Left Behind, pp. 68-71
Our first real glimpse of Nicolae Carpathia comes through the eyes of Chaim Rosenzweig, who is rather impressed with him:
“I found him most charming and humble. … Impressive, that’s all I can say. … He knew my language as well as his own. And he speaks fluent English. Several others also, they tell me. Well educated but also widely self taught. And I just like him as a person. Very bright. Very honest. Very open. … a man of high ideals.”
All of this sounds laudable and is meant to be interpreted favorably. But Rosenzweig also says the Magic Words regarding Carpathia — the words that indicate to every premillennial dispensationalist “prophecy” buff that this man is clearly the Antichrist:
“… a peacemaker and leading a movement toward disarmament. … I believe his goal is global disarmament.”
That word — “peacemaker” — practically screams Antichrist. For LaHaye and Jenkins’ intended readers, it wouldn’t be any clearer if Carpathia had the number “666” tattooed on his forehead and went by the nickname “Horny Beast.”
For those not initiated into the cabalistic logic of PMD prophecy freaks, this seems counter-intuitive. Peace, after all, is generally regarded by Scripture as a Good Thing. Peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). The Messiah is described as the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6-7). Peace is often spoken of by God’s angels, including the heavenly host of the Christmas story in Luke 2 (cue Linus), who sing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Since we’re on the subject, a few more examples:
Psalm 34:14: “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”
Isaiah 32:17: “The fruit of righteousness will be peace.”
Matthew 5:9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.”
Ephesians 2:17: “He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.”
James 3:18: “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”
We could go on, and on, and on. Peace is a pretty major theme in the Bible.
But none of this matters to the prophecy nuts who are convinced that the Antichrist will be a man of peace. And since they believe that the most important thing for Christians to do is to be on the lookout against the Antichrist, and vigilantly opposed to his evil ways, they believe that Christians must oppose anyone who speaks of, pursues, or tries to make, peace.
Tens of millions of copies of the Left Behind books have been sold. That doesn’t just mean that tens of millions of our fellow citizens have horrible taste in literature. It also means they are being taught to oppose — to condemn as immoral and ungodly — any effort that goes under the name “peacemaking.”
Since they believe the Antichrist will rule over a one world government, these readers are also being taught to fear, loathe and oppose the United Nations and anything that smacks of multilateral or international cooperation. (We’ll see much more about the UN as we get further into L.B.)
Oddly, the PMD prophecy heretics often have a hard time explaining exactly why it is that they believe the Antichrist will be “a man of peace.” They love to quote (and twist) the Bible, but if you press them on this point, they’re far more likely to quote instead from the received wisdom of some other “prophecy scholar.” LaHaye is just saying it because Hal Lindsay said it. And Lindsay was just repeating Scofield and Ironsides. And those guys were just repeating Darby, who concocted the whole convoluted scheme and is notoriously hard to follow.
Dig deep enough to find their alleged biblical basis for this belief that peace is Bad and you’ll find them relying on one of two passages.
The first is from 1 Thessalonians 5:3, ” While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly.”
The second is even more obscure, Daniel 8:25 includes the phrase “”he will destroy many while they are at ease.” In the King James Version, this reads, “and by peace shall destroy many.” The subject of that passage is a Greek king (usually thought to be Antiochus Epiphanes who profaned the Temple in Jerusalem during his reign in 175-163 B.C.). But prophecy nuts don’t worry much about the apparent subject of any given biblical passage. For them, the subject of every bit of Scripture about something bad is really, secretly, for readers who appreciate the arcane secrets of prophetic interpretation, the Antichrist.
And that is why many American Christians oppose any effort to bring peace to the Middle East. No, really, that’s why. Because of Daniel 8:25.