The Mark, Book Eight in the Left Behind series by authors Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, deals with the continuing struggles of born-again Christians as they live in the latter half of the seven-year Tribulation.
In the rubble of what was once known as Chicago, Illinois, seven members of the “Tribulation Force” have transformed the city’s tallest building, The Strong Building, into a safe-haven for believers. The Strong Building, now only one-third its original size due to the destruction of Chicago, has proven itself a vital asset to the Force’s existence. Securing its indwellers from any enemy, this building provides the Force with a sophisticated security system as well as electricity, plumbing and a parking garage full of usable vehicles. These advantages allow team members to move about unnoticed as they spread the truth by way of e-mail and magazine.
Meanwhile, Nicolae Carpathia, the Satan-incarnate risen lord of the unbelievers, holds his position in his created city, New Babylon, along with his right-hand man, Leon Fortunato, and the entire Global Community. Fortunato has been given the role of “Most High Reverend Father of Carpathianism,” one-world faith that worships the Anti-Christ. Fortunato has been given power to draw fire from the sky and cause statues of Nicolae Carpathia to speak. Such signs prove his role as the Anti-Christ’s false prophet as the Apostle John describes in Revelation 13:11-18.
With the love of the people and the power of Satan, these two men bring one final blow against their Christian antagonists. They decree that every man, woman, and child with love for the Global Community must receive a mark of loyalty either on the right hand or their forehead. If a person rejects this loyalty mark, he is immediately assumed a detractor, and is quickly rushed to a loyalty enforcement facilitator and thereby beheaded. This decree forces all faithful Christians—even those that work for the Global Community—to flee from New Babylon and all other cities where the mark is first being applied.
With Satan gaining power and many believers being killed, the future of the world looks grim. But this is all part of the Lord’s plan, for He has promised to allow Satan to rule the earth for these seven years. Following Satan’s defeats in both the Battle of Armageddon and the Battle of Gog and Magog, he will be cast into the Lake of Fire for all of eternity. With this hope, the believers endure.
Having already read the first seven books in this series, I found The Mark extremely satisfying, as it answered many questions and solved many problems raised in the earlier installments. I would recommend these books to anyone who desires to read an exciting story with godly principles. It should be noted, however, that one should read even these books with discretion. These fictionalized accounts are merely the authors’ personal interpretations of the events and timing of The End Times, and it would be wise for concerned readers to supplement this series with the book of Revelation itself, simply to ensure that they don’t mistake fiction for truth.