"Don't worry, sweetheart. The end is in sight now." Scott Wilson spoke courage to his daughter Kathy. Kathy had only been "home" with them for three months. She had spent two and a half years of hiding and running with the refugees until she finally discovered someone who could tell her the Gospel and lead her to her parents. Scott looked into his daughter's tearful eyes and understood the fear he saw there. "I have to go. It's my turn. We have to have water or we'll die."
"What if you don't come back? I need you," she pleaded.
"We'll be extra careful, honey. I need you too." Scott turned to Michelle. Her eyes were moist, but she was smiling and calm. His wife was beautiful in spirit as well as in appearance. He knew she could take care of Kathy if necessary, but he really did hate to leave this time.
Scott embraced his wife and daughter tightly. As the three of them clung together, he wished he could have David there too, but that was impossible. His son had been killed on a similar mission four months earlier. Scott was proud when he thought about his son. He had known hundreds of Christians who had died for their faith. He was sure none of them had been braver than David.
Scott was proud when he thought about his son.
Later that morning, the camouflaged tank truck moved quickly toward its secret destination - a crude deep well forty miles from the Fellowship's underground hideout. Drinking water was the most precious of commodities since all surface water had been contaminated.
"Hey! What's wrong with this truck?" the driver shouted. The vehicle suddenly slowed and then came to a standstill on the flat stretch of road.
"It's an energy trap!" cried Scott.
"Are you sure?" countered the driver.
"Yes," he emphasized, flicking his pocket light switch. "This was working perfectly when we left this morning. Now there's nothing."
Knowing that the complex magnetic machinery which had disrupted their electrical system was also notifying the police, the driver quickly made his plan. "Let's push it forward. If we can move it far enough we'll be out of range of the trap."
"Right," Scott agreed as he jumped out and started to push. The empty truck was heavy even without its load, but the men managed to move it.
They had just started again when the police descended from the sky.
I think it's time to prove something.
"That's good," sneered Rod Adams when he heard the news. "I know just what to do with him. Send Wilson and the other Christians we've been keeping to Israel. I think it's time to prove something." He laughed like a mechanical demon as he thought about his plan.
Adams issued a call to all nations to participate in a great show of force in Israel. It was assumed that the demonstration would serve as a warning against any further advances by the rebellious Chinese.
The Chinese, reacting to the weakened condition of the tortured Earth, had thrown off the yoke of the WEC's economic dictatorship. Using their antique supplies of small nuclear weapons, they had easily taken everything in their path. Swooping down through India and into the Middle East, their strength was finally spent. They stopped at the Euphrates River.
A few days later a great flaming explosion of the sun scorched the earth. The WEC headquarters was drenched in the poison of God's wrath. Adams and his court had moved to Megiddo in Israel, while his subjects in Europe were suffering. Already plagued by an outbreak of cancerous sores, the people were dying of starvation and thirst.
Rod Adams carried the fires of revenge in his heart as he entered the prison where Scott was being held in Megiddo. "You were a fool to leave, he growled through his barred teeth."
"I trust Jesus now, Rod," Scott stood tall and strong before his tormentor.
"Fool!" he repeated and spit in Scott's face. "You know what I am going to do with you?"
"No," Scott said without fear.
"It's called 'human sacrifice'," the crackling voice seemed to be coming from far away. The hollow shell of Rod Adams bore little resemblance to the man Scott once had known.
"To be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord," Scott paraphrased the Apostle Paul.
"We'll see if you die so peacefully. The whole world will see!"
Scott prayed for strength. He also prayed for Michelle and Kathy. He knew the end was very near, and that they would all be together again. David would be there too with his new immortal body. Scott felt happy when he thought about the future. He began to sing, and the other Christians in the prison joined the chorus.
The next morning Adams gathered the numberless troops in the Valley of Armageddon. They had come from every part of the globe. In his madness, he had set up telecommunication equipment so that the world could watch him destroy his enemies. Ignoring the fact that there were few functioning telecommunicators left on the smoldering planet, he pretended to be even greater than he had once been before the guns of Heaven had begun their fire.
Adams gathered the numberless troops in the Valley of Armageddon.
In their underground shelter, the Christian survivors watched the proceedings in awe. Michelle fought back her tears as the cameras focused on Scott's peaceful face. He was chained to the other Christians on the top of a large flat rock.
The cameras shifted to Adams, who was standing a few feet away. "Citizens of the World, the Chinese are on the move again. They have crossed the Euphrates and are moving toward us now. We will destroy them when they arrive. Today I will prove that there is no power in the universe that can stand against me. I have ascended to a higher position than the weak god of the Christians.
Together with the evil Prophet, Rod Adams invoked the hideous powers of their Science of Astrology. They blasphemed the names of the Lord God and Jesus, and even the Holy Spirit. They aimed their nuclear weapons at the sky.
"I will have the Prophet bring fire down upon these traitorous Christians as a sacrifice to my Father, Lucifer. If the Christian's god still cares, let him try to stop us!"
The Prophet slowly began to raise his scepter toward the sun. The televiewer showed Scott's face, not disfigured by fear, but serene, his eyes lifted toward Heaven. The microphones set up to record the Christians' screams picked up their prayers instead. "Come, Lord Jesus."
Then with a mighty shout, the voice of Jesus brought instant death to the gathered armies below.
Jesus was descending from Heaven on a great white horse.
The air was suddenly filled with a dreadful noise and the Earth began to tremble. Jesus was descending from Heaven on a great white horse with multitudes of followers dressed in white. Adams in his arrogance began to fire his projectiles, but they passed right through the heavenly army which was descending upon them.
The earthquake grew stronger, the Earth continued squirming until the entire geography of the planet had been remolded. The Mount of Olives split in two and a lavish fountain of pure fresh water sprang out toward the ruins of Jerusalem, where the KING OF KINGS would establish the capital of His New Earth, and His reign of peace and order and righteousness.
Scott and the other Christians, still chained together, looked around in amazement. Adams and The Prophet were gone. The numberless armies which had filled the Valley of Armageddon were now a sea of lifeless bodies lying in their own blood.
Before the earthquake had finished its work, angels appeared to carry Scott and his fellow believers to a safe spot near Jerusalem.
"Is there any way to find out how my wife and daughter are?" Scott asked his powerful rescuer.
"They are fine, Scott," the angel answered confidently. "They will be here soon." Then he disappeared.
In a matter of minutes, Christian survivors began arriving with their angelic escorts. Michelle and Kathy were deposited close to Scott. Wordlessly, the three of them embraced one another.
Below them the New River seemed to sing out while in the distance they could see Jesus' heavenly army arriving at the site where the old Jerusalem once was. Miraculously, the ruins had disappeared, and a lush garden spread in all directions as far as they could see.
Michelle broke the silence. "It's so beautiful and peaceful, Scott!"
"I know," he answered, half to himself.
"Will it be as wonderful as they say?"
"Of course, darling," Scott assured her. He thought of the Bible promises of a Garden-of-Eden kind of world where the lion and the lamb will lie down together. "You know what?" he asked.
"I think I know how Noah felt after the flood."
"Oh yes!" she exclaimed. "It's just the same."
"No, it's better, mother," Kathy joined the conversation. "Just think of it: a perfect Earth!"
"A perfect Earth," Scott echoed, "with Jesus as its king."
"Will we know Him, Daddy?"
"Better than you've ever know anyone in the world, honey."
"And David will be here!" Michelle almost sang the words.
Tears of joy filled Scott's eyes as he thought of David. "Let's get going. Jesus and David are waiting for us."