David Jeremiah. The Book of Signs: 31 Undeniable Prophecies of the Apocalypse. Thomas Nelson, 2019. See here to buy the book.
This book is 465 pages. The subject of the apocalypse frames it and recurs throughout, but it is not only about the apocalypse. Dr. David Jeremiah also covers such topics as worship and spiritual warfare.
The book comes from a pretribulational rapture, premillennial perspective. A lot of it overlaps with the scenarios of Hal Lindsey and Tim Lahaye (the latter receives a commemoration at the beginning of the book), with all the strengths and weaknesses that those entail. One can sympathize with Jeremiah’s literal interpretation of the Book of Revelation. Like his predecessors, Jeremiah tends to read the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other, which deserves caution because Christians have done that before, and Christ did not return as they expected. Jeremiah also holds that Gog in Ezekiel 38-39 will be the eschatological leader of Russia, even though many scholars see Gog as a leader in Anatolia (modern-day Turkey), plus Jeremiah seems to fudge on a literal interpretation when Ezekiel describes Gog’s weaponry as ancient weapons rather than those of modern warfare.
A difference between Jeremiah and Lahaye is that, in the first Left Behind book, Lahaye presents Russia attacking Israel prior to the rapture. Jeremiah, however, thinks that it will occur after the rapture, after the Antichrist makes a peace treaty with Israel; the reason is that Ezekiel 38-39 depicts Israel as at peace when Gog attacks her. Hal Lindsey, if I am not mistaken, may overlap with Jeremiah on this, for Lindsey appears to place the Russian invasion of Israel at the Battle of Armageddon, which will occur after the rapture.
This book is a serious and meticulous treatment of the Book of Revelation and topics in Christian spirituality, and in that sense it is edifying. Jeremiah addresses various views about questions that people may have, such as where America will be in the end times. Some questions, however, remain unanswered: will Muslims worship the Antichrist, when they recoil from worshiping a human as God? Some points hit a little close to home: there is a quote about how people want to have a lot of money because then they would not have to depend on anybody. Jeremiah offers a compelling quotation by William Temple on worship, which presents it as feeding on God’s truth, appreciating God’s beauty, opening one’s heart to God’s love, and devoting oneself to God’s purposes.
The book contains a lot of anecdotes. Some of these effectively make his point: some of the ones about heavenly rewards stand out as an example of this, as people serve God in this present earthly life with little if any recognition. A lot of the anecdotes added a folksy tone to the book, or perhaps made the author look clever. For some, that may give the book an inviting, relatable feel. For others, it may trivialize the book’s message. Ultimately, I do not think that the book’s message was trivialized, for Jeremiah effectively presents what he believes will happen in the end times, showing it to be plausible, in terms of what is happening now. My negative reaction to the anecdotes may be due to how the book opened: in my opinion, it was overly romantic, chipper, and one-sided about the modern state of Israel.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers. My review is honest.