Left Behind: Assassins Review–Part 4

Previous parts

On page 276, we read that Trudy Tuttle (who is getting hotel rooms and taking care of luggage for her husband and Rayford at the moment)

saw this phone in the captain’s bag, and I’m sorry but I turned it on out of curiosity.  Well, just dozens and dozens of messages have been scrollin’ by, all with your number and this abort message, and I thought I ought to call.

Er, ever hear of invasion of privacy?

On page 287, Buck visits an underground church in Greece, “a vast group of believers led by a converted Jew whose main dilemma was how large the body had grown.”

I’m anxious to read how many of the Greek believers are Orthodox, and how people in an Orthodox country would recognize the Rapture, since the Rapture is not part of traditional Orthodox theology.

We also read that the Tribulation Force puts Leah in charge of centralized information, in between preparing meals.  I wonder why it took hours for Chloe to bring her “up to speed on the computer.”

Is she, like Chloe, unfamiliar with the computer despite being at the oldest a member of Generation X?  I also wonder what about this job is so awesome that Leah “never felt more fulfilled.”

On page 291, Dwayne makes me cringe as Dwayne flies Trudy and Rayford away in an airplane: “Dwayne whooped and hollered like a rodeo cowboy as the Super J shot into the sky.  ‘She’s somethin’, ain’t she?  Whoo boy!'”

Why do I have a sudden image of him riding a bomb all the way down to the earth, waving his cowboy hat and hooting and hollering?

Trudy has just done some heroics as they escaped from GC agents onto the plane; Dwayne goes on to say to Rayford, “I wudd’n talkin’ about the Super J, pardner.  I was talkin’ about the little woman.”

And to Trudy, who leans forward and wraps both arms around his neck, and wants him to stop calling her that, “Darlin’, I’ll call you anything your little ol’ heart desires.  Whoo boy!”

ARGH!  Kill me now!  Oh, and this saccharine lovey-dovey couple is driving me crazy.  😛  I never did like watching other people get that way in public.  Aw, mush!

On page 300 is one of my major pet peeves with amateur editing: “‘Is it true?’ Leon wanted to know.”  Of course Leon wanted to know, or he wouldn’t have asked it!  Just say that he said it.

On page 304, I can’t help laughing at Leon Fortunato’s description of Carpathia’s speech to the UN:

That speech alone, David, virtually sealed his appointment as secretary-general and eventual leader of the new world order….

Yet with brilliance, charm, wit, mastery of his subject, the use of every language of the U.N., and an astounding recitation of the history of that great institution, he had the entire world eating out of his hand.

Er….You mean his laundry list of boring details?  You need to listen to more and better speeches, Leon.  We read, “Fortunato’s eyes had glazed over.”  Funny, that’s what my eyes did while reading the speech….

Further on in the paragraph, Leon says, “Ah, it was magical.  I knew in my soul that if I ever had the privilege to contribute even in a minuscule way to the ideals and objectives of that man, I would pledge my life to him.”

Oh, Leon has a man-crash on Carpathia!  It’s a bromance!  The wedding invitations will be sent tomorrow….

On page 311, Rayford learns more about his new gun, that it is extremely lethal, so lethal that even if the target is missed, he will “suffer a deep laceration from the air displacement alone.”  For example,

The thin, jagged, spinning bullet bores through anything in its path, gathers the gore around it like grass in a power-mower blade, and turns itself into a larger object of destruction.

During the testing of this weapon a technician was accidentally shot just above the knee from approximately twenty feet away.  His leg was effectively amputated, the lower portion attached by a thin ribbon of skin on each side of the knee.

So basically, you don’t use this gun unless you have a serious grudge for your target.  When Rayford tries to hit a rock and misses, such a huge gash is taken out of the nearby tree that less than half the trunk is left, and the tree topples.  When he tries again and actually hits the rock, he blows the top off it.

Rayford shook his head and gazed at the ugliness in his hand.  What was he thinking?  That he would ever dare carry such a monstrosity, let alone use it?  He would be hard pressed to justify this as a defensive weapon.

I really hope he keeps following his doubts about this terrible gun.

On page 318, Rayford fires at the feet of a GC peacekeeper who’s chasing him.  The peacekeeper falls, and Rayford prays, “God, don’t let him die!  I don’t want to kill a man!”  Well, then, what the heck are you doing with this gun??!!

On page 323 we read about an ominous foreboding and short tempers in the August heat in the hideout house.  Kenny the baby is often cranky, and “even Tsion had been known to leave the room when he fussed and Chloe wasn’t quick enough to mollify him.”  Why Chloe?  Can’t anyone else do it?

On pages 325 and 327, Tsion writes in his latest blog that

I do not fear for my own well-being, as my future is secure–as is yours if you have trusted Christ for forgiveness and eternal life….

If you have already trusted Christ for your salvation, you have the mark of the seal of God on your forehead, visible only to other believers.

Fortunately, this decision, mark, and seal is also irrevocable, so you never need fear losing your standing with him.

This is a dangerous belief that can lead people into complacency.  Not only is it at odds with Christ telling us that some who say “Lord Lord” will end up in Hell, but it contradicts Left Behind itself: Several of our “Tribulation Saints” thought they already had that irrevocable salvation, but were left behind in the Rapture.

Salvation is not a legal transaction, but a lifelong journey toward becoming what God wants us to be.  And we don’t become that if we don’t struggle against the dangerous passions that lead to sin.

Do note that, according to page 327, not only is God’s mark irrevocable, but so is the Mark of the Beast.  If you take the Mark, you are DOOMED!  DOOMED!  DOOMED!

(This, however, may change in later books.  I heard a rumor to that effect….We shall see.)

On page 329 to 330 we read,

Rayford immersed himself in the prophetic passages about the death of Antichrist, never seeking Tsion’s counsel or interpretation.  In his feverish state he interpreted the Scripture the way he wanted to, shoehorning himself into the agent God would use to do the deed.

When he read that “He who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword,” and knew that even Tsion believed this was a reference to Antichrist, Rayford shuddered.  Was this a message just for him?

A later verse referred to “the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.”  That had to be a reference to one of the heads of the beast “as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed.”

He didn’t understand it all.  Who could?  But without Tsion’s analysis, Rayford believed he had figured out these verses.  Carpathia was to be mortally wounded in the head by a sword and then come back to life.

A sword?  What was it Albie called the superb killing machine [gun] Rayford had stashed behind loose bricks in the basement?  Saber.  Could he–would he do it?  Was it his duty?  He shook his head.  What was he thinking?

So–In contrast to what Tsion felt earlier in this book, are you saying that the Scriptures are not to be privately interpreted? that people can read all sorts of things into Scripture that are not there when they do it without the guidance of something else–like, say, Tradition?  The contradiction is very confusing!

To be continued.

 

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