YOU SHOULD KNOW
(A Modern Day Parable)
written as a vivid Short Story presenting Key last day Biblical truths done in a fictional setting and format.
Written by Future Events Writers
June 11, 1984
All Rights Reserved By
Future Events Inc.
P.O. Box 68
Nashport, Ohio 43830
COPYRIGHT 1984 BY FUTURE EVENTS INC.
SECOND PRINTING 50,000 COPIES 1989
Printed in the United States of America
We, the authors of the Future Events You Should Know Today! Booklet, do now and forever dedicate it to our Lord and Master Jesus Christ for all He has done for us on Calvary.
This book is for all people of all faiths, creeds, or nationalities. Yet it can only be understood and accepted by those who have an open mind towards God and all of His Commandments in the Bible. This can only be possible if our minds are born again by the power of the Holy Spirit of God. I pray that each of you that picks this booklet up to read it, asks God for a special outpouring of His Spirit so you can truly grasp the deep meanings and truths presented in this booklet. You may well be tempted to stop reading this booklet at about the halfway point but let me encourage you to finish it because the things you will learn may well be instrumental in leading you to eternal life in the near future.
Remember my friend as you read for the next hour or so, God will be guiding you in your understanding if you will but claim the promise for wisdom that's found in James 1:5.
The key thing in salvation my friend is knowing and serving Jesus 100%, I did not say 99% but 100%. This can only be done by daily dying to our selfish self and ways and letting Jesus dwell in our minds and heart, and guiding us to His perfect example and life style.
John 1:29 states that "Christ is the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world." Yes, my friend, Christ will do this for us but we must be willing to choose Him and confess our sins to Him with all sincerity of heart. When we do this He through the Spirit will guide us to all truth for these last days.
My friends, Christ knows His sheep as stated in John 10:14. It also states that His true sheep know Him as their shepherd. My prayer is that all of us will choose to be Christ's sheep in these last days and let Him lead us all the way to heaven and eternal life in Him. God bless you as you read of His soon return to earth.
Future Events Authors
Every Bible verse quoted in this booklet was taken from the King James Version Translation of the Bible.
Future Events You Should Know Today!
"Honey, your breakfast is ready."
"Coming Mary," John hurried into the spotless kitchen, dropped his briefcase to the floor and gave his wife an affectionate kiss. "Wow, does that ever smell delicious!" He quickly took his place at the round table in the center of the kitchen.
"Thanks, John." Mary placed a stack of three pancakes on her husband's plate. "What do you have planned at work today?"
"We're running preliminary tests on a new component for the B-l Bomber. You know something Mary, God has really blessed me with a great paying job."
"I know, John. For our family's sake I hope this one lasts for awhile. You know this is your third job in the last five years."
John could read the concern in his wife's voice. It was a concern shared by many Americans as jobs grew fewer and the cost of living continued to rise.
"Well, this job should last most workers at the plant three years or more." John wondered if he would be one of the lucky ones. There was silence for the next few minutes while Mary made more pancakes and John devoured them.
"Mary, I've got to run, it's almost 8 o'clock already! See you this evening." He quickly kissed her on the cheek and grabbed his briefcase.
"I love you John, have a good day." Mary hesitated before adding, "I wish you had one Saturday to spend at home with the children and me."
"I do too, honey. But don't worry, we've got a vacation coming up soon anyway." John paused. Then as if suddenly remembering something very important, he added, "Mary, if those kids from next door put more propaganda tracts in our door today burn them. We have to make sure they don't contaminate our boys."
"Honey, the Rogers children aren’t that bad."
John looked sternly into his wife's eyes. "Their ideas are like cancer, Mary, they can't be allowed inside our home. Our plan has worked for a week now, we must keep our boys away from that house, and their propaganda away from our family" He kissed Mary again, then went out to his car and left for work.
Mary sighed and went back to her cooking.
"Mom! Is breakfast ready yet?"
"Yes Frank. Go get your two brothers and then you can eat."
The boys were back in no time. "M-M-M pancakes and eggs, my favorites!" Jesse stood in the center of the kitchen rubbing his stomach.
"I knew they were, that's why I made them. ""Hey Mom, they're my favorite too," this came from a mouth barely visible above the counter. "I know, Jim, you’re the third reason I made
Mother gathered her three boys around the table. "Boys, let's bow our heads for the blessing now." Three pairs of eyes closed and three heads bowed in imitation of their mother.
After the blessing there was little time for talk. The boys stuffed pancakes and eggs into their already full mouths and Mary valiantly tried to keep the rate of production up to the rate of consumption. Only toward the end of the meal did Frank gather enough courage to put into words the unasked question that was on the tip of all three boys' tongues, the question they asked every day.
"Mom, well-can- are we allowed to- uh-play with the Rogers' kids this week after school?" Frank faltered with his words.
Mary hardened herself for the unpleasant task, and tried to sound as convinced of the decision as John. "Boys, you will never play with Chris and Cathy again." She paused before continuing, "Your father and I have explained to you that we are concerned that the Rogers' strange ideas about religion will influence you boys. We can't take the chance that anyone will lead you astray. We don't want anyone in our family becoming a seventh-day keeper. " The three boys knew better than to argue with mother. They had tried that last week.
A child's cry suddenly pierced the air. "There's baby Jill crying for her breakfast. Boys, put your dishes in the sink when you finish." Mary hurried off to the baby's room. Later, as they put away their plates Frank had an idea. . "Jesse and Jim," he whispered, "Let's get to our room fast, I want to tell you something really important.” Once in the room the impromptu meeting got underway.
"What's up Frank?"
"Well, Jesse," Frank tried to sound as important as he could, "I've got a great idea on how we can stay friends with the Rogers' kids. " There was a brief silence.
"And what's that, big brother," Jesse purposefully slurred the "big."
"Don't be such a 'doubting Thomas'. Now here is what we do," three heads drew close together to listen to the plan unfold.
"Every day after school we'll get off the bus at the Rogers' house instead of ours. We can play with Chris and Cathy for thirty minutes, and then sneak home. Mom will never know the difference because she's always busy with little Jill in the afternoon." Frank finished with a flourish then leaned back on his bed, obviously satisfied with his • plan and himself.
"That plan's not for me Frank, " Jesse's realism burst Frank's euphoria, "I'm not going to get grounded for a whole month because of one of your crazy ideas."
"OK, be a little sissy and have no neighborhood friends left." Frank turned to his youngest brother, "How about you, Jim?"
"You can count me in big brother." Jim's big was definitely respectful.
"I like Cathy too much to give her up as my friend."
Frank clasped his youngest brother's hand, "All right Jim, the plan goes into effect Monday, right after school. Deal?"
"Deal." The two brothers sealed their agreement with a handshake.. A small noise from the front of the house attracted Frank's attention.
"Mother. There's someone at the door."
"Thanks Frank, I'll see who it is." Mary thought she knew who it was without looking.
"It's probably those Roger's kids again with that disgusting literature," she muttered to no one in particular. "Sure enough. They've left some more of their trash stuck inside the screen door. They drop it, then take off running like scared jack rabbits. I wish they would stop it," wearily Mary stooped to pick up the papers. "I wish there was a law against harassment like this."
Mary continued, not really knowing she was talking aloud, "Here is a prime example: "Do you really love Jesus? John 14:15 says "If you love me keep my commandments." What nonsense! Everyone knows that works won't save anyone. Only trust in God's grace saves a person."
"Mommy if you love someone, don't you do what they ask?" Jim, who had slipped in unnoticed, hesitated, unsure of his mother's mood. "Well, Mom don't you try to please them?" The boy's insight confused Mary.
"Jim, go back to you room" The youngster scurried back down the hall.
"Those seventh-day keepers are so legalistic. For fun they probably sit around dreaming up new laws to obey." Mary glanced at the paper again, "Enough reading of trash. Into the burning box it goes along with the six other papers those children have given." Suddenly Mary had an idea, "I'll burn these papers tonight after John gets home, that way he can see me do it." Mary smiled, inwardly very pleased with herself.
But no matter how hard she tried the rest of the day, she couldn't get those little pamphlets out of
her mind. Every time no one was around she sneak-ed a look at one. There was one Bible text she had seen on several of them that she just couldn't forget. "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12. . . .
When John got home that evening Mary was determined to discuss her feelings about the boy's friendship with the children next door. After the children had eaten their suppers and were put to bed, she finally got the right opportunity to speak.
"John?" her tone was purposefully sweet. "Do you really think that our boys should have to
totally avoid the Rogers kids? I know their religion is unusual, but the children are nice enough, they are a lot nicer than some of the kids around, and they're our son's best friends."
John replied quickly, "They were our son's best friends." Seeing her eyes fall, he reached over and took Mary's hand. "I've been thinking about it to-day at work and I really believe we should go through with this plan for two more weeks. At least until their kids quit leaving that lousy literature in our door every Saturday."
"I know John, but the boys are really heart broken and -" She stopped in mid-sentence as a silent tear slipped down her cheek. "Oh, Mary, "John had softened visibly. "Don't worry about the boys. They will get over the Rogers' kids in a few days. Besides they should be making some new friends.”
It was bright and early as the Johnson family went off to Sunday School. Dad couldn't contain his disgust as they passed the Rogers' house. "See Mr. Rogers mowing his lawn? Doesn't he know this is the Lord's Day?"
"They sure should!" Mary agreed with her husband. "And there's Mrs. Rogers hanging out her laundry. She should know better than to desecrate God's Holy Day."
"But Mom and Dad they don't know any better," Frank tried to excuse his neighbors' actions.
"Their ignorance is no excuse, Frank. They've had the chance to learn. "
John interrupted his wife's remarks, "Besides, son, those people are always trying to prove our Sunday keeping wrong through their conniving
Nothing more was said about the Rogers on the way to church. After church the Johnson’s came home to a delicious meal. The boys changed into their baseball uniforms and hurried to get ready for an important league game that afternoon. As the boys left with their mother, Frank couldn't help noticing his father mowing their back lawn. "That's strange," he thought, "I wonder why Dad condemned Mr. Rogers for mowing his lawn this morning when he was doing the same thing this afternoon."
Frank couldn't contain his curiosity, "Hey Mom, why is Dad mowing our lawn on the Lord's Day?" Frank didn't see how it could be a sin for Mr. Rogers and not for Dad.
"Frank, you know that our religion teaches us we are saved by faith. What one does has nothing to do with it."
I know, Mom," Frank searched for the right word, "But Mom, what does James 2:20 mean? It says 'Faith without works is dead.'"
"I have no idea, Frank." The Bible knowledge of her son took Mary by surprise. "I'm not a preacher. Just remember, faith is all you need. Now let's drop this subject and go play ball."
Mary was frustrated by her lack of a good answer. She had never worried about their
observance of the Lord's Day before, but now she couldn't get the subject out of her mind.
The next day after school Frank's super plan went into effect. Even "doubting" Jesse couldn't resist staying at the Rogers house to play. The plan went like clockwork. The three of them played about thirty minutes with Chris and Cathy, then they headed for home. Their mother never noticed them coming in the back door because she was too busy with little Jill.
Frank was ecstatic, "See guys, I told you it would work. Mom never suspected a thing. And look at all the fun we had with Chris and Cathy." Even doubting Jesse was a firm believer in Frank's plan now.
"You're right big brother. And that's how much fun we will have every day after school."
Wednesday the boys got off the bus again at the Roger's house and began to play. They were
beginning to like their new after school schedule. Until Chris noticed someone coming towards them.
"Here comes your mom, Jim," his nonchalant statement was the product of innocence. Jim possessed no such innocence. "Oh, no. Here comes Mom, and I think she's mad!"
Mrs. Johnson was walking with a determined step. She had John's big leather belt securely in hand. The boys fled in three different directions hoping to outmaneuver the swinging belt. Their mother's determination was more than a match for their fear. Within seconds the boys were caught and punished. The Rogers' back yard was full of the cries and screams of three very sad boys. Mrs. Rogers came to the back door to see what was
happening only to be met and almost knocked over by her two children running for the safety of the house.
"Mrs. Johnson, what's the problem?"
"Mrs. Rogers, you stay out of my affairs with my children, " Mary was irate.
"Mrs. Johnson, I'm just trying to figure out what is happening in my own back yard."
"Well, for your information Mrs. Rogers, I'm punishing my three boys for playing with your children."
"Why on earth are you doing that?" The neighbor couldn’t believe her ears.
"It's because of that dreadful literature your children leave in our door every Saturday. We are sick of it-" Sick of it haunting me day and night Mary thought to herself.
"Mrs. Johnson, please forgive us. "Mrs. Rogers was sincere. "Our children didn't mean any harm by those tracts. They pass those out to all of our neighbors."
"Well, we would appreciate your children leaving our house off their hit list in the future."
"I promise you they will, Mrs. Johnson, " Mrs. Rogers replied, "You have my word."
"Yes, your word for whatever that's worth/' Mary let some of her hatred slip away, ' 7 guess I'll just have to take it. Good day Mrs. Rogers!"
"Good-bye Mrs. Johnson, please come again, anytime," the invitation held no sarcasm.
"I wouldn't count on that happening very soon Mrs. Rogers. My children and I will be staying at our own house, thank you."
Frank couldn't believe his Plan had failed. "Mom, why did you leave baby Jill by herself to come check on us?" Mother's silence gave the boys time to think.
"We forgot Mom's beauty appointment," Jim hit his forehead, "How could we be so dumb?"
"You three boys are supposed to be at the babysitters right now." Mary had regained her composure. "When you weren't home by 3:30 I came looking. My appointment is at 4:30 so we have to hurry."
"I forgot all about your beauty appointment."
"You sure did Big brother. Our great master planner." Jesse had turned "doubter" again.
"My advice to you three boys is to stay in our yard at all times from now on."
"Yes, Ma'am, we got the message loud and clear," three voices chorused, the answer.
"Well, I hope so! You had better pray your father is in a good mood tonight or you'll get a clearer message from him. Now get in the car so I can make it to the beautician on time."
"Why did you boys disobey your mother and me? Why did you play with those crazy Rogers kids today?" The boys were lucky, Dad was in a good mood.
"But Dad, they are our friends." Frank knew his answer was not what his father wanted to hear.
"Your mom and I want you boys to make new friends at school." John spoke slowly to add force to his words. "You can't always have the same friends all the time. What would happen if we
moved away from here?"
"We would find new friends." Jesse supplied the obvious answer.
"That's exactly the point. We are just asking you to make new friends now. Boys, just pretend the Rogers have moved away."
"OK, Dad. We'll try, but it will be hard."
"Now that's the attitude I like to see in you fellows. Now say goodnight to your mom and get to bed."
The parents accepted the goodnight kisses and hugs in silence. After the boys left, the silence
stretched. Both parents were preoccupied with weighty thoughts.
"Mary, do you think I'm asking too much of them. I know those Rogers children mean an awful lot to them, but they have to stay away from them. If not, our boys may be influenced by their weird religious ideas." John looked at his wife in despair, "They may even start to think the Rogers' ways are right and we are all wrong. We have to put a stop to their friendship no matter how much pain it causes them. We must stop it before it's too late."
Mary weakly nodded her approval.
"I'm glad we agree on this, Mary. Let's make sure we keep the boys out of the Rogers' yard."
Husband and wife sat a few minutes longer in silence, holding hands. Their concern for the spiritual safety of their children blocking all other
thoughts. The alarm on John's wristwatch finally brought them back to earthly matters.
"Mary, the Smiths are due any minute for our weekly card game." John began rushing around the room setting up the card table and bringing out TV trays. "Did you restock my favorite soda and snacks?"
"Of course dear. How could 1 forget them with all your reminders stuck on the refrigerator?" Mary was busying herself with refreshments in the kitchen when the doorbell signaled the arrival of their guests. "John, could you get the door? I'm busy."
John opened the door and instantly became the gracious host. "Hi George and Sue. Come on in, we've been expecting you! I hope you two are ready to lose tonight." John paused to give the desired effect to his next statement, "Mary and I have been practicing."
"So you have. Well, for your information John, so have Sue and I. We're ready for you. Let's get the game started."
"Hi." Mary popped her head into the kitchen doorway. "I'll be there in just a second with the refreshments. Go ahead and deal the cards, John."
The Johnson’s won the first two hands of the game easily. Then Mary noticed that John seemed rather nervous, unable to concentrate. She realized that he must be thinking about the boys and the Rogers again. Finally his thoughts came out in the game conversation.
"George, I want to ask you something. It's about our neighbors, the Rogers." George's silence was a signal to continue. "Have they been leaving propaganda in your door every Saturday?"
"They sure have John and it's really getting ob-noxious. " All game play was stopped now. John could tell by the expression on George's face that he had touched a sore spot. "Sue and I are to the point of fencing our yard to keep those kids from putting that garbage material inside our door."
"Do you know anything else about the Saturday keepers, George—besides the fact they pass out propaganda?"
"I know nothing about them and I don't intend to learn anymore. I'm fed up with their ridiculous tracts that try to destroy our Sunday keeping
Sue was very emotional, "I think they should be stopped by the laws of the land."
John and Mary stared at each other. They could not fully understand the feelings behind the Smith's remarks. Nor were they prepared for George's next statement.
"And speaking of laws John, those Saturday keepers had better beware that their religious beliefs and weird teachings may soon be squelched by the Federal Government."
"What do you mean?" John and Mary asked in chorus.
"Hasn't anybody told you?" The Johnson's questioning looks let him know that no one had. "I guess you haven't heard." George couldn’t believe their ignorance on the matter. "There is a new type of law up for a vote before both the House and Senate. It's sort of a National Worship Ordinance."
John now remembered Pastor Jones mentioning it in a sermon briefly a month or two ago. Glancing at Mary he could tell she remembered, too.
"Like I said the law isn't official yet but it is before both houses of congress. It could become law any time now. And I think the sooner, the
better. " For a moment no one spoke. It was Mary who finally broke the silence.
"Where did this law get its roots, George?"
"As far as I know it started back years ago with Sunday Laws called Blue Laws which forced many businesses to close their doors on Sunday. But to-day it goes much deeper in its context and even
effects religious observance. Its popularity here lately started in some of the larger protestant churches. Then the demand for it spread like wildfire among all the Sunday-keeping churches. With an
increased number of Christian congressmen there was no problem getting it introduced on Capitol Hill."
"George, is this law really legal?" From what little John had heard of the law, it seemed to border on religious intolerance.
"Of course it is. It's about time those seventh-day keepers and all the other cults were brought under control. If not, they will destroy our nation with all their propaganda papers and strange
"But what about religious freedom in America? Won't this law try to take it away?" Mary was stunned at the implication.
"This law is going to make America a better place to live. It will rid us of all fanatic religious groups like seventh-day keepers."
"How is this law going to be enforced, George? It's hard to enforce morality. "
"First, there will probably be a system of National Identification Cards that will more than
likely take the place of welfare, food stamps, and unemployment benefits etc.,—as well as other things that involve buying and selling." George was purposefully vague. "By giving these type cards only to the supporters of such a law, the government will impose severe economic
restrictions on Saturday-keepers and members of other cults."
"Without the National ID card no one, not even the President himself, could so much as buy a loaf of bread or gallon of gas!" The two couples sat quietly for awhile.
"But will a law like that stop them from worshiping on Saturday and passing out their papers?"
"That is the best part John!" George sounded like a crusader now, "Defiance of the law carries the penalty of fines, jail, or prison terms for all
early offenders, who refuse to go to church or worship on Sunday. But what most people don't realize is that eventually when the law breakers still refuse to abide by this new law of the land they will be
finally sentenced to death."
"You mean the government of the United States would kill people because of their religious beliefs?" Mary was horrified.
"Of course. Especially those so called Sabbath-keepers like the Rogers. That type of people are responsible for all the calamities and troubles in our land today."
"Surely you don't believe that, George. Too many people are looking for a scapegoat right now. Sure, times are bad, but you can't blame all that on the Saturday-keepers."
"Yes I can, John Johnson. God is angry with America. We've allowed those heretics in this
Christian nation for too long. God's judgments are upon us, like all these earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanoes, and floods, and unless we get rid of all the fanatics in the land causing them, our country is doomed."
The rest of the visit could not be considered social. Little was said because all were too involved in their own thoughts to concentrate on the card game. The Smiths left with hardly a farewell after one more hand.
"John, what do you think of that future Sunday Worship Ordinance Law?"
John chose his words well before answering, "Honey, I think it stinks!"
"So do I," Mary agreed, "It's not fair that our country, founded on religious freedom, would try to force people to worship against their will on a day they don't believe is meant for worship. Our forefathers the pilgrims would roll over in their graves if they knew of such a law."
A new thought occurred to John, "How would we feel Mary, if someone tried to force us to keep Saturday as a day of worship?"
"We wouldn't like it one bit. Darling, it's nothing more than legislated morality—just like Prohibition in the 20's. Outlawing alcohol didn't make our nation sober, and forcing people to go to church every Sunday won't make it Christian. Christianity has to be a free choice not force."
"Yes," John agreed, "It shouldn't be a result of force, but chosen as a free gift of God's Love as stated in John 3:16."
As the disillusioned couple turned wearily for bed, John remembered he had not told Mary that he had to go to work early in the morning. "Dear,
we have to spend extra time on the bomber project. The government wants it completed as soon as possible."
"What's the hurry?" Mary asked drowsily, "Are they expecting World War III or something." Her attempt at a joke fell like a lead balloon between them. For they both knew the conditions of the times were very conducive for war.
Mary was rolling a pie crust, John was watching a football game on television and the children were playing indoors one Sunday when the doorbell rang.
"I wonder who that could be?" Mary thought. "We weren't expecting any company."
"Mom and Dad," Frank called from behind a curtain, "It's Mr. and Mrs. Rogers." Mary and John looked at one another in disbelief.
"Frank, take your brothers and sister to your bedroom and play." John straightened his back. "Your Mother and I will handle this mess. " The children reluctantly left the living room, they wanted to see what was going to happen.
"Mary, what could they possibly want?"
"I have no idea, John. I was really nasty and mean to her last month. They are the last people I expected to come see us."
"Let me do the talking." Mary was more than glad to let her husband be the spokesman. "Hello, Mr. Rogers. What do you want?" John was noticeably rude.
"Hello to you, Mr. Johnson. "Mr. Rogers seem-ed not to have noticed John's foul mood. "My wife, Sally, and I wanted to invite you and your family to go on a picnic with us next Sunday after-noon down at our farm in Athens County."
"Mr. Rogers, " John began impatiently, only to be cut short.
"Why don't you just call me Keith?"
"Keith, I don't think it will be possible, " John was flustered by Keith's amiability. "Your religious beliefs differ so widely from ours that I'm sure it would create a very unsocial atmosphere for all of us."
"Mr. Johnson, that's the very atmosphere my wife and I want to tear down. We would like to be your friends." His earnestness appealed to the Johnson’s. "Let's just leave religion out of it."
Taken off guard by this change of events, John stalled for time. "Keith, thank you for your
invitation. My wife and I will have to think about it for a few days."
"That's fine. Perhaps you could give us your answer by Wednesday."
"I'm sure we will have decided by then."
"Thanks for your time, Mr. Johnson. We hope you all have a nice day."
"Yes, and good-bye Mr. and Mrs. Rogers."
John closed the door slowly and leaned against the frame. He searched his mind thoughtfully.
"Can you believe that Mary? They treated us so kindly it would make butter melt in your mouth."
"It is hard to believe John, especially after the way I treated her a few weeks ago and the way you talked to him today. "Mary thought awhile before adding, "Either they are truly born-again
Christians or they are trying their best to convert us. Whatever, you have a big question to answer
between now and Wednesday. What are you going to do about that picnic, John?"
"What do you mean 'what am I going to do'? You started this ordeal Mary, by not watching the boys well enough, so you are going to handle it. " John sounded firm, but when Mary caught his eye, she knew he was teasing.
"Are you saying then John that whatever I decide to do in this situation you will back me up?"
"Precisely, Mary." John turned and walked back into the living room to the television. Mary remained at the door puzzling over the latest turn of events. John would say no. She was certain of that, but why did he leave the final decision up to her? She knew she must stand behind her husband, even if the boys didn't like it. Even if she wasn't sure he was right. Mary spent the next three days pondering how to say no. When Sally Rogers
arrived at her house that Wednesday afternoon Mary had made up her mind to be firm yet polite with her refusal.
"Hello Sally, I saw you coming, so I thought I would save you the trouble of ringing the bell. Come on in and make yourself at home. Let me take your jacket."
"Thank you Mary, " Sally hesitated. "You don't mind me calling you Mary, do you?"
"No, go right ahead. " Mary was pleased with her concern.
"What a beautiful baby afghan! Are you making it?" Sally ran her fingers over the rows of
colorful, even stitching.
"Yes, it's for Jill's birthday. She'll be two in a
couple of months. I hope I get it finished by then. I don't have much extra time. But I seem to find a few minutes here and there. "
"I know what you mean. Crocheting is one of my favorite hobbies, too."
"Really?" Mary's surprise burst from her. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be rude, but I was just
surprised that we both crochet."
Both women laughed. "We aren't that different, are we Mary?"
"I guess not, Sally." Mary knew she had found a new friend. That afternoon sped by as the two women shared recipes, afghan patterns and stories about their children. It was three o'clock before Sally remembered why she had come.
"Oh yes, Mary, have you and John decided to go with us on the picnic Sunday?"
Her answer was automatic. "Sally, we wouldn't miss it."
"I'm so glad. We can continue getting acquainted then. Come over to our house at about 1 o 'clock this Sunday. We can leave from there."
"That sounds great, Sally. We'll be there with our picnic basket full."
"I've got to go Mary. The kids will be home soon and I like to stay one step ahead of them. "
"I understand. Jill will be up soon, too, so I'll have my hands full. Good-bye Sally. "
Mary stood in the doorway waving to her new found friend. "What a nice person," she
mumbled, to no one in particular. Only when she went back into the house did Mary realize what she had done. She had actually accepted the invitation to the picnic! She slowly put her hand to her forehead. What would she tell John ? He was going
to be furious. The afternoon seemed to last forever, her thoughts filled with visions of John's wrath.
"You did what, Mary?" The reality of John's anger was not as bad as her imaginings. "You mean to tell me as much as you hate what those people stand for you said we would go on a picnic with them?"
"Yes dear." Mary added quickly, "She's really quite a nice woman. I'm sure her husband is just as nice." Mary's voice had a pleading quality to it. John suddenly felt drained. His own wife didn't support him.
"If you agreed to it Mary, I'll have to back you up like I promised." John sounded defeated. Mary dropped her head. She didn't like to see her
husband down, especially when she was responsible. John could read her concern and softened. "One more thing, Mary. You had better plan some
fantastic food for that picnic because you know my appetite when I'm outdoors."
"Sure dear, I will," Mary smiled. "I also know of three other pretty big appetites." He gave her a gentle kiss. "I'll tell the kids they get to spend a day with their old friends."
You don't have to Dad. We were listening the whole time." The three boys jumped up and down with excitement. Even little Jill clapped her hands with delight. John couldn't face their joy and stay mad for very long.
Sunday came quickly, with warm temperatures and a gentle breeze. The Johnson’s and the Rogers left for their picnic. Both families enjoyed themselves immensely and John was pleasantly
surprised that there was never one mention of
religious matters. The children all enjoyed a game of softball as their parents talked together. The boys were especially glad to have spent the day with their old friends. They showed their parents their appreciation as soon as they got home that after-noon.
"Mom and Dad, that was a great picnic, "Frank was the spokesman. "We sure are glad you let us
"Your mom and I had a good time, too," John
said. Then smiling at Mary he added, "The Rogers' family aren't so bad after all. Keith is
actually very easy to get along with and fun to be around."
"I agree, John. I think I like them more every time I talk to them."
"We like them too, Mom," Jim piped in. "Especially the things Chris told us about the Bible. "Mary and John shot a worried look at each other.
"Jim, just what did Chris tell you about the Bible?" John tried to sound calm.
Jim thought for a minute, "He said Jesus was coming back soon because of the new law that's
"What new law, Jim?"
"Well he called it a Sunday Ordinance Law. Something about forcing people to go to church on Sunday."
"What else did he tell you boys?"
Frank shot a reproaching glance at Jim before answering. "He mentioned a thing called the Mark of the Beast. He said it would fall on everybody who kept Sunday instead of God's true Sabbath, Saturday. Also, he said Christians wouldn't be able
to buy things. He mentioned Revelation 13:17,18 which states here in our Bible 'And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.
The parents fears were confirmed.
"I don't want to hear anymore." Mary was nearly in tears.
"No," John was firm. "I want to hear all the brainwashing tales they have been feeding our boys. What do you remember, Jesse?"
"Chris mentioned that Revelation 13:18 tells of the number 666 and refers to some powerful religious man in the city of Rome. He referred to Revelation 17:9, 'The seven heads are seven
mountains, on which the woman sitteth.' Chris said that Rome is the city that sits on seven hills. He said that the man who lives in this city will do his best to enforce a Sunday Law for the whole world. He also said this man even has a crown or miter with the number 666 engraved on it."
The Father turned very serious now. "Boys, this stuff Chris told you is a lot of fairy tales. I want you to forget every bit of it. Do you understand?"
Three heads nodded in agreement. Suddenly Jesse remembered something. "Dad, there was one good thing he told us we should know. He told us that Satan himself would try to imitate Christ and appear first before Jesus comes again. He said Christ foretold this in Matthew 24:23-26, 'Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false
Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were
possible they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.' He also told us how to know for sure (hat it's Satan and not Christ."
His parents gestured for him to continue. "He showed us Revelation 1:7 in the Bible. It says 'Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.' Even tricky Satan can't pull off that great of a stunt. "
The family sat without talking. No one ventured to break the silence. Finally John spoke slowly, emphasizing each word. "The Rogers' yard is off limits again. Don't even talk to them on the school bus. Now hurry along to bed; it's getting late. The boys scurried off to their rooms.
Not knowing where to turn, John lashed out at his wife, '' Well, your great picnic idea sure blew up in our faces. Our poor boys are more confused now than ever. " He added spitefully, "I hope you are satisfied."
"John," she was in tears, "I didn't know their kids were like that. I thought they were just playing all day. I never guessed this was going to happen. I would never hav—"
He went to his wife's side and held her gently, "Just forget it, Mary. Let's go to bed. All we can do is pray that our children weren't influenced. I've got a big day at work tomorrow. We were told yesterday that the bombers are wanted by the Air
Force in just a few months. Most of the 'higher ups' at the plant fear war is ready to break out at any time in the middle East. "John understood the look of fear that came to his wife's face. "I guess all we can do is pray for peace. "
John worked long hours now as the factory at-tempted to meet the new Air Force deadline. At home the Johnson’s avoided the Rogers family completely. Their lives seemed to have returned to normal since they had no contact with them. Since John was now working six days a week and ten hours every day, he preferred spending all day Sun-day at home with his family.
First they had breakfast, followed by their own private Sunday School and Worship Service. The rest of the day went as usual. The family was
scattered around the living room, some playing, some watching TV. Husband and wife smiled at each other, content with their lives and family. John was propped back in his recliner, enjoying the last few hours of another restful Sunday spent at home.
The television newscast that evening began with its familiar theme and welcome. "Good evening. In U.S. news, the National Worship Bill which calls for mandatory Sunday church attendance was discussed and debated at length by both the house and the senate. This new law would effect all cults and false religious groups, including all seventh-day believers who claim to be Christians. If this law is passed and ratified in the next few weeks as
planned, it would force all such groups or cults to comply or they will face stiff fines and imprisonments. Their will also be a National I.D. card issued to all people who observe this law in order to help them in all their purchases. "
Mary looked at John. Did he remember what the Smiths had told them earlier? Did he remember the talk of the death penalty? The newscaster brought her back to reality.
"Today war has broken out again in the Middle East. A large coalition of Arab forces are engaged in skirmishes along the Israeli border. Top White House sources indicate the U.S. will support its treaties with all ally nations in the region. This means support with troops if necessary. Russia also is expected to soon join her allies in the conflict. It appears that World War HI may be imminent." John and Mary glanced nervously at one another. Their worst fears of war were being confirmed. Even the children had focused their attention on the glowing screen.
"Also from the Middle East today, news of a positive note. A group of American archaeologists and a prominent Jewish man are planning an
expedition into the Jordan valley to a mountain called Nebo or Pisgah. The team of men hope to rediscover the cave where the Biblical Ark of the Covenant has been hidden for centuries. Inside this gold-plated chest they hope to find the original stone tablets with the Ten Commandments etched on them. If these stones are found, they will be a good proof the Bible is correct in all of its teachings. Reports indicate that these men have a good lead to where the actual cave is located on Mount Pisgah."
After the news broadcast, John said, "I wonder how those tablets were kept intact all these years. God must have protected them. They couldn't have lasted this long, would they'??
Mary shrugged her shoulders.
"If God protected those tablets so that we could still read them after hundreds of years, they must mean a lot to Him." John suddenly had an idea, "What if that means the original Ten
Commandments are still in effect today?"
"I think you're right John." Mary continued hesitantly, "Remember all that literature the Rogers' kids left in our door that you told me to bum?" Well, I never burned it."
Her husband's jaw dropped. "I've been studying it the past few months in my spare time, secretly." She could see the disapproval in her husband's face. "Wait a minute before you condemn me. I want to share a few ideas and scriptures about this Sabbath question. Then you can judge it, and me."
Mary took her Bible and tracts from the bookshelf, "Did you know that Christ Himself kept the seventh-day Sabbath?" Her husband stared vacantly at the wall. "Did you know that Saint Paul also kept the seventh-day Sabbath after Christ had gone back to heaven?"
"Are you sure, Mary?"
"Yes. See for yourself. "At least she had his attention. She handed him the Bible and a pamphlet titled "True Sabbath Keepers". John read quietly for several minutes.
"Actual Bible verses that prove it," John muttered to himself. Luke 4:16 does say 'And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the
Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.' " He flipped a few more pages. "Acts 17:2 says 'And Paul, as his manner was went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the
Christ and Paul both observed the Sabbath. " John sat as if in shock.
"John, that's not all. The Bible says we will observe the seventh-day Sabbath even in Heaven and the New Earth." John looked at his wife in disbelief. "Look at Isaiah 66:22, 23, 'For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.' "
John couldn't believe his eyes. It was true. The Bible said so. The Rogers were right.
"Honey, John 3:16 tells us how much God loves us. He sent his son to die for us so that we could live forever. I can't help but love Him more because of that. He tells us in John 14:15 that 'If ye love me, you will keep my commandments'. So I have no choice but to follow Him.
"Another important text is Revelation 14:12," continued the new Bible scholar. "It states, 'Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.' I want to be one of those last 'saints'."
John sat with his head down looking at the last text. The children sat silently while listening to their parents conversations.
"What is your verdict? Innocent or guilty for reading these papers?"
John thought a while longer. "Innocent. I have to believe in this new Sabbath, too. It is revealed so logically and plainly in God's word that I cannot doubt its truth."
A few evenings later the Johnson family were
eating their supper in silence. Hoping to relax the atmosphere, Mary decided to turn on the radio in the kitchen.
"Now for a news update on a remarkable occurrence in Israel today, A magnificent, shining
being with pure white hair and long white robe appeared near or on Mount of Olives. This being claims to be Jesus Christ of Nazareth. This all took place a few hours ago. This being also has perform-ed countless miracles of healing, the same type that Jesus performed while on earth. This being seems to be fulfilling the prophecies of the Bible found in Zechariah 14:4 and 5; his appearance seems like the one described in Revelation 1:13-15. Zechariah said that the Lord would stand on the Mount of Olives in the last days. John the Revelator said Christ looked something like this being. But I also thought when Christ appeared the wicked would plead for death due to His brightness as stated in Revelation 6:15-16. Well, so far no one has died from looking at him. But he has made one key
announcement and that is, He, as Christ, is officially changing the Biblical Sabbath Day Saturday to the first day of the week Sunday. This being says this change will bring peace to the earth and every human being who defies His new commandment should be killed. Well, I wonder how the U.S. government will react to this being. There will be more on this fast breaking story in the next hour." John walked across the room and clicked off the radio.
"Wow, Dad, that sounds like Satan himself appearing as Jesus! Because our neighbor Chris told us Satan's feet would touch the ground and the real Jesus will not touch the ground at his second coming
as stated in I Thessalonians 4:16-17. Verse 17 reads as follows 'Then we which are alive and re-main shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord'."
"Well, Jesse your friend Chris seems to be right this time, but how does that explain the prophecy in Zechariah where it says the Lord's feet will touch the Mount of Olives?"
"Oh, that's a little tougher, Dad, but most people don't realize that Christ is coming a third time to earth with the saved saints and the Holy City as stated here in Revelation 20:9 and 21:2, 'And they went up on the breadth of the earth and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.' and Rev. 21:2 says 'And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, Prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.' This all takes place on the Mount of Olives at Christ's 3rd coming as Zechariah 14:5 tells that God's saints are with Him when He returns. Also Revelation 20:4-7states that all these things take place 1000 years after Christ's second coming."
"Jesse, you mean to tell me you learned all this from Chris?"
"Well, not all Dad, I studied Revelation on my own and God revealed a lot of it to me."
"Well, kids it's your bedtime and Dad has to go to work early in the morning, so let's all hit the sack."
After praying with each child and tucking them into bed, John and Mary met back in the living room. Mary's mind had drifted back to the radio
broadcast at supper.
"John, let's see what this 'majestic being' business is all about." She got up to turn on the television set.
"Mary, don't touch that set," John was blunt. "Remember what the Rogers' kids told our boys? Satan himself would fake Christ's second coming. This must be it, Mary!"
' "Well, what's wrong with looking at him, John? I'm sure this being will be on the news tonight. "
"I'm sure he will be, Mary, but remember Matthew 24:26 stated not to go forth anywhere to see a false Christ. That would include looking at him on a TV set. So if we turn that TV on to look at what could be Satan himself, we would be doing exactly the opposite of what Jesus asks us to do."
"I see your point. "Mary was visibly sobered. "I guess we've come to the place where we must follow the Bible completely. We can no longer
ignore God's messages to us. We must do what God says to do—or take a chance on losing our lives forever."
"I agree, Mary. Now is the time to obey God and His guidance in the Bible. It's just too bad so many people and religions are being deceived by this fake anti-Christ, Satan. Mary, let's pray for these mislead souls before it's too late.
"One more thing, John, your license plate I.D. sticker is due to be bought next month. The news today stated that all stickers may change in
appearance to identify the driver as a Sunday worshiper. "
"Thanks Mary, but that news just gives me one more thing to worry about. Yet I know God will give me the answer how to handle it when the time comes."
George Smith was waiting for John after work. "We've organized a neighborhood watch team to keep an eye on the Rogers and see if they obey the newly passed Sunday Worship Law. The President of the United States just signed the bill into law yesterday. This means everyone must obtain the national I.D. card in order to buy and sell. There will be a deadline for all seventh-day keepers or else they will be put into jail. Would you like to join me in spying on them. George leaned forward,
pressing the point. John felt uncomfortable and hesitated a moment.
"Don't tell me you support those freaks?" George was quick to interpret John's hesitation.
"No, no," stuttered John, "I just don't have time now that I'm working 60 hours a week at the factory."
"Sure neighbor." George turned and left.
A week later George was even less pleasant. "Mr. Johnson, " he called crisply one afternoon, "Why aren't you obeying the new Worship Law?"
When John didn't answer, he continued, "I see your car doesn't have the new I.D. sticker on it yet. Isn't this your month for your I.D. sticker, John?"
"I've meant to pick up that stupid little sticker after work, " John stumbled on his words, "I—I just keep forgetting."
"Well John, it had better be there by Friday or you'll be behind bars. " George started to leave.
"But everyone knows that we're Sunday keepers."
"That may be true around here, but the police on the highway don't. Besides, I haven't seen you go to church for quite awhile. What's up?" George smiled cunningly.
"I've been working long hours at the plant, so I've really been busy keeping up with things at home with so little time." John was on the
defensive, "Besides I need time for my family."
"Just the same, John, you had better watch it or you'll end up in prison with the Rogers," he
paused to add effect to his words, "And then it's the . death penalty. Besides, John, don't feel persecuted now. All the other Nations have passed the Sunday Law on their people, too!" George laughed and left abruptly.
A police cruiser sat in the drive waiting for him after work. A second squad car was in the Roger drive.
"That's him officer. He has refused to buy the Sunday I.D. sticker for his car." George was
pointing at John as he got out of his car.
"Officers, has George told you that I'm a Sun-day keeper?"
"That doesn't matter," the policeman replied flatly. "There is a fifty dollar fine for failure to purchase a license plate I.D. sticker. This is your only warning. You have two days to purchase your sticker or you will be fined. Mr. Johnson, my ad-vice to you is that you get that sticker on your car tomorrow. By the way, have you received your
National I.D. Card yet?"
"No, I—uh—forgot to get that too, " John stammered.
"Sir, the card goes into effect Friday for all Sun-day keepers. That gives you two days. After Thurs-day cash alone is no good. You must have your
National I.D. to buy, sell, or rent anything."
As the policeman turned to go, John could hold his curiosity no longer, "What are you doing at the
"They are joining thousands of other seventh-day keepers in jails across the nation because of their stubborn attitudes and heretical beliefs," the sergeant answered shortly. "They have refused to keep Sunday as their Sabbath. They have refused to obtain the National I.D. card in their allotted time. Today is D-Day for all seventh-day keepers in the U.S. It's simply a matter of time before the heretics in the whole world are jailed too."
He gave John his final advice, "Remember, if you don't have the proper I.D. by Friday, you will be in jail with them."
The patrol car pulled away and John turned toward home. George blocked his way, a smug
expression on his face, "I hope you take their advice and quit breaking the law. "
John went around his neighbor without saying a word and walked through the front door. Mary and the children were huddled by the living room window, peering out. Fear was written on their faces and tears had traced lines down their cheeks. John put his arms around them.
"Don't worry," he said softly, "they are all gone now. Everything's all right." The parents held their children tightly for a long time.
After praying with the children and sending them off to bed, John and Mary decided to talk about their trying day. "I have terrible news Mary." John stopped, not sure of how to
continue. "The Rogers have been taken to jail for their Saturday beliefs."
"That's horrible!," Mary exclaimed, "They were just planning to move to their farm in Athens County next week. Their house was already sold and they were all packed. It's just not fair—,"
Mary broke off in mid-sentence and a sob escaped her lips.
"They were put in jail because they wouldn't observe Sunday Worship and get a National I.D. Card for buying and selling ..." John continued. "We too will be put in jail if I don't obtain the
National I.D. Card and license plate sticker I.D. by this Friday.
"Are you going to get them?" Mary felt she knew the answer before he answered.
Still, he paused before answering "I don't know for sure yet. I need to do a lot of praying between now and Friday. I know God will help me in
making the right choice."
"Yes, honey, I agree, and I'll be praying about it too."
John was staring at the floor, and digging at an unseen flaw in the carpet. "It's you and the family that makes this decision so difficult. I don't think God approves of force as a means for making
people love and obey Him. But if I refuse to obey these new laws, then you and the whole family will be behind bars like criminals." The very thought of his family being in prison made him shudder all over.
"John, let's kneel down and pray to God right now. Remember He promises us in I Corinthians 10:13 that we will not be tempted above what we are able. God will bring us through this, John. You will see."
John could think of nothing but the license plate sticker and the National I.D. Card for the next two days. At times he was certain that he should not get them, then he thought of his family in jail and was just as convinced that he should. When the closing
buzzer sounded at work Friday, John still had not made his final decision.
"This is it," he thought. "Either I get the license sticker and I.D. Card now, or my whole family goes to jail this evening."
' 'John, don't buy that sticker.'' He turned quickly to see who was speaking, but there was no one near. The voice continued, "The Sunday Worship Law of force is not pleasing to God. It's totally against His true Sabbath Day Saturday, which He plainly reveals in the Bible. Remember Exodus 20:8-11 that states the seventh day is God's worship day for man. God will carry you through this John. Don't worry."
John walked quickly to the time clock, the voice he had just heard reminded him of what the Bible states in Isaiah 30:21. It says
"Thine ear shall hear a word behind thee, saying. This is the way. walk ye in it. when ye turn to the right hand, or when ye turn to the left. "
John was now in his car and heading for home. His mind was already forming a plan to keep his family out of prison. As he pulled into the driveway John noticed George sitting in his front yard watching him through a pair of binoculars. John knew they didn't have much time. George would be calling the authorities any moment now. He quickly got out of the car and ran into the house.
"Mary?" John sounded frantic but he was still in control of himself. "I didn't get the license sticker or I.D. Card today. We have to grab what we can and go. Immediately! I just know our neighbor George is calling the police to turn us in this very instant."
"Where are we going to go?"
"I'm not sure Mary, but God impressed me not to worry about it. I'm sure He'll lead us."
"Boys, help your mom get the suitcases packed as fast as you can. Pack clothes, blankets— anything we'll need. I'll pack some canned food in the car. We have to leave in fifteen minutes or less."
The family was ready to go within ten minutes. As he started the car, John said, "Let's pray." He paused slightly, "Dear Heavenly Father, we ask that your will be done in our lives. Show us where to go. In Jesus Name Amen." As they pulled out of the driveway, George came running toward the car yelling and waving his hands like a madman. John glanced back at his neighbor in the mirror. A shout from Frank brought his mind back to the road.
"Dad, there's a police car!" It had already pass-ed them by the time he noticed it.
"Hold on tight, kids." John accelerated to 50 miles an hour. Houses on their subdivision street zipped by in rapid succession.
"John, slow down," Mary was concerned for their safety. "There is no need getting arrested for breaking two laws. Besides only God can get us through—not our speed. "
John instantly slowed. "Yes." He added, "God said he would carry us through." As they topped the next hill, John spotted a police car at the next intersection. "I guess this is it for us. That police car has the whole road blocked off. "
"What are we going to do?" Mary gripped his hand.
"God told me this afternoon at work that He would carry us through. We just have to keep our faith in Him. He won't desert us." He squeezed Mary's hand and then pulled the car over and stopped.
"Hello officer, " John tried to sound as pleasant as possible.
"May I see your drivers license please." The policeman was all business. "So you are Mr. Johnson." The officer smiled now. "Do you know that there is a warrant out for the arrest of your whole family." John did not reply. The officer continued, "You are a Sunday keeper aren't you, Mr. Johnson?"
"No officer. Not any longer, " John answered honestly.
"Why Mr. Johnson?" The policeman's tone sounded serious.
"My family and I have been convinced by the Bible that Saturday the seventh day is the true
Sabbath of God." The Johnson’s braced themselves for a negative reply.
"Mr. Johnson, I couldn't agree with you more."
Mary caught her breath.
"I believe in the seventh-day Sabbath also," he paused slightly. "Now do exactly as I tell you and your family will be safe for now. " John listened
intently to the directions. "Go to the next intersection and turn right, that will take you safely out to the road you need. Head south from there. It may seem longer, but you will travel safely."
"We will do exactly as you have said, Officer. Thank-you Sir."
"Don't thank me, Mr. Johnson, thank God. Remember, He will carry you through." John nodded in agreement.
Now the officer spoke to the whole family, "If you all get any spare time in the next few days, read that literature you received from your neighbors. It will give you the courage to make it through this
hard time of trouble." The policeman signaled them on and John instantly obeyed.
"He didn't arrest us, "Mary was relieved. "I can hardly believe it!"
"Dad," said Frank, "Here come police cars down the street from our house." Everyone
"Look! They're turning left at the intersection." Jesse was the spokesman now. "They're all
following the car that stopped us!"
The family drove in silence for a few minutes. They came to the road where they were to turn south and John followed the policeman's
directions. "I wish I knew where we were going," he said to no one in particular.
"John," Mary questioned, "How did that policeman know that our neighbors had given us religious pamphlets?" Her question startled him.
"I'm not sure, dear." He thought a bit longer. "He also said 'God would carry us through.' Those are the exact words God told me at work to-day. How could he have known?" No one spoke for a while.
Jim broke the silence, "Daddy, " he said simply, "He was an angel of God."
Mother spoke next, "It probably was, Jim. Hebrews 13:2 says that many times angels have been entertained by people unaware." The family continued their trip in deep contemplation of what had just happened to them. They were passing through farmland and the highway they were on led through no major towns.
"Dad, I know where we can go!"
"Where is that son?" John glanced at his wife, perhaps God was leading them through Frank.
"Chris told us that his family was going to hide on their farm if a Sunday Law ever passed. I know they are in jail now, but why can't we use their farm as a place to hide. " Frank paused, but when neither parent spoke he continued, listing the positive points of his plan. "There are plenty of woods and cover, plus there's the trailer that we could live in." The adults looked at one another. They knew the Rogers wouldn't mind them using it.
"There's one problem, Frank, and that's the trailer is all locked up. "
"Dad," a small voice called from the back seat.
"Cathy showed me where her folks hid the key to the trailer. It's in the hollow bumper on the back of the trailer."
John looked at Mary in amazement. How could God be working out things so beautifully for their escape from the authorities. "Are you sure Jim?"
Jesse didn't wait for his brother to answer. "He's telling the truth, Dad. I saw the key too!"
"I guess we're heading in the right direction for this is the way to Athens County," Mary said quietly. John could only nod his head in
"Kids, there is no doubt in my mind now that God is leading us. In the Bible Romans 8:28
promises us 'That all things work together for good to them that love God,' and I just know we all love God in this family."
"I forgot milk for Jill's bottle," John hit the steering wheel in disgust. "I'll have to stop at the next store. I'm sorry dear."
Mary patted his hand, "Don't worry. There are plenty of little stores along the way. "
"Hey Dad, there's a store just ahead," Frank pointed to the right.
John maneuvered the car off the road and kissed his wife on the cheek, "Honey, watch the kids, I'll be right back with the milk." In a few minutes Dad was running back to the car. He jumped in, started the engine, and pulled quickly away from the store. He kept looking nervously into his mirror.
"I couldn't buy the milk, " John stated after five miles of farmland had filed past. ' 7 didn't have the National I.D. Card for Sunday keepers. The store manager got very angry with me when I handed him cash only. He said that he was going to call the police and have me arrested. That's why I came running out of the store so fast.' He had a drained look on his face.
"Dear Lord," Mary prayed for them all, "Please carry us through this time of trouble. In Jesus name I ask it, Amen."
About an hour later they arrived at the farm and for a few seconds they sat in the car and stared at the trailer.
"Praise the Lord, we made it," Mary spoke first.
Once everyone was out of the car, John wasted no time, darkness was fast approaching. Dad assigned jobs to everyone. "Jim, go get the key and unlock the door. Frank and Jesse, help Mom and me unload the car. We have to hurry boys, it's almost sundown. That's when our new Sabbath begins."
"That's exactly what Chris and Cathy told us," Jim said. He added shyly, "Will we have time for family worship after supper?"
"We will make time, son," Dad answered. "We have a lot to thank God for."
Inside the trailer everyone went to work, Mary in the kitchen, John and the boys making beds and putting away clothes.
Suddenly Mary called frantically from the kitchen, "John, come quickly! Come here! Come see!" John dashed through the narrow hallway of the trailer. Mary was sitting on the floor in front of an open cabinet door. Behind her was the box of food from home. For a second he didn't under-stand why she had called, then he followed her gaze upward. The cupboards were already packed full of food!
"I found this list," Mary waved a piece of paper. "Sally made a list of all the food in the cup-board. There's enough canned food and powdered milk here to last us for months. There's a second list of items still needed.' She seemed afraid to go on, "Almost every item that was needed, you brought from home. I guess the Bible promise in Psalm 37:25 holds true, 'Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.1' John, God impressed you just what things to bring."
"Praise God," was all that John could say.
After moving in and eating a light meal the family gathered around a kerosene lamp in the tiny
living room for worship. After singing a few hymns, Dad began, "I don't think any of us can doubt that this is where God wants us to be or that this is the Sabbath that God wants us to observe," he looked around the circle of smiling faces, Jill was asleep.
"Let's just spend this evening thanking and praising God for what He has done for our family. I feel we all need the fruits of the Holy Spirit to get through the hard times that still lie ahead. So I'll read Galations 5:22-23. 'But the fruit of the Spirit
is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such there is no law.' My prayer is that all of us develop these traits of God to the fullest before God returns. Tomorrow we can study the Bible and the pamphlets the Rogers gave us. Mary, why don't you end our praise service to God with Prayer." So ended a day the Johnson family would never forget but their first Sabbath with God was just
The next week was full of work. John knew their hiding place wouldn't last forever. He reasoned that since he had stopped at the store for milk, the authorities knew they had headed south. John trained his family how to escape and hide in the woods if they heard anyone coming. He taught Frank to run and hide in a cave not far from the trailer. Jesse was to hide in a large ditch near the pond that was on the farm. Dad also taught Jim to hide inside a hollow oak tree just behind the trailer. Finally he, Mother and Jill practiced taking refuge in a small pine grove near by.
As time passed by, the Johnson’s settled down to a regular schedule. Everyone had a job to do around the house. Each day the family went for a walk in the crisp winter woods. Several hours were spent reading and studying the Bible. Family
worship was held three times daily with plenty of time allotted for individual prayer. No one thought the worships were boring. Each member of the family had formed a friendship with Jesus, and they loved to spend time with Him.
One morning Jesse noticed a small plane circling overhead. When he went outside again 45 minutes later, it was still there. This time he called his dad.
While the family watched, another plane arrived, then the first plane left. "Probably refueling," John mumbled. The family hurried back into the trailer.
John gathered them around him and began talking softly, "God has blessed us and cared for us here over the months. He has strengthened our faith and increased our dependence on Him. He has carried us this far, He won't stop now." He put his arm around the children, "I am sure those planes are looking for us. We may not have much longer here at our little haven. " Then he was silent, still clinging to the children.
Mary rose and took the Bible from the bookcase. Silently she flipped the pages to Job 23:10. "But he knoweth the way that I take," she began. Perhaps now it is time for our final test—like in school. We have learned a lot about God and His plan for us. Maybe now He wants us to show if we truly do love Him." She looked down at the Book and added, "Job went through quite a trial, too. Listen to what he said, 'when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold!"
"Dad?" Frank asked for recognition. "Can we spend time in prayer tonight for strength to stand firm in our love for God?"
Yes, son," Dad agreed. "I think we need to be on our knees a long time tonight asking for God's strength to be with us. "
The thought of reconnaissance planes seemed unreal as the family finished breakfast and gathered for morning worship. Suddenly a loudspeaker broke the midmorning calm.
"Come out of that trailer with your hands up. You are surrounded. You have five minutes to come out of the trailer or we open fire. "
The family clustered together, kneeling on the floor. They prayed earnestly for God's guidance, protection, and forgiveness. John reminded the boys of their emergency instructions.
"Remember, do not come out of hiding for an hour. Then all meet at Frank's cave. There is food and some extra blankets stored there." He gave the boys one last hug. "When Mom and I go out the front door, you run out the back." The three young men grabbed their coats and waited by the back door.
"Your time is up," the speaker boomed. Dad opened the door. He and Mary walked out with their hands up. Jill followed close behind. Slowly they walked down the steps.
"Halt! Stop or we shoot!" Rifle fire sounded from behind the trailer. John turned his head and saw Frank, followed by Jesse and Jim, scamper around the end of the trailer and into the woods.
Instantly Mary screamed, "Jill, stop! Come back. " The toddler was running after her brothers, her rag doll clutched against her chest. Four
National Guardsmen trained the firearms at her.
"Halt or we shoot."
Jill kept running. The men opened fire and she fell face first to the ground. As if in a dream her parents rushed to her side. Her body was shaking with great sobs as John tenderly picked her up.
Holding her doll up, she cried, "Daddy, they shot my baby. " Jill stuck her finger through a hole in the doll's body where a bullet had passed.
Innocently she added, "And I scratched my knee. Kiss it. Make it better." With tears in their eyes both parents kissed the wounded knee.
Policemen roughly pushed them into a patrol car, and sped toward town. John tried to listen to the conversation from the front seat, but he only caught bits and pieces.
"How could eight men all miss. Eight men against three boys and the boys got away."
His partner nodded his head in disgust. "Those National Guardsmen are horrible shots. They couldn't even hit that two year old. "
The driver reproached his partner, "Don't forget, we're working together. Besides, we policemen don't have any better track record." The rest of the journey passed in silence.
Night passed in prayer and singing huddled in a damp, musty cell. John and Mary found themselves in court the next morning.
"Mr. and Mrs. Johnson," the judge began, "You have been found guilty of failure to obtain proper National Identification cards and a license plate
I.D. sticker for your car. You must realize that this a crime against the government of the United States of America. Are you aware of that?"
"Yes, your honor. We only want the religious freedom guaranteed us by the constitution. We must observe the Bible Sabbath as stated in Exodus 20:8-11.
"Mr. Johnson, " the judge sounded as if he were talking to an erring child. "There is no longer a need for religious freedom or the Bible's teachings. Jesus Christ himself has appeared in several places and has shown the whole world the true religion with Sunday worship. He has told us all to observe Sunday as the Sabbath."
John interrupted, "Your honor, Jesus would never speak against the Bible. It is His Word. 'God
changes not' as stated in Malachi 3:6 and James 1:17. That being the world is listening to is an
imposter, a fake, that being is none other than Satan, the devil, himself."
"I can see I'm getting nowhere with you Mr. Johnson, you are in contempt of court, now be silent." The judge made no attempt to dispute John's statements. "Haven't you two heard that a death decree for all Saturday Keepers will soon be in effect for the whole world.?" John and Mary shook their heads. The judge went on, "It's all because of you seventh day keepers our land is
suffering so terribly from all these plagues. They are just like the ones described in Revelation 16."
"What do you mean, your honor?"
"I'll tell you what I mean, Mr. Johnson! Just look at the scars on my arms I got from terrible boils that fell on almost our whole city. Not to mention how our water supply turned blood red for days for no apparent reason. But lately the heat from the sun has been devastating on people, young and old alike. Thousands are dying from heat exhaustion all over the world. But the crops, our food supply is really suffering from it all. And all these bad things are coming on us because of you fanatic Saturday keepers. I'm going to give you two fanatics one last chance to change your minds."
"Besides even some dead Saturday keepers have come back to life and now claim that Sunday is God's true day of worship. "
"I'm sorry your honor but those beings are also imposters, demon angels of Satan pretending to be people. The Bible plainly states in Ecclesiastes 9:5 through 6 that the 'dead know not anything, and their memory is forgotten.' So your honor we don't fall in that trap of Satan."
The judge stared angrily at the couple and then spoke. OK, I've had it with you two! Is it going to be life and Sunday or death and Saturday?"
John glanced at his wife and gripped her hand. "My wife and I choose life," Mary gasped,
"Eternal life with the true Jesus and His seventh day Sabbath. We can never change our minds about His true Sabbath because we love Him too much. We know that it's the true Sabbath because Christ our example kept the seventh day Sabbath Himself. Luke 4:16 proves that your honor."
"Mr. Johnson, the Bible Sabbath was made for the Jews only and not for the modern man of to-day, everyone knows that."
"I beg to differ with you your honor but the Bible plainly states in Mark 2:27 'That Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.' There's no mention of Jew in that verse."
"That's enough talk from you, Mr. Johnson!"
Mary instantly continued, "Your honor, I feel exactly the same as my husband on this matter. I will never break God's commandments even in the face of death. For even Christ laid down His life for us out of love without breaking one of His Commandments. Should we do any less for Him in these last days? Revelation 14:12 states that the true saints of God will keep His Commandments even until the very end of time."
The judge was enraged, "You are blubbering idiots. Why won't you recant your heretic beliefs?"
"Show us from the Word of God, the Bible, where we are wrong, " John said meekly.
"OK, I sentence you to die along with your three sons and daughter." John squeezed Mary's hand,
for now they knew their boys had been captured alive. "You bunch of sinners will be shot by a
firing squad in the very near future. Bailiff, take these two fanatical sinners away," with a wave of his hand the judge dismissed them. John and Mary left the court room confident in their God and His
promises in the Bible for their forgiveness of all sins as stated 1st John 1:9. They also felt God's protection in this terrible ordeal as God promises in Psalms 91:11 "For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways." These words gave John and Mary great comfort during their stay in prison.
The day of execution finally arrived and John and Mary were marched from their cell and were placed against a large wall. They were not alone but fourteen other prisoners were beside them. Looking down the row effaces they spotted their sons and daughter midway down. They greeted them with their eyes, not saying a word. Mary squeezed John's hand and gestured. The Rogers family was at the very end of the line. The two families smiled at each other. Mary was now so thankful for the tracts that the Rogers had given them that had led them to fully accept Christ and His teachings. Silently an executioner was tying the hands of the prisoners. Next he offered all of them blind folds. No one took them.
"This truly is the worst time of trouble ever, isn't it, John?"
"Yes, Mary, it's just like Jesus said it would be in Mark 13:19."OK, you all have just one last chance to recant of your heresies ."
In unison the prisoners answered, “For the love of God we cannot.”
"All right you crazy fools have it your way!" The sergeant spat and turned his back on the row of prisoners.
"Squad!" the command was sharp and brittle.
"Ready. ...........Aim. ...........Fire.!"
After the guns' percussion had died away a loud rumble continued and the ground began to shake. The prisoners had fallen to their knees but they had not been hit.
The soldiers were shouting to each other and running for higher ground and cover. Thunder was booming, people were screaming and the noise was growing louder by the second. The sky was dark gray and lightning flashed everywhere. People began running like madmen as the earth shook with waves like a sea and great buildings crumbled to the ground. People were screaming "Who will be able to stand God's coming!"
Jim tugged at his mother's skirt and pointed to the sky. A small black cloud was approaching from the east. It was growing bigger and brighter each second, and as they watched, the cloud was
changing from black into a bright white.
"Mom, Jesus is on that cloud on His throne," Jesse cried. She hugged him tightly.
"Yes son, and He is coming to take us home with Him." Jill clapped her hands with delight and jumped up and down. Behind the group of prisoners a great hole opened in the earth,
swallowing the wall they had recently been standing against. Hundreds and thousands of people threw themselves into deep caverns to escape the brightness of Jesus on the cloud. Others were
running for cover in caves and buildings and pleading for them to fall on them.
The saints were now oblivious to the events around them. They, stood with their eyes fixed on Jesus their Savior in the clouds above. There was inexpressible joy written on each of their faces.
"John," Mary gasped, "That's not a cloud. It's angels. Thousands and tens of thousands of angels!" Soon they could easily recognize Jesus Himself sitting on His golden throne in the center of the angels. His, the most beautiful voice they had ever heard spoke these words, "My sleeping saints that are dead awake and come forth from the grave." Instantly the earth began to tremble again. All those who had died in Jesus came from their graves at His command. They left the ground and rose steadily toward their Redeemer in the cloud.
Frank ran to his parents, "It's just like Chris showed us in 1st Thessalonians 4:16, 17, Christ's feet won't touch the ground."
The cries of the wicked had stopped now and only the saved of the Lord were left alive on the earth. Their voices joined together in praise to Christ their wonderful Savior. They repeated these words in unison, "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Rev. 14:12.
Then their Redeemer and Lord Jesus Christ answered them back and said, "Well done, thou good and faithful servants: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
With a great shout of victory, they rose to join Jesus in the air and with a song of praise in their hearts they followed their Creator and Savior home to heaven.
Dear fellow believers and friends,
This book was made especially for you and your family in these last days of earth's history. The events described were put in a narrative drama form to bring them to life for all readers and listeners. In reality, my friends, the time of trouble the world is about to face cannot be described by human words. But one thing for certain is that only by the power of Jesus Christ our Lord will we be able to come through it alive unto salvation. My prayer for all you readers is that you take your Bibles from their shelves and begin to read the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and discover these Biblical truths for yourselves before it's too late.
God's challenge to all of you will be to share what you have learned from the Bible and this book with your family and friends while you still have time to do so. May God bless you in this great venture to win as many people totally to Christ before He returns in the very near future. I know that God will be with us as we do this great deed for Him. Thank you and God Bless.
Yours in Christ,
Future Events Writers
P.S. If you have any questions concerning this book or the future events described herein, please contact your local Seventh-day Adventist Church, or you may write to Future Events Inc., P. O. Box 68, Nashport, Ohio 43830. You may also order more of these books for distribution as well as cassette tapes of this book and other religious materials pertinent to these last days we're living in.