The Desecration: Antichrist Takes the Throne (Left Behind Series #9)

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Overview

Nicolae Carpathia, now the total embodiment of evil, desecrates the temple in Jerusalem by entering and declaring himself god. The explosive ninth book in the Left Behind series will carry the world to the brink of Armageddon. With over 40,000,000 products sold in the series, Left Behind is an international phenomenon. Tyndale House Publishers
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Overview

Nicolae Carpathia, now the total embodiment of evil, desecrates the temple in Jerusalem by entering and declaring himself god. The explosive ninth book in the Left Behind series will carry the world to the brink of Armageddon. With over 40,000,000 products sold in the series, Left Behind is an international phenomenon. Tyndale House Publishers
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Resonating with the classic tension between good and evil, Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins’s mega-bestselling Left Behind books have struck a responsive chord with readers everywhere. This heart-pounding ninth installment in the series continues the nightmarish tale of Armageddon as Nicolae Carpathia, the antichrist, takes over one of the world's holiest shrines and tightens his grip on the world of those who have been left behind.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780842332293
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/28/2002
  • Series: Left Behind Series , #9
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 5.58 (w) x 8.23 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerry B. Jenkins is a novelist and biographer whose work has appeared in Reader's Digest and Parade and dozens of Christian periodicals. Best known for the forty-million copy bestselling Left Behind series, he has been profiled in TIME, the New York Times, and USA Today, and featured on Good Morning America and Larry King Live. Jerry B. Jenkins and his wife live in Colorado.

Noted scriptural authority Tim LaHaye provides outlines for the vivid Biblical prophecies in the Left Behind series.

Biography

Sometimes, while sitting on airplanes, evangelical preacher Tim LaHaye would ask himself, “What if the Rapture occurred on an airplane?" That germ of an idea grew into the phenomenally successful Left Behind series, which LaHaye coauthors with fiction writer Jerry B. Jenkins. The books combine Biblical prophecy with speculative fiction to produce an action-packed thriller about events between the Rapture, when (according to one Christian tradition) the faithful will ascend to heaven, and the Second Coming.

Before the series began, Jenkins had carved out a career writing other people's autobiographies -- he ghostwrote or co-wrote those of Billy Graham, Orel Herschiser, Hank Aaron, and Nolan Ryan, among others -- as well as writing novels and a few inspirational books on marriage and parenting. Tim LaHaye also wrote books on marriage and faith, served as the pastor for a ministry in California, and co-founded The Pre-Trib Research Center, a Bible scholarship group dedicated to the study of end-times prophecy. LaHaye spent several years searching for a coauthor who could take his vision of the earth's last days -- including that intriguing image of passengers vanishing from an airplane -- and spin it into fiction. Finally, LaHaye and Jenkins were introduced by their mutual literary agent at Alive Communications, and Jenkins began writing the story of airline captain Rayford Steele, whose wife and son vanish along with millions of other true believers. Those "left behind" on Earth have a last chance to choose sides in the ensuing battle between good and evil.

The books became a blockbuster hit. Sales of the Left Behind series soared with each successive volume, and by 2001, ABC News reported, 50 million had been sold. "The formula combines Tom Clancy-like suspense with touches of romance, high-tech flash and Biblical references," The New York Times wrote, explaining how its authors pulled off "an unparalleled achievement for an evangelical novel." LaHaye and Jenkins were stunned by their own success: "I've been writing for 40 years, with 12 million books in print, but I've never seen anything like this," said LaHaye.

The series has spawned a slew of spinoffs: comic books, calendars, a young adults' series, dramatized audio recordings and a movie based on the first book. It has also generated controversy, both within and without the Christian community, for issues ranging from politics (the U.N. figures into the story as a tool of the Antichrist) to Scriptural interpretation (many New Testament scholars reject LaHaye's belief, first popularized by John Nelson Darby in the 1830s, in a seven-year tribulation period following the Rapture).

But LaHaye and Jenkins are convinced that their message is getting through to their readers. They estimate that more than 2,000 people have converted as a result of reading the Left Behind books. "And needless to say, for us that's more important than bestsellers, or money, or anything else," says Jenkins.

Good To Know

Jerry Jenkins is also the writer of a syndicated comic strip, "Gil Thorp," which runs in 60 newspapers nationwide.
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    1. Hometown:
      Jerry B. Jenkins lives in Black Forest, Colorado
    1. Education:
      Tim LaHaye has a B.A., Bob Jones University; and a Doctorate of Ministries, Western Baptist Seminary
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from

Desecration

The Mark

The Quasi and ostensibly her two-man crew and two passengers slammed the beach perfectly perpendicular at near the speed of sound. The first impression of the shocked-to-silence crowd had to be the same as Buck's. The screaming jet engines still resonated even after the plane disintegrated, hidden in a billowing globe of angry black-and-orange flames. An eerie silence swept in, followed less than half a second later by the nauseating sound of the impact, a thundering explosion accompanied by the roar and hiss of the raging fire.

Buck hurried to his car and phoned Rayford. "The ship is down on the shore. No one could have survived it. On my way back to the voice that will cry in the wilderness."

Buck was struck by an unusual emotion as he merged into traffic that crawled toward the ancient city. It was as if he had seen his comrades go down in that plane. He knew it was empty, yet there had been such a dramatic finality to the ruse. He wished he knew whether it was the end of something or the beginning of something. Could he hope the GC was too busy to thoroughly investigate the site? Fat chance.

All Buck knew was that what he had endured in three and a half years was a walk in the park compared to what was coming. The entire drive back he spent in silent prayer for every loved one and Trib Force member. Buck had little doubt that the indwelt Antichrist would not hesitate to use his every resource to quash the rebellion scheduled to rise against him the next day.

Buck had never been fearful, never one to back down in the face of mortal danger. But Nicolae Carpathia was evil personified, and the next day Buck would be in the line of fire when the battle of the ages between good and evil for the very souls of men and women would burst from the heavens, and all hell would break loose on earth.

Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth."

So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.

Revelation 16:1-2

ONE

rayford steele slept fitfully and awoke tangled in a prickly woolen blanket, knees drawn to his chest and fists balled under his chin. He bolted from the cot and peered out of his tiny makeshift quarters near Mizpe Ramon in the Negev Desert.

The sun cast an eerie, orange glow, but it would soon grow harsh and yellow, shimmering off rock and sand. The thermometer would exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit by noon—another typical day in the United Carpathian States.

Engaged in the riskiest endeavor of his life, Rayford had cast his lot with God and the miracle of technology. There was no hiding a jury-rigged airstrip on the desert floor—not from the stratospheric cameras of the Global Community. Ridiculously vulnerable, Rayford and his ragtag team of flying rebels—having arrived by the dozens from around the globe—were at the mercy of the most audacious ruse imaginable.

His comrade in the enemy's lair had planted evidence in the Global Community database that the massive effort at Mizpe Ramon was an exercise of the GC's. As long as GC Security and Intelligence personnel bought the great "lie in the sky," Rayford and his extended Tribulation Force would continue what he called Operation Eagle. The name was inspired by the prophecy in Revelation 12:14: "The woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent."

Dr. Tsion Ben-Judah, spiritual mentor of the Tribulation Force, taught that the "woman" represented God's chosen people; the "two wings," land and air; "her place," Petra—the city of stone; "a time," one year—thus "a time and times and half a time" to be three and a half years; and the "serpent," Antichrist.

The Tribulation Force believed that Antichrist and his minions were about to attack Israeli Christ-followers and that, when they fled, Rayford and his recruited fellow believers would serve as agents of rescue.

He dressed in a khaki shirt and shorts and went looking for Albie, his second-in-command. The helpers, rallied via the Internet by Rayford's daughter, Chloe, from the safe house in Chicago, had only recently finished the landing strip. They had alternated shifts; some were instructed in flight plans by the same personnel who had checked them in and verified the mark of the believer on their foreheads, while others ran heavy equipment or toiled as laborers.

"Here, Chief," Albie said, as Rayford took in the row after row of helicopters, jets, and even the occasional prop plane lining the far side of the strip. "First mission accomplished."

The small, dark, former black marketer, nicknamed after his home city of Al Basrah, wore his bogus GC deputy commander uniform and had in tow a large young man who, Rayford was not surprised to learn, was from California.

"George Sebastian," the tall, thick blond said, extending a powerful hand.

"Rayf—"

"Oh, I know who you are, sir," George said. "Pretty sure everybody here does."

"Let's hope nobody outside here does," Rayford said. "So you're Albie's choice for chopper lead."

"Well, he, uh, asked that I refer to him as Commander Elbaz, but yes, sir."

"What do we like about him?" Rayford asked Albie.

"Experienced. Smart. Knows how to handle a bird."

"Fine by me. Wish I had time to socialize, George, but—"

"If you have just another minute, Captain Steele . . ."

Rayford glanced at his watch. "Walk with us, George."

They headed to the south end of the new airstrip, Rayford's eyes and ears alert for unfriendly skies. "I'll make it quick, sir. It's just that I like to tell people how it happened with me."

"It?"

"You know, sir."

Rayford loved these stories, but there was a time and place for everything, and this was neither.

"Nothing dramatic, Captain. Had a chopper instructor, Jeremy Murphy, who always told me Jesus was coming to take Christians to heaven. 'Course, I thought he was a nutcase, and I even got him in trouble for proselytizing on the job. But he wouldn't quit. He was a good instructor, but I didn't want a thing to do with the other stuff. I was loving life—newly married, you know."

"Sure."

"He invited me to church and everything. I never went. Then the big day happens. Millions missing everywhere. Smart as I'm supposed to be, I actually tried calling him to see if my session was called off that day 'cause of all the chaos and everything. Later that night somebody found his clothes on a chair in front of his TV."

Rayford stopped and studied George. He would have enjoyed hearing more, but the clock was ticking. "Didn't take you long after that, did it?"

George shook his head. "I went cold. I felt so lucky I hadn't been killed. I prayed, I mean right then, that I would remember the name of his church. And I did, but hardly anybody was there. Anyway, I found somebody who knew what was going on, they reminded me what Murphy had been telling me, and they prayed with me. I've been a believer ever since. My wife too."

"My story's almost the same," Rayford said, "and maybe one of these days I'll have time to tell you. But—"

"Sir," the young man said, "I need another second."

"I don't want to be rude, son, but—"

"You need to hear him out, Cap," Albie said.

Rayford sighed.

George pointed to the other end of the airstrip. "I brought samples of the cargo that's followin' me, soon as the strip can handle a transport."

"Cargo?"

"Weapons."

"Not in the market."

"These are free, sir."

"Still—"

"Our base trained for combat," George said. "When Carpathia told the nations to destroy 90 percent of their weapons and send the other 10 percent to him, you can imagine how that went over."

"The U.S. was the largest contributor," Rayford said.

"But I'll bet we also held on to more."

"What've you got?"

"Probably more than you need. Want to see the samples?"

David Hassid sat in the front passenger seat of the rented van with his solar-powered laptop. Leah Rose was driving. Behind her, Hannah Palemoon sat next to Mac McCullum, while Abdullah Smith lay on his back across the third seat. They had spent the night hidden behind a rock outcropping a mile and a half off the main road, midway between Resurrection Airport in Amman, Jordan, and Mizpe Ramon. The last thing they wanted was to lead the GC to Operation Eagle.

David found on the Net that he, Hannah, Mac, and Abdullah were still presumed dead from the airplane crash in Tel Aviv the day before, but Security and Intelligence personnel were combing the wreckage. "How soon before they realize we're at large?" Hannah said.

Mac shook his head. "I hope they assume we'd a been vaporized in a deal like that. Pray they find small bits of shoes or somethin' they decide is clothing material."

"I can't raise Chang," David said, angrier than he let on.

"I imagine the boy's busy," Mac said.

"Not for this long. He knows I need to be sure he's all right."

"Worryin' gets us nowhere," Mac said. "Look at Smitty."

David turned in his seat. Abdullah slept soundly. Hannah and Leah had hit it off and were planning a mobile first aid center at the airstrip. "We all fly back to the States when the operation is over," Leah said.

"Not me," David said, and he felt the eyes of the others. "I'm going to Petra before anybody else even gets there. That place is going to need a tech center, and Chang and I have already put a satellite in geosynchronous orbit above it."

His phone chirped, and he dug it from his belt. "Hey," he heard. "You know where I am, because I'm on schedule."

"You don't need to talk in code, Buck. Nothing's more secure than these phones."

"Force of habit. Listen, somebody missed their rendezvous."

"Just say who, Buck. If we were going to be compromised, it's happened already."

"Hattie."

"She was with Leah in Tel Aviv. Then she was supposed to—"

"I know, David," Buck said. "She was to check in with me at dawn today in Jerusalem."

"The old man's there and okay?"

"Scared to death, but yeah."

"Tell him we're with him."

"No offense, David, but he knows that, and Hattie is a much bigger problem."

"She's got her alias, right?"

"David! Can we assume the obvious and deal with the problem? She's supposed to be here, but I haven't heard from her. I can't go looking for her. Just let everybody know that if they hear from her, she needs to call me."

"She crucial to your assignment?"

"No," Buck said, "but if we don't know where she is, we're going to feel exposed."

"The GC lists her deceased, just like us."

"That could be what they want us to think they believe."

"Hang on," David said, turning to Leah. "What was Hattie supposed to do after you two split up?"

"Disguise herself as an Israeli, blend into the crowd in Tel Aviv, go to Jerusalem, check in with Buck, and watch for signs that Carpathia's people recognized either Buck or Dr. Rosenzweig."

"Then?"

"Lie low in Jerusalem until everything blew up there, then head back to Tel Aviv. Someone from the operation was going to pick her up and fly her back to Chicago while all the attention was on Jerusalem and the escape."

David turned back to the phone. "Maybe she got spooked in Tel Aviv and never got to Jerusalem."

"She needs to let me know that, David. I've got to hold Chaim's hand for a while here, so inform everybody, will you?"

A few minutes after midnight, Chicago time, Dr. Tsion Ben-Judah knelt before his huge curved desk at the Strong Building and prayed for Chaim. The former rabbi's confidence in his old mentor's ability to play a modern-day Moses was only as strong as Chaim's own. And while Rosenzweig had proved a quick and thorough study, he had left the United North American States still clearly resisting the

mantle. Tsion's reverie was interrupted by the low tone on his computer that could be triggered by only a handful of people around the world who knew the code to summon him. He struggled to his feet and peered at the screen. "Dr. Ben-Judah, I hope you're there," came the message from Chang Wong, the teenager David had left in his place at Global Community headquarters in New Babylon. "I am despairing for my life."

Tsion groaned and pulled his chair into place. He sat and pounded the keys. "I am here, my young brother. I know you must feel very much alone, but do not despair. The Lord is with you. He will give his angels charge over you. You have much to do as the point man for all the various activities of the Tribulation Force around the world. Yes, it is probably too much to ask of one so young, in years and in the faith, but we all must do what we have to. Tell me how I can encourage and help you so you can return to the task."...

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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

"We can all keep our fingers crossed," Mac said. "I’ve seen those Quasis do amazing things based solely on what the flight management system onboard computer tells it to do. But this is a long flight on its own, and I’ve asked it to do some interesting stuff, barring turbulence."

"Cross our fingers?" Hannah said. "Only God can make this work. You’re the expert, Captain McCullum, but if this thing goes down anywhere but deep in the Mediterranean, it won’t take long for someone to discover no one was aboard."

This plane was not free-falling toward the Mediterranean. No, this multimillion-Nick marvel of modern technology was accelerating, her burner cans hot, the vapor shimmering in a long trail. The strange attitude and angle sent the craft careening toward the shore approximately three-quarters of a mile south of the crowd.

The Quasi and ostensibly her two-man crew and two passengers slammed the beach perfectly perpendicular at near the speed of sound. The first impression of the shocked-to-silence crowd had to be the same as Buck’s. The screaming jet engines still resonated even after the plane disintegrated, hidden in a billowing globe of angry black-and-orange flames. An eerie silence swept in, followed less than half a second later by the nauseating sound of the impact, a thundering explosion accompanied by the roar and hiss of the raging fire.

Buck hurried to his car and phoned Rayford. "The ship is down on the shore. No one could have survived it. On my way back to the voice that will cry in the wilderness."

Buck was struck by an unusual emotion as he merged into traffic that crawled toward the ancient city. It was as if he had seen his comrades go down in that plane. He knew it was empty, yet there had been such a dramatic finality to the ruse. He wished he knew whether it was the end of something or the beginning of something. Could he hope the GC was too busy to thoroughly investigate the site? Fat chance.

All Buck knew was that what he had endured in three and a half years was a walk in the park compared to what was coming. The entire drive back he spent in silent prayer for every loved one and Trib Force member. Buck had little doubt that the indwelt Antichrist would not hesitate to use his every resource to quash the rebellion scheduled to rise against him the next day.

Buck had never been fearful, never one to back down in the face of mortal danger. But Nicolae Carpathia was evil personified, and the next day Buck would be in the line of fire when the battle of the ages between good and evil for the very souls of men and women would burst from the heavens, and all hell would break loose on earth.

——————

Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth."

So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.

Revelation 16:1-2

ONE

rayford steele slept fitfully and awoke tangled in a prickly woolen blanket, knees drawn to his chest and fists balled under his chin. He bolted from the cot and peered out of his tiny makeshift quarters near Mizpe Ramon in the Negev Desert.

The sun cast an eerie, orange glow, but it would soon grow harsh and yellow, shimmering off rock and sand. The thermometer would exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit by noon—another typical day in the United Carpathian States.

Engaged in the riskiest endeavor of his life, Rayford had cast his lot with God and the miracle of technology. There was no hiding a jury-rigged airstrip on the desert floor—not from the stratospheric cameras of the Global Community. Ridiculously vulnerable, Rayford and his ragtag team of flying rebels—having arrived by the dozens from around the globe—were at the mercy of the most audacious ruse imaginable.

His comrade in the enemy’s lair had planted evidence in the Global Community database that the massive effort at Mizpe Ramon was an exercise of the GC’s. As long as GC Security and Intelligence personnel bought the great "lie in the sky," Rayford and his extended Tribulation Force would continue what he called Operation Eagle. The name was inspired by the prophecy in Revelation 12:14: "The woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent."

Dr. Tsion Ben-Judah, spiritual mentor of the Tribulation Force, taught that the "woman" represented God’s chosen people; the "two wings," land and air; "her place," Petra—the city of stone; "a time," one year—thus "a time and times and half a time" to be three and a half years; and the "serpent," Antichrist.

The Tribulation Force believed that Antichrist and his minions were about to attack Israeli Christ-followers and that, when they fled, Rayford and his recruited fellow believers would serve as agents of rescue.

He dressed in a khaki shirt and shorts and went looking for Albie, his second-in-command. The helpers, rallied via the Internet by Rayford’s daughter, Chloe, from the safe house in Chicago, had only recently finished the landing strip. They had alternated shifts; some were instructed in flight plans by the same personnel who had checked them in and verified the mark of the believer on their foreheads, while others ran heavy equipment or toiled as laborers.

"Here, Chief," Albie said, as Rayford took in the row after row of helicopters, jets, and even the occasional prop plane lining the far side of the strip. "First mission accomplished."

The small, dark, former black marketer, nicknamed after his home city of Al Basrah, wore his bogus GC deputy commander uniform and had in tow a large young man who, Rayford was not surprised to learn, was from California.

"George Sebastian," the tall, thick blond said, extending a powerful hand.

"Rayf—"

"Oh, I know who you are, sir," George said. "Pretty sure everybody here does."

"Let’s hope nobody outside here does," Rayford said. "So you’re Albie’s choice for chopper lead."

"Well, he, uh, asked that I refer to him as Commander Elbaz, but yes, sir."

"What do we like about him?" Rayford asked Albie.

"Experienced. Smart. Knows how to handle a bird."

"Fine by me. Wish I had time to socialize, George, but—"

"If you have just another minute, Captain Steele . . ."

Rayford glanced at his watch. "Walk with us, George."

They headed to the south end of the new airstrip, Rayford’s eyes and ears alert for unfriendly skies. "I’ll make it quick, sir. It’s just that I like to tell people how it happened with me."

"It?"

"You know, sir."

Rayford loved these stories, but there was a time and place for everything, and this was neither.

"Nothing dramatic, Captain. Had a chopper instructor, Jeremy Murphy, who always told me Jesus was coming to take Christians to heaven. ’Course, I thought he was a nutcase, and I even got him in trouble for proselytizing on the job. But he wouldn’t quit. He was a good instructor, but I didn’t want a thing to do with the other stuff. I was loving life—newly married, you know."

"Sure."

"He invited me to church and everything. I never went. Then the big day happens. Millions missing everywhere. Smart as I’m supposed to be, I actually tried calling him to see if my session was called off that day ’cause of all the chaos and everything. Later that night somebody found his clothes on a chair in front of his TV."

Rayford stopped and studied George. He would have enjoyed hearing more, but the clock was ticking. "Didn’t take you long after that, did it?"

George shook his head. "I went cold. I felt so lucky I hadn’t been killed. I prayed, I mean right then, that I would remember the name of his church. And I did, but hardly anybody was there. Anyway, I found somebody who knew what was going on, they reminded me what Murphy had been telling me, and they prayed with me. I’ve been a believer ever since. My wife too."

"My story’s almost the same," Rayford said, "and maybe one of these days I’ll have time to tell you. But—"

"Sir," the young man said, "I need another second."

"I don’t want to be rude, son, but—"

"You need to hear him out, Cap," Albie said.

Rayford sighed.

George pointed to the other end of the airstrip. "I brought samples of the cargo that’s followin’ me, soon as the strip can handle a transport."

"Cargo?"

"Weapons."

"Not in the market."

"These are free, sir."

"Still—"

"Our base trained for combat," George said. "When Carpathia told the nations to destroy 90 percent of their weapons and send the other 10 percent to him, you can imagine how that went over."

"The U.S. was the largest contributor," Rayford said.

"But I’ll bet we also held on to more."

"What’ve you got?"

"Probably more than you need. Want to see the samples?"

——————

David Hassid sat in the front passenger seat of the rented van with his solar-powered laptop. Leah Rose was driving. Behind her, Hannah Palemoon sat next to Mac McCullum, while Abdullah Smith lay on his back across the third seat. They had spent the night hidden behind a rock outcropping a mile and a half off the main road, midway between Resurrection Airport in Amman, Jordan, and Mizpe Ramon. The last thing they wanted was to lead the GC to Operation Eagle.

David found on the Net that he, Hannah, Mac, and Abdullah were still presumed dead from the airplane crash in Tel Aviv the day before, but Security and Intelligence personnel were combing the wreckage. "How soon before they realize we’re at large?" Hannah said.

Mac shook his head. "I hope they assume we’d a been vaporized in a deal like that. Pray they find small bits of shoes or somethin’ they decide is clothing material."

"I can’t raise Chang," David said, angrier than he let on.

"I imagine the boy’s busy," Mac said.

"Not for this long. He knows I need to be sure he’s all right."

"Worryin’ gets us nowhere," Mac said. "Look at Smitty."

David turned in his seat. Abdullah slept soundly. Hannah and Leah had hit it off and were planning a mobile first aid center at the airstrip. "We all fly back to the States when the operation is over," Leah said.

"Not me," David said, and he felt the eyes of the others. "I’m going to Petra before anybody else even gets there. That place is going to need a tech center, and Chang and I have already put a satellite in geosynchronous orbit above it."

His phone chirped, and he dug it from his belt. "Hey," he heard. "You know where I am, because I’m on schedule."

"You don’t need to talk in code, Buck. Nothing’s more secure than these phones."

"Force of habit. Listen, somebody missed their rendezvous."

"Just say who, Buck. If we were going to be compromised, it’s happened already."

"Hattie."

"She was with Leah in Tel Aviv. Then she was supposed to—"

"I know, David," Buck said. "She was to check in with me at dawn today in Jerusalem."

"The old man’s there and okay?"

"Scared to death, but yeah."

"Tell him we’re with him."

"No offense, David, but he knows that, and Hattie is a much bigger problem."

"She’s got her alias, right?"

"David! Can we assume the obvious and deal with the problem? She’s supposed to be here, but I haven’t heard from her. I can’t go looking for her. Just let everybody know that if they hear from her, she needs to call me."

"She crucial to your assignment?"

"No," Buck said, "but if we don’t know where she is, we’re going to feel exposed."

"The GC lists her deceased, just like us."

"That could be what they want us to think they believe."

"Hang on," David said, turning to Leah. "What was Hattie supposed to do after you two split up?"

"Disguise herself as an Israeli, blend into the crowd in Tel Aviv, go to Jerusalem, check in with Buck, and watch for signs that Carpathia’s people recognized either Buck or Dr. Rosenzweig."

"Then?"

"Lie low in Jerusalem until everything blew up there, then head back to Tel Aviv. Someone from the operation was going to pick her up and fly her back to Chicago while all the attention was on Jerusalem and the escape."

David turned back to the phone. "Maybe she got spooked in Tel Aviv and never got to Jerusalem."

"She needs to let me know that, David. I’ve got to hold Chaim’s hand for a while here, so inform everybody, will you?"

——————

A few minutes after midnight, Chicago time, Dr. Tsion Ben-Judah knelt before his huge curved desk at the Strong Building and prayed for Chaim. The former rabbi’s confidence in his old mentor’s ability to play a modern-day Moses was only as strong as Chaim’s own. And while Rosenzweig had proved a quick and thorough study, he had left the United North American States still clearly resisting the mantle.

Tsion’s reverie was interrupted by the low tone on his computer that could be triggered by only a handful of people around the world who knew the code to summon him. He struggled to his feet and peered at the screen. "Dr. Ben-Judah, I hope you’re there," came the message from Chang Wong, the teenager David had left in his place at Global Community headquarters in New Babylon. "I am despairing for my life."

Tsion groaned and pulled his chair into place. He sat and pounded the keys. "I am here, my young brother. I know you must feel very much alone, but do not despair. The Lord is with you. He will give his angels charge over you. You have much to do as the point man for all the various activities of the Tribulation Force around the world. Yes, it is probably too much to ask of one so young, in years and in the faith, but we all must do what we have to. Tell me how I can encourage and help you so you can return to the task."

"I want to kill myself."

"Chang! Unless you have purposely jeopardized our mission, you need feel no such remorse. If you have made a mistake, reveal it so we can all adapt. But you have satellites to manipulate and monitor. You have records to keep in order, in case the enemy checks the various aliases and operations. We are nearly at zero hour, so do not lose heart. You can do this."

Chang’s message came back: "I am in my room at the palace with everything set up the way Mr. Hassid and I designed. My machinations are filtered through a scrambler so complex that it would not be able to unravel itself. I could end my life right now and not affect the Tribulation Force."

"Stop this talk, Chang! We need you. You must stay in position and adjust the databases depending upon what we encounter. Now, quickly, please, what is the problem?"

"The problem is the mirror, Dr. Ben-Judah! I thought I could do this! I thought the mark that was forced on me would be an advantage. But it mocks me, and I hate it! I want to take a razor blade and slice it from my head, then slit my wrists and let God decide my fate."

"God has decided, my friend. You have the seal of God upon you, according to our trusted brothers. You did not accept the mark of Antichrist, nor will you worship him."

"But I have been studying your own writings, Doctor! The mark of the beast brings damnation, and the Bible says we can’t have both marks!"

"It says we cannot take both."

"But the heroes, the martyrs, the brave ones accepted death for the sake of the truth! You said a true believer would be given the grace and courage to stand for his faith in the face of the blade."

"Did you not resist? God is no liar. I have told people that they cannot lose the mark of the seal of God and that they need not worry they will lose heart because of their human weakness, but that God will grant them peace and courage to accept their fate."

"That proves I am lost! I did not have that peace and courage! I resisted, yes, but I did not speak out for God. I cried like a baby. My father says I pleaded fear of the needle. When it became clear they were really going to do this, I wanted to die for my faith! I planned to resist till the end, though I knew my father would then find out about my sister and expose her too. Right up until the time they stuck me, I was prepared to say no, to say that I was a believer in Christ."

Tsion slumped in his chair. Could it be true? Was it possible God had not given Chang the power to resist unto death? And if not, was he not truly a believer? "Do me this favor," he tapped in slowly. "Do not do anything rash for twenty-four hours. We need you, and there must be an answer. I do not want to gloss over it, for I confess it puzzles me too. Will you stay at the task and fight your temptation until I get back to you?"

Tsion stared at the screen for several minutes, worried he was already too late.

——————

Rayford’s breath caught when he saw what George Sebastian had apparently already shown Albie. "We’re not soldiers," he said. "We’re flyers."

"With these you can be soldiers too," George said. "But it’s your call."

"I wish it were my call," Albie said. "If Carpathia’s troops are not our mortal enemies . . ."

George handed Rayford a weapon more than four feet long that weighed at least thirty-five pounds and had a built-in bipod. Rayford could barely heft it horizontally. "Carry it nose up," George said.

"I won’t be carrying it at all," Rayford said. "What in the world kind of ammo does this thing take?"

"Fifty-caliber, Captain," George said, digging out a clip of four six-inch bullets. "They weigh more than five ounces each, but get this, they have a range of four miles."

"C’mon!"

"I wouldn’t lie to ya. A round leaves the chamber at three thousand feet a second, but it takes a full seven seconds to hit a target two miles away, considering deceleration, wind, all that."

"You couldn’t hope for any kind of accuracy—"

"It’s on record that a guy put five rounds within three inches of each other from a thousand yards. At two hundred yards you can put one of these through an inch of rolled steel."

"The recoil must be—"

"Enormous. And the sound? Without an earplug you could damage your hearing. Wanna try one?"

"Not on your life. I can’t imagine a use for these monstrosities, and I sure wouldn’t want to produce a sound that would alert the GC before the fun starts."

George pressed his lips together and shook his head. "Should have checked with you first. I’ve got a hundred of ’em on the way with all the ammo you’d need, some with incendiary tips."

"Dare I ask?"

"A primer inside makes the casing separate if it hits soft material."

"Like flesh?"

George nodded.

Rayford shook his head. "My flyers would never be able to manage these from the air, and that’s top priority."

Albie said, "We’ll store them. You never know."

"Wanna see the other?" George said.

"Not if it’s anything like these," Rayford said.

"It’s not." George carefully set the fifty-caliber back into the cargo hold. "These are designed to use from planes or ground vehicles," he said, producing a lightweight rifle and tossing it to Rayford. "No projectiles."

"Then what—?"

"It’s a DEW, a ‘directed energy weapon.’ From a little under half a mile you can shoot a concentrated beam of waves that penetrates clothing and heats any moisture on the skin to 130 degrees in a couple of seconds."

"What does it do to a man’s innards?"

"Not a thing. Nonlethal."

Rayford handed it back. "Impressive," he said. "And we appreciate it. My problem is, I don’t have combat troops, and even if I did, we’d be no match for the GC."

George shrugged. "They’ll be here if you need ’em."

——————

Had the day’s prospects not been so dire and Buck not so worried about Hattie’s whereabouts, he might have chuckled at the sight of Dr. Rosenzweig. The old man opened his door to Buck’s knock at the King David Hotel wearing baggy boxer shorts, a sleeveless T-shirt, and the sandals he was to wear with the brown robe. "Cameron, my friend, forgive me; come in, come in."

Buck was used to Rosenzweig’s normal appearance: wiry, clean shaven, slight, in his late sixties, pale for an Israeli, and with hazel eyes and wisps of wild white hair reminiscent of pictures of Albert Einstein. Normally the decorated statesman and Nobel Prize winner wore wire-rimmed glasses, bulky sweaters, baggy trousers, and comfortable shoes.

Buck found it hard to get used to his old friend with burnt amber skin, very short dark hair, a bushy beard and mustache, deep brown contact lenses, and a protruding chin caused by a tiny appliance in his back teeth. "Zeke sure did a job on you," Buck said, aware that surviving a horrific plane crash had also left its effects on Chaim.

Dr. Rosenzweig retreated to a chair near where he had laid out his Bible and two commentaries, which he had hidden in his luggage for the flight from the United North American States. A half glass of water sat next to him on a lamp table. His roomy, hooded, monklike robe lay on the bed.

"Why not dress, brother?"

The old man sighed. "I am not ready for the uniform yet, Cameron. I am not ready for the task," Chaim said, his speech altered not only by the appliance but also from damage to his jaw.

Buck checked the closet and found a hotel robe. "Put this on for now," he said. "We’ve got a couple of hours."

Dr. Rosenzweig seemed grateful to be helped into the terry-cloth garment, but it was white and a one-size-fits-all. The contrast between it and his new skin color, and the hem bunching up on the floor when he sat again, made him look no less comical.

Chaim lowered his head, then looked at the hotel name on the breast pocket. "King David," he said. "Do you not think we should have ‘Patriarch Moses’ sewn onto the brown one?"

Buck smiled. He could not imagine the pressure on his friend. "God will be with you, Doctor," he said.

Suddenly Rosenzweig shuddered and slid to the floor. He turned and knelt, his elbows on the chair. "Oh, God, oh, God," Chaim prayed, then quickly turned and tore off his sandals, casting them aside.

Buck himself was driven to his knees with emotion so deep he believed he could not speak. Just before he closed his eyes he noticed the rising sun reach between the curtains and bathe the room. He too slipped off his shoes, then buried his face in his hands, flat on the floor.

Chaim’s voice was weak. "Who am I that I should go and bring the children of Israel out?"

Buck, despite the heat of the day, found himself chilled and trembling. He was overwhelmed with the conviction that he should answer Chaim, but who was he to speak for God? He had drunk in the teaching of Dr. Ben-Judah and overheard his counsel to Chaim on the calling of Moses. But he had not realized that the dialogue had been burned into his brain.

Silence hung in the room. Buck allowed himself to peek for an instant before squeezing his eyes shut again. The room was so bright that the orange stayed in his vision the way Chaim’s question lingered in the air. The man wept aloud.

"God will certainly be with you," Buck whispered, and Chaim stopped crying. Buck added, "And this shall be a sign to you that God has sent you: When you have brought the people out, you shall serve him."

The old man said, "Indeed, when I come to the remnant of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?"

Buck pressed his fingers against his temples. "As God said to Moses," he said, "‘I Am Who I Am.’ Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I Am has sent me to you. The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is God’s name forever, and this is his memorial to all generations. ‘The Lord God of your fathers has seen what has been done to you and will bring you up out of the affliction to a land of safety and refuge.’ They will heed your voice; and you shall come to the king of this world and you shall say to him, ‘The Lord God has met with me; and now, please, let us journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God. But the king will not let you go, so God will stretch out his hand and strike those who would oppose you."

"But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice?" Chaim said, so faintly that Buck could barely hear him. "Suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you’?"

Buck rolled onto his back and sat up, suddenly frustrated and impatient with Chaim. He stared at the old man kneeling there, and Buck’s head was abuzz, his eyes full of the color permeating the room. Buck had not felt so close to God since he had witnessed Dr. Ben-Judah conversing with Eli and Moishe at the Wailing Wall.

"Reach out your hand and take the water," he said, suddenly feeling authoritative.

Chaim turned to stare at him. "Cameron, I did not know you knew Hebrew."

Buck knew enough not to argue, though he knew no Hebrew and was thinking and forming his words in English. "The water," he said.

Chaim held his stare, then turned and grasped the glass. The water turned to blood, and Chaim set it down so quickly that it sloshed onto the back of his hand.

Buck said, "This is so that they may believe the Lord God has appeared to you. Now take the water again."

Chaim timidly reached for the glass, and when he touched it the blood became water, even on his hand.

"Now turn your hand toward God’s servant," Buck said. Chaim set the water down again and gestured questioningly toward Buck. And Buck was paralyzed, unable even to move his lips.

"Cameron, are you all right?"

Buck could not respond, light-headed from having stopped breathing. He tried to signal Chaim with his eyes, but the man looked terrified. He pulled his hand back to his chest, as if afraid of its power, and Buck dropped, gasping, his palms on the floor. When he had caught his breath, he said, "Then it will be, if they do not believe you, nor heed the message of the first sign, that they may believe the message of the latter sign."

"Cameron! I’m sorry! I—"

But Buck continued, "And it shall be, if they do not believe even these two signs, or listen to your voice, that you shall take water from the river and pour it on the dry land. And the water which you take from the river will become blood on the dry land."

Buck sat back on his haunches, hands on his thighs, exhausted.

Chaim said, "But I am not eloquent, even now since God has spoken to me. I am slow of speech and slow of tongue."

"Who has made man’s mouth?" Buck said. "Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Has not the Lord? Now therefore, go, and he will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say."

Chaim turned away again and knelt at the chair. "O my Lord," he cried out, "is there no other you may send?"

Buck knew the story. But there was no Aaron. Tsion was at the safe house, not having felt led to help in person. The only other member of the Trib Force with Jewish blood, though he had grown up in Poland, was David Hassid, and he had his own special skills and assignment. Anyway, there was no time to disguise him. If he suddenly appeared in public he would expose the others who were assumed dead in the plane crash—at least for now.

Buck waited for God to give him an answer for Chaim, but nothing came.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 142 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 10, 2011

    great book!!!

    im looking forward to reading the next book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2008

    Desecration-9th book in the Left Behind Series

    This book, being the 9th in a series, is very in depth. You may have trouble keeping up with what is going on but the authors keep you informed going back over what previously happened with that character. The trib force is at it again, this time they add and sadly loose some characters. One thing about this specific series is that the characters come and go quite frequently. However, the main set that you learn of at the beginning are the ones that stay around and have the story revolve around thier situations in regards to other people. Overall the book is very extraordinary, you can not put it down if you get into it. Many people may be turned off by the fact that it is indeed a religious based book, but the story itself is very interesting to anyone. There is plenty of excitement as well as the religious element. There is one downfall however, in my opinion, the book is written in sections from each main character point of view. So the stroy flips back and forth between all of them, making it kind of difficult to understand and remember what happend last in that person's story. It all blends together after a while. The book is very intense and I would reccomend it to anyone, as long as they read the first eight in the series before hand.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2005

    AWESOME BOOK!

    I think this book was really great! This whole series is very enjoyable. And we can all learn from this and the Bible. It may seem that being left behind is the worst thing ever and why is God punishing His people with such bad punishes if He's such a loving God? Well the answer is that we all deserve a even WORSE punishment but God loves us and he doesn't because the only thing it would be is DEATH. Sometimes He even spares people so they don't die so soon. It could be believers or non-believers. I know a boy who was run over by a truck and survived! God decided to spare him. It probably also helped that this boy was a Christian and goes to my church. We all prayed for him and now he's walking and can speak and still have fun! It's amazing at what God can do. And he sent Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins to write this series so the world can know about the Earth's last days.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2004

    Indeed the best book in the series

    This is, I think, the best title in the Left Behind series. It has, as with many others, changed my aspects on life. It's made me think about where i'm going into the afterlife. Jerry Jenkins and Dr. Lahaye are great writers and I hope they will continue spreading the word.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2003

    Best Book Ever!!!

    Read all Left Behind books and this is the best one yet... I didn't even think I'd like the series but now... I'm hooked! AWESOME!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2003

    Good!

    It was a interesting read during this time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2003

    This is my favorite book of the series

    The excitement keeps building in this series. I have been listening to these books on audiocasette while driving to and from college, and I think it is a great way to read these books. When someone else is reading it to you, you feel like you are actually there in the action.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2003

    Desecration: Antichrist Takes the Throne (Left Behind Series #9)

    This is the best book it's a whole lot better than any of the others and how it end is almost a big cliff hanger as Armageddon. I've read them all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2003

    Desecration: Antichrist Takes the Throne (Left Behind Series #9)

    Desecration is by far the best of the books I just simply enjoy the Exodous to Petra and the end leaves you at the edge of a cliff and your hanging on so you Have to go buy the Remnant to just end up enjoying the whole series. I have to say the ' Left Behind' series were/ and are so good I can't stop reading them I can't wait for the Glorious Apperring I will just start reading them agin to simply read what I truely love God and stories about God in the biblical since.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2003

    haven of blood

    This book is full of suspense and action. It has many good and bad qualitys that make it a great book. I have thought a lot about this book and the way it has affected me. It is a very complex story with many new twists and turn compared to the last couple books. Another book about the end times. It is basically about a tyrant and how people followed him blindly. They figured out that a lot of what they thought was the truth was not. There is a underground church that is up against this risen one.The charactors are awesome, the writers really wrote a great antagonist. Carpathia is a really manipulating person. The pacing is so fast, everything is happening at the same time. The blood and violence was so ruthless. It drew me in and made me want to read on. So the second half of the book was like lightning. I like tolive in other people emotions sometime and it was eazy to in this novel. I really didnt like how slow it was to get into the beginning but the ending made up for it. I was hard to understand what was going on in some parts. I never saw foreshaddowing for some of the events and i was truely shocked.At one point, I had to set down my book because it made me cry. Over all the book was the best I've read in a while. I encourage anyone to pick it up it would surprize you. remember the people are so vivid.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2003

    One of the Best Books I Have Ever Read

    This book is great I couldn't put it down. I loved every word from Begining to End. It has action, mystery, and drama. Even if you're not a Christian you'll love this Book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2002

    five star book

    I recommend all ten books, each book take you on a exciting trip to the next if you want a good set of books better than the stand these are the books

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2002

    wow

    i really liked this book, along w/ the rest of the Left Behind series. it really leaves you hanging, and really makes you think. I'd recommend it to any one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2002

    Lost its steam

    Glenn Kleier's THE LAST DAY is the definitive Endtimes novel, if you're looking for a thought-provoking read in this genre. LEFT BEHIND may be closer to REVELATIONS in its interpretation, but it is a poorly written piece of work, in my estimation. THE LAST DAY is not meant to be biblically accurrate, I don't feel. Rather, it is intended to make the reader think, and to stir the heart and soul about many important and frightening topics that affect us all. It is by far a more entertaining, realistic and thrilling read than any of the LEFT BEHIND series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2002

    The next book can't come out fast enough!!!

    These books are great! Even though they take the Bible, in my opinion, WAY too literally I could not put them down. I did not read the books, I listened to them on audio, and they have been the most captivating books I have ever had the pleasure of listening to!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2002

    Desecration: An Unforgettable Thought Provoking Ride!

    These books are Great. The authors certainly know what the readers want. The desecration is a thought provoking biblical tale that keeps the readers of this genre thrilled all the way to the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2002

    Awesome Cliffhanger

    Only took me a day to read and I can't wait till the next one comes out. The cliffhanger leaves you wanting more!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2002

    Best Book in the Series Since Trib. Force!

    I read this book within 24 hours of picking it up! Although some parts dragged, I really enjoyed it overall. It is exciting but very, very sad.(they killed off my favorite character that I was hoping to hear more of :( I don't really like any of the newer characters either,except Chang. I'll probably follow these books 'till the end,(hopefully soon, but doesn't appear so) but it would be so much more enjoyable if they'd add a character that I find likeable to replace the good one they got rid of. :(

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2002

    Desecration: Another great book in the Left Behind Series.

    The ninth book in the Left behind series leaves you wanting more. Just like the cliffhanger from the season finale of a good TV program, Desecration leaves one anxious for the latest book in the series. Throughout the entire series one learns to love various characters, grow with them in their faith of God and sometimes cry when one is called home to be with the Lord. One is left empathizing with Rayford as he feels the pressures of being a leader, frustration and then joy when Chaim now called Micah is called to lead the Jews and celebration and then sadness when Hattie finally accepts the Lord and then is called to stand up against Carpathia, then dies for it. I'm looking forward to the next installment of the Left Behind series. Stay tuned....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2002

    Maybe he hurt himself?

    For me, the time between the books of the Left Behind series seems never ending. I look forward to each and every one. Tim LaHaye does a wonderful job of developing the characters in a way that let's you get to know them. You're not told the personality of each character, but they are revealed to you throughout the series. This book, however, was not quite to par with the rest of the series. It's seems to me that the plot moved a bit to fast, and things didn't have time to unravel as they did in previous volumes. It's almost as if Mr. LaHaye hurt himself making the previous books as outstanding as they are. I expect the rest of this series to hold the attention of everyone who reads them.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 142 Customer Reviews

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