YE SHALL HAVE TRIBULATION
Copyright ©2002 Ren Baer
It was in the middle of the night and Pastor Terry Davis was studying the Word of God trying to get ready for his Sunday morning sermon. He was reading Matthew Chapter 24. Pastor Davis had always believed that Jesus comes before the Tribulation. As well as his parents and grandparents. He came from a long line of this belief and he never questioned it. Although he studies the scriptures daily. But for some reason this night was different. The words of the Lord just jump out from the pages of his bible. He read them over and over again. And thought "this can't be." I have taught that you come before the tribulation, Jesus? Why have I never seen this? Why did I not know. He read the scriptures over and over again. He began to look up other scriptures such as John 17:15, Mark 13:24-27, 2 Thess. 2:1-17, Rev. Ch. 7, and scriptures went on and on. He begin to weep and cried out to God, "Forgive me, Lord, I have believed a lie and have preached a lie all these years." Lord, what am I to do tomorrow?" What will the people say? What will my family think?" Oh,God, Help Me,"he cried out.
Sunday Morning drew near and Pastor Davis was still in his study. His wife Marie knocked on the door and said "Breakfast is ready, honey." He replied, " I will be right there, dear." He went to the table and sat down with his three children. His eyes was red from crying and being up all night. His son Matthew said " Another long night, huh, dad?" Yes, son, replied, the pastor. There was much silent at the table that morning.
They all loaded up into the family car to go to church. Pastor Davis was holding back the tears as he drove to church. It was a beautiful Sunday Morning in June. The Praise and Worship Service was beautiful.
Pastor Davis stood up behind the pulpit. With his voice trembling he began to speak, "I was studying scripture all night last night, and I was planning to give you all a sermon on Truth, but to my surprise the truth was revealed unto me. I am not an end time preacher nor do I study it much until last night. I was reading Matthew 24 and God revealed truth to me and it caused me to weep bitterly because I have believed a lie and worse yet I have preached lies unto you all."
The members were very silent not knowing what the Pastor would say next. He continued, "I know what I am about to say may split the church, or even make some of you anger and even want to fire me. But I have to take that chance because I have a greater fear of God than what others may do unto me" By this time the congregation was shocked by what he was saying.
Pastor Davis had been their pastor for over for many years. He was a loving, caring, and kind man. He helped out so many. He always listened to others, visited ones in prison and in hospitals. He never had a harsh word to say towards anyone and was always well liked by the community.
He continued with a deep hard swallow, "Brothers and Sisters, I discovered that Jesus Christ is returning after the Tribulation and not before." The congregation began to murmur amongst themself. One Deacon stood up and said, "Pastor, Do you know what you are saying?" He replied, "Yes, I do! I am saying I have believed a lie and so have you all these years. And we have been deceived by Satan, himself." Another member stands to his feet, "Are you ill, pastor? I can't believe you are saying such things without even discussing it with the Deacons first? Pastor, you should of not brought this before the congregation until you did to us, privately, and then we would look at the scriptures together and see if what you’re saying is true."
Brethren, said the pastor, I have studied them. I was up all night. Let's study them right now, together." No! said Brother Ferr from the back. " We can not teach such things in this church, do you know what others will say or think of us?" Pastor Davis said, "Do you know what Jesus will do and think if we don't teach His Truth? Jesus is the one who said it! read it for yourself, it's Matt. 24:29-31 and in Mark 13:24-27. Paul said it in 2 Thess. 2:1-12. John says it in Rev. Ch. 7. It is there, we can not ignore it or say it is not true."
Brother Ferr still standing says, "Enough of this Nonsense!" "Pastor Davis, you either can drop this foolishness or leave the pulpit and another will come up there and preach." Pastor Davis with tears in his eyes replied, " This is the truth, rather you accept it or not. Rather you believe it or not we are going through the tribulations. I cannot stand up here as a man of God and tell you what you want to hear. When I know all my heart it is a lie. May the Lord forgive us all." He then stepped down from the pulpit, his wife, and children left the church.
During the next few weeks Pastor Davis spent days and nights in his study praying and searching the scriptures. His eyes began to open more as well as his heart. His wife, Marie did not say much to what took place a few weeks before. She was a very quiet woman. She prayed for God to help her husband with all of this.
Marie came to the study door and knocked on it. Pastor Davis said, "Come in." She came in and shut the door behind her. She asked. "Are you alright?" He replied, yes, "I am fine." She then said to him, "Honey, I am really trying to understand all of this. I want to see what you are seeing, but I don't see it. I don't know what or who to believe. And I don't know how to answer the questions the children have about what happened at church. We have always known that
our son, Matthew has been called to be a pastor. But now he does not know if he wants to be." Pastor Davis listens to his wife's concerns. He then says to her, "Marie, I have always wanted what was best for the children and for you. I have always tried to help others in need before myself or my family. God will work this all out if we just trust in Him." Marie being frustrated replies, "Terry, did you ever think that it was Satan, trying to deceive you and bring division amongst the brethren? Look what has happened, our family is torn apart, the children have lost all their friends, we have also, and you will never be able to preach in this town again." Please, Terry, go to the deacons and apologize before the church and tell them you were mistaken, that you were wrong! "Marie, I cannot do that and will not!" We will be on the streets, the church own our house, cars, bank account, everything!" Terry replied, Let them take it all and persecute us for speaking the truth." Marie replied, Terry, I will not let the children and I lose everything. We are going back to that church tomorrow with or without you." Marie. please listen to me." Marie leaves the study and slams the door behind her.
That following Sunday Morning Marie and her children return to church without her husband, Terry. Many were surprised to see her there and welcomed her back also. Brethren Ferr became the new pastor of the church. He came and greeted her, Welcome Marie, I am glad you have returned. We have been praying for all of you. "Thank you, Pastor Ferr" says Marie with tears in her eyes. Then she says, "I have tried to talk to Terry but he will not listen to me." Well, Marie, you know how Satan likes to get the good ones." Marie, we will help you and the kids all we can, but we cannot help Terry until he repents. Pastor Ferr walks Marie and her children to their seats.
After church was over Marie walked up to Pastor Ferr and says, "Thank you for the sermon, we sure enjoyed it, it helped me to see clearly about the rapture and Jesus coming before the tribulation." She then got into her car and went home. She immediately was excited to share with her husband what Pastor Ferr preached on.
She ran into the house and into the study. But to her surprise Terry was not there and only a note. She opened it and read " Marie, I love you and the children. And it will be hard to be without you, but I have to do what God has called me to do. I will call and check on you and let you know where I am at. If you need me or decide to join me I will somehow get you here. I did not take anything. I left it all for you and the kids. Give them a hug and kiss for me. Please give everything in my study to Matthew. He will be a fine preacher one day. I only took what I was wearing and my bible. I love you, Marie and I am praying for you and the children. Love, Terry." Marie burst into tears and cried herself to sleep that night.
Several weeks later, Pastor Ferr and Brother Kenny came to see Marie and the children. Marie shared the note with them. They were shocked and surprised that Terry had done this. "Well, Marie, this shows us what Terry was really about. He was not a Christian man at all to abandon you and the children like this. Don't you worry we will take care of you and the kids. And hey, Matthew is fixing to graduate to go to our College. We will pay for this as well. God has not
forgotten nor forsaken you, only Terry has. Why don't you let us men take the boys to the game and you can go be with the ladies for a while. Get you out a bit?" "Alright," said Marie.
In New Orleans, every day on the streets there is some type of entertainment going on. People will be performing, reading tarot cards, pawn readers, and in the midst of all the violence there was a preacher man. He has on the same torn dirty clothes. His hair and beard is long, Most people call him Crazy John or John the Baptist man, because he use to be a Baptist Preacher somewhere up north. Others were afraid of John because he spoke against their sins. Some just thought he was another entertainer like all the others and would drop money on the ground before him and walk away. John would never pick up the money. He would leave it for the wicked to fight over in the streets. John lived near the swamps. And ate whatever he caught with his homemade traps.
A young man named Mat would follow him to see what he was going to do next. He always watched him because he was curious. John knew he was there watching him. One day he said to the kid, "Why don't you join me and we will go fishing." The boy said, Alright". As they sat on the banks fishing, the boy said, Can I ask you something, John? "Sure, son," said the man. Why are you out there everyday standing on the streets talking to people who are not listening?" The man smiled, Well, son, how do we really know who is listening and who is not?" That's true, said the boy. "Did you use to be a preacher?" Well, I guess that is what you could call it, signed John. "I was a sinner and deceived in many ways, when I tried to make it right, I lost everything I had." "Oh, that's terrible, John!" said the boy. "So, why you still believing in God after all of this happened to you?" "Well, it is because I believed in God and His Word that all this happened to me, replied John. "What? I don't understand," replied the boy. John smiled and said, "One day you will, boy, One day you will."
Early the next morning before the chickens crowed. John was out on the streets. He was preaching on abomination of the world and yelling "Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand!" And there would be Mat right there listening to him. He would always follow John around and then go home and tell his mother all what John preached on. Mat's mother was a widow and worked two job to support Mat and his sister Mary. at dinner that evening Mat ask his mother, " Mom, can we ask John over for dinner sometime?" "Well, No"! said his mother. "Why not, Mom," said Mat. "Well, because we do not know him that is why." " I do" said, Mat. "You stay away from that crazy wild man, Mat, or I will whip you good," yelled his mother. Mat did not say another word about it at dinner. Mat arose the next morning and got ready for school. He sneaked half of his breakfast into his backpack and ran out the door, after kisses his mother good-bye.
Then he immediately went to look for John and gave the breakfast to him. John asked" Where did you get this food?" "I got it from my house, it is part of my breakfast my mom fixed this morning." Well, I don't want you stealing food for me, Mat, the Lord will provide all my needs." I didn't it was part of my breakfast, said Mat. "Okay," said John. How old are you, Mat?" asked John. "I am twelve" replied Mat. "Well, your growing up and one day you will be a man." Let me ask you something?" Sure, John, said Mat. "Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour?"asked John. "No, but I am wanting to know him and my family to know him," answered Mat. "Well son, you have to repent of your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and you will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. "I want to do this now, John," replied Mat. "Great!" said John. Mat prayed and repented of all his sins, afterwards he asked John, "What now do I need to do?" John replied, "Well, now you need to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ" "Can we do that now, John?" "Sure" replied John. John immediately took Mat to the waters to baptize him. And they hung his clothes to dry on a nearby tree and visited while his clothes dried. John got dressed and went on his way to school.
He was late getting there and had to stay after school. He thought this was a small price to pay. Mat's mother was very concerned when Mat did not come home after school. It was starting to get dark out and still he was not home yet. She called the police and they came right over. She
told them that she was worried and what Mat was wearing that day. The police began looking for Mat. They knocked on many doors of his friends' house but no one had seen Mat. His best friend Chris told them that he hung out with Crazy John a lot lately.
The police went to the swamps to talk to John. "John, have you seen, Mat?" " Not since this morning he stopped by here to see me, then he went to school." said John. Well he never returned home from school and his mom is worried, replied the officer. "Well, that is odd," said John. "Well if you hear from him tell him to get home," said the officers. "I will, replied," John.
Two weeks later the police found Mat's body in the bottom of the swamp. The police had his mother identify the body. She screamed and cried when she recognized it was her little boy. "Who would do such a thing to a little child," she asked. "We don't know, mama, but we will find out." The police investigated the case with no clues to what had happened.
Mat's mother remembered about Crazy John that Mat talked about. She went to the Police Station and told them what she knew. They began to ask Mat's friends about John and what they knew. They only knew about John's preaching in the streets.
Then one day an elderly man came and and reported that he saw Mat that morning with Crazy John near the swamp. And that Mat's clothes were hanging on a nearby tree. He thought it was odd but did not want to jump to any conclusions. The police immediately picked up John off the
streets for questioning. John answered all their questions. They also did a background check on John. They found out his real name was Terry Davis and that he use to be a Baptist Preacher.
They contacted the Baptist Church to get more information on John. They were connected to Pastor's office. "Hello, this is Pastor Ferr, Can I help you?" The Officer replied, This is New Orleans Police Department and we have a Terry Davis here. Do you know him and what can you tell me about him?" "Terry was our Pastor for many years until he ran out on his wife, kids, and the church around five years ago. And no one has heard from him since. What has he done?" Well, we can't say for sure if he has done anything or not. We have him here questioning him about a murder of a 12 year old boy." "What!, said Pastor Ferr." Well we know him as John around here in New Orleans and he preaches on the streets and lives near the swamps. This boy use to hang out with him and visit him and had the morning he come up missing. The boy's body was found in the swamp just less than a mile where John, I mean, Terry's camp is located, said the Officer. "Well, I never would thought he would be capable of doing that, but of course I never thought he would run out on his wife and kids either," said Pastor Ferr. Well, thank you for your time, Pastor Ferr, we will get in touch with you if we have anymore questions." "You're Welcomed, Goodbye, replied Pastor Ferr.
Marie was washing clothes and she heard a knock on her door. She went to the door and it was Pastor Ferr. She opened the door and let him in. He asked her to sit down. "Marie, we have heard from Terry," said Ferr. Marie eyes filled up with tears. "Is he alright? Is he dead?" asked Marie. "No, Marie, he is not dead, answered Ferr. "He is in jail for murder in New Orleans." "Terry, is not capable of doing that!" she said. "Who was it that he supposedly killed?" "They are accusing him of killing and twelve year old boy and placing his body in a swamp." "What? I don't believe it, Terry was always a very loving dad," she said. "Well, I want to see, Terry." Now Marie, the church can not allow you to do this and put yourself and your children in danger." "We are not in danger," Pastor Ferr. I am still his wife and these are his kids, And besides that he does not even know about Teresa. "I don't think you ought to tell him or contact him, Marie, said Pastor Ferr. "Well, Pastor Ferr, I appreciate your concerns but I have to do what is best for all of us." "Marie, your talking foolishly like Terry was, don't get involved in this, it will only because you more pain," said the pastor. "Pastor, you are the reason this happened all to begin with because you, the church would not hear what the Lord had shown him in His Word, I would not either," she said. Pastor Ferr got upset and left her house. Then little Teresa came into the living room and hugged her Mom.
The media began to publish about the death of Mat. There were rumors all around about Crazy John's involvement with Mat. Many were falsely accusing him of murder. The police held Terry in jail with no bail until the trial. They did not want him to take off out of state. Terry was placed in a small cold cell. He had his bible and would minister to all the other prisoners that came into
his cell. Terry thought of Matt alot and thanked the Lord that he had gotten saved before he died. His thoughts of Mat brought to him memories of Marie and the children that he had not seen in many years. He wondered if they were still alive and doing alright. He wondered if they ever thought of him or if they hated him for leaving them. He wondered why he was falsely accused of Mat's murder but the Lord brought to his remembrance that he should be persecuted for his name's sake.
After Terry left Marie and the children, Marie found out she was pregnant. She gave birth to a baby girl and named her Teresa Dawn. Now she was a mother with four children to raise on her own. While she was in the hospital the doctor came into her room and talked her about her new baby girl. He told her that the hospital and government wanted her and her new baby to have security. And that Scientist had developed this new device to protect a mother and her new born baby from kidnappers. They wanted her baby to be safe and her to have peace that her baby would be safe. "What is this new device," she asked. "It is a small micro-chip that is placed in your baby right hand and also in yours no bigger than a grain of salt," he said. "Well, how is the procedure done?" she asked. "It will be done by numbing your right hand and we insert it with a needle, it is painless procedure," he said. "Well, Can I think about it, first? she asked. Yes, sure you can, now you get some rest and I will see you tomorrow." Marie was thinking about what the Doctor had said. It weighed heavy on her mind. She decided to call up Pastor Ferr and ask him to come and see her. And he agreed.
Later on that evening he came to the hospital and brought a member of the church with him. "Hello Marie, you are looking wonderful, today." Hello, Pastor, I am glad you came to see me. "Is something wrong with the baby? You look concerned?" "No, she is fine healthy baby girl." "Wonderful, Wonderful, Praise God!" he said. "What I wanted to ask you about was this device they are wanting to put in the baby and in me for her protection. The Doctor said it would protect my baby from kidnappers. Do I need to be concerned about it? Is it a good ideals?" Well , Marie, we are living in a sinful world and we got a lot of sick people out there. I don't see why it would hurt anything. I do know many members of the church had the procedure done on themselves and all their children. It is pretty popular and the ratings of child kidnapping as drop a great deal." "I did not know anyone had done this before. I had never heard of this, Pastor. "Actually almost all of our church has done it. it is really up to you Marie, but I would recommend it for the safety of all your children," he smiled. "I did not know it was so popular these days?" she pondered. "Could you have a member who has done this before come and see me, so, I can see what it looks like?" she asked. "No need to, Marie, I have had it done, myself. see it is only a very small mark under the skin. You can not really notice it unless you’re looking for it."he replied. "Why did you get it done, Pastor?" she asked. "Because I was in the war, it is mandatory for all soldiers to get it." Oh, I did not know that, I don't watch much news," she said. "Most women don't," he replied. "Marie, it is really up to you, but they are going to make it mandatory for the world soon, anyways. You might as well get it done now while you’re both
here in the hospital, then set up appointments to get the rest of the kids done. And also at this time your medical coverage is paying for it, in the future they might not be. This device keeps track of all your records, such as social security, medical records, dental, bank accounts, everything you need right in the palm of your hand, sort to speak, he laughs. "I am sure glad I called you and you told me all this. It helps me to more understand the benefits of having this device. Terry usually helped me make this types of decisions," she said. "I know Marie, and I am sorry your hurting, but I also know you got four children to think about here and what is best for them, he replied. "Well I will let the doctor know tomorrow that we want the procedure done." Great , Marie, Great! Well we will pray with you and then we got to go see some others in the hospital." Thank you, Pastor, she said with relief. Marie fell asleep and rested since she was comforted by the Pastor's words.
And was later awakened by her son, Matthew leaning over to kiss her, he said, "Hi, mom, how you and my little sister doing?" "Oh, we are fine." "We both got a small simple surgery to do tomorrow or the next day." What kind of surgery , Mom? "Well it is a device that will be placed in our hands to protect your, sister, from kidnappers I talked with Pastor Ferr and he said many at the church had it done, included himself. He thinks I ought to have all of you kids done," Matthew laughs, Well, Mom, I am almost nineteen now and heading for Bible College. I don't think anyone would want to kidnap me." Well, I know that son," she laughs. It is for other purposes also, you talk to the pastor about it. He knows more about it then I do." OK, Mom, I will. You know with all these wars going on I just might become a Chaplain in the Army, Mom." Oh, son, is that what the Lord wants you to do?" I don't know but I am praying about it. "Good," she replied. Well, I am going to let you get some rest, I will call you later on, I love you, Mom. I love you, too, son.
Matthew on his way home ran into Pastor Ferr at the hospital. They had become closer since his dad left. Matthew said, hey Pastor, how you doing? Oh, hi there Matthew, you been to see you, Mother? Yes, I was just in there. Good, son, Good. She got her hands full and you need to help her all you can. Yes, I will, Pastor. She wanted me to ask you about this surgery her and my sister will be having in a few days? Oh, I thought she was doing it. I think she is, but she wants me to get it done also. Yes, I told her all you kids should do it. Well I hate needles. Well, it will not hurt. I had it done and did not feel a thing. Well, I will pray about it and see what God says for me to do. You do that, Matthew, you’re a fine young man. I know your mother is very proud of you. Yes, and I am her also. It has been hard without Dad, I hear her cry a lot for him and I do also, Pastor. I know, Matthew in time God will heal all your broken hearts. You just keep praying and mind your mother. I will, Pastor, I will. I know you will Matthew. Take care. You too, Pastor.
The courtroom is full of Reporters. Terry is brought in with shackles on his hands and feet. He sees the jury mostly people he has preached to on the streets. His lawyer rises and calls the first witness to the stand " I call Robert Whitney to the stand. The elderly man rises and goes to the witness seat. He is sworn in and takes his seat. Mr. Whitney you stated you saw Matthew and my client together the morning that he was last seen, is this correct? Yes, it is. What were they doing? They were talking and drinking something. Did Matthew seem afraid or scared. No, he did not. Was he nude? No he was not. What was he wearing? He was wrapped in a old blanket. Did you see Mr. Davis, hit Matthew, or strike him in any way? No, I did not. So, to your acknowledgment Matthew was in no danger by being with my client? No, he did not seem to be. Had you ever seen my client, hurt anyone, or be rude, violent, or anything? No, I have not. He was always very polite, preached on the streets, and was a quiet man when he was not preaching. He never seemed to bothered no one. Mr. Whitney, may I ask why you contacted the police and told them about seeing Matthew with Mr. Davis? Well because I had heard what had happen and I had seen the boy the day he came up missing, and I thought it was my duty to tell them. Did you see the boy's clothes hanging on a tree? Yes, they were drying because they were wet. Well how do you know if they were wet or not? Well, I saw Mr. Davis and the boy get into the water together. What did they do? It looked like he was baptizing the boy. You had to be pretty close to see all of this? Yes, I was watching them. Why, were you watching them? Well it is my land, you know? No, I did not know it was your land, but thank you for telling us. Were you upset with Mr. Davis for being on your land? Well, I did not like it. Well, why didn’t you tell him to get off your land or call the police? I don't know. What do you mean you do not know? Well, everyone said he was crazy, so I did not tell him to leave. Isn't it true you have threatened children for being on your land, including Matthew? No! It is not true, how dare you to say such a thing to me! Your under oath, Mr. Whitney? I might of, I guess. Yes or No, Mr. Whitney? Yes! I did. Thank you, Mr. Whitney.
I would like to call my next witness. I call Mrs. Marie Davis. Terry's eyes immediately looked around the courtroom and then he saw her stand up and go to the witness stand. Please tell the court who you are? I am Marie Davis, Terry Davis' wife. How long have you been married to Terry. Almost 22 years. Are you two divorced? No, we are still married. Do you live together? No, I live up North. How long has it been since you seen your husband? About six or seven years. Do you two have children? Yes, we have four. Why did you and Terry separate? We had
a disagreement with the church and one another. And he left. Why? Did he leave you and the kids? Because the church would of took our house, cars, and everything we had because my husband would of been removed from being their Pastor because he believed different then they do. So, Terry left so the kids and I would not go without. And he feels he was led by God to do as he has been for the past several years. Are you angry with him for doing this? At times, but mostly at myself for not listening to him that day. You have not seen your husband at all until right now in this courtroom? That is correct. Why are you here now? Because I just found out where he was and I know he is not capable of being a murder of anyone, and differently not a child. Thank you, Mrs. Davis.
Prosecuting Attorney arises: Mrs. Davis you want us to believe that a man who would walk out on his family is not capable of killing someone? That is exactly what I am saying. You really think this was right for him to do is to leave you all? Well no, but I know he would only leave us for God. Only if he knew it was the right thing to do at the time. Thank you, Mrs. Davis, no more further questions. Terry watches Marie she goes and sits down behind him. She reaches up and touches his shoulder.
I call Mrs Tucker to the stand. She arises and sits down in the witness seat. Mrs. Tucker, I know this is hard for you to speak about but I need to ask you some questions about your son and Mr. Davis. What do you know about Mr. Davis? I only know what my son told me? And what is that? That Mr. Davis was a nice man. Did you know your son was going to see Mr. Davis? Yes, and I
got unto him for it Why? Because he was a stranger and what everyone else was saying about him. What was others saying? That he was a crazy lunatic. Do you think he killed your son? I don't know if he did. Prosecution Rests! Mr. Davis attorney says, "I will be brief, Mrs. Tucker. OK, she replied. Did your son bring food to Mr. Davis? Yes, he did. He wanted to invite him to dinner at the house. What did you say? I said No, because he was a stranger. Are you a religious person, Mrs. Tucker? No, I am not. Do you go to church? No, I do not. Why? I don't have time with working trying to support two, I mean, one child, she cries. Thank you, Mrs. Tucker.
We have no further witnesses. Both sides rest. Judge Martin says, the jury will return to the chambers and decide on a verdict. This case is not to be discussed outside that room. You must find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You are free to leave, Court is adjourned!
Terry's attorney leans over and tells him, he has set up a visitation with his wife Marie and his daughter Teresa for two hours this afternoon. Terry thanks him and tears roll down his face. He looks at Marie and she is weeping also. He says to her, I love you, Marie. I love you also, Terry. They take Terry to his cell and he weeps and prays to God.
Marie awakes from her surgery. She asks how is my baby doing? The nurse says Oh! she is fine. Did the surgery go well for her also? Yes, it did. She looked down at her right hand and it was covered with bandages. You rest now, said the nurse, we will bring the baby to you later today. OK, said Marie. She laid their thinking about Terry and praying he could of been here. She begins to cry and fell asleep.
In the waiting room there was Pastor Ferr and some of the church members. The doctor comes out and tells them that Marie and the baby were just fine. At the moment Matthew comes crashing through the doors very upset. He asks "Did my mother and sister get the mark?" Why you so upset, Matthew? What is wrong?" asked Pastor Ferr. You know what is wrong, Pastor, My dad was right!" Matthew calm down, why you so upset for son? "Don't call me son! I am not your son, my dad was right!" What you carrying on about, Matthew? asked Ferr. That device is the Mark of the Beast! says, Matthew. Your crazy, Matthew! said Ferr. "We will not be here to see this I have told you this before." I found my dad's notes in his study and read them and looked up the Scriptures in the bible and he was right. We will go through the Tribulation!" screamed Matthew. " And you are a deceiver, a liar, and have tricked my mother to take the mark and my sister also, you devil!" Matthew, you have lost your mind, like father, like son. Now stop this nonsense! and go sit down. "I will not sit down! Take him, away and bring him to my office at the church and don't let him leave until I say so." The men there grabbed Matthew and took him as the Pastor had instructed them to do.
Matthew was forcibly taken and shoved into the church van. He struggled but they held him down. They brought him to the church. A few minutes later Pastor Ferr showed up. He walked into his office. You know, Matthew, I really had great plains for you in this church until you got crazy on me like your dad did. Don't you know who I am and what I can do unto you? "Yes, your the devil, the Antichrist!" Pastor Ferr laughs. "And when I get away from you I will tell everyone who and what you are!" You will never be able to tell anyone anything. I will tell you mother you went off to college, than to war, and she will never hear from you again. Mom will not believe you! Oh but she will because she now belongs to me. She has my mark. You will have to kill me to keep me silent! That is what I plain to do, Matthew. The Pastor made some phone calls. Matthew could not hear what he was saying. He then hung up the phone. The men came to the
church and went into the secret chambers. Matthew could hear them talking. He heard Ferr say, "Kill the boy!"
Matthew was frightened and prayed to God to give him strength to die for his belief in Jesus. He thought of his family. And wept for his mother and baby sister. He thought of his dad. Oh, God help me! Matthew is alone in the office. He thinks of ways to escape the locked door. He picks up his chair and breaks out the window glass and jumps out the window. He goes to his' house where two brothers are. He tells them to come with him now. "What is wrong? " they ask. I will tell you in the truck. Get in the truck now! The boys run to the truck. Matthew runs inside and grabs some cash and the truck keys. And runs and gets into the truck and drives off.
Back at the hospital Marie was awakened by Mr. Ferr. "How are you doing, Marie?" I am alright, real tired though. How is my baby? She is doing great. I just saw her." Oh, can you ask them to bring her in? she asked. Yes, but I wanted to talk to you about Matthew. He went off to college.
"What do you mean? she asked. Well he decided to go ahead and go, there was an opening, and I told him I would tell you. Oh, I wished he would of come and seen me, before he left, she said. Oh, he did and you were sleeping, Marie, I took him to the airport and got him on the plane, myself. I made sure he had plenty of money. And if he needs anything I will help him out. Oh, well thank you, Pastor Ferr, you have been so good to us, she replied. It is not a problem, this is what Christians are to do. "Well, the doctor said you can go home tomorrow. Do you want some us to come and help you from the church? Yes, that would be nice. I will have some of the women go over and check on the boys and take care of things at home and get it already for you. Thank you, Pastor. Not a problem, you rest now.
Marie and Teresa was released from the hospital and was driven home by Sherry, a friend from church. When she got home she asked where are the boys at? Well, we have not seen them Marie? What do you mean you have not seen them? We thought they were with your parents or Terry's parents., said Sherry. "No, I left them her with Matthew, but he went to college and I thought someone from the church was with them. Or they were here with you. I have not seen them at all since you went to the hospital. Marie runs to the phone and calls the police. And reports her children missing. Pastor Ferr came to the house to comfort Marie. "They will find them, Marie, said Ferr. "My husband leaves me, Matthew is gone, and my two other children are missing, what more do I have to take? she cries" Now, now Marie, it i will be alright. Sherry give Marie some sleeping pills to help her to relax and puts her to bed. Sherry shuts the bedroom door and turns out the light. She then looks in on the baby. She goes to the kitchen to help the women prepare some food and drinks for the officers outside. When she passes by the living room door she overhears the men talking. One of the Elders asks Ferr," Do you think she knows anything? "She does not have a clue, answered Mr. Ferr.
Terry is excited to see his wife and daughter. He wondered if his sons will be with her. He waits for the clock to strike four and they will come and bring him to the visitation room. Finally after many hours of waiting they come for him. He is shaven clean, and his hair is cut short. He is wearing a green county jumpsuit. He still looks rough from living as a homeless man. He enters in the room and sees his wife and little girl at a table.
He walks over to her and kisses her and his little girl. Marie begins to cry. He holds her. They set down and hold each other hand. Terry asks her, Marie, Where are the boys?" She begins to cry. What happened to them, Marie? "Oh, Terry, Matthew went to College when I was having Teresa, I have not seen him since. Then when I got home the boys were missing." What do you mean, Marie?"said Terry. "Somebody took the boys or they ran off. "I have not seen any of the boys since I came home from the hospital." Terry begins to cry. "This is all my fault, Marie, all my fault" No, Terry, it is not your fault.
Terry places his hands over his face and then he reaches down to hold Marie's hand and sees the mark. "Marie, what is this Mark?" What have you done? he runs and looks at Teresa right hand and she is marked also. God No!, Terry Screams. "What is wrong, Terry," asked Marie" "You and Teresa have taken the Mark of the Beast"cried Terry. "No! We haven't, Terry." "Yes, you have!" "Marie in disbelief cries out for the officers to open the door." She grabs Teresa in her arms. Terry screams out 'Read Revelation Chapter 14 verses 16 & 17, Marie.
She runs out of the waiting room holding Teresa tightly. She runs down the stairs and gets into her car. She places Teresa in her seat belt. She then sees her bible laying on the dashboard and remembers what Terry's last words to her were "Read Revelation Chapter 14 verse 16 & 17. She opens up her bible and read the passage and then realizes Terry was right all along, "We are going through the great tribulation. We are in it now" says Marie to herself. She weeps for her daughter that she was deceived and took the mark and allowed them to give it unto her daughter.
Marie drives for hours while Teresa sleeps. She wonder why she did not know. She wondered who is the Antichrist? She begin to think back on her life and what all had happened. Then it dawns on her that Ferr was always in the middle of it all and even encouraged her to take the
mark. Is Ferr the Antichrist or is he the false Prophet, she thought? Who else in the church knows? I've got to warn people. He will have me killed if he knew, I knew this.
She stopped and got a motel room for her and Teresa. She calls room service to order some food. She studies the Word and tried hard to remember even the scriptures Terry told her about way back then. She was scared and frightened. And knew she was forever lost now. She cried herself to sleep.
Marie rose up early and took Teresa to breakfast at the Cafe in the Motel. Marie let Teresa order her favorite breakfast food, pancakes. She asked Teresa to wait right here while she goes and starts the car to warm it up a bit. The waitress says she would keep an eye on Teresa for her. Marie opens her car door and climbs in. She gets her keys out of her purse and puts them in the ignition. The car explodes as soon as she turns the key.
Terry's attorney goes to his cell and says "Terry, I got some bad news for you." Terry looks with concern at his attorney. Are they finding me guilty? says, Terry. "I don't know," replied his lawyer. "This is about your wife, Terry, she was at a Motel and went to start her car and it blew up. I am sorry, Terry. Terry fell down on his bunk and cried. "Where is my daughter? Is she dead also?" "No, she was sitting in the Cafe eating breakfast. And then Pastor Ferr was called. He flew down here to picked her up and took her home with him on the plane."
"My wife is dead, my sons are missing, my daughter has the Mark of the beast, and I am on trial for murder, What more do I have to endure, Lord?" "What are you talking about, Terry?" Terry refuses to answer his lawyer.
Matthew and his brothers had been driving for hours. His brother is asking him a lot of questions. Matthew tells them, "We got to hide out from Ferr". "What do you mean? said Tony" I will explain it all to you as soon as I can find us a place to stay. I got some money and we will go up into the mountains and hide out until I can figure out what to do. The boys trusted their brother and stop asking him questions. He drove all through the night.
The next morning he told his brothers to get him some firewood like they use to when Dad would take us camping. The boys went out looking for wood. Matthew got on his knees and prayed for direction and protection. Then he begin to unload the camper on the truck. His dad kept all kinds of stuff in the trunk and no one had touched it since dad left. He climb up into the camper and got out all the old camping gear. When he was unloading the trunk, he found a tape recorder. it said on it "A Message to my Boys."
Matthew waited for his brother to return and showed them the tape. Matthew looked always after the boys after their dad left and kept them under his wing. They were always real close growing up. Matthew put the tape in and they sat down at the picnic table to listen to what their dad had to say.
My sons, I know I am not here with you at this time, but I want you to know I love you. I am not angry at your mother. I just knew she was right that the church would take everything, and I did not want to see her or you go without. I told the church that we are going to go through the tribulation. And sons we will. Maybe you are seeing this now. I want to tell you to go far up into the mountains when you see the Antichrist rise. You know the spot, Matthew, Remember what I talked to you about if your ever in trouble or lost. If I am alive I will meet you there one day. I pray that your mother and you boys are altogether and have stayed faithful unto the Lord and not taken the Antichrist's Mark. I love you all and will miss you while I am gone. If I don't see you at our meeting place, I will see you when the Lord comes. Stay strong in the Lord, and keep your eyes on Jesus. The tape clicks off and the boys are crying for they miss their dad.
Matthew speaks up and says '"What Dad said is true, I read it myself in the Bible. I went to see Mom and she told me her and Teresa were getting a device in their right hand. This was before I knew about this. By the time I found out and went to the hospital it was too late. They had
already receive the mark of the Beast. "Ferr encourage Mom to do so, and wanted us to receive it also. They lied to her and told her it was so that you would not get kidnapped. He already has the mark and so do several others.
We are going to go where dad said and wait until we hear from him unless the Lord tells us to do something else." The brothers both sadden agreed with Matthew. Matthew loaded up the truck and they headed for Colorado Mountains. There was good hiding places up there with fresh water.
They traveled for days and finally reached the old cabin that Dad spoke about to them. They unloaded the trunk, built a fire, and slept for almost two days. Their dad had all kinds of supplies there. David said "Dad must of brought all this here when he left. "Yes, replied Tony, he was preparing a place for us to meet at. There was all kinds of can foods and traps, and fishing poles. "I wonder how he got it all up here? asked David. " I don't know, said Matthew. They stayed out of sight most of the time.
Matthew still was protective over his brothers. His brothers started to believe their dad was never going to show up or maybe he was dead. Matthew encouraged them to continue to trust God. Matthew believed his dad would show up one day.
The jury has come to decision and Terry was brought up to the courtroom. he still looked for his wife's face still in the crowd. He could not believe she was dead. The Judge called the court to order. He spoke to Terry and told him the court had sympathy for his lost of his wife and his missing children. Terry never said a word. The judge then looked at the jury have you reached a verdict. Yes, we have, your honor. Mr. Davis will you arise while the jury reads your verdict. Terry and his lawyer stood up. Jury read your verdict. "We the jury find the defiant, Terry Davis not guilty." Terry fell down in his seat. The Judge said, You are to release Terry Davis, he is free to go.
Terry got all his things which was not much. But was everything to him. It was his bible. And put on his rags and left the courthouse a free man. The media were outside the courthouse with their cameras asking him questions. He did not say a word.
He then saw Mat's mother standing outside. He walked over to her and said "Mrs. Tucker, I am truly sorry about your son. He was my friend. And I want you to know something to bring you comfort. Your son accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour, that morning I saw him, and he was baptized. Your son is at rest until the coming of Jesus Christ." She grabbed Terry and hugged him and said thank you for those kind words. I know I did not allow you to come to our home and eat, but I would like to have you eat with me now." Terry accepted her offer.
They went to her house for dinner. She introduced him to her daughter Mary. They talked about many thing, mostly about Jesus. Terry, looked at her and asked her what is your first name?" Martha is my first name. He said you know there is a Mary and Martha in the bible who were sisters. I did not know that, she replied.
"Do you know Jesus, Martha?" asked Terry. "No, I don't, but I would like to know him, she replied. That is the same thing your son said to me. She smiled but also her eyes teared up. You know Martha you can repent of your sins, be baptized, tonight. Yes, I want to accept him like Mat did. She repented and Pastor Terry baptized her in the name of Jesus Christ and laid his hands upon her and she received the Holy Ghost.
The next morning Terry got up from Martha's couch and went walked down the street of New Orleans towards the highway. He was heading back to his hometown. He wanted to find his
sons. And see if they had the mark also. He had to know if any of his family was still a believer. He had gotten about five miles down the Highway when Martha came pulling up. Terry, she said, let me give you a ride back home. I am off work because of Mat's death and I would like to take you there. Terry agreed and climbed in her car.
They talked for hours about Jesus and Terry read the bible to her while she drove. He told her Martha, "I don't know what I am getting into when I get there. My wife was murdered, my sons are missing, and my daughter has the mark of the beast." I don't want anything to happen to you. I understand that, she replied. But if what you are saying is true and I believe it is. Then I need to also get busy working for the Lord and tell others who the Antichrist is. "Well, we don't know who it is yet, but I have a good ideal,"said Terry.
I know we can't go to where we use to live because they killed my wife and they know I am free, and will be looking for me, as well. Well, we will have to be careful, replied Martha. "Yes, very careful. We need to go to Colorado", said Terry. Colorado? replied Martha."Yes, I have supplies there. And I don't know how far we have gotten into this thing, but I need a radio also, to keep up with the news." Well, I know that we are in war all over the world, and there has been many earthquakes and death and hate is rising," said Martha. "Well, Jesus spoke about that in the Bible!"replied Terry. Terry asked, "Martha have you heard anything about Jerusalem?". "They are in a terrible battle Jerusalem and the Palestines are. Terrorism is really bad over there. Iraq and America has been in war for quite awhile now. Earthquakes have been happening everywhere. Oh, and gays are being allowed to get married in America now."
What?" says, Terry, We are further along than I thought we were. What do you mean? asked Martha. I will explain, replied Terry. In Matthew Chapter 24 Jesus told His disciples of things that would come. They wanted to know when was Jesus coming and what were signs of the end of the world. Jesus told them the signs. He said that there would be wars and rumors of wars, pestilence, famines, & earthquakes. But also in another place of the Bible, Jesus said, they would be drinking, marrying, and giving into marriage. As in the days of Noah and Lot.
See Martha, in the days of Noah and Lot sin was raging throughout the land, the world, as we are seeing now, as you have described. Homosexuality is why the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. The things you have just told me is prophesied throughout the Bible. The Antichrist and False Prophet must be on the scene because the mark of the beast is here.
Wow, Terry, I don't know what to say. I did not know all these things were in the Bible. I know a little about the Bible but not all that, she said. Has there been a seven year peace treaty signed with Israel and someone else? he asked. Well I know that the new Palestinian Leader signed one with them. What? asked Terry, there is a new Palestinian Leader? Yes, replied Martha. Arafat died and the new leader was voted in. Many are looking up to him for peace as if he was a god or something. He is not like the other leaders we have had. I can't believe all this is happening so fast, said Terry. I wonder where Ferr ties into all of this, or is he just demon possessed. I guess we will find out soon enough.
We have got to get to Colorado and see if my sons are there, said Terry. Why, would they be there? asked Martha. Well, I left them a tape years ago and told them to go to there. I did not give the location in the tape because I have told Matthew enough times about it and he should know. I did not know you had a son name Matthew also? said Martha. Yes, Martha, he is in his twenties now, they are all , i guess now. The other two boys names are David and Anthony, but we call him, Tony. The memories of their children brought tears and silence between them.
Terry had been driving for hours while Martha slept. He was too excited to sleep for they had just enter the Colorado state line. He prayed his sons would be there. He longed to see them again. He stopped to get gas and some coffee. Martha awoke and said, Where are we? We just entered Colorado, answered Terry. I must of slept a long time. You needed to rest, you had been driving for hours. Do we have far to go? she asked. Not much further, replied Terry. Just a few more miles. Martha asked Terry, Do you need anything? Yes, a map, please. Martha goes into the gas station gets two cups of coffee, and a map. She hands a cup to, Terry. Thank you, Martha. Your welcome, she replied.
Martha takes over driving while Terry looks at a map. Terry, the man at the Gas Station told me they were not accepting cash anymore, that a new law has come into effect as of tomorrow. What law is that? asked Terry. That now your right hand will be scanned to purchase anything. And this is worldwide. Is this the mark of the beast? she asked. Yes, it is, Martha. What will we do, frightened Martha asked. This is where we trust God to provide all are needs. We need to pray, Martha. OK, said she said. Terry and Martha prayed for God's guidance and for the protection of their families. They prayed for His will to be done.
They finally could view the cabin in the mountains. Matthew stepped outside the cabin. Not long afterwards followed Tony and David. Who is it, Matthew? asked David. "I don't know, answered Matthew. Should we hide? asked Tony. I don't know, answered Matthew. Lets just pray and wait to see who it is. Maybe it is Dad, with excitement said David. That is crazy, said Tony. Let's just
wait and see who it is, said Matthew. As the car approached them, they saw a man get out of the car with a smile. It was their dad. They ran out to meet him and they embraced one another. Terry was in tears of joy to see the sons he longed for.
Many years had passed and they had grown so much since the last time he saw them. Terry introduced them to Martha. They all went inside and sat down at the table. Matthew told his dad everything that had happened. He told him all about Ferr, his Mom, and sister. I know I saw your mom and sister, said Terry. She came to see me while I was in jail. She and your sister both have the mark of the beast. I saw it myself on their right hands. I have bad news after your mother left she was at a cafe and she went outside leaving your sister inside. When she tried to start the car, the car blew up and your mother was killed. I am sorry, sons, this happened. They all cried for the lost of their mother. Where is Teresa, asked Matthew. She is with Ferr,
answered Terry. We got to go get her, said Tony. We can't son, she has the mark, it is too late for her now, with sadness he said.
They talked for hours and making plans on what they were going to do next. Terry told them all about where he was all these years, and what happened with Mat and how he met his friend's mother, Martha. He also told them about cash is no longer any good. But they could maybe do
some trading. he said. It is only a matter of time before they arrested us for being Christians, he told them.
Well, dad, they are already burning down churches in some places as well as bibles. I pray you three have been studying up and have the word grounded inside of you in good ground, he asked. Yes, dad, we have been studying daily, said Matthew. Good, son, very good. I have missed you all very much and I am proud of you that you did not take the mark, said Terry. I wished I could of stopped Mom and Teresa from taking the mark, Dad, but I was too late, said Matthew. Son, there is nothing we can do about that now, you got your brothers to safety and I thank God for this. We got to stay focused and look forward and endure until the end. I just want you all to know when it comes to accept the mark or dying, I will die for what I believe. You must do the same no matter what, said Terry. We will said, David.
Martha sat quietly listening to the men talk. She did not know what to say or think. She thought about her daughter Mary and her parents. She began to cry. Terry came over and comforted Martha. Are you alright? he asked. I am scared for my family and myself, she answered. Terry looked at her and said, Martha you have been a good friend to me, just as your son was. And I know you have a good heart and love the Lord Jesus. He did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. Are you afraid to die, Terry, asked Martha? No, Martha, I am not, because I believe the promises of God. You have to believe them also even though you have not seen them come to pass. We will be with the Lord forever if we just stay faithful until we die or Jesus comes back, said Terry. Do you believe this, Martha? Yes, I do, she replied. Terry got up and went outside to bring in some wood. David and Tony followed him.
Matthew gave some coffee to Martha. Are you alright, Martha, asked Matthew. Yes, this is just really hard for me at times. I understand said, Matthew. You know my son that died was named Matthew, I called him, Mat. He was named after his dad, she said. I am sorry to hear that your son died, said Matthew. I am sorry that your mother died and what has happened to your sister also, said Martha. Yeah, it has been tough, replied Matthew. Are you saved? asked Matthew. Yes, I got saved when your dad got out of jail, she replied. Well, I am glad to hear that, with a smile, said Matthew.
They all spent the next few months making plans of what they were going to do. During this time Matthew and Martha were getting closer. They would take long walks and talk and share about everything together. Matthew was started to have feelings toward Martha, and she felt the same towards Matthew.
His dad asked him to go fishing with him. Matthew and his dad left the cabin and went down to the pond. Son, I noticed you and Martha are spending a lot of time together, he said. Yes, we are becoming very close, Dad, replied Matthew. Do you love her, Matthew? he asked. Yes, dad I do, answered Matthew. I want to marry her, Dad. Well, Matthew you know we don't have much time left here. Yes, Dad, I know, said Matthew. Well, son, I think you should ask her, and if she accepts I will marry the both of you. Matthew smiled.
It was a beautiful Saturday Morning. And Matthew was preparing his proposal to Martha. He went and picked some beautiful wild flowers for her and laid them by where she was sleeping. The flowers touched her nose and awoke her. She smiled when she seen Matthew and the flowers. Morning Beautiful, said Matthew. Good Morning, replied Martha with a smile. You want to take a walk with me, asked, Matthew. Yes, said Martha. Matthew took Martha by the hand and they went out of the cabin for a walk. She asked him, Are you alright, Matthew, you seem nervous? Well, yes a little, I guess, I am, answered Matthew. I want to ask you something. I know we have only known each other for a short time, but Martha, I want to tell you I love you. I know we don't have a lot of time together, but what time we do have left, I want to spend it with you. What I am trying to say, I mean ask you, Is Martha will you marry me? "I love you too, Matthew, and yes, I will marry you. Matthew hugs Martha and thanks God for his new bride to be. Martha tells Matthew, We have got to go get Mary, my daughter, after we are married. We will, Martha, I promise you.
They returned later to the cabin. When they walked in Matthew's dad sees the smiles on their faces and shouts "Looks like their is going to be a wedding," he laughs with excitement. He hugs Matthew and Martha. David and Tony are happy for them also. When the big day? asked Tony. Tomorrow, said Matthew. Then we plan to go and get Mary. That is a good plan son, just be careful. How will we get there? said Martha. Well, It might be best to contact your parents and see if they can get her half way and you to met them. We have enough spare gas for half the trip because if we use all the gas up then we can't get to where we need to go. Also Martha see what supplies you parents have. Ask them to come stay with us also if they need to, said Terry.
Matthew drove Martha to town to call her parents. She told them everything and they were happy she was getting married. Her dad, said No Martha, don't come here we will come to you. We have are RV and can make the trip there and bring more supplies to you all. It's bad here, Martha. We have been hiding out ourselves with Mary. There is rioting in the streets, men with guns everywhere. It is terrible! We will try to be there in two days. If you can, wait, so we can be there for the wedding, said her dad, Thomas. I love you, Dad, and tell Mom also give them a hug and kiss for me. I will and we love you and everyone also, replied Thomas.
Martha told Matthew everything that her Dad had told her. He comforted her and told her that everything would be alright. "Martha, it will be nice to meet your parents and especially Mary, he
said. "Yes, I miss her so much." Then they drove back to the cabin and told Matthew's dad and his brothers everything. "Well, we will wait until they get here, if that is what you both want to do? asked Terry. Yes, replied both of them. Well, then we will plain for the wedding after they get here, said Terry.
The day came that Martha's parents and daughter arrived. Mary came running to Martha and jumped in her arms. Martha was so excite to see her and her parents. They all went inside and talked about what was going on in the world. Terry was concerned with everything happening so fast. Thomas told Terry that the false prophet had come into the scene. Who is it?" asked Terry. "It is a man by the name of Lewis Ferr, said Thomas. "I knew it!" said Terry. Do you know him? asked Thomas. Yes, I use to Pastor the church he went to. And then he took over when I left. He tried to have Matthew killed and killed my wife. I am sorry to hear this, said Thomas. "Well it took us awhile to see that this was all happening, said Sara, Thomas' wife. Ferr is trying to get everyone to believe that this Palestine leader is god, and forcing many to worship him or die, said Thomas. It did all of us, said Terry. My little girl was born after I had left my wife and when I met her several years later she and my wife both had the mark, said Terry. Terry began to cry and the room was went silent.
The next day Matthew and Martha was married. Martha had wild flowers in her hair, and so did Mary. It was a beautiful wedding. Martha was happy that her parents and daughter was there was to see her get married. This was the happiest day of her and Matthew's life. Little Mary liked her new daddy and took up to Matthew real quick. He thought she was the most beautiful child a man could have. He felt very blessed to have Martha and Mary in his life. Thomas brought his guitar and played at the Wedding Reception and they all danced and celebrated the whole day, giving praises unto the Lord.
The next morning while everyone was still asleep. Sara awoke and started preparing breakfast for everyone. She was in the kitchen humming a song when she heard a noise outside. She looked out the window but did not see anything. She went to the front door and opened it. There were men outside dressed in black with weapons. They rushed her and threw her to the floor.
They gathered everyone together and made them all lie on the floor. Matthew reached over and held Martha's hand. I love you, he whispered. I love you too, she responded. The commander came in and said "take all the men to the prison camp". What do we do with the women? one asked. Kill them! said the Commander.
Matthew wrapped his arms around Martha and begged for her life. One soldier hit him with his weapon and knocking Matthew unconscious. Thomas arose to his feet trying to protect his family. The soldiers opened fire on him and killed him. They picked up Matthew off the floor and put him in a white van and chained his feet and hands. He was still unconscious.
"Please don't kill my little girl, Martha begged.It's too late, one said. Martha began to weep. They loaded up Terry into another van. Then as the vans drove away all you could here was blasts from the soldiers weapons.
Terry wept as he thought of his sons, Martha, her daughter, and her parents all dead. Where is Matthew? he wondered. Why did they not kill us also? he thought. Where are they taking us? They brought them to a ship and loaded them up with the cargo below.
Terry looked for Matthew but did not find him. He saw so many men aboard the ship below where he was. Does anyone know where we are headed? he asked. One man said, I heard them say Jerusalem. Why, Jerusalem? asked Terry. To be brought before their new king and to be tried for being Christians, the man answered.
"I have heard also there are two men there preaching in the streets of Jerusalem. When did this start? asked Terry. About a year or so ago. Do you know their names? Some say it is Elijah and Moses others are saying it is two angels of the Lord, said the man. "You're speaking about the Two Witnesses, aren't you?" asked Terry. Yes, I am, said the man.
Terry laid back and thought about what the man had told him. He asked the Lord to bring his word to his remembrance for he did not have his bible with him. As he tried to ponder on God's Word, he could hear men moaning from being in pain both physically and emotionally. Immediately Terry focus was taken off himself as he heard the brethren in such sorrow. Terry stood up in the midst of them. And he began to sing unto the Lord, "Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now I am found, I was blind, but now I see" The men began to sing with Terry and arose to their feet. They helped hold one another up and sung every Christian song that came unto their hearts, to give glory unto their Lord God. As tears of joy filled their hearts, peace came unto their souls. They did not think about their pain, they did not think about their families, they did not think about their hunger, in one accord their thoughts was upon the goodness of the Lord.
They could not tell if it was day or night in the bottom of the ship. They knew it was for days, maybe weeks. But they continued to Praise the Lord and some preached unto them. To give them hope and encourage them. Terry encouraged them to take turns edifying and praying for one another. That Jesus was the only way they will make it through all of this and endure until the end.
Finally the ship came to the docks. And they had arrived in Jerusalem. The army gathered all the men up and they were all chained in a line together. As they were departing from the ship, crowds of people were there screaming at them. There were holding up images of new king, the Antichrist and of Mr. Ferr, the false prophet. There was an image of the king made of gold, silver, brass, clay and iron in the midst of the city. There were people of all races, kindred, and tongues there. They were laying gifts before it and sacrifices animals to it. Terry could not believe all he was seeing.
The crowd shoved them, hit them with sticks, knocking several of them to the ground. They were spit on and kicked. Some never made it to where they were going. Their bodies were thrown into a pile that was on fire. Terry looked at everything he could. It was hard on his eyes because he had been in darkness below the ship for so long.
And then he saw two men in sackcloth. They spoke with such power, like fire in their words as they preached. Everyone seem to be afraid of them and they were hated. Terry was praising God for their preaching the Word. One of the men turned and looked at Terry and the men chained with him and said, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them!." The men said "Amen!"
They were placed inside the dungeon of the newly rebuilt Temple. There were rats everywhere and it smelled horrible, like unto death. Then were many Christians in the dungeon. Terry silently prayed for God to help them all to face death for their belief.
He then saw a man in the corner who had been beaten. Terry went over to help him. When Terry lifted up the man's head, he realized it was his son, Matthew. And he saw that his tongue had been cut out. Terry wept while he tore off his shirt and used it to soak up the blood and bandage Matthew's injuries. And laid him upon his lap and prayed over him.
Many were dead in the dungeon. Some men would move the bodies of the dead away from the living. The smell was unbearable to stomach. There was not much light in the dungeon. Once in awhile they were given bread and a swallow of water. The more stronger men were taken out of
the dungeon to work for the king. Some returned and some were never heard of again. Terry wondered what happened to all the women and children. He had not seen any since he had been there. He did not know how long he had been there.
A huge army of men came into the dungeon loading them all out of the dungeon. Terry helped Matthew to his feet. They were taken outside amongst the people. There was a guillotine covered already with blood. Terry did not have to ask what it was for. He saw the bodies of the two witnesses lying dead in the streets.
There were Christians everywhere frightened because they knew, today, they would die. A huge line was before Terry and after him. Terry looked a Matthew and said "I love you, son." Matthew could not speak but hugged his dad with tears in his eyes.
Terry spoke to the other Christians. "Christians, be not afraid of what man can do unto you. Fear Not! For the Lord will come and raise us from the dead. Look! the two witnesses lie dead in the streets. God's Word says they shall lie there for three in a half days, but then the Spirit of God shall enter into them, and they shall stand upon their feet, And a voice from heaven shall says "Come up, Hither, and they shall ascended up to heaven in a cloud. We shall also Brethren. They will give us a choice, today, to take Satan's mark or die in the Name of the Lord. My friends, die today for what we all believe. Do not take the mark. Stand firm, hold fast, for great is our reward in heaven. For Paul said, For I know my departure is at hand, I have fought, the good, fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith, and stored up for me is a crown of righteous, that the righteous Judge Jesus Christ shall give me in that day, and not to me only but to all them that love Jesus' appearing."
The line was getting shorter and it was drawing closer to Matthew's turn. Terry looked at his son and said, "Son, I am proud of you. For what you have done and what you are about to do, today for the Lord's glory. Be not afraid, but faithful unto the Lord, my son. We shall rise, son, We shall rise in the Name of the Lord!
Matthew hugged his dad. The soldiers came and tied Matthew's hands behind his back, forced him to the ground and laid his head on the guillotine. Matthew's last thoughts was the words of his dad, "WE SHALL RISE, SON! WE SHALL RISE IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!"
Terry heart broke when they beheaded his son in front of him, but he knew it was his turn next. The hardest was seeing his son's head laying in the basket below him. Terry shut his eyes and Thank the Lord for all he had done for him and his family. He began quoting Psalms 23:
"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul, He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His Name's Sake. Yas, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table for me in the presence of mine enemies. Thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, AND I WILL DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD FOREVER."
Copyright ©2002 Ren Baer