Survivors is one of several books by Dave McKay, though written under the pseudonym Zion Ben-Jonah. Distributors are found mainly on busy high streets in city centres. A donation is asked for to pay towards the printing and binding costs, otherwise, the book is free of charge. A digital copy may be found on the organization's website.
The novel was written as a response to the Left Behind series, and corrected what were perceived as errors in these books. Many of the characters closely parallel the characters in the Left Behind series. The main difference between the two is that in Survivors, the rapture (or spiriting away of all of God's faithful believers) comes after the great trials and plagues on Earth, which some believe is what the Bible actually prophesies.
Each chapter is followed by commentary relating the events of the chapter to prophecies in the Bible.
The book was first published in January 2002 and has since sold over a million copies in English, mostly in three major cities: London, Los Angeles, and Sydney. It has been translated into Spanish and Swahili (for use in Kenya). A sequel to the novel, called "Listening" is planned for release in January, 2008. The books are now being distributed more widely, in the Eastern United States, Melbourne, Australia, and Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
The book starts in the USA which is suddenly devastated by a nuclear strike launched from Russia. One of the main character families is described, they are the Straits. Rayford Strait is an airline pilot with the fictional Pan-Continental airways. At the beginning of the book he is flying a transatlantic flight to the UK and is away from his home when the strike hits. His wife Irene, Daughter Chloe and son Raymie are all at home in Illinois when the strike hits. After the strike, Irene is convinced to leave the family home by the local pastor but Chloe does not believe the words of the pastor and stays at the family home. Meanwhile in England, Rayford meets up with a group called the Jeseans, who tell him that the happenings in America have been predicted in the bible. Rayford is convinced the Jeseans have the answer to future happenings and tries to resign from his job to join them, but is not allowed to resign, and henceforth spends his days off travelling with the jeseans and distributing literature. Meanwhile, the United Nations under the auspices of chairman Xu Dangchao have sprung up as the next world power in the absence of the USA and begin a series of programs of aid that put them in a favourable position with the whole world. The UN broker a Middle East peace deal and plan to build a temple in Jerusalem which will encompass the three faiths of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Rayford, along with another man, Chaim Rosenberg, have begun recruiting members to the Jeseans. These members include a former nun and an atheist. Many of these potential members are not convinced of all that the men are saying at first but an unintentional display of supernatural powers by Rayford Strait convinces them that he speaks the truth. The UN develops a plan that all citizens of the world must be implanted under the skin with a microchip called 'the mark' or a barcode tattoo which, it is explained, will do away with the need for identity documents, and will make life all but impossible for those who don't have it. The Jeseans view the mark as the symbol of evil, after Rayford adds up the characters in the tattoo and finds they add up to the Mark of the beast. The temple in Jerusalem is completed and Chairman Dangchao reveals his true identity. He is the Antichrist. Rayford and Chaim travel to Jerusalem and confront him. The book describes the battle.