JUL 2001
  

Left Behind Series

Contents

  Intro

  Left Behind

  The Prince of Peace

  The Jews

  Servants of the Antichrist

  The Supernatural

  The Mark

  Wells Without Water

  Torture and the Virgin Army new.gif


  Survivorsnew.gif

  Back to Home

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THE MARK

It has taken eight very expensive volumes for readers to finally reach the Second Coming book by LaHaye and Jenkins that deals with the most obvious and indisputable prophecy in The Revelation, if not the entire New Testament. We are told in Revelation 13:16-18 that the coming world ruler will "cause all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads; and that no man might buy or sell save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom: Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is six hundred threescore and six."

Yet, in 380 pages, there was not one mention of the number, six hundred threescore and six, and there was only one brief reference to the mark being used for buying and selling, as though that is incidental to the real purpose of the mark, which supposedly, is to brand all loyalists to the Antichrist, and to expose all believers by making them conspicuous through the absence of any visible mark on their forehead. (Note: The Bible says nothing about the mark being visible, or people being killed for not taking it.)

The book contains a couple of graphic descriptions of Christians dying as martyrs for refusing to accept the mark. This much is commendable, and hopefully it is what will inspire some as they read the book. But the recurring message throughout the book is that there will generally be a way around it. Either God will provide you with spacious accommodation in a skycraper and an unlimited choice of luxury cars to drive, or he will send in a member of the Tribulation Force to rescue you at the last minute with thundering jets or convenient helicopters, or you will simply be able to deny Christ and get away with it because of the "grace of God".

Yes, believe it or not, the strongest and most repeated message of the entire book is that anyone who has said the sinner's prayer can do anything that they like, and they can get away with it, because God's hands are tied. All of the warnings in the Revelation about eternal damnation for anyone who takes the mark are counteracted in the climax of the book, which is a report to the world from Tsion Ben-Judah that you "cannot [i.e. that you will be unable to] change your mind," that you "cannot [i.e. that you will be unable to] take the mark", and that you will be "unable" to deny Christ. (page 339)

The climactic essay raves on about God's grace being irreversible, and God not being able to blot your name out of the Book of Life. The most amazing thing is that the authors have the audacity to quote the same Bible verses which refer to God actually blotting names out of the book of life, but they dismiss them with the weakest of arguments, i.e. that there are "two" book of life's, one that belongs to the Lamb, and one that belongs to his Father, and the one belonging to his Father has nothing to do with eternal life. Being blotted out of that book, according to LaHaye and Jenkins, merely means that you will die one day (in which case we will ALL be blotted out of it eventually, so the verses about being blotted out of it become meaningless).

And then they produce a ludicrous proof text about NOT being blotted out of the Lamb's book of life, and they quote it without any reference at all to the key word in the verse. See if you can find it in the verse, as quoted below: "He who overcomes... I will not blot out his name from the book of life." (Rev. 3:5) (page 342-3) Anyone who has ever read The Revelation (at least in the King James version) would be struck with how often the word "overcome" is used throughout that book. All of the promises in the book are made to the "overcomers". They are NOT made to those who "say the sinner's prayer" and then turn back.

It is true that The Revelation speaks of God "sealing" 144,000 of his faithful servants, and protecting them throughout The Tribulation. But there is nothing in The Revelation to indicate that this is a visible and indelible seal that comes the instant someone says "the sinner's prayer". God, who knows the end from the beginning, would know in advance who will NOT deny him, as well as those whom he will cause to survive the period of Great Trouble. But La Haye and Jenkins have turned that seal, visible to God alone, into a magical mark that appears on the foreheads of everyone who says the ritual prayer, and THEN they have used the magical mark to suggest that your will has nothing further to do with whether or not you are saved.

Obviously, this goes contrary to all human experience. We all know that every one of us, no matter how many times we have said the sinner's prayer, still has the capacity to sin. We not only have the capacity to sin, but a very strong inclination to do so. It happens all the time. For decades, the "eternal security" teachers have argued that a certain number of little sins make no difference, and even those who willfully and rebelliously turn totally against God after having said the sinner's prayer will either return to God in the end, or else they were not really saved in the first place. (Presumably such people slipped up on part of the magic recitation.) There is, of course, no way to know until they finally die, and even then we can convince ourselves that they returned to the fold while lying in a coma or in the split second before the car crash took their life.

But, of course, with the Left Behind series putting magic tattoos (which only other believers can see) on the foreheads of everyone who says the sinner's prayer, and with the promise that anyone who takes the Mark of the Beast is going to be lost, the authors have a dilemma of a different sort. They have made salvation objective and visible, at the same time that there are likely to be some of these people who will turn back. So they just tell everyone, "No problem. We guarantee that you'll do the right thing without any amount of effort on your own part. Everything else we have taught you has been a breeze (loaded with western luxuries); so dying for your faith will be a breeze too. Trust us! Fear and trembling in desperate prayer before God? Practice in taking a stand for Christ now, or in learning how to say No to the devil? Not necessary. The sinner's prayer has done it all for you. Courage? Character? Backbone? Those are only for heretics who are trying to work their way to heaven!"

But we have to tell you that such a teaching is a damnable lie that has sent literally millions to hell. Suffering is not always for the other guys or for the Jews. Suffering is a very real part of God's TESTING. You see, he wants to know whether our faith is real, and he allows us to be tested to determine who has real faith in him, and who has faith in the fairytales of the charlatans.

Some will feel that I have been unkind to the deceptive duo, because, after all, they showed SOME who died for their faith, and they will undoubtedbly show more. But my response is that the sufferers are always the "other guys". The heroes of the book repeatedly deny Christ for the sake of expediency. You see, in the latest book, La Haye and Jenkins have the Antichrist initiating another "loyalty test", in which his loyal followers greet one another with the phrase, "He is risen," in reference to A.C. himself. The required response is "He is risen indeed." As has happened at every similar test of loyalty throughout the series, the "heroes" have convinced themselves that they can lie, cheat, steal, and even deny Christ as long as they cross their fingers and make up some justification for it. So they tell themselves that they are not really talking about the Antichrist when they say "He is risen indeed", but rather they are secretly talking about the real Christ. Never mind that to the rest of the world, they are denying Christ. In the secret place of their heart, they believe that they have NOT denied Christ.

Jesus said, "Whosoever will be ashamed of me and of my words, I will be ashamed of him when I return." Imagine Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego bowing down to the image of Nebuchadnezzar and telling themselves that "in their hearts" they were really bowing down to the God of Abraham! Such faith is not faith at all. While La Haye and Jenkins have loaded their books with sensational miracles that require no faith on the part of the people being wowed by them, when it comes to a God who can take care of them if they simply open their mouths and say that they are Christians, it appears that their God is pretty near useless.

The book's hero, Rayford Steele reads the climactic essay stating that there is nothing you can do to lose your salvation, and it says that he finds comfort and encouragement from it because he had wondered "if he failed and proved a coward, would he lose his standing before God." (page 344) It appears here that the authors have moved from a hint that he would NOT prove to be a coward, to a suggestioin that IF HE DID (since obviously, a lot of people will), he would still be saved.

Then the book moves straight into the story of a teenager who is FORCED to take the mark. This young man blurts out "CHRIST is risen indeed," in response to the Antichrist loyalty test, but the authors of the book condemn such a statement as "teenage recklessness" (page 346), and breathe a sigh of relief when no one hears the boy. On page 353, one of the book's hero compliments the boy for NOT declaring his faith when forced to take the mark. David Harris says, "I'm glad you didn't just scream out that you're a believer."

So the kid gets the mark, right over top of his "seal". What the authors of the book are doing here is moving from their statement that there is nothing that we can do to lose our salvation once we have it, to a test case, where someone has been supposedly "forced" to take the mark. And then it justifies this action, NOT on the basis that it was forced, but on the same basis that they used a few pages earlier. Here is what they say, "The Bible says nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, and that has to include our own selves." (page 354)

And suddenly, out of this apparent tragedy, the "Tribulation Force" discovers that they have just what they need to continue their life of luxury. They have someone who can continue to work for them from INSIDE the enemy camp. Because the enemy cannot see young Chang's "seal", they will only see the Mark of the Beast on his forehead. But because he has the "seal", God won't see the "Mark". How convenient! So Chang comes around and says, "I love that term 'bi-loyal'," and he goes on to show what an advantage it will be to him. (pages 355-356)

Yes, "bi-loyalty" could just about be the name for the entire series. From beginning to end, there has been no evidence of any commitment to the teachings of Jesus. For if there had been, the heroes would not have had to hide their faith and compromise with the Antichrist. They would have simply trusted God to feed and clothe them, stopped working for the Antichrist, and gotten busy serving God with their whole hearts.

Jesus did not talk about us choosing between God and the Devil in deciding who we were going to work for. Instead, he said that we must choose between working for God or for Mammon. Mammon includes money and all that it can buy. The Babylonian Empire invented money, and money has gone through various changes over the year, from gold coins to lesser coins to paper money, to plastic money to electronic money, and finally... the Mark. But there is no mention of that in the La Haye Jenkins book. After all, how could they do that? Their goal is to sell as many books as possible for the ridiculous prices that they ask ($45 Australian for a hard cover copy in a series which includes eight volumes so far, and the series has only progressed to halfway through the last seven years at this stage!) You don't sell millions of volumes to people at those prices by telling them that they must forsake all and live by faith in obedience to Jesus if they want to be one of his disciples. Instead, you teach the lie that the church has been teaching for many decades now, and that is that you can do whatever you like (including taking the mark of the beast) and it won't hurt you because you said a ritual prayer at some time in your past.

Time for true Christians to wake up and smell the rot in this series and in the churches as a whole.

Survivors      Back to Home

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