Carpathia is Definitely Not the Antichrist, Wink Wink: Left Behind Chapter 17

Posted on February 29, 2016 by

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Left Behind Chapter 17

Rayford and Chloe continue to be sad. Chloe hints that she’s thisclose to accepting Christ, and I find it very hard to get behind her “journey” given 1) Chloe’s decision is all from Rayford’s perspective 2) This book is this book. 3) We already know what the right choice is in this scenario, so if the destination and the journey are both completely uninteresting, well, you see where I’m going with this.

Rayford goes to watch the news on his sweet new tv. I had been really worried that I would have to go for a whole scene without having a character watch the news, but I should have had more faith.

Two men are preaching that “Jesus Christ of the New Testament is the fulfillment of the Torah’s prophecy of a messiah” and “Of course the Orthodox Jews are in an uproar.”

Rayford feels a strong connection to these two men, and he remembers that Bruce had told Rayford and the rest of their congregation that 144,000 Jews would begin to evangelise around the world.  Sounds like a real treat to read about.

Then, more reports on Carpathia. The anchorwoman reminds us of his amazing speeches and that “He reportedly sat for a cover photo session with People magazine and will be their first ever Sexiest Man Alive to appear less than a year after the previous designate.” People sure are fixated on this Sexiest Antichrist Man Alive thing.

Carpathia is extending his stay in America, and he’s even going to spend a night at the White House! The Sexiest Man Alive at the White House! Can you imagine?

We then find out Buck has been cleared of all charges! AND, even more interestingly, “In sports news, Major League Baseball teams in spring training face the daunting task of replacing the dozens of players lost in the cosmic disappearances.”

Not enough people are talking about the major impact the Rapture is having on MLB. Can something get Carpathia on this? I bet he could give some rousing speeches on the history of baseball and just slowly name a bunch of teams and the world would weep.

There is then a two paragraph scene where Rayford tries to get Hattie switched to his New York flight, but it turns out she’s on a flight there two hours earlier. Good to know!

Back to Bucksics. Buck recaps how Carpathia helps him clear the charges against him. BUT AT WHAT COST?

“But this just proves Dirk was right! Stonagal is conspiring with Todd-Cothran, and
you knew it! And Stonagal promised him his package was secure, whatever that
means.”

I have no idea what’s going on, and I have a passing understanding of who these people are, but conspiracies! Dirk! Stonagal! Todd-Cothran! Mysterious packages!

Carpathia promises Buck that he’ll ensure justice is served to anyone who is not serving justice at the moment. Well, I’m convinced.

Carpathia asks Buck to be his press secretary for some reason, and Buck is like, “Oh, I was afraid you would ask that.” What?? Why?

Do you all remember the rival reporter that Buck got into a scuffle with in the hallway? I barely do, but Buck makes a joke that Carpathia should hire that guy, and then explains what happened in the hallway for some reason. Doesn’t that look bad on Buck’s behalf as well? Why would he tell Carpathia anything about that without any prompt whatsoever?

Carpathia gives Buck a really great scoop as well:

[Israel] need[s] protection. The U.N. can give it to them. In exchange for the chemical formula that makes the desert bloom, the world will be content to grant them peace. If the other nations disarm and surrender a tenth of their weapons to the U.N., only the U.N. will have to sign a peace accord with Israel. Their prime minister has given
Dr. Rosenzweig the freedom to negotiate such an agreement because he is the true
owner of the formula. They are, of course, insisting on guarantees of protection for
no less than seven years.”

Buck sat shaking his head. “You’re going to get the Nobel Peace prize, Time’s Man
of the Year, and our Newsmaker of the Year.”

He might even win the elusive Sexiest Man Alive X 2 prize! In fact, I bet all the publishing entities in the world are going to get together and create a whole new Sexiest Man Alive in the History of Forever award, and they’re going to award it to Carpathia too!

Buck leaves thinking Carpathia is the most amazing, selfless person in the universe. Does not suspect any Antichrist-ness whatsoever. More importantly, Buck remembers he has to call Hattie back. Hattie really is seamlessly weaving all these narratives together, isn’t she?

Bruce calls everyone together for a super important New Hope Village Church meeting! He is really excited to outline the plot of this entire series:

[T]his period of history we’re in right now will last for seven years. The first twenty-one months encompass what the Bible calls the seven Seal Judgments, or the judgments of the Seven-Sealed Scroll. Then comes another twenty-one-month period in which we will see the seven Trumpet judgments. In the last forty-two months of this seven  years of tribulation, if we have survived, we will endure the most severe tests, the seven Vial judgments. That last half of the seven years is called the Great Tribulation, and if we are alive at the end of it, we will be rewarded by seeing the Glorious Appearing of Christ.”

Shit, this sounds complicated.

Bruce also clarifies that when they die, they’ll be reunited with their loved ones (as long as they have accepted Christ), but that there is a good chance their deaths will be absolutely horrific if they don’t survive. Uh oh.

“Again, if I’m reading it right, the Antichrist will soon come to power, promising peace and trying to unite the world.”

“What’s wrong with uniting the world?” someone asked. “At a time like this it
seems we need to come together.”

“There might be nothing wrong with that, except that the Antichrist will be a great
deceiver, and when his true goals are revealed, he will be opposed. This will result
in a great war, probably World War III.”

But who could this guy be? If only anyone in this book ever took the time to watch the news!

“I fear it will be very soon. We need to watch for the new world leader.”

“What about the young man from Europe who is so popular with the United
Nations?”

WHO ASKED THAT? You, good sir or madam, are ONTO SOMETHING. Surely everyone in the room will be like, “Yes, this matches the timeline exactly. This guy seems really genuine, just like a great deceiver would.”

“I’m impressed with him,” Bruce said. “I will have to be careful and study what he
says and does. He seems too humble and self-effacing to fit the description of this
one who would take over the world.”

OMG are you serious, Bruce? What do you people not understand about being a great deceiver? “Hey, I am really convinced this guy is totally selfless about his plans to unite the world…the actual great deceiver would totally fail to deceive me!”

Seriously, is this a joke? I can’t believe this. Whoever that brilliant person was who just called out Carpathia should be personally congratulated by Jesus himself because apparently everyone else this person still shares a planet with is fucking useless.

“But we’re ripe for someone to do just that,” one of the older men said. “I found
myself wishing that guy was our president.” Several others agreed.

“We need to keep an eye on him,” Bruce said.

Great, sounds super effective, Bruce. Fuck you.

Bruce explains more things:

Bruce explained that the first four seals in the scroll were described as men on four
horses: a white horse, a red horse, a black horse, and a pale horse. “The white
horseman apparently is the Antichrist, who ushers in one to three months of
diplomacy while getting organized and promising peace.

“The red horse signifies war. The Antichrist will be opposed by three rulers from
the south, and millions will be killed.”

World War III, you see. This is coming within 6 months, which I guess would mean a book or two from now? I bet even if World War III happens, the narrative won’t change one bit. It’ll just be Hattie calling Rayford and Buck, Rayford being sad, and Buck getting all the best scoops. Or people watching the news.

Then there will be famine (“the black horse”) and lots of death. Everyone has the foresight to realize they should start stockpiling food now. So at least there’s that even though none of them can figure out who the Antichrist is.

Then “the pale horse” will bring death in the form of a plague.

“What’s the fifth Seal judgment?”

“Well,” Bruce said, “you’re going to recognize this one because we’ve talked about
it before. Remember my telling you about the 144,000 Jewish witnesses who try to
evangelize the world for Christ? Many of their converts, perhaps millions, will be
martyred by the world leader and the harlot, which is the name for the one world
religion that denies Christ.”

We definitely won’t be reading this far into the books, but I’ll be checking the Wikipedia summaries on this, for sure, and will report back at some point in the future. Sounds more interesting than what’s going on now!

“The sixth Seal Judgement” is going to be a terrible earthquake. I will just go see that shitty movie San Andreas and assume there are a lot of similarities.

Bruce promises that there are more shitty times to come, but he spares his congregation (and me) going into more details. He wants to end things on a happy note:

” I want to leave you with a little encouragement. You remember we talked
briefly about the two witnesses, and I said I would study that more carefully?
Revelation 11:3-14 makes it clear that God’s two special witnesses, with
supernatural power to work miracles, will prophesy one thousand two hundred and
sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. Anyone who tries to harm them will be devoured.
No rain will fall during the time that they prophesy. They will be able to turn water
to blood and to strike the earth with plagues whenever they want.

“Satan will kill them at the end of three and a half years, and their bodies will lie in
the street of the city where Christ was crucified. The people they have tormented
will celebrate their deaths, not allowing their bodies to be buried. But after three and
a half days, they will rise from the dead and ascend to heaven in a cloud while their
enemies watch. God will send another great earthquake, a tenth of the city will fall,
and seven thousand people will die. The rest will be terrified and give Glory to
God.”

This is the best we can do in terms of happy notes, I suppose. Everyone agrees that these prophets are probably the guys from the news earlier. I don’t trust anyone’s judgement, though, given their track record.

Back to Buck again – WHY WON’T THIS CHAPTER END????? – He calls Hattie. All anyone does in this book is fucking talk on the phone to Hattie. They agree to meet up. Cool.

Meanwhile, Chloe agrees to go to New York with Rayford and go with him when he meets up there with Hattie. Cool. So cool.

Even more meanwhile, Buck is called into a meeting with Steve and Stanton Bailey, publisher of Global Weekly. Turns out, Steve is resigning to go work as Carpathia’s press secretary! But he’ll be headquartered here, “At the Plaza.” Great, good thing this won’t be the last we’ll see of Steve. Beloved Steve.

Buck is not thrilled Steve is leaving. There is also this really weird, throwaway line where we find out that the rival reporter Buck fought with, “fell off the ferry and drowned”. I’m not kidding, and then Bailey is like, “enough of that ugly business.” I don’t understand how conversations work in this story.

Obviously, Buck is asked to replace Steve, but he isn’t sure he wants to. He has 24 hours to decide. And no one mentions any more about Eric Miller (rival reporter) dying out of the blue.

 

 

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Posted in: Left Behind