“And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath” (Revelation 16:16-19, KJV).
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND Lord OF LORDS.
“And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
“And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh” (Revelation 19:11-21, KJV).
“Don know wha day. Huge earthquake, giant hailstones fallin. I pull Sarh outside. Will die abov groun.
Sar, look! Sy full of horses! Is tha Jesus? Can yu see?”
“I see Him, Boby. Are we dream?”
“Sarah and Bobby Thorpe, ARISE AND COME WITH US.”
“Who ar yu? Wha?”
“We are messengers of the King. We have been sent to bring you to Him. Gather your bag containing your records. You must bring those. Stand upon your feet, Bobby and Sarah Thorpe; we will carry you.”
“I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land… Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel” (Joel 3:2, 14-16, KJV).
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
“Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:31-41, KJV).
We are somewhere In Israel, I think. Yes, yes, I remember the two angels telling us we were being taken to the Valley of Jehoshaphat – to meet the King. It has been dark here wherever we are, but Sarah and I are together. I get the sensation that time has passed, like maybe weeks? I don’t know, but our bodies have been healed and we are fed. Oh! Wait! I see Light! I see his face! The scars in His hands and feet!
We fall on our faces before Him! LORD Jesus.
“BEHOLD, Bobby and Sarah Thorpe,” said the LORD before whom we were bowed.
As we lifted our heads, before us lay the most beautiful vista I’ve ever seen. Nothing in our past life ever looked like this! We were looking at Yellow Top, but it was Yellow Top as I’ve never known it – as anyone has ever known it! The lush green trees were filled with hundreds of multicolored birds all singing the sweetest, most beautiful songs any person has ever heard. I don’t think I ever heard birdsong like this, and the most amazing thing is we knew and understood that the music they made was praise and worship directed to the Lord! It was astounding to know that the songs the birds were singing were songs of worship and praise to their Creator!
The grass, a shade of green so deep and velvety that it looked like satin; it was of the most luxuriously soft and tender texture. There were flowers everywhere, abundant in both quantity and color, their fragrance filling the air with perfumed sweetness so fine and rare that all we could do was stand in awe and drink in the beauty of the vistas filled from horizon to horizon with multitudes of multicolored flowers blooming among a vast expanse of trees of every known variety, and many unknown to us. Our eyes could barely drink in the beauty, and our senses were filled with a delicate perfume exquisitely rare that all we wanted to do was to breathe deeply of the perfumed aromas of flowers and trees both known and unknown to us.
There were all manner of animals running, grazing, or sleeping on the velvety soft ground.
In the distance, we could both see and hear the voices of – everyone – EVERYONE who was part of our family of believers! I saw Grandma and Grandpa; I knew it to be them, but they were young; robust in body and filled with vitality. The same went for Clyde… and Big Mike, and our Izzy! Sarah saw her brother, her sister in law Kristen, and her little niece Claire, but Claire was no longer a little child. She was a beautiful young woman in the prime of life, yet Sarah immediately knew her and recognized that it was she. We could see Trail and Mitch…and David, and Will! And there was Mama B, young and beautiful and strong; and oh so MANY others! They were all young and strong and robust. They were dressed in normal clothes, but every so often their bodies would shimmer from the inside out in blinding flashes of light, shining with a splendor so bright and radiant that it hurt our eyes. Then in the next instant, they’d look just like themselves again.
It seemed that they could see us too because we could see them all waving to us and hear them shouting to us, calling our names. They were beckoning us to join them! They are beautiful! Of course they are! They are the immortal ones while Sarah and I are still in our mortal bodies – at least until the end of 1,000 years. Then we too will be given bodies like the ones they have!
I was thinking about Uri, when the LORD changed the view of this multisensory vision(?) and I could see Uri in Jerusalem standing with the other 144,000 on top of Mt Zion. Neither Sarah nor I have ever been to Jerusalem before, but now the LORD has recreated it after the devastation of the Tribulation. It is a city stunning in its beauty, in a land whose beauty cannot be described.
“You will see Uri,” said the King. “Every year when your nation comes to Jerusalem to worship Me, you will see him and have fellowship with him and he with you.”
What am I to do with these journals, Lord? I thought but didn’t say. He knew my thoughts before I could speak them and answered me.
“You have been my scribe. You were one of many throughout the time of judgment that I called to bear record of what you witnessed. I have called you and others like you to record what has occurred in your lives during the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. Each one of you who has been called has archived the events as you have lived them. These are records; tablets of remembrance to be taught to your children, your children’s children, and their children’s children unto the end of the kingdom. You, like the others, have I called to be record bearers. You will teach your children and show them how the LORD has brought you through so that future generations may know of the faithfulness of the LORD.”
The scene before us changed again back to our home on what once was Yellow Top, North Carolina, where all our family and friends are gathered laughing and talking, waiting for us to join them.
“How will we get there?” asked Sarah.
“My two messengers who brought you here will carry you,” replied the King.
Without us knowing how or even when it happened, Sarah and I find that we are home! In the distance, we can see all our loved ones coming to greet us! The sky is a shade of blue I’ve never seen before, nor can I describe it. As I said, the greenest grass I’ve ever seen feels like silken velvet beneath our feet. The air is so clear and sweet we can actually taste its sweetness. A stunning wolf followed playfully by a tiny lamb gamboling along beside it is loping towards us. This great wolf lays at our feet, offering us his belly. We stoop, laughing as we pet this stunning creature, and laugh as we play with the tiny lamb that frolics around the wolf.
A shimmering cardinal of the deepest crimson alights on Sarah’s shoulder and sings into her ear. We watch amazed and utterly delighted as the giant wolf gently licks the tiny lamb tenderly with his great tongue while the lamb snuggles close to the wolf, peacefully and trustingly falling asleep snuggled against the great grey beast with absolutely no sense of fear. We watch as the wolf gently and with care curls his body around the sleeping lamb and closes his eyes.
In the distance, a throng of those whom we love and had lost are calling to us from a meadow bursting with flowers serenaded by a symphony of birdsong. All the pain and loss; all the sadness and horrors of the Tribulation have melted from our hearts like snow in springtime because we are home, home in the Kingdom! We are in the Lord’s Kingdom reunited forever with all of God’s family and ours!
As we arise to join our loved ones, we hear the voice of our precious, beloved Lord once more call to us:
“Bobby and Sarah Thorpe, welcome to My kingdom. Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.”
Hand in hand, laughing like children, Sarah and I run to meet our beloved family who are running to greet us, calling our names; welcoming us Home.
I began writing SEVEN in 2018. The idea for the story came about one day in the spring of 2018 while my husband David and I were sitting in our favorite rocking chairs on the front porch of our little house. We were enjoying a beautiful blue sky that day and talking about the rapture. The thought came to me: how might our city handle the aftermath of the rapture? I asked David how he thought our city council or our county seat might respond when the rapture happens. We talked about that for a while, then I began to speculate how the rapture might affect the multitude of little towns that surround us. And that was it. The seed for SEVEN had been planted.
I began the book, but then set it aside after I’d written the first chapter. I left it simmering, not knowing at the time how I wanted to go forward with the story. However, it was always there, brewing on the back burner of my mind. Then, earlier this year, I felt compelled to take up the narrative again and see what I could do with the story.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think anything would come of my little foray into the literary world. In writing the story, my only goal was to try to write as good a Christian-based story as I am capable of writing, and to stay as true to scripture as possible even if no one but I ever read it. I don’t know if I’ve successfully accomplished either goal, but I do know that the Lord has had His hand in directing this endeavor in ways I could have never dreamed possible.
No one takes on a project this involved by oneself. I want to thank everyone who has supported me, encouraged me; everyone who has critiqued me, challenged my thinking, shared my book, and most of all, prayed for me. This includes both Todd Strandberg and Terry James at Rapture Ready. Rapture Ready so kindly agreed to publish this book as a chapter serial. As I said, I never dreamed that anyone other than myself or possibly my family would ever read the story. I cannot thank Todd and Terry enough for giving my story such a huge readership. I am beyond grateful to them.
In particular, I want to thank my husband David. He truly is a history and science scholar, even though he doesn’t possess degrees in either of those disciplines. All of the historical, geological, or scientific parts of the story I gathered from his knowledge and tutelage. He spent weeks pulling out maps and atlases; hauling out our globe and pulling up images on his laptop, showing me, for example, the routes and paths earthquakes might realistically take, or describing the effects of volcanic activity on the atmosphere, climate, and food production. He practically taught classes in science, geography, and history. He spent hours going over the history of the Babylonian and Assyrian empires, as well as taking me through the history of ancient Greece and Rome.
David has, for all intents and purposes, been a collegiate professor with a student body of one. His patient teaching along with literally hours and days of “lectures” in our living room, at our kitchen table, or on our front porch have been invaluable to me. In addition to all that, he has also been my advisor on military tactics, weaponry, ancient history, and warfare. For the parts I wrote where I got the science or history right, he is the reason for it. If I missed the mark on anything, then it’s because I stupidly ignored his lessons. In addition to being my teacher, he is also my greatest critic. Every chapter I wrote, he would listen to me read aloud. Each deserved critique and each “well done” from him motivated me to keep trying to do the best I am capable of doing. I could not have written this book without him.
I also want to thank and acknowledge the tremendous help my children, Kristen Rogers and Mitchell Childs, have been to me in writing this book. Mitch has been my tech advisor. Anything related to computers or technology such as the technology of what is likely to be the “mark of the beast” system or the basics of Artificial Intelligence, information on VPNs, TOR or the existence of the deep web – anything technological including keeping my manuscript safe and backed up, Mitch has patiently helped me navigate. I never understood 100th of what he was talking about, but what little I did grasp well enough to write about is because of him and his expertise and patience. All of that and more has been his invaluable contribution. As a side note, the character of Mitch Graham in the book is very much based on my own Mitch.
My daughter Kristen, who is in nursing school, has been my medical instructor and advisor. Any medical knowledge that I needed she has provided. She has been so graciously patient in providing all the medical expertise for the book. I don’t know how many times I have called or messaged her to ask about some medical procedure, diagnosis, or medical issue, or to ask her how one or more of the medical characters would handle a particular situation. If the medical actions taken by the characters Trail, Lilly, and Sarah ring true, it’s because of Kristen’s knowledge and expertise.
My kids in law, Casey Rogers and Sarah Childs, were also very helpful as sounding boards on weaponry or in giving their honest opinions on whether a plot line was good and realistic, or stank like last month’s meatloaf. I want to thank Sarah especially for allowing me to use her full maiden name, “Sarah Arrowood,” for one of the main characters. I just love her name, and she lovingly allowed me to use it.
I also want to acknowledge two women who have been on this journey with me from start to finish: Ronda Lane, and Cindy Snead Nuara. Ronda, who is very close to going Home after a long, bravely fought battle with cancer, has been a constant sounding board for me. She has been my go-to person for all Biblically prophetic passages. We have spent years together studying the prophetic scriptures “as iron sharpens iron.” We’ve not always agreed on every prophetic point. We do have minor interpretive differences on non-essential issues, but we are both rock solid on the major doctrines of the faith and the major prophetic doctrines such as the pre-Tribulation rapture of the Church. I could not have written this book without Ronda.
And Cindy Nuara: how can I even begin to put into words the help she has given me! Cindy, who is not only the dearest “sister of my heart,” is also my editor. Cindy has been the one who has figuratively held my hand and helped me navigate the tricky undercurrents of writing dialogue, arranging plot sequences, and time frames, in addition to dealing with my plethora of syntax issues and my myriad typos. In anything I write, Cindy is the one who keeps my literary hair brushed and my writing literate so that I come across as a much more polished writer than I really am. She will have a multitude of stars in her crown for her patience in dealing with my hundreds of typos alone. She always edits in a gentle, loving manner.
Finally, most of all, I want to acknowledge my Lord and Savior. He has blessed me far beyond what I deserve. Writing a book has always been my lifelong dream from the time I was a little girl. I am absolutely humbled into the ground in gratitude for the Lord giving me the opportunity to have my life’s dream come to fruition. My greatest prayer is that He will use this story in whatever way He sees fit to bring the lost to salvation; both before and after the rapture, and that He alone will be glorified through this endeavor.
Alice Johnson Childs April 2018 – December 2019