Tribulation ready, not rapture ready
One of his best known books was Christians Will Go Through the Tribulation: And How To Prepare For It published 1978, which made a case that the Christian scriptures do not support such doctrines as Dispensationalism or Christians being raptured off the planet. It contained large sections of material about survivalism to urge Christians to be prepared for tough times ahead.
His other well known early book, also from 1978, was Close Encounters of the Highest Kind, which used the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind as a jumping off point for a discussion of UFOs, spiritual warfare, demonic possession, and the Holy Spirit, including a verbatim transcript (complete with foul language) of an exorcism. As with most such evangelistic books, it ends with a salvation pitch for the reader to experience a close encounter of the highest kind by accepting Jesus into their life.
Several of his subsequent books (Now You Can Understand the Book of Revelation (1980), The Coming Climax of History (1982), The Rapture Book (1987)), continued to expound his views about the End Times. Among evangelical End Times books they seem reasonably "wise" and moderate, but that would almost be a given considering some of the other offerings in the genre. They engage in some gentle skepticism to counter Hal Lindsey, and even display a penchant for critical reasoning. However, his 1985 book The AIDS Plague didn't come across so wise or moderate as it cited almost 80 percent to Lyndon LaRouche publications and proposed that everyone carry a mandatory health card with their HIV status. It is unclear why he went down that particular tangent. He was not known for citing LaRouche publications before or since. The book was wisely soon taken out of print.
End Times overcomers and bondslaves
His most distinctive, and most heterodox doctrine is that there will be a special category of believers during the End Times known as "overcomers" or "bondslaves" of Christ. He wrote several books on the subject such as Become Like Jesus and You Can Overcome.
According to this belief, there is a third stage of grace bestowed on believers, the first being salvation or the born again experience, the second being the Pentecostal experience of the "baptism of the Holy Spirit". The third stage of grace is to become, through faith, a "bondslave" of Christ who is then bestowed with supernatural power. These bondslaves have the ability to achieve the goal of becoming just like Jesus, losing their original sin nature, and will become the small number of "overcomers" referred to in the book of Revelation during the End Times.
This doctrine seems to be McKeever's own innovation, but it has some resemblance to the doctrine of sanctification held by the Holiness movement, and to the End Time beliefs of Joel's Army and William Branham.
James McKeever was also a financial writer by profession, and was associated for some time in the 1970s with libertarian hard money oriented newsletters along with Harry Browne, Harry Schultz, Howard Ruff, Don Stephens, Doug Casey, and so forth, before starting his own McKeever's Investment Strategy Letter with a more explicitly Christian slant. An article in the left-wing New Internationalist magazine states that McKeever and Harry Schultz were partners with Las Vegas millionaire Michael J. Oliver and his Phoenix Foundation, which attempted to launch libertarian micronations and secessionist movements during the 1970s. His 1981 book The Almighty and the Dollar, later reissued as Financial Guidance for Christians, had an introduction by Pat Robertson and advised Christians to get their financial advice only from fellow Christian believers, among which he recommended besides his own newsletter, the financial newsletters published by Don McAlvaney, Gary North, and R.E. McMaster.
His books were all published by Omega Publications and distributed by Omega Ministries of Medford, Oregon, which has been renamed The Cutting Edge Ministries since his death (not to be confused with Cutting Edge Ministries of Lexington, South Carolina, which is infinitely more whacked). Omega Publications also published Jim Spillman's The Great Treasure Hunt, which inspired one John Brown to found Zion Oil and Gas drilling for oil in Israel based on texts in the Bible.
- See quotes from Now You Can Understand the Book of Revelation
- Ashes to Ashes: Pacific Islands High Finance Pirates, New Internationalist, July 1981
- This is awful advice, considering all the greedy televangelists begging for money and preaching the law of reciprocity. Should one take financial advice from them solely because they profess to be Christians?