a moment and then return back to their prayers. Most of the people were praying so rigorously that they ignored the men and everyone else in the church. They knew things in the world were getting worse and now was the time to get serious. After about an hour, everyone had finished praying and Terry rushed to the back of the church to talk with the men. As he was walking towards them, he heard his wife call his name from behind.
He turned to look, a bit irritated.
“Who were those men? Where did they go?”
“What? They’re right over…”
When Terry turned around, they had vanished. When asked, no one had seen them leave. The usher at the door confirmed that no one had come in or out during the prayer meeting.
“Martha” Terry said, “They were angels. God sent us angels!”
Lucifer stood up and addressed his minions. They sat at a large round table that formed a circle around a black pentagram on the floor.
“You are the princes of my kingdom. You have proved yourself strong and loyal to me. Now, it is our time. He is weak. He depends on their love and they do not love him anymore. Because of us, only a few serve him and very soon there will be none. You have been successful at this. I want to let you know that I have just returned from above and while I was there, I saw the White Horseman!”
They began to look at each other, smile and nod in agreement.
“As I left from giving my account, I saw him and the other three Horsemen there, preparing to ride into the earth. That can mean only one thing; that my man Nassir must be the one to bring the final wars and the end of mankind. We must move quickly if my plans for him are to succeed. He must rise to power and begin his conquest. Ima'am, you have done well in Iraq, but it must fall now. You will be rewarded for your service with another nation to rule and other duties. Nassir will need the money from their oil to fuel his conquest and expand his new empire. I also will give him Syria and Jordan, so they must fall as well. I want Israel destroyed and he needs to have Syria and Jordan to move his armies closer for his attack. Kal Jaarir, since you have done well in Turkey, I will give you what was Syria and Jordan. Their princes will work will you and bring you up to speed with their efforts there. Talkir, continue to weaken America. I want no interference from them. I want them weak so that they will have no choice but to cooperate with Nassir. Do you understand?”
“Yes my master.” Talkir, the demon prince over America responded.
Their churches, their preachers, silence them. Silence their prayers and those who preach the true gospel. You have done well there, they are not the problem they used to be, but I want his people and his name finished there! Double your efforts. I will have Nassir declare war on Christians that continue to follow him in America and around the world. It is given to us now. Take their churches; get people to betray their friends, families, neighbors and most importantly, turn their government against them. I want no quarter given to them in the entire world. Let us see if they will live for him when they lose all they hold dear. Some of them will think that they can hide from me, but they will be found anywhere they go in this world. Go my servants; spread evil, wickedness, anything it takes to make men weak. Turn them against their God and bring them closer to me. Bring me more souls. Bring me the damned! Do it! Do not fail me!”
“Yes, my master” They all replied in unison.
“Good. Give me your best and them your worst. Dismissed!”
“Yes, my master” They all replied in unison.
Lucifer called to his second in command Tar-shalá. He embraced him and began smiling.
“Yes, my master.”
“Prepare to receive more souls. More souls than ever before”
“Master, Somehow, hell…has become bigger. There are more rooms, more pits. It has enlarged itself without us having to do a thing.”
“Wonderful…Absolutely wonderful. Even hells knows what is in store for man.”
Terry woke up at 3:00 AM. He tossed and turned for ten minutes, but could not fall back asleep. He experienced this many times before and knew what was happening.
“God must want me to pray” he thought to himself.
He rolled over out of the bed, picked up his bible from the nightstand and went into closet in their bedroom and kneeled down and began praying. His stirring about caused Martha to wake up.
“Terry. Are you OK.”
“I’m fine, Martha. I just can’t sleep. I’m going to pray. Don’t worry.”
He walked into the closet, turned the light on and fell down on his knees. His heart was heavy. There was so much to pray for now.
“Lord, where do I begin?” he prayed.
Unaware to Terry, as he began to pray, Castielle, the angel from the church, appeared in front of his house with ten other angels. He looked at one of them, a large muscular angel named Jonathan. He nodded and began walking to the door. Jonathan looked at the other nine angels that were with him told them to form a perimeter around the house and let nothing gets in.
Castielle took a step forward and then stopped. Something did not feel right. He felt the presence of evil. He turned around in time to see fifty demons suddenly appear out of thin air in front of the house.
The leader of the demons, Neriah yelled “Hello Castielle.” “What do you want here Neriah?”
“You know who I want.”
Castielle walked towards the demon and said, “You cannot interfere. We have business here tonight. You must leave now.”
“Do you really want to do this Castielle? Right here? Right now?”
The demon was trying to intimidate Castielle.
“Leave Neriah. You have no right to be here. Go now.” As he said that, Jonathan instantly moved himself forward and stood to the right of Castielle. Four demons then moved to each side of Neriah.
“Castielle, Jonathan, it is our time now. It’s over for you. It’s over for them. You are the one with no right to be here. This is our world. Our master is god here, not yours.
“We will see about that Neriah.” Castielle said defiantly
The demon began cursing and yelling expletives, then cursed Castielle and God, using every foul word they could think of. Castielle simply looked at him and smiled.
“You are not better than us. Who do you think you are? You think that you can save them? You will all fall and be with us one day. Do you hear me?”
“The Lord rebuke thee Neriah. The Lord rebuke thee.”
Two of the demons could not take it anymore. They screamed loudly, drew their swords and lunged forward at Castielle. Immediately as they lunged forward, they were instantly hurled backwards and knocked off of their feet as an arrow hit each of them in the neck, just above their armor.
Without looking Castielle yelled and said “Thanks Ariel”.
He knew Ariel was the best of Jonathan’s squad with a bow and the only one there that could hit two demons that accurately and that fast.
“Yes Sir” Ariel sternly yelled back.
Neriah looked down at the two demons as the area around their wounds began to fizzle and smoke while they tried to remove the arrows. It was too late. Those were kill shots and the demons both burst into thick black smoke that slowly faded away.
“Get them!” Neriah yelled as he turned and ran backwards.
Faster than one could blink their eyes, Jonathan pushed Castielle back with his left hand, drew his large broadsword and struck the demon to the right of him in the abdomen, causing him to scream and curse in agony. He then removed the sword, did a three hundred and sixty degree spin and decapitated the other demon on his left. Jonathan’s squad was quick and efficient in battle. When a message needed to be delivered, they could be counted on, no matter the odds. Castielle was happy they were with him in this fight.
Neriah ran into the middle of his demon soldiers and then turned and yelled, “You are outnumbered more than four to one. Leave and give up.”
Jonathan yelled out orders, “Men, Box formation. Ariel, you are with me.” He stretched his left arm out again in front of Castielle and they both flew backwards to the door.” The other angels moved quickly. In less than a second, four were at each corner of the house and four flew twenty feet directly above the ones below them, forming a box around Terry’s house. Jonathan put his sword away and drew his bow. He and Ariel began firing a steady stream of arrows into the demons, one after the other with less than a second between reload and fire. Ariel sometimes loaded and fired two arrows with each shot and nearly always hit both of his targets. The demons were caught off guard and were confused by how quickly the angels responded. In the confusion Jonathan took two more demons down and Ariel managed to hit five, one while it was flying away. When outnumbered, Jonathan’s squad had learned to take advantage of any confusion the demons might have and strike hard and fast. Another angel on the ground had thrown his spear and impaled two more demons. That left thirty six demons and they were on the attack now. Twenty of the demons flew up over the house to dive down into the angels. Together, they all looked like a large cobra massing to strike. The rest madly charged the angels on the ground. Castielle noticed that their leader, Neriah smiled and then vanished away. Suddenly, while all of the angels were engaged in combat, fifty more demons suddenly appeared on the street with Neriah. “Get them!” he cried.
Castielle turned and looked at Jonathan, who had just fired his last arrows.
Jonathan looked at Castielle and said, “I know.”
He turned and looked at Ariel and nodded.
Ariel looked concerned and replied, “On my way sir”, then vanished in a flash of white light.
After thirty seconds of battle, they had managed to cut the demon’s numbers down to thirty, when the other fifty demons appeared. Jonathan knew that eighty demons against ten warrior angels and Castielle would not be winnable. Five to one odds with surprise on their side would be a struggle, but eight to one was hopeless, but they still fought on. The demons used numbers to gang up on several of the angels with each one holding different parts of their limbs. Five more seconds had passed and Jonathan thought, “Ariel, where are you?” Suddenly, there was a bright flash of light and Ariel appeared with twenty five angelic horsemen swooping down out of the sky. They looked magnificent as they spiraled down from the sky on white armored horses. Each of the horsemen had silver helmets with white wings on the side.
They wore shortened white robes with gold trim. They were covered with silver breastplates and belts embroidered with gold and black that covered the chain mail under their armor. On their legs they wore silver boots. The boots and armor on their thighs was also embroidered with gold and black trim. They looked like large medieval knights with their armor, long lances, shields and swords. Accompanying them was a flaming chariot that had flaming wheels and galloping horses that breathed fire out of their nostrils. The chariots had a driver and two angels armed with bows who fired a volley of arrows that dropped eight of the demons as soon as they appeared. Ten of the angelic horsemen headed for the ground and charged the demons on the ground en masse. The other fifteen angels swooped down on the demons in the air. Several of the angelic horsemen caught two or more demons on their lances at the same time before they vanished away into smoke and ashes. The angelic horsemen strategically trapped the demons between them while the chariot circled around them raining down arrows into the stunned and panicked demons. Seeing his numbers quickly diminish, Neriah yelled out, “That’s it. Retreat! Retreat now!” and then vanished. The rest of the demons soon vanished and all that was left of the demons were traces of grayish black smoke and ash that soon dissipated. The whole engagement lasted less than two minutes. The leader of the angelic horsemen landed on the ground and dismounted from his horse. He looked around, took off his helmet and walked over to Jonathan, who was still standing at the door of the house with Castielle.
“Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come. How are you and your men?”
Jonathan turned and looked. Five of his men had deep wounds and cuts that were already healing. Two were bruised and battered, but would heal from their injuries. The other three were not injured. “They are fine, thanks to you, your men and Our Father. What was that?”
“Yes, they are getting bolder everywhere, including the houses of ministers and even at the churches. They know what time it is, that the end is here.”
Jonathan shook his head. “Before we came here, I heard the White Horsemen was getting ready to leave.”
“Yes, it’s true. He has already left. Men do not have much time now. The final week will start soon and the period will begin. Satan still thinks that he can win and is fighting hard.”
“I know” Jonathan said. “He never learns. He does not understand that what God has spoken will come to pass no matter what he does. This time, he and his followers are finished for good.”
The leader nodded his agreement and said, “We are needed elsewhere and must go now. Jonathan, you are assigned to this family now. Keep them safe. Castielle, be careful and do not travel alone. Call quickly if you are in trouble and need help.”
The angelic horseman put his helmet back on, mounted his horse rode off and disappeared with his men in a flash of light into the night sky. Jonathan placed both hands around the gold handle of his sword and fell to one knee. He looked up and said, “Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.” He stood up, looked at Castielle and said, “I think we are clear here now.”
Castielle patted Jonathan on the shoulder
“Amen. Thank you Jonathan.”
Terry was inside praying in closet unaware of the spiritual battle that had just been fought for him. Castielle walked into his bedroom and through the wall into the closet. He looked down at Terry praying and thought, “He doesn’t even what the Lord has done for him tonight. I wonder if he knows how important he is.”
Castielle made himself visible and called Terry’s name so that only he could hear him. Terry was startled and fell over on his side.
“It’s you…you’re the angel from our church.”
“Yes Terry. The time is near that you and your church prepare to leave. Do what the Lord has put on your heart. You will not fail. Be of good courage. The Lord God Almighty will be with you.”
Suddenly, Castielle was gone and Terry was alone. He was stunned.
His wife yelled out, “Terry, are you alright in there?”
He stood up, the quickly sat back down.
“No. I’m not. I’m not OK honey”
Politically, things had been getting progressively worse around the world. Peaceful relations were breaking down among many countries as many nations wanted to settle old scores over territory, cultural issues and other meaningless issues. Problems that used to be minor were quickly blowing up into full blown conflicts now. It was as if mankind was somehow being driven to quarrel and fight. India and Pakistan were on the brink of war again and both were threatening to use nuclear weapons. Russia had become rich through tapping its vast oil and gas reserves and had become militarily strong again. Now, they wanted to reform the old Soviet Union and began making moves to reclaim territories they had lost several decades ago. Tensions erupted in Asia Pacific as China looked east towards Japan to settle old scores. They looked also wanted to expand Communist ideas south towards Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, the Philippines and other South Pacific countries. The Middle East countries of Egypt, Libya, Syria, Jordan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq decided it was time to create an alliance to protect Islamic interest in the world and formed the Islamic Middle East Coalition (IMEC). Their major goals were controlling the flow of oil in the Middle East and destroying Israel, who had provoked many Muslim countries by disregarding world opinion and building a new religious temple in Jerusalem.
Most countries in the world were also now dealing with epidemics of severe famine and disease. For decades, the world’s food supply had been dwindling for unexplained reasons. After efforts were made to investigate why, scientist in the United States and the European Union found one of the main reasons. They found out that for decades now, honey bees had been mysteriously disappearing everywhere. It was found that they had been dying from pesticides. The bees were important around the world because of the many foods that come from plants and trees that honey bees pollinated such as nuts, cabbages, beets, apples, coconuts, mangos and other fruits and vegetables. Now, many of these crops were no longer available. China was doing better than most because they had developed expensive methods of using people to pollinate plants, but they were still hard hit by the famines as well since their food became very expensive.
Another major cause of the famines was the problem with new diseases being found in animals that people ate. Avian flu had come back and infected a large amount of the world’s poultry supply with a vengeance. In addition, drug resistant EColi and a number of other diseases now began infecting chicken, beef, pork and even farm raised fish. After doing research on the issue, scientist traced the problem to major food producing corporations trying to save money by feeding animals cheep corn based food substitutes that the animals were never intended to eat. Secondly, much of the livestock had been injected with growth hormones to make them yield more meat and antibiotics to prevent diseases. Now, this bio engineering and unnatural practices within the food supply was coming back to haunt the world in the form or massive food shortages and food related diseases in every country in the world.
To make matters worse, Sexual promiscuity was running rampant now and new drug resistant and incurable sexually transmitted diseases were being discovered every month. In the midst of all the global crisis and panic, many individuals around the world saw opportunity in the chaos and began claiming to be “The Messiah” and other end time saviors. Some of them actually had the power to do great miracles and were convincing many people to sell everything they had and follow them to remote retreats and communes away from the cities to wait for the end to come. It seemed as if the world was entering a period of trouble worse than it has ever been in history. War, disease, famines, natural disasters, false prophets, things were bad and only getting worse.
Nassir became immensely popular around the world because of the solutions he began offering to many of the worlds leaders. His father, influential politicians, businessmen and centuries old secret societies began mobilizing their resources around him. They surrounded him with the best financial, political and scientific advisers money could buy to give him valuable information that provided practical scientific and political solutions to the problems the world was experiencing. For two months, he was invited by many or the world’s leaders to tour many countries and give speaking engagements and interviews regarding his proposed solutions. Prior to his arrival, his advisers spent days conducting scientific and social studies specific to each country he visited and their results were given to him to use in speeches and interviews. It seemed that he had all the answers for everyone. He was able to quickly build a support base among world’s most influential leaders in banking, finance, politics, technology, media, transportation and industry. In meetings with these leaders, they authorized him to use their names and pledge their resources to solving the issues of the countries he visited.
He was extremely successful at building a solid grass roots political base around the world. Nassir had become more popular in the countries he visited than the countries own leaders! What most people really loved were his new ideas regarding freedom of religion and religious tolerance. He proposed that every major world religion form a unified body to settle matters of faith and doctrine and that they submit to one global monitoring body. This, he proposed, would cut down on hate crimes, acts of terror, religious wars and in turn promote the love, harmony and global unity that religion was intended for. Surprisingly, most of the world’s popular religious leaders agreed with him. Nassir employed the strategy of Sun Tzu he learned while in the Turkish Military Academy which taught him how to subdue the enemy’s army without battle. He captured the hearts and minds of people around the world and overthrew their countries without firing a single shot. They were conquered by Nassir’s smile, promises of peace and the wave of his hand.
Nassir spoke with many leaders around the world and suggested that they meet for a global summit in which they would decide how best to implement the sweeping global changes he had proposed. Most of the world leaders were desperate for help and agreed to attend if Nassir would chair the summit. He could now feel that control of the world was finally within his reach. He knew that having influence was one thing, but to control the entire world, he needed more than influence, he needed a powerful military. His country Turkey had a strong military with good equipment and numbers, but he needed more advanced weaponry and technology. There was one place where he could get it fast and for almost nothing; the United States. They were financially weak, and facing a possible war with China. To make matters worse, Mexico started making threats of invading Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and California on the grounds of human rights abuses against persons of Hispanic descent in those states. Among its many other problems, race relations in America were now at a boiling point. The economy had been sour for so many decades and many groups blamed immigrants, legal and illegal, for taking jobs away and destroying the American way of life. Nassir saw this as and opportunity and asked the American president, Theodore Alvarez and a special envoy, Senator Ronald Byrd to visit him in Turkey so that he could aid them in working out a plan for peace with China and Mexico. Senator Byrd had become powerful in America by using the same tactics that Joseph McCarthy used in the 1940s and 50s in hunting Communist to root out those he labeled religious fanatics who he claimed had destroyed America. He was greatly feared in the American political arena, so Nassir thought it was important to bring him in as well since he could help sway other US senators and congressmen to give him what he wanted. The plan was to get America to give him military hardware in exchange for using his influence to negotiate a peace deal with China and Mexico. If he could pull this off, the Turkish military, the true people who ran Turkey, would be completely behind him when he decided to run for office to be prime minister.
When President Alvarez and Senator Byrd arrived in Ankara for a weekend meeting with him, Nassir hosted them at his mansion and Ankara. He treated them to a lavish dinner, entertainment and then got down to business and laid out his plan.
“Gentlemen, your country once had great military power and helped keep the balance of power and peace in the world. Due to your economic and social crisis, that military capability has been reduced and your vast hardware sits idle. The economy, famine, disease and disaster recovery cost have left you incapable of using what you have. Now you have China and Mexico threatening you. As if that were not bad enough, other South American countries could also invade with Cuba at will. Here is what I propose for the security of your nation, and that of the world. I will guarantee peace with China and your neighbors, provide you with financial aid in the form of international loans, credit and debt forgiveness. We will also provide you with a supply of much needed vaccines and medication to help with the infections in your livestock and people as well as giving you new technology for growing healthy natural foods. In exchange, you will provide my country with several things. First you will provide my country with the surplus military hardware that you can no longer afford to operate. What we want are thirty two B1 stealth bombers, thirty two F117 Stealth bombers, thirty two F22 Raptors, seventy five unmanned F33 fighters, two Gerald Ford class aircraft carriers, four Ohio Class nuclear submarines, twenty Comanche helicopter gun ships, two hundred conventional and nuclear Tomahawk cruise missiles and one hundred M1A3 Abrams battle tanks. I also require access to your military satellites. Some of that hardware will remain in your own country where a combination of Turkish and multinational forces will use it in defense of your nation to ensure that you are not attacked. We will, of course, require support and maintenance for that equipment. Second, you will divert twenty five percent of those that are convicted of hate and religious intolerance crimes to Chinese labor prisons. Third, you will agree to join a seven nation coalition that will promise to bring peace and security to this world. Finally, you will agree to elect me to head the seven nation coalition. What to you say to that?”
President Alvarez fell back in his chair looking sullen and pale. He turned and looked at Senator Byrd, who was smiling. He then realized that Senator Byrd must have had already negotiated with Nassir on this matter before they arrived and became extremely upset.
“That’s preposterous!” President Alvarez replied. “The American people, the armed forces and I could never agree to that.”
“With all due respect, Mr. President, I don’t think you have a choice. If you want my support, you will agree to this deal. For me to stand behind your agreement with China and to speak on your behalf to Mexico and other South American countries, then you will need to do this. Otherwise, they will attack your country and America will be finished. News will leak that you had the opportunity to negotiate a deal and refused. What will you tell your people then?
President Alvarez looked at Senator Byrd, who simply replied, “He’s right, we don’t have a choice. Do the deal.”
Nassir smiled, leaned over the chair and stared deep into President Alvarez’s eyes.
“You can go home with your pride or you can go home with peace. Which do you want?”
“By peace he destroys many.” President Alvarez mumbled under his breath.
“What was that?” Nassir said.
“Nothing. Something I just remembered from my childhood.”
President Alvarez had spent his early years growing up in a Pentecostal church in Dallas, Texas. During college, he became involved in politics and slowly drifted farther and farther away from the church. Each time he ran for office, he successfully called on favors when he needed to use Christian voters and ministers to his advantage, but his personal relationship with God had waned. Later in is career, he distanced himself from religious associations in order to win the nomination for his party to seek the presidency when it became unpopular to be associated with religious groups. Now, face to face with Nassir and thinking about everything that was going on in the world, he remembered the bible prophecy teachings some of the evangelist and his pastor had taught. He looked at Nassir and wondered, “Can this guy be the antichrist? Am I making the deal that is going to give him power?”
Nassir saw that the president was wavering. He then began staring at President Alvarez and began using the dark powers that some spiritualist in his inner circle had taught him.
“So, what will it be Mr. President?” Nassir asked, interrupting his thoughts.
President Alvarez suddenly felt an eerie presence and a feeling of intense fear that he did not understand. He became nervous and anxious. He then closed his eyes, took a deep breath and in a defeated tone muttered, “It’s….it’s a deal. I will find a way to make it happen.”
“Fantastic!” Nassir replied. “I knew you were a reasonable man. I will get things in motion and begin contacting the other leaders.”
President Alvarez stood up to leave and looked at Senator Byrd, “Dear God, what did I just do? What just happened?”
“You just saved your country Mr. President. What good would all that hardware be if someone else invades us and takes it?”
“Maybe you’re right. I just don’t know anymore.”
At that moment, Kassim, Nassir’s bodyguard who was responsible for saving his life during the bombing that took Narissa’s life came limping in. “General, something has happened.”
“What is it Kassim?”
“General, Prime Minister Tariq has just died of a heart attack. The Parliament is convening an emergency session right now.”
“For what?” Nassir replied.
“Sir…they are proposing suspending the current process and making you the new Prime Minister!”
Nassir was easily elected to the job of prime minister. With his popularity in Turkey and around the world, they would have made him king. He wasted no time and hit the ground running. He knew that he had to do well in Turkey because it would be his stepping stone to one day ruling the world. At his inaugural speech, he made bold promises in his country and to those around the world that a new day way coming. Nassir promised the military elite in Turkey that he would increase military budgets and get them the top of the line equipment they had been asking for. He promised Turkish businessmen access to new global markets and technology. He promised the scientific community in Turkey increased spending on research and technology and greater cooperation with international scientist in order to help solve the world’s food problems. Finally, to the people of Turkey, he promised that they would lead the world in economic and cultural development. He flattered them and they loved him for it. These were desperate times and Nassir gave everyone hope and a sense that things were going to get better. Watching his speeches was like watching Adolf Hitler rise to power in Germany. He gave long and passionate speeches at stadiums in Turkey and around the world that drew the attention of more and more people. He began to build an increasingly fanatical following of people who were willing to do anything for him. It was not uncommon for people at the stadiums to pass out from excitement after Nassir ended his speeches and went to greet the crowd. He knew exactly how to draw on the desperation and hopelessness that people were feeling and turn it into optimism and zeal for the future. In his speeches, Nassir became a master of taking their worries off of the current problems and putting the blame for the countries problems on religious fanaticism. Everything was coming together exactly as the mysterious man had promised.
In his boldest move yet, Nassir used his political influence to propose a historic peace treaty that would include all of the major nations of the world. He proposed that they all work together in order to solve the major problems that most nations were facing. In a grand speech that was televised around the world, he called on the great nations of the world to do what has never been done before by uniting their resources to end economic uncertainty, war, famine and disease. Some of the world’s leaders were skeptical that Nassir’s proposals would work, but their people demanded they try. Polls and surveys were showing that Nassir was more popular than most leaders were in their own countries, so they had no choice but to say yes. To bring the most influential countries to the table, Nassir knew that he had to give them what they desired most.
To keep peace in the Middle East, he needed to give Israel guarantees of safety from their Muslim neighbors. Tensions were high because many Muslims were upset that the Israeli government had allowed orthodox Jews to rebuild Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem close to the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem. Israel had always been Turkey’s longtime ally and they were key in the Middle East to keeping radical Islam from spreading to Turkey and upsetting Nassir’s power and influence at home. As a result, Israel’s interest became his own. Nassir knew that America needed protection from China, Mexico and several other South American countries. China needed guarantees that America would repay its massive debts and secretly wanted control over the resources of smaller Asian countries to its south and southwest. Russia wanted to regain control over countries it ruled when it was the Soviet Union and they did not want interference from anyone in doing so. The European Union was in severe economic depression and needed solutions to famines and rampant disease. The African Nations were having the same problems as the EU, with the added problems of most countries in the Sub Sahara fighting wars over ethnic and border disputes. If Nassir could solve these problems, he would exert great influence over them. They were all soon going to get what they wanted.
Nassir worked rigorously for several months to get all of the major nations to agree to the proposals of his treaty. He wanted this moment to be historic and remembered for generations to come. After months of negotiations and concessions, he got all of the major participants to agree and the peace conference was scheduled for January 1, 2023. It would be called the Global Peace Summit. The specific date was chosen intentionally so that people would celebrate his treaty in the future with each New Year’s celebration. He made a point of staying clear of United Nations during the whole process and using only people he trusted. Without his charisma, flattery and charm, it would have never happened. He viewed the U.N. as weak and inefficient bureaucrats who would only slow down the process and take credit for the treaty’s success from him. The major portions of the treaty were as follows:
1. The world would be divided into seven major regions that would expand into ten regions in 3 years. Each region would be led by the current major national power in their area. The head nation of each region would be given the authority to administrate and stabilize governments within their region as they saw fit with the goal being to bring peace and stability to the world. Each nation would be responsible for “maintaining order” in their assigned regions. Members would receive mutual aid, support and permission from the other seven regions and would not have to worry about being attacked and or harassed by fellow members in the new coalition. All members of the seven nation coalition would pledge to contribute economic, technological and military resources to benefit, advancement and protection of the coalition as whole. A Multinational Peacekeeping Force (MPF) would be created and stationed in each of the seven participating countries to ensure mutual protection and cooperation among all members of the coalition. Rather than competing with one another, their scientist, financial industries and military would all work together to achieve a common good. In order to provide accountability and cooperation among the partners, all regions would be headed by a “Prime Leader”, who would initially be Nassir Ibrahim Berezovsky. The Prime leader who would serve a term of seven years. After that, a new “Prime Leader” would be elected by representatives from the ten regions.
2. The regions would be divided as follows:
A. The Far East Region and South Pacific would be led by China.
1. The South Pacific Region in three years would be led by Australia
B. The Near East Region would be led by India.
C. The Western Europe Region would be led by The European Union, which was already in place.
D. The Eastern Europe Region would be led by Russia.
E. The North and South Africa Region would be led by Egypt.
1. The South Africa Region in three years would be led by Nigeria.
F. The Middle East Region would be led by Turkey.
G. The North and South America Region would be led by The United States.
1. The South America Region in 3 years would be led by Brazil.
3. Israel would be protected and allowed to exist as a state. Their temple and worship at their temple would be allowed to continue
4. The United States of America would pledge to give five percent of its Gross Domestic Product to China each year until it has repaid all of its outstanding debt in Treasury Bonds. They would also agree to rigorously prosecute individuals and groups guilty of religious and social intolerance crimes. Twenty five percent of those convicted of intolerance crimes would be sent to Chinese labor prisons for a period of no less than twenty years in order to repay their debt.
5. All major world religions in the seven regions would enact legislation to force major religious institutions in their regions to form one unified faith and settle matters of all faith and doctrine. They will register their institutions and members with a newly forged organization called the World Interfaith Organization for Peace (WIOP) which would act as a global monitoring body to prevent hate crimes, acts of terror, religious wars and in turn promote the love, harmony and unity they were intended for.
6. This treaty would be in effect for seven years. After a period of seven years, the seven regions will come together again to vote on the terms of any future treaty.
Most of the countries instructed their delegates to sign the treaty. They were tired of trying to deal with famine, disease, wars, natural disasters and economic crisis on their own and this treaty offered the solutions they were looking for. All of the nations that were to be heads of the regions signed the treaty without hesitation. Some of the countries who were not slated to be regional heads did not sign the treaty because it meant that their countries would be subject to governance by other countries and because they disagreed with some of the terms. The most notable holdouts were the Middle East countries of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Pakistan. Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq could possibly lose billions in oil profits by allowing Turkey to manage their national resources. The rest of the Middle East holdouts were upset that they as Islamic countries would have to submit to Turkey, a secular county and because most of them wanted to see Israel destroyed. Nassir knew he would have to deal with them and they were at the top of his agenda after the world celebrated the signing of his treaty. He also knew that many of the head of the seven regions could not be completely trusted and needed to be replaced with men that were loyal to him. He would tolerate those that were in place for now but made plans to replace them later.
Terry Sanders was at home watching the signing of the treaty on television and could not believe what he was watching.
“Unbelievable. I can’t believe they did it.… He did it. God help us. He really did it.” Terry said.
“What’s going on Terry?” his wife Martha asked.
“They just made the treaty. It’s done. He pulled it off. Do you know what that means Martha?
“What does it mean Terry?”
Terry stood up from his recliner and put his hands over his face, then looked at Martha.
“It means he is the antichrist!
Martha dropped the plate she was setting at the dinner table. Her hands began to shake. She wanted to speak, but somehow could not find the words. She stared at Terry and he stared at her.
They were both stunned.
“Should…Should we call the church members Terry?”
He looked at her.
“No, they know what to do. If they don’t, then they’re not ready. It’s time for us to go now. It’s time for Project Wilderness”
Pastor Terry and Martha were rushing and moving through the house as fast as they could, trying to grab pictures, mementos, important documents and as much food as they could carry. They knew they would never see home again.
“Martha, we can’t take your car. It has the navigation system and we can’t risk it being tracked.”
Those words really hit home for her. Before, she was going the motions and grabbing everything, it felt more like a long trip than a goodbye. Now she realized she was leaving her home, car and many of the friends and family that were near and dear to her. They did not know what the future held for them. It quickly became overwhelming for her. Terry tried to comfort her.
“Honey, you know as well as I do, it’s time. This is what we prayed about and prepared for all this time.”
“Terry, I know, it’s still hard. It’s one thing to talk about it and plan for it. Now its here and it’s real.”
He hugged her and began to cry. He felt her pain. They were both in their early forties now and had worked hard and made a lot of sacrifices for a long time to build a good life. Now, they were leaving all of that behind.
“I know Martha. I know how you feel. I feel the same way, but either we believe what God is going to do or we don’t”
“Alright Terry, just give me one last look at my house.”
She knew how Lot’s wife must have felt. It’s not easy to give up everything that you have worked your whole life for in a few minutes. She worked hard on that house planting flowers, planting gardens and doing yard work. She even went to the hardware store and learned how to put cabinets and tile in the house when Terry was too busy. She asked herself if this was really the beginning of the end.
“Terry, are you sure. I mean really, really sure?”
“Martha”, Terry shouted in an unusually loud and angry voice. “You can go or you can stay. You know how the Lord has been dealing with both of us. Not just me. I know it in my heart. I feel it in my spirit. This is it. If you’re going, I’ll be in the car waiting. If not, well. I love you”
She took one last look at the house and then turned and walked to the car and got in. She looked over at Terry and signed.
“I guess its seven years until eternity now.”
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