Chariots of Salvation

Hans K. LaRondelle, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Hagerstown, Maryland, 1987, 185 pages, $12.95 hardback; $8.95 paper.

Reviewed by Clifford Goldstein, editor of Shabbat Shalom, Takoma Park, Maryland.

As the end of another millennium approaches, apocalyptic fever will spread like the plague throughout Christendom. The most prevalent symptom will be manifested in an outbreak of books about an impending doom associated with the day of the Lord. Most will center on the Jews in Palestine, who are expected to face massive war. One basic scenario is that Israel will be attacked and through the intervention of God, will win! Then the antiChrist power will make a pact with the Jews, who will re build the temple and resume animal sacrifices. Christians will be raptured from the earth and 144,000 converted Jews will preach Christ to the world just before the carnage of Armageddon, which will center in a valley in Israel. After that battle Jesus will come and establish 1,000 years of peace on earth.

Hans LaRondelle, however, takes a different approach to Armageddon. Following a hermeneutic used in his previous book, The Israel of God in Prophecy, he tackles this crucial aspect of the last days.

Applying the same basic principle used in understanding the prophecies of Christ, LaRondelle confronts the question of what, where, and who is involved in Armageddon. Is it limited to massive war in the Middle East, or is Armageddon something else?

LaRondelle believes it is something else--that it involves God's true Israel made up of His faithful followers scattered over the world, and that the battle is not merely a physical war between political nations, but that "the issue at stake in Armageddon is the true or false worship of the God of Israel." He shows that God's people are those obedient to His law.

In what is perhaps the best chapter, LaRondelle deals with the seal of God, warning that "there is a real danger of confusing the apocalyptic seal of God at the end of time with the gospel seal that all Christians receive when they come to faith in Christ and unite with Him in baptism." This subject has been one of contention, but LaRondelle handles it in a convincing manner that should alleviate some of the confusion.

Always a scholar, LaRondelle has done his homework well in this fine book. It may be a little complex for the average layperson, but a pastor or theologian can digest this book and translate the message in a manner so that members who do have their eyes fixed on the Middle East will turn them where they really belong toward Jesus Christ.

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Reviewed by Clifford Goldstein, editor of Shabbat Shalom, Takoma Park, Maryland.

March 1988

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