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Rayford tried to stay with Chaim. The men had left the Rosenzweig home without breakfast and without a word, as if they all somehow knew where they must go. Rayford decided that whatever was to come, he wanted to be close enough to Chaim to ask questions. The others must have had the same idea, as they all stuck together despite the crowds.
"When you see My throne, join those on My right, your left."
The words of Jesus were more than impressed on Rayford's heart. He had actually heard them. He moved to his left without question, and as waves of people moved both directions, suddenly the view before Rayford became clear. Directly below and centered under the vast heavenly hosts, saints, and angels, a great platform bore a throne on which Jesus sat. Behind Him stood the three angels of mercy. On either side of Him stood the archangels Michael and Gabriel.
Rayford knew instinctively that every living person on earth was gathered in that valley.
Chaim explained: "Half a billion or more were raptured seven years ago. Half the remaining population was killed during the Seal and Trumpet Judgments during the next three and a halfyears. Many more were lost during the Vial Judgments, and millions of believers were martyred. What you are looking at is probably only one-fourth of those who were left after the Rapture. And most of these will die today."
Indeed, Rayford realized, those assembling on Jesus' right were scant compared to those on His left.
It took most of the morning for the masses to find their places and settle. To Rayford it appeared that those to Jesus' left were puzzled at best, frightened at worst.
Gabriel stepped to the front of the platform and stretched out his arms for silence. "Worship the King of kings and Lord of lords!" he shouted, and as one the millions on both sides of the throne fell to their knees. In a cacophony of languages and dialects they cried out, "Jesus Christ is Lord!"
Those on the left of Jesus began rising to their feet, while all around Rayford, everyone remained kneeling. "Clearly two different groups here, eh, Chaim?"
"Actually three," the old man said. "Those are the 'goats' over there, the followers of Antichrist who somehow survived to this point. You are among the 'sheep' on this side, but I represent the third group. I am part of Jesus' 'brethren,' the chosen people of God whom the sheep befriended. We are the Jews who will go into the Millennium as believers, because of people like you."
Gabriel was gesturing that all should stand. When everyone was in place and quiet, he spoke in a loud voice:
"John the revelator wrote: 'I saw an altar, and underneath it all the souls of those who had been martyred for preaching the Word of God and for being faithful in their witnessing.
"'They called loudly to the Lord and said, "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long will it be before You judge the people of the earth for what they've done to us? When will You avenge our blood against those living on the earth?"
"'White robes were given to each of them, and they were told to rest a little longer until their other brothers, fellow servants of Jesus, had been martyred on the earth and joined them.'
"People of the earth, hearken your ears to me! The time has been accomplished to avenge the blood of the martyrs against those living on the earth! For the Son of Man has come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and He will now reward each according to his works! As it is written, 'At that time, when I restore the prosperity of Judah and Jerusalem,' says the Lord, 'I will gather the world into the 'Valley Where Jehovah Judges' and punish them there for harming My people, for scattering My inheritance among the nations and dividing up My land.
"'They divided up My people as their slaves; they traded a young lad for a prostitute, and a little girl for wine enough to get drunk.'"
The group to Jesus' left immediately fell to their knees again and began shouting and wailing, "Jesus Christ is Lord! Jesus Christ is Lord!"
Jesus stood and walked to the edge of the platform.
With anger and yet sadness, He said, "Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me."
The millions began shouting and pleading, "Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?"
Jesus said, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me. You will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
"No! No! No!"
But despite their numbers and the dissonance of their bawling, Jesus could be heard above them. "As the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him."
"We honor You! We do! You are Lord!"
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
"But My Father has given Me authority to execute judgment also, because I am the Son of Man. I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me."
"Jesus is Lord!" the condemned shouted. "Jesus is Lord!"
Gabriel stepped forward as Jesus returned to the throne. "Silence!" Gabriel commanded. "Your time has come!"
Rayford watched, horrified despite knowing this was coming, as the "goats" to Jesus' left beat their breasts and fell wailing to the desert floor, gnashing their teeth and pulling their hair. Jesus merely raised one hand a few inches and a yawning chasm opened in the earth, stretching far and wide enough to swallow all of them. They tumbled in, howling and screeching, but their wailing was soon quashed and all was silent when the earth closed itself again.
Everyone on the platform moved back into place, and from the throne Jesus said, "Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, and as I have purposed, so it shall stand."
Gabriel came forward again. He said, "God's Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
"Through Him you have received grace. You also are the called of Jesus Christ; grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. In His gospel the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 'The just shall live by faith.'
"The wrath of God has been revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppressed the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God was manifest in them, for God had shown it to them.
"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes were clearly seen, being understood by the things that were made, even His eternal power and God-head, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man-and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
"Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen."
"Amen!" the assembled shouted.
"These who have been cast into outer darkness and await the Great White Throne Judgment a thousand years hence were indeed without excuse. God sent His Holy Spirit as on the Day of Pentecost, plus the two preachers from heaven who proclaimed His gospel for three and a half years, plus 144,000 witnesses from the twelve tribes. Endless warnings and acts of mercy were extended to these who continued to be lovers of themselves rather than of God."
It hit Rayford that all who were left were believers, worshipers of Christ, and that he himself was among those who would populate the millennial kingdom.
Gabriel gestured that everyone should sit. When all were situated, he smiled broadly and pronounced loudly, "Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
"The Mighty One, God the Lord, has spoken and called the earth from the rising of the sun to its going down. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth. Our God has come, and shall not keep silent; He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people!"
With that Jesus stood, and Gabriel moved to stand behind the throne with the other angels. And Jesus said, "Gather My saints together to Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice! Come forth!"
From everywhere, from the earth and beyond the clouds, came the souls of those who had died in faith, whom Chaim and Tsion had often referred to as "the believing dead" and whom Rayford knew now also included Tsion himself-along with many more of Rayford's friends and loved ones.
Jesus began by honoring the saints of the Old Testament, those Rayford had only heard and read about. Rather than handling this the way He had the individual audiences with the tribulation saints-supernaturally dealing with them all in what seemed an instant-Jesus this time gave the spectators His strength and patience. The ceremony must have gone on for days, Rayford eventually decided, but he felt neither hunger nor thirst, no fatigue, not even an ache or a cramp from sitting in the sand that long. He loved every minute, knowing that when Jesus finished with the Old Testament saints, he would get to the tribulation martyrs. Waiting for his friends and loved ones to be recognized would be akin to waiting for Chloe's name to be called when she graduated from high school, but the reunion afterward would make it all worthwhile.
He glanced at his watch every few hours and realized how long it had taken to cover most of the Old Testament saints. Many he had never heard of-either he had not studied enough or these were some whose exploits had not been recorded. And yet God knew. He knew their hearts, knew of their sacrifice, knew of their faith. And one by one Jesus honored them as He embraced them and they knelt at His feet, and He said, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
As they came to Him one by one, Jesus said, "Without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to My Father must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
There was Noah, humbly kneeling, receiving his reward. Jesus said, "By faith, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, you moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of your household, by which you condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith."
Hours later it seemed everyone roused when it was Abraham's turn. Jesus said, "By faith you obeyed when you were called to go out to the place you would receive as an inheritance. And you went out, not knowing where you were going. By faith you dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with you of the same promise; for you waited for the city which had foundations, whose builder and maker was God."
Sarah was right behind him, and Jesus said to her, "By faith you yourself also received strength to conceive seed, and you bore a child when you were past the age, because you judged Him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, your husband, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude-innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore."
Jesus addressed the spectators. "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore I am not ashamed to be called their God, for I am preparing a city for them.
"By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, 'In Isaac your seed shall be called,' concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead."
Later Jacob approached the throne, and Jesus said, "By faith, when you were dying, you blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of your staff."
And behind him, Joseph. Jesus told him, "By faith you, when you were dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning your bones."
All around, Jews began to stand. Soon everyone was on their feet. Moses himself was kneeling at the feet of Jesus with a man and a woman, and the Lord embraced them and said, "Well done, good and faithful servants. By faith, when your son was born, you hid him three months, because you saw he was a beautiful child; and you were not afraid of the king's command.
"And you, Moses, when you became of age, by faith refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasure of sin, esteeming My reproach greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for you looked to the reward. By faith you forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for you endured as seeing Him who is invisible.
"By faith you kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
"By faith you led My children through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned."
A woman knelt before Jesus. He said, "By faith, Rahab, you did not perish with those who did not believe, because you received My spies with peace."
When all the heroes of the Old Testament, including Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also David and Samuel and the prophets had been honored, Jesus stood and said, "These through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
"Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.
"Still others had trial of mocking and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented-of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
"And all these obtained a good testimony through faith."
"It might be a little late to be asking this, Chaim," Rayford said, "but what kind of a relationship will I have with Irene now? And Amanda. I know that's the kind of question Jesus was asked when the Pharisees were trying to trip Him up, but I sincerely need to know."
Excerpted from KINGDOM COME by Tim LaHaye Jerry B. Jenkins Copyright © 2007 by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted April 19, 2010
If you don't believe we're in End Times, read a newspaper. Then realize that all the Left Behind series is God's plan being fulfilled before our eyes.
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Posted August 1, 2009
Posted June 9, 2009
I just finished the LB series, and enjoyed it. I think it was well done, overall. The books kept me interested and moved along nicely in their pacing. I looked forward to buying the next one when the previous one was finished.
I do have to say there were a few exceptions, one of which is the last novel: Kingdom Come. I did not think this novel was particularly well written. It had too much to tell in a too short a time. The introduction of the COT, TOL and Millenium force was fine, but it needed more time to truly develop itself -- can't be done in one novel. The appearance of the famous biblical figures came off as filler to me. In addition, the final battle for the ages was absolutely mishandled and glossed over -- too bad. I would have rather extended this part of the plot in another book and cut the part of the LB story that dealt with the rescue of the captured George Sebastian.
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Posted January 29, 2009
I had mixed feelings while reading this book. I was excited to read it since it would be the end of the series and all loose ends would be tied up. Also it was nice to see Buck and Chloe and the others again alive and well. It was cool to see David and Noah meeting with the kids to tell them first hand all the stories you knew while growing up. The end battle was pretty awesome too. However, there were several things I just didn't understand about the book. Why did only certain Bible characters show up to make cameos? If I were up in heaven I'd like to meet everyone who's mentioned, not just the big names. And why are only Bible characters mentioned? What about all the Christians who have made an impact throughout the centuries? And the biggest thing I didn't understand was why there was no mention of the rest of the Tribulation gang other than the key leaders? It was like they disappeared off the face of the earth, literally. I also didn't feel like the characters were developed as they had been in the rest of the series. While Kenny's and Raymie's (I did wish they would stop calling him that as he was an adult throughout the book) stories were interesting, I still saw them as kids. I wanted to know more about Buck, Chloe and everyone else. Honestly I'm glad the series is over. I did enjoy learning more about end days and the storyline was really good at first with engaging characters and suspenseful scenes. However, I felt it could have ended with book 12 and that the prequels and this last book were not really needed. I was scared when I was reading the original series that the Rapture would actually come when I finished the last book. Well as you can tell I'm still here. :)
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Posted June 28, 2007
While I cannot say that I didn't like 'Kingdom Come,' it certainly left me wanting, which was unfortunate since this is the grand conclusion of the Left Behind series. Overall this was by no means a poorly written book as I truly enjoy Jenkins' style of writing and his use of imagery in not just the LB series, but also the 'Soon' and 'Jesus Chronicles' series. But I didn't care for the novel's progression and several series of events that took place. The book begins well, with our usual crew about to enter the Millennial Kingdom and the theological explanations by Tsion Ben-Judah on what to expect as far as the early deaths of non-believers, everyone's new eating habits, the constant brightness, animals of all kind living in peace with people, and of course the physical presence of Jesus on his throne in Jerusalem were very helpful in setting the tone. We see Rayford, Irene, Tsion and co. assigned to various ministries throughout the world and Buck and Chloe have founded a millennial day care called Children of the Tribulation 'COT'. In addition, Jesus has cleaned up the whole earth after the horrors of the tribulation and has set up his new temple in Jerusalem where he will rule forever. After establishing these initial key elements, the book jumps to 93 years into the Millennial Kingdom, where we learn about the formation of The Other Light 'TOL', which is a Lucifer-worshipping cult whose followers hope to overthrow Christ in the final battle. After quickly reaching year 93, I thought the story would keep moving quickly throughout the Millennium in order to spend a good amount of time on the final battle between Satan and Jesus. However, the next 300 pages or so covered only years 93-97 in the Kingdom, which I found extremely tedious. At one point, we see Rayford requesting to King David that some major biblical characters come and speak at COT, which he obliges. When Noah visits and tells his story, I found it to be a nice filler, but nothing really special. But the fact that later on, Joshua and Caleb and then later David himself each come and share their stories in excruciating detail 'when one can just pick up a Bible and read the same things' was pretty disappointing and way too page consuming when other storylines could have been pursued. One aspect that I truly did enjoy was that Buck & Chloe's son, Kenny Williams was the unofficial main character of this book at the tender age of 97. The formation of the Millennium Force was a bit cheesy, yet nostalgic to faithful LB readers who journeyed along with the original Tribulation Force. And Kenny and Ekaterina's romance was well done and makes you feel like a grandparent after having read the Buck & Chloe saga from early in the series. A big conflicting issue for me was when TOL infiltrator Qasim planted false evidence implicating Kenny as an unbeliever and a mole at COT. Kenny then loses his girlfriend and his Uncle Raymie 'who has a glorified body and mind for crying out loud' initially turns on him as do several others. Kenny agonizes and feels totally alone and ostracized, which I find pretty jacked up considering this is a time of global peace and tranquility. It shouldn't have been hard for Kenny to prove his loyalty to Christ, especially with Jesus physically present right in his home town. Somehow I'd like to think Jesus wouldn't be some unaccessable VIP, sitting in his temple all alone, which is pretty much how he was portrayed in this book. Believers prayed to him, but even then, they didn't know if they were receiving his answers or making up their own. Why couldn't Kenny have said, 'You don't believe me? Let's go see Jesus and he'll tell you I belong to him!' I'd like to think that Jesus would never have a problem with his own children coming to him for counsel, especially now that he was physically present with them. Also, throughtout the series, believers had seals of the cross spiritually placed by God on their foreheads identifying them as followers of Chri
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Posted September 23, 2013
Posted December 21, 2012
A very well written and thought provoking series! I have read them all and think they are just great. Learned a lot and understand even more about the last tmies prophecies.
Thank you Mr. LaHaye and Mr. Jenkins!!!!!!
Posted October 2, 2012
Posted August 10, 2012
Posted June 17, 2012
Posted April 18, 2012
Posted January 23, 2012
Posted October 24, 2011
Whether your a Christian or not you will find the characters believable and real. You will find many arguments that are addressed that non-Christians and Christians have pondered. The thousand year rein of Christ on Earth is not what I expected: it appears that the writers believe that there will be alot of freedom to chose your own destiny and beliefs. It is hard to find a stopping place because you want to know what comes next. I read it as a digital book on my HP Zeen Tablet which bookmarking is easy and looking up words is even easier. I slowed down my reading toward the end because I did not want the book to end. I don't remember the last time I felt that way about a book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 16, 2011
Posted April 7, 2011
the Left Behind Series is really a great read. based on the Bible it gives readers an insight and different perspective. Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins have really gone over and beyond to help create a viable reality, which allows for multiple conversations with friends, relatives, and fellow believers.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 31, 2009
This book was a gift to my husband who has read all previous books in the series. He has enjoyed each of these books very much. After getting my husbands opinion, this would be recommended reading to anyone who is open to considering their future based on the Book of Revelation.
At his urging, my daughter (14.5) and I have every intention to begin reading the series, as well.
Posted July 18, 2009
The majority of the story having been told, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins now explore the topic of the 1000 year reign. Unfortunately, Biblically there isn't a whole lot known about this time period, which makes for a somewhat thin story line.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 28, 2009
Posted March 23, 2009