The Third Woe
Thursday, April 20, 2017
As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: "Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!" Revelation 8:13 NIV
This mention of the three woes is a warning to readers that the fifth, sixth and seventh trumpets of the seven angels will usher in the first, second and third woes, the worst miseries yet for the inhabitants who have to endure the tribulation. Up to this point, things have been miserable and unprecedented. Now it gets worse.
If the inhabitants of Earth had repented at the end of the second woe and meant it, the third woe would probably be delayed or possibly cancelled. There is some indication that there is a slight pause between the second and third woes, maybe a repent pause. But most of the inhabitants will not repent. The worse it gets; the more people curse God.
And the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness, and men began to gnaw their tongues in anguish and curse the God of heaven for their pains and sores; yet they did not repent of their deeds. Revelation 16:10-11 Berean Study Bible
With the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the third and final woe judgment begins and has seven parts: 1. Inhabitants experience terrible sores for five months; 2. Oceans turn to blood; 3. Fresh water sources turn to blood; 4. Sun gets much hotter and brighter; 5. The world experiences a time of darkness; 6. The Euphrates River is dried up to make way for a 200,000,000 man army coming from the East; 7. A voice from the Jewish Temple shouts, “It is done,” and is followed by the greatest earthquake to ever hit mankind and hundred-pound hailstones.
The sixth book in the 7-book The End Series is scheduled for release in May.
The Third Woe continues the saga of Jeffrey Ross and his senior citizen friends as they deal with a world gone mad with conflict and war and unprecedented natural disasters. For those who experience these events, the horror and terror will be paramount. The Third Woe introduces the world to the first four bowl judgments.
I would again like to thank all of you who are reading the series; and for those who have not, it is in some public libraries. And I have lots and lots of copies. Below I have included the PROLOGUE from The Third Woe. Happy reading and warn your friends. Here is a video preview of The Third Woe.
The Third Woe
Summer of War
Goddard Space Flight Center
Near-Earth Object Lab
The Admiral hurried to Chadbo’s worn, gray-clad cubicle.
“Watch your mouth, young man,” The Admiral laughed.
Chad was usually a laid-back soul and ate a lot of food but never got fat. No one could figure it out. Today he was nervous and sweating profusely, unusual. Never a large man, he was losing too much weight too fast. He had never been what one would call skinny. And the sores…
“What’s up?” The Admiral asked.
A lot had been up lately, he thought. Nothing seemed the way it had been just a few years earlier. The economy was in shambles in most cities of the world, including Atlanta where Peachtree Street remained closed and grown over.
It was hard to believe, he thought, that Atlanta’s famous thoroughfare would ever be shuttered and desolate with only a few homeless sleeping on the rusted park benches. Sources of sustenance were few and far between, and stabbings had become the felony du jour.
He guessed it had to happen, once the Buford Dam was blown up; and Atlanta’s main water source was no more. Nothing had been the same since then, the first nuclear attack on U.S. soil.
A man had been arrested for the attack, Bubba Haskins who turned out to be Mahmoud; but he escaped from the new maximum security prison. The government that he dedicated forty-two years to, serving in three wars, had done little to recapture the dangerous man. It was almost as though the left-leaning administration had wanted the escape to succeed.
“Another incoming,” Chadbo said loudly. Three other astrophysicists and a visiting dentist hurried over.
“Oh man! Look at this.”
The Admiral peered at Chadbo’s monitor. The sun was in a roil like he had never seen; and he had studied solar flares, CMEs and the other forms of plasma explosions for many years.
“Wow. Look how bright it is,” William Williams said.
William B. Williams was not an astrophysicist but could be if he so wished. A child prodigy, he graduated from Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry at age nineteen. That was thirty years earlier, and now he was the Chief of Dentistry for NASA.
“Wow is right,” said The Admiral. “Not sure why it would be brighter than normal.”
The sun had been in an uproar like never before the last two months, or at least like never before known to mankind. Actually, he thought, the sun had been in an uproar of sorts since the temperatures started climbing so drastically years earlier. He checked the outdoor temperature monitor: 107° and 20% humidity. At least it was a dry heat.
The sun was brighter. Astronomers the past month began making note, but the change had not been noticeable to the naked eye until recently. It was not unusual for some stars to vary ever-so-slightly in brightness, but this was no longer ever-so-slightly. The sunscreen business was booming.
“I’m surprised the temperatures aren’t greater than they are,” Chad said, studying the heliosatellite’s data. “The surface temperature of the sun has increased almost fifteen-hundred degrees. That’s fifteen percent.”
“Hard to believe,” The Admiral said. “A week ago, I was thinking the worst had passed. Daily temps in the seventies and calm breezes.”
“Me too,” Chadbo said. “Looks like we were wrong.”
Chadbo and The Admiral, twenty minutes later, turned into the parking lot of the empty Waffle House in Greenbelt and were surprised it had closed. They made a U-turn and drove three blocks to the Burger Shack, also closed.
“Man,” Chadbo whined, “I’m starving.”
“IHOP is open,” The Admiral said. “At least it was at breakfast. Do you have any extra sunglasses?”
Chadbo opened the center console and handed The Admiral a pair of extra-dark. The lenses were almost black like a welder’s mask. The brightness of the sun actually burned his eyes, and The Admiral wondered if the effect was the same on younger folk.
Finally sitting in a booth at the Greenbelt Loop IHOP, they both unfolded the flexible plastic screens and spread them carefully on the table. The screens, the latest from Apple, instantly opened to Hubble III images of the sun.
“It’s not even solar max,” The Admiral said, “and our sun is in an uproar.”
“An understatement,” Chad said. “I have never seen it so active and violent. See this?”
Chad pointed to a large, dark emptiness on the surface of the sun, a dark void of some kind, larger than he had seen in the past. Coronal holes were not unusual; but one this huge, was.
“These electromagnetic storms should be few-and-far- between unless in solar max. We are supposed to be in the solar minimum phase. Makes no sense.”
The Admiral loved the sun, and anything solar was a mini-obsession. Space photos of the sun, coronal mass ejections and flares filled the walls of his office.
One of the mysteries that enticed him to the field of solar physics was the mysterious eleven-year solar cycle. It was odd; but just like a near perfect sine-wave, over-and-over, century after century, the sun maintained the eleven-year cycle. Like clockwork, the sun would hit maximum sunspot activity and then the activity would slowly die out over the next five-and-a-half years and then increase the next five-and-a-half years until reaching another solar maximum. There had to be a God, and The Admiral recognized this constant cycle as just one more proof. Now he sometimes wondered if God had abandoned them.
“However, they are not few-and-far-between,” Chad continued. “The sun is filled with them which is probably what’s fueling the brightness.”
“Are we responsible for monitoring the brightness or is JPL?”
“Admiral, there is no Jet Propulsion Lab anymore. After the wave hit California, JPL was destroyed, and…”
The Admiral held his hand in the air, interrupting.
“I know that, but didn’t they set up in Arizona?”
“The temporary facility went down with the sinkhole last Friday.”
“What?” The Admiral asked incredulously.
“Yep. It’s not in the news yet, but it happened Friday morning,” Chad explained. “And get this.”
The Admiral waited and after a few seconds said, “Get what?”
“It fell into a grave yard.”
“You’re repeating yourself, Admiral,” Chad laughed. “It fell into an ancient, Native American burial ground. New discovery.”
The IHOP waitress appeared out of nowhere with coffee and ice water. The name tag read AGATHA.
“You guys need a menu or do you want me to bring you some steak and eggs? You look hungry.”
The Admiral liked the woman’s accent and glanced her way. Her dark skin was flawless and beautiful, like an African princess.
“I like the accent,” he said.
“Well thank you, thank you,” Agatha answered as she poured the coffee. “Liberia. That is where I am from.”
“I know you,” Chad said, and Agatha looked at him. “Mt. Pleasant.”
Agatha studied Chad a few seconds and a smile appeared across her face. She never forgot a face.
“The sun spot scientist!” she said excitedly.
Amused at the coincidence, The Admiral listened as Agatha explained how she met Chadbo one Saturday morning at the IHOP in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, just before she decided to move inland. The coast was beautiful but had become dangerous.
“Anyway, IHOP offered me a job here after half of Charleston was blown up and irradiated. Then the Canary Islands threat came. God knows, I wonder what the people did to make the Lord so mad.”
The Lord was mad, Chadbo knew that for sure and scratched another sore that appeared. The La Palma eruption had been forecast by many pseudo-scientists, at least so it was deemed. The theory was, about a third of the island’s Cumbre Vieja volcano would collapse into the Atlantic Ocean, should a large eruption occur. Chad thought it likely to happen sooner rather than later. Maybe, much sooner.
Chad sometimes worried about his own employment as cutbacks began again at Goddard; but as long as the disasters continued, he had a certain amount of job security. That was not comforting.
Washington politics remained in disarray as the White House and Congress built near-permanent quarters at Warner Robins Air Force Base. Much of Washington had been abandoned, partly out of fear of the potential disaster from La Palma but mostly the fear of nuclear attack was the impetus to abandon. For the most part, the East Coast had already moved westward several thousand feet in many areas because of Hurricane Abigail.
The two men ordered, and Agatha gave a smile that could warm cold coffee as she headed to the kitchen. They revisited the solar images.
“This is in the Bible, you know,” Chad said, sipping his hot coffee.
“How so?” asked The Admiral.
“The sun is supposed to get hotter, much hotter… and seven times brighter. The moon is supposed to get a lot brighter too.”
“The Bible says that?” asked The Admiral.
“Exactly,” Chad said. “It says exactly that. I think it is happening at this very time, except for the moon. That’s something I haven’t figured out.”
“What don’t you have figured out?”
Subconsciously, The Admiral fiddled with his extra-dark sunglasses. If this was true, Earth’s population would have to move underground; or possibly, there would be no Earth population by the time the sun got so much hotter.
“It says the sun will get seven times brighter,” Chad explained. “Think about that. Can you imagine the temperature? But there is no reference.”
“What do you mean?” The Admiral asked.
“I mean… seven times brighter than what? Does that scripture mean seven times brighter than the sun is today or seven times brighter than it was when Earth was formed? And the moon. The moon has turned so dark red, we probably can’t see if it is really getting brighter or not.”
The Admiral considered Chadbo’s comments, seven times brighter and the heat it would bring. Asphalt would melt. Plants would wither and die. People would go blind if they could manage to survive the heat.
“Where did you hear that this brightening is in the Bible? I’ve read it and never saw that.”
The Admiral had read the Bible, sort of, some verses here and some verses there. Now that Bibles had been banned by most bookstores, under pressure from the government, they were difficult to find. Even the libraries had removed the Bible in all forms. Plenty of Qurans though, even in the schools. He was very glad he didn’t have school-age grandchildren.
“Bible study at Jeff’s house last month,” Chad said. “I’m not a regular but was there when all these people showed up with Bible reference books. Jeff has learned an awful lot about the Bible in the last year or so. Who would’ve figured that Jeffrey Ross would be having Bible studies?”
“How soon before this CME hits?” The Admiral asked, pointing at the most recent image. His thoughts wandered more than usual.
Jeff had informed The Admiral about some wafers his guardian angel had given him in a dream, a lady he called Missy T. The guardian angel story was strange beyond belief, but he had seen one of the wafers. It looked more like a Vanilla Wafer to him. Jeff called them his CliffsNotes Wafers. He said the wafers gave him great insight into the Bible.
“Well, if there is any good news,” Chad said, returning to the Coronal Mass Ejection at hand, “it is the speed. The solar wind is traveling at about ten-million miles an hour. That means the effects, if it hits, may be brief, hopefully. Man, look at the extent of this thing.”
The Admiral examined the series of images, and he had never seen such a massive expulsion of plasma from our now non-friendly sun. He examined the time-stamp, and a quick mental calculation indicated a rendezvous with Earth in approximately nine hours.
“I suppose NASA is in action?” The Admiral asked.
“Oh yeah,” Chad said. “Satellites are being powered down as we speak. That’s why cell phones are useless today.”
The Admiral took out his iPhone-9 and sure enough, no signal, nada. Chad’s images came through because his access initiated from a well-shielded, military solar-study satellite.
“What about the electric grid system?”
“That’s a different story,” Chad said. “The utilities have known for years, maybe decades, that a Carrington-type event could happen that would take out many major transformers. If intense and long-lasting enough, a CME like the Carrington event in 1859 could take out nearly all transformers… in the world.”
“How does this CME compare to Carrington’s?” The Admiral asked; and worry-wrinkles appeared across his rapidly-ageing brow.
“This one appears to be about the same. However, this particular CME will give Earth a glancing blow rather than a direct, head-on hit. We really do not know how glancing it will be. That is the determining factor.”
“You said ‘this particular’ CME. How many more?”
Chad studied the series of images and scratched his head. A clump of hair floated to the table.
“Who knows?” Chad answered. “We have never had such a series of extreme solar flares and CMEs since we have had the technology to detect. In the last forty-eight hours there have been six, all heading away from Earth. This one is not.”
“Could it change life as we know it?” The Admiral asked, glumly.
“Admiral, life has already changed as we knew it five years ago; but this latest image is troubling.”
The Admiral examined the image and checked the date and time-stamp. Thirty-eight minutes ago.
“I would say ‘troubling’ is a good assessment. Where is this?”
“Pakistan. Looks like India has fired several missiles into Pakistan."
An hour-and-a-half later, The Admiral pulled into his parking space in front of his white, brick Georgetown home; and Washington, D.C. was extraordinarily quiet for mid-afternoon, even in its near-abandoned state. Many businesses were boarded up, and homeless were chased away by police. Sheryl met him at the door.
“Hey,” she said. “You’re off early today.”
“Why so glum?” she asked.
Her morning had been hectic. The meeting with the new President had certainly not been pleasant as he outlined the growing quagmire in the country and the world itself. Europeans continued rioting, food riots mostly; and the refugee influx had already taken Greece to her knees. People around the world were starving in numbers that were unprecedented. There was that word again, she thought. Unprecedented.
“Let’s get married,” The Admiral said as he took her in his arms and held her close. He was mesmerized by the smell of her skin. Why had this taken him so long?
She laughed and pulled back a little, looking him in the face.
“When?” she asked, puzzled by the suddenness.
About J.L. Robb
Last week: The Second Woe
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