I wanted to share a short story out of my book Shirley’s Short’s and Flashes. It is a fantasy/mystery story. It’s not long and I hope you enjoy it. Shirley
“I swear it’s true, every single word.”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Giorgio, I’m unable to accept your statement. What made you think a story so far-fetched, would be believed?”
“Why would I lie about something that could cost me my life, Detective Johnson? That man died just as I said he did. I’m an honest man, and I do not lie.”
Detective Johnson got up from the table and walked from one corner of the room to the other. He couldn’t get his brain around the story that Mr. Giorgio was telling. “Do you care if I smoke, Mr. Giorgio?”
“No, I don’t care, Detective.”
“Thank you. Now let’s stop the formality. I’ve known you all of my life. You call me Peter, and I’ll call you, um, um. I don’t know your first name. I’ve never called you anything but Mr. Giorgio.”
Mr. Giorgio smiled as he listened to Peter. “Peter, my first name is Tony. Actually, it’s Antonio, but everyone calls me Tony. I guess it’s easier to remember.”
“May I call you, Tony? I’m sure I will fall back into old habits and call you Mr. Giorgio, but I’ll do my best to call you by your name. Ok, let’s start from the beginning, once again. Don’t leave anything out.”
“I haven’t left out anything, yet. Peter, there is more to this world than what’s here in Summerton. Things people have no idea is happening in this world. Have you ever heard of Darius Figgaro?”
“No, I can’t say I have. Is that the guy’s name we found in your shop?”
“No, I don’t know who that man was. Darius was from the third century BC and a shoemaker as I am. He lived in a small village, in Armenia. He was known everywhere for his excellent shoes. In fact, he was so talented he was chosen to make shoes for the God’s as an offering, when the festival happened, in a few months. Aramazd, and his attendant, Grogh were made boots. For Aramzd’s son, Mehr, he made the softest, kid, leather shoes, and finally for the Goddess Anahit, he made slippers from a new shiny material from China created by worms. Nothing was finer in the entire world.”
“If anything was going to bring the town prosperity, it would be Darius Figgaro’s shoes. The God’s would certainly think of Artashavian as their favorite place. The village leaders were so confident in their plan, they already had a sign made for outside of town. In large red letters, it read: Artasavian, home of the God’s shoes.”
“You’re kidding, towns back in the third century BC didn’t put up signs.”
“How do you know, Peter? Were you there? People are remarkably resourceful, no matter when or where they lived. Think about the pyramids in Egypt, or the great lighthouse in Alexandria. All through the ages, people have accomplished exciting and beautiful things. Now back to my story. Are you going to interrupt me anymore?”
“I’m not planning to,” remarked Peter.
“The time for the great festival of the gods arrived in Artashavian. You could palpate the excitement in the air. Everyone was happier and looking forward to the three days of fun and homage to their gods. Darius’s excitement ended abruptly when he went to gather his offering and found the shoe cupboard empty. I know I put those shoes in this cupboard. What am I going to do now? Darius sat on his cobbler’s bench and prayed to the gods to help him find his offering. A loud booming voice sounded in Darius’s head.
“Darius sweep the floor using your new broomstick.”
Darius stood as he thought a moment where his new broom was located. Once he thought of the location, he walked to his back porch and grabbed the broom. “Ok, god, I have the broom, and I am obeying you even though I don’t know what good sweeping the floor will do.”
Sweeping the dirt floor was not an easy thing to do. You had to sweep but not stir up the dust and yet sweep aggressively enough to remove the debris on the floor. Sometimes Darius would place a course woven material down on the floor is he could buy the yardage at a cheap enough price. It’s been awhile since he purchased any, so his floor was bare.
He swept the center out of the floor but then decided he’d best do the corners. There’s a box here. I don’t remember this. When Darius looked inside the box, he yelled aloud, “Thank You, thank you.” There were all of the god’s boots and shoes. Tomorrow I will present them as my offering to the gods.
Before sunrise, the next morning, Darius gathered his box of shoes and headed to the temple. He felt fantastic and had extra energy. It was a glorious day. There were other people gathered at the temple also. Sunrise was the appointed time for giving of gifts. If your gift was accepted by the gods, you received a special blessing. Darius was hoping they would give him continued good health so he could continue to make his shoes.
Just as the sun was coming over the horizon, Darius placed his offering on the altar. The ground shook and lightning streaked the sky. Woman were screaming and running away, but Darius stood his ground. He looked at the altar, and his offering was gone. Everyone else’s was still there. What does this mean? Have I displeased them with my offering?”
“You have not displeased us, Darius. You have used your talents to make a personal offering to us. Because you have pleased us so much, we are going to bless you for each pair of shoes you made. Kneel Darius facing the sun.”
Darius was on his knees with the sun shining brightly on his face. He heard a female voice call his name. “Darius, my slippers are magnificent and feel glorious on my feet. For this, you shall have eternal life. You will continue to share your shoes with all you meet. Everyone will want a pair of your shoes. My child’s feet are protected with the soft leather of his shoes. Because you have given him protection, I shall keep you safe.”
“Thank you, Goddess, for your blessing. I could not ask anything more. I will continue to work and make my shoes”, Darius said.
“You shall prosper through your work,” Grogh commanded. “You shall never go without food or beautiful housing.”
Aramazd asked Darius if there was anything else he desired. Darius declined. “Then go, Darius, knowing you will be protected, have a long life and will be sharing your shoes with the world for all time.”
Darius bowed his head as the bright light was removed from his face. He stood, not quite believing what occurred. “I’ve been blessed. What more could I want in this world.”
When Tony finished his story, he looked at Peter and asked, “Do you understand now?”
“Understand what? You told me a fairy tale that has nothing to do with the man’s body in your shop.”
“You are no different than the thousands of other people I have told my story to. You go through this life thinking you know everything, and you actually don’t know anything at all. I can’t explain it any further than what I already have. You have to open your mind, and actually listen to what I said.”
“I don’t have enough evidence to hold you for the man’s murder. I’m going to let you return home but do not try to leave town.”
“I’m not going anywhere, Peter. I will be at my shop working on some shoes. I have a particular order from the Pope. He likes his kid, soft leather shoes.” Tony left the room, heading back to his shop.
Peter kept running Tony’s story around in his mind. Maybe when I hear from the Coroner’s office everything will fall into place. Returning to his office, Peter pulled out the evidence folder on the dead man. It was empty, not one thing to go on so far.
“Peter, the Coroner’s Office is on line 1.”
“Thanks, Sam. Hello, Doc, what do you have for me? You are kidding me, not one thing. What was the cause of death? Heart failure, so it’s natural causes. Sure, I’ll let the prosecutor know about the findings. Thanks, Doc, for the info.” Shaking his head, Peter couldn’t believe it all meant nothing. He knew he wanted to talk to Tony again about the Legend of the shoemaker and to tell him about the findings.
When Peter opened the door to go into the shop, he couldn’t believe his eyes. The room was empty. Not one shoe or even a sign anyone had been in the building. Cobwebs hung from the ceiling corners, with thick dust on the windowsill. A desk sat up against the wall. It was polished to a brilliant shine and had a paper lying on top. When Peter walked over to the desk and looked down at the paper, it made him take in a deep breath, before reaching down to pick it up. His name was printed on the folded paper. He opened the document, and he knew his world would never be the same. It read I am Darius.
Here is the 50 million dollar question – will there be a Rapture of God’s saints before the Tribulation, or will all of God’s people living at that time have to go through the Tribulation and possibly be martyred for their faith?
I am going to go ahead and give you the main verses from Scripture that deal with the possibility of a Rapture. There is major divided opinion in the Body of Christ right now as to whether or not there is going to be a Rapture.
Each one of you will have to come to your own conclusion on this issue per your own interpretation of the Scripture verses I will list below. I will give you my opinion on this subject, along with pointing out key words and phrases in the following verses.
As you will see in the following verses, I believe there is very strong evidence from Scripture that there will be a Rapture – and that it will occur before the Antichrist starts the persecution of God’s saints, and before God starts to pour out His wrath upon the earth during the 7 year Tribulation. In other words, it will be a pre-tribulation Rapture.
1. This first verse is very interesting. You already know that one of the names of the Antichrist is the “lawless one” per the Scripture verse I gave you in my first article. This verse is definitely talking about the Antichrist. Here is the verse:
“And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8)
You know the lawless one is referring to the Antichrist because then the verse says that Jesus will destroy him when He comes back for the second time.
But look very closely at the phrase, “only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed …” The “H” in the word “He” is a capital H in the New King James Version of the Bible. This means “He” is either referring to God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit.
Since God and Jesus are in heaven right now, the “He” has to be referring to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has always been referred to as the One who restrains evil from getting out of control on this earth.
It says that the Antichrist cannot be revealed until “He” is taken out of the way. Since we know the Holy Spirit still has to be down here even if there is a Rapture, then who is “He” referring to?
If there is a Rapture, there still will be a multitude of people who are going to get saved and then martyred. If they are saved, then they are sealed with the Holy Spirit, which means the Holy Spirit is living on the inside of them like He is with us.
I believe the “He” may be referring to the “Holy Spirit operating through the Church.” This means that the Body of Christ, the Church, will be what is taken out before the Antichrist can be revealed.
Think about this. The Antichrist is going to be very easy to spot once he starts to enter onto the world scene. All of the Scripture verses I gave you on the Antichrist and 7 year Tribulation spell out exactly what is going to occur, and there will be more than enough astute Christians out there who are going to be able to pick up who he is once all of these events start to occur.
With some of the powerful TV ministries that we now have in place, I am sure that the Body of Christ will be shouting from the rooftops once the Antichrist is spotted.
The word would be spread very quickly and it would then become very hard for the Antichrist to rise to the kind of power that the Bible is foretelling.
I believe the Church has to be taken out as the above verse is stating before the Antichrist can be revealed to the rest of the world. And the above verse states that the Antichrist will not be revealed until “He” who is restraining him is taken out of the way!
Once the Body of real believers are raptured off the face of the earth, there will nothing left that will be able to stop the Antichrist from rising to full power. The rest of the world is going to be easily duped into believing in this man – especially with all of the false signs and wonders that will be performed on his behalf by the False Prophet.
I believe the above verse alone is very strong Scriptural evidence that there will be a Rapture of God’s saints before the Antichrist actually rises to full power.
2. This next verse talks about those who are “alive” will be “caught up” to meet the Lord in the “air.” Here is the verse:
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be CAUGHT UP together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
This verse really seems to be implying that there will be a group of saints who are going to “caught up” or pulled up to meet the Lord in the air while we are still alive! These words spell possible Rapture to me.
3. The next verse tells us of a “mystery” – that not all of God’s saints are going to “sleep” – and that this group is going to be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and that this event will occur at the last trumpet.
I believe the Last Trumpet is God’s last call to His people, and that it implies that whoever is saved and born again when this trumpet sounds off will be raptured and spared from having to go through the horrors of the 7 year Tribulation.
I believe the word “mystery” is being used to let us know that God is keeping the possibility of a Rapture a secret and a mystery to the rest of the world. This is why many of the Scripture verses pertaining to this event do not perfectly spell it out. However, there is enough of a hint in these verses for God’s own people to pick it up, but not the rest of the unbelieving world. Here is the verse:
“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.” (1 Corinthians 15:51)
I believe the words “last trumpet” tells us this event will occur at the end of times. The words “shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,” really do describe what could be a Rapture – the immediate vanishing and disappearance of God’s people from the face of the earth in the snap of a finger.
4. This next verse is coming direct from Jesus Himself out of the Book of Revelation. Here is the verse:
“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” (Revelation 3:10)
This verse could be literal interpretation – that Jesus will keep His Body of believers who are living at this time out of the hands of the Antichrist. He obviously will do it by either rapturing them off the face of the earth, or by providing them with some kind of physical protection if there will be no Rapture. My guess is that He will do this by rapturing them off the face of this earth.
5. Here is another verse from Jesus stating that we watch and pray that we be counted worthy to escape all the things that may be coming our way in the end times.
“Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36)
This verse really seems to be implying once again that God is going to allow His own to escape or be prevented from having to go through the horrific events of the Tribulation.
6. Now here are some additional verses that are not quite as strong as the above verses, but do suggest the possibility that God will keep us from these horrific events.
“… and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” (1 Thessalonians 1:10)
This verse either means Jesus will deliver us before the wrath comes, which would line up with a Rapture, or it may mean when He comes down for the second time at the battle of Armageddon to put an end to all of the carnage with the Antichrist.
“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9)
This verse could be implying that His Body will not be appointed or be subject to the events of the Tribulation – or the wrath could simply be pointing to people going to hell for refusing to accept Jesus and His gift of eternal salvation.
If there is going to be a Rapture, I believe that God will rapture His believers off this earth sometime before the start of the 7 year Tribulation.
I do not think He will wait to the midpoint of the Tribulation where the Antichrist seats himself in the Temple proclaiming himself to be God and then starts the persecution of God’s saints.
I believe the Antichrist will be fully revealed to the world near the beginning of the 7 year Tribulation when he enters into a peace treaty and covenant with Israel, and then allows them to start rebuilding their Temple so he can eventually get into it at the midpoint of the Tribulation to proclaim himself to be God.
And remember the very first verse above, that the Antichrist cannot be revealed until “He” is taken out of the way. And when “He” is taken out of the way, then the Antichrist can be fully revealed to the rest of the world. And the “He” in my opinion may be the main Body of believers who are living at the time of these events.
The other reason I think the Rapture will occur sometime before the start of the 7 year Tribulation is that the Antichrist is going to need some time to set things up.
Once the Church is taken out, he will be free to start operating at full throttle.
The first thing he is going to do is convince and persuade the rest of the world to follow him, and I feel he will first do this by trickery and deception. If he starts the mass persecution too early on those who will not accept and take his mark, he will risk not being able to gain full control of everything.
I believe he will first suck everyone in by peace and diplomacy and the promise of a better world.
Then once he has enough of the nations on his side and the Jewish Temple has once more rebuilt, that will be the time he will then go for all of the marbles. He will seat himself up in the Temple at the midpoint of the Tribulation, proclaim himself to be God, kill anyone who will not accept his mark, and will then seek total world domination and control.
Think about this. This one man, through the power of Satan, will get a chance to have more power and more control over the entire world than any other man has ever had during the entire course of our human history. This will be the ultimate ego trip for a power hungry human being.
I believe that the last three and half years of the Tribulation are going to be the last and final history lesson from God to us.
With the Church being taken out of the way so Satan and the Antichrist can operate at full throttle, I believe that God is going to show all of us how much terror, death, and destruction humans and demons are capable of committing if given half the chance without God directly intervening.
In three and half years, Satan and the Antichrist are going to cause so much death and destruction on this earth, that Jesus Himself says that had these days not been shortened by God the Father Himself – that no flesh would have been saved! I really feel that Satan, if he knew he had the chance, would set up the entire scenario with the Antichrist to destroy the entire world through nuclear weaponry.
Satan already knows he is defeated. He already knows he will eventually end up in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone for all of eternity. He knows that this will be his last chance for mass destruction and terror.
If God would allow Satan anymore time than these three and half years, I really believe Satan would set the world up for mass destruction through nuclear weapons. He would then have the satisfaction that he literally destroyed the entire world before he goes to his final fate.
But thank our God, He will not allow this scenario to go this far. But God is going to allow it to go far enough to teach all of us a lesson that we will never, ever forget.
He is going to show us how quickly humans can be deceived by Satan and his demons, and the only thing that has kept this world in one piece throughout human history has simply been the power and restraining force of God the Father Himself operating through the Holy Spirit.
Bottom line – there is only maximum life with God or maximum death without Him.
The last three and half years of the Tribulation will show us what maximum death will really be like when God removes His Church off the face of this earth, and then allows the Devil and the Antichrist to do what they want with the power that will be given to them.
After we watch and see all of these horrific events unfold, we will never, ever want to forsake our God again. We will come to the full realization that without God in our lives – we can never have true happiness, joy, love, peace, or fulfillment in our lives.
Without God in our lives, there is only eventual maximum death – and the last three and half years of this Tribulation is going to prove that point once and for all to all of us. It will be the greatest history lesson that the world will ever receive – and something that we will never, ever forget for the rest of our eternal lives.
You will each have to decide for yourselves on the way the above Scripture verses are being worded. My own personal conclusion, after putting all the above verses together like pieces to a jigsaw puzzle, is that there will be a Rapture, and that it will occur sometime before the beginning of the 7 year Tribulation.
I believe the Rapture is a “mystery” from God and that it is “hidden” in the above verses. God does not want the rest of the unbelieving world to have full access to this mystery, otherwise people will be accepting His gift of eternal salvation for the wrong reasons – to escape the coming horrors of the Tribulation and not with a true, repentant heart to want to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior for the sinners that we all truly are.
Again, you may want to put this article on the shelf in the event that we start to fast approach end time events in our lifetime. This article will make for good debate with other Christians who may not believe in the Rapture.
Grave Injustice by Jada Penn is one of those books I didn’t want to put down. The protagonist is Lisa, she is caught between two men and seems to be continually making the wrong choice. She is a very strong willed woman, who wants to run her own life. She does have the support of her parents and Grandmother. She lives on an estate which has been in the family for generations. Jada’s writing is very descriptive of everything around Lisa. It was easy for me to visialize the characters as well as the surroundings.
Outside influences begin to cause problems . Strange things happen to Lisa, and she confides in her long time housekeeper. The man Lisa tries to distance herself from is having problems himself and is doing everything in his power to get Lisa for himself.
If you enjoy reading a good paranormal, mystery you will enjoy Grave injustice. That’s my two-cents for today.
The second day of a new year and here I am at the computer, keeping my New Year resolution to blog every day. A couple of posts ago I posted the review of Steven Aitchison’s book “100 Ways to Find Ideas For Your Blog Posts”. One of his recommendations was to review books. Blog the review and give the unvarnished truth about what you have read.
I’m going to be totally self-serving today, and ask you to consider reading my new book “The Tower.” It is a mystery with lots of twists and turns. Samantha Jensen is kidnapped from outside her home in Tulsa Oklahoma finds herself without memory in “The Tower.” Sam’s twin- brother Allan operates a company, IDEA (International Diagnostic
EThe kidnapping, smuggling betrayal and murder, take you around the world. It is also a story of love and devotion, as well as retribution for crimes committed. You learn tidbits about the countries traveled.
This was a book which was fun for me to write. I love travel and adventure and I got put myself everywhere my characters where.
To end my self-serving section of this blog, you can go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_24?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=the+tower+shirley+mclain&sprefix=the+tower+shirley+mclain and take a look at my book.
What ever book you read and review keep it authentic. According to Steven Atichison, you will find that once your blog gets known you will be approached by authors who give you their books for free in return for a review. It’s ok to have a review once in a while, but if you’re going to do this make it a balanced review and don’t sell it to make money. Review the book as if you were giving a detailed report to a friend, warts and all.
The paragraph above was directly out of his book. It’s easy to read and understand. I think reviewing books will give all of us avid book readers a new outlet. It would be even nicer if the books are given to you. That is a win-win situation, the way I see it.