**Authors Note – The events depicted in this story will happen. They have been foretold in scripture. The exact timing and chronology of some of these post-rapture events have been a topic of debate among Bible scholars. It is the considered opinion of this writer that the events recorded in Isaiah 17:1 – the destruction of Damascus, and the Ezekiel coalition invasion of Israel as recorded in Ezekiel 38-39, are events that will occur after the rapture, but before the confirmation of the covenant between the Antichrist and Israel. The post rapture confirmation of a covenant is the event that begins the seven-year countdown. The exact timing of the destruction of Elam, recorded in Jeremiah 49:34-38, is less clear. For the purpose of this story, I have chosen to include it in the same short interim period between the rapture of the Church and the beginning of the Tribulation.**
PART 2 – THE BEGINNING OF SORROWS
“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows”
(Matthew 24:7-8 KJV).
“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer”
(Revelation 6:1-2 KJV)
Sunday, November 3, 2019
In the weeks before Trail, Mitch and I made our last weekend trip up to Yellow Top that weekend of October 25th, the world had changed dramatically. Our futures were uncertain. In just a few short weeks, the events that we had witnessed and the knowledge of those yet to come had changed everything; not just for us, but for the entire world. God only knows when or if I will ever see my mountain home again.
We spent the previous weeks getting settled into our new home in Doc Barnett’s house. I wanted to wait until I had the time to record all that we’ve learned since that first meeting at what we now call the New Hope Church Community Center. At that first post-rapture church service on the morning of October 13, we still had no confirmation that the ‘event’ as some were calling it, was what we believers were convinced had been the rapture of the Church. Although, at the time of the morning service, it was as yet unconfirmed from outside sources to have been the global event we knew it would be, we got our confirmation at 7:00 PM that evening.
On Friday the 11th after the power had returned that previous Monday night, all television stations did come back on the air; but from Friday to Sunday, the only thing broadcast by all the stations was one message. That one announcement remained on the air until Sunday evening. It read:
TELEVISED COMMUNICATIONS WILL RESUME SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13 – THE PRESIDENT WILL ADDRESS THE NATION AT 8PM EASTERN 7PM CENTRAL TIME
We got our confirmation that this was indeed the global event we already knew it was on that Sunday evening when the television stations came back on the air to broadcast the president’s address to the nation. We still did not as yet have a functioning internet, but we were told via an Emergency Alert System message that was broadcast intermittently before and after the president’s speech that all internet and online forums would shortly be operational sometime the following week. This EAS announcement also carried the ominous caveat that in the interests of national and global security, certain changes would be implemented once the internet was brought back online.
My friends and I, especially Mitch, held a growing suspicion that the internet we would have post-rapture would be vastly different and much more restrictive than it had been before the rapture. Mitch strongly suspected that the new worldwide web would be fully controlled with regard to both content and accessibility. He reminded us that, even before the rapture, Christian and conservative content on all forms of social media, including the big search engines, was already being purged and censored – a charge he said he scoffed at before he was saved, but one he fully recognized as being true after the rapture and his salvation. We had no doubt now that the entire global media would be even more managed than before; its content heavily skewed to promote a globalist agenda now that the true Church was gone.
New Hope’s first post-rapture church service the morning of Sunday, October 13, began with a full crowd in attendance. It appeared that there were almost as many people who came that Sunday as had shown up the previous Wednesday, the day of the first town meeting. New Hope Church and Community Center boasted a full house.
Pastor Will did an excellent job giving a detailed overview of the rapture of the missing Church, and a general overview of what to expect in the coming Tribulation. He also detailed what the event would be that would mark the beginning or starting point of the last seven years before Jesus returns to earth. He explained about Israel’s pivotal role in these days. He prepared us to watch for and recognize specific events that would signal the beginning of the Tribulation. He reminded us that, above all, the biggest danger we faced was strong delusion and deception.
To those of us who are saved, he encouraged us to believe and follow God’s word emphatically. He strongly warned those who were still unbelievers, reminding them that if they continued on in unbelief, they would be deceived; they would believe the lie that would soon be put forth to deceive the entire world; they would succumb to the lies of the coming great deceiver – the man who will be the Antichrist. He reminded everyone to pay close attention to what the president had to say and to filter everything through the prophetic lens of scripture.
At the end of that service, there were several more who entered God’s family; those whose belief in Jesus changed the destiny of their souls from Hell to Heaven. Among the ones who became believers that first Sunday were both the Duncan girls, Lilly and Byllie; Carter Grant; an older woman in her early fifties named Izzy Blake; and two other men whom I didn’t know well. It really bothered me that Eva, Dewey, Rod Weaver, and Vinny Sawyer hadn’t yet chosen to believe. All we could do was continue to pray for them.
That evening, most of ‘our gang’ as we had begun to think of ourselves, were gathered in Eva’s old house on Railroad Street which was now, I guess, the girls’ new house. The house was a big, old farmhouse with large, light-filled rooms, comfortable and airy. Eva had kept it as neat as a pin. Downstairs had a big kitchen, an even bigger dining room, and a huge parlor with plenty of room for us to all fit comfortably. It was such a big rambling house, no wonder Eva hadn’t wanted to stay here alone anymore, now that the farm was free to her. We decided that this would be the meeting place for our gang since we were quickly outgrowing Mike’s store and little apartment.
Among us there that evening besides Trail, Mitch, and myself were Clyde, Mike, Will, Sarah, Lilly, Byllie, and Carter. We discussed Will’s sermon and spent time planning the week ahead. At 6, Carter suggested we check the TV to see if anything besides that EAS announcement and the upcoming presidential address was broadcasting yet – nothing new was. Eva had only had a small TV which Carter had already carried back to the farm for Eva to keep in her room. The Duncan girls had a ginormous 50-inch wall- mounted monstrosity in the big ranch house they shared in Briarwood. After church, the guys and I nearly killed ourselves getting that thing off their wall and transporting it to the girls’ new place. After an hour of grunting and fussing, we finally got it mounted on the wall above Eva’s fireplace. It looked good there; and with Clyde, Mike, Mitch, Trail, Carter and myself working together, we managed to get it securely mounted without any loss of life or limb.
Once we had that task accomplished, the girls made us some sandwiches and iced tea. At 7:00 PM, we turned on the TV. We decided on Fox News and waited for the president to address the nation. We were informed that no news or broadcast information would be forthcoming until after his address. As we waited for the president to begin, we finished ironing out our plans for the next few days. We were jittery waiting to hear the president speak and give us the news that would confirm what we already knew. What we couldn’t have known was exactly how horrific the aftermath of the rapture really was.
Promptly at 7, the broadcast began with a stark shot of a dark blue curtained background before which the United States and presidential flags stood; one on either side flanking a slender podium bearing the Presidential Seal. There wasn’t the usual “Hail to the Chief” played as the president entered, nor did the Press Secretary announce him or field any questions. Our Commander in Chief entered the room quietly without fanfare; His expression was somber, his mood subdued as he took the podium. He began without preamble.
THE PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS
“Ladies and gentlemen of America. It is with a heavy heart that I address you tonight. Over the past eleven days, our nation, the entire world, has encountered a series of unprecedented events that have severely affected every nation on earth. I am, of course, referring to the mass disappearance of a vast number of people from every country around the world.
As far as we can determine at this time, not one country on all seven continents has escaped unscathed. Some countries and areas appear to have lost more citizens than others in what we will call ‘the great vanishing.’ It appears that the entire earth has been affected to one degree or another.
The cause of the event that resulted in mass disappearances of people from all over the globe is not known. The disappearances have not been limited to any particular region, but appear to have been a global phenomenon that occurred in the same instant of time, regardless of locale or time zone.
This anomaly that occurred in the early morning hours of Thursday, 3 October 2019, was also accompanied by an occurrence resembling an electromagnetic pulse.
Let me state emphatically that, although we do not yet know the cause or the full extent of the vanishings, nor do we yet know what the factors of commonality of those who vanished might have been, what we can say for certain is that every nation on earth to, one degree or another, has lost citizens in this event. In addition, it appears that…” Here the president paused for a second as his voice for the first time faltered. He cleared his throat and resumed.
“It appears that all children below approximately 14-15 years of age are also among the missing. The disappearance of children is being reported from every nation on earth. From what we can determine so far, children and infants – including the unborn still inside the womb, vanished. The children disappeared in the same instant as the yet undetermined number of adults. We are not yet able to quantify the full scope and magnitude that these interrelated events – the vanishings and the electromagnetic anomaly, have caused. However, the estimates we currently have of the number missing are…staggering.
The one thing that is clear is that the vanishings have been verified to have been global in scope. It is estimated that…” Here the president paused again, visibly shaken. As he resumed speaking, his voice shook with emotion.
“…a rough estimate of the global number who appear to have vanished in an instant stands at approximately 1 – 2 billion people worldwide, including children, and pre- and postnatal infants,” he said.
“Let me hasten to add that this is only an estimated number based on the limited data we have available so far. Not all of these people may have vanished; some may have perished in myriad post- vanishing disasters. Some of the missing may still be alive but as yet unaccounted for. Others may be injured or in hiding from the resultant chaos left in the wake of the disappearances and the EMP anomaly. Still others may be victims of any number of atrocities committed as a result of societal breakdown in the aftermath, this latter situation being an issue this administration intends to address immediately and decisively.
The EMP-like event that accompanied the vanishings was not, I repeat not the result of any known type of electromagnetic pulse.
There have been no solar events that have occurred, nor could any such solar event or weaponized EMP have caused a complete global disruption of all military infrastructure, power and communications grids everywhere simultaneously; neither have there been any high-altitude nuclear EMP detonations directed at the United States or any other country – at least none that has its source of origin on this planet.
Whatever the cause, the vanishings and the resultant loss of power seem to be related in a way in which we do not as yet understand.
As your president, I want to assure every citizen that the full force of the United States government is being brought to bear to bring a swift resolution to this situation. I am, along with all available global leaders, working closely together with the world’s leading scientists, engineers, weather experts, climatologists, geologists, and volcanologists. We are in contact with the agencies of NOAA, NASA, the DOJ, and the Department of Homeland Security in conjunction with the top men and women in every conceivably related scientific discipline. Each is working around the clock to attempt to uncover the cause of the vanishings and the week-long loss of the world’s power and communications grids.
In addition, we are issuing invitations to members of all scientific disciplines to work in collaboration with us. We are asking for all leading geopolitical organizations such as NATO, the UN, and the EU to join us. We are consulting with leading NGOs, and with top leaders from various global religious organizations as well. All of us are working together in concert to attempt to find the answers we seek. We are making every effort to conglomerate as a global community. We are determined to discover if possible, what happened, why it happened, and what can be done to prevent such an event recurring in the future.
As yet, we do not have the answers to these questions; but let me hasten to say that, at this time, we have no indication that such an event will recur.
Let me reiterate; I wish to assure the American people that this administration, in conjunction with the global community, is working tirelessly to uncover the cause or causes of the vanishings and to do our utmost to prevent such a thing from ever happening again.
It is now clear that, in addition to the disappearances, the second aspect of this anomalous event was the realization that – even though military, governmental, and national infrastructure, and those of other first-world countries had been protected with what we thought were sufficient safeguards and adequate precautions that were supposed to harden our infrastructure – this hardening which we thought was adequate, was not. All that we had prepared in defense of the vital areas of government, military, and national power and communications grids in the event of an electromagnetic pulse, failed – not just here but everywhere, from what we can determine. This event demonstrated to us that our current level of preparedness on a global scale has proven to be woefully inadequate.
Regardless of our best efforts to protect and harden our resources in the event of an EMP, none of the protection protocols that this or any other nation on earth had in place were effective.
We must now consider the possibility that the origin of these two events may lie… outside of this planet. We are in no way stating this as fact; still, the possibility exists, and we must be prudent in exploring all possibilities.
The magnitude of this tragedy is so extensive that we cannot yet determine the full scope of all that has occurred since 3 October.
It is my further sad burden to inform you of the extent of damage these events have caused both here in the United States and around the world.
At or around the time of the vanishings and EMP anomaly, the following events occurred nearly simultaneously:
The area of the Pacific Northwest all the way from Northern California to British Columbia along the Cascadia Subduction Zone was devastated by an earthquake of an estimated 9.8-10.0 magnitude. At this time, it appears that the entire Cascadia Zone was involved. Because there has been no way to send first responders, or any way to verify the exact magnitude of the quake, the full force of the quake cannot yet be determined, nor can the extent of the damage be known, neither can an accurate accounting of the possible loss of life yet be determined. We can, however, give you our best estimates. This indescribably powerful earthquake has caused incalculable damage to the entire Western coast of the United States. As a direct result of this enormously powerful strike-slip earthquake, the upper Northwest of our continent may have dropped by as much as six to ten feet, thereby causing a rebound effect of possibly seventy-five to one hundred feet to the west. The Cascadia earthquake devastated and destabilized the entire West Coast. From there, the destruction has spread outward.
Thousands of homes, buildings, roads, tunnels, along with overpasses and bridges, including the bridges at Big Sur…” Here he paused again, taking a deep breath before continuing.
“…the Oakland Bay Bridge, and the Golden Gate have been destroyed. The magnitude of this quake appears to have triggered other at-risk fault lines. Whatever caused the anomalies appears to have triggered a cascading effect that has resulted in significant seismic activity all along the West Coast.
The damage extends all along the entire Pacific coast. There have been tsunamis, landslides, and multiple dam failures. Myriad and as yet uncontrollable fires are raging out of control along and within the affected areas. The loss of life and property damage is incalculable. The Cascadia event appears to have also triggered earthquake activity all along the Pacific Coast, causing multiple large-magnitude earthquakes along the Northridge, Hayward, and San Andreas fault lines. The city of San Francisco also experienced a large earthquake on the scale of or possibly exceeding the magnitude of the earthquake of 1906.
As a result, the city of San Francisco is largely on fire. The damage done to the entire West Coast may not be fully known for decades to come. The loss of life from the West Coast earthquake disasters is incomprehensible. An estimated 70-100 thousand lives are thought to have been lost in the initial quake alone, with up to 10 million, possibly more, left injured, homeless, and displaced along the American-Pacific coastline.
Because the Cascadia Subduction Zone also runs beneath the Pacific Ocean, this earthquake caused an enormous displacement of water, resulting in a monstrously high tsunami that has all but obliterated the entire coastline of Japan. In addition to the destruction along the American West Coast, the devastation from the effects of the Cascadia quake continues to ripple outward across the Pacific Rim, causing numerous tsunamis, more earthquakes, and impacting multiple volcanoes, causing volcanic eruptions across the world. Aftershocks and heightened volcanic activity are continuing as the planet’s seismic situation continues to remain highly unstable.
One bright spot is that, at least so far, the Pacific volcanoes of Mt St Helens, Mt Rainier, Mt Shasta and Mt Hood, along with the Yellowstone caldera are, at the moment, maintaining their current level of stability. We will continue to monitor these areas as closely as possible for signs of further destabilization.
Information is beginning to come in regarding large-scale earthquake activity across the globe. Earthquake activity of varying magnitudes is being reported in places as diverse as: Italy, Iran, Hawaii, Indonesia, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Mexico, along the Aleutian Islands from Alaska out into the Pacific Ocean itself. Chile, Japan, Turkey, New Zealand and parts of China and Southeast Asia are also being affected with earthquake activity. At the moment, any further information regarding the severity of these additional quakes or loss of life is as yet unknown and can only, at this time, be conjectured.
The entire earth, particularly along the Pacific Rim ‘Ring of Fire,’ has become completely destabilized. This could affect other fault lines across the globe as well as within the continental United States. Seismic zones such as the New Madrid Fault line and several smaller ones that make up the Brevard and Charleston, South Carolina, tectonic plates on the East Coast may also be at risk. At this time, though, none of these appear to be experiencing any disruptions as far as we are able to determine.
The current global loss of life as well as the continued loss of life from the aftermath of these disasters may well reach or exceed several hundred million more lives lost, not counting those who are estimated to have been among the vanished. At this point, we simply cannot know.
In the wake of this already inconceivable destruction, it is being reported that there has been widespread rioting, looting, and anarchy in all major US cities as well as in smaller cities and towns. The cities of New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Houston, San Antonio, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Miami, and Orlando, among others, are all dealing with widespread anarchy. I want to state emphatically that this will stop immediately. Anarchy, violence, and chaos cannot and will not be tolerated. I intend to bring to bear any and every means available under Constitutional authority to bring such disgraceful and uncivilized behavior to an end quickly and permanently. Order and the rule of Law will be reestablished and maintained.
Because the cause and full extent of the anomaly that precipitated this is as yet not known event, and until we can determine the full effects of this event and gain control over the country again, I am hereby declaring the United States to be in a state of national emergency. As of today, October 13, 2019, as Commander in Chief of the United States of America, I am placing the entire United States under order of martial law. This order will remain in effect until such time as the president or any other Constitutionally mandated successor determines it safe to remove said declaration. This action goes into effect immediately and will be enforced by federal, state, and local authorities.
Within the next few hours, I will be video-conferencing with the Director of Homeland Security, the Attorney General, the Joint Chiefs, the Director of FEMA and the governors of each of the fifty states to coordinate our efforts to secure the safety and well-being of the citizens of the United States. I will also remain in constant contact with as many leaders of our fellow nations as possible.
The disastrous conditions we face are monumental but, as always, the will of the American people remains strong and resolute. We must now pull together as citizens of America and citizens of the world to rebuild a better, stronger, more united world. May God bless the United States of America and the citizens of the world.”
We sat there stunned. Although we knew intellectually that, according to the Bible, the loss of life was going to be unimaginable, to actually hear it spoken from the president’s own mouth was like taking a hard hit to the solar plexus. The girls were crying; all of us felt sick. What normal person can comprehend loss of life on that scale? We were truly left speechless. After several minutes of stunned silence, Will spoke first.
“I have come to love each one of you as family, even in the short amount of time we’ve known each other. Throughout this time since the rapture, God has shown us such great mercy. He has brought us together and is knitting us together to become a family and a community of believers. I don’t even know how to begin or what to say except that we must come to grips in our minds and in our hearts that this kind of thing, I mean the enormity of such things, are going to become the new norm from now on until the end of these last seven years.
We are already, or very soon will be, entering the actual Tribulation. From now on, we must determine in our minds and hearts to remain faithful to take our stand, by God’s grace and strength alone, to become a true family of Tribulation saints. From now on, we must live every second of our lives in a continual attitude of prayer asking our Lord to give us strength, wisdom, discernment, and courage to remain faithful – even unto death. We will need the wisdom of the Lord to guide us as to whom to trust, what to do, and where to go from now on. We all know what we will be facing, but I want us to once again take an unflinching look at what God tells us we will encounter in the beginning of the sorrows we will soon be facing. I’m going to read the first few verses of the sixth chapter of Revelation.
From these verses, I want us to make sure we understand clearly what will shortly come to pass. If it hasn’t begun already, we soon will be living through the events of the first four seals which, from what I can understand, will happen in rather rapid succession.”
Will turned to His Bible and began reading.
“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth” (Revelation 6:1-8 KJV).
“The coming horrors,” said Will, “are very real, I want us to never forget that we will not, indeed, we CANNOT rely upon our strength alone, nor do we need to rely on our own frailty. Every step of the way, until Jesus sets His foot upon the earth again in about seven years’ time – no matter what happens – by His grace, we must all trust Him to help us stay faithful, even unto death. Let’s pray.”