How long would a people be content to suffer outrageous violations by their rulers before they do something about it? And if they are so moved to take action, what would they do? Thomas Jefferson pursued that line of reasoning 240 years ago when, in the summer of 1776, he penned these words:
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
The student of American history will recognize this as part of Jefferson’s reasoning in the Declaration of Independence. That was 240 years ago. What application, if any, does it have to Americans in the 21st century? Such a consideration requires some thought as to how the people should respond to a government that appears no longer to be acting in their best interests.
What happens when an author combines the mega-conspiracy theories of Thomas Horn, the spiritual warfare depictions of Frank Peretti, and the science fiction apocalyptic vision of Larry Niven? The result is The Cooper Chronicles, Daniel Holdings’ End of Days trilogy recounting the adventures of physicist and inter-dimensional globetrotter Dr. Bryce Cooper.
Apocalyptic literature is fascinating to say the least, but such works are not necessarily encouraging or fun. If done with the appropriate touch of realism – as, for instance, Nevil Shute’s post-nuclear war drama On the Beach – the work is depressing and scary. The subject, after all, is the complete eradication of human life on planet earth. On the other hand, a Terra-über-Alles yarn like Footfall (co-authored by Niven and Jerry Pournelle) makes the human cost merely the backdrop of an adventure story featuring mankind’s technological prowess and luck in overcoming an invasion by a fantastic foe from deep space. The loss of all of India, for example, registers little to a reader certain that somehow the story will have a happy ending.
The challenge of balancing realism with readability takes on an added dimension in spiritual subjects. A writer of Christian fiction must remain true to the Bible, or at least to his or her interpretation thereof. The result can be dismally flat, contrived, and divorced from real life – which is why it takes a special gift to write such a work. C.S. Lewis comes to mind as the pioneer and first master of modern Christian apocalyptic fiction, a genre which Peretti further develops. Yet when it comes to End Times novels which try to tell the tale of the Great Tribulation from a realistic viewpoint, no one has done quite so well as Daniel Holdings.
It helps that Holdings approaches his subject with the understanding that no one is exempt from the trials and devastations prophesied to come upon the earth according to the Bible. This gives him an advantage over Christian authors who write from the belief that there is a “pre-Tribulation rapture” which will remove Christians to some heavenly safe haven. To such authors, the real prize is not being on earth when bad things happen, which means their interest is not really in figuring out how the bad things are going to happen.
What do Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the pre-Tribulation rapture have in common? There is probably a joke in there somewhere, but the punch line escapes me. The answer, though, is that all of them are part of mainstream Christian practice (at least in the West), but none of them have much basis in Scripture. When held up to the light of Scripture, the Jolly Elf, the Whimsical Rabbit, and the Get-Out-of-Persecution-Free Card actually belong more in the realm of legend, myth, and wishful thinking.
There is no need to explain to Christians that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny do not exist. Everyone knows that – and it would be better if our children understood it from the start rather than having to face their first crisis of faith when their kindergarten friends expose the truth. What everyone does not know, or does not want to admit, is that the doctrine of Jesus coming back to snatch His people away from the earth before the trials of the Last Days is not consistent with Scripture. The problem up to now is that there has been no comprehensive reference book written to examine this question from a critical point of view.
Until now, that is. Author Michael Snyder has at last filled the void with his latest book, The Rapture Verdict. It is 268 pages of systematic investigation of the subject from a man who simply wants to sort out the truth. His stark conclusion is stated in the first chapter:
Unfortunately, there isn’t going to be a pre-Tribulation rapture. In fact, millions of Christians are going to die waiting for a pre-Tribulation rapture that is never going to happen.
Depending on the reader’s disposition, such a statement will make him or her angry, fearful, or vindicated. Those with the latter reaction would be the ones who grew up learning about the rapture in church, but who could never shake the nagging doubt that the few dozen verses pulled out of context to justify the doctrine leave far too many unanswered questions.
It is always interesting to see how the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) makes connections to achieve the Father’s purposes. Soon after The Barking Fox announced publication of our new book, Give Me A Place Where I May Dwell, Gene Porter of Hebrew Nation Radio asked if he could interview me on the Thursday morning broadcast he co-hosts with Bonnie Harvey. It just so happened that they had an opening on February 5, and so I had the great pleasure and honor of talking with them for an hour. During the second hour of the broadcast, Gene, Bonnie, and Don Wyant, co-founder of Hebrew Nation Radio, launched into a round-table discussion on the subject of the Whole House of Israel. Their discussion provides an excellent ground-level introduction to the subject for those who are unfamiliar with this rapidly accelerating move of the Lord (see Jeremiah 16:14-21). To hear the entire broadcast of The Hebrew Nation Morning Show, please click here:
What was the last question Yeshua’s followers asked Him before He returned to the Father? According to Acts 1:6, they asked, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Why would they ask that? Because restoration of the kingdom of Israel is the single greatest promise and prophecy in the entire Bible! From Moses John the Apostle, every prophet and nearly every book contain references to God’s promise to regather and restore all of Israel, the House of Ephraim and the House of Judah, to the Land promised to our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That is the national mission Messiah Yeshua Himself proclaimed:
But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24 NASB)
When the apostles asked Yeshua about restoring the kingdom, He did not rebuke them or deny that the restoration would happen. Rather, He said that they were not the ones who would know when it would happen. Instead, they were to receive the power of the Holy Spirit to proclaim the message of Messiah and His kingdom to the entire world (Acts 1:7-8).
Over the last 2,000 years, that message has become muddled. Followers of Yeshua have rightly proclaimed the salvation available through His work of redemption, but have missed the next crucial point: that identification with Messiah Yeshua means citizenship in His dominion, which is called Israel.
So what does it mean to become part of Israel? And when and how will the Son of David restore this united kingdom which has not existed for nearly three millennia? That is the topic of Give Me A Place Where I May Dwell: An Ephraimite Affirmation. This is the first book published by Al McCarn, your host at The Barking Fox. Here is what Amazon.com has to say about it:
Why should contemporary Christians take an interest in the State of Israel? For Hebrew Roots believers, or Torah-observant Christians, the fascination goes beyond the ongoing Middle East conflict or speculation about the second coming of Messiah. Hebrew Roots believers embrace the Commandments of Moses, as exemplified by Messiah Yeshua’s (Jesus Christ’s) adherence to Torah. For these dedicated believers, Israel represents God’s ultimate promise: the reunification of the ancient kingdom and a true homeland for all believers.
Give Me a Place Where I May Dwell is a meticulously researched account of the global Hebrew Roots movement among Christians. Author Albert J. McCarn examines the beliefs and goals of non-Jewish Israelites in a biblical, historical, and contemporary context.
He refers to believers as Ephraimites, or the remnants of the exiled northern kingdom of Israel. Since Ephraimites are spread throughout the world, McCarn presents a compelling case for building a collective identity among all Torah-observant followers of Yeshua—with the goal of an eventual homeland in the Holy Land.
Through McCarn’s hopeful message, Give Me a Place Where I May Dwell makes a compelling and scholarly theological case for uniting all followers of the great awakening that is the Hebrew Roots movement.
Give Me A Place Where I May Dwell is now available in paperback at CreateSpace.com, an Amazon company, and will soon be available on Kindle. To order copies, please click here.