Kingdom come the final v.., p.14
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       Kingdom Come: The Final Victory, p.14
 

         Part #13 of Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye
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  “Well, let me get to the real story, what actually happened behind all the tales you may have heard about me and my wife and my sons and their wives and all those pairs of animals.

  “Like me, men began to have many children, especially because we were all living so long. The earth was growing with more and more people. This may be hard for some of you to understand, but during that time disobedient, fallen angels were banished from heaven and lived among men on the earth. They married human women against the will and law of God. God saw that most of the world was filled with wicked men and women, and He decided to give them only 120 years to see their need for Him, or He would wipe them off the face of the earth. The Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh.’

  “Soon the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. It actually got to the place where the Lord was sorry that He had made man, and He was grieved in His heart. Imagine it! The creation had shaken its fist in the face of the Creator.

  “So the Lord said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.’ But, children, somehow I, Noah, found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Now notice that I did not say that God found in me any good thing that made me worthy. I believed in Him, that He was the Creator and my Sovereign and my only Savior from sin. I humbled myself before Him and pledged faithfulness and obedience. That is all we can do.

  “You must understand—I did not see myself as an extraordinary man. I was like anyone else. I toiled. I worried. I raised my family and kept them close to me—all three sons, even after they married. We were not perfect. We sometimes argued and squabbled, wanted our own ways. But for the most part we respected and honored each other and our wives. They deferred to me as their senior and as their father. And as much as was within me, I sought to serve the Lord.

  “Somehow God saw me as just, and I walked with Him. But the earth was corrupt and filled with violence. One day He said to me, ‘The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.’ ”

  A girl raised her hand. “What is gopherwood and pitch?”

  “Good question, young lady. Gopherwood trees don’t grow anymore, but they are similar to cedar or cypress. All right? And pitch is like tar, a sticky black liquid that kept water from seeping through the cracks in the wood.”

  The girl nodded and Noah continued. “And the Lord told me how to make the ark. He said its length should be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. Who knows what a cubit is?”

  Several children tried to answer at once, convincing Rayford that they had recently been taught. Noah singled one out, who said, “The distance from the tip of the middle finger to the elbow of a grown man.”

  “Exactly! About eighteen inches. And God told me, ‘You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.’ Are you getting an idea how big this structure was? It was boxy and wide, and that’s why it never capsized or sank. And just wait until you hear how many creatures we carried!

  “God said, ‘Behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die.’

  “Can you imagine how that made me feel? I was grateful that I had found grace in His eyes, but it is a fearful thing to see almighty God at the end of His patience and mercy with all of mankind. It soon became clear that I and my family were to be the only humans left. God said, ‘But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.

  “ ‘And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.

  “ ‘And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.’

  “Think of it, children. My sons and I herded more than seventy thousand animals onto that boat! Not to mention millions of insects and enough food for us and for all of those creatures! As you’ll see, we needed enough food for a whole year. Well, it took decades just to accomplish this, but I did according to all that God commanded me.

  “I was six hundred years old when the Lord said, ‘Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.’

  “And it came to pass after seven days that the waters of the flood were on the earth. You see, God tarried that one more week, I believe, hoping that more would repent of their sins, but none did. Many have retold this story over the generations, leaving the impression that forty days and forty nights of solid rain was enough to cover the entire earth. But the truth is that all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, besides the windows of heaven being opened. The water came from above and below!

  “My family and I were on that ark with every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort, two by two, of all flesh in which was the breath of life, male and female of all flesh.

  “The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward over the highest mountains. Mount Ararat itself, where we would eventually come to rest, was about seventeen thousand feet high, but we needed not worry that we would strike it or any other mountain until the waters began to recede.

  “Well, as you might imagine, all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died. It is no trifle to defy the Lord God. He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only I and those with me in the ark remained alive.

  “As you might imagine, that was a terrifying and sobering time for us. God was showing His great power and, yes, His anger. While I was relieved and grateful that somehow I had found favor in His eyes, imagine how lonely we felt, knowing that at the end of this, we would be the fathers of all the generations yet to come.

  “While you have no doubt heard that it rained for forty days and forty nights, the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days. There were times when I wondered if the Lord had left us, but we kept our faith. Finally God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided. The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained. And the waters receded continually from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days, the waters decreased.

  “Would you have liked to have been with us, my sons and me and our wives? Think about it before you decide. Imagine the work. Imagine the smell!”

  This caused the children to laugh.

  “Oh, make no mistake, it was hard work. The ark finally rested in the seventh month, nestling on the mountains of Ararat. It
took three more months for the waters to decrease continually until the tops of the mountains were seen.

  “And so it came to pass that at the end of forty more days, I opened the window of the ark and sent out a raven, which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth. I also sent out a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground. But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark, for the waters were still covering the face of the whole earth.

  “I waited another seven days and again sent the dove out from the ark. That evening the dove returned, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth. That told me that the waters had receded from the earth. So I waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove, which did not return again.

  “And it came to pass after an entire year since the flood began that the waters were dried up from the earth. I removed the covering of the ark and looked, and indeed the surface of the ground was dry. A month later the whole earth was dry.

  Then God spoke to me, saying, ‘Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.’

  “So we went out and led all the creatures out. Then I built an altar to the Lord and offered burnt offerings to Him. When He smelled the soothing aroma, He said, ‘I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.’

  “And children, God has kept His promise. He blessed me and my sons and said to us, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And every beast of the earth and bird of the air, all that move on the earth, and all the fish of the sea shall fear you. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.’

  “He also told me that ‘whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in My image I made man. And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth and multiply in it.’

  “You know what that means, children? It means you are all, each and every one of you, descendants of me and my sons. God also spoke to me and my sons, saying, ‘Behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth. Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth. This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’

  “How many of you have seen a rainbow?”

  All the children raised their hands.

  “Then you have seen the hand of God, still keeping His promise thousands of years since He pledged it to me and my sons and our wives and all the animals.

  “Would you believe that after the flood I lived three hundred and fifty more years? I am the oldest man you have ever seen, but if you trust in God and become the Lord’s child, you will never die. At the end of this Millennium, these thousand years, we shall enter heaven with God and with His Son, the Messiah. I want you all to be there with me. Will you come? Will you promise me, as God did?

  “Who will be there with me? Who?”

  And from here and there all over the acreage, children shouted, “I will! I will! Me too! I will!”

  They stood and waved and jumped and yelled, and in the midst of it, Noah made his leave. As he walked through the masses back the way he came, the immense crowd seemed to part as the waters of the sea. No one touched him or even approached him. They just smiled and waved and cheered and applauded.

  And as Noah left the place, Rayford heard him whisper, “All praise to the God of our fathers, who shares His glory with none other.”

  SEVENTEEN

  KENNY WILLIAMS was not surprised that the rest of the day at COT was a write-off. Half the kids left with their parents, and the other half could do little else than jabber about getting to see the real Noah in the flesh and hear him tell his own story.

  Kenny tried to get them to fashion model arks and line up toy animals, but these activities deteriorated into more fun and games. He was as excited as they were and had to wonder when things would get back to normal. And to think that other heroes of the faith were scheduled! Fortunately, no one knew when.

  Ekaterina was no less wired as they walked home, unabashedly holding hands now, even in front of others. Kenny knew the news of their being an item would soon get around. When they reached her house, her parents clearly noticed but did not raise a brow or say a word. He would have to ask Kat the next day if anything was said after he left.

  As they parted, Kenny asked Ekaterina whether she was still determined to ask for a transfer within COT.

  “Yes,” she said, “but I won’t even try to get assigned with you. Not now.”

  Kenny was conflicted all the way home. He had Noah and, of course, Kat on his mind, but he also had an urgent need to talk with Raymie. He called him and set a meeting for later that evening at Raymie’s place.

  It was time for Abdullah to seriously seek the Lord. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t done that every day of his life since acknowledging his need of a Savior. But this whole Jordan assignment had him puzzled. He prayed with Yasmine. He prayed without her. He called his children and asked them to pray. No surprise to him, Bahira sympathized and promised to pray; Zaki wanted to counsel him. The boy had all the answers.

  “Maybe God will work a miracle and blind them so they don’t see you as an old man . . . or, I mean, your age. Or maybe He’ll turn you into a shape-shifter so you can look like someone their age. What do you think?”

  “I think I am still confused and would ask you again to fervently pray for me. I have to think that those of you who have been with God and Jesus in heaven have at least some sort of an advantage in communicating with Him. Please, for me.”

  “But, Dad, I am in a little group that calls ourselves the Millennium Force, like you and your friends had in the olden days. We have an infiltrator into the TOL in Paris. Maybe he can be of help to you.”

  “Maybe.”

  Kids.

  “He told her everything?” Raymie said, clearly piqued.

  Kenny nodded solemnly. “I mean, she can be trusted. We’re going together now, and I trust her.”

  “Going together? Since when?”

  “Last night.”

  “You know there are things you won’t be able to tell her, just because Qasim seems to have a big mouth.”

  “I will keep all confidences, but of course the day may come when I would want to nominate her for inclusion into the Force.”

  “Kenny, please. I’ve got half a mind to disband the whole thing. It’s getting out of control. Qasim is not even part of us, and I couldn’t have made that any clearer, yet here he is telling the Jospins that you’re some double agent, then telling a virtual stranger—at least to him—all about us and not even getting it right.”

  “Ekaterina is not really a stranger to him. They have worked together at COT and were out last night when she told him.”

  “O
ut where?”

  “To dinner. At the bistro.”

  “Hold on. I thought you said you and she were going together.”

  “Right, well, their date sort of brought things to a head.”

  “So last night she was out with him, and since last night she’s going with you.”

  “I know how that sounds.”

  “Apparently you don’t. Well, regardless, I’m pulling the plug on Qasim, no matter what Zaki says. We might as well be advertising on billboards if Qasim is going to be blabbing about us to everybody he knows.”

  “And what if I hear from the Jospins?”

  “What if you do?”

  “If Qasim can be believed, they think I’m with them and working covertly at COT. Should I try to string them along?”

  Raymie shook his head. “I don’t know. I don’t like it. How hard would it be for them to learn how tight you are with your parents, who run the place? And what are you going to say if they ask about Qasim?”

  The Ekaterina Kenny walked to work Monday morning was not the same one he walked home at the end of the day. The first was her bubbly, affectionate self who said her parents had noticed their affection for each other and were most excited. The latter Ekaterina was glum.

  “I rarely see you this way, Kat,” he said. “Talk to me. Was your transfer request turned down?”

  “No, it’s not that. I haven’t heard about that since I left it in your mother’s box.”

  “Then what?”

 
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