Today's special guest is author Jerry Pollock. Jerry has written Messiah Interviews: Belonging to God. In this book, the protagonist must satisfy his biblical interviewers―the angel Gabriel, Methuselah, Chanoch, Seth, King David, Moses, Jacob, Abraham, and the prophet Isaiah―and prove that he has the wisdom and character to be the Messiah. As the tale unfolds, the challenges of the interviews go beyond the protagonist and become relevant to the lives of each one of us.
You can view a video trailer for Messiah Interviews: Belonging to Godhere.
I asked Jerry how he came up with the idea for this "not so fictional" novel. Here's what he had to say:
It’s difficult to tell you how I came up with the idea for the writing of the Messiah Interviews without some background information. So here goes:
Most people acquire their faith and belief in God without Divine Providence. I acquired mine after I was blessed with Divine miracles. When I wrote and published the first edition of my spiritual memoir, Divinely Inspired: Spiritual Awakening of a Soul in 2003, I wasn’t able to determine why I was so blessed by the Creator. By the time I published Messiah Interviews: Belonging to God in January of 2009 along with the Second Edition of Divinely Inspired, I knew. The secret lies in my spiritual ‘not so fictional’ novel, the Messiah Interviews but I won’t tell you. That’s what secrets are meant to be, and besides, secrets are more fun when you discover them for yourself.
When I wrote Divinely Inspired, I was motivated by my own self interests, although not entirely. The memoir also offered a way to give back to my Creator for what he has given me. The book, therefore, highlights an old message of the affirmation of the recognition of God’s presence in our world. What remains is for God to come out of the shadows into the daylight and reveal Himself openly and publicly as He did with the giving of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai some thirty-three hundred years ago. Divinely Inspired was also written for the forgotten members of our society, the mentally ill whose lives have been stolen from them like a tree stump steals the life of a tree. I will always be a Bipolar just like I will always be a scientist. However, I have moved on with my life because of the Divine help given to me by the Creator. In fact it’s been twelve years since my last manic depressive episode. It feels like I have kicked out Bipolar Disorder out of my body, as it is not welcome inside of me anymore.
In 1982, I twice heard God’s Voice in my winterized summer cottage near Stony Brook University on Long Island where I was Professor of Oral Biology & Pathology in the School of Dental Medicine. In 1982, there was no Bipolar Disorder. It wasn’t until ten years later that I had my first manic depressive episode. It wasn’t really fun as I not only was manic but I was psychotic. I heard voices, had hallucinations, and played chess in my disturbed mind with Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War. I guess you could consider this humorous because I don’t play chess. I eventually came out of months of the clinical depression that followed the mania in this episode but neither antidepressants nor electroshock treatments helped. In fact the latter turned me into a blithering idiot.
It was in December 1994 that I had an acute mixed Bipolar episode. I fell into a severe clinical depression that lasted nine months. The clinical depression was accompanied by an unyielding agitation (from the manic side) that didn’t allow me to sit in one place for even seconds. The medical term is akathisia, but I don’t think that this term adequately describes the monster inside of me. As if this wasn’t enough, I also had an anxiety that felt like worms crawling in my chest. If you have never had severe or even moderate clinical depression, let me paint you a picture. Imagine that you are in a bubble. You can see out of the bubble and even hear sounds but there is no joy coming in. Ahedonia, a lack of joy, is the medical term to describe this most unpleasant condition. Now take away all sounds. You now are left with air molecules surrounding the bubble , but the molecules of air give off subliminal sounds. In late 1994, my words were, “oh shit, I’m going into a depression.” By March of 1995, I had attempted suicide and just missed by a hairsbreadth of being dead. You might want to read Divinely Inspired to see how I survived. It’s quite a miraculous story. By September of 1995, I again came out of the depression for no apparent reason. I then just got better and better ditching all my Bipolar medications, which weren’t doing me any good anyway. I did this surreptitiously as my psychiatrist was not aware of my actions. In all of my four hospital stays, I dreaded the doors being shut locking me inside. I felt each time that my life as I knew it was over with and that I never was getting out. This was especially true of the 1994 episode.
And then more of God’s miracles. In December of 1998 and January of 1999, unusual events to say the least. Seeing names and photos of myself in the Florida sky including the word Ruth spelled out in cloud-like letters. Then more miracles in both New York and South Florida followed by spiritual rays of blue light. I was flying and my journey on the spiritual road began then essentially ten years ago. My first book that I read was from the Hebrew Bible and it was the Book of Ruth. For the next two years I read the bible and books on religion, the soul, anthropology, evolution and the origin of life. I became a student of the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. I dabbled in the New Testament and the Qu’ran. I was ready to write Divinely Inspired, and I self-published my memoir in 2003.
You might have concluded that Divinely Inspired was written because of the miracles I experienced. And you would be correct. I also wrote an epilogue for the book, where I discussed Creation and Evolution and God as the master scientist responsible for both. The epilogue also gave me the opportunity to bring in the Ten Commandments and my own imperfections and sins. I never thought I would write a second book but I did. I wrote the Messiah Interviews in late 2007 early 2008 but for different reasons than Divinely Inspired.
Yes, I wanted to give back to my Creator even more, as I experienced further miracles that I write about in the Messiah Interviews. I had been growing spiritually and reading voraciously on anything that related to spirituality. I filled up about forty plus large notebooks with facts and my own interpretations of what especially was written about a Jewish Messiah and a Third Temple at the End of Days or in the End Times when the Messianic Age will commence. I realized that I could write a new book, Messiah Interviews, which contained unique knowledge not written anywhere else with the breadth and scope that I would be able to provide. I wanted a public forum of this knowledge that I could impart in a book to an interested reader. It became clear to me that I couldn’t write a nonfiction because I was dealing with topics that related to God’s world and not our human world. None of us understands God’s Essence, so we can only speculate. God just is.
I decided that the best venue was a fictional novel. But who would be the characters and how could I tie them into the Messianic Age? And how would I be able to tie in the diversity of knowledge that I wished to discuss? And then it came to me. I remembered reading about the Seven Shepherds or the Seven Princes that would assist the Messiah, Jewish or Christian (Jesus), at the End of Days. I felt that each of these seven men could question the main character in the book, whom they were interviewing to be the Messiah. The Seven Princes are Methuselah, Chanoch, Seth, King David, Moses, Jacob and Abraham. The interviews were to be rigorous and the bar was set at an impossible height. There was also to be a first interview with the angel Gabriel and a last interview with the Hebrew prophet Isaiah. The eight interviews were to take place in the Third Temple in Heaven and the last with Isaiah in the future Third Temple on earth.
I felt this was a wonderful opportunity since each interviewer brought with him to the table a whole host of topics to discuss. Gabriel would slant his conversations towards the relationship between man and angels, Methuselah would talk about aging, Chanoch about resurrection, Seth as Adam’s third son about the Divine and Animal Soul and good and evil, King David about Repentance, Moses about the Ten Commandments, Jacob about the Twelve Tribes and the Lost Tribes, Abraham about monotheism, and finally the riddles in the bible on who could be a Messiah with Isaiah who prophesied in flowery riddles. It is interesting that in all my reading, I’ve never seen anyone address the riddles. Of course there would have to be a vote in the end on approval or disapproval of the main character in the book. I’ll say no more so as not to spoil the book for interested readers.
I loved writing the book. I loved the characters and I loved the format of the Interviews. The Messiah Interviews would make a good stage play. If anyone has any contacts in the theatre, would you please let me know. I encourage you to go to our nonprofit website www.thirdtempleinfo.com to learn more about our spiritual efforts and more about the books. Links are provided on the website and on the Blog for purchasing books. If anyone wishes to contact me, they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be glad to speak to anyone who is a serious caller and is interested in a spiritual conversation. I know we live in awful economic times, so please also contact me so we can make some kind of arrangements for you to read the books. I’m in no position to give away free books but I will do my best to help out if you can’t afford a purchase. You can also email me at email@example.com Might I suggest that you go to my blog (I’m just learning) on the website and click on the Inside Scoop Live radio show interview. Also check out the Reader Views Interview which discusses the relationship of Jesus as the Messiah and a Jewish Messiah descended from King David’s lineage among other interesting questions.
I promise you that the Messiah Interviews is a good read and worthwhile buying. You can then read the prequel, Divinely Inspired to see how it all began. Thank you to The Book Connection for this opportunity to share.