Chapter One Hundred and Thirteen
Stephen and Carrie stood at the start of the lineup. He heard swelling murmurs of prayer around him, spurring his own spirit. Looking back down the line, he smiled at the brave spirits, all wearing the same dark blue t-shirts that he and Carrie wore, the new symbol of the little white church on the bluff. This is beyond, but the t-shirts look good and carry deeper meaning. I wonder, hmmm, how many will get the message of revival.
He looked down at the little spitfire he held, seeing the flush of excitement or the flush of the Spirit. The opening hymn felt so appropriate for what he felt led to proclaim to the world. “The Banner of the Cross.”
He hummed a bit of the melody as Carrie pulled along to the front. ’marching on…, marching on, for Christ count everything but loss…
Carrie used her best news anchor voice, opening the crowd to what lay in the plan for the evening…., “so it isn’t about Stephen or I, or Herb and Diane, or any of the others. It’s about you and God, right here, right now. Listen to these testimonies, about how God held His Hand over us, to protect us from the flaming explosion, or the bullet of an assassin, so that we might share our faith in Christ…, simple and true, straight from the heart, for the Glory of God.”
Stephen nodded to Carrie then out at the crowd. “Yes, that is it, simple and true, straight from the heart, for the Glory of God. A few weeks ago, I wondered about that, wondered how I could go ahead with all that was being thrown at me…, and us, by darkness.”
He paused a moment as His Spirit came through. “Yes, thank you Lord. The devil roams about, seeking those he might kill, maim, or destroy. That is exactly what darkness tried to do to us. So…, within myself I had to choose. Would I pull back, and let the devil crush my testimony, or would I stand for the truth in the face of an explosion that blew me out of my home, or like Carrie, an assassins’ bullet.
So here tonight in front of you and the world I proclaim to you that God is Light and in Him there is no darkness. Come to the Light, as He is in the Light. You might not have to face a home exploding around you, but you might feel the awful pull of the darkness, trying to kill, maim, or destroy you, or your loved ones. If that is you, then listen to me. I lost everything I own, but I count it all as loss, for I have Christ. I proclaim it to the demons trying to snuff us out. Faith is the victory. If God is for us, who can be against us? But it isn’t just Carrie or I, it is also Ted and Rita, here to share some more.”
Ted and Rita walked to center stage to the applause of the audience. The local crowd knew these two better than the rest. To Ted’s surprise, Rita spoke up first. Thank you all, but mostly thank you Jesus.”
She pointed up. “He is God alone, from before time began. He’s also right here with us. Listen people and know that God is Light. He saved me with His Mighty Hand, pulled me off that deck and onto the lawn and held me down, safe, covered with His Hand as flaming hot debris blew over me…, and the others. He healed me when darkness punched me so hard, it knocked me down for the moment. So I can say to you this night, as a first hand witness, that Ephesians Six is true. There really are demons, horrible, vicious creatures…, and also bright and mighty warriors of God, standing by to protect me from such evil. Evil that I witnessed with my own eyes, to be able to say to you tonight that God…, He is in control, and able to save you also, when you trip and fall, when all seems lost, turn to Christ, not some false offer, but Christ alone. In Him do I put my trust!”
Rita fell back into Ted, burying her face in his shoulder, exhausted from her speech for Christ. Ted helped carry her off the stage then returned to a sober crowd. Lord, I love that woman. Thank you for her. For a moment, he stood before the crowd, waiting for his words to come, waiting for what the Spirit and Truth had for him. “I was there, next to Rita, on that smoldering lawn, held there by the protecting Hand of God, as was, Stephen, Carrie, Gordy, and the others. I was there too, as demons attacked Rita, felt and saw the Power of God pass over me, beating back the darkness, and healing that precious woman…”
He paused to look down at his feet, then back up with tears running down his cheeks for his love. “But that is only half the story…, for you see, um, God is using this church, all of us here, to lead the nation in revival. Praise God. Revival!”
The crowd interrupted him with shouts. ‘Amen. Praise God’.
“God gave me vision to share. Vision of things to come. Vision of glorious things, but vision comes with Warning and Blessing.”
He paused a moment to wipe tears from his eyes. The crowd stood restless. Ted looked over to the side where Rita and Carrie held each other. Rita looked at him, gave him her thumbs up and flashed a look of love for him.
“Listen to vision of the Lord. All the volcanoes in Antarctica and the Andes, the global flooding, is for this purpose; so that you America, might hear the Word of God. Cease from striving and know I AM GOD. Turn from your wicked ways, for this is the Day of Salvation.”
Ted needed to wait another moment as he remembered the angel so clearly showing him water flooding over the land up to his waist. “America. Know this! Flooding will continue until it reaches my waist, right here.” He placed his hands on the exact spot where the angel showed him. “This is how high the waters will go and no more. But that isn’t it either.”
He paused another moment to glare with all his might into the camera. “There is more! America, you have not turned from your wicked ways. You have not heeded the Voice of the Lord…, so Calamity will fall across this land, even now it is in the making, ready to fall on you, to make you cease from your labors, to cease from your moving about without Him. For God is a Holy and Just God. So today…, I give you Warning.
Just as the waters rose to my waist to bring you to repentance and the forgiveness of sin…, so too will Calamity fall upon you, to cause you to turn from the darkness and turn to the Light. So turn…, now, while there is still time, for Calamity is at the door, waiting to fall upon you.”
Feeling the same moment of exhaustion that Rita felt, Ted swayed back, taking a partial step, then squatting down to catch his balance, sweat pouring from his face. Ralph and Elise rushed to his side and helped him to Rita’s arms off stage.
The crowd stood stunned.