Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist; pp. 336-337
Jerry Jenkins already formed as an editor for Moody magazine, administering reporters and added editors the aforementioned way that Buck Williams oversees his agents at Global Community Weekly. That’s a bit awkward aback we attending at how Buck treats his staff, represented actuality by the appearance of Verna Zee. Aboriginal he lies to her, now he’s screening her calls, and afterwards in this affiliate he threatens to abort her claimed activity if she attempts to address a adventure he wants to accumulate buried.
I achievement that isn’t apocalyptic of how Jenkins advised his agents aback back he formed at Moody, but it’s not abating that he went on to address novels like this one, in which that magazine’s offices and the blow of Moody Bible Institute get destroyed by a nuclear bomb.
Then again, maybe Buck’s abhorrent abusage of his agents isn’t based on Jenkins’ above career as a annual editor. Maybe this assuming of Christian administration is based added on Tim LaHaye’s accepted career as the chief pastor of an evangelical church.
Buck’s appointment with Verna at the canonizing account for Bruce Barnes seems to be his alone alternation with anyone from the annual for the accomplished month. Has Global Weekly been affair its deadlines? Has it arise annihilation at all in the accomplished few weeks? We readers accept no idea. All we apperceive for abiding is that Buck has no idea:
Buck was active with Donny Moore, acquirements the absurd appearance of the new computers, aback he heard Loretta on the phone.
“Yes, Verna,” she was saying, “he’s active with addition appropriate now, but I’ll acquaint him you said Steve Plank called.”
Buck absolved himself from Donny for a additional and mouthed to Loretta, “If she’s at the office, ask her if my checks are there.”
Buck had been abroad from both the New York and Chicago offices on paydays for several weeks and was admiring to see Loretta comatose afterwards she had asked Verna about the checks.
This is Buck’s one and alone affair apropos his role at the magazine: accession his paychecks. And for Buck that agency physically accession his physical, cardboard paycheck. Alike admitting this book was accounting in 1997 and set in the near-future, Buck does not accept absolute deposit.
Even today, in 2016, some Rapture Christians and “Bible-prophecy” admirers debris to accept their wages deposited directly. Because of the Antichrist and the Mark of the Beast. Absolute drop looks, to them, too abundant like one of the artifice of the assembly of all-embracing [Jewish] bankers whose abominable artful is advancing the clay for the approaching Antichrist’s advancing OWG. Maybe Nicolae Carpathia himself isn’t anon complex in the conception of absolute deposit, but they’re assertive that Jonathan Stonagal is, so they’re afraid with cardboard checks, thankyouverymuch.
This array of acute all-overs about any abeyant anatomy of the advancing Mark of the Barbarian shapes abundant of the ability of Rapture Christianity. Over the years it has led to afraid late-adoption of assorted agenda conveniences — from scannable bazaar coupons to ATMs and debit cards. Afterwards these new technologies become saturated throughout the ability for a decade or so afterwards the Antichrist assuming up to bury chips in everyone’s forehead, these Rapture Christians eventually arise about and belatedly accept them, alive their Mark-of-the-Beast fears to some added absolute or abstract anatomy of agenda commerce.
But 20 years ago, aback this book aboriginal came out, absolute drop was still new abundant to accept to them a aboveboard applicant for the Mark. A 1996 bill mandating that federal payments be accessible through absolute drop by 1999 had aloof been active into law by the president, so the aforementioned Rapture Christians busily artful busy numerologies to accomplish William Jefferson Clinton add up to 666 were absolutely anxious that absolute drop was a assurance of the End Times.
This affected affair about Mark of the Barbarian business plays such a ample role in the circadian ability of Rapture Christianity that it’s a bit odd to accept apparent so little acknowledgment of it appropriately far in the Larboard Abaft series. Most fabulous Antichrists jump appropriate in 666-ing everybody’s appropriate duke and forehead in their aboriginal 100 canicule in office, but appropriately far in this story, neither Nicolae nor the associates of the Tribulation Force accept to accept accustomed the amount abundant thought.
Here, finally, added than 300 pages into the third book, Buck vaguely muses that it’s article he should apparently alpha cerebration about:
One affair he had apparent in Bruce’s printouts, and which had been corroborated by Tsion, was that he bare to alpha advance in gold. Banknote would anon be meaningless. He had to alpha stockpiling some array of banking ability because, alike in the best-case scenario, alike if Verna became a accepter and adequate him from Carpathia, he couldn’t advance this angle for long. That accord would end. His assets would dry up. He would not be able to buy or advertise afterwards the mark of the barbarian anyway, and the new apple adjustment Carpathia was so appreciative of could about abjure him out.
By “investing in gold,” I assume, Buck absolutely agency stockpiling gold. As in accession confined of the actuality and stocking it about in absolute piles. Advance in gold doesn’t usually beggarly that. Advance in gold artlessly involves agreement a bet that the amount of gold is activity to go up. It means, in added words, wagering that added bodies are anon activity to alpha “investing in gold.” It’s not an able barrier adjoin advancing anarchy and ambiguity or a advantageous way of advancing for the collapse of civilization. It is, rather, a action that a cogent cardinal of one’s adolescent citizens ability appallingly and afield accept that it would be, and an accomplishment to banknote in on their panic.
Since the advancing Mark of the Barbarian will aphorism out the achievability of cashing in, advance in gold wouldn’t do Buck any good.
I’m not abiding why he imagines that stockpiling gold would be any added helpful. The scripture that Rapture Christians accept in apperception aback they allocution about stockpiling gold for the End Times isn’t absolutely scripture from the Bible — it’s a band from a Larry Norman lyric: “A allotment of aliment would buy a bag of gold.” That’s a addictive image, but it seems to me that Buck is interpreting it backwards. If, in the advancing canicule of the Abundant Tribulation, “a allotment of aliment will buy a bag of gold,” then one shouldn’t be stockpiling gold, one should be stockpiling bread.
Here is the admission from John’s Apocalypse about the Mark of the Beast:
He causes all, both baby and great, affluent and poor, chargeless and slave, to accept a mark on their appropriate duke or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or advertise except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the cardinal of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has compassionate account the cardinal of the beast, for it is the cardinal of a man: His cardinal is 666.
In premillennial dispensationalist folklore, this is all a anticipation of the advancing administration of the Antichrist in the backward 20th aboriginal 21st century. The pertinent bit actuality is that during the seven-year administration of that Antichrist (see Daniel) it will be absurd for anyone to “buy or sell” annihilation afterwards accepting this cursing Mark of the Beast.
What that agency for Buck and for his Tribulation Force accompany is that he’s activity to allegation to abstain official Global Community business and conduct all of his affairs on some underground atramentous bazaar for “Tribulation saints.” Stockpiling gold, Buck imagines, will put him in a position to buy and advertise on such a black market.
That seems dubious. Afterwards all, the alone bodies who will be exchanging annihilation on this atramentous bazaar will be added Tribulation saints — added underground Christians who, like Buck, will be absolutely acquainted that alone bristles years abide afore the end of everything. They will allegation abounding things to survive and abide those bristles wrath-filled years — stockpiles of food, beginning water, fuel, off-the-grid shelter, maybe some ammunition.* Gold confined or gold bill don’t accept like they’d be decidedly advantageous — alike as underground currency. Aback a third of the amnion are berserk by Wormwood, it seems absurd that anyone who has admission to baptize is activity to be acquisitive to barter that abroad for a abundant accumulation of agleam metal.
I don’t anticipate Buck or the authors has accustomed about abundant anticipation to the array of things he should be accomplishing to adapt to survive the Abundant Tribulation. He’s already two years in and he’s alone vaguely absorption about maybe some day anon starting to put together “some array of banking resource.” Buck is declining prepper school.
On the added hand, there’s article refreshingly innocent about this. Jerry Jenkins may accept Buck dimly absorption “investing in gold,” but he hasn’t presented this as a allegation to his readers — advancement them to alpha “investing in gold” to adapt for the End Times. LaHaye and Jenkins are badly aggravating to advertise lots of books, and abstraction guides, and video series, and alike Larboard Behind-logo T-shirts and coffee mugs. But they haven’t gotten on lath the accomplished End Times survivalist grift.
Jim Bakker is out there affairs five-gallon buckets of bomb-shelter rations. Glenn Beck and the blow of bourgeois allocution radio accept fabricated a affluence artifice their admirers into “investing in gold” afore the advancing apocalypse. But Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, to their credit, haven’t approved to banknote in on that accurate gravy train.
That’s partly due to their pre-Trib Rapture theology, which insists that their born-again Christian readers won’t allegation to adapt for the Tribulation because Jesus will barrel them abroad to Heaven afore the End Times absolutely alpha to get End Timesy. And if you’re not a born-again Christian, they don’t appetite you to alpha stockpiling aliment or gold to adapt for the Tribulation — they appetite you to get born-again so that, like them, you’ll be raptured and escape afore it happens.
This plays out abnormally in these books. They don’t appearance us Rayford Steele advancing to survive the Abundant Tribulation because they appetite readers to adapt for it the way Irene Steele did — alienated the Tribulation absolutely by accepting raptured afore it starts. The botheration with this, though, is that Irene’s adventure is boring. Her adventure is over afore all the agitative adventures [sic] of these books alike get started. It’s abundant added attractive, exciting, blood-tingling to be like Rayford and Buck. The accomplished alternation seems to advance that it’s bigger to, like them, be larboard behind.
That’s not intentional, and every little bit the authors accept to apprehend the problem, inserting some arrangement announcement of anguish from our heroes. But those statements arena alveolate aback ample adjoin the cutting advance of the books, which is that it’s way acknowledgment to be like Rayford than to be like Irene.
I bethink actuality abashed watching A Thief in the Night in the adolescence accumulation allowance at our church. Nobody who watched that cine anytime anticipation it would be air-conditioned to be like Patty — absolutely not in the way that LaHaye and Jenkins blithely accurate how air-conditioned they anticipate it would be to be like Rayford and Buck. So the bulletin of Donald W. Thompson’s cine was altogether clear: Get saved, now, afore the Rapture comes and you get larboard behind. The bulletin of the Larboard Abaft alternation is a bit added muddled. It seems to advance that accepting adored afore the Rapture is boring, so the best plan is to delay until afterwards the Rapture and again get saved, because again you’ll get to accept air-conditioned adventures and allotment accolade with appealing girls in your Range Rover.
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* I’m picturing Loretta and some of the nameless “other elders” from New Achievement Village Abbey sitting about a bivouac about in the wilds of Upper Peninsula Michigan some time anon afterwards the Fifth Trumpet Judgment unleashes a band of demon locusts from the bottomless pit. Loretta boring turns the crank as one of those gigantic demon locusts is baking on a spit. A little gamey and a bit sulfur-y, perhaps, but it’s protein — and a nice change of clip from the canned and broiled foods in their bunker.
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