This book has been on my radar for years, always wondered what it was all about. It gets a namecheck in Fourth of July Creek and that was the reminder I needed.What’s it about? It’s about what’s happening right now, baby!
Rapture! End Times! World’s greatest come-back tour! Heck! More heck!I don’t understand how evangelicals like Hal Lindsey and his zillion followers think about God. Here’s the Bible and it contains this prophecy which literally will tell you what’s going to happen to the planet Earth in your lifetime but you have to be able to read it correctly and puzzle all the pieces together. When you do and the light dawns it’s like whoah, dude.P89:This writer doesn’t believe that we have prophets today who are getting direct revelations from God, but we do have prophets today who are getting special insight into the prophetic word.Who might one of those guys be?
I’m guessing Hal Lindsay.But if God wants us to know about this stuff (and he must or he would have stretched forth his hand and squashed Hal Lindsey like a bug before he got to writing this book) then why allow the Bible to be composed in such a cloudy, uncertain, frankly difficult style? Why not lay it all down in black & white?Say, something like this:Isaiah then spake forth Hear ye O Israel, hear ye the word of the LORD. In the fifth decade of the 20th century after the birth of the Messiah whom ye will rejecteth in the hardness of your hearts, there will arise Adolf Hitler and he will smite the nation of Israel.
Yet a remnant shall be saved and shall returneth to Zion. But wars and strife and tumults shall besiege thee O Israel, even from the hills of Lebanon, and the pharaoh in Egypt that shall be named Nasser.But the Lord shall dash the enemies of his people like a pot that is broken on the earth, mainly through the considerable grants of military assistance from the American Congress which shall includeth M48 Patton tanks and A-4E Skyhawks, and also the impressive combat skills of Ariel Sharon and Moshe Dayan.But instead of being clear and naming names, God dodges, ducks and weaves like a middleweight boxer, he blows smoke like a 20 year old tractor, he’s foggy like a day in London Town (1895 – we have the Clean Air Act now).
It’s like he doesn’t want us to understand, or he only wants people like Hal Lindsey to understand. Aw God, why you have to do like you do?The general idea of this book is to sketch out how the political situation of mid-1970 (when it was written) was predicted in Biblical prophecy, and what we may expect for the next few decades. He labels a few vague and cloudy references – the power in the East is China, Russia is The Kingdom of the North - so far so unexceptionable.
But then he goes off his trolley completely by telling us that the Roman Empire is to be revived, right, and that this had already begun to happen, and is called, wait for it, the European Common Market! Yes, this is the successor state to the Roman Empire! And from this terrific revived empire there will burst forth a great world dictator who will be the Antichrist.To gain power, this great European dictator will use a new “one world religion”, which will not be Christianity or anything else which exists now (sorry, Islam, it won’t be you).
According to Hal it will be a combination of classical astrology and the Age of Aquarius, which, of course, was big in 1970:Some may scoff at the idea that idol worship will become prevalent. Even in America, however, there are growing cults which actually do worship stone and metal idols.Hal quotes a “major television station” which authoritatively reportedNearly every respectable high school these days has its own witchAnyway, for three and a half years (very precise) the new World Dictator will be a great success, resolving all world problems and ushering in global peace.
Then he will declare himself to be God and things will turn ugly.This period of time will make the regimes of Hitler, Mao and Stalin look like Girl Scouts weaving a daisy chainbutwe believe that Christians will not be around to watch the debacle brought about by the cruellest dictator of all timeThat’s because the Rapture™ will have happened, and all Christians will be taken up to heaven and given a new body:Just think how excited a woman can get about a new wardrobe. How much more excited we should be about acquiring a new body!Hal (in my mind adopting the same tone of voice as his namesake in 2001 A Space Odyssey) says there is something that needs to be done before the Rapture and the 2nd coming and so forth can happen.
The Third Temple has to be built, on the original site of the previous Temples.There is one major problem…. That obstacle is the second holiest place of the Muslim faith, the Dome of the Rock… Obstacle or not, it is certain that the Temple will be rebuilt. Prophecy demands it.Sorry, guys. If you would be so kind as to dismantle the al-Aqsa mosque and take it some place else, so we can get on with the end of the world, we’d be like, thanks, that’s awesome. Really. We’ll do the same for you one day.Hal says : “There will soon begin the construction of this Temple.” (p57)Well, ha ha, what is soon?
This book was written in 1970, so it’s 45 years later, and really, there seems to be no movement with the dismantling of the mosque. I don’t think the Jewish authorities have even submitted a written request to the Grand Mufti. No earthquakes either. 45 years later for me is not soon. You said you’d go to the supermarket, we’ve run out of cat food. Yes, I will, soon.
In 46 years’ time.It’s clear that Hal suffers from the theological version of GENERATIONAL NARCISSIM. This is a widespread affliction, characterized by the strong belief that your generation had the best music/movies/drugs/sex/travelling opportunities/mortgages/fashion etc and those who came after your gilded generation are a sorry bunch who don’t know what real music/fashion/sex/mortgages are.
In the brain of Hal Lindsay as he was writing this book, his generation was just about to have the BEST APOCALYPSE. They would see with their own eyes the 2nd coming, it was gonna happen in a few months… couple of years at the most. Rilly. So, like Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock AND the gosh dang Apocalypse, all before you’re 30.If I didn’t know him better, I’d think young Hal Lindsey had been eating those mushrooms again.