After laying in bed for several days, I was able to get up and walk around. About that same time, they came and arrested Paulie again.
He was a changed man after the Great Draft. So many in his church were missing. He thought, “Oh, shoot!.” (That was the Christian version.) “I was wrong. I made fun of all those Jesus freaks.” He was just too sophisticated to believe in the Rapture. But now he realized he was wrong. Like many of us, he had to dust off the Ole Book and start studying.
Passages like Thessalonians and Corinthians explained it all but we were blind to it. So many people evaporating got our attention. We thought we knew better than the authors of the Book.*
So the good doctor wised up. He had been a good man. He had been a very good man, what I refer to now as a “goodie-goodie,” good, moral people who outwardly impress other people but inwardly are arrogant and self-sufficient.
Those who were left in his church heard a difference in his sermons. His words were Spirit-infused. The power was palpable. He could almost lift the congregation off their seats. And since they were now filled with the Spirit, they could interpret what he was saying, like a radio picking up broadcast waves. People were being saved who had sit in pews for years. But now they understood.
Unfortunately, people outside the church heard what was going on. Newspapers, blogs, and cable stations reported what was happening. People were speaking in tongues, others were being healed, prophecies were voiced and being fulfilled, miracles were being performed. Dr. Paulie’s handkerchief fell nearby a paraplegic who got out of his wheelchair to pick it up!
Hannity News Alert:
Our reporters are standing by in their truck outside the house of Dr. Paulie Carp. We can see armored police approaching with semi-automatic guns and a battering ram. They are ringing the bell and the door opens. Dr. Carp answers the door and we can see he is barefooted and wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with John 3:16. He is turning around. The back of his T-shirt says Ephesians 2:8-9.
He is not resisting. He turns as the police place cuffs on his wrists. No shots have been fired. He has been led away and his head protected as he ducks down into an armored truck.
We will keep you posted as this story unravels.
So Dr. Carp was hauled out. He submitted. He knew it was coming. God told him. He knew what was going to happen.
He had a quick sham trial. Cain vs. Abel. Moses vs. Pharaoh. Jesus vs the Pharisees. We had seen it all before. Good vs. Evil. Bad people hate good people. And there were plenty of bad people left in the world.
What was Dr. Carp’s crime? Was he committing miracles? Was he encouraging people spiritually? Was he worshipping a God instead of the government? Yes. But of what was he accused? “Insurrection.” He was accused of “crimes against humanity.” “High treason.”
He was put in a cell awaiting his trial. He knelt and prayed. The guards mocked him. “You’re not getting out, Carp! Prayer won’t free you!”
His prayer did free him. He had told close friends that he feared being burnt alive. No one took him seriously. No one had been burnt at the stake since the Witch Trials of 1693. No one had been sentenced to burning at the stake in the United States since the nation had begun.
And yet . . .
Carp didn’t have to wait very long. He was brought before a judge. The judge was known for his hatred of believers. He had sentenced a contractor for life in prison. His crime: he would not build an establishment for unmarried men and women called “Bunking Without Borders.”
Carp was brought into the courtroom with shackles on his legs and handcuffs. His head was bowed before the judge.
“So you’re back again?” the judge asked.
No answer from Carp.
“Why don’t you submit to the government?”
“Romans 13 tells me to obey the authorities.”
“But you won’t submit to our government. You and all your people only submit to your false god. The people of our nation have voted for a government for all the people. We provide everything for everyone. We provide healthcare for all, food for all, and education for all. Yet your people school their own and provide for all from the forest.”
“Our book tells us to only give ultimate allegiance to Jesus.”
“The law calls for execution on the third offense. You have appeared to me for the third time. You are an old man. I take no joy in your execution but I will have you put to death for the sake of the nation. However, if you will forsake your god and swear allegiance to the government, I will have you spared. Simply say, ‘Down with the insurrectionists.’” The law demands that you die by burning at the stake.
Paulie Carp looked out at the courtroom and the press, spread out his hands and said, “Down with the insurrectionists!”
A roar went up from the crowd. The judge said, “you give me no choice but to sentence you to the penalty of death by fire.” The judge repeated, “you give me no choice but to sentence you to the penalty of death by fire.”
Dr. Paulie said, “86 years have I served him and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?”
The crowd was screaming and jumping up and down. “Roast him! Roast him!” One turned to another and yelled, “This’ll be better than the Indy 500 and Nascar all rolled together.”
They hated Carp and all he stood for.
They didn’t wait any time to take him out to the courtyard. They hoisted Carp up on a lift above everyone in the midst of bales of Indiana hay. The executioner flicked a match and the flames leapt into the sky. The fire spread from Carp’s toes to his head.
Carp did indeed submit to the government and its fire. He called out above the tumult,
“O Lord God Almighty, the Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ. I give you thanks that you count me worthy to be numbered among your martyrs, sharing the cup of Christ and the resurrection to eternal life. May I be received this day as an acceptable sacrifice, as you, the true God. I bless you and glorify you, along with the everlasting Jesus Christ, your beloved Son. Amen.”
Then he was gone. The fire took the shape of an arch over his head. Witnesses said he didn’t look as much as being burnt as, believe it or not, baked bread. And the smell was reminiscent of a bakery, an old factory scent.
Since his martyrdom was covered on all the news and cable, many were pierced in their hearts and a revival broke out.
It was T minus 3 years.
(To be continued . . . .)
- see 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 5:2-3 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.