Sorbo's "Rise of the Antichrist" Movie Modernizes "Left Behind" Story, Showing Govt's New Power to Control


Kevin Sorbo — who directed and stars in the latest offering from the “Left Behind” series — has brought a gritty, modern-day feel to the film that audiences are sure to appreciate.

Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist” began a limited four-day release in 1,500 theaters nationwide Thursday, but the run will be extended if the demand is themre, according to Sorbo.

“Rise of the Antichrist” is the sequel to 2014’s “Left Behind” movie starring Nicholas Cage in the lead role of Rayford Steele. Sorbo took on the part in the new film.

Kirk Cameron played news anchor Buck Williams in three earlier movies based on the bestselling “Left Behind” books from the 1990s and early 2000s, which were coauthored by Jerry Jenkins and the late Tim LaHaye.

In an interview on the Trinity Broadcasting Network’s “Huckabee” earlier this month, Sorbo stated that Jenkins called “Rise of the Antichrist” the best “Left Behind” movie he’s seen. Host Mike Huckabee agreed with that assessment.

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I didn’t know what to expect heading out to see the film Thursday, but I noticed when buying a seat the night before that the nearest theaters to me were all but sold out.

My sense going in was that “Rise of the Antichrist” would be less hokey than I had heard the previous offerings were. My modest expectations were greatly exceeded.

The film is a good ride, with a plot primarily grounded in the Bible’s book of Revelation and other New Testament and Old Testament passages.

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Revelation foretells that the Antichrist will come to power and seek to impose a one world government and an economy where people must take the mark of the beast either in the hand or the forehead in order to buy or to sell.

With the rise of digital everything, one can conceive how such an economy could happen in our time.

Recall the Canadian truckers and their supporters who had their bank accounts frozen in response to protesting COVID policies. If you don’t have a bank account, it’s all but impossible to function — whether you want to buy food, pay your bills or purchase almost anything — in modern society.

“Rise of the Antichrist” makes direct references to these kinds of policies and the power government wields to enforce compliance.

When Steele tries to look up anything about the Bible or Christianity on his phone, he finds there is nothing there. Christian video accounts were also taken down due to violations of the social media platform’s standards.

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“We made it very modern day, so you’ll recognize quite a few things that are going on in today’s world, in our crazy world. And you’re going to feel like the rapture’s got to be pretty close,” Sorbo told Huckabee.

“Newspaper in one hand, Bible in the other. It’s pretty obvious that something’s going on here and a lot of it was predicted,” Huckabee said.

The rapture Sorbo referenced is when Christ comes to take His believers away from the earth, and “Rise of the Antichrist” portrays what is happening before the Great Tribulation.

The Tribulation is a seven-year period detailed in the Bible’s books Revelation, Daniel and Matthew that involves famine, pestilence, and wars, that leave over half the world’s population dead.

The movie is set six months after the rapture occurred, during which Steele’s wife and son were taken to heaven, but he and his daughter Chloe were left on earth.

Steele’s preacher, who was left behind because he had not truly been a follower of Christ, reads a passage from 1 Thessalonians 4, written by the Apostle Paul, to explain the rapture.

“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first,” the scripture reads.

“Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”

Bible scholars differ as to when the rapture will occur, with some believing it will happen before the beginning of the Tribulation, some thinking it will happen mid-Tribulation before God’s wrath is poured out on the earth, and others have concluded it will happen after the seven years.

“Rise of the Antichrist” definitely takes what’s called the pre-Trib view: The Antichrist arrives on the scene in the film before the seven years have begun.

In addition to Sorbo, veteran actors Neal McDonough (seen in “Captain America,” “Minority Report”) and Corbin Bernsen (“Major League” and “LA Law”) put in strong performances in the movie.

McDonough plays Jonathan Stonogal, the creator of a Facebook-like social media platform, who wants to help usher in a one world currency system.

Bernsen portrays Steve Plank, a news network executive who’s trying to enforce the government/corporate line about the cause of “the vanishings” of the people from the earth.

At the network, Greg Perrow plays top news anchor Buck Williams, a Tucker Carlson-like personality, who is not willing to just accept the approved narrative about the vanishings.

“Rise of the Antichrist” starts out a little talky as the audience is brought up to speed about all that’s happened in recent months on the planet, but the action picks up as the film moves along. It’s well worth watching.

It’s in theaters at least through Sunday.

Find show times and theaters here.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith