Seth slammed his suitcase shut—his packing completed. Tomorrow he would be on his way to join thousands of other young people from all over the western world for training in the army.
He looked around his room. For a moment a lump rose in his throat as he stared over at his brother’s bed . . . it seemed like a lifetime ago that Logan had shared this room with him. He hadn’t changed much around the house, even though it had been over three years since Mom and Dad and Logan had gone. Somehow it seemed that if he just kept things as much the same as possible, someday they might come back.
But the harsh reality of the occurrences of the past few months crowded in on him again as he looked down at his suitcase. He dreaded leaving home—but the world was in trouble, and the world leader said everyone had to do his part. Famine was reaching right into the United States. Earthquakes, disease, and war had taken an awful toll—over one-fourth of the world’s population was already dead. Where would it all end?
For a time, Seth had believed that the world might actually become a peaceful place through the efforts of their new leader. He thought back over the past three years. He had graduated from high school and taken a good job. Things hadn’t gone so well for the ones in his class who hadn’t taken a mark. They weren’t allowed to graduate and couldn’t apply for jobs. The news media had really been against them. Even those who had slipped them food and clothing were eventually charged with standing against the new leader. Any effort to resist his attempts to unite the world were promptly dealt with.
Then the political scene had changed. The leader had made a worldwide tour, and had been welcomed with open arms, until he went to Israel. He had seemingly solved their problems, stood behind their resolve for a free and independent Israel, and encouraged the Jews from around the world to come and populate this booming and impressive country. Then he overstepped his bounds and was rejected!—he entered their holy temple. Though it was the new temple which they had erected with his support, he was angrily forced out by the Jews when he told them to look to him as the savior of the world and forget worshiping their Jehovah.
As days went by, Seth had found it harder and harder to overlook the problems which began occurring in other parts of the world. Many people began to experience ugly, painful sores on their bodies. When Seth had gone to see a doctor about a sore on his own arm, the doctor made a comment that really scared Seth. That comment was, “I understand that only those who received the mark are getting these sores on their bodies. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?”
A while later, Seth had heard that oceans had turned to blood, and every living soul in those waters died! Then, it was rivers and springs of water that turned to blood. It was horrible! The weather had been the next thing to change—it went from one extreme to another. The sun became so hot that people were scorched with a great heat. Then, darkness had seemed to cover everywhere. What was happening?
About that time, the news media reported that the Euphrates River had dried up! This had provided an easier access for the armies of the eastern nations to invade Israel.
Suddenly, leaders from around the world were told to gather their armies together at a place called Armageddon. They were to prepare for a great battle.
Abruptly, Seth sat down on the side of his bed and covered his face with his hands. He knew, with an awful feeling of dread, exactly what was happening. The world was experiencing the tribulation plagues—those terrible events mentioned in the Book of Revelation. He had always hated to hear his parents read about or discuss them during family devotions. He had listened often enough to know that there were great earthquakes yet to come. They would make the one he and Logan had experienced so long ago seem like nothing at all. Also, he remembered his father’s reading about the awful hailstorms there would be, with hailstones that would weigh about a hundred pounds each.
Seth was due to report for active duty tomorrow. Three days ago the intelligence office had verified the information that 200 million soldiers from the East had begun a march to the Middle East. Massive armies were being gathered to support the leader’s “peace-keeping mission” to remove the troublesome forces. Seth was to be a part of that army, and he was totally overcome with a feeling of dread and terror of what the future held.