Overcomer ~ The Novel

I recently finished reading a novel by my friend, Kristen Wisen. I have already blogged about The Appearing, now I’m writing about her second novel, Overcomer. This is a great story and I’m recommending it to all of you prophecy students out there. This book and the storylines within will make you think about the coming dark days ahead and how we should prepare. While this book is related to the first book, it is not necessary to have read it in order to understand this one. The events occur in a contemporary fashion with the events in The Appearing. But these characters in this book are in Indiana while the others were in Michigan and North Carolina. Some of the same ground is covered, but Kristen does a good job at presenting the events from a different point of view so you don’t feel like you are reading the same story twice. I’m going to write first about the story, and then about the theology behind the story.

The reason why I recommend this novel is that it is written from a PreWrath perspective. This is the belief that the church will not be here for the eschatological wrath of God, but the church will be here for persecution, tribulation, and even the great tribulation. As such, the storylines contained within are focused on how freedoms in the United States will be stripped away, on the development of the antichrist and his confederacy of nations, and on how Christians (non-markers) will be systematically exterminated. We read in Matthew 24:22 that if the days of the great tribulation were not cut short then no flesh would be saved, and then we see this truth come to life in the lives of the characters of this book. The choices that Christians will have to make in this novel are in large part reactionary. Some have planned ahead and created the compound in order to hide when the great tribulation is unleashed. But for the most part, so-called Christians are ill-prepared to function when it comes to living in a world where non-markers have no right to do anything. Their heat/water/electricity is cut off, they cannot buy anything or collect a paycheck, their children are taken from them, and if they don’t comply with taking the mark, they get sent to a training camp to help them understand the importance of the new world order.

The demonic deception in this novel is taken to the next level. In the first novel, it was creepy. In this novel, it is still unnerving to see the power being flexed by Satan and his minions, but it is balanced with angelic activity as well. Noah Greer, one of the main characters, has a guardian angel whose part is written quite well. I’m not saying this is on the same level as Peretti’s writings, but the inclusion of this aspect reveals another side to the great tribulation, that of supernatural protection of specific individuals for purposes that only the Father knows.

The personal life of the antichrist, Alexander Magorum, is also explored in greater detail. Elise Orion is Magorum’s highly competent personal assistant who travels with him almost wherever he goes. Agent Yakov Vasiliev is the head of security whose mission at times seems to be bent on protecting Magorum at all costs, and at other times there is this hint that he has other allegiances. The intensity of the antichrist, someone who has been to the pit of hell and back, is not something that you’d sign up to experience first hand. However, as intense as he is, there are certain things that he cannot do, such as deal with these two old Jewish men who speak daily against him at the temple mount. They also do miracles even more powerful than Ferco Szabo, who has power to make fire come down from heaven when he is with Magorum.

Another interesting character is Wayne Durbin, the mayor of Creston, which is the town in Indiana where the majority of the story takes place. Through chain of command, he is responsible for making sure his entire town gets “marked up”. If not, funds will not be available for future projects. Of course, he could refuse to do his job and he would simply be replaced. That’s just how it goes with Magorum. But Durbin seems to relish this race to joining the new economic system. All of his time and talent goes into planning to make his town the first in Indiana to have 100% compliance.

The plot will make you think about life as the end of the age draws near. Is it okay to fall in love during the great tribulation? Should you discuss the mark of the beast with your children? What type of church should you attend? Which doctrines are the most important as our lives are on the line for Jesus? When public witnessing for Jesus is outlawed, how should Christians respond? How will Christians function in a society that is bent on exterminating them?

As far as the theology behind the story, I want to share two issues that I have just for clarification. First off, there is so much that Kristen and I have in common concerning eschatology which makes it a very pleasant experience to read a novel with which I can see so much scripture woven into it. But lest you readers read the book and think that I fall in line with everything contained therein, I write this portion sort as a disclaimer.

The first issue is that of the identity of the seventh head and the antichrist. Robert Van Kampen, one of the founders of the PreWrath position and also Kristen’s father, has promulgated in his prophecy books that the seventh head of the seven headed beast was Nazi Germany. Van Kampen further wrote that the individual antichrist will be a resurrected Adolph Hitler. Kristen writes these ideas into both of her novels. It is certainly interesting to see one of the most antichrist type personalities of our time to be the end times antichrist. I think it gives a certain je ne sais quoi to the persona of this ruler bent on destroying God’s people. However, I don’t believe the scriptures teach that Nazi Germany could have been the seventh head, and I don’t believe that a resurrected Hitler will play the part of an end times antichrist.

The second issue is a little more detrimental to me. I believe that the job of preaching the gospel belongs solely to the church until the end of the age. Kristen has the gospel preached through angels during the great tribulation based on Revelation 14:6. I believe the church should be prepared to give public testimony during this coming dark hour to the truths of God’s Word. The command in Matthew 24:16 is for those in Judea to flee to the mountains, but does that mean that all Christians are supposed to go into hiding when they see the abomination of desolation? Mark 13:9-13 shows that the gospel will be preached in the midst of intense persecution. Christians standing publicly before governors and kings seems to be the way that the gospel is preached during this time. I can understand the intimidation, but think of the honor. When the darkness reaches an apex, should we hide, or step out onto center stage?

I told Kristen that I would like to see her write one more novel. I would like to see the church portrayed as bold and powerful during the great tribulation. Perhaps some should go into hiding. But I think it is clear that we should not love our lives, even to the point of death, Revelation 12:11. Many of the heroes of Kristen’s two novels are motivated by a want to preserve their lives. They are willing to die if they are caught, but that is not their first choice. I would like to see some heroes and heroines that are bold to the point of lunacy. Revelation 3:8 tells of an open door for the church at Philadelphia which no man could shut. I believe this open door is the opportunity to preach the gospel because of their faithfulness and patient endurance. Imagine a group of believers able to preach the gospel and no one can touch them, I mean nobody, no matter how bad they want them dead. There is witnessing throughout the book by Christians, but it seems to take a second place to Christians planning to hide. I think the best planning we can do is to study the Word of God that we might preach the gospel better.

To end on a positive note, the study of God’s Word is one thing that is at the forefront of this novel. Thomas Larson is a Christian who loves the LORD, but has failed to study the scriptures as they relate to the end times. Charlie West is his close friend who talks to him time and again urging him to read the scriptures. Thomas considers this, but believes that any time the rapture will occur making the study of God’s Word on prophetic things to be of no consequence. Thomas is one of those who is ill-prepared to lead his wife and children in a way that pleases God during this time. Add in the fact that he has taken a back seat to his wife, Robin, in spiritual matters, and that he is a close personal friend of Wayne Durbin, and you have a plot that will keep you in suspense until the end.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Books, Eschatology, PreWrath. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Overcomer ~ The Novel

  1. Overcomer says:

    I see it as both, Orange. As the wheat are being systematically hunted and slaughtered all over the earth, there will be strong testimony spilling from their lips. And I see God using an angel to announce the good news as well. It is going to be a crazy, scary time. The great falling away of the many will be exposing all the tares that are in the church but the wheat will boldly proclaim by the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

    Was the character’s motivation to run and hide to preserve their lives or to be obedient to Christ’s instruction? I think it was the later.

    I know Kristen’s dad would not have died for the position that Hitler is Antichrist. I do know that he would have died for the position that the church will go through the great tribulation but not God’s wrath. I can’t wait to meet this student of the Word in heaven some day. He is one of my heroes of the faith.

  2. nike says:

    Hi, Orange –

    Thanks for the review. I just want to clarify one thing – the angels that I have actively spreading a message to the world are from Revelation 14:9-11 and their message is about taking the mark. I do believe that there are gospel angels as well, but they do not negate our responsibility to share the gospel. But in the last days, this third angel warns that whoever takes the mark will spend eternity separated from God, bearing His wrath.

    So, as a fictional novelist portraying a specific community, as a town is “marked up”, I believe that there is no more ability to spread the gospel because that decision is made…do you see where I am going? If a person has the mark, should you still witness to them? On the other hand, those without marks (whether believers or not) will be hunted down in order to satisfy the AC’s demand that the world worship him.

    Thanks again,

    Kristen

    • Hey Kristen-

      That makes sense. I see where you are going and it is plausible. Why would you witness to someone who has already taken the mark? And I believe there is a difference between sharing the gospel and the warning concerning taking the mark. All in all I think you painted a very realistic scenario that we should all be aware of, since it could come during our lifetimes. You know the only reason I included anything critical in this review (as opposed to the last one) is because your husband said that I should. Well, maybe there was one other reason.

      Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

      -The Orange Mailman

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s