NRA: Can Nicolae handle this job?

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist, pp. 122-125

I’m losing faith in the Antichrist.

This chart, from the authoritative “Bible prophecy” site tribulationinstitute.com, should be required reading for any would-be Antichrist. Nicolae Carpathia should have this thing memorized.

On paper, Nicolae Carpathia seems qualified, with all the unholy charisma he needs for the job. And here in the third book of the series, he’s finally allayed my earlier fears that he might not be evil enough. The pointless, arbitrary mass-murder of the last couple of chapters has settled that question. The slaughter of millions certainly qualifies as evil.

But the pointless and arbitrary aspect still worries me.

I’ve tried to give Nicolae the benefit of the doubt. He’s stuck with a prophecy check list that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, so it would be unfair to blame him for pursuing the various quirky and irrational goals required by this assigned agenda. To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, you have to Antichrist with the evil schemes you’ve been assigned by prophecy, not with the evil schemes you wish had been prophesied.

The problem, though, is that even given all that, I’m still not confident that Nicolae Carpathia is up to the job. In the remainder of this chapter, we’ll eavesdrop along with Rayford Steele as Nicolae outlines his plans for the seals and trumpets to come and, frankly, I think what we hear is an Antichrist who’s in over his head.

Before Nicolae and his “seven loyal ambassadors” settle in to discuss their future plans, he first has to deal with another situation — one he ought to have foreseen:

The Middle Eastern ambassador was speaking. “Dr. Rosenzweig sends his most heartfelt and loyal greetings to you, Potentate. There is an urgent personal matter he wants me to share with you.”

“Is it confidential?” Carpathia said.

“I don’t believe so, sir. It concerns Rabbi Tsion Ben-Judah.”

“The scholar who has been creating such a furor with his controversial message?”

Jerry Jenkins loves to have this kind of overlap between the Rayford sections and the Buck sections of his story. Since Buck Williams is currently flying to Israel to meet with Ben-Judah, he has the Antichrist council discussing Ben-Judah here as Rayford listens in.

That means this little boilerplate description wasn’t needed here to re-introduce readers to Ben-Judah, but that’s not really the purpose of that little bit there about “the scholar who has been creating such a furor with his controversial message.” Jenkins isn’t describing Ben-Judah there, he’s flattering his audience. He’s not reminding them of who the rabbi is, but of who they get to pretend to be in the fantasy world of this series.

The dangerous and “controversial” message of Ben-Judah, after all, is just mundane Christianity. But in the world of this novel, that’s an exotic and bewildering message, and anyone who believes in it is a heroic rebel and a danger to the powers that be.*

The problem here is that Ben-Judah’s Christian message also seems to be exotic and bewildering to Nicolae himself. That’s troubling. You’re never going to be a very good Antichrist if you haven’t bothered to learn anything about the Christ to which you’re the Anti-.

Know your enemy is good advice. Nicolae Carpathia ought to have the Gospels committed to memory. And he ought to be more intimately and instinctively familiar with those “Bible prophecy” charts than even Bruce Barnes ever was. But as we’ll see here, Nicolae seems lazily ignorant of all of that.

That ignorance raises questions about Nicolae’s strategy — shouldn’t he have a plan to counter the divine plan? And it raises questions about his motive — shouldn’t opposition to the divine plan be what drives him?

“One and the same,” the Middle Eastern ambassador said. “Apparently his wife and two stepchildren have been murdered by zealots, and Dr. Ben-Judah himself is in hiding somewhere.”

Tsion Ben-Judah is Exhibit A in the authors’ defense against the charge that these books are in any way anti-Semitic. One of the main heroes of the series is a Jewish rabbi! And that’s true. Tsion Ben-Judah is Jewish and he is always portrayed in a positive light.

But Tsion Ben-Judah is also a Jewish convert to Christianity whose wife and children were murdered by angry child-killing Jews. And I’m not sure that makes him as much of a shield against the charge of anti-Semitism as the authors seem to think.

“So what does Rosenzweig want from me?”

“He wants you to intercede on Ben-Judah’s behalf.”

“With whom?

“I suppose with the zealots,” the ambassador said, bursting into laughter.

Rayford recognized Carpathia’s laughter as well, and soon the others joined in.

“OK, gentlemen, calm down,” Carpathia said. “Perhaps what I should do is accede to Dr. Rosenzweig’s request and speak directly with the head of the zealot faction. I would give him my full blessing and support and perhaps even supply some technology that would help him find his prey and eliminate him with dispatch.”

We’re not told exactly who this “head of the zealot faction” is, but it seems he’d make a more enthusiastic and capable Antichrist than Nicolae Carpathia does.

Who, exactly, are these “zealots”? Well, they’re Jews. Not real Jews, but the vile caricature of Jewish people derived from centuries of lethal slander. What we have here in this “zealot faction” is Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins’ rendition of the same blood-libel that Christians have used to persecute Jews for centuries. These zealots are Christian-hating Jews, Christ-killing Jews and child-murdering Jews.

LaHaye and Jenkins don’t completely reject this vicious, racist stereotype, they merely qualify it a bit. It’s only a “faction,” they say. Only some Jews are Christ-killing, child-murdering monsters. Most Jews aren’t like that, the authors say. Or, rather, they say that most Jews aren’t quite so “zealous” about it.

And thus, they say, we are not permitted to regard these books as anti-Semitic. If they were anti-Semites, the authors protest, then they would say all Jews were zealously like this, rather than generously insisting that it’s only a fraction and a faction.

This ancient caricature, this hateful projection from Christian bigotry, appears here, as ever, as the enemy of Christ. This shadowy “head of the zealot faction,” in other words, is explicitly an Antichrist figure, a person who is anti-Christ.

This is part of the long, ugly pedigree of the singular, capital-A “Antichrist” figure and it lives on in the fever-dreams of “The Antichrist” in the premillennial dispensationalism of Tim LaHaye. The unmistakably Roman Beast of John’s Apocalypse has, time and again throughout history, been reimagined as a Christ-killing, child-sacrificing, Jewish “zealot.” So it’s not surprising that when this disturbing caricature makes an appearance here in this book in the person of the “head of the zealot faction,” he seems more enthusiastic and more focused on the agenda of “The Antichrist” than Nicolae does himself.

Nicolae himself seems content to take a pass on pursuing Tsion Ben-Judah directly, advising his lieutenant to give Rosenzweig the run-around. “Stall him for a while,” he says, hoping that the “zealots” will take care of things on his behalf. “Tell him that I have chosen to remain neutral on the subject.”

But Carpathia was not neutral. He had just begun to warm to the subject. Rayford heard the squeak of the leather seat and imagined Carpathia leaning forward to speak earnestly to his cadre of international henchmen. “But let me tell you this, gentlemen. A person such as Dr. Ben-Judah is much more dangerous to our cause than an old fool like Rosenzweig. Rosenzweig is a brilliant scientist, but he is not wise in the ways of the world. Ben-Judah is more than a brilliant scholar. He has the ability to sway people, which would not be a bad thing if he served our cause. But he wants to fill his countrymen’s minds with this blather about the Messiah having already returned. How anyone can still insist on taking the Bible literally and interpreting its prophecies in that light is beyond me.”

And that, right there, is why I don’t think Nicolae Carpathia is up to the job of Antichrist.

PMD “Bible prophecy” isn’t really about “taking the Bible literally,” of course, but still, “interpreting its prophecies” is exactly what any semi-competent Antichrist should be doing. Nicolae’s office should look exactly like Ben-Judah’s study, or Bruce Barnes’ old office at New Hope. It should be filled with all of the exact same check lists and charts spelling out exactly what is to happen and when during his reign here in the Great Tribulation.

Nicolae is in a chess match against an all-powerful God. That seems hopeless. And it would surely be hopeless, except for his secret weapon — a detailed, step-by-step account of every move his opponent is going to take. Studying those moves and preparing for what’s to come should be any Antichrist’s No. 1 priority, yet Nicolae seems not to take any of this “Bible prophecy” seriously or to consider it worthy of his attention.

If Nicolae had done his homework, he wouldn’t be surprised or confused by the enthusiastic converts Ben-Judah is winning over:

How anyone can still insist on taking the Bible literally and interpreting its prophecies in that light is beyond me, but tens of thousands of converts and devotees have sprung up in Israel and around the world due to his preaching at Teddy Kollek Stadium and in other huge venues. People will believe anything. And when they do, they are dangerous.

“Believe anything,” just so long as you are passionately sincere and sincerely passionate.

If Nicolae had done the assigned reading, studying his Scofield, Lindsey and LaHaye, then he would recognize Ben-Judah’s “converts and devotees” as the PMD version of the “144,000 sealed” from the book of Revelation — the army of singing, virgin martyrs that “Bible prophecy scholars” say will rise up during the Tribulation. And if Nicolae had studied this ahead of time, he might have put together a plan to deal with them.

But it seems, instead, that the rise of these 144,000 martyrs will be a surprise to him, a surprise for which he is completely unprepared.

I’m starting to lose faith in this Antichrist.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

* This fantasy aspect is rather depressing, if you think about it. Christian readers are being offered a fantasy in which their faith is something vibrant and exciting, and those readers lapped it up — buying millions of copies of these books because they found it so appealing to escape into such a fantasy world. That tells us less about these books than it does about the sorry state of the hum-drum, mundane faith from which so many millions of Christians seem so eager to find an escape.

This same fantasy fuels more than book sales for American Christians. Much of the “culture wars” are a desperate attempt by complacent, comfortable American Christians to recast themselves somehow as people who might yet “create such a furor with their controversial message.” Dimly recognizing that the pampered privilege they enjoy isn’t anything like that, some Christians creatively seek new ways to pretend that it is. “Merry Christmas!” they declare, aggressively, to the Walmart greeter who wished them a happy holiday. Hah! There’s a controversial message that will create quite a furor!

 

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

     I understood that. I was just certain the authors would not claim it was a coincidence.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The difference is, Voldemort is actually menacing and convincingly portrayed as such.

  • Jay in Oregon

    Reminds me of a bit from a book I read, where evil U.N. cyborgs are quashing a rebellion in Occupied America: “They moved down to the fourth floor, and then the third, where they found nineteen martyrs hiding in a stairwell. The martyrs identified themselves as such by shooting at them after the Elite had identified themselves. The Elite obliged; martyrs were always happier in heaven anyway.”–from The Last Dancer by Daniel Keys Moran

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    Carpathia doesn’t rule Israel. That’s a very specific plot point from the first book;  after annexing most of the world into his empire, he specifically excludes Israel, which he signs a seven-year peace treaty with. This treaty between the Global Community and Israel is what actually, for-real, starts the countdown to the Apocalypse. 

    Presumably, if Carpathia breaks the treaty with Israel by intervening directly in its internal affairs, the Apocalypse clock would stop. What would happen if that happened? Would the remaining judgments of Revelation be held in abeyance? Would Carpathia lose his Antichrist powers? Would he be replaced? Would God have to intervene personally to restart things, the divine equivalent of hitting Ctrl+Alt+Del when your computer crashes?

    We’ll never get an answer to any of these questions because Jenkins never thought through any of the consequences of the events of his story, but still — pretty interesting, huh?

  • GeniusLemur

    But that leaves the”around the world” part. And we’ve seen plenty to indicate that Nick does control Israel when it suits the plot. (For instance, Israel disarms and hands 10% over to Nick just like everyone else. “We have become a weaponless society, thanks to you.”)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Know your enemy is good advice. Nicolae Carpathia ought to have the
    Gospels committed to memory. And he ought to be more intimately and
    instinctively familiar with those “Bible prophecy” charts than even
    Bruce Barnes ever was. But as we’ll see here, Nicolae seems lazily
    ignorant of all of that.

    This, right here.

    Nicolae should have been able to figure out how to fake his ancestry and origins so well that he matches every single one of the 3264723684234 supposed criteria for a Messiah.

    Then, when Tsion Ben-Judah comes out plumping for Jesus, Nicolae can squash his credibility flat in two seconds with some other scholar saying “Ahem, no, Secretary-General Carpathia has commissioned an exhaustive study and found such-and-so.”

    That would be a much more believable con than whatever L&J have Nicky Mount Logan doing.

  • TheBrett

    Since he apparently interacts with Satan as a “spirit guide”, and Satan is planning on ultimately possessing him, it could be that Satan’s done a number on Nicolae’s ability to question him and question “the plan”.  When we see him post-possession, he just seems tired and resigned to being dumped into Hell – you almost feel sorry for him.

  • WalterC

    Nicolae himself seems content to take a pass on pursuing Tsion
    Ben-Judah directly, advising his lieutenant to give Rosenzweig the
    run-around. “Stall him for a while,” he says, hoping that the “zealots”
    will take care of things on his behalf. “Tell him that I have chosen to
    remain neutral on the subject.”
    But Carpathia was not neutral. He had just begun to warm to the subject.

    So, what Jenkins is saying here is that sitting back and watching as someone else gets persecuted  is not ‘remaining neutral’?

    Where have we heard that before?

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    “The scholar who has been creating such a furor with his controversial message?”

    You know, I might be willing to give this bit a pass. 

    Think about it: this world has seen famine practically ended, a near-world-war miraculously averted, the instantaneous disappearance of all it’s children, and the unprecedented transfer of power globally to a single authority. Now imagine a man preaching that all of this was proficiency, and more has been predicted, and lays it out on the line: global war will be next, even though the world’s governments are all unified and united. That’s a controversial message in this context, and when it actually happens? That’d create a heck of a furor.

    …wait, what’s that? 

    t …he wants to fill his countrymen’s minds with this blather about the Messiah having already returned. 

    Oh. That’s the message. Just that. The whole “Jesus was the Messiah” thing, and nothing else. Nothing about the Seven Seals, or the Beast, or the Tribulations. 

    Ah. Well then. Snark on, everyone. 

  • Justin

    Why do they automatically assume the “zealots” have a leader. Did they even describe how the murders happened? Couldn’t it have just been two or three angry guys who got a wild hair up their ass?

    I haven’t read these books, but this post really speaks to my problem with Nicolae: He clearly must know he’s a super-powered monster, but he doesn’t seem to know he’s the Antichrist?

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Nicolae would have just said “preaching in Jerusalem” — but he wanted to show off that Jerry Jenkins did his research.

    “Jerry Jenkins did his research”?  “Jerry Jenkins did his research“!?  Gaaaaah, this phrase hurts my brain!  For every tiny bit of research he unnecessarily shows off, there are three pieces of research he should have done and never bothered to, and those show whether he meant them to or not.

  • http://twitter.com/Jenk3 Jen K

    I think you mean 1995. ;) 

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    This is because Alan Rickman is one of the best film actors the world has ever known. I heard that there was no actual script for Die Hard, he ad-libbed all of it, and then dubbed Bruce Willis’ lines to make it work.

    That sounds like a Chuck Norris joke, only instead of being about Norris being badass, it is about Rickman being an actor.  

    Of course, my opinion is that Rickman > Norris, so we need to get on making these right away!  :D

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Would God have to intervene personally to restart things, the divine equivalent of hitting Ctrl+Alt+Del when your computer crashes?

    I thought that is precisely what God was doing with the rapture?  You know, uninstall, reformat, reinstall, etc.  

    This is TRON scripts, and the User is a douchebag.  

  • Fusina

     Hans Gruber is, IMO, the best reason to watch Die Hard. Most awesome villain ever.

  • http://twitter.com/count_01 Jared James

    Has anyone paused to wonder if, like everyone else in these books, Carpathia simply sucks at his job? Of course, that leads one to wonder how it’s even remotely plausible that Rayford the Greatest And Most Qualified Pilot Ever, Of All Time, Ever is at all competent. That way lies madness.

  • Jenora Feuer

     Hey, another DKM fan.

    I’ve still got that copy of IASFM with ‘All the Time in the World’ in it around here somewhere (that’s the novella that became the first third or so of Armageddon Blues).

    About the only time I’ve seen a U.N. takeover done remotely believably, even if it was all in the backstory.  It all seemed like a good idea at the time…

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    No, because “martyr” means “witness.”  You know, like the person who testifies during a trial.  The problem with a martyr isn’t the martyr themselves, it is the message they get out by dying for it.

    To solve the problem of martyrs you need to kill the message, not the messenger.  By the very fact that they are described as martyrs, killing the messenger is probably going to be counterproductive.

  • Damanoid

    This is actually kind of an interesting twist.  Jenkins appears to be saying that even the Antichrist himself doesn’t believe that the Bible should be read literally.  In other words, in addition to all his other crimes, the Antichrist is the ultimate liberal Christian.

     This is arguably the first thing in this series that makes sense.  Of course Nicolae can’t believe the Bible’s prophecies refer to literal events.  Otherwise his obvious course of action would be to quit while he’s ahead, derailing the prophecy checklist after he’s Global Poobah but before the Years of Wrath.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sue-White/1605859612 Sue White

     But Carpathia was not neutral.

    They really feel the need to spell out everything, don’t they?

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    You asked for miracles, Theo, I give you the F.  B.  I.

  • Beleester

    You just gave me a fanfic idea. When he hears that Ben-Judah is just preaching about Jesus instead of saying anything concrete, Nicolae one-ups him. He spells out the whole next seven years (edited a bit to make himself look good). “This false prophet is hiding the truth from you! He keeps you placated with talk of future salvation, while the world burns! Cast out this false prophet! Enigma Babylon knows the truth!”

    Bam. He’s just discredited the leader of the resistance and boosted his own.

  • Veylon

    I hate to say it, but Fred got the wrong chart. Down at the bottom it says:
    “The pre tribulation and pre wrath rapture doctrines are not scriptural, but are false doctrines as the Word of Yah clearly demonstrates in His Word all throughout scripture!!!”
    The chart is for a post-tribulation rapture. Ellenjay are pre-tribulationists. There’s a big difference.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Verna Zee Sensible Shoes Confrontation Countdown: 223 pages

  • http://twitter.com/mcclure111 mcc

    “But he wants to fill his countrymen’s minds with this blather about the Messiah having already returned. How anyone can still insist on taking the Bible literally and interpreting its prophecies in that light is beyond me.”

    *scratches head* sooo… this is an unusually weird straw man for L&J to construct, and it sounds particularly odd put into Nicholae’s mouth. Here L&J wish to belittle anyone who would object to interpreting the bible “literally” by having the literal antichrist voice their viewpoints. Exceeeppt… I mean, wait, what Nicholae refers to here is not some obscure, reaching biblical literalist minority viewpoint, like the earth being seven thousand years old or contrived antichrist prophesy, he’s referring to the idea that the Jewish Messiah was Jesus of Nazareth, born circa 0 AD. That’s not… that’s not the “literalist” interpretation of the Bible. That’s just, I mean, that is what the Bible says. That’s the New Testament’s thesis. It’s not subtext, it’s the perfectly ordinary text. So if the straw man derides the idea that Jesus was the Messiah as being a “literalist” interpretation of the bible, then… wait, what would the non-literalist interpretation be? Someone like me or Kurt Vonnegut or whoever might well create an interpretation of the bible in which Jesus was a wise philosopher and the magic powers, correspondences with Jewish prophesy etc he’s ascribed in the story are either allegorical or nonhistorical embellishments, but this is our interpretation and *clearly* not the intent of the original authors, it wouldn’t make sense for us to deride the straightforward, intended interpretation as “literalist”. (By contrast, there are sensible reasons to suspect the authors of early Genesis or Daniel or Revelation might have intended us to take the bible “literally” or to argue that taking things like singing virgins at face value is misusing the text.) Rather my objection to the idea Jesus was a magic person prophesied by the Jewish religion who was sent by a creator god to save mankind [save from what?], wouldn’t be “that’s literalist”, it would be more something like “that’s historically specious” or “that’s incorrect”.

    Which is why it’s weird to hear Nicholae voicing this. In the story, Nicholae is supposed to be someone like me— he’s an atheist, or a touchy-feeling new age pantheist, or a satanist pretending to be one of the above. But yet L&J give him a straw man script to read which is intended to smear *liberal Christians*, people like Fred, by suggesting those people’s arguments about how sometimes a literal hermeneutic doesn’t work would if taken to its conclusion lead one to abandon the idea of Jesus as Messiah at all. In the quote, Nicholae accepts as a given that there is a prophesied Messiah, but objects to taking the Bible’s “prophesies” “literally” such as to connect Jesus to the Messiah– i.e. in his stated view there’s a correct interpretation of the Bible and it’s not a literalist one. That marks him as at least presenting himself as some sort of Christian. Or really, what it more likely suggests is the idea Nicholae is *Jewish*– something not remotely supported or explainable within his given biography (although if he were a Jewish convert, maybe that would explain his weird preoccupation with Israel?), or for that matter consistent with the idea he refers here to the “Bible” and not the “Torah” or whatever– but this is really the only way to make his statement make sense. The Jewish community is the only one within which you find the position (1) there is a Messiah described in the Jewish religious texts who will someday come to earth, and (2) that Messiah has not yet come. This is the position Nicholae endorses.

    If Nicholae were an atheist, he could plausibly say something like— “He wants to fill his countrymen’s minds with this blather about how a long dead magician will let them live forever. How anyone can still insist on taking the Bible literally or its prophesies seriously is beyond me.”

    Or if he were a Wiccan or a generic pantheist or whatever, then he’d be *more* likely to say something like he did, because such a person might treat the Bible as a significant book while denying the centrality of Jesus’s Messiah status to it. But he still probably wouldn’t accept the idea, as he does here, that *there is a coming Messiah*, and that that Messiah is both (1) uniquely described in Jewish prophesy and (2) yet to come. As the leader of One Enigma Babylon or whatever, he’d be more likely to take some sort of all-religions-are-true approach and believe Jesus was indeed the Messiah but so was the Buddha and the Krishna and maybe Bahá’u’lláh or whoever, or maybe he’d go all George Harrison on us and suggest Jesus was an incarnation of Vishnu or something. “He wants to fill his countrymen’s minds with this blather about how Jesus was the one and only messiah,” rest of quote unchanged.

    But how do you explain why Nicholae would say the thing he actually *says* in the quote? Maybe the sentences “But he wants to fill his countrymen’s minds…” and “How anyone can still insist…” have nothing to do with each other despite being next to each other, and L&J just wrote those two sentences separately without thinking about their relationship to each other, and I’m wasting my time here trying to interpret meaning out of a meaningless book.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    “How anyone can still insist on taking the Bible literally and interpreting its prophecies in that light is beyond me”
    “…literally…interpreting…”
    /head asplode.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    In twenty languages.

  • IronMensan

    Does this mean that Ben-Judah’s step children were less than two years old, or however long it’s been since “The Event?” Or have the authors forgotten about that killing, sorry, saving all the children again?

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    Ok, so I saw most of a movie called Vanishing on 7th Street which have very strong “LaHayvian Rapture as Horror story,” overtones.  How strong?  This is from the Amazon.com description, “… this ambitious melding of the Left Behind series, Pitch Black, and any number of Twilight Zone episodes…”

    Imagine that you take LaHaye’s naked Rapture (leave behind the clothes and everything that’s not part of your body) make it all inclusive (everyone gets Raptured) take “Like a thief in the night,” so literally that you can only be disappeared in the blink of an eye if the darkness catches you, add in a power outage to get things started*, and you’ve pretty much got the elements of a very creepy Rapture story.  If only it had been well executed.And, as I am wont to do, I wrote how I would have done it differently.

    -

    *Otherwise there’s too much light for “like a thief in the night” conditions.  Basically the premise is that light sources keep whatever it is that snatches your body in the twinkling of an eye at bay.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OAUXAA362EXWLYVMPJOKLFB5JQ Incipient Madness

    These books are completely crappy. As Fred pointed out when Fred began this series, they have no worldbuilding at all. Many adult Christians simply disappear? All young children disappear? Wouldn’t this cause huge economic disruption? Wouldn’t every rapture preacher left behind immediately gain almost the whole earth as followers? How could an antichrist get any traction in in a world like that when God’s prophecy and power have been so clearly demonstrated?

    I am an atheist. If the rapture happened I would not be an atheist. I would seek out those who study how to kill God, because he’s clearly an asshole. And I’d never throw my lot in with the antichrist unless he showed me a few angel corpses to show he has some good ideas.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    They could be teenagers.

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

    Ok, I’ve just finished exploring Tribulation Institute (classy!) and I can only say that everyone needs to read his brillent Smirnoff ad translations.

    http://www.tribulationinstitute.com/illuminati_smirnoffads.htm

    “The
    ancient Babylonian god, Nimrod, is an Illuminati embodiment of Satan.
    The bull horns represent the horns of Satan. The men in the above photo
    are the Illuminati, while the bulls represent the dark powers being
    aimed directly at you, the American public.”

    Right now I seriously need to lay down and close my eyes for awhile. 

    “NEW, NEW, NEW, NEW,NEW,NEW,NEW…..”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Oh, god. The 1990s-era flashing NEW things are an abomination against any kind of sense of good esthetics.

  • Steve Morrison

    I wrote how I would have done it differently.

    Link doesn’t seem to work.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Jenkins appears to be saying that even the Antichrist himself doesn’t believe that the Bible should be read literally. In other words, in addition to all his other crimes, the Antichrist is the ultimate liberal Christian.

    When I started listening to these books, I was quite sure they would be virulently anti-atheist.  And…they kinda are, but really, they are ten times more anti-Semitic and anti-liberal!Christian.

    And first prize for anti-ness goes to the series’ anti-Catholicism, as embodied in the character of our own Leon Fortunato.  Indeed, the later books of the series consist largely of Leon’s very extended Humiliation Conga.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HumiliationConga

  • Chris

    Many adult Christians simply disappear? All young children disappear? Wouldn’t this cause huge economic disruption? Wouldn’t every rapture preacher left behind immediately gain almost the whole earth as followers? How could an antichrist get any traction in in a world like that when God’s prophecy and power have been so clearly demonstrated?

    Setting that up actually wouldn’t be too hard.  It just requires one element that no rapture-preaching author could possibly include: Every rapture preacher left behind – and most of them are indeed left behind – is absolutely convinced that whatever just happened, it can’t have been the Rapture, because the wrong people are gone.

  • thrownaway

    That website is so painful it’s almost adorable.  I quote: “Due to the length and download time of the pictures…”Remember when that was a thing on all computers, not just crappy smartphones?  Bless.It’s also amusing how these Illuminati types are so dangerous and spooky that they keep planting warnings about their dastardly plans.  Seems a crap way to go about being a secret society.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667708632 Kenneth Raymond

    This is why Adam from Good Omens is a better Anti-Christ. He doesn’t play by the rules.

    Now imagining the Anti-Christ playing Prophecy Calvinball. It is glorious.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667708632 Kenneth Raymond

    That’s why they’re so sinister! The Illuminati can plaster their icons all over society, basically trumpet their plots from the rooftops, and yet they’ve got everyone so convinced of their non-existence that nobody notices! They’re laughing at us, secure in our obliviousness even though they dangle all the clues right in front of our faces.

    I’m pretty sure this is how the conspiracy theorists actually think. They basically think the world is divided up into cartoonish megalomaniacs who can’t help but gloat, the ignorant masses who accept the cover story, and Brave Heroes Who Pierce The Veil Of Confusion like them.

    And honestly if I was ruling the world, there would be a certain thrill of using common media to send coded signals. It’d be stupid because it’s horribly insecure, but it’s like using innocuous code phrases when you’re convinced the phone line is tapped, only in this case they’re really not innocuous. Or code phrases. Or even signals. It’s just branding and logos, if it was true.

  • Ken

     “I mean, you’re right about the fire and war, all that.  But that Rapture stuff [...] who has time to go round picking people out and popping them up in the air to sneer at the people dying of radiation sickness on the parched and burning earth below them? If that’s your idea of a morally acceptable time, I might add. [... T]o be frank when the fire falls and the seas of blood rise you lot are all going to be civilian casualties either way. Between our war and your war, they’re going to kill everyone and let God sort it out – right?”

    Good Omens, Aziraphale the angel explaining what’s about to happen.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Yes, Ben-Judah’s step-kids are teenagers.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    Try now.  I think I had a couple of letters transposed in the HTML

    Failing that, it’s here:
    http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/2013/02/what-i-would-have-done-with-vanishing.html

    (Also mentioned in an earlier post a bit.)

  • rikalous

    Speaking of creepy Rapture stories, Stephen King wrote a novella called The Langoliers about Rapture-ish vanishings that leave behind clothes and fillings and toupees (mistaken for a scalp by the blind girl who finds it). For bonus Left-Behind-relevancy points, it takes place on a plane.

    And I only just now made the connection that Stephen King did that interview with LaHaye. Makes me wonder if it was he read the beginning of the series and felt a need to do the story right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.maki Jon Maki

    Given his reference thanking everyone for their D&D stories in his most recent mention of the book, presumably it’s a non-fiction piece having to do with D&D and the Satanic Panic, related to his request for such stories back in this post.

  • Andy

    A little Googling didn’t turn up anything, but it hasn’t been very long since the meteor hit. I imagine it will be identified with Wormwood, even though it didn’t turn 1/3 of all waters bitter (as the Biblical Wormwood is prophesied to do). Ironically, Chernobyl in the same general region has been a candidate for Wormwood in some prophecy circles. “Chernobyl” supposedly means Wormwood in Ukranian, and although Chernobyl obviously didn’t fall to Earth, it did turn nearby waters undrinkable, and produced radioactive “fallout”. Rather a stretch, but no more so than a lot of other alleged prophecies.  

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I think I shall call dibs on all the Supreme Commander Leon countdowns. If only because I see to have made him my personal woobie.

    *patpats Leon*

  • The_Amazing_Kim

    The pointless, arbitrary mass-murder of the last couple of chapters has settled that question. The slaughter of millions certainly qualifies as evil.

    To be fair, it was Elljay that murdered the last couple of chapters. Nicholae murdered a car, and slightly injured the hero’s sidekick.

    The problem here is that Ben-Judah’s Christian message also seems to be exotic and bewildering to Nicolae himself. That’s troubling. You’re never going to be a very good Antichrist if you haven’t bothered to learn anything about the Christ to which you’re the Anti-.

    No, because the Bible and associated pre-millennialist text is so convincing and obvious that anyone who reads it will be immediately converted to Christianity. So the Antichrist can’t read it, because then he would become a good person.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

     For what it’s worth, I looked up Revelation 8:11 at Biblegateway.com and in the Ukranian, it looks like “Wormwood” is “Полин,” which should start with a “P” sound, and not a “ch” sound. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Unemori/100001112760232 Ann Unemori

    Alphabetically, of course.

  • AnonymousSam

    Nicolae’s a temp who got stiffed with a full time job at part time pay with no time training. Forget the Antichrist, get me Human Resources and let’s get this apocalypse sorted!


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