The Indwelling: The Beast Takes Possession (Left Behind Series #7)

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June 2000

The Indwelling

Who killed Nicolae Carpathia, one-world global ruler and Antichrist? The Indwelling: The Beast Takes Possession eventually solves this mystery, but keeps you guessing along the way.

Suspicion in Nicolae's murder revolves around the leader of the Tribulation Force, Rayford Steele, who flees Jerusalem in fear for his life. While millions of mourners flood New Babylon to attend the ...

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Overview

June 2000

The Indwelling

Who killed Nicolae Carpathia, one-world global ruler and Antichrist? The Indwelling: The Beast Takes Possession eventually solves this mystery, but keeps you guessing along the way.

Suspicion in Nicolae's murder revolves around the leader of the Tribulation Force, Rayford Steele, who flees Jerusalem in fear for his life. While millions of mourners flood New Babylon to attend the memorial for its beloved, charismatic leader, members of the Force scatter around the globe, with only three remaining in the safe -- or perhaps not-so-safe -- house. Rayford is marked as the prey in a worldwide manhunt, becoming a danger to the Force members who try to help him. As the battle rages between Heaven and Earth, the Beast takes control, unleashing the second half of the Tribulation with calamitous results.

What has life become after the Rapture of the Church, the cataclysm prophesied in the Book of Revelation? In the seventh volume in their phenomenally successful Left Behind series, New York Times bestselling authors Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim F. LaHaye depict a battered Earth amid swirling chaos. The Indwelling resumes the story of those left behind in a a dynamic, apocalyptic novel that maybe -- just maybe -- could take place in a not-too-distant future.

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Editorial Reviews

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The apocalyptic drama of "those left behind" at the Rapture continues with The Indwelling: The Beast Takes Possession! Since the fall of 1995, the first six books in the planned 12-book series -- Left Behind, Tribulation Force, Nicolae, Soul Harvest, Apollyon, and Assassins -- have become the fastest-selling works of Christian fiction ever. The Indwelling finds Rayford, Buck, and Chloe at the midpoint of the seven-year period of Tribulation and resolves the cliffhanging finale of Book Six by naming the assassin of Antichrist Nicolae Carpathia.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780842329293
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Series: Left Behind Series , #7
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerry B. Jenkins & Tim LaHaye
Jerry B. Jenkins & Tim LaHaye
When the Left Behind series became a publishing phenomenon, no one was more surprised than its authors, evangelical preacher Tim LaHaye (left) and fiction writer Jerry B. Jenkins. Audiences gobbled up the duo’s thrilling novels, which combine romance, morality questions, and high-tech gadgetry against the dramatic backdrop of the apocalypse.

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



Chapter One


BUCK braced himself with his elbow crooked around a scaffolding pole. Thousands of panicked people fleeing the scene had, like him, started and involuntarily turned away from the deafening gunshot. It had come from perhaps a hundred feet to Buck's right and was so loud he would not have been surprised if even those at the back of the throng of some two million had heard it plainly.

    He was no expert, but to Buck it had sounded like a high-powered rifle. The only weapon smaller that had emitted such a report was the ugly handgun Carpathia had used to destroy the skulls of Moishe and Eli three days before. Actually, the sounds were eerily similar. Had Carpathia's own weapon been fired? Might someone on his own staff have targeted him?

    The lectern had shattered loudly as well, like a tree branch split by lightning. And that gigantic backdrop sailing into the distance ...

    Buck wanted to bolt with the rest of the crowd, but he worried about Chaim. Had he been hit? And where was Jacov? Just ten minutes before, Jacov had waited below stage left where Buck could see him. No way Chaim's friend and aide would abandon him during a crisis.

    As people stampeded by, some went under the scaffold, most went around it, and some jostled both Buck and the support poles, making the structure sway. Buck held tight and looked to where giant speakers three stories up leaned this way and that, threatening their flimsy plywood supports.

    Buck could choose his poison: step into the surging crowd and risk being trampled or step up a fewfeet on the angled crossbar. He stepped up and immediately felt the fluidity of the structure. It bounced and seemed to want to spin as Buck looked toward the platform over the tops of a thousand streaking heads. He had heard Carpathia's lament and Fortunato's keening, but suddenly the sound—at least in the speakers above him—went dead.

    Buck glanced up just in time to see a ten-foot-square speaker box tumble from the top. "Look out!" he shrieked to the crowd, but no one heard or noticed. He looked up again to be sure he was out of the way. The box snapped its umbilicals like string, which redirected its path some fifteen feet away from the tower. Buck watched in horror as a woman was crushed beneath it and several other men and women were staggered. A man tried to drag the victim from beneath the speaker, but the crowd behind him never slowed. Suddenly the running mass became a cauldron of humanity, trampling each other in their desperation to get free of the carnage.

    Buck could not help. The entire scaffolding was pivoting, and he felt himself swing left. He hung on, not daring to drop into the torrent of screaming bodies. He caught sight of Jacov at last, trying to make his way up the side steps to the platform where Carpathia's security detail brandished Uzis.

    A helicopter attempted to land near the stage but had to wait until the crowd cleared. Chaim sat motionless in his chair, facing to Buck's right, away from Carpathia and Fortunato. He appeared stiff, his head cocked and rigid, as if unable to move. If he had not been shot, Buck wondered if he'd had another stroke, or worse, a heart attack. He knew if Jacov could get to him, he would protect Chaim and get him somewhere safe.

    Buck tried to keep an eye on Jacov while Fortunato waved at the helicopters, pleading with one to land and get Carpathia out of there. Jacov finally broke free and sprinted up the steps, only to be dealt a blow from the butt end of an Uzi that knocked him off his feet and into the crowd.

    The impact snapped Jacov's head back so violently that Buck was certain he was unconscious and unable to protect himself from trampling. Buck leaped off the scaffold and into the fray, fighting his way toward Jacov. He moved around the fallen speaker box and felt the sticky blood underfoot.

    As Buck neared where he thought Jacov should be he took one more look at the platform before the angle would obscure his view. Chaim's chair was moving! He was headed full speed toward the back of the platform. Had he leaned against the joystick? Was he out of control? If he didn't stop or turn, he would pitch twelve feet to the pavement and certain death. His head was still cocked, his body stiff.

    Buck reached Jacov, who lay splayed, his head awkwardly flopped to one side, eyes staring, limbs limp. A sob worked its way to Buck's throat as he elbowed stragglers out of the way and knelt to put a thumb and forefinger to Jacov's throat. No pulse.

    Buck wanted to drag the body from the scene but feared he would be recognized despite his extensive facial scars. There was nothing he could do for Jacov. But what about Chaim?

    Buck sprinted left around the platform and skidded to a stop at the back corner, from where he could see Chaim's wheelchair crumpled on the ground, backstage center. The heavy batteries had broken open and lay twenty feet from the chair, which had one wheel bent almost in half, seat pad missing, and a footrest broken off. Was Buck about to find another friend dead?

    He loped to the mangled chair and searched the area, including under the platform. Besides splinters from what he was sure had been the lectern, he found nothing. How could Chaim have survived this? Many of the world rulers had scrambled off the back of the stage, certainly having to turn and hang from the edge first to avoid serious injury. Even then, many would have had to have suffered sprained or broken ankles. But an elderly stroke victim riding in a metal chair twelve feet to concrete? Buck feared Chaim could not have survived. But who would have carried him off?

    A chopper landed on the other side of the platform, and medical personnel rushed the stage. The security detail fanned out and began descending the stairs to clear the area.

    Four emergency medical technicians crowded around Carpathia and Fortunato while others attended the trampled and the crushed, including the woman beneath the speaker box. Jacov was lifted into a body bag. Buck nearly wept at having to leave his brother that way, yet he knew Jacov was in heaven. He ran to catch up with the crowd now spilling into the streets.

    Buck knew Jacov was dead. From the wound at the back of Carpathia's head, he assumed Nicolae was dead or soon would be. And he had to assume Chaim was dead too.

    Buck longed for the end of all this and the glorious appearing of Christ. But that was still another three and a half years off.


* * *

Rayford felt a fool, running with the crowd, the hem of his robe in his hands to keep from tripping. He had dropped the Saber and its box and wanted to use his arms for more speed. But he had to run like a woman in a long skirt. Adrenaline carried him, because he felt fast as ever, regardless. Rayford really wanted to shed the robe and turban, but the last thing he needed just then was to look like a Westerner.

    Had he murdered Carpathia? He had tried to, intended to, but couldn't pull the trigger. Then, when he was bumped and the gun went off, he couldn't imagine he'd been lucky enough to find his target. Could the bullet have ricocheted off the lectern and into Carpathia? Could it also have passed through him and taken out the backdrop? It didn't seem possible.

    If he had killed the potentate, there was certainly no satisfaction in it, no relief or sense of accomplishment. As he hurried along, the screams and moans of Carpathia's faithful all around him, Rayford felt he was running from a prison of his own making.

    He was sucking wind by the time the crowd thinned and began to disperse, and when he stopped to bend at the waist, hands on his hips, to catch his breath, a couple hurrying past said, "Isn't it awful? They think he's dead!"

    "It's awful," Rayford gasped, not looking at them.

    Assuming TV cameras had caught everything, especially him with the gun raised, it wouldn't be long before he would be sought. As soon as he was away from the busy streets, he shed the garb and stuffed it in a trash barrel. He found his car, eager to get to Tel Aviv and out of Israel before it became impossible.


* * *

Mac stood near the back of the throng, far enough from the gun that the report didn't reach his ears until after the massive crowd began to move. While others near him shrieked and gasped and pleaded to know what was going on, he kept his eyes on the stage, relief washing over him. So, he would not have to sacrifice himself and Abdullah to be sure Carpathia was dead. From the commotion down front and from his view of the platform via jumbo screens nearby, it was clear to Mac that Nicolae had suffered the massive head wound believers knew was coming.

    Ever the professional, Mac knew what would be expected of him. He slid his cell phone from his jacket and dialed the Tel Aviv tower. "You got a jockey certified to shuttle the 216 to Jerusalem?"

    "Already looking, sir. This is a tragedy."

    "Yeah."

    Mac dialed Abdullah. From the limited noise in the background, he could tell his first officer was not at the Gala. "You hear, Ab?"

    "I heard. Shall I go get the Phoenix?"

    "Hang loose; they're trying to get it here. I saw you leave the hotel. Where are you?"

    "Doctor Pita's. I suppose I'll look suspicious finishing my meal when the big boss is dying and everyone else has run into the streets looking for a TV."

    "Stick it in your pocket, and if you don't hear from me, meet me at Jerusalem Airport in an hour."

    Mac made his way to the front of the plaza as the place emptied in a frenzy. He flashed his ID when necessary, and by the time he reached the platform, it was clear Carpathia was in the final throes of life. His wrists were drawn up under his chin, eyes shut tight and bleeding, blood trickling also from his ears and mouth, and his legs shook violently, toes pointed, knees locked.

    "Oh, he's gone! He's gone!" Leon wailed. "Someone do something."

    The four emergency medical technicians, portable monitors beeping, knelt over Carpathia. They cleared his mouth so they could administer oxygen, studied a blood pressure gauge, pumped his chest, cradled his head, and tried to stanch the flow from a wound that left them kneeling in more blood than it seemed a body could hold.

    Mac peeked past the panicky Fortunato to see Carpathia's normally tanned hands and face already pale. No one could survive this, and Mac wondered if the bodily movements were merely posthumous reflexes.

    "There is a hospital nearby, Commander," one of the EMTs said, which threw Fortunato into a rage. He had just made eye contact with Mac and seemed about to say something when he turned on the EMT.

    "Are you crazy? These—these people are not qualified! We must get him to New Babylon."

    He turned to Mac. "Is the 216 ready?"

    "On its way from Tel Aviv. Should be able to lift off in an hour."

    "An hour?! Should we helicopter him straight to Tel Aviv?"

    "Jerusalem Airport will be faster," Mac said.

    "There's no room to stabilize him in a chopper, sir," the EMT said.

    "We have no choice!" Fortunato said. "An ambulance would be too slow."

    "But an ambulance has equipment that might—"

    "Just get him into the chopper!" Fortunato said.

    But as the EMT turned away looking disgusted, a female colleague looked up at him. Carpathia was still. "No vitals," she said. "He's flat lined."

    "No!" Leon bellowed, bullying his way between them and kneeling in Nicolae's blood. Again he leaned over the body, but rather than holding Carpathia to him, he buried his face in the lifeless chest and sobbed aloud.

    Security Chief Walter Moon dismissed the EMTs with a nod, and as they gathered up their equipment and went for the gurney, he gently pulled Leon away from Carpathia. "Don't drape the body," he said. "Let's load 'im up now. Say nothing about his condition until we're back home."

    "Who did this, Walter?" Fortunato whined. "Did we catch him?"

    Moon shrugged and shook his head.


* * *

Buck ran toward the hostel. He dialed Chaim's number again, as he had all along the way. Still busy. The people in Chaim's house—Stefan the valet, Jacov's wife, Hannelore, and Hannelore's mother—had to have been watching on TV and were likely calling anyone they knew for news of their loved ones.

    Finally, Hannelore answered. "Jacov!" she shouted.

    "No, Hannelore, this is Greg North."

    "Buck!" she wailed. "What happened? Where—"

    "Hannelore!" Buck said. "Your phone is not secure!"

    "I don't care anymore, Buck! If we die, we die! Where is Jacov? What happened to Chaim?"

    "I need to meet you somewhere, Hannelore. If Chaim shows up there—"

    "Chaim is all right?"

    "I don't know. I didn't see him after—"

    "Did you see Jacov?"

    "Meet me, Hannelore. Call me from another phone and—"

    "Buck, you tell me right now! Did you see him?"

    "I saw him."

    "Is he alive?"

    "Hannelore—"

    "Buck, is he dead?"

    "I'm sorry. Yes."

    She began to wail, and in the background Buck heard a scream. Hannelore's mother? Had she deduced the news?

    "Buck, they're here!"

    "What? Who?"

    He heard a door smashing, a yell, another scream.

    "GC!" she whispered fiercely. And the phone went dead.


* * *

Onboard the Phoenix 216, Nicolae Carpathia's personal physician examined him and pronounced him dead.

    "Where were you?" Leon demanded. "You could have done something."

    "Where I was supposed to be, Commander," the doctor said, "in the auxiliary trailer a hundred yards behind the platform. Security would not let me out, fearing more gunfire."

    As the 216 taxied toward the runway, Leon came to the cockpit and told Abdullah, "Patch me through to Director Hassid at the palace, secure line."

    Abdullah nodded and glanced at Mac as Fortunato backed out. The first officer made the connection and informed Leon over the intercom. With creative switch flipping, Abdullah allowed Mac to listen in, while muting the input button to keep out noise from the cockpit.

    "You're aware of the awful news, David?" Leon said.

    "I heard, yes, sir," David said. "How is the potentate?"

    "He's dead, David ..."

    "Oh."

    " ... but this is top secret by order of Chief Moon until further notice."

    "I understand."

    "Oh, David, what will we do?"

    "We'll look to you, sir."

    "Well, thank you for those kind words at such a time, but I need something from you."

    "Yes, sir."

    "Scramble the satellites to make it impossible for those who did this to communicate with each other by phone. Can you do that?"

    A long pause. "Scrambling the satellites" was not the exact terminology, but David could produce Fortunato's desired result. "Yes," he said slowly. "It's possible, of course. You realize the ramifications ..."

    Mac whispered to Abdullah. "Call Buck, call Rayford, call the safe house. Leon's going to shut down communications. If they need to talk to each other, it has to be now."

    "Tell me," Leon said.

    "We're all served by the same system," David said. "It's the reason we've never been able to shut down the Judah-ites' Internet transmissions."

    "So if they're shut down, we're shut down?"

    "Exactly."

    "Do it anyway. The landlines in New Babylon would still be operable, would they not?"

    "They would, and this would not affect television transmission, but your long distance is all satellite dependent."

    "So those of us in New Babylon would be able to communicate only with each other."

    "Right."

    "We'll get by. I'll let you know when to unscramble."

    Two minutes later Leon called David again. "How long does this take?" he said. "I should not be able to reach you!"

    "Three minutes," David said.

    "I'll check back in four."

    "You'll not reach me, sir."

    "I should hope not!"

    But four minutes later Leon was preoccupied with the doctor. "I want an autopsy," he said, "but zero leaks about cause of death." Through the reverse intercom bug, Mac heard Leon's voice catch. "And I want this man prepared for viewing and for burial by the finest mortuary technician in the world. Is that understood?"

    "Of course, Commander. As you wish."

"I don't want the staff butcher in the palace, so whom would you suggest?"

"One who could use the business, frankly."

    "How crass! This would be a service to the Global Community!"

    "But surely you're prepared to reimburse—"

    "Of course, but not if money is the primary concern...."

    "It's not, Commander. I simply know that Dr. Eikenberry's mortuary has been decimated. She's lost more than half her staff and has had to reorganize her business."

    "And she's local?"

    "Baghdad."

    "I do not want Nicolae shipped to Baghdad. Can she come to the palace morgue?"

    "I'm sure she'd be more than happy ..."

    "Happy?"

    "Willing, sir."

    "I hope she can work miracles."

    "Fortunately his face was not affected."

    "Still," Leon said, his voice husky again, "how do you hide the, the ... awful injury?"

    "I'm sure it can be done."

    "He must look perfect, dignified. The whole world will mourn him."

    "I'll call her now."

    "Yes, please try. I'd like to know whether you're able to get through."

    But he was not able. Global telephone communications were off the air. And Abdullah too had failed to reach anyone.

    Mac was about to shut off the intercom bug when he heard Leon take a huge breath and let it out. "Doctor?" he said. "Can your mortician, ah—"

    "Dr. Eikenberry."

    "Right. Can she do a cast of the potentate's body?"

    "A cast?"

    "You know, some sort of plaster or plastic or something that would preserve his exact dimensions and features?"

    The doctor hesitated. "Well," he said finally, "death masks are nothing new. A whole corpse would be quite an undertaking, pardon the expression."

    "But it could be done?"

    Another pause. "I should think the body would have to be dipped. The palace morgue has a large enough tank."

    "It could be done then?"

    "Anything can be done, Excellency. I'm sorry, I mean Commander."

    Fortunato cleared his throat. "Yes, please, Doctor. Don't call me Excellency. At least not yet. And do arrange for a cast of the potentate's body."

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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

ONE

Buck braced himself with his elbow crooked around a scaffolding pole. Thousands of panicked people fleeing the scene had, like he, started and involuntarily turned away from the deafening gunshot. It had come from perhaps a hundred feet to Buck's right and was so loud he would not have been surprised if even those at the back of the throng of some two million heard it plainly.

He was no expert, but to Buck it had sounded like a high-powered rifle. The only weapon smaller that had emitted such a report was the ugly handgun Carpathia had used to destroy the skulls of Moishe and Eli three days before. Actually the sounds were eerily similar. Had Carpathia's own weapon been fired? Might someone on his own staff have targeted him?

The lectern had shattered loudly as well, like a tree branch split by lightning. And that gigantic backdrop sailing into the distance…

Buck wanted to bolt with the rest of the crowd, but he worried about Chaim. Had he been hit? And where was Jacov? Just ten minutes before, Jacov had waited below stage left where Buck could see him. No way Chaim's friend and aide would abandon him during a crisis.

As people stampeded by, some went under the scaffold, most around it, and some jostled both Buck and the support poles, making the structure sway. Buck held tight and looked to where giant speakers three stories up leaned this way and that, threatening their flimsy plywood supports.

Buck could choose his poison: step into the surging crowd and risk being trampled or step up a few feet on the angled crossbar. He stepped up and immediately felt the fluidity of the structure. It bounced and seemed to want to spin as Buck looked toward the platform over the tops of a thousand streaking heads. He had heard Carpathia's lament and Fortunato's keening, but suddenly the sound—at least in the speakers above him—went dead.

Buck glanced up just in time to see a ten-foot square speaker box tumble from the top. "Look out!" he shrieked to crowd, but no one heard or noticed. He looked up again to be sure he was out of the way. The box snapped its umbilicals like string, which redirected its path some fifteen feet away from the tower. Buck watched in horror as a woman was crushed beneath it and several other men and women were staggered. A man tried to drag the victim from beneath the speaker, but the crowd behind him never slowed. Suddenly the running mass became a cauldron of humanity, trampling each other in their desperation to get free of the carnage.

Buck could not help. The entire scaffolding was pivoting and he felt himself swing left. He hung on, not daring to drop into the torrent of screaming bodies. He caught sight of Jacov at last, trying to make his way up the side steps to the platform where Carpathia's security detail brandished Uzis.

A helicopter attempted to land near the stage but had to wait until the crowd cleared. Chaim sat motionless in his chair, facing to Buck's right, away from Carpathia and Fortunato. He appeared stiff, his head cocked and rigid, as if unable to move. If he had not been shot, Buck wondered if he'd had another stroke, or worse, a heart attack. He knew if Jacov could get to him, he would protect Chaim and get him somewhere safe.

Buck tried to keep an eye on Jacov while Fortunato waved at the helicopters, pleading with one to land and get Carpathia out of there. Jacov finally broke free and sprinted up the steps, only to be dealt a blow from the butt end of an Uzi that knocked him off his feet and into the crowd.

The impact snapped Jacov's head back so violently that Buck was certain he was unconscious and unable to protect himself from trampling. Buck leapt off the scaffold and into the fray, fighting his way toward Jacov. He moved around the fallen speaker box and felt the sticky blood underfoot.

As Buck neared where he thought Jacov should be he took one more look at the platform before the angle would obscure his view. Chaim's chair was moving! He was headed full speed toward the back of the platform. Had he leaned against the joystick? Was he out of control? If he didn't stop or turn, he would pitch twelve feet to the pavement and certain death. His head was still cocked, his body stiff.

Buck reached Jacov who lay splayed, his head awkwardly flopped to one side, eyes staring, limbs limp. A sob worked its way to Buck's throat as he elbowed stragglers out of the way and knelt to put a thumb and forefinger to Jacov's throat. No pulse.

Buck wanted to drag the body from the scene but feared he would be recognized despite extensive facial scars. There was nothing he could do for Jacov. But what about Chaim?

Buck sprinted left around the platform and skidded to a stop at the back corner, from where he could see Chaim's wheelchair crumpled on the ground, backstage center. The heavy batteries had broken open and lay twenty feet from the chair, which had one wheel bent almost in half, seat pad missing, and a footrest broken off. Was Buck about to find another friend dead?

He loped to the mangled chair and searched the area, including under the platform. Besides splinters from what he was sure had been the lectern, he found nothing. How could Chaim have survived this? Many of the world rulers had scrambled off the back of the stage, certainly having to turn and hang from the edge first to avoid serious injury. Even then, many would have had to have suffered sprained or broken ankles. But an elderly stroke victim riding a metal chair twelve feet to concrete? Buck feared Chaim could not have survived. But who would have carried him off?

A chopper landed on the other side of the platform and medical personnel rushed the stage. The security detail fanned out and began descending the stairs to clear the area.

Four emergency medical technicians crowded around Carpathia and Fortunato while others attended the trampled and the crushed, including the woman beneath the speaker box. Jacov was lifted into a body bag. Buck nearly wept at having to leave his brother that way, yet he knew Jacov was in heaven. He ran to catch up with the crowd now spilling into the streets.

Buck knew Jacov was dead. From the wound at the back of Carpathia's head, he assumed Nicolae was dead or soon would be. And he had to assume Chaim was dead too.

Buck longed for the end of all this and the glorious appearance of Christ. But that was still another three and a half years off.

————————————————————————————————————————

Rayford felt a fool, running with the crowd, the hem of his robe in his hands to keep from tripping. He had dropped the Saber and its box and wanted to use his arms for more speed. But he had to run like a woman in a long skirt. Adrenaline carried him, because he felt fast as ever, regardless. Rayford really wanted to shed the robe and turban, but the last thing he needed just then was to look like a westerner.

Had he murdered Carpathia? He had tried to, intended to, but couldn't pull the trigger. Then, when he was bumped and the gun went off, he couldn't imagine he'd been lucky enough to find his target. Could the bullet have ricocheted off the lectern and into Carpathia? Could it also have passed through him and taken out the backdrop? It didn't seem possible.

If he had killed the potentate, there was certainly no satisfaction in it, no relief or sense of accomplishment. As he hurried along, the screams and moans of Carpathia's faithful all around him, Rayford felt he was running from a prison of his own making.

He was sucking wind by the time the crowd thinned and began to disperse, and when he stopped to bend at the waist, hands on his hips, to catch his breath, a couple hurrying past said, "Isn't it awful? They think he's dead!"

"It's awful," Rayford gasped, not looking at them.

Assuming TV cameras had caught everything, especially him with the gun raised, it wouldn't be long before he would be sought. As soon as he was away from the busy streets, he shed the garb and stuffed it in a trash barrel. He found his car, eager to get to Tel Aviv and out of Israel before it became impossible.

————————————————————————————————————————

Mac stood near the back of the throng, far enough from the gun that the report didn't reach his ears until after the massive crowd began to move. While others near him shrieked and gasped and pleaded to know what was going on, he kept his eyes on the stage, relief washing over him. So, he would not have to sacrifice himself and Abdullah to be sure Carpathia was dead. From the commotion down front and from his view of the platform via jumbo screens nearby, it was clear to Mac that Nicolae had suffered the massive head wound believers knew was coming.

Ever the professional, Mac knew what would be expected of him. He slid his cell phone from his jacket and dialed Tel Aviv tower. "You got a jockey certified to shuttle the 216 to Jerusalem?"

"Already looking, sir. This is a tragedy."

"Yeah."

Mac dialed Abdullah. From the limited noise in the background, he could tell his first officer was not at the Gala. "You hear, Smitty?"

"I heard. Shall I go get the Phoenix?"

"Hang loose; they're trying to get it here. I saw you leave the hotel. Where are you?"

"Doctor Pita's. I suppose I'll look suspicious finishing my meal when the big boss is dying and everyone else has run into the streets looking for a TV."

"Stick it in your pocket, and if you don't hear from me, meet me at Jerusalem Airport in an hour."

Mac made his way to the front of the plaza as the place emptied in a frenzy. He flashed his I.D. when necessary, and by the time he reached the platform, it was clear Carpathia was in the final throes of life. His wrists were drawn up under his chin, eyes shut tight and bleeding, blood trickling also from his ears and mouth, and his legs shook violently, toes pointed, knees locked.

"Oh, he's gone! He's gone!" Leon wailed. "Someone do something."

The four emergency medical technicians, portable monitors humming, knelt over Carpathia. They cleared his mouth so they could administer oxygen, studied a blood pressure, pumped his chest, cradled his head, and tried to stanch the flow from a wound that left them kneeling in more blood than it seemed a body could hold.

Mac peeked past the panicky Fortunato to see Carpathia's normally dark hands and face already pale. No one could survive this, and Mac wondered if the bodily movements were merely posthumous reflexes.

"There is a hospital nearby, Commander," one of the EMTs said, which threw Fortunato into a rage. He had just made eye contact with Mac and seemed about to say something when he turned on the EMT.

"Are you crazy? These, these people are not qualified! We must get him to New Babylon."

He turned to Mac. "Is the 216 ready?"

"On its way from Tel Aviv. Should be able to lift off in an hour."

"An hour?! Should we helicopter him straight to Tel Aviv?"

"Jerusalem Airport will be faster," Mac said.

"There's no room to stabilize him in a chopper, sir," the EMT said.

"We have no choice!" Fortunato said. "An ambulance would be too slow."

"But an ambulance has equipment that might—"

"Just get him into the chopper!" Fortunato said. But as the EMT turned away looking disgusted, a female colleague looked up at him. Carpathia was still.

"No vitals," she said. "He's flat lined."

"No!" Leon bellowed, bullying his way between them and kneeling in Nicolae's blood. Again he leaned over the body, but rather than holding Carpathia to him, he buried his face in the lifeless chest and sobbed aloud.

Security chief Walter Moon dismissed the EMTs with a nod, and as they gathered up their equipment and went for the gurney, he gently pulled Leon away from Carpathia. "Don't drape the body," he said. "Let's load ‘im up now. Say nothing about his condition until we're back home."

"Who did this, Walter?" Fortunato whined. "Did we catch him?"

Moon shrugged and shook his head.

————————————————————————————————————————

Buck ran toward the hostel. He dialed Chaim's number again, as he had all along the way. Still busy. The people in Chaim's house—Stefan the valet, Jacov's wife Hannelore, and Hannelore's mother—had to have been watching on TV and were likely calling anyone they knew for news of their loved ones.

Finally, Hannelore answered. "Jacov!" she shouted.

"No, Hannelore, this is Greg North."

"Buck!" she wailed. "What happened? Where—"

"Hannelore!" Buck said. "Your phone is not secure!"

"I don't care anymore, Buck! If we die we die! Where is Jacov? What happened to Chaim?"

"I need to meet you somewhere, Hannelore. If Chaim shows up there—"

"Chaim is all right?"

"I don't know. I didn't see him after—"

"Did you see Jacov?"

"Meet me, Hannelore. Call me from another phone and—"

"Buck, you tell me right now! Did you see him?"

"I saw him."

"Is he alive?"

"Hannelore—"

"Buck, is he dead?"

"I'm sorry. Yes."

She began to wail and in the background, Buck heard a scream. Hannelore's mother? Had she deduced the news?

"Buck, they're here!"

"What? Who?"

He heard a door smashing, a yell, another scream. "GC!" she whispered fiercely. And the phone went dead.

————————————————————————————————————————

Onboard the Phoenix 216 Nicolae Carpathia's personal physician examined him and pronounced him dead.

"Where were you?" Leon demanded. "You could have done something."

"Where I was supposed to be, Commander," the doctor said, "in the auxiliary trailer a hundred yards behind the platform. Security would not let me out, fearing more gunfire."

As the 216 taxied toward the runway, Leon came to the cockpit and told Abdullah, "Patch me through to Director Hassid at the palace, secure line."

Abdullah nodded and glanced at Mac as Fortunato backed out. The first officer made the connection and informed Leon over the intercom. With creative switch flipping, Abdullah allowed Mac to listen in, while muting the input button to keep out noise from the cockpit.

"You're aware of the awful news, David?" Leon said.

"I heard, yes sir," David said. "How is the potentate?"

"He's dead, David…"

"Oh."

"…but this is top secret by order of Chief Moon until further notice."

"I understand."

"Oh, David, what will we do?"

"We'll look to you, sir."

"Well, thank you for those kind words at such a time, but I need something from you."

"Yes, sir."

"Scramble the satellites to make it impossible for whoever did this to communicate with each other by phone. Can you do that?"

A long pause. Scrambling the satellites was not the exact terminology, but David could produce Fortunato's desired result. "Yes," he said slowly. "It's possible, of course. You realize the ramifications…"

Mac whispered to Abdullah. "Call Buck, call Rayford, call the safehouse. Leon's going to shut down communications. If they need to talk to each other, it has to be now."

"Tell me," Leon said.

"We're all served by the same system," David said. "It's the reason we've never been able to shut down to the Judahites' Internet transmissions."

"So if they're shut down, we're shut down?"

"Exactly."

"Do it anyway. The landlines in New Babylon would still be operable, would they not?"

"They would, and this would not affect television transmission, but your long distance is all satellite dependent."

"So those of us in New Babylon would be able to communicate only with each other."

"Right."

"We'll get by. I'll let you know when to unscramble."

Two minutes later Leon called David again. "How long does this take?" he said. "I should not be able to reach you!"

"Three minutes," David said.

"I'll check back in four."

"You'll not reach me, sir."

"I should hope not!"

But four minutes later Leon was preoccupied with the doctor. "I want an autopsy," he said, "but zero leaks about cause of death." Through the reverse intercom bug, Mac heard Leon's voice catch. "And I want this man prepared for viewing and for burial by the finest mortuary technician in the world. Is that understood?"

"Of course, Commander. As you wish."

"I don't want the butcher in the palace, so whom would that be?"

"One who could use the business, frankly."

"How crass! This would be a service to the Global Community!"

"But surely you're prepared to reimburse—"

"Of course, but not if money is the primary concern…"

"It's not, Commander. I simply know that Dr. Eikenberry's mortuary has been decimated. She's lost more than half her staff and has had to reorganize her business."

"And she's local?"

"Baghdad."

"I do not want Nicolae shipped to Baghdad. Can she come to the palace morgue?"

"I'm sure she'd be more than happy…"

"Happy?"

"Willing, sir."

"I hope she can work miracles."

"Fortunately his face was not affected."

"Still," Leon said, his voice husky again, "how do you hide the, the…awful injury?"

"I'm sure it can be done."

"He must look perfect, dignified. The whole world will mourn him."

"I'll call her now."

"Yes, please try. I'd like to know whether you're able to get through."

But he was not able. Global telephone communications were off the air. And Abdullah too had failed to reach anyone.

Mac was about to shut off the intercom bug when he heard Leon take a huge breath and let it out. "Doctor?" he said. "Can your mortician, ah—"

"Dr. Eikenberry."

"Right. Can she do a cast of the potentate's body?"

"A cast?"

"You know, some sort of plaster or plastic or something that would preserve his exact dimensions and features?"

The doctor hesitated. "Well," he said finally, "death masks are nothing new. A whole corpse would be quite an undertaking, pardon the expression."

"But it could be done?"

Another pause. "I should think the body would have to be dipped. The palace morgue has a large enough tank."

"It could be done then?"

"Anything can be done, Excellency. I'm sorry, I mean Commander."

Fortunato cleared his throat. "Yes, please, Doctor. Don't call me Excellency. At least not yet. And do arrange for a cast of the potentate's body."

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 28, 2011

    Creepiest Left Behind Book Yet!

    The Indwelling is just as good as the first 6 Left Behind books and is incredibly more creepy. Once the antichrist rises from the dead, he is Satan himself. He's much more evil than Nicolae Carpathia alone ever was. I was incredibly surprised to discover who had killed the antichrist in the last book and you'll discover that pretty shortly into this one. The Indwelling is very gripping and I doubt you'll be able to put it down. It's one in a series that kept me up reading until late hours of the night so I could finish it and move on to the next book. Don't pass this up--or any in the series, for that matter!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2011

    Look who died!

    This seventh book in the best-selling Left Behind starts out with the world in havoc, stunned by the death of their leader Nicolae Carpathia. As the media plays the assassination over and over, Trib Force member Rayford Steele gets stuck in Israel and tries all avenues to get out. The Trib Force then is accused of killing Carpathia, and must guilefully live on the run, especially hard to do with a small baby to care for. Some of the Trib members are then executed, to the delight of the New Babylon's leaders. Leaders stage the seating of Carpathia's funeral, and then all peoples are over- whelmed when Carpathia himself comes back to life, as a force stronger than a demigod demands worship and attention. This was a book I reviewed for Tyndale House Publishers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2011

    The Indwelling

    "The Indwelling" is the seventh in the series of fiction books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins chronicling the events that take place in the world during the end times. The books follow several main characters as they fight for their lives and for their faith as the world makes its way to the last days.
    In this book, the Global Community police force is after the Tribulation Force. Rayford is accused of assassinating Nicolae Carpathia, but Buck finds out the truth.
    As the world mourns Nicolae, millions flock to his funeral and to pay homage to a huge statue erected in his honor. But the statue is not the only surprise Nicolae has in store for the people of the world.
    I enjoyed this series of books, and I felt this book especially recognized the spiritual battle that takes place during the end times. The passages that referred to Nicolae and 'The Indwelling' were frightening in their depictions. This books also sets up the next books very well, as the Great Tribulation begins.
    This series of novels is a fictionalized account of the events of the end times. I enjoyed the whole series. While this book is geared towards Christians, there is enough action and depth to it that should appeal to all. The characters are well done, and it is easy to follow the many plots that are going on within these books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2011

    great

    it starts the week of the gala which celebrates the mid point of the trubulation. they find out chaim killed carpathia not rayford.after a plane crash that killed t the pilot chaim accepts Christ. at the end nicholae raises from the dead and is indwelt.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2011

    Epic - A must read

    The Indwelling is so totally epic! You have got to read this book! If you haven't read the other books in the series then you have got to read those too!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2011

    the indwelling

    for me reading this book, it was getting really old reading this series. so it was kinda hard to keep reading, even though i still did. but it was just getting old and tired for me.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2011

    Very exciting read!

    The Indwelling answers all questions of if the devil is mean! This book starts an intense journey through the last half of the tribulation and doesn't slow down until Christ returns in Glorious Appearing. Wonderful read!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Pretty good for Christian reading

    If you read this book, you have to start at the beginning of the series. I enjoyed the first five books, then got kind of bored with it. However, this series does make you think about the world we live in and the people that live in it with us.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2004

    A thriller!

    Wow. If you are into action, you need to read this book. Based on the biblical prophesies about when the beast takes over the world pretending to be God (Revelation 13), this book literally has you on the edge of your seat the whole time you read it. Love this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2003

    The Indwelling: The Beast Takes Possession

    The Indwelling is the most mediocore book of the series their just waiting till Antichrist will arise frome the dead. But that don't happen till the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2003

    I don't get it!

    Are these books for real? They seem to be presented as based on the Good Book, but after reading a couple of them (hard to get through them - boring) I don't see the relationship. Oh well, I bet the guys who write them are getting rich!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2003

    The Indewelling is a must

    This book is a very interesing book. I enjoyed it very much. I can't wait to read the Mark. I just started it today. I think if you would like to know how to live an adventure just read this book series. (Left Behind) One of the reasons this book series interested me was because I can see all of this taking plase soon. But a little differently. Like the bible says ' No man will know the hour like in the day's of Noah' in other parts people Questioned Jesus when will we know these things are to take place (Luke 21) and then Jesus starts telling us when the end is near. Read these books If you would like to know more ( Dan, Eze, Matt, Luke, 1& 2 Thess, 1 John, Revelation: of Jesus Christ) This is an great source of knowledge about the Bible Prophesies the End of the Age, You might say Hey some of that is in the Old T, but Christ the Messiah said he did not come here to destroy the law he came here to fullfill it. Even Christ had prophesies made about him in the Old T Read Malich the last book of the Old T. That is why I can't put this series down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2002

    what a book

    read them all they are the best

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2002

    The best series I have read !

    This and the previous books from the series are the best books I have read in the last months. Although it is fiction, it is based much on the revelation book and therefore keeps readers turning the page at all times. I have read each of them at a pace of one book every three weeks. If you want to invest your spare time in something worthwhile, read these books ! They will also help you to answer and figure out many things about the scriptures you may not understand now.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2001

    Entertainment at its written BEST!

    This series is truly fascinating and page turning for everyone. Keep in mind it is FICTION and you will truly find enjoyment in this incredibly written series. I have to admit that it also gives you great pause at times as well. Putting the religious aspect aside (for those who it may not apply to, like myself) this is just DAMN GOOD READING!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2001

    It's not a game why He came!

    This book is off the hook! Lahaye and Jenkins can't write fast enough for me. I read the first seven in two and a half months. That's how serious these books are. I haven't read the eighth one yet, but I've had the 'Mark' sitting on my book shelf, until I finished the Indwelling, so I could jump right into it. Out of all seven I've read, and as good as all of them are this one kept my interest like none of the others did. In this one they don't just deal with the events taking place on the earth during the tribulation period. We see how things are being played out on a cosmic level in Heaven. These books I believe will benefit a lot of people, like me that are interested in understanding Revelation but have a hard time figuring certain things out. Well what more can I say, except that CHRIST IS RISEN, HE IS RISEN INDEED AND HE WILL COME AGAIN TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD, SO KEEP WATCH. DON'T GET CAUGHT SLEEPING! Holla back!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2000

    patiently waiting

    I have read the first chapter in my son's hardback volume, but will wait to purchase and read 7 & 8 when they come out in paperback. Since I 'inhale' these installations as soon as they are in my possession, I find it hard to wait 'patiently'. Don't know if it is the authors or the story, but fantastic reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2000

    Outstanding & Amazing

    I can't wait until the 8th books comes out. I never talked about this stuff let alone read about it. But sense I started reading the Left Behind series. I love it. Once you start reading one book you can't stop until you read them all. It really opens your eyes. enjoy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2000

    Wonderful books

    I have read all 7 from Left behind -The Indwelling I could not lay them down. My 2 sisters and mom and 2 daughters are reading them. I can hardly wait for the new one The Mark. Please hurry !!!!!! Frances

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2000

    POWER FULL READING

    I was given the first book to read by a co-worker.I went the next day to find the sequel.I seem to have read all the books in a week.The only problem is now I have to wait to see what happens to the Tribulation Force.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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