While on my two week break from the computer, I was able to read a very good book entitled The Appearing by Kristen Wisen. This is an end times novel written from a PreWrath perspective. The plot is that of a church finding themselves within Daniel’s 70th week, just before the abomination of desolation. They have studied the scriptures and are confident that the great tribulation will shortly be unleashed upon the earth. In response to the coming persecution, they have purchased property in the mountains and have encouraged their membership to move there in order to escape martyrdom.
Some of the events described in the book are exactly what we can expect when the great tribulation finally begins. Other events are speculation, using our imaginations to fill in the gaps as to what may or may not take place. I’m recommending the book to all of you, but not because I agree with everything that the author sets forth as unfolding when the great tribulation occurs. Some, I think, could happen; other things I don’t believe will. The reason I do recommend the book is because the main thrust of the book is studying the scriptures in order to be prepared for entering Daniel’s 70th week and the great tribulation. The one thing I am in firm agreement on is that the church will face the great tribulation, including having to decide whether or not to take the mark of the beast.
When we read the scriptures that Christians will be put to death, that some will fall away from the faith, and that these will betray other Christians (Matthew 24:9-10), we can certainly speculate as to how this might take place. Wisen explores this storyline in an orthodox church. Some of the true believers are betrayed by those that fall away as the church enters the time of testing. This begs the question as to how churches will function as the time of persecution draws near. Should believers withdraw from a church that is slowly becoming apostate, or should they stay and try to persuade those who are drifting away to continue in the faith? If they stay, they run the risk of being betrayed. If they go, they abandon those who are still true believers in that particular assembly. This is just one question that the author wrestles with in the book.
I enjoyed the characters very much. There was an adult storyline, but also a teen storyline. There was a church storyline, but also a remnant hiding in the mountains storyline. There was a believers’ storyline, but also the story of the revealing of the antichrist at the temple. There was increased demonic activity, but also increased angelic activity. There were heroes who escaped martyrdom, but there were also heroes that were murdered for their faith.
Some of my favorites lines in the book are:
“Through the window, Nate watched as he talked with the group on the sidewalk. No doubt he was petitioning again for eldership among the remaining church members. Or maybe he’s just rounding up more landscaping business.”
“Your weakness is revealed in a crisis. My strength is increased in a crisis. That is the difference between you and me.”
“Well, it was fun while it lasted. Buck up, Emma. It’s not the end of the world. Well, actually, it is almost the end of the world…
This one was going to be hard to document in her journal.”
I was fascinated by the portrayal of the erecting of the image(s) of the antichrist. The demonic deception there was so graphic it makes me wonder how anyone will not be deceived except by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. I thought the incorporation of the day of destruction, patterned after the example in the book of Esther, proved insightful to show exactly how the great tribulation will accelerate at certain points after the abomination of desolation. I also liked the character of Nate Reed, even before he became a Christian. Overall, this is a solid book. Pick it, let your computer get a virus, and read it on the couch with your Bible handy on the coffee table.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman
"What’s going to happen to us, Emma?" she asked. "They’re going to kill us, right? We don’t have a mark. We’re going to die!"
"I don’t know, Leighsa." Emma grabbed Leighsa’s hands and tried to calm her down. "Maybe they’ll just question us and let us go."
Emma didn’t even believe her own suggestion and Leighsa started to hyperventilate next to her. Emma pushed her head betwen her legs and rubbed her back, all the while saying, "Breathe, Leighsa, breathe."
Leighsa’s breathing slowed and Emma glanced out the window of the car. She saw Adam and Seth in one vehicle and she assumed Neil and Josh were in the other. Her car started to move and Leighsa whimpered again.
"Just pray, Leighsa," Emma whispered to Leighsa. "Only God can save us now."
The squad car pulled away from the clearing and Emma looked through the window behind her. She would probably never see the woods again. And she would probably never see her parents again either.
She leaned back over to Leighsa and put her arm around her shoulder. Leighsa continued to sob and Emma whispered in her ear again.
"Whatever you do, Leighsa, promise me you won’t take the mark."