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The Mark (Left Behind, No. 8)
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It's the dawn of the Great Tribulation, "the bloodiest season in the history of the world." After lying in state for three days, Nicolae Carpathia has risen from the dead. As the world responds in awe, statues of the potentate and "god" are erected in every major city, and a new religion, "Carpathianism," is in full swing. Followers of the antichrist are branded with a loyalty mark on their right hands or their foreheads, and "vaccinated" with a biochip embedded with personal information. Those who refuse the mark take a one-way trip to the guillotine. The second coming of Christ is only three-and-one-half years away. But can the Tribulation Force hang on?

"The God who calls you to the ultimate sacrifice will also give you the power to endure it. No one can receive the mark of the beast by accident. It is a once-and-for-all decision that will forever condemn you to eternity without God," writes Tsion Ben-Judah in his daily newsletter with its cyberaudience of more than a billion. Heavenly power may be the only hope for the Tribulation Force, as it struggles to survive amidst new terrors, the death of more loved ones, and some unexpected twists in its plans.

The Mark: The Beast Rules the World is the eighth installment in the blockbuster Left Behind series. Rich in dialogue, this action-packed thriller delivers the same consistent mix of apocalyptic mayhem and quirky humor readers have come to expect from the pen of Jerry Jenkins and the prophetic interpretations of Tim LaHaye. --Cindy Crosby

2001 Christy Award finalist!
The international fiction series phenomenon continues. Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye pick up the exciting end-times saga where The Indwelling left off. The evil world leader Nicolae Carpathia officially takes his place as the Antichrist and begins his three-and-a-half year reign of terror over the earth. Technology provides the means to place the mark of the beast on every human, and the Trib Force scrambles to survive.

Customer Reviews:

  • This series is getting less interesting, too slow
    I have read the first 8 books of this series but will probably stop there. The story crawls along at a glacial pace and the author includes some things (advanced technology, for example) that are brushed over very quickly and leave the reader having to imagine that it simply "exists" when there is no illustration about how these things came to be. In addition, the members of the tribulation force seem to be a rather unlikely group in my opinion. Every time a new character gets introduced, it seems like 2 out of 3 are pilots! They all seem to have unlimited access to multi-million dollar aircraft, unlimited fuel, and money to cover the upkeep of these jets. And they all have cell phones that are super secure and work on the GC network, yet the GC can never seem to figure out where they are? And the GC guards that trib force encounters are all bumbling Barney Fife types that are ignorant, stupid, and gullible. They pretty much fall for every trick and deception thrown at them by the trib force. Too much of this is seen in the last couple of books and it becomes annoying to be reminded that it is all fiction. I wish they would have kept the focus, pace, and reality found in the first few books into which I became so engrossed....more info
  • Left behind culturally!
    This books, while I am sure not intentional, seriously undermines christianity. Due to such books, where prophecy is taken literally, christianity is now mocked by thousands. Sadly enough, prophecy books based on accuracy and based on the Scriptures don't sell as well. It is now obvious that the vast majority of christians in America are more concerned with fiction than reality.

    Where can I even start with pointing out the out-of-control interpretations in this series? To point our just a few:

    - LaHaye's presentation of Antichrist as one individual or one person is simply NOT biblical. There are many antichrists, and they were already around when the New Testament was written: 1 John 2:18; 1 John 4:3; 2 John 7

    - LaHaye's literal presentation of large locusts with human heads flying in the skies is also out of control. Very often, prophets in the Bible use the comparison of soldiers with locusts: Nahum 3:17; Judges 7:12; Judges 6:5

    - why are the locusts literal, and why is the beast symbolic? Maybe a literal beast with literal 7 heads would have been too much for the reader to handle? LaHaye is everything but consistent when interpreting prophecy. If Revelation 20 talks about a literal thousand years, then why isn't everything else literal as well, like the lake of fire, the serpent, the chain? Of course, if that is the case, it would be quite an adventure to throw Satan, which is not a physical being, or death and Hades, which are not material things, into a physical lake of fire.

    The author is so inconsistent with his understanding of Revelation, that he is caught in his own maze of interpretations in order to justify his beliefs about the "end of the world". Unfortunately many readers would much rather believe what LaHaye tells them, instead of reading the Bible for themselves and find out the truth.

    It may come as a surprise to many christian readers that the first century christians, including the apostles, believed that the Second Coming of Christ would take place during their lifetimes, and in fact it happened, just as Christ said. LaHaye maybe is not aware of the following passages:

    - Malachi 4:5 and Matthew 17:11. It is obvious that Malachi is not talking about the birth of Christ, because the birth of Jesus did not "burn like a furnace", and it was not a "dreadful" day. Jesus said that Elijah who was to come was John the Baptist. There was only ONE Elijah, and not more. John was that Elijah that was to come right before the Day of the Lord comes.

    - Matthew 24 is about "the end of the age", no about the end of the world, like LaHaye takes it to mean. It is clear that Jesus indeed talks about the destruction of Jerusalem at which time, He will return with power and great glory to destroy the jewish system that proved to have no power against sin, and was a threat to christians

    - If Mathew 24 indeed talks about "the end of the world", why would Jesus tell people to run to the mountains? That makes no sense whatsoever.

    - Also Jesus repeatedly told his apostles that "the end of the age" which is the jewish age, will take place during their lifetimes: Matthew 23:36; Matthew 24:34; Matthew 16:28; Mark 13:23; Luke 21:32; Matthew 10:23

    - Why is LaHaye ignoring all the New Testament references which clearly point to an imminent return of Christ? Could it be because if the Second Coming was a matter of the past, he would no longer be able to sell his books? Indeed, read Romans 16:20; Hebrews 8:13; Rev 1:1; Rev 3:11; Rev 22:6,7,12,20; 1 John 2:18; 1 Peter 4:7; 1 John 2:18

    - Jesus does not return on a physical cloud in the skies. God used such imagery in the past in prophecy, like in Isaiah 19:1

    Is it indeed clear, from the Bible, not from the Left Behind series, that our Lord returned when He said, soon, during that generation, when the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the romans, and the jewish system, which was a threat to christianity was wiped out. How can LaHaye, Jenkins, or the reader, when presented with such overwhelming biblical proof, can still promote this book series as fact when in fact it has no basis in the Bible? I will let the reader answer that question....more info

  • It's time to choose sides...
    Nicolae Carpathia is back. Unfortunately, Satan is inhabiting him directly. Which means that things can only go downhill from here.

    Wanting to cement his power as quickly as possible, Nicolae Carpathia (Satan) orders that every human being accept a mark (an implanted biochip along with a tatooed sign) that will soon be used to conduct standard trade and commerce. Those without the mark will be unable to buy or sell anywhere. Worse yet, anyone who refuses the mark will be put to death by a contraption called a "loyalty enforcement facilitator," otherwise known as a guillotine.

    As the Global Community prepares to start applying the mark, Carpathia also begins to plan a trip to the holy temple in Jerusalem and declare himself God. Being the ultimate egotistical maniac, Carpathia/Satan believes that he will be most welcomed by all. It is his belief that the few Judah-ites that show up will be those that are ready to pledge themselves to him.

    Naturally, the Tribulation Force sees just the opposite. As the New Babylon members of the Tribulation Force prepare to flee before being made to choose between the mark and death, the stateside members prepare to head oversees to throw as much of a monkey wrench into Carpathia's plans as possible.

    The 8th book of the popular "Left Behind" series, "The Mark" is not as suspenseful or grabbing as most of the previous books have been. This is more of a transition book, going from the Tribulation to the Great Tribulation. Much of the old has to be cleared out to make room for the new, so time is needed to introduce new characters and set the stage for what's next to come.

    That being said, the description of the beginning of the mark application in a prison in Greece is very graphic and disturbing. This section is not easy to read and, if you are a Christian, will make you very happy that you will already be up in heaven when the time comes for this to take place....more info

  • Christian Fiction
    Another one of those Christian Fictions that bespeaks doom and destruction for all who don't turn their lives over to Jesus. If you can get past the religious psychobabble, its a good book. Otherwise, Buddha is a much better choice and his followers are typically less intolerant and war-like....more info
  • This is the last one for me
    I really enjoyed the first three Left Behinds. However, the forth one began a slow decent in quality and this one just seems like complete filler material. It seems fairly obvious that these novels could have been finished in a series of six. It's a shame that these books are still just as popular as when the first one came out, especially when there are much better End Times novels that cover the subject more fully and with more intelligence than Left Behind. James Beauseigneur's Christ Clone Trilogy is very good and Brian Caldwell's We All Fall Down is even better, probably the best in the genre. I'd strongly suggest picking up either one of these novels and dropping what has become a very thin attempt at simply making money....more info
  • The Beast rules the world.
    The eighth book in the seemingly endless End Times series Left Behind stayed true to form for me. While the odd numbered titles maintain my interest and keep me entertained, the even numbered ones just do not work for me well at all. As was the case with The Indwelling, The Mark picks up at the precise moment the previous book concluded and, for the first hundred or so pages, everything seems fine. Author Jerry B. Jenkins sets up a rolling procession of cliffhangers for his characters to work through and, as long as he keeps them moving towards some sort of goal, the book works just fine. But once the rescues are finished, the new and improved safe house is set up, and new believers surface to replace those that have died, the book stalls, and badly. Why? Because Jenkins focuses on emotional and religious issues and, since his characters cannot be read as anything other than props in a narrative, it is a chore to get through, because none of the weeping and testimonial sharing really rings true. Also frustrating is knowing that Jenkins is setting up for events that will take place in the next series entry, not in this book.

    Also obvious is that the backlash against the Left Behind series really got rolling with this entry, with a Christian character taking the mark of the beast. That Jenkins would twist prophetic beliefs just to keep his simplistic story moving in an easy to control direction just goes to show that, from a writer's perspective, Jenkins is deathly afraid of rolling up his sleeves and getting his hands dirty with the real work of telling a credible End Times fantasy yarn. Can't recommend this one, sorry....more info

  • Great Story
    The Mark: The Beast Rules the World by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye is a book about the Rapture and the coming of Jesus. If you're a follower of the anti-Christ you're branded with the mark of the beast. The loyalty mark is placed on their foreheads or on their right hand. They also get vaccinated with a biochip that contains all their personal information. I f you refuse the mark and get caught your taken directly to the guillotine. Christ will not be back for over three years to save the rest.

    After you read this book it may be a good time to consider reading my book entitled "The Enlightenment, What God Told Me After One Million Prayers, a Message for Everyone" (See Profile Above)...more info
  • If you enjoyed Left Behind . . .
    If you enjoy Left Behind, I would strongly second what so many other reveiwers have already said and suggest The
    Christ Clone novels and We All Fall Down by Brian Caldwell. Both are similar to Left Behind but vastly different in aproach. I read them while waiting for the eleventh Left Behind and, while I love that series, found them to be just as good, and possibly better....more info
  • The Mark
    This book is part of the Left Behind series and I have absolutely enjoyed reading this. I recommend the book and this series to anyone....more info
  • Quick Delivey
    The book was sent quickly and like new. I would buy from them again....more info
  • Addicting books, yet absolutely horrendous quality
    Where do I start? This series has always been addicting, and if you're looking for low quality literature that satiates the political/apocalyptic thriller part of your brain, the Left Behind series is what you need. I will admittedly be reading the rest of the series, no matter what lows the authors sink to.

    With that being said, this is some of the worst adult literature I've ever read as far as quality. The characters aren't unique, and you really can't empathize with any of them. Jenkins' way of having an "emotional" moment is to make the character weep uncontrollably, instead of wrestling with complex issues. The women in the book are barely kept up with, and have no depth whatsoever. The dialog is terrible most of the time, with lots of "uh-huh" and "right". The villains, namely Carpathia and Fortunato, are more cartoonish than Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies. Instead of the frightening character that we knew Carpathia to be in the first book, he now just laughs maniacally in his office and enjoys all the ridiculously obsequious, one-dimensional characters that he has working for him.

    Aside from that, these books have some of the most internally preposterous scenarios I have ever read. For example, are we to really believe that all the obstinate atheists who were "left behind" are simply kowtowing to Carpathia now? Most of the atheists I know would dismiss Carpathia's rising from the dead as a David Blaine-esque trick. Yet the only two groups in the ENTIRE WORLD that offer any resistance to the GC and Carpathianism are the Judah-ites and the Jews. Are you telling me that Muslims wouldn't wage Jihad on the GC? Please. Lazy, lazy writing. Jenkins tends to dismiss things like this with one line of dialog, which is very unsatisfying. For example, I guess everyone's acceptance of Carpathia's rule with an iron fist (including the inexplicably silly reinstitution of le guillotine) is attributed to his mind control. Apparently everyone in the entire world has a television to watch him when he employs the mind control.

    I could honestly go on forever with lists of inconsistencies and bad writing, but all you have to do is open it up and read a few pages. I'm not criticizing it on theological grounds because that's inappropriate for this forum, but I think even Jenkins' biggest fans have to admit that he is a simplistic writer. Don't go in expecting to be moved. These books are entertaining in the same way that Rocky and Bullwinkle is entertaining. Although Boris is a better villain than Carpathia ;)...more info
  • great book
    this is one of the most exciting books of the series it keeps you thinking and feeling the emotions of the characters i love these books and recommend it to everyone...more info
  • Guillotines, signs and marks
    I've had this book since it came out but had to take some time away from the series to see if my jaded perspective was justified. I finally got around to reading another installment of the Left Behind series and was enjoying the first seventy five pages or so. As I continued to read the things that I didn't like before resurfaced to my mind. The margins allow for only about eight words per line and you feel like you are back in grade school. The exciting parts drag on way too long and the characters are unreal, they are transparent and the result is a very predictable outcome to their situations. There is way too much dialogue which makes for an even more simplistic writing style. Of course it is streched out but if you are like me and many more out there you will continue to be hooked. That said I did like the book and continue to like the series in spite of it's flaws. The cast of characters and familiarity with them makes the book enjoyable. The apocalyptic message is intriguing and the parallels to world events surely make for an interesting novel for our times. Even though it is an easy read I had to put it down because it just wasn't that riveting. Having started the series I feel compelled to finish the series and for the most part even enjoyed this book. If you have to know what is happening to Chloe, Buck Rayford, Tsion Ben -Judah, Chang and the others, including the bad guys Carpathia and Fortunato than by all means get this book. Getting your products scanned at the supermaket will probably never be the same once you read this book. Recommended for Christians mostly but non-believers will probably just love to take some jabs at this book if they read it....more info
  • Just one more book in the all-encompassing, enthralling, and utterly absorbing Left Behind Series
    From the very first letter of the alphabet that my eyes looked upon inside this series of books, until the very last period of the very last sentence, I was hooked. Each one of these books absorbed my attention like no other book has ever done in my life. Biblically sound, theatrically entertaining, and brilliantly written, the Left Behind books will inspire you to dig into God's word and take the pieces of news from your T.V. screen and match them right smack-dab up with the prophecies of the Bible. Your hair will stand up, your heart will race, and you will find yourself helplessly caught in the suspense. Once you finish one of these books, you will desperately race to your computer screen or your local library to pick up the next one!

    Carrie Lynn Jones
    Author of It All Began... When Jesus Gave Me Sneakers
    ...more info
  • Heresy, plain and simple
    As Daniel Rivera mentioned, taking the mark of the beast is a signal that you're rejecting Christ. There is no having your cake and eating it, too. You either accept Christ or reject Him. There is no middle ground. Taking the mark is a conscious choice: Otherwise, why wouldn't Satan just drug those who refused and give them all the mark?

    Until this obvious departure from Scripture, I was disturbed by other, more subtle deviations - like the lying and deception of the characters as they jet back and forth from the U.S. to Babylon. It isn't the lying and deception that bothers me so much as the absence of any conviction about it. I can't reconcile that with the knowledge that we have a God in whom there is no darkness at all, a God so holy that He couldn't bear to look upon His son at the moment of his death.

    Another thing that bugged me is that all the Black characters get killed off (and by all, I mean the entire TWO black characters), and when Chloe finally finds an enclave of people of color, they are all drug dealers, pimps, and prostitutes! (or I guess former drug dealers, former pimps, and former prostitutes)

    What's up with that? I'm not saying there has to be a trib force made up of one person from each racial/ethnic group, but what we have here is very disturbing picture (and no, I don't believe the authors are trying to say that all the people of color got caught up in the Rapture).

    Anyway, to make a long story short, I would not recommend this book or this series to anyone. The authors are managing to mix in their own ideology with Scripture, and that's a dangerous combination....more info

  • The Mark
    The story is great, but the condition of the book was less than what I expected. All of the pages are brown and tear easily. The purchase that I selected was classified as "new". I was disappointed....more info
  • Another way of approaching Revelations
    Book starts with the cast of characters divided into Believers, Professed Believers, Enemies, and Undecided. This cast changes slightly from book to book, but Rayford, Buck, Chloe, and Tsion Ben-Judah are still here. The story takes place after the resurrection of Nicolae and the indwelling of Satan. For economic and security reasons, all members of the Global Community must bear the mark of the Beast. Now, all the believers must prepare to hide.

    This book, as are others in the series, difficult to read without reading the series in order. Without understanding the history of the characters and understanding what has happened to the world, you will be lost. Some elements of the story take a couple of books to work through, so just reading one will not allow you to see how it started or ended. The character of Hattie Durham is an example of this.

    I would recommend this book if you have read the preceding books....more info

  • I liked it!
    Yes, it was an easy read. I have read the whole series and never spent more than a few hours reading it. Still, the plot made it irresistable. That being said, the "Left Behind" promoters have left no stone unturned and parlayed this into an industry unto itself, like "40 Days of Purpose" or TBN - buy the audio tapes, buy the tee shirts, join the club - and, hey, don't forget to buy a nice Christian coffee mug and bumper sticker while you're at it! My husband calls all the little extras "Christian crap"-- and I tend to agree.

    If you want a good, fast-paced, easy-to-read story, with some theology thrown in to boot, read the book, enjoy it, and bypass the cofee mugs and tee shirts! If you just HAVE to spend money, send a donation to the Gideons so they can put a Bible in someone's hands, or send it to Operation Christmas Child or some other worthy cause :)...more info
  • Best series ever
    The Left Behind books are the best books I have ever read. They have turned my whole life around and helped bring me to find Christ. Thanks!...more info
  • Used Book "The Mark: The Beast Rules The World
    Although I haven't read the book yet, I feel sure it will live up to expectations, being the eighth in the series and I have enjoyed them all so far. The book arrived promptly, in good condition and exactly as described....more info
  • It's a either/or choice but not both
    When I read the part about Chang taking the mark of the beast even though he was a Christian, I became worried. I became worried that millions of people who are not familiar with Christ will think that they can be both Christian and have the mark of the beast and be ok. I feel that if you refuse the mark but they try to place it on you anyway that the power of God would prevent them from doing so. I began to wonder who side the authors are really on (satan has many disguises). I feel that if Chang didn't want the mark, he was supposed to claim that he was a Christian and DEMAND that the mark of the beast not be placed on him. Also, the rise of the antichrist will not be so cut and dry as the writters describe in the series. It could be happening now, sneaking up on us for all we know. The authors could get to the point of the series if they left out such trivial scenes such as Buck, who manages to find an excuse to be away from his wife and child, and Chloe debating whether or not to have a child during the end times--I mean they're Christians who know that the Tribulation is happening --give me a break. Go to your local library if you want to save money; even buying the books at discounts can become expensive. Most of the books are good, including this one, BUT they could have been condensed into a shorter series. I do wish the authors would hurry it up and get to the ending....more info
  • pokey delivery
    The book arrived by the delivery date stated which took nearly 3 weeks. I ordered other books in this series from other sellers and they all arrived within the first 2 weeks. The book arrived in good condition and the seller met the designated delivery date, but I felt it could have been shipped much quicker....more info
  • Not a perfect series but better than some give it credit for
    So far, I've read all eleven Left Behind novels, and while they are not perfect, I think that some people don't give it enough credit because of unfair comparisons. People often point to We All Fall Down and The Christ Clone trilogy as better novels, and in a way, they are, but they are also very different. Left Behind seems to be more of an introduction to the subject of the End Times, a series that is reaching out to all people of different ages. It's not particularly well written, but it is clear and straightforward. The characters are not particularly realistic or interesting, but these are not character studies, these are novels that are trying to give people an overview of this concept, and they do that quite well.

    To compare these to other novels with similar themes is a little bit unfair. We All Fall Down is much better written and more intelligent, but the focus of that novel is much more intensley spiritual and more of a character study that uses the End Times as a backdrop to explore complex issues of evil and salvation. It is for more mature, serious readers and it's aim is very different from Left Behind. Likewise, The Christ Clone is more of a techno-thriller, interested in exploring how, realistically the End Times could arive. I will admit that I enjoyed these other books more than Left Behind, but that does not take away from the fact that Left Behind still does a decent job with the subject. They are not great novels, but they are nowhere near as bad as some people are saying....more info

  • Thank God it's getting better again
    Ok, finally another good book in this series, the first one and then a bunch of crap in between and now this one. And I say this because with this book....I didn't have to force myself to read it. It actually picks up and is not a repeat of a lot of stuff that happened in the other books. I just hope the rest of the series is as good, maybe then I will be able to finish before the end of the year....more info
    Did you think the Left Behind series couldn?ft get any better? IF you?fre one of those people who thought that, than you?fll be totally surprised after reading the eighth book, The Mark. After reading the seventh book in the series, The Indwelling, I could not wait for the eighth book to come out. After starting the series over a year ago, I had the feeling that nothing could top the first book, Left Behind. Thought I?fve been proved wrong time and time again. The seventh book had left off with the reincarnation of Nicolae Carpathia, with Satan indwelling the former man?fs body.
    This book picks up right off with the bat with the action and suspense the left behind series are known for. IN the beginning of the book Annie is still missing while David frantically searches, and eventually finds her. Rayford, Abdullah, and Mac continue on their "flighty" adventures on dangerous missions, one including the rescue of Hattie... You find out that more near and dear friends are added to the list of believers. Chaim continues his studies with Tsion, and is preparing for a huge "responsibility", unsure whether he is ready to accept it or not. The mark of the beast is finally put into affect much to the dismay of the rest of the Trib Force. The resulting consequences for not choosing the mark, is having to go through the "loyalty enforcement facilitators". Find out what David has up his sleeve, with the help of Chang, to help them get out of this mess!
    The reading of this novel was great, I never experienced a dull moment; for the most part, I could hardly put the book down. I love the way the book is set up, with getting bits of pieces of different characters situations and missions in the same chapter. It reminds me of a soap opera; it keeps you on the edge of your toes constantly wondering what happened to one character while indulging into the next characters charades. The book plays on your emotions, as the author takes you through the line of brave men and women awaiting their turn to be beheaded for refusing to deny their faith. Each character stands bravely until the end, always continuing to preach the gospel through the beatings, the torture, the rude comments. It takes you back to the book of Acts from the Bible, in the days of the apostles, and how they suffered the same way. You sympathize with the characters and want to cry out, ?gno, don?ft do it!?h as the prison guards beat them almost to the point of death. And these strong brave souls get back up and glorify the name of Jesus once again.
    The book is completely believable, with Lahaye and Jenkins continuing to use scripture from the Bible throughout the story. You can see where they are coming from, that it is not just coming off the top of their heads. The book of Revelation has been thoroughly studied by LaHaye, and is tied in with the fiction plot line.
    The book runs about three or four plot lines at a time. It has you flying around with Rayford, Abdullah, and Mac around the world hiding from GC; or you stay back at the ?gsafe house?h in Chicago learning the behind the scenes work of the Trib Force; or you are in the GC palaces with David, Chang, Nicolae, Moon, and other characters seeing eye to eye the battle between good and evil from the front row seat.
    My only complaint in this book, is that once again, it is awful to come to the ending of the book, and realize that you must purchase or search for the next book in the series. Or sometimes in my case many times, you have to wait six months or more for the next one to come out! Sometimes it is hard to remember what happened in the previous book with that much time between each one. Another thing I didn?ft like about the ending of the book, is that it built up to this big traumatizing climax, and then just suddenly dropped up and ended right there. I think the ended could have been held out a bit more, so to me, the ending was really disappointing compared to the rest of the book.
    In conclusion, I would highly recommend this book to anyone following the Left Behind series. Its high packed adventure, excitement, and continuing episodes of the tribulation won?ft leave you disappointed!...more info