The Rapture: 'In a flash this could all be over'...
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The rapture, a prelude to the end of the world has been forecast to begin this week, with millions of the faithful suddenly, silently called to Heaven and global disasters following.
The prospect, espoused in a book published earlier this year, increased attendance at some churches. The book has been a best-seller and some people have even quit their jobs in preparation for the end...
The excitement stems from a prediction made by Edgar Wisenant in his book, "88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Be In 1988."
Wisenant, a former NASA rocket engineer, uses mathematical calculations and biblical interpretation to pinpoint the beginning of the end to the 48 hours of this year's Jewish New Year — 40 years and 120 days after Israel became a nation on May 14, 1948. The Jewish celebration runs from sunset Sunday to sunset Tuesday.
"That's when the fires and famines are supposed to begin, plagues and sickness like AIDS," said Geneva Whitley, 66, of Bentley. The plagues will end in November 1995, when Christ returns, Wisenant said.
Interest in the event has mushroomed so much that lately some Christian bookstores have reported being unable to keep Wisenant's book in stock.
"We've sold well over 1,000 since the second week in July," said Joanna Hicks, co-owner of the Sign Of The Fish bookstores in the Raleigh area.
Some stores received free shipments of the $2 paperback last week from its publisher, the World Bible Society of Nashville, Tenn., and were giving them away.
"I've spent over $200,000 personally in trying to get the word out to the faithful," the Bible society's publisher, Norville Olive, told The News and Observer of Raleigh.
Barry Blinson of Wendell said he paid more than $1,000 for books and for advertising time on a Christian radio station in Raleigh, to warn people...