It's a ''Thriller''
Thursday, January 31, 2013
I would like to thank all my Omega Letter friends, facebook friends and friend-friends for nominating ''The End The Book: Part Two'' for the ''Book of the Year Award''. Had it not been for you, I would not have won in the ''Thriller'' genre. This was my first award in my quest to be a best-selling author and give readers some food for thought.
I found out about the contest and entry from Turning The Pages Books on facebook and entered via ebook. Now, I must admit that I did a bit of self-promoting, and then Kari Velemirovich of Omega Letter fame started promoting. The next thing I knew, we won. I say “we” because you all helped so much. It was a we-effort.
During interviews I am always asked why I decided to write THE END THE BOOK series; and I always say, “I wanted to see what ‘starving artist’ meant.” In reality, I decided to write after several events.
The first and primary event was Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth about the reality of Biblical prophecies. The second was Tim LaHaye’s and Jerry Jenkins’ most successful Christian fiction series in history, Left Behind. Every time I would see an ad for the latest in the Left Behind series, I would rush to the book store and buy. So Tim and Jerry, if you read this you need to reciprocate!!!
Almost all comments I have received have been very complimentary, even though I stray a little from “mainstream” Christian teachings a little here and there, just to make the reader think about what and why he/she believes what they do. The facts are, we really don’t know 100% how the apocalypse will come down, just that it will. I have been asked by several readers, remarkably, “Are these books true?” This is a fictional work and hopefully will keep the reader on the edge of his seat until The End.
Since many have not started reading the series, I thought I would post the “Note from the author” and the ‘Preface” from THE END THE BOOK: Part Two subtitled, “You have been warned!”
Note from the Author
The End The Book series is a fictional account of the predicted apocalypse as outlined in the Bible. Several readers have asked me, “Is it true?”
It is true that the Biblical end will happen, but I have written this series as a counter-weight to the apocalyptic fiction coming out of Hollywood, like Armageddon and 2012, that fail to mention God and His role. Any similarities between things that are occurring now and things written in this series are purely coincidental. It would be impossible to write a “true” account of the Biblically described End Times.
I hope all readers will find this series thought provoking, as well as thrilling, and might make us think about some of the things we believe and why we believe them.
In Part Two: You Have Been Warned, Jeffrey Ross continues his journey of unbelief from one tragedy to another, disaster lurking just moments away.
What would you do if you woke up one morning, turned on the TV to get the latest weather and the screen showed only an announcement:
Please Standby for Homeland Security
You try other channels, but all are the same. What would you do if you found out the end really was near, and there wasn’t a thing mankind or science could do about it? What if the electricity went out and never came back on? Could you make it?
I hope you enjoy reading Part Two as much as I enjoyed writing it for you.
“They made pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen around the hem of the robe. And they made bells of pure gold and attached them around the hem between the pomegranates. The bells and pomegranates alternated around the hem of the robe to be worn for ministering, as the Lord commanded Moses.” Exodus 39:24-26 NIV
“What do you think he meant by that?”
“By what?” James had no idea what John was talking about; the question came out of the blue. John did that sometimes.
“What do you think he meant when he said the temple would be destroyed and then rebuilt in three days?”
John loved his little brother, but sometimes James just couldn’t seem to keep up. Judas followed the conversation, contemplating. He had a lot of questions himself. Standing up, he shook the desert sand, cooled by the night air, took off his sandals and removed the sand-brier lodged in his heel. He finally spoke.
“You know, the rabbis, especially Caiaphas, say the Teacher is crazy as a loon, just another fake Messiah. They do seem to be coming out of the woodwork. Look at that teacher in the desert, what was his name, Bar-Abba? He had hundreds of followers. There have been others who have claimed to be the Messiah.” Judas had a tendency to speak out more than the brothers James and John, as well as Andrew. “Some of the things he says make no sense to me,” he continued.
“Judas! What are you saying?” John whispered the question. The garden was deserted except for them, no one could hear; but John was beginning to notice a change in Judas.
“Be quiet or the Teacher will hear you!” he whispered, this time emphatically.
“I’m just saying, like you said, what did he mean about the Temple being destroyed; and then it reappears in three days? Does that not sound a little crazy to you?”
Judas was animated but whispered quietly. He continued.
“King Herod would have a stroke if someone destroyed his Temple. Then he would kill all of us! Don’t you see that? Herod needs no reason to kill Jews. Think about it,” Judas continued, pausing a moment to look around the perimeter of the garden, the cicadas suddenly silent against the night sky. Y’shua sometimes seemed to just appear, Judas knew. He loved Y’shua and wouldn’t want to disappoint him, but . . .
“He said that before the day of God’s wrath, nations would rise against nations and wars would be everywhere. Do you really think that could happen? Who would possibly go to war against Rome? They rule the world, and they rule it with a mighty sword. Who could stand up to Caesar, I ask?”
Judas was in rare form today, agitated even more than usual. James looked at John, and then Judas. There were no other followers of the young rabbi around, at least none in sight.
“The Teacher also said other things Judas. He didn’t mention anything about Rome. Maybe it’s not the last days. He said there would be storms and earthquakes like never before. That hasn’t happened. The seas would ‘roar’ like never before is what he said. That hasn’t happened. The Mediterranean is no worse than ever before, except maybe during the Great Flood. The Sea of Galilee has bad storms, but no worse than before! You have misread the prophecies of the Ancients, Judas.”
James scolded Judas, as he had done many times before.
“Let’s go to Pomegranates and have a hot tea.”
James addressed the invitation directly to Judas; and the four followers of Jesus left Gethsemane, walking under the trees of the olive grove around the Mount of Olives and into Jerusalem, the City of David, as it was often called. The trail was dusty from the prolonged droughts of recent years, the dust evolving into a small cloud suspended in the air a few inches above their sandals.
A brief forty minute walk later, John, his brother James, Andrew and Judas entered the side entrance of Pomegranates and took a seat on the hard benches in the back by the portal. The portal was the only window in the dingy place, and the stained granite table offered a limited view of the street. James knew a limited view was better than no view, better to keep a lookout for the feared Roman Guard.
The tall and olive-skinned Philistine servant approached the four men and bowed to each before asking their pleasure. “Bring a pomegranate mint tea for myself and my three friends,” James ordered.
“Sir, do you want the Pomegranate Mint Tea or King Herod’s Mint?”
The servant seemed anxious and glanced over his shoulder at the two guards in the front of the dark, dry café. James noted the silent tip and said, “King Herod’s of course!” He spoke loudly enough for the two guards to hear. They paid no heed.
James was wise beyond his years and knew to accept any brand of tea other than King Herod’s Mint would bring unwanted scrutiny by the two guards, large men with plated leather gear for protection, and great big swords. Judas said nothing; and James held his breath, knowing how John sometimes was, hoping he would make the right tea choice. He did.
After the servant brought the men the hot tea, James looked at Judas and asked, “What’s up with you Judas? You seem to be having doubts that Y’shua is who he says he is.”
“That’s the question, James. Who does he say he is? The Son of Man? What’s that? I’m confused, James. The rabbis are the real teachers, and they all say that Y’shua’s ‘miracles’ are a fraud from Satan himself.”
“Judas! You have seen the wonders with your own eyes. My God, man, what’s wrong with you? Do you not believe your own eyes?”
“I didn’t see him walk on water. No one can walk on top of the water James, don’t you see that?”
“I saw it,” Andrew said, softly.
“Peter and Andrew saw it? Peter tried it himself, was successful for a moment, according to Andrew, then sunk like a rock. But Andrew said Peter walked on top of the Sea too, about 30 cubits. Do you think they just made up that story?”
“We didn’t make it up. Why would we?” Andrew asked.
“I don’t know.” Judas was suddenly sullen, stressed. “I just get confused, James. I want so much to believe that he is the Messiah, The Messiah. Know what I mean? He was supposed to come and liberate us from our misery, and I think the prophets meant Rome. But he walks around Judah preaching love and peace, love your enemy as yourself. That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Love your enemy? Love the Roman Legion?? Love the Arabs? I don’t think so.”
“I think Y’shua is just saying,” James paused as John listened intently. “I think he just means that if everyone in the world would love each other, the Commandments would fall in place naturally. He knows that’s not going to happen, according to Matthew at least.”
The three sat silently for a moment, and James pondered what Matthew had said, that Y’shua did not mean for us to turn the other cheek indefinitely, that Y’shua himself would return again, this time with a sword to judge mankind, not a kiss.
“It’s not going to be pretty,” and James had a feeling Matthew was right.
“Judas, I know the scriptures said that the Messiah will free us from oppression, but it’s not Roman oppression he is freeing us from, don’t you see? That’s not what he is talking about!”
“What then? What is he going to free us from? And when in Yahweh’s name will it happen?”
James understood Judas’ frustration and angst. The Jews had been waiting a long time for this prophesied savior, hundreds of years. This was him, James knew that for sure. He had seen Jesus cure that blind man, with his own eyes, in an instant. He had seen the miraculous feeding of thousands of hungry followers with a few loaves of bread. He had seen Jesus call out to Mary and Martha’s brother Lazarus, dead in the tomb four days, the atrocious smell of death flowing from the tomb like honey from a hive. When Jesus’ friends, Mary and Martha, had first sent the message that Lazarus was deathly sick, Jesus was heart-broken and felt for the two sisters. You could just tell in his eyes. Still, he waited for two days, continuing to cure the sick and heal the lepers. There were so many miracles, too many to count, much less remember. The apostles had wondered why Jesus waited so long. When Jesus finally did show up, the sisters were almost angry.
“If you had just come earlier, Y’shua, Lazarus would still be alive,” and Martha was visibly distraught. Mary wept nearby. James spoke.
“Moses freed us from the slavery of Egypt, Judas. Y’shua is here to free us from the slavery of death. That is if we don’t kill him first. Most Jews hate him with a passion and think the miracles are not from Yahweh. I don’t know how he’s going to do it, but Y’shua is here to save us from ourselves, can’t you see that?
“The time is not right for the last days. I’m not sure what he meant about the Temple being restored in three days. I know it sounds impossible but so is curing a man from blindness since birth. Y’shua is the first person in our history who has ever done such a thing. It is not possible, but Y’shua did it! Think about it. I believe future generations will look back and understand perfectly.
“If great earthquakes suddenly start happening more often, if the oceans roar and rise above the shore more than normal, if the winds begin to roar exceedingly and if hail storms proliferate the land, when the sun turns hotter over the land and the world warms beyond normalcy, then we will know: the end is near. It will get much hotter!”
“So why did Jesus wait so long to save Lazarus when he could’ve just issued the word; and Lazarus would have been healed, right?”
“Judas, maybe he did it to prove to us who he really is, something you are having a hard time believing. Maybe Jesus waited until Lazarus was dead, so he could bring him back to life. That was pretty impressive, don’t you think?”
The Roman guards turned to leave, when one noticed the four apostles were whispering. He turned to walk their way.
“What are you Jews whispering about? Aren’t you followers of that prophet, the one who heals lepers?” The Roman soldier was large, but he appeared even larger in his leather armor.
“No Sir. We don’t know who you’re talking about.”
Judas denied Jesus that night, long before Peter did the same. The other three followers said nothing.
“I would like to learn about this Jesus. I saw one of his miracles.” The guard turned away from the men, disappointment on his face.
Thank you once again for your support in my writing efforts. It means so much. It is a blessing to have so many wonderful friends.
About J.L. Robb
Last week: Who in the World is Louie Giglio?
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