News Intelligence Analysis
A Book Review by Katherine Yurica
December 12, 2008
Updated December 12, 2008
How to Profit From the Coming Rapture:
Getting Ahead When Youre Left Behind
by Steve and Evie Levy as told to
Ellis Weiner and Barbara Davilman
Published by Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Available on the web
Start off by watching Steve & Evie's Video No. 2
And end this book review with the beautiful "Left Behind,The Rapture Song" a musical parody by
Randy Bonifield of the 1969 - 1973 music sensation, "I Wish We'd All Been Ready," by Larry
Norman who introduced the phrase, "left behind," which in turn may have inspired "The Left Behind"
book title for Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkin's book series.
It is after all, a humorous book. It is meant to lampoon. But at the same time it is perhaps a surprisingly sincere effort. It does not belittle or mock Christians or the Bible. It teaches and guides the reader, while causing laughter to erupt spontaneously. (This latter effect cannot be entirely blamed on the authors, since the reader must bring a certain amount of stored-laughter-reserves to the books internal pages. That is, I suspect a Puritan of dour disposition, might not actually break out into spontaneous laughter without excessive prompting from his wife and children! On the other hand, they might be afraid to prompt him and in no way am I encouraging them to do so!)
Nevertheless, the book is in fact extremely faithful and reverent to biblical passages. It tells the reader how to be saved, for example, by requiring those seeking salvation to admit they are sinners and then to take the second step to allow Christ into their hearts, but they must also embrace the idea that salvation is a matter of faith alone (and not by works) and must have accepted Christ as their personal savior. (At pages 18-19.) Unfortunately, this leaves out all those not born again such as Catholics, and most Protestants, Methodists and especially Episcopalians, and all non-Fundamentalists.
Thus the saved group constitutes about 1.5 billion people worldwide (consisting of mostly Pentecostals and Baptists, who will be caught up to meet Jesus in the air and to reign with Him, leaving of course the greater population of the world or about five billion people who will be left behind and will have to cope with the horrible seven years of Tribulation (often shortened to Trib), consisting of natural disasters like earthquakes, problems with the sun, stars falling onto the earth, mountains moving and crushing things, and the moon turning to blood while political and economic turmoil erupts with the power to buy and sell dependent upon the imposition of the Mark of the Beast! (At this point, I should mention that it is possible to detect a rather unspoken sense of relief on the part of many Americans who believe almost anything would be worthwhile if it actually got rid of the Pentecostals and the Southern Baptists and any other lesser-known but holier-than-thou-obnoxious dominionists!)
In all these events, however, the authors (Weiner and Davilman), follow the core concepts of Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins work in the Left Behind series. As they point out, since 65 million Left Behind books were sold, If the Rapture is Pre-Trib to the Left Behind community, its Pre-Trib to us, too. This latter reference is a belief by the LaHaye followers that the Rapture will occur before the seven-year Tribulation period begins. (Other schools of thought are called Mid-Trib and Post-Trib.)
One could call the book a parody, or perhaps even a metaphorical work, or simply a gentle exposé of the inherent inconsistencies and contradictions in the Left Behind series, which conflict not only with reason and logic but with the Bible itself! I think the parody is long overdue!
When I was a teenager, I admit that I was absolutely thrilled with the idea of the Rapture. I had bought a fake paper at Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park, California that had the headline in huge letters: Thousands Disappear from Cities! I used that paper as a prop when I made my first guest-preaching excursion to a Pentecostal Church in Long Beach, California. (I was about fifteen at the time.)
But a lot of Bible reading and study has happened to me in-between that caused me to question whether the Rapture will absolutely happenor whether its a misreading of Scripture. (It might interest my readers to know that Pat Robertson does not believe in the Rapture as taught by Tim LaHaye.)
My major problem is one of logic: since the last days began on the Day of Pentecost in the book of Acts, according to St. Peter in his sermon (Acts 2:16-17), I cannot fathom why God chose to skip over 2,000 years of church history with utter silenceonly to speak of the last seven years of time as the seven years of tribulation or the 70th week of Daniels vision of time. (According to Irenaeus and Hippolytus, early Church fathers, God set time symbolically as seventy-weeks, (Daniel 9:24) but the Church fathers assigned the last week to the end of time. So the entire church age takes place between the 69th week and the 70th, which suggests God was either totally absentminded or illogicalor both! I prefer to think He is neither!)
But back to our modern authors: Hal Lindseys famous book, The Late Great Planet Earth, (which sold over fifteen million copies and was called the number one non-fiction best seller of the decade by the New York Times) started a new fascination for end-time books in the 1970s. Lindsey wrote, We are told in the Bible that before the seven-year period of tribulation there will be an all-powerful religious system which will aid the Antichrist in subjecting the world to his absolute authority. (P. 103.)
Yet, if we take Lindseys sentence at face value and compare it with the current rise of religious dominionism, with its stated goal of ruling the world for Christwe get very close to the traditional description made by Dr. C. I. Scofield in 1909, in what has been appropriately called, the Scofield Reference Bible.
Scofield provided scholarly annotations to the Scriptures in the margins and at the bottom of each page of his reference Bible. For example, he informs his readers that Revelation 17:1-7 is about ecclesiastical Babylonthe harlot or dominatrixwho paves the way for the rise of political Babylon. Ecclesiastical Babylon, according to Scofield, incorporates all apostate Christendom, and includes the Papacy, and might also embrace all the religions of the world. Scofields annotations have been widely accepted by fundamentalists ever since.
Notwithstanding, Hal Lindsey trotted out a new proposal for his readers: he excluded any part of Christianity from condemnation, asserting that Christianity is not a religion! And therefore, he reasoned, it could not be corrupted. Instead he opted to label a combination of astrology, spiritualism, and witchcraft as the demonically led religion of the future. (At page 104.) If you find something unbelievably wrong with this statementyou would be right. For the entire Christian, Jewish and educated secularists of this world to drop their pursuit of Truth and science to establish churches engaging in occult (as well as biblically forbidden) practices is mind-boggling!
Not to be slowed down, Lindsey then created a new religion: We believe that the present [that is, the 1970s] ecumenical movement, combined with this amazing rejuvenation of star-worship, mind-expansion, and witchcraft, is preparing the world in every way for the establishment of a great religious system, one which will influence the Antichrist.
Frankly, to believe that Lindseys concoction, consisting of a combination of churches glued to witchcraft, star-worship and mind-expansion, will become not only the dominating religion of the future but will control the political world of the future is not only absurd it is unbiblical. But try this on for size and consider a new phenomenon: a combination of politically roused churches seeking power, wealth and domination over not only the United States, but of every other country in the worldnow we are getting closer to a view of the present day apostate Christianity!
But there is something else for the unwary to stumble over in the writings of Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHayethe duo often emerge as false prophets. Whenever they make a prediction and it does not come to passthat is the paramount sign of a false prophet! (See Deut. 18:22) Consider also the fact that Tim LaHaye is the author of a divination system. Although he has made a huge fortune on the Left Behind series, he began his career by making a large sum of money on books that introduced what he called Temperament Theory, but which actually are nothing less than a typology system similar to astrologyonly his system is for Christians. It is just as unscientific and anti-Christian in its construct as astrology is. Nevertheless, thousands of ignorant Christians have embraced his divinatory system that promises to give knowledge, but instead produces utter nonsense! See my article, Tim LaHaye and Temperament Theory by clicking here.
As for Hal Lindsey, click to see how calm and together he appears in a video he produced in which he uses innuendo and other subtle tactics to wrongfully vilify President Elect Barack Obama. As you watch, keep in mind The False Prophets Creed:
Blessed are the stupid for they are blind.
Blessed are they that blind themselves from Truth for they shall inherit ignorance.
Blessed are those that follow false leaders for they shall fall in the dark and deep ditch of promised wealth and occult teachings.
Blessed are those that believe the lies of their false leaders, for they shall become deaf, dumb, and empty vessels of dry dust.
Blessed are those who have a form of godliness but deny the Truth, for they shall inherit the chaff driven by the winds.
Blessed are they who are too lazy to study for themselves, for their minds shall decay and atrophy and shall be blown by every current of thought and fear.
Blessed is the man who is wise enough to take advantage of the foolish, for his blessing shall be great and he shall inherit the wealth of the world!
As C.P. Snow put it, with a small insertion on my part:
The only ethical principle which has made science possible is that the truth shall be told all the time. If we do not penalize false statements made in error, we open up the way, dont you see, for false statements by intention. And of course a false statement of fact, made deliberately, is the most serious crime a scientist [or a Christian] can commit.
C. P. Snow, The Search, 1934
Enjoy How to Profit from the Coming Rapture: Getting Ahead When Youre Left Behind. At long last, someone has turned the tables on the scallywagsthe reprobate millionaires who have found a way to rob the ignorant, trusting and poor churchgoers. But please take a minute to hear "Left Behind, (The Rapture Song)" with Randy Bonifield at Christ Community Church. It is both beautiful and haunting.
(Disclosure: Katherine Yurica was consulted by her friends Ellis Weiner and Barbara Davilman on certain biblical passages, of which she heartedly expressed opinions, but of which she has no indication whether or not they made their way into the final book!)
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October 29, 2008
By Katherine Yurica
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